Jeni Viernes won the Leona Holbrook Spirit of Sport Award for her accomplishments on the soccer field and in the community.
Jeni Viernes has been an impact player for BYU ever since joining the soccer team in 1999. In her four years, Viernes has helped the Cougars win the MWC tournament and reach the NCAA Women's College Cup in each of her four years.
The soft-spoken team captain is always trying to encourage and to bring out the best in her teammates through her work ethic. She possesses a tireless approach to practicing, spending as much time as necessary to develop her game, and her hard work has paid off.
After leading her team in goals scored (17), Viernes concluded her college career by earning top awards at both the conference and national levels. The speedy forward/midfielder was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region First Team and was honored as the MWC Player of the Year and MWC tournament MVP. Additionally, Jeni was named to the All-MWC First Team and the MWC All-Tournament Team. During the regular season, she was twice named MWC Player of the Week.
Last season, she scored two or more goals in a game on three separate occasions, including her record tying four goals against New Mexico in the MWC tournament championship game.
In her sophomore year, this quiet leader led the Cougars to their second highest finish, making it to the Sweet Sixteen in the national tournament. The Cougars 19-4-1 record was good enough to earn a No. 10 ranking, the highest final ranking in the school's six-year program. She was also named to the MWC All-Tournament Team.
Viernes followed up her success in 2000 with a spectacular 2001 year. The season was highlighted when Jeni assisted teammate Lydia Ojuka in the NCAA Tourney against Kansas to score the lone goal in a 1-0 win to advance to the second round. Viernes ended the season tied for second on the team with 21 points. Following the season, she was named to the 2001 First Team All-MWC.
Viernes has been a team leader at all levels of play. She was selected to the First Team All-State in 1998 out of Murray High School and notched her named in the school's record book as the all-time leading scorer.