KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rice's Samantha Chaiken, Jenny Fichera and Jasmine Isokpunwu were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) 2016 All-Central Region teams, the organization announced this week.
Coaches in the NSCAA's Central Region (consisting of Conference USA, Big 12, Southland and SWAC schools) voted Chaiken and Fichera to first team honors. Isokpunwu was named third team all-Central Region. The Owl duo helped Rice go 11-5-1 on the season and earn the No. 2 seed of the C-USA Tournament.
Chaiken is a strong central midfielder who played even better than the preseason expectation where she was selected as a preseason all-conference honoree. The sophomore from Dallas started all 16 matches this season and was second on the squad with 1,532 minutes, more than 98.4 percent of the team's action with 90 or more minutes 14 times. Chaiken scored the game-winning goal on the road at LA Tech and she maintained a steady .355 shots-on-goal percentage for the full season.
Fichera's solid senior year included leading the team with 1,550 minutes and working on a Rice defense that recorded seven shutouts and held C-USA opponents to just 8.7 shots per league game. The native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, played 90 or more minutes in a game 16 times this year, and she also provided an offensive presence out of the backline by scoring two goals and ranking among the C-USA leaders with seven assists.
Isokpunwu joined Fichera on the Owls’ backline, playing 1,493 minutes to contribute to the seven shutouts and one of the league’s best defenses. The Austin, Texas, native also scored a pair of goals to give her seven in her collegiate career. She also earned all-Central Region honors in 2015.
The Owl honorees trained under the direction of head coach Nicky Adams. In six full seasons at the helm of the program, Adams has developed at least one Owl player to NSCAA all-region accolades every year.