Nov. 30, 2012
KANSAS City, Kan. - UCF junior defender Marissa Diggs and Colorado College sophomore midfielder Jessie Ayers added more honors to their resumes Friday as the pair was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-America Second Team.
Diggs earns her first-career All-America appointment and becomes the 15th Knight in school history -- the fourth under head coach Amanda Cromwell -- to earn the distinction.
As a starting centerback, Diggs was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year this season after anchoring a back line that helped UCF break the school and conference record for shutouts in a season (15). The Knights finished the year ranked second in the nation for goals-against average (.524) and fourth for shutout percentage (.625).
Diggs, a native of Rowlett, Texas, was named the C-USA Tournament Defensive MVP and an All-Tournament team member after helping guide the Knights to three-straight shutouts to deliver their first tournament championship.
Ayers became the 14th Tiger to be honored by the NSCAA, the first since Robyn Neigle, Karla Thompson and Cissy Wafford were recognized in 1990.
Ayers, who was named C-USA Midfielder of the Year each of the last two seasons, is tied for No. 38 in program history with 27 points after only two campaigns. This season, she led the Tigers with seven goals was second with 18 points and tied for second with four assists - all career highs. She struck for the game-winning goal in Conference USA matches against Marshall and Southern Miss, and set up the deciding score in victories over Denver, Robert Morris and Tulsa.
The Seattle, Wash., native also notched the game-tying goals against Utah and SMU. CC was 3-0-3 when she scored a goal and 6-0-3 when she had a point.
A first-team all-league selection in 2012, Ayers helped the Tigers post a 14-5-5 record, claim the program's first Conference-USA regular-season crown and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.