On Friday, Michigan senior forward Abby Crumpton was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year for women’s soccer. Crumpton is the first Michigan player to take home the award.

It comes as little surprise to avid Michigan soccer fans that Crumpton received the elite honor. After netting a goal on Thursday against Ohio State, Crumpton moved into a tie for second place on Michigan’s career points list with Amber Berendowsky at 113 points. She also ranks second in career assists at Michigan. As if that is not enough, she also sits atop many of the statistical categories in the Big Ten this year.

When asked about the award, Crumpton noted that she was surprised upon hearing that she had won.

“I never really thought that I would ever win this award,” she said. “There is so much talent in the Big Ten, so many people capable of winning such an award.

“I would never have been able to accomplish this without the hard work and strong play of my teammates.”

Co-captain and fellow senior Andrea Kayal was quick to point out that Crumpton was just being modest and that she had definitely earned the honor.

“It is well-deserved,” Kayal said. “I think someone who has her characteristics – hard-working and a high intensity player, somebody who is really working for the benefit of team – is somebody who should get it, and she definitely deserves the award more than anybody.”

In addition to being physically gifted, Crumpton also possesses an unparalleled work-ethic, which she says has led to her enormous amount of success.

“The most important factor in my development as a soccer player was and still is hard work, determination, and never being satisfied,” she said. “I always wanted to walk off the field knowing that I had worked as hard as I could have.”

Kayal could not agree more.

“She does not give up,” Kayal said. “She is relentless. You know that on the field she’s working for the benefit of the team, and that helps me because I know that what I’m doing is not for nothing. I know that somebody else wants it as much for me.”

Crumpton has definitely left her mark on the Michigan program and has raised the expectations for future Wolverines, both as a player and as a leader. She is a classic example of how hard work pays off, and she would not have it any other way.

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