Dec. 12, 2012
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's and women's soccer teams were recently announced as recipients of the 2011-12 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award, and are just one of 187 schools nationwide to have both programs win the award. This is the second-consecutive time both teams have earned this honor.
To earn the award teams must have had a team GPA of 3.0 or higher during the 2011-12 academic year. The women's team achieved a GPA of 3.42 during the year, while the men's team notched a team GPA of 3.24 – both of which were up over last year’s team GPAs.
The men were one eight teams representing the Atlantic 10 and had the league’s third-highest GPA. Xavier was also one of 155 teams nationally to earn the award in back-to-back seasons. Of those teams only eight, including Xavier, made appearances in the last two NCAA Tournaments.
Also earning an individual academic achievement this year for the men’s program was Sean Ryan who returned for a fifth season. The graduate student and three-year captain was named to his second-consecutive Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team.
“In addition to playing in the NCAA tournament and leading the nation in fewest yellow cards, a 3.0 team GPA is a program goal year in and year out and we are fortunate enough to be among the top 25 teams in both win/loss record as well as team GPA,” men’s soccer head coach Andy Fleming said. “Sean embodies a true Xavier player and it is people like him who make this program go. Despite the on field accolade, these academic ones best reflect our university and program and allow us to win on the field.”
The Musketeers finished their season with a 14-3-5 record after reaching the second of the NCAA Tournament. Xavier set offensive records for assists and total points in a season. The program’s biggest moment came on Nov. 15 when Xavier beat Kentucky to earn its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
The Xavier women were one of 15 Atlantic 10 squads recognized for the 2011-12 NSCAA Academic Award, posting the fifth-highest team GPA in the conference. This is the second-consecutive Team Academic award for the Musketeers and the third time overall the team has been recognized by the NSCAA for academic achievement (2001, 2011, 2012).
“It is an honor once again to be acknowledged by the NSCAA for our student-athletes’ achievements in the classroom,” commented Xavier women’s soccer head coach Woody Sherwood. “Our players epitomize the phrase ‘student-athlete.’ It’s nice to see hard work inside the classroom and on the field recognized on a national level.”
The Musketeers recorded a 6-12-1 overall record, posting four shutouts on the season in 2012. Junior Mariah Whitaker was the team’s point leader with nine after scoring three goals and assisting on three scores. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Markesbery tallied 134 saves on the season, fifth-most in XU program history, to lead the A-10 while also posting the league’s eight-best save percentage (.841).