Seven Otterbein Cardinals have worked together to accumulate ten All-America (Player) Awards.
Here you can read about each player who has been recognized as an All-American.
2005 - Karen Beers
Karen Beers and teammate Jenna Brader, became the first two All America award winners for Women’s Soccer at Otterbein in 2005.
Karen joined the Otterbein Women’s Soccer Program in 2003 and immediately made an impact. Although her first collegiate goal came in a 2-0 win over OhioDominicanUniversity, it was her second goal that provided a hint of the impact she might make. Her 108th minute “Golden Goal” at nationally ranked DenisonUniversity was a drive into the far upper 90 from 30 yards out and provided the spark for a spirited rivalry between the schools. Karen would score 9 more goals that season to lead the team in scoring, . . . an achievement she repeated in her sophomore and Junior years.
2005 was Karen’s most prolific season for scoring as she led the team with 13 Goals and 7 Assists. Midway through conference play, Beers added the fourth goal in a 5-0 win over Baldwin-Wallace making her the program’s all time top goal scorer. By the end of her career in 2006, Karen had amassed 98 points on 42 goals and 14 assists. Next on the list is Lindsey Rudibaugh (2007-10) with 82 points.
The 2005 season ended after a shootout in the NCAA Sweet 16 with an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) and program record 20 wins. The 2009 and 2010 Cardinals are the only other teams in Otterbein and OAC history to reach 20 wins in a single season.
Later that year, Karen and Jenna were honored at the NSCAA Convention as the first two All America award winners in Otterbein Women’s Soccer history.
Karen was well known in the conference and the Great Lakes region as a scoring threat and had the ability to score goals in many different ways. She had tremendous accuracy from well outside the penalty box, could take players on 1v1 to create chances and despite her smaller stature, could score goals with her head.
During her time at Otterbein the Cardinals won 63 games losing just 10 times and tying 9. The team won OAC Championships and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
2005 - Jenna Brader
Jenna Brader, along with Karen Beers the same year (2005), were named All America as the two became the first such award winners for Women’s Soccer at Otterbein.
In 2003, Brader became the first freshman in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) history to earn a player of the year award. In ’04 she repeated the achievement becoming the only player in conference history to repeat as a player of the year, only to win a third straight award in 2005. Along the way, she picked up awards for All-Ohio and All-Great Lakes Region (as a player and as a student).
Her 2005 All America Award came on the heels of the program’s best season to that point. In fact, although the Cardinals have progressed further since, no team has won more games. 20-1-1 that year set a record for wins in a single season OAC campaign that has only been equaled by two other teams (the 2009 and 2010 Cardinals).
Although Jenna was a technically sound player with great vision and skill, she was best known for her exceptionally high work rate and heart. Most often a Defensive Central Midfielder, it wasn’t uncommon for her to track down an opposing attacker, win the ball back and start an attack she would later finish off with a scoring opportunity.
A Captain and leader by example, Brader helped guide the team to a 50-7-6 record during her playing career at Otterbein, as well as OAC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
Despite bigger goals and assists in more important games, Brader’s 2005 performance against Capital University is perhaps the greatest example of her contributions at Otterbein. Just hours after being medically cleared to finish her season with the understanding that she would be playing each game in significant pain, but could do no further damage, she scored two goals and assisted a third in a 4-1 win over league rival Capital University. Three goals still remains the largest margin of victory over the Crusaders in what has been a long, competitive history between the teams.
Unfortunately her contributions as a player were cut short due to injury after just one game her senior year. She finished the 2006 season as an inspirational leader and hasn’t looked back since. Jenna still returns frequently for alumni matches and various events to share her experience with current players and recruits.
2006 - Lauren Thompson
Lauren Thompson, classmates with 2005 All Americans Jenna Brader and Karen Beers became the first 1st Team All-America award winner in Otterbein Women’s Soccer history in 2006.
Lauren (Lo) began her career at Otterbein as a Wide Defender playing more and more as her freshman season unfolded. In her sophomore season, Lauren was moved to the center where she would remain for the rest of her career.
