HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 3, 2014 – Two James Madison women’s soccer players received Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State honors as announced by the organization Thursday. Senior defender Becky Sparks (Laurel Springs, N.J./Paul VI) earned a spot on the first team, while freshman forward Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) landed a spot on the second team.
Sparks, the Colonial Athletic Association Defender of the Year, has also been selected to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team and the All-CAA First Team following the end of the season. The senior anchored a JMU defense that allowed just 21 goals in 19 games during the regular season, including a league-low seven goals in eight CAA contests. She also contributed offensively for the Dukes by scoring three goals and tying for the team lead with seven assists.
Herndon has also racked up honors following the completion of her first season at JMU. The freshman received the conference’s Rookie of the Year award, was named to the All-CAA Second Team and to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region Third Team. She ranked second on the team with 19 points, tallying six goals and seven assists. She also scored four game-winning goals, which was tied for the second-most in the CAA.
Both Sparks and Herndon played an important role in helping JMU earn the first outright CAA regular season title in school history. The Dukes finished 15-5-1 and advanced to the conference championship game.