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APSU Soccer’s Mary Ruth Locastro, Kirstin Robertson, Pamela Penaloza receive All-OVC Honors

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Soccer - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Three Austin Peay State University women’s soccer players have earned Ohio Valley Conference hardware for their 2016 performances.

Senior defender Mary Ruth Locastro was named an All-OVC first team selection, junior forward Kirstin Robertson finished on the All-OVC second team and redshirt freshman midfielder Pamela Penaloza landed on the All-Newcomer team.

APSU Soccer - Mary Ruth Locastro, Kirstin Robertson, and Pamela Penaloza

Locastro has been everything you could ask for in a player over the course of four years.

She has played and started all 75 matches of her APSU career, putting her tied for fourth all-time in games played.

After starring as a midfielder for the first two and a half years, Locastro moved to center back midway through the 2015 season, and has been one of the premier defenders in the league ever since.

In 2016, the Memphis Tennessee native helped the Govs record nine shutouts – the most since 2010 – with seven of those coming against OVC opponents. Austin Peay finished the season with four consecutive clean sheets, and allowed only six goals in league play with the fewest amount of shots against.

“She would be your definition of the foundation for our team,” said head coach Kelley Guth. “From the moment she stepped on the field as a freshman, she’s made an impact. She’s a hardworking, team-first kind of kid that you wish you had 25 of on your roster and will be hard to replace.”

A native of Ashland City, Tennessee, Robertson had one of the finest single-season offensive displays in APSU history. The junior led the conference in points (27), was second in goals (11) and tied for second in assists (five). More importantly, Robertson’s goals always seemed to occur in clutch situations, finishing the campaign with six game-winners.

Robertson will go down in the record books tied for the fourth-highest single-season point total, with only Tatiana Ariza having more. In addition, her 11 goals match Ariza’s 2010 season for fifth-most, while also moving up the career goals chart with 14 (tied for fifth).

“She had a breakout season for us,” Guth said. “She scored a number of crucial goals for us in crucial moments. Kirstin has taken that next step as a competitor and really asserted herself this season as a player we can count on. There were many high-caliber attacking players in the league this year, and I think she ranks right up there with the best.”

For Penaloza, the 2016 season was a long time in the making. After redshirting last year, the Colombian made her APSU debut, and proved to be a reliable playmaker in the midfield.

Penaloza started all 20 matches, recording two goals and two assists. She opened the season with back-to-back assists, scored her first career goal against Chattanooga (Sept. 18) and buried the game-winner against Eastern Kentucky (Oct. 7) – a highlight-reel finish from distance.

“Last year was really difficult for her coming here and not being able to play,” Guth said. “I know it meant a lot to her getting an opportunity to make an impact and help us have success. She’s consistent, reliable and has all the attributes you hope for. Her presence in the midfield made us a dangerous team this year.”

Murray State’s Harriet Withers earned Offensive Player of the Year, Tennessee Tech’s Kari Naerdemann was Defensive Player of the Year and Eastern Kentucky’s Nick Flohre was named Coach of the Year.

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