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Croix Bethune, Penelope Hocking, Keidane McAlpine Highlight All-Pac-12 Honors For USC Women's Soccer

Nov 12, 2021

LOS ANGELES – The 2021 Pac-12 Postseason Awards were announced on Friday and the USC Women's Soccer Team garnered 13 total honors, including Penelope Hocking being named Forward of the Year, Croix Bethune Midfielder of the Year and Keidane McAlpine Coach of the Year.
The Trojans outpaced all Pac-12 programs, earning three of the six individual awards and 10 total All-Conference/Freshman team nods. Both totals are also program bests. In addition to their individual honors, Hocking and Bethune were named to the All-Conference first team, while Zoe Burns, Savannah DeMelo and Simone Jackson were named to the second team, and Brooklyn Courtnall earned third team honors. Courtnall and Jackson also joined Simi Awujo and Aaliyah Farmer on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team.
USC finished the regular season 13-3-2 overall and 8-1-2 in Pac-12 play, earning an 8th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance after garnering a three-seed in the 2021 tournament field. The Trojans were ranked as high as No. 5 in the country during the 2021 campaign and rattled off program records with both an 11 game winning streak and a 15 match unbeaten streak. USC opens NCAA Tournament play on Saturday at McAlister Field when they host Grand Canyon for a 1 p.m. matchup.
Croix Bethune – Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year/All-Pac-12 first team
Bethune, who was named to the All-Pac-12 first team last year as well, leads the Trojans in goals, assists and points so far this season (13 goals, 7 assists, 33 points). She is 2nd in the Pac-12 in goals, 2nd in total points and 4th in assists, as she becomes the first Trojan to earn Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year honors. Bethune was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week twice this year, and National Player of the Week once as she appeared in all 18 games and made 15 starts for USC. Bethune had three multi-goal games this year, including a two-goal, one-assist performance against Stanford in which she had a hand in all three Trojan scores to secure a 3-2 comeback victory over the then-No. 9 Cardinal. Bethune scored the winning goal in overtime against Stanford and had four game-winning goals to lead USC this year.
Penelope Hocking – Pac-12 Forward of the Year/All-Pac-12 first team
Despite missing five games to injury this season, Hocking still showed herself to once again be one of the top scoring threats in the nation, earning her second consecutive Pac-12 Forward of the Year award and fourth straight All-Pac-12 nod (she has been on the first team each of the last three years). This season, Hocking was sixth in Pac-12 with 10 goals and sixth in the conference with 24 pts. She became the Trojans' all-time leading scorer as well this year, breaking a mark that had stood for 21 years when she scored her 49th collegiate goal on Oct. 7 against Colorado. Hocking is now up to 52 career goals and is tied with Julie Foudy (Stanford) for 13th on the Pac-12's career scoring list. In addition to being a two-time Pac-12 Forward of the Year, Hocking has also been the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year back in 2018.
Keidane McAlpine – Pac-12 Coach of the Year
After leading USC to a 13-3-2 overall record and 8-1-2 conference mark during the 2021 regular season, McAlpine becomes the first coach in program history to be named the conference's Coach of the Year. McAlpine, now in his eighth season at the helm for USC, has guided the Trojans to the postseason every year he has been at Troy, leading the team to a three-seed in this year's tournament. USC has been a national seed each of the last seven years. 2021's 13 wins also mark the seventh straight year (excluding the shortened 2020 campaign) that McAlpine has led USC to double-digit victories. McAlpine was also named Pac-12 Coach of the Year back in 2013 while at Washington State and he and his staff were named the 2018 West Region Staff of the Year.
Zoe Burns – All-Pac-12 second team
Burns, who is in her second season with the Trojans, played every game this regular season and made 16 starts at outside back for USC. Burns scored once and provided one assist, while also helping to anchor a back line that posted seven shutouts on the year. The sophomore defender played the third most minutes of any field player on the team this season. Her lone goal was a game-winner against Utah. It is the first conference honor of Burns' career.
Savannah DeMelo – All-Pac-12 second team
DeMelo is no stranger to All-Pac-12 honors, earning her fourth career All-Conference nod this season. The senior midfielder did it all for the Trojans this year, controlling the game both offensively and defensively in the midfield. DeMelo is tied for third on the team with 14 total points this season, scoring four goals and posting six assists (tied for seventh in the conference). In addition to her four All-Pac-12 awards, DeMelo has been an All-American and has been on the MAC Hermann watch list each of the last three years.
Simone Jackson – All-Pac-12 second team/All-Freshman team
Jackson is one of a number of first-year players who made big contributions to the Trojans' run this season, earning both All-Pac-12 second team and All-Freshman recognition in the process. The freshman forward was tied for third on the team with 14 total points, scoring four goals and posting six assists (tied for seventh in the conference). She appeared in all 18 games for USC this regular season, but really came on strong late, making eight starts down the stretch. All but one of her goals and one of her assists came during Pac-12 play. Jackson had a two assist game against Utah and posted a goal and assist against then-No. 9 Stanford. She and Courtnall join Hocking, DeMelo and Amy Rodriguez as the only USC players to earn both All-Conference and All-Freshman honors in the same season.
Brooklyn Courtnall – All-Pac-12 third team/All-Freshman team
Despite being in her first collegiate season, Courtnall has been the anchor of the USC defense this year, starting all 18 games at center back for the Trojans. She helped lead USC to seven shutouts on the regular season and leads all Trojan field players in minutes this year. She is one of just four USC players to start all 18 games. Courtnall also had an assist on the year, providing a helper in the Trojans' 4-0 win over CSUN. She and Jackson join Hocking, DeMelo and Amy Rodriguez as the only USC players to earn both All-Conference and All-Freshman honors in the same season.
Simi Awujo – All-Freshman team
Awujo appeared in all 18 games and made 13 starts as a holding midfielder during her first collegiate season. The freshman scored once and provided two assists on the year to record four total points. Awujo also helped a USC defense that posted seven shutouts on the year and allowed just over 10 shots a game to opponents.
Aaliyah Farmer – All-Freshman team
Farmer was plugged into the starting lineup for USC right out of the gates and proceeded to appear in all 18 games and make a total of 13 starts during her inaugural season at Troy. Farmer finished the regular season seventh on the team with six total points, scoring two goals and posting two assists. Both of her goals were game-winners, with the most significant coming on the road against No. 24 Michigan in overtime. Farmer also played mainly as a defensive midfielder, helping USC to seven shutouts.