In 2003 and 2006, Lo contributed to Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Record breaking seasons for Shutouts (14 each year ) and Goals Against Average (.25 and .36 respectively). The records still stand in comparison to other OAC teams, but are now 2nd and 4th to marks set by the 2009 and 2010 Otterbein teams. Although the new record of .16 may never be broken, .25 is still more than a quarter of a point better than the best mark set by any other OAC team.
Lauren earned OAC Defender of The Year honors in 2005 and 2006 while earning recognition at the state and regional level as well. The 2006 Cardinals suffered significant injuries, including season ending injuries to key players, but were held together by the experience of Thompson and won the OAC Regular Season Championship.
Lauren excelled in organizational skills, judgment and positioning. Things rarely fell apart, but when they did, Lauren was simply unbeatable. On the attacking side, Thompson was a threat on set pieces. She scored multiple goals on Penalties and Corners including the game-winner in a 2-1 come from behind win over Ohio Wesleyan at Crew Stadium in 2005. The goal came in the 87th minute.
After her career as a player, Lauren went immediately into coaching. For the two years after her graduation, Lo worked as the Graduate Assistant at Otterbein leading the team back to the Sweet 16 and a #7 ranking in 2008. Since then, she has coached at her high school alma mater.
While compiling a 63-10-9 record at Otterbein, Lauren anchored a defense that earned 47 Shutouts. The team won OAC Championships and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
2008, 2009, 2010 - Jenny Knox
In 2008, Jenny Knox became OtterbeinUniversity’s fourth All America Women’s Soccer Player and the first to achieve the honor as player and a student. She reached the same level of recognition in 2009 and 2010, earning Academic All America each season as well.
Jenny joined the program in 2007, one season after the graduation of the three previous All Americans (Jenna Brader ’05, Karen Beers ’05, Lauren Thompson ’06). The team had a typical rebuilding year and failed to reach the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Final for the first time since 2001. Along the way, the Cardinals lost OAC matches to Ohio Northern and Capital. At the end of the season, Knox claimed her class would never lose to those teams again, . . . they never did. The Cardinals went 6-0-0 with Ohio Northern over the next three seasons and 5-0-0 over Capital.
The Cardinals also won the OAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship each season as well.
In 2008, Jenny anchored a defense that tied the Otterbein and OAC Record for Shutouts in a single season (14). The team improved on the record in 2009 with 18 Shutouts and just 8 goals only to break it again in 2010. The 2010 team accumulated 21 Shutouts and allowed just 4 goals in the 20-0-4 season. The marks for Shutout Percentage, Goals Against Average and Save Percentage were the highest nationally that year (of 400 DIII teams).
Jenny read the game better than most defenders at the DIII level and often knew what opponents were doing before their own teammates did. Knox consistently intercepted passes between opposing players and started dangerous attacks with a perfectly weighted ball to put teammates straight through to goal. She was also deadly on Set Pieces, scoring and assisting frequently from dead ball situations. Her most important goal being the 86th minute game-winner at home to beat Calvin (MI) in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Jenny was however fortunate to have the players around her that she did. Knox played club soccer with classmates Tara Carter (GK), Laura Vasbinder (D) and Tara Smith (M), going back as far as U10 with Carter. The players moved as if they were connected and did so often with minimal communication. Additionally, it was clear by the standard the team set from 2008 to 2010 that the core players in the team were all of a national standard.
Knox ended her career in the National Semi-Final match after failing to advance in a penalty shootout against Hardin-Simmons (TX). The Cardinals were not only the lone team to shutout HSU, they were the only team to not allow at least two goals to them that season (and played an extra 20 minutes that day). Hardin-Simmons even scored two the next day when they beat MessiahCollege 2-1 to win the National Championship.
2010 - Tara Carter
Tara Carter took All America status to the next level when she earned a spot on d3soccer.com’s first All America squad (2010) and was named the National Goalkeeper of The Year. This came days after being named a CoSIDA Academic All America (for the 2nd time) and the National Student-Athlete of The Year.
