Avery Jacobsen named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week

Avery Jacobsen (12) throws the ball in during an exhibition against Austin Peay at the WKU Soccer Complex on Aug. 18, 2019. 

Elliott Wells

Junior Avery Jacobsen has been named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her WKU career, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

Jacobsen earned the honor after guiding the Lady Toppers to shutouts in both of their opening weekend matches. The Las Vegas native played all 200 minutes in a 5-0 win against Belmont and a scoreless draw against Kentucky to start the 2019 regular-season.

The award is the first by a Lady Topper this season. Jacobsen joins senior defender Christina Bragado as the only current WKU players to win the award. Bragado earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors twice during the 2016 season.

In WKU’s regular season opener against Belmont on Thursday, Jacobsen shined not only on the defensive side of the scoresheet, but also by assisting the Lady Toppers’ first goal of the season to freshman forward Ansley Cate.

Jacobsen started the buildup, finding Ambere Barnett along the right-wing, whose cross fell to Cate in the first four minutes of action.

Jacobsen’s assist against Belmont was just the third of her career after collecting a pair during C-USA play last fall.

On Sunday, head coach Jason Neidell gave Jacobsen the challenge of marking UK’s Miranda Jimenez in a one-on-one battle. Jacobsen shut down the Wildcat forward, holding her to only three shots on the night. UK had a total of just six shots during the contest. 

With Jacobsen’s help defensively, WKU was the lone C-USA team to earn a favorable result against a Power 5 opponent during the opening weekend of play.

WKU will try to get another point against an SEC school later in the season, as Mississippi will make the trek to the WKU Soccer Complex on Sept. 5.

Jacobsen and the Lady Toppers will remain on the road for their next contest, as the Lady Toppers will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to battle Samford on Friday at 7 p.m.

WKU currently trails 2-1 in the all-time series against Samford and has not defeated the Bulldogs since a 1-0 victory during the program’s inaugural season in 2001. In the most recent match between the two, Samford picked up a 1-0 win in Bowling Green on Sept. 10, 2017.

Reporter Elliott Wells can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Elliott on Twitter at @ewells5.