FRISCO – North Texas women's soccer defender Dominique James has been voted the 2018 Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches.
James, a junior from Fort Worth, is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign where she played the entirety of 16 matches and was voted first-team all-conference and the 2017 C-USA Tournament Defensive MVP on the Mean Green's way to their fourth straight conference championship.
"I'm very grateful for this honor and am thankful that other teams see that I have the potential to be even better than last year," James said. "I'm excited for this upcoming season and hope to help my team achieve another championship."
Alongside fellow centerback Carissa Sanders, James became a fixture in the Mean Green defense that led the program to its 13th overall conference championship by holding opponents to a league-best .82 goals per match and only giving up 18 goals total in the 22-match season.
James' success extends off the soccer field. She earned first-team all-academic honors to go along with her other awards. She concluded her sophomore season by being named the 2017-18 UNT Female Student-Athlete of the Year at the athletic department's end of the year banquet.
"Dominique has been the anchor of our defense the last two years and a big part of our championship success," said head coach John Hedlund "Not giving up a goal in last year's tournament, in which led to our fifth C-USA title overall is really a tribute to all the speed we have in the back led by our junior captain Dominique James. Dom's amazing speed comes from great family genes with both her mother and father running track at Southern Cal and an older brother at Mississippi St. She is a real joy to coach and this award is very well deserved."