Fritz honored as league’s Goalkeeper of the Year

Kelly Fritz

Sophomore Kelly Fritz was named Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second year in a row. Photo: Steve Woltmann

For the second consecutive season, sophomore Kelly Fritz was named Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year.

Fritz also earned a spot on the All-League First Team, as sophomores Olivia Everin and Madison Pollard earned All-League Second Team honors and freshman Naomi Rushe was recognized on the All-Freshman Team.

Fritz secured back-to-back Goalkeeper of the Year and First Team All-League honors after a standout sophomore campaign. She is the first player in league history to earn consecutive keeper of the year awards.

Fritz consistently led the conference in saves and ended the year with 92, 27 fewer than last season. She captured five shutouts and managed a 1.65 goals-against-average in 1,583 minutes. In Horizon League play, Fritz made 43 stops for a .827 save percentage and let in nine goals for a 1.14 GAA, all while earning three consecutive shutouts against Cleveland State, Oakland and Green Bay.

Everin picked up her first Horizon League accolade after producing a team-high four goals, which matched the program high set during the inaugural season by Jasmin Carrera. Her four goals and one assist led to a team-best nine points as she additionally was responsible for the game-winning goals against Morehead State, SIUE and Loyola. She played in every game and started 18 times while attempting 32 shots with 14 on goal.

Pollard was recognized for the first time after serving as a strong force on the back line for the Flames all season. She helped keep opponents to nine fewer goals and 37 fewer shots on goal than last season and was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 19 after aiding in back-to-back shutouts. The defensive effort continued to end the year having held conference opponents to 11 goals and a .077 shot percentage, with a mere five goals in the final six games.

Rushe placed on the All-Freshman Team after an impressive first season. She earned minutes in all 19 games and made six starts throughout the year as she attempted 21 shots and had 14 reach on goal. She tied for the second-most goals on the team with three and added one assist for seven points, with a team-best five points (2g, 1a) in league play. In UIC’s final win of the season against Green Bay, she was credited with her first career game-winning goal.

The Flames ended the program’s second season with an overall record of 5-12-2 and a 2-6-1 mark in the Horizon League. They established two more wins and shutouts than their inaugural season and had two more goals, four more assists and 52 more shots.

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