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Six players from the UNM women's soccer team earned all-Mountain West recognition for the 2022 season.

6 Lobos earn MW all-conference honors

by Evan O'Kelly

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Being recognized for standout performances during the 2022 fall season, six players from the University of New Mexico women’s soccer team were named to the Mountain West All-Conference team announced by the conference office on Sunday.

Jadyn Edwards, Leilani Baker, and Karlee Maes were each first-team all-conference selections, Jaelyn Hendren was a second-team pick, and Alli Davis and Sophia Roberts were selected to the All-Newcomer team.

Edwards earned all-conference recognition for the fourth time in her career, and claimed her third straight first-team nod after leading the team and ranking second in the league with eight goals scored this fall. Edwards’ 93 career games played and 24 career assists are school records, and her 31 total goals scored rank her third in the UNM record books. “Jadyn has faced the opponent’s best defenders all season long and still continues to be an absolute weapon every time she touches the ball,” said UNM head coach Heather Dyche. “She has raised the bar at UNM of what hard work and humility look like, and is always working to improve her game for the team. Wherever her professional career takes her, the team will take on an absolute baller and amazing leader.”

Baker ranked just behind Edwards with seven goals this season, and earned all-conference recognition for the second time in her career after being a second-team selection during the 2019 campaign. The longest-tenured Lobo, Baker has played in 82 matches since the fall of 2017 while scoring 18 goals and adding eight assists for 44 total points. “I am really proud to see Leilani come back from a long ACL recovery and get the recognition she deserves,” said Dyche. “She’s so dangerous on the field and is a leader off the field. This award is the culmination of so much hard work and faith in herself.”

One of the top defenders on a back line that enters the conference tournament on five consecutive clean sheets, Maes earned first-team recognition for the third consecutive season. Maes has played in 81 matches while starting 73 in her five seasons as a Lobo, and pushed forward to score a pair of goals this fall while adding four assists. Overall she has scored four goals and added 10 assists in her career. “Karlee is a dynamic player who can contribute in any position due to how hard she competes,” Dyche said. “She’s a leader and consistently creates game winning plays for our program with her outstanding defending. Her game has really grown the last few years, and I’m excited to see where her professional journey takes her.”

Hendren has started all 92 matches that she has played in during her UNM career, and garnered her first all-conference award this fall. Another mainstay on the back line for the Lobos, Hendren has also pushed forward to score three goals and add three assists while being an X-factor on the defensive unit. “I’m so happy to see Jaelyn finally get the recognition she deserves,” Dyche said on the fifth-year senior. “She’s an outstanding defender, is dangerous going forward in the attack, and plays with so much heart. She’s been one of the best leaders in the history of this program.”

Standing as the team’s last line of defense, Davis earned the nod to the all-newcomer team after totaling six shutouts so far this fall. Davis ranks second in the conference in goals-against average at .750, third in the league in save percentage at .838, and fifth in the league in total saves with 67 on the season. “Alli has gotten more and more confident all season long,” Dyche said. “She’s made some jaw dropping saves to keep us in games, and I know she is only going to continue to grow and impact our program positively. This is a very well-deserved honor for her.”

Also in her first season on the field with the Lobos, Roberts has started all 18 matches to earn the nod on the newcomer team. Her first goal as a Lobo was a big one, coming in the team’s 2-2 draw against UC Riverside on Sept. 8. She has also provided an assist on the season. “Soph has been so impactful this season,” Dyche said. “She is an obvious threat going forward, but is also a relentless defender. She is very deserving of this recognition and is a player who will continue to gain confidence and impact the Mountain West for years to come.”

Wyoming’s Jamie Tatum was named the MW Offensive Player of the Year, and Wyoming’s Colleen Corbin was named the MW Coach of the Year. Jada Wilson of San Jose State was named the MW Defensive Player of the Year, and SJSU’s Bente Pernot was selected as the MW Newcomer of the Year.

The Lobos (7-3-8) await their first playoff opponent, after earning a first-round bye in the Mountain West Championships. The tournament kicks off Sunday afternoon with San Diego State vs. Utah State at 4 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex. The Lobos will play the winner of Colorado College vs. San Jose State, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Sunday night.