UTEP soccer places four on All-Conference team
El Paso, TX — UTEP soccer seniors Azia Nicholoson (F-first team), Jade Babcock (F-second team) and Tori Martyn (D-second team) and redshirt-freshman Aleah Davis (MF-third team, All-Freshman Team) have been voted to the 2013 All-Conference USA women’s soccer teams, the league office revealed Monday morning.
It marks the third time in program history (four-1999 & five-2002) that that Miners have had at least four individuals be so honored. UTEP has now also placed three or more individuals on the all-league squads for a school-record three straight years.
“It is a big credit to our team to have four all-conference players” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “They would not have gotten it were it not for the whole team’s effort. It is huge. We are very proud of Azia, Jade, Tori & Aleah and the entire team. I’d also like to say that this season would not have been possible without all of the support from El Paso and the media. We want to thank everyone for that.”
The quartet helped guide UTEP to a mark of 12-5-3, 5-3-2 C-USA, during the regular season, resulting in a first-round bye in the 2013 C-USA Women’s Soccer Championships. The Miners, who finished third in the vaunted West Division, will square off against East Carolina, seeded third in the East Division, at 10 a.m. MST in Houston (Rice University host) Wednesday.
“East Carolina is very good and is very well coached,” Cross said. ”They are good on set pieces and are a tough team to beat. We will need to play our best soccer to get a good result.”
Nicholson becomes the first Miner since Kaletia Roberts (’02, ’04 & ’05) and the fourth overall to garner all-conference accolades on at least three occasions. Ja’net Esparza (’96, ’97, ’98 & ’99) is lone four-time honoree while Laura Glasspoole (’98, ’99 & ’01) was so distinguished in a trio of seasons.
Martyn has now earned placement on the squad in back-to-back campaigns while it marks the first such recognition Babcock and Davis.
Nicholson paces the Miners and is tied for fourth in the league in goals (nine) and fifth in points (20). She enjoyed a stretch of a goal in four straight and five of six league matches, with three of the tallies serving as game winners. She started every match of the year, logging a team-best 1843 minutes of action on the year.
Babcock, who also started all 20 matches, was one of three UTEP players to score a trio of goals. She was even more of an impact with her passing, though, tallying a team-best five assists (t9th C-USA), which eclipsed her prior single-season standard (four) set in 2012. Four of her helpers came on match-winning goals. Her trademark speed also allowed her to create chances others cannot, with a team-best 45 shots.
Martyn has been a standout in both defense and the midfield with her play in the air. She has helped the Miners maintain possession and control play in the midfield. She serves as an impact player in set pieces, both offense and defense because of that ability. She has scored three goals, including two on headers.
Davis, a starter in every match, has been a key cog in the midfield as a redshirt-freshman. She is tied for third on the squad in goals (three) and fourth in points (seven). She provided the match winner in the 86th minute in a 1-0 victory at Texas State (9/15) while also scoring against Abilene Christian (9/1) and at FAU (10/6). She has been a weapon as well through her long & accurate throw-ins.