Team Awards Announced
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Meredith Speck served as a team captain for both her Sacred Heart Academy high school team and Long Island Fury club team prior to coming to Yale. Next fall, that experience will come in handy. Speck, a two-time first team All-Ivy selection, was elected captain of the 2014 Yale women's soccer team. The announcement was made recently following a team vote.
"Being elected captain is a huge honor," said Speck, a Rockville Centre, N.Y., native. "To know that I have the support of my teammates, whom are among the people I respect the most, means a lot to me."
Speck is coming off an outstanding junior season that saw her earn first team All-Ivy recognition. She started all 16 games, seeing a majority of her action on defense but at times moving up front. Her five assists were tied for the eighth most in the league this season.
Speck earned first team All-Ivy recognition in 2011 as well after she tied for second on the team with four assists, was third in points (12) and tied for third in goals (4).
In her career, Speck has started 40 games and has five goals and 13 assists.
Speck will have plenty of support from six others who will be seniors next fall. Muriel Battaglia, Frannie Coxe, Melissa Gavin, Annie Hull, Georgiana Wagemann and Elise Wilcox all have made great contributions to the program.
"I'm really lucky to have such an amazing group of seniors to be working with," Speck said. "I believe that each rising senior has already established herself as a leader and I think that there will be a strong sense of collective leadership coming from our senior class. Together we will set the attitude needed to have a successful 2014 season."
Speck also will use what she has learned from the three captains during her tenure – Miyuki Hino '12, Jenny Butwin '13 and Shannon McSweeney, this fall's leader.
"I've had the opportunity to play for three amazing captains who all led very differently," Speck said. "One common thing that I've learned from them is the importance of putting the team before yourself. Each of my captains have made sacrifices that were necessary for the success of the team and this is something that I plan on continuing."
In addition to the naming of the captain, the team awards were announced. Gavin, who led the team with 11 goals, was named the offensive most valuable player. McSweeney and fellow senior Anna McCahon shared the defensive MVP award. The two anchored a defense that posted four shutouts.
The Most Improved Player Award was presented to freshman Lillian Bitner, who appeared in 12 games. Freshman Dani Temares was the recipient of the Captain's Cup, which is presented by the seniors to the freshman that represents the program well on and off the field.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity