Nov. 6, 2007
In a season filled with historical events the Lipscomb Lady Bisons soccer team has added two more chapters.
Junior goalkeeper Katie Shelton, from Hendersonville, Tenn., became the first Lady Bisons soccer player to be named Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and is also the first to be named to the All A-Sun First Team.
Shelton was named Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the coaches and sports information directors.
"It is huge for our program," said first-year Lipscomb coach Jon Ireland. "Our players have done a lot of amazing things this year. To have a player of the year award is huge in terms of recognition for our soccer program. It is a huge credit to Katie."
Ireland was not surprised that Shelton won the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
"The main thing is that physically she has all of the tools," Ireland said. "She has the height. She is very strong physically. She is willing to take a hit.
"One of the biggest things with Katie is her mental approach. She is always trying to get better. She is never satisfied. Even if she plays a great game she is always challenging herself to be better."
Shelton was a Second Team All-Sun selection last season. Last season she was also the NCAA Division I Saves winner. She is fifth nationally in saves and sixth nationally in saves per game this season.
Shelton finished the regular season as the conference leader in both saves with 156 and saves per game with 8.21. She is fifth in the conference in shutouts with four, a career high.
The Lady Bisons won their first A-Sun games in five years as official members. They also won four games, also a record for the program.
Shelton is a fierce competitor on the field, but away from the games she is known for her out-going personality and sense of humor.
"One of the reasons she is such a good team leader is off of the field she can relate to her teammates. She can laugh with them and joke with them and have fun.
"When she gets into a game she is so focused. You can hear yelling at her teammates because she is so competitive. She expects the best out of herself and also out of those around her."
Like many top players she helps elevate the play of her teammates to a higher level.
"They see her playing with so much effort and intensity it makes the rest of the players want to give that much more of an effort," Ireland said. "Katie definitely offers a lot to our team both on and off of the field."