Nov. 17, 2010
HOUSTON - The Rice Owls posted the second-highest team grade point average for all Division I soccer programs, the National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced Wednesday with a listing of its annual team academic awards.
The NSCAA identified some 630 collegiate soccer teams from all divisions (194 men, 436 women) that registered a cumulative team grade point average of 3.0 or higher, thereby earning the organization's Team Academic Award. Rice's 3.63 team GPA tied with the University of Toledo for the second-highest in the nation for all men's or women's Division I soccer programs. The women's team from the University of Central Michigan led the nation with a 3.76 GPA.
Rice had the highest GPA for Division I soccer teams (women or men) in the state of Texas. Two of the team's rivals from Conference USA joined Rice in the Academic Top 10, including Memphis (3.60 GPA) and Marshall (3.56).
The Owl players who earned individual distinction this season for their success in the classroom include sophomore defender Lauren LaGro, who last month was named a First Team NCAA District VI All-Academic selection after maintaining a 4.0 GPA. LaGro, Elizabeth Nesbit and Catherine Fitzsimmons were all named to the C-USA All-Academic team for balancing Rice's accelerated curriculum and the demands of playing Division I soccer. In the team's 2010 season, the Owls qualified for the C-USA Tournament for the first time since 2008 with its highest seed in that event since 2007.
"I am very proud of the team and the accomplishments that they earn, not only on the field but in the classroom as well," said Rice head coach Nicky Adams. "They strive to be the very best every day, and represent Rice University to the best of their ability."
The full list of NSCAA's 2010 Academic Team Awards is available at the organization's web site, provided at this link.