Tag Archives: women’s soccer

Women’s soccer selected to finish second in conference poll

The Saints women’s soccer team finished as runners-up last year in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship Tournament after falling to Louisiana Christian University 1-0. The Saints will start the 2022 campaign second in the RRAC Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll. The Wildcats garnered the top spot in the poll.

The Wildcats captured 11-of-12 first-place votes following a season in which they went 12-0-1 in the conference. The Saints received one first-place vote after their 8-2-1 conference season.

The University of the Southwest, the University of Houston-Victoria and Huston-Tillotson University rounded out the top five. Texas A&M University-Texarkana, LSU-Shreveport and LSU-Alexandria are next in the standings, followed by Jarvis Christian University, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Paul Quinn College and Texas College.

Women’s Soccer lands seventh team academic award  

The Saints women’s soccer team has been recognized for the seventh consecutive time with a United Soccer Coaches College Team Academic Award. The team with an overall GPA of 3.51 were recognized for their exemplary performance in the classroom during the 2021-2022 academic year.  

United Soccer Coaches annually celebrates the academic achievements of teams whose student-athletes collectively demonstrate a commitment to excellence in their studies over the course of a full academic year. 

Liliana Briseno and Rachel Dziuba excel as students, athletes and leaders

Most agree that being a college student is hard work. There is the demanding coursework, plus the independence and the responsibility that all go toward success beyond high school.

Some may also agree that playing sports in college is even more challenging. Being a student-athlete means one has to juggle practice schedules, traveling and playing games with attending classes and classwork. Student-athletes at OLLU and most universities must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible to play and retain their academic aid and scholarships. Plus, student-athletes who are on scholarships can’t afford to fall behind in their schoolwork.

Two students who are athletes at OLLU have chosen to add a third element to their college experience – the role of a student leader.

Liliana Briseno, who finished out her four years on the soccer team in the fall, is a First-Year Connections Executive Leader. She has been involved with the Student Leadership and Development (SLD) sector at OLLU since February 2020.

Completing her second year on the soccer team in the fall, Rachel Dziuba is the Student Government Association (SGA) president. She has been part of SGA since the fall of her freshmen year as the Director of Records and Finance and then as the Vice President.

Both student-leadership positions for Briseno and Dziuba are paid. They work up to 14 hours a week during the school year and up to 25 hours during summer.

Briseno’s duties with First-Year Connections include introducing and connecting students to campus resources and services, developing a sense of belonging among the university community, providing experiential learning opportunities to support the holistic development and transition to college life and acting as a supportive resource aiding OLLU’s strategic plans for recruitment and retention.

Dziuba mainly focuses on being a voice for the student body, providing an avenue for students to get involved through student organizations. She does this through attending meetings as the SGA representative and working with her team to plan events, e.g., town halls and Club Rush. She also attends the Board of Trustees meetings as the students’ representative.

She says that she was looking for an on-campus job. Dziuba said, “There was an opening in SGA. I really enjoyed the people in the office, and I was glad for the opportunity to represent students, especially during the pandemic.”

Briseno had an off-campus job for a while, but she realized that her work schedule was not working for her, so she started to look for an on-campus position. “That’s when I received an email about SLD hiring. I went to an informational where I spoke with the SLD assistant coordinator, and soon after that, I applied for the position.” Her skills in talking to people were vital, and she “didn’t mind putting myself out there when the situation called for it; it felt like this position would encompass all of that and more.” At the informational, she felt welcomed and encouraged, and she knew she wanted to be around that kind of environment.

Having excellent time management was a plus for Dziuba, juggling athletics, academics and student leadership. “I try to write everything down that I have to get done to keep track of the meetings, work, and practice hours. It keeps me organized.” She also tries to plan out her schoolwork and spread it out across the week so she doesn’t leave it all to the end of the week. “Additionally, I use practice, games, hanging out with teammates and yoga as stress relievers,” Dziuba said.

For Briseno, it is all about prioritizing different deadlines or agendas depending on what is going on during the week and making sure that she communicates to all parties when any conflict comes up. “It also helps to have had teammates (Dziuba, Tess PitcherKyleigh Spree-Kolos and Olivia Eagleson) work with me because we all can relate to each other,” Briseno explains.

Briseno has been a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Scholar-Athlete throughout each year at OLLU. In 2018, she was named to the RRAC All-Tournament team, and in 2018, 2019 and 2021, she was named her team’s Champions of Character representative. Her career stats are as follows: 65 games, one goal, two assists, 28 shots and 21 shots on goal. She currently has a 3.875 GPA.

Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, “Lili has been a great asset, not just to the soccer program but also to our campus community. Her willingness to help others and her work ethic have allowed Lili to succeed while being respected among her peers throughout the OLLU community.”

Dziuba has also received RRAC Scholar-Athlete recognition throughout her time at OLLU. In 2020, she received RRAC All-Tournament honors and was the team’s Champions of Character representative. So far, her career stats are 30 games, 16 shots, and six shots on goal. Dziuba’s GPA is 4.0.

“Rachel has an amazing approach to things,” Salazar commented. “She is always positive and supportive toward others around her, and she is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be successful on and off the soccer field. Rachel has been a fantastic representative of the soccer program and OLLU community.” 

Briseno’s biggest challenge has been accepting that sometimes she won’t always have everything figured out and that that is okay. Through her experiences, she has built many relationships with so many different people. “Building a web of relationships between athletics, academia, and the SLD office has made me feel like I truly belong; I am grateful to have the support system that I do.”

Dziuba said she has to remind herself that everything will pass in terms of an injury or a time with many significant due dates or even a really bad practice or game. “Being able to just shake things off and learn from it has been a challenge through a lot of my life, but I definitely think that taking on these professional, academic, and athletic roles have helped me to understand that everything has a way of working itself out in the end.”

She credits the relationships she has made as her best reward. Dziuba explained, “I have been able to get to know my teammates, coworkers, classmates, professors and even some administrative staff. These relationships mean so much to me, and it’s such a blessing to have the opportunity to build those relationships.”

With success on so many levels that both Briseno and Dziuba have achieved, they both credit the support they have received from the community. Briseno said, “the support I receive from my professors, teammates, and staff is always above and beyond, and I am truly grateful for that. My professors are the GOAT (Dr. James Hall, Dr. Stephen Salako and Dr. Brenda Guerrero, just to name a few). Even when I am struggling to understand something, I know I can always knock on their office door, and they will help in any way they can. They have always been super understanding and flexible regarding my traveling schedule. My teammates have always felt like sisters to me. The camaraderie that I discovered when I first joined the team my freshman year has never left, and I feel so lucky to be a part of something so special. My bosses are awesome! Both Cat (Catherine Fragoso) and Scarlett (Scarlett Alonzo) are always interested in what I have to say, always giving me the best life advice while at the same time teaching me invaluable skills for when I enter into my profession.”

Director of Student Leadership and Development Catherine Fragoso said, “I commend Lili on her dedication and adaptability. When many individuals re-prioritized responsibilities, Lili leaned into her student leadership position and adapted to a Covid-19 pandemic, changes in higher education and changes in the onboarding of new incoming undergraduate students. Her attention was focused on serving the new students as best as possible to make their college transition a positive and memorable experience. Lili has a constant smile, she’s approachable, and she is a positive individual who genuinely cares about students at OLLU. She is a joy to work with as she leads with ease and grace, motivating others around her to greatness.”

Briseno also recognized the role Head Coach Salazar and Assistant Coach Natalie Stahmann have played in her life. “Art and Natalie have always shown their support on and off the field, and I very much appreciate all the work they do behind the scenes for their players.”

This semester, Dziuba had hip surgery, and the few weeks upon her return were hard for her, not just physically but also mentally. “My teammates were super helpful and supportive every time I reached a new milestone (like walking with the crutches). The staff and my coworkers in student leadership and development also understood when I would have to call out because I was in too much pain, and they are really supportive and caring when it comes to my recovery process.”

Dziuba appreciated her math and science professor Dr. Stephen Salako for her directed study class.

“Dr. Salako was very aware of how I was feeling, and he didn’t want to have me do too much in terms of walking, so he made class online for a couple of weeks. The coaching staff has also been very encouraging with my progress in my rehab.”

Fragoso said of Dziuba, “Rachel is a brave young woman who started her higher education journey during Covid-19 and began working for SLD at the same time. She has unwavering dependability and a desire to make a difference at OLLU. Rachel demonstrates professional composure and maturity that has been a blessing to witness as she listens to her fellow students and makes decisions that positively impact the campus community.”  

Briseno and Dziuba’s advice to others who might want to follow in their footsteps is similar.

Briseno said, “I would tell them to take a leap of faith and just do it and put yourself out there. I’d tell them that now is the time to try new things and the best way to discover what you do and do not like is to apply and try it out.”

Dziuba commented, “They should do it. It seems like a lot on your plate, but it really just helps you connect to the school. You can gain a deeper understanding and love for OLLU by being involved and making a difference.”

