Koczka named All-American, headlines Chiefs’ post-season awards

Koczka named All-American, headlines Chiefs’ post-season awards

Eight members of Waubonsee Community College's Women's Soccer team were recognized for their outstanding 2017 season by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC), the NJCAA Region IV and the NJCAA National Soccer Committees. Heading up the Chiefs' contingent of honorees was midfielder Nicole Koczka, who was named an NJCAA Division I Second Team All-American. She was joined by forward Kayley Garland who was selected as the Region IV and ISCC Player of the Year. In addition midfielders Mallory Wolf and Briar Schwardt were both chosen to the All-ISCC First Team and All-Region Second Team. Goal keeper Tanner Prellberg, forward Meghan Menzel, midfielder Jacklyn Bouma and defender Kayley Bilotta were tabbed All-ISCC Second Teamers for a Waubonsee squad that finished 15-4-2 overall and reached the Region IV title match for the ninth time in the last ten years.    

Koczka, a sophomore from Kaneland High School, registered a Waubonsee record 23 assists this fall, tying her for third nationally among all NJCAA Division I players in assists. The Chiefs' co-captain finished her Waubonsee career with 30 assists, eclipsing the program record of 26 set by Jessica Alvarez (2010-2011) and Jessica Cobo (2007-2008). In addition, Koczka scored a dozen goals this season and was a key cog in the Chiefs' defense as well. In 41 career matches Koczka booked at least one assist in 21 of them, also a Waubonsee record. The Elburn native has officially committed to continue her collegiate playing career next season at Robert Morris University in Chicago

Garland led Waubonsee with 35 goals, the second most in the nation. Ten of Garland's scores were game-winning goals, the most by any NJCAA Division I player this season. The DeKalb High School product also had 10 assists, giving her 80 points this fall, the second most nationally. The sophomore finished her Waubonsee career second in both goals and points scored in a season and a career. Garland established a new Chiefs' record with 11 points in a game when she scored four goals and had three assists in a win over South Suburban, and set another when she tallied five goals in one half versus the College of Lake County. She also tied Maxzine Rossler's 2010 school records for goals in a game and 'hat tricks' in a season.

Wolf, a Sycamore High School graduate, was a key part of the Chiefs' defense that recorded seven shutouts. The sophomore also scored a pair of goals and had an assist this fall while helping anchoring Waubonsee's defense.

Schwardt booked six goals and had 11 assists on the season. The sophomore from Geneva tied the Chiefs' semi-final playoff match against South Suburban with six minutes in regulation, and then tallied the game-winning goal in the second overtime to send Waubonsee to the title match.  

Prellberg, a Hinckley-Big Rock High School alumnus, finished third nationally in save percentage among all keepers, posting a .902 mark. The freshman allowed just 12 goals in 16 matches played, compiling a goals-against-average of .085, third best in Waubonsee history and 22nd nationally in that category. Prellberg also made 111 saves on the season, third most ever by a Chiefs' keeper and 26th nationally this past fall.

Menzel, also a graduate of Hinckley-Big Rock High School, was second on the team in goals scored with 13 to go along with being credited with six assists. The freshman had a pair of game-winning goals this fall, and is a member of Waubonsee's basketball team as well.

Another two-sport athlete, Bouma is also a member of Waubonsee's basketball team. The Indian Creek High School product scored six goals and had a pair of assists on the season, giving the Chiefs a legitimate fifth scoring option.

Bilotta, a defender from Kaneland High School, helped the Chiefs' defense control the game against a majority of their opponents. The freshman played a pivotal role in a defense that allowed two or less goals in 17 of the team's 21 matches.