MACON, Ga. (School Release) - As the Mercer women's soccer team continues to prepare for the upcoming Atlantic Sun Championship, six players were honored on the conference's postseason awards list on Friday afternoon.
After arguably one of the best regular seasons in program history, the personal accolades rolled in for the Bears. The six individual awards were handed out to junior defender Devon Fry, senior midfielder Patricia-Anne Upson, freshman goalkeeper Maggie Cropp, sophomore forward Tess Patton, sophomore midfielder Lauren Gassie and senior midfielder Danielle Hesse.
Fry and Upson were named to the All-Atlantic Sun First Team while Cropp and Patton picked up second team honors. Gassie and Hesse, along with Upson were also all named to the Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference Team for their hard work both on their field and in the classroom.
"It is a great feeling knowing that these players were recognized for their efforts this season," head coach Tony Economopoulos said. "They all are certainly deserving and have helped build our program into what it is today."
Outside the on-the-field accomplishments, Mercer also showed strong in the classroom and was recognized for it on Friday. The Bears led entire A-Sun with three representatives on the Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference Team.
"These three players have not only proven their ability on the field but off as well," Economopoulos said. "It's a great honor to have the most academic selections in the league. We have high standards here and I hope we continue that trend in the future."
For Upson, this is the senior's second-straight all-conference nod as she picked up second team honors last year. She was also named to the all-tournament team in last year's A-Sun Championship and was an All-Freshmen selection in 2009.
This is Fry's first postseason award after transferring from Georgia in the offseason. Both Fry and Upson helped guide the Bears to one of the best defenses not only in the A-Sun but the nation. Mercer ended the regular season leading the A-Sun and was 16th best in goals against average in the country.
"It's great to see tow players receive first-team honors," Economopoulos said. "P.A. has been a four-year starter here and a team captain. She has certainly been a major contributing factor in helping us set the program record for wins this season. Both she and Devon have helped mold our defense into one of the best in the country."
Freshman Maggie Cropp also had a lot to do with that average as she too picked up her first postseason honors. Cropp, who if the season ended today, would carry the lowest goals against average in A-Sun history also currently leads the nation in that category. She was named to both the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team and the All-Atlantic Sun Freshmen Team.
"Maggie has been stellar this year," Economopoulos said. "Although we are happy that she was selected, she has worked very hard and we felt that she was deserving of more for what she has accomplished this season."
Cropp allowed three goals all season and just two in conference play to lead the A-Sun in both save percentage and goals against average.
Patton, who ended up tying for the team lead in goals (6), picked up second team honors for her first postseason award as well. Patton was a late addition to the Bears' lineup after transferring from Auburn at the start of the season.
"It's wonderful to see Tess be selected, especially coming in late," Economopoulos said. "It's a testament to her level of play and being able to gel with this team so fast. She scored some important goals for us this season."