NewsLady Cougars Sign Madison Soccer Standout for Next Year
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women's soccer team has added another key player to its roster for the 2003 season with the addition of Jessica Ward.
Ward, a forward/midfielder from Mansfield, Ohio, recorded 17 goals and six assists as a senior at Madison High School. The four-time Ohio Heartland Conference and Northwest District First Team selection also finished her career ranked second in school history in both goals (65) and assists (39). A two-year captain, she was also selected as the Most Valuable Player of the NCOSSCA All-Star match following her senior season.
"Jessica is a super person, and the team and I are excitedly looking forward to her joining us," said MVNU head coach Jonathan Meade. "She was an instant hit with our players, and we all felt that she was a perfect fit with the chemistry and personality of our team. She is going to make a big impact on our team on the field. She is very athletic, and she has all the tools to be an outstanding collegiate player. She is a smart attacking player with great shooting ability, but she also has the versatility to make plays and distribute from the midfield."
"The most impressive characteristic about Jessica, though, is her commitment to Christ and her spiritual maturity," Meade added. "She feels very strongly about her faith and sharing it with others, and I know that she will add to our spiritual growth as a team. I see a lot of good things happening with our team with the addition of Jessica."
In addition to her accomplishments on the soccer field, Ward has also played basketball and run track. She has been active in Breakfast Club, Young Leadership Institute of Richland County, Key Club, and Varsity "M" Club. She is a member of National Honor Society, has served as Student Council president, and been selected to the Homecoming court.
"The first time I visited MVNU, I knew that it was where I would be spending my college years," said Ward. "Recently, I have been focusing on my personal relationship with God and putting him first in my life. In doing so, I prayed about college and whatever God showed me I was willing to look in to. Within a matter of weeks, I met Coach Meade and was invited to come watch the team. I took him up on his offer and loved everything about the team."
"I feel that MVNU will not only challenge me academically and athletically, but spiritually as well and that is what God has shown me through prayer," Ward added. "The girls on the team are great, and I look forward to contributing all that I can to the team and its success."
The Lady Cougars finished the 2002 season with a 14-8-1 overall record as they tied the school record for most wins in a season. MVNU also finished third in the highly-competitive American Mideast Conference South Division and fourth at the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament.