WSoc: Westmont’s Smith honored as GSAC Co-Player of Year

The Golden State Athletic Conference has announced that Westmont goalkeeper Lindsey Smith has been named the Women’s Soccer Co-Player of the Year. Smith shares the honor with Vanguard forward Jordan Davidson.

Westmont's Lindsey Smith

Westmont’s Lindsey Smith

Smith, a senior who hails from Pleasanton, is joined on the 2013 All-GSAC Women’s Soccer Team Presented by Under Armor by four other Warriors – senior defender Amanda Diesen of Irvine, junior midfielder Tiffany Dimaculangan of Glendora, senior midfielder Alison Hensley of Huntington Beach and sophomore forward Kelsey Steck of Valencia.

“This recognition has been three years in the making,” said Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely of Smith’s award. “I thought she was, if not the best, one of the best keepers in the conference her sophomore year. Last year, she was good, but was hampered by her injury. This year, it was the culmination of everything – her hard work and being injury free.”

This is the third All-GSAC Team selection for Smith who played throughout the 2012 season with a torn ligament in her elbow.

In 2013, playing in the strongest conference for women’s soccer in the NAIA, Smith has allowed just six goals and ranks second in the NAIA with a goals-against average of 0.38. She has tallied seven shutouts and combined with sophomore keeper Lauren Dorr for six shared shutouts.

“Lindsey has been absolutely excellent,” praised Kiely. “In the big games, she is the one who has kept us in the games and given us a chance to be successful on the other end of the field. She has been a leader in the back and has made huge saves. I am thankful that she has been recognized for her talent, because she is one of the best in the country.”

Diesen was another key component in the Warriors’ stingy defense this year.

“I am so proud of Amanda,” offered Kiely. “She has been our most consistent defender. She has contributed to a very solid back line. Game in and game out, for the entire 90 minutes, Amanda has been very good. On Saturday against Vanguard, she was outstanding defending Davidson whose recognition today tells you how what an offensive force Davidson is.”

In addition to her defensive talents, Diesen added two goals and two assists to the Warrior offense this season.

Hensley, an NAIA All-American and member of the All-GSAC Team in 2013, made a position change after playing in the back row her first three years.

“She is our anchor in the midfield,” said Kiely. “The team has looked to her as a leader since she was a freshman. The best part for Alison is that she has found her home as a holding center midfielder. She protects our back line and she has been hard for opponents to get through.”

Though still primarily a defensive player, Hensley ranks second on the team in scoring with five goals and one assist.

The Warriors’ attacking midfield is represented by Dimaculangan who has contributed four goals and one assist to the Warrior cause.

“I am excited for Tiffany and proud of her for these honors,” said Kiely. “She was outstanding in the non-conference season, but then missed two conference games because she suffered a head injury. It speaks to the type of player that she is that she had such an impact in a limited number of (conference) games. She is one of the most pure soccer players in the history of the program. She understands the game well, has great vision, is very talented on the ball, reads the game well and has put in the work.”

With seven goals and an assist this season, Steck leads the Warriors’ offensively. Five of her goals came in a four-day span in games against Arizona Christian and The Master’s.

“Kelsey has probably put in the most work after practice this year of anyone on the team,” said Kiely. “She has scored big goals in big games. She is on fire right now and we hope that she continues that through the postseason.

“We appreciate when outsiders recognize individuals, but as a group, we know that all 26 players on the roster have played an important role. This year we have had 16 different players score. There is not a single most important player to us. They all play a significant role.”

With a record of 14-0-3 and as one of only two unbeaten teams in the NAIA, the third-ranked Warriors will enter Golden State Athletic Conference play as the number two seed. Having received a first round bye, the Warriors will host a semifinal game on Friday at 2 o’clock against an opponent to be determined by Tuesday’s first round action.