FEATURE – From high school MVP to All-PacWest all-star, Dixie State University student-athlete Jennifer Mason continues scoring on the soccer field.
A junior and business major from Springville, Mason has played forward for the DSU women’s soccer team since her freshman year. After a successful high school career entailing both basketball and soccer, she decided to pursue her love for sports beyond high school by becoming part of a larger soccer scene with the Red Storm.
“I was better at (soccer), but my (high school) team did better in basketball, so then I got more recognized in basketball,” she said. “I was (also) MVP for my (soccer) team … I was on the second team for the state.”
Mason attributes her success in soccer to her father, who encouraged her and her five siblings to play the sport.
“My dad didn’t play soccer or anything, but he got us all started in soccer, and now he coaches soccer,” she said. “I think he kind of really pushed me into soccer and got me going.”
Even with a dedicated soccer family at home, Mason said leaving her quiet hometown of Springville for St. George wasn’t difficult.
“I chose Dixie because I wanted to stay in Utah,” she said. “I didn’t really talk to any other schools. I didn’t really try and get my name out there at all. I decided late that I wanted to play soccer, so I had very limited options of where people would let me go.”
Though Mason’s decision to play college soccer was made in the nick of time, she said DSU is the place for her; the most enjoyable part of playing college-level soccer has been making life-long friendships with her teammates and growing as a team.
“They’re all great girls and just help me want to be better,” she said.
Mason has achieved a number of records during her time as Red Storm’s forward. Last school year, she led the PacWest Conference in goals (15) and points (32), starting all games and being named to the first team All-PacWest and second team Daktronics Division II All-West Region.
She began her college soccer career under Linda Huddleston, but is moving into her junior year with a new coach, Kacey Bingham.
“It was fun playing for Huddleston and she was awesome, but it’s good to have a new perspective and new ideas coming in,” Mason said. “Kacey, our new coach, knows a lot and has a lot of soccer knowledge, so I like how she uses it and helps us learn more about it, like how to play it better. She plays different than I’m used to, so it pushes me to think a little more about what I’m doing, and I think that it’s going to make me a better player.”
Mason’s expectations for the upcoming season are that of any enthused soccer player.
“I expect just to be winning!” she said. “For myself, I would like to lead the team in scoring again … anything that I can do to help make the team better, I’m hoping I can do.”
If Mason plays like she did during both the fall and spring seasons, she could reach even more goals this school year, both on and off the field.
Written by Katelyn Boulton for St. George Health and Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Boulton is a student at Dixie State University and works as an intern for St. George Health & Wellness.
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