Gears named GSC Co-Player of the Year

rp_primary_Wsoc_13-10-11_IMG_0069aLIVINGSTON — West Alabama women’s soccer junior Nicki Gears was named 2013 Gulf South Conference Co-Player of the Year on Monday, tying with West Florida’s Chelsea Palmer. Gears and fellow junior Lydia Sutcliffe earned first team All-GSC honors while Brandi Neeley and Kirsten Reilly were listed to the second team.

Gears, a native of Ripon, England, is the first UWA women’s soccer player to earn the Player of the Year honor in the programs three year history.

During the regular season, the striker led the conference in shots (84), shots per game (4.94), goals (12), goals per game (.706) and game-winning goals (5). This season is the second consecutive year she has led the conference in shots and is second in the conference in points (29) and points per game (1.71).

Sutcliffe, a Brighouse, England native, tied with Rebekah Craig as the Tigers second leading scorer with seven goals. The midfielder posted multiple goals in two matches as well as two game-winners. She ended the regular season with four assists and a .615 shot percentage.

Neeley, the squad’s lone UWA senior from Helena, Ala., has led the UWA defense to holding opponents to 21 goals and 83 shots on-goal this season. Neeley has tallied three goals from the defender position with two against GSC opponents. She ended the regular season with the team’s best shot on-goal percentage with a .625.

Reilly, from Musselburgh, Scotland, saw 12 starts as a freshman. She ended the season with one goal and three assists, owning a .583 shot on-goal percentage.

The Tigers ended the regular season 10-7 overall; 5-6 in the conference to earn the No. 4 seed in the GSC tournament in Pensacola, Fla. They will face No. 5 North Alabama in the quarterfinals on Nov. 7. The match is set for 4:30 p.m. at Ashton Brosnaham Park.