The Angle

FiftyFive.One Best of 2017: Minnesotan Women’s U-23 Player of the Year

by on 18 January 2018

Now that 2017 has come to a close, FiftyFive.One is honoring the best Minnesota soccer players. This week, we’ll release the shortlist of nominees across six categories. Readers can vote for their favorites with the winners announced next week.

Our fourth installment of Best-of-2017 voting features collegiate players and one professional plying her trade in Europe. All five women distinguished themselves and were under the age of 23 for their respective 2017 campaigns.


Image courtesy of AC Sparta Prague

Simone Kolander — After finishing her senior year at the University of Minnesota, Simone Kolander signed her first professional contract to play for AC Sparta Prague in the Czech first division. In league play she tallied seven goals and three assists in 10 appearances. The forward from Lakeville also added another three goals and two assists in her lone Czech Cup game. Kolander made three appearances in the Champions League, making her the second Minnesotan to play in the tournament.

Image courtesy of Gustavus Adolphus Soccer

Ashley Becker — In her third season as goalkeeper for Gustavus Adolphus College, Becker was named an NCAA Division III Women’s First Team All-American. She was the only member of the first team from a program that did not qualify for the NCAA tournament. Becker was named MIAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned her third straight All-Conference award after tallying 10 shutouts in 20 appearances and finishing with a 0.66 goals-against average. The Farmington native made 98 saves with a .875 save-percentage that tied her for 16th in the NCAA.

Image courtesy of Gopher Soccer

April Bockin — As a forward for the University of Minnesota Bockin started in all 19 games for the Gophers. She finished the regular season atop the NCAA leaderboard with 12 assists, but dropped into a tie for third after the conclusion of the NCAA tournament. Four of those assists came in one game against Michigan State, tying a team and conference record. Bockin also finished the season with four goals and was named to the Third Team All-Big Ten.

Image courtesy of Augsburg Soccer

Ashley St. Auben — The 2016 MIAC Rookie of the Year enjoyed another successful performance with Augsburg University. For the second straight season St. Auben scored 16 goals, which lead the conference. The forward from Bunsville also lead the MIAC in points (36) and shots (89). St. Auben added four assists to a season performance that earned her MIAC Offensive Player of the Year and an inclusion to the NCAA Division III Women’s All-America Second Team.

Image courtesy of Wisconsin-La Crosse Soccer

Margaret Harings — A junior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Harings started in all 25 games for the Eagles. The midfielder recorded ten goals and a conference leading nine assists to be named the WIAC Offensive Player of the Year. She was also named to the NCAA Division III Women’s All-America Second Team. As the lone nominee to participate in the NCAA tournament, Harings featured in wins over St. Thomas, St. Scholastica and Washington University in St. Louis before falling to the University of Chicago in the quarterfinals.


2017 U-23 Women's Player of the Year


See all of FiftyFive.One Best of 2017 Player of the Year categories

Minnesotan Men’s U-23 Player of the Year

Minnesotan Men’s Player of the Year

Minnesota United FC Player of the Year

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