HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 7, 2013 – James Madison women’s soccer won three of the four major conference awards, the league announced Thursday night at the Colonial Athletic Association women’s soccer banquet at Bridgeforth Stadium,
Head coach Dave Lombardo received the Coach of the Year award following the Dukes’ 14-4-1 regular season. Senior Becky Sparks (Laurel Springs, N.J./Paul VI) and freshman Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) helped lead the charge to the program’s first outright regular season title and were selected as the Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively.
It is the third CAA Coach of the Year award for Lombardo, who is in his 24th season at James Madison. After a 3-3 start, he guided the Dukes to an 11-1-1 record in the final 13 games, and the top seed in the conference tournament. The Dukes are currently ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the NSCAA, and are 37th in the nation in the latest RPI rankings.
In addition to her responsibilities as a team leader and tri-captain, Sparks provided JMU with an offensive presence from her position as a defender. She leads the team with six assists, and the team is 6-0 when she registers an assist. She also played an important role in the team’s six shutouts.
Herndon has been a clutch player for the Dukes all season. Her four game-winning goals are tied for second in the conference. She is tied for the team lead with 17 points and ranks second in both goals (6) and assists (5). Herndon was named the CAA Rookie of the Week three times during the season.