The 2019 - 2020 academic year did not end as planned for the Daytona State women's soccer program. Instead of capping another successful year off with the Daytona State Athletics Banquet in May, the calendar year will feature a different celebration, a socially distant celebration, but a successful year nonetheless.
The Athletics Award Banquet is used as a time to recognize the accomplishments of the student-athletes in promoting the values and furthering the success of Daytona State College. The young women who represented the women's soccer program have much to celebrate as they continued the tradition of achievement in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.
Academically, the Falcons achieved a team GPA of 3.41 for the year, with 26 of the 30 players maintaining a GPA above 3.0. The majority of that group will be named to the Florida College System Activities Association Academic Honor Roll. Further, the team will once again receive the United Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award. The Falcons have received the award from the Coaches Association every year since the program started in 2015. Additionally, the Falcons' GPA will rank them within the top 20 nationally.
Athletically, the Falcons had another strong season despite missing two weeks due to Hurricane Dorian. They finished the fall season second in Region 8 and were ranked within the top 10 nationally before falling in overtime, to Eastern Florida, in the Region 8 Championship Game. Six team members were voted to the All-Region 8 Team for the Fall 2019 season. Makenna Gottschalk was also voted an NJCAA All American for her performance this fall.
In the community, the Falcons partnered with members of the local soccer community to help grow the game and increase youth participation. The program partners annually with the Ormond Beach Soccer Club to provide a free youth clinic that had over 100 participants. Additionally, the program ran multiple free clinics to help younger players gain exposure to the sport, the program, and potential role models. The program works hard to be a contributing member of the Daytona Beach area.
The Falcon Awards serve as the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the players that best represent the program. The awards emphasize all aspects of the student-athlete experience. Athletically there are four awards: Offensive Player of the Year, Midfield Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Student-Athlete of the Year. Academically there are two: Outstanding Student Award, and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Finally, the award that is reserved for the player that best embodies the core value of our program. The Coaches Award. To receive an award is a testament to the player's achievements both on and off the field as well as their character and commitment to excellence.
The 2019 - 2020 Falcon Award Recipients are:
Offensive Player of the Year – Tayla Duffy. Tayla finished a strong career at Daytona State with seven goals and three assists. During her time with the program, she primarily played as a wide forward where she caused havoc with the accuracy of her left foot. Regardless of whether or not Tayla was serving to teammates or finishing on goal, she was consistently the most dangerous threat the Falcons had over the course of the year. She finishes her time at Daytona State as a two-time All-Region 8 First Team Selection and one of the program's all-time leader leaders in goals, and total points. She will continue her academic and playing career at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida.
Midfield Player of the Year- Sydney Timmes. Sydney finished the season third in total points, first in assists, and tied for third in goals scored. She assisted Michelle'sMichelle O'Driscoll's game-winning goal on October 31st, 2019 to defeat ASA Miami in the Region 8 Semi-Final Game. Her selflessness and commitment to excellence will serve her well as she continues her education and playing career at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Defensive Player of the Year - Alauna Neely. Alauna came to Daytona freshman year having played mostly as a forward during her high school and club career. She was transitioned into an outside back seamlessly and proved to be one of the most consistent performers. She started most of the season at right back and caused havoc for other teams with her speed, athleticism, and composure with and without the ball. Her consistency as a player and competitor during tough moments in games made her key player on the field during the season. Despite not having a large number of stats, she is arguably one of the best defenders to ever play for the Falcons. She is continuing her career at the University of South Carolina - Aiken
Scholar-Athlete of the Year - Ivy Grace Morgan. Ivy returned from injury for the Fall 2019 season. She missed her freshman year with a torn ACL but came back to play an influential role this fall. Despite her injury, and the demands of athletics, Ivy has always prioritized her studies and is the perfect example of an Outstanding Student with a 3.95 GPA and only one B during her time at Daytona State. Ivy will continue her outstanding achievements at UCF where she plans to major in psychology.
Outstanding Student- Michelle O'Driscoll: Michelle led the Falcons in both goals scored and total points on the season. She also became the all-time program leader in total points (54), surpassing Heather Nulty (52) who held the standard for two years. This fall Michelle scored crucial goals to see the Falcons defeat ASA Miami in regular season play as well as in overtime in the Region 8 Semi-Final Game. Her competitiveness and character will guide her to further success as she moves on to join the women's soccer program at The University of Texas - El Paso.
Student-Athlete of the Year - Makenna Gottschalk. Makenna had the best year of her collegiate career. In her final 3 games as a Falcon, she made a total of 40 saves (13, 14, 13), to keep the team competitive in critical moments, enabling the Falcons to play in the Region 8 final. She broke program records for total saves, saves in a season, saves in a game, and finishes her time at Daytona State with a .786 save percentage. She was recognized as the Top Goalkeeper in Region 8 as well as voted to the Region 8 First Team and named to the United Soccer Coaches All-South Region Team this fall. She topped off a fantastic career by being named an NJCAA All American, where she joins former Falcon standout keeper Kristian Shores and fellow Coloradan Kaila Armstrong. Academically, Makenna graduates with a 3.7 GPA and will continue her pre-med studies at New Mexico State University.
Daytona State Coaches Award - Brooke Boccuzzo. The Coaches Award is reserved for the young woman that best embodies the core values of the women's soccer program. The Falcon's program was built on Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Selflessness, Positivity, and Academic Success. Of all the awards this is the highest honor to receive. This year's recipient, Brooke Boccuzzo, is one of the most deserving in the history of the program. Brooke has been a two-year captain for our team and more importantly always put our team's success ahead of her own comfort. She has had individual struggles, nevertheless she always served our team to the best of her abilities. She is one of the best leaders I have ever had the opportunity to work with and I have no doubt that she will succeed in whatever endeavor she chooses. Brooke will continue her academic and athletic career at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida.
The individual success of these players would not be possible without the work, commitment and sacrifice of the entire team. The group fully committed to all that was asked of them by the coaching staff and they have endured an unusual year and tragic ending to their time at Daytona State. At this point, the greatest accomplishment of the team for the 2019 - 2020 academic career is that all sixteen graduating players will continue their education at a four-year institution and the eleven returning players are preparing to carry on their legacy.