HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 23, 2014 – James Madison’s women’s soccer player Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) was named one of the top 100 freshmen in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer following an outstanding first season for the Dukes, coming in at No. 92.
Additionally, the Dukes had three players, senior Becky Sparks (Laurel Springs, N.J./Paul VI), junior Shannon Rano (Branchburg, N.J./Immaculata) and senior Lauren Wilson (Coatesville, Pa./Downingtown), listed among the top 20 players in the Colonial Athletic Association. Each player played a pivotal role as JMU won the conference regular season title outright for the first time in program history.
Herndon led a large group of freshmen that made an immediate impact for the Dukes this past season. The group received four CAA Rookie of the Week awards, including three by Herndon. Following the season she received the conference’s Rookie of the Year award and was named All-CAA, All-Mid-Atlantic Region and All-State. 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.
Sparks, the CAA’s Defensive Player of the Year, was listed as the fifth best player in the conference, the highest of any defender. The senior’s honors this season included first team selections on the All-Mid-Atlantic, All-CAA, All-ECAC and All-State teams. She tallied 18 assists during her career, good enough for 10th all-time at JMU.
Rano was picked as the 11th best player in the conference and the third best defender. The junior was a cornerstone of the JMU defensive effort, playing every minute of the regular season before missing the postseason with an injury. She earned second team All-CAA honors.
Lauren Wilson put together one of the top offensive careers statistically at JMU and came in at No. 15 on Top Drawer’s list. An All-CAA selection for the third time, Wilson tallied six goals, including four in the final four games of the regular season. She finished her career fifth on JMU’s all-time list with 30 career goals.