Following the end of the 2019 season, Reign FC players voted for the club’s end of season awards. Midfielder Bev Yanez, centerback Lauren Barnes and forward Bethany Balcer were all honored by their teammates for their contributions to the club this season.
Barnes received the club’s Defender of the Year award. The centerback started and played the full 90 minutes in all 23 of her appearances for Reign FC, conceding just eight fouls during the season while anchoring a back line that conceded the third fewest goals in the league. Barnes was also nominated for the league’s Defender of the Year award.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by my teammates at Reign FC,” Barnes said. “We are together all the time and see the hard work and sacrifices that we make day in and day out that make us successful. I couldn’t do it without every single one of my teammates this year and I’m so grateful I get to work with such incredible women who push me to be my best.”
Balcer was named Reign FC’s Newcomer of the Year. The forward also claimed the club’s Golden Boot, scoring six goals, including the first goal in club history at Cheney Stadium against the Orlando Pride on April 21. Balcer was also nominated for the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
“It's incredible to be named Newcomer of the Year by my fellow teammates,” Balcer said. “If it weren't for my teammates and the ways they pushed me on and off the field, I wouldn't be the player I am now. They've poured into me and have given me so much confidence throughout this season. Without that confidence and encouragement, who knows if the goals would've fallen for me this year. These two awards are truly a testament to the incredible staff as well as players for Reign FC. It takes a village to do what we did this season, and it's incredible to see the intentionality behind everything we do for each other, and that ultimately pays off in the end.”
Yanez was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player for 2019. The midfielder made 21 appearances for the club and trailed only Barnes in minutes played, with 1,746. She scored her lone goal of the season in a 3-1 win over Orlando on September 7, but played a huge role in the middle of the park for the club, helping contain opposing offenses and facilitating possession.
“I’m so incredibly thankful my teammates nominated me for this award,” Yanez said. “My team inspires me every day to be the best person and player I can be. I’m so grateful for each and everyone one of them. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish such an award without them. I’m very thankful to be a part of such a special group and I will always work hard to be the best version of myself for the team.”