UCSB senior forward Shaelan Murison had a meeting with her women’s soccer coach, Paul Stumpf, last spring.
During the meeting, she announced her two main goals for this season, and Stumpf was all ears.
“Actually my goals for this season were to match or pass my goal-scoring stat from last year and to win the Big West Offensive Player of the Year,” Murison said. “When I had my meeting with Paul last spring, I wrote them down and told him that this is what I want to do this season.”
On Wednesday, she accomplished both.
Murison was named the conferences top offensive player for a regular season that consisted of 17 goals —- which far outnumbered her total of 10 last season —- and seven assists for a total of 41 points. Murison enters tonight’s Big West Conference semifinal match against Cal State Northridge in Fullerton as the nation’s third-leading goal scorer.
She is also fourth in the country in points.
Murison’s 17 goals are the most for a UCSB women’s soccer player since Jennifer Borcich tallied that same amount in 2002. On Wednesday, Murison reflected on her four-year Gaucho career.
“I just kind of look at it through my four years,” she said. “My freshman year I scored three goals and I was barely playing. My fitness wasn’t good. So to where I am now is such a big jump.
“To win the Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year my last year here is a really good feeling.”
Stumpf couldn’t have been more proud of his talented striker when asked about her accomplishment.
“Unbelievable season for her,” he said. “I saw some of the statistics and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she’s third in the country in goal scoring. She’s just grown up right in front of us over the last four years.
“I am just so proud of her growth not only on the soccer field, but in the classroom. It was easy for all of the coaches in the conference to recognize just how much she’s brought to our team this year.”
Murison has scored at least one goal in 11 matches this season. She’s also scored two or more four times, which includes three-goal hat tricks at Loyola Marymount and at Hawaii.
She has not only been a force inside the 18-yard box, Murison has also been one of the nation’s most dangerous strikers outside of the penalty area with strong shots from both sides.
“With all the sharing of videos that coaches do, she is no secret, so people have game planned around her and tried to deal with her, but she still manages to get it done.
Murison was joined on the conference’s First Team by four of her own teammates: Defenders, Katherin Sheehy, Sophia Detorossian and Lynsee Voss. Dylan Lewis, who has been a solid addition to this year’s Gaucho team, received All-Freshman Team honors on Wednesday.
UCSB plays Cal State Northridge at Cal State Fullerton tonight at 5 p.m.