Bria VarnBuhler, Isa Berardo and Brianna Lau of Pomona-Pitzer were tabbed D3soccer.com All-Americans as recently announced by the organization.
VarnBuhler and Berardo headlined All-American honors as VarnBuhler was awarded Midfielder of the Year honors while Berardo earned Goalkeeper of the Year. Lau also earned All-American honors as a Second Team Defender. This year marks the first time ever that two Player of the Year honorees have played for the same school and Berardo and VarnBuhler also become the first Players of the Year from a school west of the Rockies.
VarnBuhler earned her second Player of the Year honor after she earned United Soccer Coaches Player of the Year earlier this offseason. The 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Athlete of the Year and three-time first-teamer led the Sagehens to a program-best 20-2-2 record (0.875 winning percentage, ninth in Division III), which culminated in their first trip to the Final Four. Along the way, she set Sagehen single-season records for goals (21) and points (45) VarnBuhler, an efficient (.230 Shot%, .630 SoG%) and dangerous attacking threat, accounted for a third of the Sagehens 63 goals and tallied nine game-winning goals en route to their first 20-win season in program history. Three of those nine came in the postseason: the SCIAC Semifinal and Final and the NCAA First Round. VarnBuhler led the SCIAC, one of the strongest women's conferences in D-III, in both goals and points, nearly doubling the marks of the second-place finisher.
Berardo took home Goalkeeper of the Year honors after being named Third Team all-American by United Soccer Coaches. The two time All SCIAC first-team performer was outstanding between the pipes for the Sagehens, backstopping the team to 12 solo shutouts and combining for 17 in total; all these marks achieved against a schedule ranked in the top ten of Division III at year-end. This season, while facing an average of six shots per game with 3.6 per game on frame Berardo recorded a 0.904 save percentage and .35 goals-against average, both good for fifth in women's Division III. For the season, the Sagehens team GAA of .29 was second in D-III trailing only MIT, while the shutout percentage of .833 tied MIT at the top. During the Sagehens' run to Greensboro, Berardo had solo shutouts, all on the road, against St. Scholastica, Wartburg (Receiving Votes), Chicago (No. 10), and Washington U. (No. 4). In the Elite 8 win over WashU, Berardo contributed six saves and made the game-winning save in the penalty kick shootout.
Lau also earned her first trip to the All-American honors for the Sagehens after captaining one of the best back lines in all of Division III last season. Lau helped the Sagehens to the second lowest goals against average in all of Division III at 0.29 and helped set the record for the Sagehen defense in shutouts in a single season with 20. Lau also contributed to the offense as the right back accounted for nine points this season off of two goals and five assists.
The Sagehens have set numerous records this season including most wins in program history (20), highest winning percentage (.875), most SCIAC wins (12), shutouts in a single season (20) and deepest run in the NCAA Tournament with the team's first ever appearance in the Final Four. The Sagehens finished the season with the No. 3 ranking in Division III, which is their highest ranking in program history.
-- Courtesy of Pomona-Pitzer Sports Information --