Messiah’s DJ Cole Named the DIII Honda Award Finalist for Soccer

Courtesy of Messiah Athletics
Courtesy of Messiah Athletics

DJ Cole, a senior defender from Messiah College, was named the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for Soccer as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Cole is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Honda Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 43rd year.

“Honestly, this has all been very overwhelming, “said Cole. “I keep hearing that it is well-deserved, but I was just enjoying another year of the game I love so much. These past four years has just been me listening to everything that the coaches said, and trying to be my best to make the team better. It was never about me or the results, but making an impact on the field and program and glorifying our God - to just be different than everybody else for that reason."

“It means a lot to get the National Player of the Year award and be nominated for the Athlete of the Year. These were never in my mind for anything to shoot for, so I am very grateful to be recognized. I have countless teammates and coaches that helped me become who I am as a person and player, so I’m thankful for all of the support I’ve always had too. Overall, this has been an incredible experience, and I am overwhelmed taken back by everything.”

Cole was most recently named the United Soccer Coaches (USC) DIII National Player of the Year and is a two-time USC first-team All-American from the backfield. A three-time first-team All-MAC Commonwealth honoree, Cole also earned three-straight MAC Commonwealth Defensive Player of the Year honors. Cole is just the second Falcon to ever earn three MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year awards. Her list of accolades also includes three first-team All-Region nods in addition to a National Defender of the Year honor from following her junior season (2017).

The senior from Lebanon, Pa., anchored a defense this season that allowed just five goals for a 0.22 goals against average, the fifth-best mark in program history and the lowest in the nation this season. The Falcons also registered 18 shutouts, tied for the seventh-most in program history.

 “It's a great honor for DJ and our program for sure,” stated head coach Scott Frey. “She's a special athlete and her influence and impact on the game is obvious because her athleticism and energy is just different than other players at times.”

“For a defender to be recognized with this award, it means that you were that good. She's been that impactful over the last few years. She was more than just a defender for us and would impact our attack in a number of ways. It's a well deserving honor.”

All Honda Sports nominees from DIII and DII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 24, 2019, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 43 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.   Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.

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