Jurado and Palmer Highlight All-MW Honorees
Oct. 30, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - San Diego State women's soccer players Megan Jurado and Haley Palmer were named Mountain West Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, the conference announced on Tuesday. Head coach Mike Friesen was also honored as the MW Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
The Aztecs had a league-best six student-athletes earn all-Mountain West honors. Of the six award winners, five were first-team honorees, which was tops among all member institutions.
The SDSU first-team fivesome includes redshirt senior Tiffany Hurst, junior Carli Johnson, senior Megan Jurado, sophomore Hannah Keane and junior Haley Palmer. Senior Rachael McGlinchy, meanwhile, landed on the all-MW second team.
A forward, Jurado is the MW Offensive Player of the Year after being on the all-MW first team a year ago. The San Jose, Calif., native earned the starting nod in all seven league contests in 2012 and was one of the main offensive weapons for the Aztecs as she tallied a team-high 24 shots, including 11 on goal. The senior had two game-winners in MW play and led the league in points (13) and goals (five), while tying for first in assists (three).
Palmer, a defender, garners MW Defensive Player of the Year honors after being an all-MW selection the last two years. The Windsor, Calif., native started all seven conference games and played all 90 minutes vs. Nevada and at UNLV. Palmer was a part of a defense that held MW opponents to a league-low three goals, including just one goal in four home games.
A product of Santa Rosa, Calif., Hurst earns first-team honors for the second consecutive season after starting all seven Mountain West games this season. In four of those outings, the redshirt senior played the entire game. Hurst also contributed on offense as she tallied two goals and three assists, including the game-winner vs. Nevada. Like Palmer, Hurst was a member of an Aztec backline that allowed just three goals and blanked four opponents during the Mountain West season.
Johnson, a midfielder, is a first-time selection after being a consistent contributor in Mountain West play. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native started all seven conference games and played every minute except in the Air Force contest when she played 71 of the 90 minutes. Along with Palmer and Hurst, Johnson was a key part of a backline that helped the Aztecs finish with a miniscule goals-against-average of 0.43 during MW play.
A forward, Keane is also a first-time honoree after she proved to be an offensive force in Mountain West action. In starting six of the seven conference games, the sophomore tallied three goals and one assist including the game-winner vs. Air Force. In MW games only, Keane's three goals are tied for second with teammate Sarah Halverson, while her seven points are tied for second with Hurst.
A native of Pleasanton, Calif., McGlinchy started all seven conference games and played every minute in five contests, while being on the field for 86 minutes at UNLV and 81 vs. Air Force. The senior was instrumental in San Diego State shutting out four Mountain West foes and limiting league opponents to just three goals in seven games. Palmer, Kory Spotts, Johnson and McGlinchy started the entire MW slate together to form arguably the best backline in the conference.
Friesen, in his sixth year, was voted by the league's coaches as the Mountain West Coach of the Year. Friesen and the Aztecs were picked to finish in second place in the preseason coaches' poll, but guided the Aztecs to a perfect 7-0 mark in MW play and their second conference regular-season crown. SDSU's 17 overall wins are also a new record during Friesen's tenure on Montezuma Mesa, surpassing the 15 victories amassed by the 2009 MW Tournament championship squad.
The Aztecs are the No. 1 seed in this week's MW Championship at SDSU Sports Deck. San Diego State earned a bye into the semifinal round and will play the winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal round match between (4) UNLV and (5) Fresno State on Friday at 7 p.m. PT.