Dixie State women’s soccer program landed six players on the 2018 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference postseason awards list, which was announced on Tuesday. Freshman forward Whitley Johns was voted RMAC Freshman of the Year and to the All-RMAC first team, while junior defender Alexa Ashton was named to the conference’s second team. In addition, four more players received honorable mention recognition, including senior Nichole Mertz, junior Kilee Lamb-Allsop and sophomores Ambree Bennett and Kelsey Cook.
Johns finished her first collegiate regular season ranked in the top five in the RMAC in four statistical categories overall. The freshman leads the RMAC with seven game-winning goals, while she is second in shot attempts (65) and third overall in both goals scored (12) and points (27).
Johns, who was a two-time RMAC Offensive Player of the Week honoree this season, has scored at least one goal in five of her last six matches overall with two three-goal outings, and she has tallied eight goals and 18 points during this current stretch. In all, Johns has found the back of the net in nine of DSU’s 17 regular season matches overall, all of which have resulted in Trailblazer wins.
Ashton, along with Mertz and Lamb-Allsop, anchored a Trailblazer defensive backfield that surrendered just eight goals and posted a school-record 11 shutout victories during the regular season. Heading into postseason play, DSU’s defense is allowing only 7.3 shots per match (124 total shots), which includes a paltry 2.9 shots on goal (50 total) a contest.
On the offensive side, Lamb-Allsop leads the team with five assists and has one goal to her credit, while Mertz has tallied one goal and two assists. Ashton, who was named RMAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4, has scored one goal this season.
Bennett finished the regular season second on the team in goals scored (six) and points (14), which included a two-goal outing in a 5-1 win at New Mexico Highlands. Meanwhile, Cook is second on the club in assists (four), third in goals (five) and tied with Bennett with 14 total points. Three of Cook’s four assists came in last weekend’s home sweep of Colorado Mesa (two assists) and Western Colorado (one assist).
MSU Denver’s Regina Banks and UC-Colorado Springs’ Anna Gregg were voted co-RMAC Player of the Year, while Colorado School of Mines’ Emily Townsend collected Defensive Player of the Year honors. In addition, UCCS netminder Kaylyn Smith was named Goalkeeper of the Year, and Mines head coach Kevin Fickes was tabbed as Coach of the Year.
Dixie State (12-5-0, 8-5-0 RMAC), which finished tied for fourth place in the RMAC standings, will host MSU Denver in the RMAC Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday at Trailblazer Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. The winner of that match will advance to the conference semifinals and finals to be held Nov. 2-4, at the home site of the highest remaining seed. The Trailblazers and MSUD met earlier this season in St. George with DSU coming away with a 1-0 triumph over the then nationally-ranked Roadrunners.