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Soccer and cross country teams claim Valley titles

Two women’s teams finished their season on a high note, as the soccer and cross country squads claimed Missouri Valley Conference titles.

The Illinois State women’s soccer team used a record-setting 8-1 victory over Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton in the final game of the regular season to earn its fourth league regular-season title in the last five years.

The Redbirds went on to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 5-0 victory over host Missouri State in the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

Women’s soccer postseason accolades were highlighted by freshman Rachel Tejada, who earned MVC Player of the Year, MVC Freshman of the Year, and All-MVC First Team accolades. Senior Natalie McCabe was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to her All-MVC First Team honors.

Senior Jessica Carlson and sophomore Anna Stinson also earned All-MVC First Team plaudits, and the Illinois State coaches were named the Coaching Staff of the Year.

The ISU women’s cross country team also had reason to celebrate, as it won its first league title since 1989 by placing four runners in the top 10 at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Indiana.

The Redbird women were led by freshman Krista DeCeault (second place, 17.40.0), senior Aisha Praught (third place, 17:46.6), junior Elise Sigg (fifth place, 17:57.8), and sophomore Kristen Zillmer (tenth place, 18:22.9). All four earned All-Valley honors with their top-10 finishes.

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