Merrick Highlights KU’s Big 12 Postseason Awards
IRVING, Texas – Kansas soccer senior Addisyn Merrick was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was one of three Jayhawks to be named to the All-Big 12 teams when the league office announced its postseason awards Tuesday. In addition to Merrick’s Player of the Year honor, she was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and was joined there by senior forward Katie McClure, who was a unanimous selection. Junior midfielder Ceri Holland was tabbed to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
Merrick, who hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, became the second Jayhawk in program history to be named the league’s defensive player of the year, joining Kayla Morrison who received the honor in 2017. With her pick to the conference’s first team, Merrick also claimed all-league honors for the second time after she was named to the All-Freshman squad three seasons ago. The senior defender started all 19 games in 2019 for KU, anchoring a backline that has tallied eight shutouts and allowed just 17 goals this season, both marks good for third in the Big 12.
McClure, a native of Wichita, Kansas, found herself on a Big 12 postseason team for the third time in her four seasons in Lawrence (Second Team in 2018, All-Freshman Team in 2016). The forward, who was one of four unanimous first-team selections, is second in the league this year in goals (14), points (35) and shots (88) and is tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (6). Her seven assists in 2019 rank fifth in the Big 12. McClure’s selection made her the ninth Jayhawk in program history to earn All-Big 12 honors three or more times in a career. She will conclude her time at KU sitting second on the school’s all-time goal-scoring chart, currently with 36 goals.
Rounding out the Kansas selections was Holland, who earned conference postseason honors for the second time after earning All-Freshman team honors two seasons ago. The midfielder from West Yorkshire, England, has scored eight goals and added four assists to go along with 55 shots this season, all career highs.
The announcement means Kansas has had at least one Jayhawk on the All-Big 12 teams each year since the current format began in 2000. The three Jayhawks selected also marked the seventh time in the last eight seasons that three or more KU representatives were selected to the all-conference squads. Selections for the All-Big 12 teams were voted on by the league’s coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players.
No. 25 Kansas is coming off a 2-0 win over West Virginia Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks advanced to take on the top-seed and regular-season league champion Oklahoma State in the tournament semifinals on Friday, Nov. 8. Kickoff from Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City is set for 4:30 p.m., and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.