“I am extremely pleased to have three players honored from our team. It reflects the progress we have made in one short year,” stated SUU head coach Becky Hogan. “With all three honorees being freshman it shows a bright outlook for the future.”
Jones played a pivotal role on the Thunderbirds back line while adding a goal and two assists on offense. The freshman defender from Taylorsville, Utah saw time in all 18 matches for SUU while making 11 starts.
“Katie came into this program as one of the best athletes we recruited. Her strength and tenacity are tops in the Big Sky and along with Kaitlin Parkin we see our defense becoming one of the best in the league in the very near future,” commented Hogan. “She is an intelligent and thoughtful person who has an incredible intelligence about the game and competes hard to win. As she moves into the role of upperclassman and blossoms as a leader there is no telling how high she will soar.”
Brown continually pressured opposing defenses the Thunderbirds attack and finished the year with a goal and an assist. The freshman forward from Redding, Calif. made 10 starts on the year and appeared in all 18 matches for the T-Birds.
“Sunshine (Brown) is one of the most deceptively effective players in the Big Sky Conference. I personally believe that she should have been awarded Newcomer of the Year awards because there isn't another player like her and her impact on the game is immeasurable,” said Hogan. “Sunshine's work rate, bright outlook, and overall exceptional attitude as a teammate and player set a high standard for excellence, and we are excited about her future.”
Green finished the season as one of the team’s top-scorers with three goals and an assist for seven total points. The freshman midfielder from Layton, Utah appeared in 17 matches for Southern Utah, making 10 starts.
“Shelby is one of the fieriest competitors on our team. She does things on the ball that I don't think anybody else in the Big Sky can pull off,” stated Hogan. “Moving forward we expect her to become a dominating player that terrorizes other teams.”
The Thunderbirds captured victories in two of their last four Big Sky contests to finish the year with a conference mark of 3-5-1. All three honorees have three more seasons to compete for SUU along with a talented freshman class that combined for nine of the team’s 26 goals and 12 of its 17 assists in 2013.
“It should be noted that these individual honors are made possible by the strong efforts of the players surrounding them. We were a tight collection of players this season, with contributions coming from a multitude of players,” explained Hogan. “For players to score goals, somebody needs to deliver a quality pass. The future is exciting and we couldn't be prouder of these players, and of our entire team.”