Southern Miss

Gautier soccer star Johnson transfers to USM from Iowa State

Former Gautier soccer star Ashley Johnson is transferring from Iowa State to Southern Miss.

Johnson said Friday that she was drawn back to South Mississippi by USM's hiring of head coach Mohammed El-Zare.

“That was a big contributing factor making the switch,” Johnson said. “Also, just being closer to home sounded nice. Iowa is so far away.”

Johnson, who played youth soccer for El-Zare at the U-12 level for Gulf Coast United, will be eligible to play immediately at Southern Miss. She has two years of eligibility remaining.

Johnson was selected as the Sun Herald Player of the Year after her senior season at Gautier when she put up gaudy numbers of 47 goals and 8 assists.

Johnson played two seasons at Iowa State, tying for third on the team in points with nine as a sophomore. She played in all 20 games last season, starting six.

For a full story on Johnson's transfer, read Saturday's edition of the Sun Herald.