Briseno plans to graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is still deciding on her plans after graduation, but she did apply and was accepted into the master’s degree in School Psychology program here at OLLU. She is also interested in pursuing physical therapy school.

Dzuba plans to stay and play her fifth year while being a part of the master’s program for Non-Profit Management. Then she plans to get a master’s degree in Water/Environmental Sciences from another university. She will graduate in the spring of 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomathematics and Environmental Science.

Fragoso concluded, “It has been wonderful to work with both ladies in their respective areas. I have seen such growth from both young women. But then they brought such humble maturity to the table that makes my job easy in providing them personal leadership development.”

The university commends Liliana Briseno and Rachel Dziuba for their success. Their accomplishments prove that student-athletes can be academically successful and effective as leaders on campus. Briseno and Dziuba have been highly focused on a vision and have maintained a realistic strategy for success. Through their struggles and conflict, they have learned to think strategically and shift course when necessary.

Six women’s soccer members earn All-Conference team honors

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2021 Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team and Players of the Year.

Midfielder Dawson Brinkley (SR/San Antonio, Texas) and defender Madison Herrera (JR/Helotes, Texas) were both named to the RRAC First Team. Brinkley set the Saints record for career goals with 39. Herrera played in 18 matches and had three goals and two assists.

Second Team honors were handed out to Ambree Rheinberger (JR/San Antonio, Texas). The senior center back helped control the pace of play and took 10 shots on goal with two scores. Jaylin Seto (SR/Houston, Texas) and Kyleigh Spree-Kolos (SO/Victoria, Texas) both received honorable mentions. Seto set the Saints all-time assist record with 21 and Spree-Kolos shined with 10 goals in just her second year.

Liliana Briseno (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was named to the Champions of Character Team. Her senior season included 17 matches with five shots on goal.

Spree-Kolos’ hat-trick leads women’s soccer to RRAC semifinals

Hear from Head Coach Arthur Salazar: https://www.youtube.com/embed/5qqy1DHo6UQ?enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ollusaintsathletics.com

The women’s soccer team blanked Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) 3-0 on Saturday to advance to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship Tournament semifinals. The Saints are now 12-5-1 overall. The Eagles finish the season with a 10-7-1 record.

History

The Saints have fared well against the Eagles with a 5-1 record prior to today’s match.

Basics

Sophomore Kyleigh Spree-Kolos (SO/Victoria, Texas) fueled the Saints with a hat-trick on Saturday. Her first goal was tallied just 11 minutes into the match with an assist from Irania Acosta (JR/El Paso, Texas). Ambree Rheinberger (JR/San Antonio, Texas) sent in a free kick eight minutes later that was capitalized by Spree-Kolos. The Saints were outshot in the first half, but goalkeeper Samantha Valadez (FR/Kingwood, Texas) made four saves.

With a 2-0 lead and 45 minutes from the RRAC semifinals, Spree-Kolos scored yet again in the 58th minute. Brianna Yanez (JR/Portland, Texas) picked up her team-leading seventh assist. Valadez completed a clean sheet with five more saves in the second half. The Saints totaled 12 shots and four corner kicks. OLLU will face University of the Southwest in the RRAC semifinals.

Scoring overview

11′ – OLLU – Kyleigh Spree-Kolos (assisted by Irania Acosta)

19′ – OLLU – Kyleigh Spree-Kolos (assisted by Ambree Rheinberger)

58′ – OLLU – Kyleigh Spree-Kolos (assisted by Brianna Yanez)

Inside the box score

Leading the way for the Saints’ offense was Spree-Kolos with four shots on goal. Dulce Memije had three shots on goal for the Eagles.

Overall, the Saints tallied 12 shots, with seven on goal. TAMUT recorded 15 shots and nine were on goal.

OLLU had four corner kicks while the Eagles took three.

What’s next

The Saints play the University of the Southwest in the RRAC semifinals on Nov. 11 hosted by TAMUT.

Olivia Eagleson on part to be only OLLU student to graduate with three degrees at once

The women’s soccer team has had great success on the field and in the classroom, and Olivia Eagleson has played a major role in all of the team’s achievements over the last three years. Eagleson, however, is on her way to earning something very few OLLU students, if any, have earned during their time at the university. She is on par with graduating with not only one or two, but three degrees, plus a minor. A typical undergraduate degree encompasses 120 hours, but Eagleson will have about 170 hours once she walks across the stage in May 2022.

Eagleson, among one of the leaders on the team and a four-year senior, exemplifies the role of a student-athlete. She not only balances her academics successfully, but she also works on campus in the Student Leadership and Development office.

Eagleson is majoring in business finance, business accounting and business management; she will also minor in criminal justice and graduate in May 2022. With help from the online student portal, Eagleson discovered that she would be able to major in three different subjects by the time she completes her studies with the courses she has taken.

Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, “Olivia has been a great addition to the program since coming in as a freshman in 2018. Being a student-athlete is never an easy task, but Olivia has maintained a high academic standing while also being productive on the field. Having to navigate training, travel, games, classwork and a job during her time at OLLU, Olivia has displayed the drive and commitment to succeed on the field and in the classroom. She will not only graduate with one degree, but three degrees, which is a tremendous feat for anyone (especially when you take into consideration the discipline it took to navigate the changes over the past year and a half due to the pandemic). We have really been fortunate that Olivia chose to come to OLLU.”

Once she completes her undergraduate degrees, Eagleson plans to keep going. “I’m planning on staying at OLLU to pursue a master’s degree in accounting,” Eagleson commented, “that way, I can sit through the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.” The thing is – she will have already attained enough accounting credits to sit for the exam without having to pursue a master’s degree. “It’s just rare that an undergraduate would [be able to take the exam without a master’s].”

With all this education, including her criminal justice minor, Eagleson plans to pursue the forensics part of accounting and perhaps go after white-collar crimes with the FBI. Although she does not have a job lined up, she hopes to intern with Frost Bank next spring. “This will allow me to see if the accounting field is where I want to be, and if not, there is always the financing side.”

Her success has not come easy, especially in-season when the women travel for games during the week, which results in a lot of self-discipline to keep up with academics. “We’re on the bus for 12 hours at a time, and the bus wifi is not always reliable, but thank God for the professors we have here because they have been extremely understanding of the student-athletes in terms of due dates and working around our schedules.”

Eagleson praises her adviser and School of Businesses and Leadership Assistant Professor Kathryn Winney. “I thought she would think I was crazy asking for a third major,” Eagleson said. “She helped with the process and has been a huge asset in my college career.” Winney worked with the registrar to ensure [the three degrees] could be done, and she has helped Eagleson with everything she needed to succeed.

On the criminal justice side, Eagleson cites Sociology Lecturer Kimberly Brisco as a significant influence. “She made it so fun to the point where I almost considered making criminal justice a major, but I just didn’t do it because I knew I was more inclined to use the mathematical side of my brain.”

In addition to an already packed schedule, Eagleson works on campus for the Student Leadership and Development (SLD) office, which coordinates and manages the student organizations on campus. She is the wellness chair and plans a lot of relaxation and destressing events. She also is the student leader for the “Truth Initiative” on campus. The group is committed to making tobacco use and nicotine addiction a thing of the past.

Her daily routine includes working in the SLD office from 9-11:30 a.m., soccer practice from 12-2:30 p.m. and going back to SLD from 4-7 p.m. After that, she devotes time to studying and maybe a little social life, but not much. She enjoys spending time with her roommates, Liliana BrisenoRachel Dziuba and Riley Perez. “It’s typically like that every day. I don’t have any free time until after 7 p.m.”

Eagleson, a native of El Paso, Texas, plans to stay in San Antonio after graduation. Eagleson’s mother, Deb Luev, has been a constant source of support throughout her life. “She has been my biggest supporter and has always helped me through challenges. She has been all for making myself more marketable to any future jobs.” Eagleson has two brothers – a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old – both play soccer and are defenders just like Eagleson.

When asked about Coach Salazar, she commented, “He understands that the student aspect comes before the athlete and is always willing to work with us.” Salazar recruited Eagleson before her freshman season in 2018 when her hometown El Paso club visited campus. She considered other colleges, including schools closer to home, but the commitment Salazar showed, and the overall atmosphere of OLLU made her decision easy.

Eagleson has been named a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Scholar-Athlete throughout her years at OLLU, which means maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. During her first three years on the soccer team, the Saints won the RRAC regular-season title twice and the postseason tournament once. Last year, the Saints achieved the first undefeated regular season at 7-0 after the 2020 fall schedule was pushed to spring 2021 due to COVID-19. Her role as a defender assisted in the Saints blanking teams on seven occasions.

Eagleson likes when the younger members of the team come to her for help with their studies. “I like helping the younger ones, especially with accounting; if one’s never been exposed to it [accounting], it is a difficult class in general. Plus, helping them with accounting gives me a little refresher on the basics, which is never a bad thing. Although I am not a captain, I always try to lead by example and listen to any concerns some of the players may have.”

