BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's soccer team saw five student-athletes earn All-MAC recognition on Thursday afternoon, as announced by the conference office. Julia Benati and Gurjeena Jandu were selected to the first team while Laura Dougall earned second team honors and the freshman duo of Marcy Barberic and Gianna Yurchak were picked to the All-Freshman squad.
The five selections are the most for the Bulls since 2015 when they also had five honorees and the second most in program history behind the historic 2014 team that saw seven All-MAC selections honored.
"It's always a proud day when our players get recognized for their play," said head coach Shawn Burke. "I believe it says a lot about our program that five players received recognition from the other coaches in this conference and that UB Women's Soccer continues to produce some of the best talent in the MAC."
Benati was able to earn First Team All-MAC honors for the first time in her UB career as she posted her best season as a Bull during her senior campaign. The Dorchester, Ontario native posted career-highs in goals (7), assists (4), points (18) and shots (63) while starting all 19 matches for the Bulls. Benati closed out her impressive career with 11 points over her final eight matches for the Bulls. She wrapped up her time at UB ranking 12th all-time in assists (13), 14th in points (49) and 15th in goals (15).
Sophomore center back Gurjeena Jandu joined Benati on the first team following a very strong season defensively for the Bulls. Jandu was respected as one of the best defenders in the conference after helping UB limit their opponents to 1.32 goals/game. Jandu was also able to chip in offensively throughout her second season as she finished the year with a career-high one goals, two assists and four points. The Mississauga, Ontario native was a calming presence all season long on a young and energetic back line.
Laura Dougall closed out her UB career earning Second Team All-MAC honors for the first time in her career after posting a 7-9-3 record to go along with a 1.26 goals-against average while notching six shutouts. The most decorated goalkeeper in UB program history, Dougall wraps up her illustrious UB career with program records for minutes played (7,402), wins (39), shutouts (33) and goals-against average (0.83). She also etched her name in the MAC record books setting the conference record for minutes played and ranking second in career clean sheets.
Freshman forward Gianna Yurchak earned a spot on the All-Freshman squad after a strong performance during her first season with the Bulls. The Leola, PA native started all 19 matches up front for the Bulls while notching three goals, three assists and nine points on 26 shots.
Fellow freshman Marcy Barberic was a pleasant surprise for the Bulls in the holding midfield position as she was able to hold down opposing attacking players. Barberic was able to start all 19 matches while playing in the third most minutes on the team (1,651 minutes). She was able to notch a goal, two assists and four points while ripping 16 shots offensively.
Buffalo advanced to their fourth straight MAC Tournament before falling in the MAC Quarterfinals at Bowling Green on Sunday by the score of 3-1. The Bulls finished the season with an overall record of 7-9-3 and a MAC mark of 5-4-2. The UB senior class will graduate as the second winningest senior class in program history as they posted 41 career victories in the blue and white.
Offensive Player of the Year: Skylar Fleak, Bowling Green
Defensive Player of the Year: Paige Culver, Kent State
Freshman of the Year: Vital Kats, Kent State
Coach of the Year: Matt Fannon, Bowling Green
All-MAC First Team
Forward: Skylar Fleak, Bowling Green
Forward: Erica Hubert, Bowling Green
Forward: Lexi Pelafas, Central Michigan
Midfielder: Julia Elvbo, Ball State
Midfielder: Madison Schupbach, Bowling Green
Midfielder: Julia Benati, Buffalo
Midfielder: Isabella Echeverri, Toledo
Defender: Gurjeena Jandu, Buffalo
Defender: Paige Culver, Kent State
Defender: Sierra Henderson-Muschett, Kent State
Goalkeeper: Stephanie Heber, Western Michigan
All-MAC Second Team
Forward: Peyton Davis, Eastern Michigan
Forward: Allie Curry, Ohio
Forward: Hannah Scafaria, Toledo
Midfielder: Madison Pogarch, Central Michigan
Midfielder: Kristen Brots, Kent State
Midfielder: Vital Kats, Kent State
Defender: Alexis Fricke, Bowling Green
Defender: Jaime Eiben, Kent State
Defender: Haley Hoppe, Northern Illinois
Defender: Chiara Paradiso, Toledo
Goalkeeper: Laura Dougall, Buffalo
Goalkeeper: Patricia Koutoulas, Miami
Amani Jiu, Akron
Nicky Potts, Ball State
Nikhita Jacob, Bowling Green
Gianna Yurchak, Buffalo
Marcy Barberic, Buffalo
Madeline Olson, Eastern Michigan
Vital Kats, Kent State
Isabelle Mihail, Kent State
Haley Hoope, NIU
Paige Knorr, Ohio
Maddie Perrin, Toledo