During an impressive fall season that saw four teams reach the PAC Championships after combining for a record of 36-2-1 throughout the regular season, it is no surprise that several Eastern athletes and staff earned conference honors.
Two athletes and one coach earned the top honor in the PAC after posting perfect regular season records.
PAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year: Dan Mouw
After finishing up his fifth year as head coach of the women’s soccer team, Dan Mouw humbly accepted his second honor as the PAC women’s soccer coach of the year.
“Honestly, I did not even notice that I had won the award,” he said. Mouw admitted to being more concerned with the fact that junior goalie Amanda Daveler and the holders and centers of the team were not recognized.
His success is not an achievement that he boasts in or even fully takes credit for.
“Good players make good coaches. I had strong ideas about how we needed to play,” he said. “But it worked because we have good players who bought into their roles on the squad.”
The conference coaches could not have chosen any better than the man who led his team to a season record of 19-4 and a conference record of 10-0.
PAC Women’s Soccer Player of the Year: Junior Ashley Hackman
“Perhaps the best way I can describe Ash is to explain that she wants to win,” Mouw said of Ashley Hackman. The junior midfielder had 21 assists and 12 goals in the 2007 season alone. She is now the proud owner of her third PAC award in three collegiate seasons. This time it is the big one: PAC women’s soccer player of the year.
In addition to personal recognition, Hackman and her teammates claimed the PAC Championship title for the first time in program history.
Along with her outstanding abilities as a player, it is impossible not to notice her leadership skills. “This year she has taken on the additional responsibility of being a captain,” Mouw said. “I feel that her commitment to the team and her desire to see her teammates excel is so genuine, that her teammates respond to her leadership.”
Hackman was able to recognize the greatness in her teammates. She felt as though sophomore forward Jill Direnzo should have received the award.
Though it was hard to choose between the two girls, Mouw firmly believes in his pick for top player. “Ash has been the best player in the league for the last three years,” he said.
PAC Volleyball Player of the Year: Senior Emma Klein
Soon after being recognized as player of the week, outside hitter Emma Klein received the honor of PAC volleyball player of the year. PAC achievements are nothing new to this senior. She was PAC rookie of the year and the Mid-Atlantic Region Freshman of the year during her first season. Klein can now add her name to Eastern’s long list of PAC players of the year, becoming the team’s eleventh consecutive honoree.
Her achievement of 1,400 career digs and kills is the first of its kind here at Eastern. “Emma’s always been a very good athlete,” Head Coach Mark Birtwistle said.
Even as a first-year, Klein was recognized as an impact player for the team. Her influence on the team and input has remained constant throughout her career. For the past three years she has earned first team All-PAC recognition and has been a PAC champion.
Birtwistle believes that Klein’s evident talent and ability on the floor are just a small part of what makes her a great player. “Emma’s been very willing to learn,” he said.
Birtwistle knows it takes more than just raw talent to win games and to be a part of a team. In his eyes and that of her peers and other conference coaches, she has all the pieces.