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Knispel, Spear and Coolman honored by league

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Three Forester women’s soccer players received All-Conference honors as announced by the Crossroads League earlier today.

Junior Matéa Knispel was one of seven midfielders to be named to the league’s First Team. The Fort Wayne native (Carroll HS) had a breakout year to finish with 18 goals which ranks her 2nd in the league and 23rd nationally.

Knispel posted seven game-winning goals for 10th in the NAIA in total game- winners. She also currently sits 10th in the nation for shots per game (6.15) and 14th in shots on goal per game (3.05).

“Matéa had a break out season this year, not only as our leading scorer, but as a tone setter,” said Coach Amanda Burge. “She dug deep game after game and often brought a spark to the field when needed most. 

Matéa is an extremely versatile player who is willing to step into any position necessary. Off the field, Matéa has an equally high work ethic and a heart of gold. We are thrilled to see what her senior seasons holds!”

Senior Brandi Spear saved her best for last to also earn First Team All-Conference accolades. As one of seven best forwards in the league, the Shippensburg (Pa.) native found back netting 11 times this fall, which ranks her 5th among her league peers, to go along with four assists for 26 points.

She wraps up her Huntington career with15 goals and six assists for 36 points. Her soccer resume also includes three game-winning goals and 149 shots, 84 of which were on frame. 

“Brandi embodies the definition of a servant leader,” said Burge. “She is the first to arrive, last to leave and is always looking for ways to serve. Her passion for the game is only trumped by her passion for the Lord and loving those around her. 

“She was able to provide great scoring opportunities for us throughout the season, but also could be counted on to come back and defend when needed. Brandi will be missed on and off the field, but we are excited to see what the future holds for her!”

For the second straight season, senior Paige Coolman (9-8-2) was recognized as an Honorable Mention pick for her excellence in goal. Of the 5-10 keeper’s nine wins, five were shutouts. She posted a .799 save percentage and gave up an average of 1.6 goals per night.

The Warren native (Huntington North HS) currently ranks 30th in the NAIA in total saves with 111 and 3rd in the league in saves per game with her 5.84 average.

“Paige was our anchor,” noted Burge. “She anchored our crew game after game. She has led well in the net the past two years and has certainly left a mark on this program. 

“Paige was able to make numerous incredible saves this year to not only keep us in matches, but give our defense the confidence it needed to shut down some of the best teams in the conference. Paige loves well, works hard and brings a great deal of composure to our crew.  As with every senior, Paige will be missed but no doubt a bright future is in store for her!”

Huntington wrapped up the year with an overall record of 10-8-2 and made it to the semifinals of the league tournament as the 4th seed.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 274 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.