Banks Lands Fourth Player Of The Year Award; Leads Five Named All-PSUAC

Brianna Banks
Brianna Banks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine senior Brianna Banks (Philadelphia, Pa./Parkway Center) made history by earning her fourth Penn State University Athletic Conference Player of the Year award in as many seasons recently. Banks was one of five Lions who earned all-conference selections from the conference, while Brandywine Head Coach Elise Pratt was chosen as the league's coach of the year.

Senior Emily Bush (Bayville, N.J./Central Regional), junior Averie Florschutz (Chadds Ford, Pa./Kennett) and sophomore Meltem Ozdemir (Carney's Point, N.J./St. Mark's) joined Banks on the first team, while senior Rachel Weir (Neptune City, N.J./Red Bank Regional) earned honorable mention laurels.

Banks, who has led the conference in scoring four-straight seasons, is believed to be just the second student-athlete in any sport in the history of the PSUAC to claim four player of the year honors. Penn State Fayette's Leah Ambrosini was selected as the top volleyball player in the league in four-straight years from 2009-12.

Banks, having arguably the best season of her standout career, set single-season school records with 37 goals and 78 total points this fall. Her 37 goals are 17 greater than her closest PSUAC competitor. She is averaging more than two goals per game in 15 matches.

Banks tallied at least one goal in 13-straight matches to end the regular season, recording hat tricks in eight of those games, including a string of five-straight from Sept. 14-30. She amassed five goals on two occasions and added four assists, the third-highest total on the team.

Bush, who started in all 16 matches, earned the third all-conference selection of her four-year career. Also a first teamer in 2016, Bush topped all PSUAC goalies with eight victories and tied for the league lead in shutouts with four. In more than 1,200 minutes in net, Bush stopped 97 shots, a new career high. She yielded just three goals in seven league matches, while posting a 6-0 record.

Florschutz was Brandywine's top midfielder, starting all 16 matches, and has now started all 46 of the team's matches during the last three seasons. She topped the Lions with five assists, tied for the fifth-highest total in the PSUAC, while adding two goals. Five of her nine total points came during conference matches.

Ozdemir started all 16 games on defense for the PSUAC's top back line. Brandywine allowed 0.50 goals per match in six conference matches. Ozdemir also chipped in three goals and two assists, finishing fifth on the team in scoring with eight points.

Weir collected her fourth all-conference award in as many seasons at Brandywine. She started 15 games, producing five assists and two goals, while playing on the Lions' back line. An all-American in 2018, Weir aided the Brandywine defense that held six PSUAC opponents to just three goals and 16 shots. She helped the Lions win Saturday's semifinal match against Scranton, providing two goals and two assists.

Pratt guided Brandywine to a perfect conference record for the second-straight season as the Lions finished 6-0 to claim the regular-season title. After a slow start, Brandywine won nine of its final 10 matches to finish 9-7 overall. Pratt owns a 22-12 record in two seasons on the Lions' bench.  

In addition, freshman Amanda Bernens (Newark, Del./Alexis I. DuPont) was Brandywine's selection for the John Fritz Sportsmanship Award. Named after former PSUAC Commissioner John Fritz, the sportsmanship award is given to one player from each team in the league who best displays the core values of the league and sportsmanship to teammates and opponents throughout the season. She played in 13 matches, including 10 starts, during her rookie campaign.

Brandywine Downs Scranton 7-0
September 25, 2019 Brandywine Downs Scranton 7-0
Wesley Edges Brandywine 1-0
September 4, 2019 Wesley Edges Brandywine 1-0