College Sports

West graduate is a soccer All-American at McKendree

Sydnee Carroll
Sydnee Carroll

Postseason accolades continue to pile up for McKendree University sophomore soccer player Sydnee Carroll.

Carroll, a 2015 graduate of Belleville West, was named a Division II Second-Team All-American on Thursday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Carroll, a forward, was one of 70 men’s and women’s players to earn the award.

On Wednesday, Carroll received an All-America Honorable-Mention recognition by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, a first for a McKendree women’s soccer player.

Carroll, of Millstadt, had 18 goals and five assists for the Bearcats (17-5-1) this season and earned the Great Lakes Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award. McKendree won the GLVC Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I was kind of surprised,” Carroll said of her pair of All-America honors. “I’m super grateful for it. I was really excited, my family was excited for me and my teammates were excited. It’s a big deal for me and the program, but I like to downplay it a little bit because it’s overwhelming.”

Carroll, an elementary education major, ranks first in career goals (57) and points (144) at Belleville West. Carroll’s 30 career assists rank second behind Mackenzie Knepper (42).

Carroll had a single-season school record of 17 goals, along with 10 assists as a junior under Maroons coach Jason Mathenia.

As a freshman at McKendree in 2015, Carroll had a team-high seven goals. This season, 10 of her 18 goals were game-winners.

“(My game) hasn’t changed a whole lot,” Carroll said. “I’m in a little better shape than I was in high school. It’s helpful to have a team that’s willing to work as hard as it can every game to get the best result possible. This was unlike any team I’ve ever played with.”

Carroll said she learned a lot as a freshman, which set the foundation for her success as a sophomore.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect coming in as a freshman, but I got last year’s season under my belt, and this year I knew what to expect coming into the fall for preseason,” she said. “So that helped a little bit. I was glad I was able to score a few more goals than last season for my team. I’m super happy that (GLVC Offensive Player of the Year) award came as well.”

Carroll, the daughter of Darin and Beth Carroll, credited teammates for setting up her goals. The Bearcats, coached by Tim Strange, had four players with at least three assists, led by seven from junior Chelsea Whittaker.

“A lot of the goals I scored came from hard work by my team behind me, winning the ball in the midfield and winning the ball out of the back,” Sydnee Carroll said. “I don’t score most of the goals I scored without that.”

Carroll maintains contact with Mathenia and West assistant Tony Segobiano.

“When I won the (GLVC) Offensive Player of the Year Award, I texted both of them and told them, ‘I wouldn’t be here without the two of you.’ The same goes for Jamey Bridges, who was the JV coach my junior and senior year. I don’t think they realize how much of an impact they’ve had on me as a player.” 

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm