By Blake Moore
ADA — The Ohio Northern women's soccer program hold a strong presence on this season's Ohio Athletic Conference awards listing announced Wednesday morning as the Polar Bears landed seven student-athletes on the 2018 All-OAC teams voted upon by the league's 10 head coaches.
Junior goalkeeper Meagan Grierson (Miamisburg) and sophomore defender Sydney Leshnak (Liberty Township/Mount Notre Dame) headlined the selections, both earning special awards from the league office. Grierson was named the OAC Goalkeeper of the Year while Leshnak received OAC Defender of the Year accolades.
Additionally, senior forward McKenna Welsh (Westerville/Bishop Hartley), senior midfielder Sarah Puntel (Strongsville), and junior defender Hannah Martin (Mason/Mount Notre Dame) each received Second-Team All-Conference nods for the campaign.
For the third consecutive season, Grierson was tabbed the OAC Goalkeeper of the Year and First-Team All-Conference. She has also been previously named to First-Team All-Ohio twice and to the All-Great Lakes Region team once in her career.
The Miamisburg native started all 19 matches in net, logging 1695 minutes of action. She would lead the conference with just 10 goals conceded, a 0.53 goals against average, and 12 shutouts while also registering 31 saves.
Grierson currently stands as the program's career shutouts leader with 32 and ranks ninth all-time in career saves with 140. Additionally, she holds the freshman, sophomore, and junior class records in goals against average at the institution.
Leshnak earned her OAC Defender of the Year and First-Team honors after starting all 19 matches and anchoring a Polar Bear backline that recorded 13 total shutouts this season. The defense also reeled off a string of seven consecutive shutouts in 2018, which ties the school record.
The sophomore earns First-Team honors for the first time and the second all-conference accolade in her career, having been tabbed Honorable Mention in 2017.
In her two-year stint at ONU, Leshnak has registered five goals, an assist, and 11 points from her defensive position.
Moses receives her third all-conference acknowledgement after garnering Second-Team honors in 2016 and First-Team accolades in 2017. The junior also earned OAC Midfielder of the Year kudos as a sophomore.
The Mason native has started all 61 career matches at Ohio Northern and racked up eight career goals, five game-winners, 17 assists, and 33 points from the midfield.
This season, Moses paced the Polar Bear offense and ranked fifth in the conference with six assists. She would also finish fourth on the team with 10 points and end in a two-way tie with two game-winning goals.
Fuller, now a two-time all-conference honoree and former OAC Freshman of the Year, registered a conference-best 16 goals and recorded two assists and 34 points during the 2018 season. In addition, the sophomore would contibute seven game-winning goals throughout the year.
Her 16 goals rank second all-time among sophomores in program history while her 34 points sits third among the same group.
Fuller now owns 28 goals, 14 assists, 70 points, and 13 game-winning goals in her two-year career at Ohio Northern.
Welsh received her first all-conference accolade with this year's nomination. She garners the award after finishing second on the team with eight goals, 20 points, and tied for second with four assists.
The Westerville native has started 27 of her 39 career appearances for the Polar Bears. Her career numbers include 15 goals, four assists, 34 points, and four game-winning goals.
Puntel also earns her first conference accolade after wrapping up a career that included 62 starts in 77 matches, 15 goals, six assists, and 36 points from the midfield position.
She would register seven points this season on three goals and an assist. Additionally, she provided the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in a tight-knit 1-0 victory over Capital back on October 20.
Puntel has also garnered Academic All-OAC honors in 2016 and 2017, All-Ohio Second-Team accolades in 2017, and OAC All-Tournament team kudos in her career.
Martin returns to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference award listings for the second time in her career after gaining All-OAC Second-Team honors in 2017.
The junior defender joined Leshnak to help contribute to the team's 13 shutouts and also registered two assists during the campaign.
Martin has been a mainstay at the defender position for Ohio Northern throughout the past three seasons, having started all 62 matches. She has additionally tallied three goals and 10 assists for 16 career points.
The Polar Bears finished the season posting a 14-4-1 overall record and a 7-1-1 mark against OAC competition. They would end up second in the OAC Regular Season title race and be runner-up in the OAC Tournament after falling to Otterbein 1-0 in the championship match.