Sports

Stanford's Sullivan named national freshman of the year

 

Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan has been named national Freshman of the Year for women's soccer by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Despite missing most of preseason camp while captain of the U.S. national team at the Under-20 World Cup, Sullivan joined the Cardinal the week of its opener and fit in perfectly as Stanford won at North Carolina, 1-0, in overtime. It was Stanford's first victory in 13 tries against the Tar Heels.

Sullivan started all but two matches, and those were to rest an injury. Nearly all her starts were as a holding midfielder, but she also filled in as a central defender for three matches. Sullivan had one goal and four assists, but even more importantly, was a vital cog in a defense that earned 17 shutouts – the second-most in school history – and in igniting the offense.

Her play was crucial to Stanford's 20-2-3 record, No. 3 final ranking, and run into the NCAA College Cup semifinals.

"Andi is amazing in all aspects," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said at a College Cup press conference. "Usually, you can find deficiencies that you want to improve in players, but Andi's one of the rare ones -- she's got the total package. She's good at ball winning, she's good at going forward with the ball and creating goals. She's a good leader, she's got an excellent work ethic. She's a great athlete. Technically, she's very sound.

"She's been amazing for this team and has been a rock for us this entire season. She's really well respected by everybody and everyone really respects what she's doing for the squad, so that speaks volumes for what she's done."

Sullivan, of Lorton, Va., also was named to Top Drawer's All-Freshman first team.

Lo'eau LaBonta, a senior attacking midfielder, was named to Top Drawer's Best XI second team. Earlier, she was named a second team All-America by the NSCAA.

— Stanford Athletics

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