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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Megan Hinnenkamp and Daviana Vaka earn All-SEC honors for Florida soccer

Both players earned these honors in their first season with the team

Redshirt senior defender Daviana Vaka dribbles the ball down the field in the Gators' 0-0 tie with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2023.
Redshirt senior defender Daviana Vaka dribbles the ball down the field in the Gators' 0-0 tie with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2023.

With the 2023 women’s college soccer regular season officially wrapped up, two Gators took home prestigious SEC honors following impressive seasons. 

Florida freshman forward Megan Hinnenkamp and redshirt senior defender Daviana Vaka both brought home hardware for Florida in what was both players’ first season with the team.

Hinnenkamp was named the SEC Co-Freshman of the Year. She was also named to the All-SEC Second Team and the SEC All-Freshman First Team. 

Hinnenkamp made a huge impact on the Gators’ attack in her first season. She led Florida with eight goals, and started in all 17 of the team’s games. Hinnenkamp lead all SEC freshmen in goals scored.

Hinnenkamp had three multi-goal games throughout the year, one coming against SEC rival LSU. Her two goals against the Tigers helped lead Florida to its first SEC victory since the 2021 season. She earned three SEC Player of the Week awards during the year for her production.

As for Vaka, she was named to the All-SEC First Team for her stellar play on the defensive end. Vaka served as the anchor for a strong Florida defense throughout the season and was tied for the team lead in minutes played with senior goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg.

This was also Vaka’s first season with the Gators following three years played at Brigham Young. She transferred to Florida from BYU prior to the beginning of the 2023 season and had an extremely impactful first year in the SEC.

Vaka also took home an SEC Defensive Player of the Week award in week seven. 

Although the Gators missed out on the SEC tournament, the team was still able to show signs of great improvement during the 2023 season. 

 Contact Austin Stirling at astirling@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @austinstirlingg

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Austin Stirling

Austin Stirling is a third-year journalism major and sports reporter for The Alligator. He previously covered Gators women's basketball and is primarily covering soccer during the fall 2023 semester. He is a huge New York sports fan and is hoping the Jets can be a respectable football team for once in his life this season.


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