Carter joined the team in 2007 and struggled through a re-building year for the program. The only year the team failed to reach the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Final between 2002 and 2010 was that year, but it was clear the team was strong. Tara focused her efforts on breaking down the goals she allowed, making corrections to limit being beaten the way she had and lastly, getting fit. In the years to follow, Tara would set records in fitness testing and consistently land in the top group of the fitness ranks.
After allowing 18 goals in 19 games throughout the 2007 campaign, her return in 2008 showed immediate improvements. Carter allowed just 10 goals in 22 games that year, then just 6 goals in ’09 and finally 4 goals in the 24 game 2010 season. With fewer goals came more shutouts, 49 more in fact to add to the 5 she earned in ’07. Fifty-Four in her career is an OAC record and 2nd best all time nationally.
Tara had tremendous reflexes and the technique of a top coach. She is a student of the game and that attribute has helped her achieve the level of success she has. She always had the ability to make the saves she was supposed to make, but also the ability to keep a clear goal out of the net. Above all, it was Carter’s organization, communication and focus that earned her attention. It wasn’t uncommon for Tara to have games where she was forced to make just one save and sometimes none at all. It was often because she would collect a ball before she needed to make a save or had the pieces in front of her in place to limit shots. When someone did create a chance to score, Tara had it covered, . . . a very difficult thing to do when you haven’t had to make a save for long periods.
Tara finished her career doing what she loved the most, saving penalties. In the 2010 Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final 4 the Cardinals went to Penalties. Through the first two games only two opponent penalties hit the back of the net. She also made a save in the National Semi-Final, but the team fell short after missing two of our own.
2018, 2019 - Bella Shivley
Bella Shivley became Otterbein Women's Soccer's 6th All American after a season where she broke the 30 year old Single Season Goals and Points records with 16 Goals, 8 Assists and 40 Points. Among the goals were the program's 11th Hat-Trick in a 6-2 win over Heidelberg and an Overtime Game-Winner at home to Capital in the season finale (securing an outright Regular Season Championship).
In 2019, Bella improved on her single season records and broke career records in the same categories. Adding her 22 2019 goals and 11 assists pushed her Career Goals Record to 45, Assists to 25 (tying Cristen Herold: 2007-2010) and Points to 115, breaking Karen Beers' record of 98 (2003-2006).
Bella joined the team in 2017 and was off to a great start before unfortunately tearing her ACL when she landed awkwardly after a challenge in a home match against Wilmington. After dedicating all her efforts to rehab and coming back stronger in 2018, she moved up the ranks in Fitness Testing and carried that confidence onto the field right away. She even scored the first goal of the season, helping the team win the Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament at Penn State Behrend.
Bella's attitude makes her a team favorite and makes the players around her better through her work rate and constant support.
2021 - Delaney Earl
Otterbein Women's Soccer's 7th All American was named in December of 2021. Delaney Earl completed her career at Otterbein with exactly 50 Goals, . . . she also tacked on 28 Assists for a total of 128 Points. Only Bella Shivley accumulated more points (134).
Since 1987, only eleven players at Otterbein have finished a season with more than 25 points. Delaney achieved that feat three times, with no fewer than 34 points in any season, . . . and falling below 25 only in the Covid-shortened 2020/2021 season. Eleven of Delaney's Goals were Game-Winners, leaving her tied for 5th on the OCWS All-Time list.
Delaney concluded her career as one of only nine players who completed a Hat-Trick and just one of three players to score four times in a single game. Delaney scored four goals against Albright (7-1), sixteen years after the previous four goal match (Karen Beers, 2003 / Hayley Pelz 1999).
Delaney is also one of just four Otterbein Women's Soccer Players to be named both All America and Academic All America.
Delaney's 49th Goal was the only goal in a 1-0 win over Capital that secured an OAC Championship. Her celebration photos sum up her connection to the team when she sprinted to the bench to celebrate her teammates. The pictures can be found in the Core Values (Camaraderie) section of this site.