Sarah Sierra earns “Defensive Player of the Week” honors
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After backstopping the JU women’s soccer team to two wins this week, sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra earned “Defensive Player of the Week” honors from the Atlantic Sun Conference, the league announced on Monday.

Sierra posted nine total saves in non-conference wins over Furman and Georgia State, allowing just one goal to help the Dolphins improve to 3-2-1 on the season. The netminder is the first JU player to win a conference weekly award this year and the first Dolphin to be named the “Defensive Player of the Week” since Alexa Rooney took the honors on Sept. 13, 2010.

Sierra has played every second in net for JU this season. She posted five saves in a 1-0 win over Furman and four saves in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Panthers to help push JU above the .500 mark.

“We are excited for Sarah to get recognized for her efforts this weekend,” JU coach Brian Copham said. “This is a great recognition and a testament to Sarah and the defensive unit for a great weekend. I hope she can continue at the level she is playing.”

Sierra has held opponents to fewer than two goals for fourth straight games. Since Aug. 26, the second-year netminder has stopped 24 of her last 26 shot-on-goal attempts faced and has registered two shutouts, blanking Northern Colorado and the Paladins.

The Madera, Calif. native has 29 saves and has registered a .853 save percentage and a 0.80 goals against average in logging 562:15 of action through six games.

- By Brian Bohl