Afoa Player of Year, teammates also rake in awards

     PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College freshman Briana Afoa was named the Baden Women’s Soccer Player of the Year, as announced this week by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.

     Afoa, who came to Peninsula from Kapolei, Hawaii, is the first recipient of the new Baden Player of the Year award, introduced by NWAACC Director Marco Azurdia, who broke the news to Afoa, coach Kanyon Anderson and the Pirate athletic department in a conference call on Tuesday.

     “I was speechless,” Afoa said. “This is definitely a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

     Afoa and her teammates put together a 23-1-0 record - and the first women’s sports championship in the college’s history, beating Spokane in a shootout in the championship match to bring home the NWAACC trophy as the best community college women’s soccer team in Washington and Oregon. She led the NWAACC in scoring with 23 goals and tied for fifth in assists with nine. She was also named the West Division Player of the Year.

     “Bri has been incredible all year long,” coach Anderson said. “She deserves all the recognition she has received and she has handled it very well.  She is tough on the field and humble off it.”

     Afoa talked about how the support of her family in Hawaii and the effort of her “Peninsula family” made her success possible. “I feel a great sense of gratitude for all those who helped me achieve this award,” she said.

     Coach Anderson sited her success as a “reflection of the work her teammates did all year long.”

     “They got her the ball in dangerous places, won the ball back and gave her the freedom to attack,” he said. “She did her part by scoring goals when we needed them most. We return a deep and talented group next year which means that Bri, and all the players,  will have another good opportunity to succeed.”

     Also for the Pirates, Peninsula had five players named to the West Region All-Star Team including Afoa (Player of the Year), Jordan Dinneen, Deidra Woodward, Kendra Miner, Aubrey Briscoe. In addition, Annie Armstrong, Denae Brooks and Ashlyn Frizzell were named All-Region for 2012.

     The Pirates also did well in the academic realm. Earning spots on the NWAACC All-Academic Team  were Morgan Atchley, Aubrey Briscoe, Sydney Bullington, Brittany Dyer-Smith and Emilia Stefanko. Only sophomores are eligible for that award.