Jess Johnson was a force for Monmouth, on and off the field. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth SID)
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Jess Johnson ’20, a recent graduate and member of the Monmouth University women’s soccer program, has been announced as a nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, it was announced Tuesday.
Johnson earned the nomination following a stellar senior season in which she helped lead the program to its fourth-consecutive NCAA Division I Tournament berth. She played a major role on Monmouth’s NCAA-leading defensive unit as a senior in 2019. The Hawks led the nation in goals-against average, save percentage and shutout percentage and held their opponents to an NCAA-low four goals against. Monmouth won its fourth consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season and Tournament championship as Johnson garnered Scholar All East Region, All-Atlantic Region second team and All-MAAC first team honors.
A two-time team captain, Johnson became the first Monmouth student-athlete to be awarded an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship. She graduated with a 3.90 grade-point average as a Social Work major and has been recognized as a Dean’s List student and MAAC All-Academic Team selection on multiple occasions. Johnson co-founded Monmouth’s FLIGHT Academy, which pairs incoming student-athletes with upper class students in an effort to help first-year athletes navigate their new environment. As the Monmouth Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, Johnson has led her peers in enhancing their community service efforts, as well as adding additional mental health programming on campus.
Next, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will select up to two nominees from the nine student-athletes put forward by the MAAC member schools. All conference-level nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the three finalists in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes exceptional student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership. There are 605 nominees for this year’s award, which is the most ever in the history of the Woman of the Year program. 259 of those nominees come from the Division I ranks and 45 are women’s soccer student-athletes.