The first women's soccer player to be inducted into the Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame, Dia Johnson Smith is easily one of the greatest players in the brief history of the program. By the time she graduated from Lehigh in 1996, Dia Johnson held every single season and career scoring record.
Johnson established the school record for goals scored in a season (15), goals scored in a career (37), assists in a single season (10), career assists (25), points in a season (32), career points (99), game winning goals in a season (4), and career game-winning goals (8).
Audrey Aloi 99 was a freshman on the womens soccer team at Lehigh when Johnson was a senior in the fall of 1995. Every time Dia stepped onto the field, her passion for the game was obvious, Aloi said. Her drive and tenacity were unmatched by any of our opponents. You just knew other teams in the Patriot League would formulate elaborate defensive plays to try and stop her. As a captain, Dia led by example. Nobody worked harder than her in practice. She never gave up, ever, no matter the score. Dia reminded all of her teammates why we were there: because we loved the game. Watching her, you'd never forget that.
It should come as no surprise that Johnson had the capability of being a major impact on the young program. At Quakertown High School she was a two-time all-state selection while leading her team to two division championships. As a senior, Johnson scored a school record 31 goals and registered 24 assists. She scored 85 career goals at the high school level.
Johnson came to Lehigh in the fall of 1992, as the womens soccer program was only in its second season as a varsity sport at Lehigh. The Quakertown, Pa. native made an immediate impact, cracking the starting lineup and scoring 15 goals on the season a Lehigh record that went unmatched until 2004. She was named the teams MVP for her efforts.
As a sophomore in 1993, Johnson earned her first All-Patriot League selection, an honor she would capture three times in her career. That sophomore season, Johnson also garnered the teams most outstanding athlete honors for the second straight season.
Her junior and senior years were more of the same, as Johnson continued to help the program grow. She led Lehigh to the programs first Patriot League tournament berth in 1994.
I am surprised that I am being recognized, Dia said. To be placed with so many other athletes that are so highly regarded in Lehigh history, and to be amongst such tremendous people, makes the honor even better.
Johnson earned her degree in sociology from Lehigh, and completed her masters in education at Lehigh in 1998. She is currently a third grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in Allentown, Pa.
Dia Johnson Smith and her husband Michael currently reside in Allentown. They have two children: Michael and Brianna.