Honors and Awards
Elected 2004 Team Captain
First-Team All-Big 12 (2003)
Big 12 All-Tournament Team (2002)
Big 12 All-Newcomer Team (2001)
U.S. Under-21 National Team (2002, 2003)
U.S. Under-20 National Team (2001)
Jenna Cooper was tragically taken from the Husker soccer family when she died on Sunday, April 25, 2004, of injuries sustained in a shooting that occurred at her home.
Cooper was coming off another brilliant spring season in which she had been moved up front and provided an assist on a Nikki Baker goal in the Huskers' 1-1 tie with the Canadian Under-19 National Team.
The Louisville, Ky., native served as a team co-captain in 2003 and was chosen as the captain for the 2004 season. She was a three-year starter for NU and one of the top defenders in the Big 12 Conference. She started 69 of 70 career games for NU and scored 33 points on four goals and 25 assists. She led the team in 2003 with 14 assists and ranked second in points with 18. Her 14 assists placed her third on the NU single-season chart.
Cooper's 25 career assists rank seventh on the NU career chart and her seven game-winning assists are tied for fifth.
"Jenna was a great, great person, teammate and player," Head Coach John Walker said. "It was an absolute pleasure to have her on the team and to know her as a friend and teammate. She had an unbelievable work ethic. She was kind and generous, and well respected by her teammates. She was a selfless person who always wanted to do the best for the team."
Cooper was a critical member of the Nebraska backline when the season began, but she became even more important when senior Christy Harms went down with an ACL tear against Mississippi State. Cooper earned first-team All-Big 12 honors at defender in 2003. She was also named the team's most valuable player.
The Louisville, Ky., native had another stellar year, contributing 14 assists, including two game-winning assists to lead the Huskers, while playing in every minute of every contest this year.
Cooper provided the game-winning goal in the Huskers' biggest win of the season at Texas A&M, when she nailed a corner kick that bent into the net and deflected off the Aggie goalkeeper for the goal. She also posted the game-winning goal and an assist in the Huskers' first-round NCAA Tournament win over Washington.
She recorded two assists against Iowa and provided the game-winning assists against Iowa and Texas Tech. Cooper finished with seven game-winning assists in her career to tie for fifth in the Nebraska record book. She also moved to seventh on the all-time assist charts with 25 in her career.
In the conference tournament Cooper proved vital to the Huskers, as she sent in a shot that deflected off the cross bar and fell into perfect position for Brittany Timko to knock in the first goal of the game against Texas A&M. The shot was close to being a goal of her own, but turned into her 11th assist of the season. Against Missouri, Cooper contributed two more assists on corner kicks to get the Huskers back in the game before falling 3-2 in the Big 12 semifinals.
As a sophomore, Cooper started all 25 of
She led the team in assists with 10, and was tied for fourth on the Big 12 assist charts. She had four game-winning assists in 2002, which improved her career total to five. Her total ranks 10th all-time in the
Cooper scored her first collegiate goal in the win over
Her two goals were both game-winners, with the biggest goal of her career coming in the Big 12 Tournament championship game against Texas A&M. Cooper took a direct free kick that bounced off the Texas A&M wall and back to her, before she launched the ball into the net for the win. She also sent a nice serve to Christine Latham off a free kick against
Cooper was named to the
The Huskers relied on Cooper's speed all over the field that made her successful at both positions.
Cooper also helped lead
A Big 12 All-Newcomer Team selection, Cooper started all but one game in 2001, helping NU post a goals-against average of 1.16, while recording seven shutouts. The left-footed Cooper also helped the Huskers offensively, assisting on a goal against
In the spring, Cooper added more offense with two shots and one shot on goal against
A Student Sports Magazine All-American, Cooper helped Sacred Heart Academy, coached by Rafael Arauz, to a 15-4 record in 2001. A versatile athlete on the field, Cooper was a first-team all-state selection in 2000 and a second-team all-state selection in 1999. Cooper was named to the Kentucky Cup All-Tournament team in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
For her success in the classroom, Cooper earned first-team academic all-state honors in 1999 and earned second-team academic all-state honors in 1998. She was also a member of the
Along with her high school experience, Cooper helped the Javanon club team, coached by Ali Malaekah, to State Cup titles in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000. She was a member of the Kentucky Olympic Development Program in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and earned a spot as a U.S. Under-20 National Team pool player in 2001.
The daughter of William and Ellen Cooper, Jenna has one brother, Billy, 22. She was born on