IRVING, Texas – Jazmin Ferguson has been named American Athletic Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Monday. Ferguson was also named First-Team All-Conference along with Second-Team honorees Maeve English and Annabelle Abbott and unanimous All-Rookie selection Lucy Fazackerley.
A year after being named American Rookie of the Year, Ferguson continued her tremendous play in 2023, playing every minute in the regular season from her center back position while helping the Pirates to just 0.83 goals allowed per game. Ferguson, playing along with Abby Sowa and Fazackerley, was a brick wall on the back line, dominating the opposition with such accomplishments as the first game for the team not allowing a single shot since 2003 and twice not allowing a single corner kick.
Ferguson is just the third Defensive Player of the Year in program history and the first since Amber Campbell in 2008; she is also the first player in program history to earn two postseason conference awards. The sophomore superstar was more than a defender, though, as she racked up four goals and an assist on the season, including the game-winning tally against Florida Atlantic. 
English’s Second-Team recognition is her second consecutive. The Greenville native has compiled a career-high eight shutouts on the season, while contributing to one more along with Maggie Leland. Those eight clean sheets break a tie for fifth-most in program history. Her goals against average also currently stands at third in program history entering postseason play.
Abbott’s honor is her first postseason recognition since being named to the All-Rookie squad in 2020. The midfielder has been fantastic all season, helping to facilitate the Pirate attack while scoring two goals of her own. One of those goals was a memorable one, a screaming strike from outside the box to level the score with just seven seconds remaining against Tulsa.
Joining Ferguson and Sowa along the Pirate back line this season was a newcomer from Wigan, England who stepped onto the scene with poise and became one of just two unanimous selections to the American All-Rookie squad. Fazackerley was tremendous on the season, playing lockdown defense while adding three goals and a pair of assists offensively, including game-winning goals against Campbell and South Florida. The rookie started every game in which she played this season, going the full 90 in all but four games.
The Pirates will be back in action as they rematch with Charlotte on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.