Goalkeeper and Coach of the Year Headline Four All-SWAC Honors for Alabama A&M Women’s Soccer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In advance of the 2021 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament, Alabama A&M women’s soccer has earned a pair of major honors and four All-Conference selections as announced by the league on Wednesday, November 3.
 
Leading the way was senior Jodi Medina (Coral Springs, Fla.) being named Goalkeeper of the Year and head coach Emanuel Stephens being presented Coach of the Year. It is the first such honor for both individuals.
 
Additionally, Medina was named First Team All-SWAC alongside junior forward Makayla Rushing (Red Oak, Texas) while senior Sherice Clarke (St. Catherine, Jamaica) and junior defender Taylor Watson (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) landed on the Second-Team.
 
EMANUEL STEPHENS – COACH OF THE YEAR
Stephens led Alabama A&M women’s soccer to a 9-7-1 overall and an 8-1-0 on the way to a share of the 2021 SWAC Regular Season Championship. The latter was their first since 2012 and included a team record tying eight shutouts.
 
JODI MEDINA–FIRST-TEAM GOALKEEPER / GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
Medina delivered a tremendous season, starting all 17 games for the Bulldogs. She is the leader in shutouts in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) with eight and boasts of four consecutive blankings that set a program single season record. Those came from October 22-29 against Southern, Jackson State, Grambling and Alabama State. She enters the tournament at 9-7-1 and 8-1-0 in the SWAC.
 
She has made 129 saves and only allowed 32 goals having a save percentage of 0.801. Medina has played 1485 minutes thus far and earned SWAC Goalkeeper of the Week on October 27 for the third time in her career. That followed the first SWAC Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year in program history.
 
MAKAYLA RUSHING – FIRST-TEAM
 Rushing is the leading scorer for the Bulldogs and one of the top offensive threats in the SWAC with 10 goals, three assists and 23 points. She is currently ranked second in the league in goals and points and has started in all 17 games for the Bulldogs playing a total of 1,499 minutes.
 
Entering the tournament she has scored in five straight games for AAMU with her best showing for the season being a hat trick against South Carolina State on September 19. That performance fueled her SWAC Offensive Player of the Week honor on September 22.
 
SHERICE CLARKE – SECOND-TEAM
Clarke assisted the Bulldogs (9-7-1, 8-1-0 SWAC) record with four assists and logged a total of 800 minutes while dishing out four assists and was a key part of one of the program’s best seasons in the last 14 years.
 
She helped produced nine games of one goal or less including eight shutouts and has played in 14 games, starting 10. Her best performance came against South Carolina State (9/19) where she had four assists that helped fueled the Bulldogs 8-0 victory.
 
TAYLOR WATSON – SECOND-TEAM
Watson was a dominant defender for the Bulldogs playing in 15 games with 13 starts. A hard-nosed defender, she added assists against both South Carolina State (9/19) and Alcorn State (9/26) and has been a primary contributor to a dominant AAMU defense. In total she has accumulated 1,032 minutes and was awarded SWAC Defensive Player of the Week on September 22.
 
This is the fifth SWAC Coach of the Year honor under the direction of Director Athletics Bryan Hicks during his nine year tenure at A&M.
 
He has hired each of those individuals and seen them accomplish that feat in baseball (Mitch Hill, 2015), softball (Nakeya Hall, 2018 and Cassandra Brown, 2019), men’s tennis (Willis Mbandi, 2011) and Stephens.
 
Mitch Hill, Baseball – 2005
Nakeya Hall, Softball – 2018
Cassandra Brown, Softball -2019
Willis Mbandi, Men’s Tennis – 2021
Emanuel Stephens, Women’s Soccer – 2021
 
 
2021 All-Southwestern Athletic Conference Postseason Teams
First-Team
F Kailey Pena, Grambling
F Makayla Rushing, Alabama A&M
F JoJo Bernal, Prairie View A&M
M Camila Jimenez, Alabama State
M Kaydeen Jack, Grambling
M Lesa Griffin, Prairie View A&M
M Ashley Arnes, Texas Southern
D Andrea Nugent, Prairie View A&M
D D’Sanye Nugent, Prairie View A&M
D McKenna Wiscombe, Alabama State
G Jodi Medina, Alabama A&M
 
 
Second-Team
F Natalie Freeman, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
F Annalise Brunson, Jackson State
F Lizbeth Aguero, Grambling
M Amya Webb, Southerm
M Isabella Beortegui, Alabama State
M Miranda Urbizu, Grambling
D Sherice Clarke, Alabama A&M
D Taylor Watson, Alabama A&M
D Lindsay Jaiyesimi, Grambling
D Cordney Armstrong, Southern
G Alexis Espino, Texas Southern
 
Offensive Player of the Year
Kailey Pena, Grambling
 
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrea Nugent –Prairie View A&M
 
Goalkeeper of the Year
Jodi Medina – Alabama A&M
 
Freshman of the Year
Camila Jimenez – Alabama State
 
Coach of the Year
Emanuel Stephens – Alabama A&M
 

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