Hokies Announce Women's Soccer Team Awards
Barnhart, Holdsworth named Co-MVPs
November 19, 2002

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech women's soccer team announced its 2002 team award winners Tuesday afternoon.

Juniors Emily Barnhart (Columbus, Ohio) and Kathy Holdsworth (Sarasota, Fla.) each received three awards. They shared team MVP honors and have been named team captains for the 2003 season.

Barnhart started all 18 games for the Hokies, leading the team in each offensive catagory with seven goals, six assists and 20 total points. She had three game-winning goals and holds the Tech records for career assists and career total shots.

Holdsworth, a co-captain this past season, also started all 18 games for Tech in the 2002 season. The team's most versatile player, Holdsworth played striker, midfield and sweeper this past season. She was the Hokies top defensive player, yet registered four goals, one assist and nine total points. She scored the game-winning goal in the overtime win against Syracuse.

Juniors Jessica Myers (Richmond, Va.) and Jessica Russell (Arlington, Va.) were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Myers started all 18 games at forward. She tallied 40 shots with five goals, two assists and 12 total points. Russell played in all 18 games, starting 13 games. She had the assist on Barnhart's game-winning goal in the home finale against Radford. She had three saves on the goal line as a defender this season.

Senior Courtney Graybill (Macungie, Pa.) won the Most Improved Player Award. A defensive midfielder, Graybill improved in all aspects of her game. She was also awarded the prestigious Skelton Award for her accomplishments academically and athletically.

Redshirt freshman Natasha Dirda (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was named the 2002 Rookie of the Year. After redshirting last season and walking-on to the team in spring 2002, Dirda played in 17 games, starting 14 times. The anchor of the defense in goal, she recorded an impressive 1.65 goals against average. Playing a total of 1,202 minutes, she registered 73 saves on 95 shots on goal.

Holdsworth and Barnhart also claimed two additional awards. Holdsworth was named Most Dedicated Player for her strong work ethic and leadership skills. Barnhart won the "Wild Turkey" Award, awarded annually to the "team entertainer of light-hearted humor".

The Hokies, under the direction of interim head coach Jerry Cheynet, finished the 2002 season 6-11-1 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST Northeast Division action.