Williamson Named SEC Defensive Player of the Year & Travis SEC Freshman of Year; Five Gators Named to SEC Soccer Teams

By: UF Sports Communications
By: UF Sports Communications

Orange Beach, AL - The University of Florida soccer team earned two of the league’s four major individual player awards and Becky Burleigh
picked up the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year honor, the SEC announced Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore Kathryn Williamson is the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Taylor Travis is the SEC Freshman of the Year. They are among the five Gator soccer players named to 2010 All-SEC teams. Williamson is joined on the 11-member All-SEC first team by senior defender Ashlee Elliott and sophomore midfielder Erika Tymrak Junior midfielder Tahnai Annis and Travis are All-SEC second team selections.

Williamson is the second consecutive Gator to earn the league’s
defensive player of the year honor. Lauren Hyde, who Williamson played alongside as center back last year, was the first Gator to claim the honor in 2009. The league began awarding an offensive and defensive player of the year award in 2004. A total of seven UF players have been named the league’s player of the year - Danielle Fotopoulos (1996, ’98), Erin Baxter (1997), Sarah Yohe (1999), Abby Wambach (2000, ’01), Stephanie Freeman (2003, 2004-offensive), Hyde (2009-defensive) and Williamson.

Travis is the second Gator to claim the SEC Freshman of the Year honor
and first since Andi Sellers picked up the initial award in 1997. The
SEC discontinued all freshman awards for the 1998-99 season, but were reinstated for the 1999-00 season.

Burleigh picks up her fourth SEC Coach of the Year honor and second
since 2008 (1996, 2000, 2008, 2010). Florida claimed its fifth
consecutive SEC title in 2010 with its league record of 9-1-1. Burleigh
has led Florida since the program’s first season in 1995. Florida’s 11
SEC titles tops the league and the program owns an all-time record of
125-17-12 in SEC regular-season play to lead the league in wins and
winning percentage (.851).

Here’s a look at Florida’s 2010 All-SEC honorees:

First team:
Defender – Ashlee Elliott: Third appearance on All-SEC first team (2007,
2008, 2010)…returned to Gator lineup after sitting out 2009 season with
left anterior cruciate ligament tear…started every 2010 match at center
back…named to Duke Nike Classic All-Tournament team…assisted on only goal in 1-0 win versus San Diego State…assisted on second goal at Vanderbilt…second among Florida field players with her average of 85.8 minutes per match

Midfielder – Erika Tymrak: Tied for second among the Gators in assists
(7) plus third in points (17) and tied for third in goals (5).…tied for
fifth in the SEC in assists (7)…scored both goals in 2-1 OT win versus
then No. 21 Georgia for first double goal match of collegiate
career…named SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18 after
Tennessee-Georgia weekend…scored UF’s first goals at Florida State and Kentucky…turned in five points versus Mississippi State, with a goal and three assists…2009 SEC All-Freshman selection.

Defender – Kathryn Williamson: SEC Defensive Player of the Year…leads all Florida field players with her average of 87.2 minutes per
match…played the entirety of 13 matches…started every match at center back…named to the 2010 Duke Nike Classic All-Tournament team…2009 SEC All-Freshman selection.

Second team:
Midfielder – Tahnai Annis: Second in SEC in points (27) and tied for
second in goals (10)...named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and to
TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week for the opening weekend of play after hitting both goals in UF’s 2-0 win at then No. 25- UCF…scored twice versus Mississippi State…recorded fourth double-goal match of career versus Tennessee.

Midfielder - Taylor Travis: SEC Freshman of the Year…second in the SEC for assists (10), which also ranks No. 14 in NCAA Division I statistics through Oct. 31 matches…fourth among the Gators in pocollegiate goal was overtime winner versus Miami, earning her a spot on the initial CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers list…hit UF’s first goal in 2-0 win at Vanderbilt, earning her the SEC Freshman Player of the Week honor…scored UF’s first goal on a 35-yard strike at
LSU…turned in a pair of assists three times in 2010 - versus
Mississippi State, Tennessee and Arkansas…named SEC Freshman of the Week and to TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week after performances at LSU and versus Arkansas…also named to SEC All-Freshman Team.

In other awards announced Tuesday, South Carolina’s Kayla Grimsley
claimed the SEC Offensive Player of the Year honor. Vanderbilt’s Molly
Kinsella is the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The Gators now head to the SEC Tournament which begins Wednesday, Nov. 4 in Orange Beach, Ala. Top-seeded Florida will open play with defending SEC Tournament champion Tennessee (8-8-3, 4-5-2 SEC) on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. (ET). The Gators have won eight SEC Tournament titles with the last coming in 2007.

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