Junior Midfielder Honored As Daktronics All-Region First Team Pick

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Ferris State University junior midfielder Kristie Smilanich (Kalamazoo/Christian) has been recognized as a 2006 Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region Women's Soccer First Team selection in an announcement made today (Nov. 14).

Kristie Smilanich Ferris junior midfielder Kristie Smilanich was named to the Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region First Team

Smilanich was one of 11 players named to the Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region First Team, which was picked by the sports information directors throughout the region. Eleven other players attained second team accolades this campaign. As a first team recipient this season, Smilanich is now included among the possible candidates for the 2006 Daktronics All-America Teams, which will be announced later this month.

Grand Valley State's Katy Tafler was chosen as the Daktronics Great Lakes Region Player of the Year.

The 5-6 Smilanich totaled a team-high 39 points and 18 goals this season while attaining All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First Team accolades. Her 39 total points this year represented the program's top seasonal performance in school history while her 18 goals this year also ranked as the school's top single-season performance ever. Smilanich's 67 career points and 27 total goals are both listed second all-time on Ferris' career performers list.

Her best performance this campaign came when she netted four goals, all of which came in the second period of play, in the Bulldogs' 7-5 home-opening win over Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) at the FSU Varsity Soccer Field in Big Rapids, Mich. She finished tied for second place in goals (1.00 gpg) and third overall in points (2.17 ppg) among the GLIAC's overall leaders this campaign.

Last season (2005), Smilanich placed fifth among the squad's leaders with 14 total points on two goals and team-high 10 assists. Her 10 assists a year ago was the Bulldogs' second-highest seasonal figure in school history. As a freshman in 2004, Smilanich compiled Ferris' 10th-best single-season goal scoring effort with seven markers.

Smilanich, who had five multiple-goal game efforts this season, becomes only the second player in the eight-year history of Ferris women's soccer to attain all-region honors and the first-ever player chosen as a first team all-region pick. Last year (2005), former Bulldog standout Jen Gaylor received National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Great Lakes Region Second Team laurels. The 2006 campaign represents the first time Daktronics has selected All-Region/All-America teams for women's soccer.

Ferris State concluded the year with a 7-11 overall mark under interim head coach Neathan Gibson. The Bulldogs finished GLIAC play with a 3-5 league mark.

FSU's 120 total points and 46 goals this campaign both represented the highest single-season production in school history. Eight of Ferris' last 11 outings this season were decided by two goals or less with three going to overtime.

The Daktronics team is voted on by the sports information directors of the region's member institutions and sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in scoring, timing and programmable display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. The company also markets DakStats® sports statistics software with programs for football, basketball and baseball available.