OGDEN, Utah. - Freshman forward Kylee Kim-Bustillos was named the 2017 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and eight other Hornets were honored by the conference on Tuesday.
Kim-Bustillos is the second Hornet to be named Newcomer of the Year, taking home the award just one season after teammate Mikayla Reed was named a co-Newcomer of the Year last season.
The award recognizes a dominant freshman season during which Kim-Bustillos led the Big Sky Conference in goals scored (11) and points (26). She was also Top 10 in the conference in shots with 49 (T-9th) and assists with four (T-7th). Her 11 goals are the most ever scored by a freshman in Sacramento State women's soccer history and are tied for fifth overall by any player in the program.
For the first time since the historic 2007 season, the Hornets also had three players named to the first team all-Conference. Kim-Bustillos was selected and is joined by senior defender Chelsea Arnold and junior midfielder Caitlin Prothe.
Arnold anchored a strong defense that allowed just eight goals in 10 conferences matches. She has been a vital part of the Sacramento backline her entire collegiate while also contributing offensively with a goal and two assists. Prothe took control of the midfield for the Hornets this season, contributing defensively and offensively. She had a career year with five goals and an assist this season.
Arnold (2014) and Prothe (2015) had both previously been selected as all-Conference honorable mentions.
An honorable mention last season, Reed was named to the second team all-Conference, as was senior defender Kylee Smith.
Reed paired with Prothe to form one of the fiercest midfield duos in the Big Sky. She totaled three assists in a great follow up to her stellar freshman season. Smith, like Arnold, was a veteran presence, stabilizing a strong backline and contributing up and down the field.
Senior forward Kayla Collins was recognized for the second time in her career and was named an all-Conference honorable mention. Collins has been one of the most decorated Hornets of the last few seasons, being selected to the 2016 second team all-Conference last season, named the 2015 Big Sky Tournament MVP, and taking home Sacramento State's 2015 Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards.
The Hornets enter the Big Sky Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will play a quarterfinal game at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Weds., Nov. 1 in the conference tournament in Cheney, Wash.