YORK, Pa. - The Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) had to wait three weeks before Gallaudet University freshman Shaquana McDonough (Pembroke, Mass.) made her collegiate debut on September 21 but 13 games later the CAC women's soccer coaches had taken notice of McDonough's skills and on Thursday honored her with the 2009 CAC Co-Rookie of the Year. This is the first-ever CAC women's soccer postseason individual award the Gallaudet program has received. McDonough was also selected to the all-conference second team as one of three freshman forwards. She shares her Co-Rookie of the Year award with Melinda Kane from Stevenson University.
McDonough scored 12 goals and two assists (26 points) in just 13 games for the Buff and Blue. She netted a goal in eight of the 13 games she played in, including goals against CAC foes University of Mary Washington, Salisbury University, St. Mary's (Md.) College and two goals against Marymount (Va.) University. She finished the season second in the CAC in goals (120, fourth in points (26) and led the conference in shots with 93. McDonough's best game came against Lancaster Bible on October 8 when she recorded a hat trick as GU won 3-1. Her highlight goal came against Salisbury on the road when she booted a shot from midfield that slipped through the hands of the Sea Gull goalie into the back of the net. GU finished the year with a 6-12-1 record as the Bison tallied the most wins in a season since 2006.
Gallaudet has only had two All-CAC women's soccer selections. The last was forward Katie Romano who was picked to the second team in 2006.
Stevenson sophomore forward Stephanie Eyler was picked as the 2009 CAC Player of the Year after she scored 20 goals in 19 games. Stevenson coach Graeme Miller and Mary Washington coach Corey Hewson were tabbed as CAC Co-Coach of the Year honorees. The two squared off in the CAC championship as the Eagles edged the Mustangs in a shootout. It was UMW's first CAC title since 2004.
McDonough's accomplishments are bittersweet for the Bison program as Gallaudet is leaving the CAC to join the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) next year. The Bison won only one conference game in the decade Gallaudet was a member of the CAC for women's soccer. GU posted a 1-70 conference record in 10 seasons and was 0-7 in its conference tournament appearances.