Women's soccer lands five on All-Big Ten teams

University Park, Pa. — Penn State women's soccer standouts Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) headlined the Nittany Lion contingent on the All-Big Ten squads announced Wednesday (Nov. 10). Nairn is on the All-Big Ten First Team with Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.), Emma Thomson (Nottinghamshire, England) and Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii) garnering spots on the All-Big Ten Second Team. Bri Hovington (Lothian, Md.) and Costa each gathered a spot on the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

Nairn, who is on the first-team squad for the second consecutive year, is tied for the team-lead in points (20) with stellar all-around midfield play. The sophomore sensation and the 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year tallied seven goals and a team-high six assists with three game-winners this season.Nairn is the 50th All-Big Ten First Team selection in Penn State history, an average of 2.94 first-team honors a year.

Toney earned her second All-Big Ten selection by virtue of her seven-goal, four-assist effort in 2010. The speedy senior ranks eighth in Penn State history for goals (37), game-winning goals (12), points (93), and seventh in shots (247). Friday's game against Penn will be her 98th appearance in the Blue and White, which will put her into sixth place all by herself in the PSU record books.

A feisty central defender, Thomson has been the rock in the backline of Penn State's defense. Thomson, although she has no points her credit this season, has been a part of a defense that has limited opposing teams to 10 games of 10 or less shots. The junior co-captain has earned the respect of the Big Ten teams throughout her three-year career in Happy Valley with her tenacious play and gifted decision-making in distribution. Additionally, Thomson earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 25.

Costa has been the breakout player of 2010 after her 17-point outburst during Big Ten play, tops amongst the entire conference, which is why she landed on the All-Big Ten Second and Freshman Teams. The redshirt-freshman forward produced seven goals, a team-best, with three assists in Big Ten games including one game-winner and a hat trick against Indiana (Oct. 28). Costa gathered multiple Conference accolades during the season including Freshman of the Week (Oct. 11, Nov. 1), Offensive Player of the Week (Nov. 1) and TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Week (Nov. 1).

As a freshman defender, Hovington didn't earn a starting spot early on due to a lingering injury heading into training camp this summer. Ultimately, Hovington played in nine of 10 Big Ten matches, starting all of them, finishing the season with 13 starts in 16 appearances en route to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection. A crafty right back, Hovington needled her way into the attack on numerous opportunities and even added her first college point, an assist, against Bucknell on Sept. 15. She earned Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday for her play against Michigan forward Nkem Ezurike.

Senior co-captain Megan Monroig (Northumberland, Pa.) was named Penn State's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner, presented to a student-athlete from each team by coaches' nomination. All told, the Big Ten honored six Nittany Lions on Wednesday with Ohio State earning multiple individual honors. OSU's Paige Maxwell and Cassie Dickerson earned Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Lori Walker was named the Coach of the Year. Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo took home the Freshman of the Year award.

Penn State (10-8-1) opens its 16th straight NCAA Tournament campaign on Friday against Penn (9-6-2) at Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown, W. Va. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while fans can follow either Twitter or Facebook for live commentary and updates. Game time will be 3:30 p.m. from West Virginia. Should the Nittany Lions advance, they will play the winner of the West Virginia-Morehead State match on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Supporters can purchase tickets at Dlesk Stadium for $7 (general admission) or $5 (students, youth and senior citizens).

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Last Updated November 12, 2010