Photo: UTEP Soccer FB Page
IRVING, Texas – UTEP soccer midfielder Aleah Davis (All C-USA first team), goalkeeper Alyssa Palacios (All C-USA third team) and defender Lauren Crenshaw (C-USA All-Freshman team) have reaped honors from Conference USA, as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.
Voting was conducted among C-USA’s 14 women’s soccer head coaches.
Davis becomes the initial Miner in program history to secure three All-League first-team honors (2014, 2015 and 2016). She also joins former UTEP standouts Ja’net Esparza (1996-99) and Kaletia Roberts (2002-05) as the lone individuals at the school to be a four-time All-Conference performer.
Palacios, who was an All-Freshman team honoree in 2015, becomes the fifth Miner goalkeeper in program history to be recognized with All-League status. Sarah Dilling (2014, first team), Brittany Popoff (2005, second team), Katie Gilmore (2000, second team) and Amanda Smith (1999, second team) also were so honored.
Thanks to Crenshaw, the Miners have now placed an individual on the All-Freshman team in four straight years. Overall she is the 10th individual to do so, joining Palacios (2015), Sydney Rapp (2014), Davis (2013), Dilling (2011), Azia Nicholson (2010), Skye Schultz (2009), Lauren Hamson (2007), and Anoop Josan and Tameka Sumter (2007).
“We are very proud of Aleah, Alyssa, and Lauren,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “All three players have been excellent all season long, and we are glad the conference recognized their play. Individual awards come from the team’s success, so we are appreciative of the entire UTEP Soccer team.”
Davis paces the Miners in assists (seven-second C-USA/41st nation), game-winning goals (five-first C-USA/15th nation) and points (19-eighth C-USA/150th nation) while rating second in goals (six-tied 14th C-USA). An unquestioned leader of the squad, she was one of five Miners to start every match of the year. She was involved in the team’s efforts defensively as well, helping UTEP post 10 shutouts. That effort ties for the C-USA lead and is one shy of the program’s single-season record. Making Davis’s accomplishments even more impressive is that she has been marked tightly by opponents all year long.
Palacios has emerged as an elite keeper, with simply sensational numbers. She tops C-USA and is among the nation’s leaders for save percentage (.871-15th nation), total saves (121-third nation), saves per game (6.05-30th nation) and GK minutes played (1835:03-10th nation). She has recorded at least seven saves in 10 contests, including a career-high tying 10 vs. Rice on Oct. 9.Palacios has been credited with eight individual shutouts (third C-USA) while also playing the majority of minutes in two shared shutouts.
Crenshaw is one of five players on the team-and the only freshman- to start every match of her year. She has helped UTEP post 10 shutouts (tied first C-USA, one shy of matching program record). She has also made good judgment of when to jump into plays offensively. Crenshaw has scored one goal to go along with three assists (tied fourth on team. She has logged 86.4 minutes/game, the second most on the squad among field players.
Davis, Palacios, Crenshaw and the rest of the Miners will open up play vs. streaking Rice in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Conference USA Women’s Soccer Championships at 2:30 p.m. MDT (4:30 p.m. ET) Wednesday at Transamerica Field on the campus of Charlotte.