Five Aztecs Named to All-MW First Team; Palmer Defensive PoY
Nov. 3, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Mountain West-best five Aztecs were named to the all-conference first team and Haley Palmer was named the league's defensive player of the year for the second straight season, the MW announced Sunday morning.
Palmer, Victoria Barba, Kelsey Booth, Carli Johnson and Hannah Keane all landed on the 12-player first team. The five first-team honorees ties a program record, which has now been accomplished four times, and represents the third consecutive season in which SDSU has boasted five first-teamers.
Palmer is the first four-time all-Mountain West performer in program history and joins Lori LaCoursiere as the only Aztecs to earn a spot on the all-league team in each of their four years on campus. LaCoursiere was a three-time all-WAC standout and earned all-MW accolades in 1999.
With her first-team appointment, Palmer also joins an exclusive group of Aztecs who have garnered first-team recognition at least three times. The list includes Kim Castellanos (MW 2000-02), four-time honoree LaCoursiere (WAC 1996-98, MW 1999), Alexis Solovij (MW 2003-05) and former teammate Cat Walker (MW 2008-09, 2011).
Palmer is the first two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in school history (third in MW history) and comes on the heels of an outstanding senior season. The Windsor, Calif., native helped anchor a defense that posted seven shutouts and ultimately nine wins vs. league foes. Offensively, Palmer finished tied for second in goals in conference action (2) and third in points (6). Her two goals came at Utah State in a 2-0 victory that secured the team's second straight regular-season title.
Barba picked up all-conference accolades for the first time of her career. The sophomore from Albuquerque, N.M., scored two goals and added an assist to finish with the fourth-most points on the team (5). The midfielder started nine games and averaged 79.3 minutes for an Aztec side that outshot its opponents by an average of 12.4 attempts.
Booth is a first-time recipient after contributing two goals, a team-high-tying three assists and the second-most points (7). Hailing from Concord, Calif., the junior midfielder/forward scored the game-winning goal vs. Nevada and all of her assists led to the game-winning score. In 10 starts, Booth helped San Diego State outscore its opponents, 19-4.
Johnson found herself on the first team for the second straight season after teaming with Palmer along the backline. The senior played 897 of a possible 912 minutes in Mountain West action and was a major reason the Aztecs held seven of 10 foes to nine shots or fewer, including five to six or less. More impressive is that all 10 opponents were held to six or fewer shots on goal with four limited to one or less. Offensively, Johnson scored one goal and assisted on the winner in game vs. Nevada.
For the second straight campaign, Keane garnered first-team recognition. The forward led the team with six goals and 14 points, while adding two assists. The Sacramento, Calif., product produced four game-winners and assisted on the winning goal vs. Colorado State. Keane scored in the first four games of the conference slate, totaling five goals and one assist in the process. Three different times she attempted nine shots and 46.9 percent of her attempts were on goal.
SDSU will look to defend its Mountain West tournament championship this week starting Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M. First tap for the semifinal round is set for 7 p.m. MT on the Mountain West Network against a still-to-be-determined opponent.