DURHAM, N.C. – Just like they have done on the field this season, the Duke Blue Devils ran the table when the All-ACC awards were announced on Thursday. Robbie Church was named ACC Coach of the Year, while Imani Dorsey (Offensive Player of the Year), Schuyler DeBree (Defensive Player of the Year) and Rebecca Quinn (Midfielder of the Year) pulled in individual honors.
Church brought home ACC Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career, with the other coming in 2011. He joins former Blue Devil head coach Bill Hempen as the sixth coach in ACC history to earn the honor multiple times.
“It’s a great honor in this conference, but this is more of a staff award for us,” Church said. “Anyone that knows the inner workings of our staff knows how involved they are and how much they do in all phases of this program. I think we have the best staff in the country and we try to use them to their strengths. I’m very proud of what our staff has done and how they’ve prepared the kids for everything this year.”
Dorsey is the first Blue Devil since Casey McCluskey in 2004 to be tabbed ACC Offensive Player of the Year, while DeBree is the fourth in school history to pull in the defensive honor, joining Carolyn Ford (2005), Natasha Anasi (2011) and last year’s winner Christina Gibbons. Quinn is the first in program history to be named the league’s top midfielder.
The 2017 ACC regular season champions also had a league-best nine All-ACC Team honors, with five on the conference’s first team. The nine players earning honors is a program record and the most in the conference since Florida State had 10 players honored in 2015.
Dorsey, DeBree and Quinn were also named All-ACC First Team, along with Kayla McCoy and EJ Proctor. Ella Stevens and Taylor Racioppi were tabbed All-ACC Second Team, while Ashton Miller earned third team laurels and Taylor Mitchell was named to the conference’s freshman team.
“I’m just so proud of these girls,” Church said. “These are young ladies that started last February when we came back out and they have worked really hard from day one. From the spring time to the summer, they’ve worked really hard preparing themselves for this season. A number of them have elevated their individual game to the highest level they’ve played in their time here and they have also sacrificed something for the better of the team.
“We’ve had such a fantastic regular season and this is another sign of that. Just very proud of these girls and the awards this team has gotten.”
A native of Elkridge, Md., Dorsey has been nothing short of outstanding in her final season in Durham en route to earning the second All-ACC honor of her career (second team in 2016). The Senior CLASS Award finalist has recorded a point in 14 of the 18 contests she’s played in this season, standing second on the team with 10 goals and 27 points, while tied for first with seven assists. She began the season on one of the best stretches in program history, scoring in six-straight matches from Aug. 20 – Sept. 8, tying McCluskey’s school record for consecutive matches with a goal.
DeBree has been the leader of one of the nation’s most dominant defenses, starting all 19 matches on the back line and playing 1,703 minutes. She has gone the distance in 16 of those contests while leading the Blue Devils to 12 shutouts. The Fair Haven, N.J., native was named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Week earlier this year after Duke shut down NC State and No. 16 Florida State. She’s also been a threat offensively, tallying a pair of assists and earning her first-career goal in outstanding fashion at Boston College. There she drilled a 45-yard free kick into goal, giving Duke the lead for good and landing at No. 6 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
Quinn, who claims her first All-ACC honor since being named to the third team in 2015, has been stellar in the midfield in her final season at Duke. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, she has put together a pair of scores and an assist this year. The preseason All-ACC pick tallied her first goal in a top 25 matchup against Utah earlier in the season, drilling a rocket from nearly 25 yards out to give Duke’s its go-ahead score. Beyond the numbers, Quinn has been crucial to both the Duke offensive and defensive game plans, showcasing her expertise and experience in every match to help fuel the Blue Devils’ ACC-leading 44 goals scored and .469 goals against average.
In her junior season, McCoy has been a key reason for the Blue Devils success. After missing the final 14 matches last season due to an Achilles injury, the Lincolnwood, Ill., native has started in all 19 contests in 2017 and leads Duke with 11 goals and 28 points. She has set career highs across the board and has also tallied a team-high four game-winning scores and a pair of multi-goal performances. McCoy, who was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week on Tuesday, has tallied six goals and four assists (16 points) in her last nine contests.
Proctor continued to showcase herself as one of the nation’s top keepers in her senior season. She has a scorching .433 goals against average and has been solely responsible for nine of Duke’s 12 clean sheets to put her career total at 30, which is third in the school record books. The Wilson, N.C., native leads the ACC in both goals against average and shutouts, standing 10th and 20th in the nation. She is also tops in the conference with an .833 save percentage. Her dominance in conference play has been key in Duke setting a school record with eight shutouts against ACC foes.
After being named All-ACC Third Team last season, Stevens has not disappointed in her sophomore campaign as she jumped up to the second team. She is tied for the team lead with seven assists, including delivering Duke’s first score off a corner kick since the 2015 season on Sunday against Boston College. The Grayson, Ga., native also has three goals, with two of those scores being game winners (vs. Auburn, vs. No. 16 Florida State). A majority of her production came in ACC play, where she recorded two goals and four assists for eight points.
Racioppi picked up her first All-ACC honor on Thursday after wrapping up the regular season with three goals and a trio of assists. Coming to Durham from Ocean Township, N.J., Racioppi was responsible for the squad’s first goal of the season against North Carolina. Her other two scores, along with one of her assists, came in ACC play. She has been relentless throughout her junior campaign, taking 51 shots so far, which is second on the team, with 20 of them coming on goal.
Hailing from Okemos, Mich., Miller wraps up her Blue Devil career with the second All-ACC honor of her tenure and first since earning third team laurels in 2015. The midfielder has three goals and two assists on the year, with two of those scores coming in game-winning fashion (vs. Pitt, at Louisville). The senior was key in Duke’s hot start to the ACC slate, recording eight points in the first five contests.
Duke’s final All-ACC recipient is Mitchell, who was named to the conference’s all-freshman squad. The Tarzana, Calif., native wasted no time in making her presence known, as she recorded 63 minutes of action in the season opener at No. 6 North Carolina. She would step into the starting role in game four of the season and has started in 16 of Duke’s 19 matches, recording 1,535 minutes and tallying an assist as well. She has gone the distance in eight matches and started in nine of Duke’s 12 shutouts.
After taking down the Eagles on Sunday, the No. 1 seed Blue Devils and their star-studded cast of All-ACC honorees will make its way to Charleston, S.C., for the ACC Tournament Semifinals to face the No. 4 seed Virginia Cavaliers. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 3 and will be broadcast on RSN. Fans can also access the match on ACC Network Extra, which can be accessed on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.
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