Greenville University women’s soccer program had an outstanding season finishing strong with a record of 11-8-2. The Lady Panthers recruited heavily this season bringing in seven freshmen to complete the roster. The class of 2022 has its strengths and weaknesses. However, one newcomer was recognized for her brilliant footwork and creativity out on the field.
The freshman from Novato, California, Jen De Leon De Leon, was awarded by the SLIAC as the Newcomer of the Year and she also earned 2nd Team All-Conference. De Leon is majoring in Criminal Justice, and within this major wants to become a police officer and apply for a K-9 position. De Leon said, “I am grateful for the awards that I have received and the recognition that I have gotten. I thank my team for helping me and putting me in the position to achieve them, but it was never my top priority like winning a championship.” As an incoming freshman and starting striker, De Leon managed to take care of business by performing her best in every match. De Leon started 19 of 20 games due to an injury. She and junior Kate Arthur led the team in most goals scored this 2019 season with 8 goals. De Leon contributed to her teammates as well with 4 assists. De Leon explained, “At the beginning of the season, I was nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to be the player that my team needed. I was also a little nervous that we weren’t going to build the chemistry that we needed to be successful, but I had high expectations that our team was going to keep working no matter what happened.” The stats might not define De Leon as a player, but her passion for the game says it all.
De Leon came to Greenville looking for a family that was motivated enough to make history. “It is all very surreal to me. I never would have imagined being a part of a very successful team in my first season. The Greenville women’s soccer team is definitely becoming a big part of my life. It has impacted me a lot and has quickly become my second family. My teammates have helped me grow, achieve, and learn so much,” De Leon said.
She received her All-Conference award alongside five other Greenville women’s soccer players including: Kat Stroot, Kate Arthur (Second Team All-Conference), Marjory Coates, Breanna Thomas (Third Team All-Conference), and Ellie Cummins (First Team All-Conference). After accepting the awards, De Leon looks forward to another season with her sisters. “Since we are losing eight seniors, this means that we are going to lose many powerful leaders on our team. My expectations for next season are essentially higher than last. We will have to start working even harder than last season and everyone will have to step up and be a leader when necessary. It won’t be easy to adjust to the new season, but I am definitely excited for the journey to come.”
Media by Ellie Cummins.