Hylton-Pelaia Named AAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year | Beaufort County Now

After a standout junior season, ECU women's soccer senior Jayda Hylton-Pelaia was named the American Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, as chosen by the league's 10 head coaches. east carolina university, ECU, women's soccer, jayda hylton-pelaia, defensive player of the year, august 14, 2019
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Hylton-Pelaia Named AAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the news and information section for East Carolina University men's and women's sports.


    GREENVILLE, N.C.     After a standout junior season, ECU women's soccer senior Jayda Hylton-Pelaia was named the American Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, as chosen by the league's 10 head coaches. Hylton-Pelaia also earned a spot on the Preseason All-Conference team.

    "We have been telling Jayda she could be the best defender in the conference since the day we got here," said head coach Jason Hamilton. "She was good when we arrived, but has the potential to be great. She is probably the biggest change we have seen in a player as far as standards and expectations on the field and in the classroom, which is what you need from your best players. We are glad the other coaches recognized her for this and we are excited to see what she does this season."

    Hylton-Pelaia started all 19 games during the 2018 season, setting new career-highs with two goals and four assists. The Brampton, Ontario native racked up the honors, as she was named both All-AAC Second-Team and to the AAC Championship All-Tournament Team. During the season, Hylton-Pelaia was named AAC Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions.

    Hylton-Pelaia is the first ECU player to earn a Preseason Player of the Year award since the Pirates moved to the American prior to the 2014 season. The last Pirate to earn a Defensive Player of the Year award was Amber Campbell, with Campbell earning the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year following the 2008 season. Hylton-Pelaia is also the first ECU player to earn a spot on the Preseason All-Conference team since Lana Spitler in 2016.

    Hylton-Pelaia is coming off her first appearance at a senior international tournament as she represented Jamaica at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru earlier this month. Hylton-Pelaia started all four games for the Reggae Girlz, playing a total of 360 minutes as Jamaica finished in seventh place.

    ECU was selected to finish fifth in the preseason coach's poll after finishing the 2018 season in a tie for fourth place. USF was the top vote getter in the poll, finishing with 76 points while Memphis was right behind with 74 points. Both the Bulls and the Tigers earned four first-place votes while UCF received the other two.

    Hylton-Pelaia and her ECU teammates will have one exhibition to prepare for the season as the Pirates host VCU at 7 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 16 in Johnson Stadium. The regular season will get underway on Thursday, Aug. 22 when ECU welcomes George Mason to Greenville. All 10 Pirate home games will be free to attend for all fans.


    Preseason Poll

  1. USF (4) 76
  2. Memphis (4) 74
  3. UCF (2) 66
  4. SMU 59
  5. ECU 45
  6. Cincinnati 37
  7. UConn 33
  8. Houston 26
  9. Temple 19
  10. Tulsa 15
(First-place votes in parentheses)


    Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
    Evelyne Viens, USF, Sr., F

    Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
    Jayda Hylton-Pelaia, ECU, Sr., D

    Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
    Elizabeth Moberg, Memphis, Jr., GK

    2019 Preseason All-Conference Team
    Konya Plummer, UCF, Sr., D
    Kristen Scott, UCF, So., F
    Vanessa DiNardo, Cincinnati, So., F
    Jayda Hylton-Pelaia, ECU, Sr., D
    Desiree Bowen, Houston, Sr., F
    Serena Dolan, Memphis, Sr., M
    Clarissa Larisey, Memphis, Jr., F*
    Elizabeth Moberg, Memphis, Jr., GK
    Andrea Hauksdottir, USF, Sr., M
    Evelyne Viens, USF, Sr., F*
    Courtney Sebazco, SMU, So., M
    Allie Thornton, SMU, Sr., F*
    Anna Williams, Tulsa, Sr., F
    [*] Denotes unanimous selection

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