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Utah State midfielder Ashley Cardozo, right, was a first-team all-Mountain West selection for the second time in her career.

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A trio of Utah State soccer players were honored by the Mountain West as the all-conference teams were released Tuesday.

Ashley Cardozo, one of the most decorated players in USU history, was one of 12 athletes who garnered first-team all-league accolades. Aggie goalkeeper Diera Walton was selected to the all-MW second team, while teammate Addy Symonds, a redshirt freshman defender, was awarded a spot on the all-newcomer squad.

Cardozo has started in the midfield for the Aggies since she arrived on campus in the summer of 2017. The former Olympus High star will finish her illustrious collegiate career as a four-time all-Mountain West honoree — two times on the first team (2017 and 2021) and two times on the second (2018 and 2019).

No. 10 has sparkled as a super senior for USU (13-5-3), which will square off against defending champion New Mexico (12-4-2) in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Boise, Idaho. Cardozo has dished out a conference-leading 11 assists so far this season — three more than any other player — and ranks sixth in goals with seven. Cardozo is tied with former Sky View High standout Jessica Brooksby for the most assists in a single season in program history, to boot.

In addition to pacing the Aggies in assists, Cardozo also ranks first on the team in goals — one ahead of Sara Taylor and Cache Valley native Sammie Murdock. Additionally, the Salt Lake City native is also Utah State’s all-time record-holder in assists (32) and game-winning goals (12), plus she is fourth in the Aggie record books in matches started (83) and sixth in goals (23).

Likewise, Walton has also been one of the top performers in the Mountain West this fall. The junior is the league leader in shutouts (seven), save percentage (.813) and total saves (97). Walton has already spent more than 1,991 minutes in goal this season, which is a single-season program record.

The former Jordan High standout posted an impressive save percentage of .838 in 10 matches this past spring. Walton, a three-year starter, has been in the starting lineup 49 times during her time in Logan. The Draper native earned a spot on the Mountain West’s all-newcomer team in 2019.

Meanwhile, Symonds has helped anchor a USU backline that ranks first this season in the Mountain West with a goals against average of 0.81. The Aggies have conceded 18 goals in 21 matches and have shut out some good teams, including now-No. 12 BYU — the Cougars’ only loss in Provo this fall.

Symonds ranks third on the team in total minutes with 1,843. Kelsey Steed-Kaufusi, Utah State’s other starting center back, was a 2020 MW all-newcomer selection.

New Mexico senior forward Jaydn Edwards was tabbed as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, Fresno State senior defender Robyn McCarthy is the Defensive Player of the Year, New Mexico freshman forward Zaria Katesigwa is the Newcomer of the Year, and New Mexico’s Heather Dyche is the repeat recipient as Coach of the Year.

Edwards leads the league in goals (10) and ranks second behind Cardozo in assists (eight), while Katesigwa currently holds down the No. 4 spot in goals (eight). McCarthy anchors a FSU backline that allowed just 11 goals in conference play and posted four clean sheets against MW opponents.

USU CROSS COUNTRY

The Utah State women moved up six spots to No. 22 in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll, which was released Tuesday, while the Aggie men remained in the No. 21 position. This is the first time this season both USU squads have been ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Five other teams from the Mountain West are currently ranked. The New Mexico women are second, the Colorado State women are 19th, the Air Force men are 11th, the Boise State men are 20th and the CSU men are 22nd.

Both Aggies squads will be gunning for at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. In order for that to happen, they will have to perform well at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships, which will take place Friday, Nov. 12, at the Timpanogos Golf Club in Provo. The USU men and women are sixth in the latest Mountain Region Poll.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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