Purdue's Williams named Big Ten Forward of the Year

The selection of Maddy Williams as the Big Ten Forward of the Year headlines the postseason all-conference honors garnered by Purdue women's soccer.

Posted: Oct 29, 2017 4:20 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2017 4:20 PM

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Purdue Sports) — The selection of Maddy Williams as the Big Ten Forward of the Year headlines the postseason all-conference honors garnered by Purdue women's soccer.

As the league leader in goals (14), points (36) and game-winning goals (6) through the end of the regular season, Williams was named the conference's top forward and first team All-Big Ten. She joins Parrissa Eyorokon (2007) as Boilermakers to win Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Fellow senior Vanessa Korolas was named third team All-Big Ten as a defender and was also Purdue's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. She has started all 72 games since the start of her freshman season in 2014 and set up game-winning goals with seven of her nine career assists. Korolas has logged over 6,000 minutes in her career, ranking among the top five on the team in minutes all four years.

As two of the Boilermakers' six freshman starters, goalkeeper Katie Luce and defender Sarah Clark represented Purdue on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. They teamed with Korolas to help lead the Boilermakers to seven shutout wins, the program's most since 2007. Purdue posted a pair of 300-plus minute shutout streaks this season. The 470 consecutive shutout minutes at Folk Field from Aug. 21 through Oct. 12 was a program-record streak.

Williams, Korolas, Clark and Luce guided the Boilermakers to their first 10-win season since 2009. Purdue qualified for the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2008 and will take on Northwestern on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Evanston.

Williams established new Purdue all-time records for goals (38), assists (26), points (102), shots (280) and shots on goal (126) in her redshirt-senior season. She came back stronger than ever from the knee injury she suffered in the final spring practice of April 2016, which led to her redshirting last season. She scored eight of her Purdue single-season record 14 goals in conference play, including four over the final two games to assure the Boilermakers would qualify for the Big Ten Tournament.

Williams was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week three times, all three honors coming on the heels of a multi-goal game. She posted the fifth hat trick in program history in a Sept. 7 win at Louisville, recoded two goals and three assists for a team-record seven points in the Sept. 17 win at Michigan State, and scored twice in the Oct. 20 draw at No. 9 Penn State after the Nittany Lions had not conceded a goal at home since the season opener.

Williams' four total multi-goal efforts, the final coming in her Folk Field farewell in Wednesday's win, was also a Purdue seasonal record and gave her a record nine multi-goal games for her storied career. By scoring in six of the Boilermakers' 10 home games, she helped the team score in every home match for only the third time ever (2002, 2003). Purdue ranks second in the Big Ten with 36 goals, the fourth-most in program history and most since 2009 (39).

While finishing the season with a scoring flourish over the final two games, Williams became the first Boilermaker since 2006 to score four consecutive goals. By repeating as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in September, she was the league's first player to accomplish the feat since 2012. Williams was the league's first three-time Offensive Player of the Week winner since 2013.

Korolas had a career-high four assists this season while ranking fourth on the team in minutes played (1,583). She logged 90-plus minutes in 11 of the 18 games.

Luce started the first 16 games of the season, becoming just the third freshman goalkeeper in program history to be a full-time starter. She was the starter in six of the seven shutouts and helped Purdue's goal differential improve from minus-18 in 2016 to plus-15 this year. The 33-goal improvement ranks second in team history.

Clark missed the Dayton win due to injury but started the other 17 games, quarterbacking the backline alongside fellow freshman center back Maya Lambert. Clark took over free kick and corner kick service responsibilities when Andrea Petrina moved from the midfield to forward in time for the Aug. 27 win vs. Indiana State. Clark logged 90-plus minutes 13 times, playing over 1,500 minutes.

Korolas and Williams are Purdue's first All-Big Ten honorees since 2010. The Boilermakers had gone without an All-Freshman selection since 2009.

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