November 1, 2018
Yujie Zhao Named ACC Freshman Of The Year; Five Noles Honored

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a successful season where Florida State has been ranked in the Top 15 nationally every week, five Seminole student-athletes were recognized on the 2018 All-ACC Women’s Soccer Teams, as announced by the league on Thursday.

Yujie Zhao highlights the list of the Noles as the Shanghai, China native received ACC Freshman of the Year honors and was also named to the All-ACC First Team and All-Freshman Team. Junior Deyna Castellanos joined her on the First Team, while senior Natalia Kuikka and freshman Jaelin Howell earned a spot on the All-ACC Second Team. Redshirt sophomore Malia Berkely was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

The five Seminoles honored is tied for the second-most in the conference, trailing only the eight recognized on ACC regular season champion North Carolina.

Castellanos leads the team with 20 points on seven goals and six assists, while Zhao is second with six goals and three assists. They each have recorded three game-winning goals this season.

Howell has been a strong part of the offensive build-up in the midfield, tallying a goal and two assists of her own, but allowing the Seminoles to execute their possession-based gameplan.

Kuikka and Berkely have anchored the Seminole defense all season through their play as centerbacks. Florida State has recorded 12 shutouts in its 19 games so far this season, including shutouts of No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Virginia and No. 7 USC. The Seminoles have allowed just eight goals all year and surrendered more than one goal in only one game – at Boston College – and one of the goals was a penalty kick.

Kuikka received All-ACC honors for the fourth time and Castellanos earns All-ACC honors for the third time. Berkely is a second-time honoree, while freshmen Zhao and Howell are being recognized for the first time.

The Seminoles continue in the 2018 ACC Championship on Friday, November 2 with a match against Virginia at 8:00 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Broadcast, tickets and live stats information are available on the soccer schedule page on

Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to for more information that will be updated throughout the year.

Follow Florida State soccer on Twitter (@FSUSoccer), Instagram (@nolesoccer) and like our Facebook page ( to keep up to date with everything about Seminole soccer.

2018 All-ACC Women’s Soccer Teams and All-Freshman Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Alessia Russo, So, F., North Carolina
Midfielder of the Year: Sam Coffey, So., M, Boston College
Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Staab, Sr., D, Clemson
Freshman of the Year: Yujie Zhao, Fr., M, Florida State
Coach of the Year: Anson Dorrance, North Carolina

First Team All-ACC
Sam Coffey, Sr., M, Boston College
Sam Staab, Sr., D, Clemson
Kayla McCoy, Sr., F, Duke
Deyna Castellanos, Jr., F, Florida State
Yujie Zhao, Fr., M, Florida State
Emina Ekic, So., M, Louisville
Emily Fox, So., D, North Carolina
Taylor Otto, R-So., M, North Carolina
Brianna Pinto, Fr., M, North Carolina
Alessia Russo, So., F, North Carolina
Amanda McGlynn, Jr., GK, Virginia Tech

Second Team All-ACC
Mariana Speckmaier, So., F, Clemson
Taylor Racioppi, Sr., F, Duke
Ella Stevens, Jr., M, Duke
Jaelin Howell, Fr., M, Florida State
Natalia Kuikka, Sr., D, Florida State
Phallon Tullis-Joyce, R-Sr., GK, Miami
Julia Ashley, Sr., D, North Carolina
Tziarra King, Jr., F, NC State
Ricci Walkling, Jr., M, NC State
Phoebe McClernon, Jr., D, Virginia
Bayley Feist, Sr., M, Wake Forest

Third Team All-ACC
Sandy MacIver, Jr, GK, Clemson
Miranda Weslake, R-Sr., F, Clemson
Malia Berkely, R-So., D, Florida State
Brooklynn Rivers, Jr., F, Louisville
Courtney Petersen, R-Jr., D, Virginia
Dorian Bailey, Sr., M, North Carolina
Karin Muya, Gr., F, Notre Dame
Alexa Spaanstra, Fr., F, Virginia
Taryn Torres, So., M, Virginia
Kelsey Irwin, R-Jr., D, Virginia Tech
Peyton Perea, Sr., M, Wake Forest

All-Freshman Team
Kayla Duran, Fr., D, Boston College
Delaney Graham, Fr., D, Duke
Sydney Simmons, Fr., M, Duke
Jaelin Howell, Fr., M, Florida State
Yujie Zhao, Fr., M, Florida State
Brianna Pinto, Fr., M, North Carolina
Rachel Jones, Fr., F, North Carolina
Rebecca Jarrett, Fr., F, Virginia
Alexa Spaanstra, Fr., F, Virginia
Emily Gray, Fr., M, Virginia Tech
Giovanna Demarco, Fr, M, Wake Forest

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