Thee Owls Earn Academic All-Conference USA Honors In Women's Soccer

Nov. 3, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rice's Lauren LaGro, Catherine Fitzsimmons and Elizabeth Nesbit were all selected to the 2010 Conference USA Women's Soccer All-Academic Second Team, the league office announced Wednesday (Nov. 3) in Orlando, Fla.

On Tuesday (Nov. 2), LaGro was also selected to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VI team for her sensational season on the soccer field and in the classroom. She overcame an injury that sidelined her for all but three games last season to be one of the stalwarts of a young Owls' defense. LaGro has started all 19 games and has rarely come out of a game this year, playing 1,728 of the team's 1,777 total minutes (97.2 percent). The Dallas native has helped Rice hold opponents to just 12.6 shots per game, but she's also come forward to score two goals on 18 shots, including the game-winning goal in overtime against C-USA rival SMU. In the classroom LaGro has maintained a 4.00 grade point average as a Kinesiology (sports medicine) major in Rice's accelerated curriculum.

Fitzsimmons started in-goal nine times, including most of the C-USA regular season to rocket toward the top of the NCAA statistical leaders. The standout from Ann Arbor, Mich., is fifth in the nation in save percentage (.889) and she is 26th in the nation in goals-against average (.640). In her last outing against crosstown rival Houston (Oct. 29), Fitzsimmons posted a career-high 10 saves I a complete-game shutout. She juggled soccer and the books to maintain a 3.79 grade point average majoring in Sociology.

Nesbit is a senior midfielder with a 3.94 grade point average as a Global Health major. She has appeared in 16 games with two C-USA starts. Earlier in the season the Waterford, Va., native scored the game-tying goal against nationally-ranked UCF to help the Owls finish in a 1-1 tie with the Knights on the road in Orlando. Not only is Nesbit respected on the soccer field and in the classroom, last season she earned C-USA's prestigious Spirit of Service Award for women's soccer for her charity work in the Houston community and her international humanitarian efforts that brought medical relief to remote parts of Africa.



The Rice Owls soccer team, 8-8-3 in the regular season and 5-3-3 in conference, meet longtime state rival SMU in the first round of the C-USA Championship Wednesday (Nov. 3) at 6:30 pm Central Time (7:30 pm Eastern). The winner of Wednesday's opening round between the No. 5 seeded Owls and fourth-seeded Mustangs then advances to meet C-USA regular season champion and No. 1 seed UCF on the Knights' home field on Friday night at 6:30 pm (Central). The tournament concludes with a championship final on Nov. 7 at 1 pm that will be televised by CBS College Sports. The conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is at stake in the six-team, single-elimination event.

First Team
Name / School / Class / GPA / Major
Sydney Fetter / Colorado College / Senior / 3.80 / Economics
*Amanda Malkiewicz / East Carolina / Junior / 3.86 / Math Education
*Jessica Woodward / East Carolina / Junior / 4.00 / Elementary Education
Sarah Vinson / Marshall Sophomore / 4.00 / Pre-Dietetics
Lizzy Hildebrandt / Memphis / Junior / 3.82 / Mechanical Engineering
**Vendula Strnadova / Memphis / Senior / 3.97 / Health and Human Performance
Courtney Webb / SMU / Junior / 3.69 / Civil Engineering
Caitlin Leumas / Southern Miss / Sophomore / 4.00 / Physical Therapy
Maddie Jones / Tulsa / Junior / 3.89 / Biology/Pre-Med
*Lauren Halbert / UCF / Senior / 3.89 / Health Sciences/Pre-Clinical
**Melissa Desilets / UTEP / Senior / 4.00 / Chemistry

Second Team
Name / School / Class / GPA / Major
Kimmy Cummings / East Carolina / Junior / 3.80 / Management Information Systems
*Kristen Berquist / Marshall / Senior / 3.82 / Accounting
Emma Harrison / Marshall / Senior / 3.72 / Secondary Education
Lizzy Simonin / Memphis / Junior / 3.77 / Physical Education Teacher Education
Catherine Fitzsimmons / Rice / Senior / 3.79 / Sociology
Lauren LaGro / Rice / Sophomore / 4.00 / Kinesiology-Sports Medicine
Elizabeth Nesbit / Rice / Senior / 3.94 / Area Major in Global Health
Amy Davis / Southern Miss / Junior / 3.95 / Nursing
*Jana Mason / Southern Miss / Senior / 3.85 / Health and Fitness
Laura McCalla / UAB / Junior / 3.39 / Industrial Design
Pascale Pinard / UAB / Junior / 3.95 / Physical Education
Allison Young / UAB / Junior / 3.91 / Accounting
* Repeat Selection



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