School-Record Seven Aztecs Earn All-MW Honors
Nov. 1, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - San Diego State had a league-best seven student-athletes earn all-Mountain West honors, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon. Of the seven award winners, five were first-team honorees, which was tops among all member institutions.
The seven all-conference selections, along with the five first-teamers, are both school records. To put the achievement in perspective, the Aztecs had five first-team honorees over the last two seasons combined and nine all-league players overall.
The SDSU first-team fivesome includes redshirt senior Cat Walker, redshirt junior Tiffany Hurst, junior Megan Jurado, redshirt sophomore Sophie Metz and sophomore Haley Palmer. Sophomore Kory Spotts and redshirt freshman Rachel Boaz, meanwhile, landed on the all-MW second team.
Walker, a midfielder, finished the conference season with a team-best three goals, all of which were game-winners in the final three outings of the campaign, and six points. The Folsom, Calif., native started all six MW games and was among the league's best in every offensive category, ranking first in game-winning goals (3), second in shots (24) and shots per game (4.00), third in goals (3), fourth in goals per game (0.50), and sixth in points (6) and points per game (1.00). Walker, the 2009 MW Offensive Player of the Year, is now a three-time all-conference performer.
A product of Santa Rosa, Calif., Hurst is a first-time selection after seeing action as a defender and midfielder. Hurst played and started all six Mountain West games. In five of those outings, the redshirt junior played the entire game. In the 4-0 win at TCU, Hurst was on the field for 76 of the game's 90 minutes. Hurst was a part of a defense that held MW opponents to a league-low two goals, including one goal in four road games, and posted a conference-high four shutouts.
A forward, Jurado earned the starting nod in all six league contests. The San Jose, Calif., native did not record a point, but was one of the main offensive weapons for the Aztecs as she attempted 15 shots, which ranked second on the team. Of the junior's 15 shot attempts, nine were on goal. Jurado's 60.0 percent shots-on-goal percentage ranked second on the team only to Hannah Keane, who put all five of her shots on net. At the MW level, Jurado ranked sixth in shots (15) and seventh in shots per game (2.50).
In her first year at SDSU, Metz garnered all-league recognition after transferring from UCLA. The redshirt sophomore midfielder/defender started all six games and recorded at least one point in four of the six conference outings. Metz finished the league season with two goals, including the game-winner at TCU, two assists and six points. The Pleasanton, Calif., product ranked third in assists (2) and assists per game (0.33), fourth in game-winning goals (1), sixth in points (6) and points per game (1.00), seventh in goals (2), ninth in goals per game (0.33), and ninth in shots (13) and shots per game (2.17).
A two-time all-MW selection, Palmer lands on the first team after earning second-team accolades as a freshman a year ago. A defender out of Windsor, Calif., Palmer started all six games and played the entire game in all three of the team's overtime games. Like Hurst, Palmer was a member of an Aztec backline that allowed just two goals and blanked four opponents during the Mountain West season.
Spotts, a sophomore newcomer from UNC Greensboro, played every minute in six starting assignments at center back. Hailing from San Diego, Calif., Spotts was instrumental in San Diego State shutting out four Mountain West foes and limiting league opponents to just two goals in six games. Hurst, Palmer, Spotts and Rachael McGlinchy started the entire MW slate together to form arguably the best backline in the conference.
Boaz, a goalkeeper from Murrieta, Calif., completed her first competitive season in the Mountain West by putting up gaudy numbers. The redshirt freshman led the league with a goals-against average of 0.32 after giving up a Mountain West-low two goals and posted a conference-best three shutouts. Boaz played 78 of 90 minutes at TCU and combined with Megan Allaire to notch SDSU's fourth shutout of the 2011 MW slate. Boaz also ranked second in save percentage (.889). With the exception of the game in Fort Worth, Boaz played every minute in Mountain West action.
The Aztecs are the No. 2 seed in this week's MW Championship in Albuquerque, N.M. San Diego State earned a bye into the semifinal round and will play the winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal round match between (6)TCU and (3) Wyoming on Friday at noon MT. Friday's game will be televised live on The Mtn.