Taylor Boyer has had a major impact on the Eastern Oregon women’s soccer team since joining the program as a transfer from Lane Community College to EOU.

The Cascade Collegiate Conference took notice, and named the senior the CCC offensive player of the year Tuesday night after a 2018 regular season that saw her score 13 goals and add five assists.

“She’s definitely an engine for us,” EOU Head Coach Jacob Plocher said. “She helped get us going, and was capable more than almost anybody in the conference of being able to take over a game at any point in time.”

Boyer said the 2017 season, which was a transition year for her to the new squad, was needed. She said she went into this season with a goal of winning the POY award, though it still surprised her.

“I was extremely excited to receive it,” she said. “I honestly was shocked too, so it made it even more special. My team and coaches are what got me to that point, and I just feel so blessed.”

She wasn’t alone in the POY accolades, as junior Josee Bassett was selected as the defensive player of the year. The junior has been a mainstay on defense for the Mountaineers, which steadily improved as the season wore on. Eastern allowed nine goals in its first six games, but gave up just three in its final 10 regular-season contests, including notching eight shutouts in that time.

“She’s a great leader for us (and) has been a captain for my two years here,” Plocher said. “She’s incredibly consistent, calm and helps our back line.”

Bassett, a three-year starter, was also a vital cog for the 2017 defense that allowed only eight goals all season.

“It meant the world to me that I could represent my team by being named defensive player of the year,” Bassett said. “It makes all the hard work pay off when I get to play with such a talented team. I was very excited to find out, but I couldn’t have done it without my team, especially my back line and goalkeeper (Cydni Cottrell).”

Both Boyer and Bassett were named to the all-CCC first team, along with two other Mountaineers — freshman MacKinley Gregus and Cottrell, a junior.

Gregus, who asserted herself as one of the key pieces off the bench for EOU, finished the regular season with 10 goals. As a result, she was named CCC newcomer of the year.

Cottrell, the Mountaineers’ netminder, surrendered 10 goals in 15 contests, and had 49 saves for an .830 save percentage. She had seven individual shutouts and a hand in three others.

Three additional players were recognized by the CCC, including senior defender Chelsey Nicol. The three-year starter, like Bassett, has been an anchor for the EOU defense this fall.

Junior midfielder Jenna Jensen and sophomore defender Sarah Mitchell garnered honorable mention. Jensen, a transfer from Highline College, had a goal and three assists in 14 regular-season starts. Mitchell, in her first season with Eastern, became an important part of the defense, playing in 13 matches total and starting nine. She also has a goal to her credit.

“It’s nice to see they were recognized for the caliber of players (they are) and team we have,” Plocher said of the selections.

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