ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) announced the league's award winners for the 2013 season on Tuesday and Adrian College took home Most Valuable Player honors for the third year in a row in women's soccer.
Senior forward Sam Barker (Temperance/Bedford H.S.) is a repeat recipient of the conference's Most Valuable Player award also winning it as a sophomore in 2011. Barker returned to top form in 2013 finishing with 15 goals and eight assists in 20 matches. Barker ranked first in the MIAA in goals, points (38), shots (80) and shots on goal (45) while also ranking second in assists. She also ranked 58th nationally among NCAA Division III players in points. Barker leaves the program with seven career school records including goals (65), assists (29), points (159), game-winning goals (23), shots (292), shots per game (4.06) and shots on goal (180). She also ranks 11th all-time in MIAA history in goals (44) and points (108) during conference action.
"The mark that Sam has left on this program and on the MIAA is unbelievable," said head coach Ali Alamdari. "She had an ability to will the team to victory against all odds time and time again. She had good days and bad days just like any player, but her tireless performances during the final stretch of her career made it clear to all of us that she was going to leave a positive lasting legacy. She went out at the top of her game, and we're grateful that the coaches around the league chose to honor her in this manner."
Barker also earned a spot on the All-MIAA First Team for the third time and joining her as now a three-time First Team recipient is junior midfielder Erin Weide (Madison Heights/Bishop Foley H.S.). Weide was the 2012 MIAA MVP and followed that up with another successful season. She played in 20 matches and finished with 13 goals and five assists. Weide finished second in the conference in goals and points (31) while also placing third in shots on goal (26). She also finished the season with four game-winning goals for the Bulldogs. Weide currently ranks third all-time at Adrian College in goals (38), assists (18), points (94), game-winning goals (12), shots (178) and shots on goal (112).
"Anyone who has followed our program over the past few years has gotten to witness one of the all-time great duos in the history of MIAA athletics," said Alamdari. "Adrian has never had a three-time nominee to the All-MIAA First Team, and I think it's fitting that Sam and Erin get to share that honor together."
"Erin played much of the season in the midfield instead of her natural position at forward, and her level of play was able to bring a degree of organization to a relatively inexperienced group of midfielders. I think their improvement throughout the year was certainly assisted by Erin's presence as they all grew into their positions. She's a team player, and even though it probably impacted her stats a bit, that unselfish approach allowed us to get some important results as the season progressed."
"After missing a pretty large piece of last season, there were a lot of questions about how Sam would respond if she stepped on the field again. Those questions were clearly answered by Sam's dedication this season. Once we hit mid-October, we saw her elevate to a level that was probably matched only by her record-breaking 2011 season. After the Calvin match where she scored a late game-winner, their coach simply remarked, "she's still got it." The level of respect she's received around the conference was well-earned, and it's been a privilege to be a part of her career."