The university congratulates Olivia Eagleson on her accomplishments throughout her four years at OLLU. She, along with seven other seniors, will be celebrated during Seniors’ Day on Oct. 30.

Madison Herrera named conference defensive player of the week

Madison Herrera (JR/Helotes, Texas) of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) earned recognition as the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for Aug. 30-Sept. 5. This is the second set of conference awards for the 2021 women’s soccer season.

Herrera guided the Saints’ defense as OLLU won a pair of matches against NCAA Division III programs. The junior defender from Helotes, Texas, helped limit opponents to only two shots on goal as the Saints triumphed over Schreiner University, 5-1, and Concordia University-Texas, 4-0. OLLU jumped to 2-1 overall.

WOMEN’S SOCCER WELCOMES NEW ASSISTANT COACH

OLLU has announced the hiring of Natalie Stahmann as the new women’s soccer assistant coach. She arrives at OLLU after serving as an interim assistant coach for the men’s soccer team at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. Stahmann was also the assistant coach for the women’s team.

Prior to coaching in Paris, Stahmann assistant coached the girls’ team at 6A Charles Page High School from 2018-2019 in Sand Springs, Okla. She also coached at Soccer Shots in Tulsa, Okla., and the San Antonio Sting Club.

Stahmann commented, “I am excited to join the women’s soccer program as its assistant coach. It’s an honor to be able to work with such a successful soccer program. I look forward to working with Head Coach Arthur Salazar and learning from him about helping our student-athletes improve both on and off the field. Go, Saints!”

Stahmann graduated from Blanco High School in Blanco, Texas. She received her Master of Science in Kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. While in Corpus Christi, Stahmann earned certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA).

She received a Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management Composite/Personal Training and Strength Specialization at Wayland Baptist University (WBU). She is currently working on an MBA from WBU in addition to coaching for the Saints.

Her playing career started with the New Braunfels Ajax’s Soccer Club from 2005-2012. Stahmann was the team captain for the WBU women’s soccer team and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 as a freshman. She also played for the Malick City Football Club in Trinidad and Tobago in the 2013 Summer Trinidad and Tobago Women’s League.

Stahmann brings the following skills and certifications to OLLU:

  • Coached the van driver course
  • The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) Personal Training Certification
  • CPR and First-Aid Certification
  • Training as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • U.S. Soccer Grassroots Certification (11v11, 9v9, 7v7)
  • U.S. Soccer D License
  • United Soccer Coaches Diplomas: Goalkeeper 1 and LGBT: Diversity and Inclusion
  • A part of Coaches Outreach

WOMEN’S SOCCER BEGINS RRAC TITLE DEFENSE THIS FALL

After achieving its first undefeated regular season and fourth undefeated conference record in program history during a delayed season in the spring, the women’s soccer team is ready for its 14th season. The Saints will take on local rival NCAA D2 St. Mary’s University (3-4-2) at the OLLU Soccer Field on Friday at 4 p.m.

Team goals
Head Coach Arthur Salazar aims for another successful season in 2021. “It comes down to the team having the mentality and the desire to compete,” Salazar said. “The 11-1 record last season was special, but in reality, that probably can’t happen every year. In the event of adversity, we have the mental capacity to bounce back from issues.” The women’s program was picked second in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Preseason Poll.

Salazar has a .845 winning percentage and 57-10-1 mark in RRAC competition. He was named Red River Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season last spring and fourth overall.

Beginning the season
The game against St. Mary’s will be the first regular-season game. This will be the two teams’ Seventh Annual Halo Classic. The series is tied at 3-3 with OLLU hanging onto the trophy and hoping to keep it another year.

OLLU will face Schreiner University (4-0), Concordia University-Texas (6-1), No. 2-ranked William Carey University (0-2), University of Mobile and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley before opening RRAC play. (Numbers after school indicate all-time records).

Conference opponents
OLLU opens RRAC competition at home against LSU-Shreveport (6-3-2) on Sept. 23. The Saints welcome Texas A&M University-Texarkana (4-1) two days later. The team travels to Louisiana to face LSU-Alexandria (7-1-1) on Sept. 30 and the newest RRAC member Louisiana College on Oct. 2.

The University of the Southwest (18-1) and Paul Quinn College (6-0) head to San Antonio on Oct. 7 and Oct. 9. The Saints then make a trip to face teams to which they have never lost. They play Texas College (12-0) on Oct. 14 and Jarvis Christian College (7-0) on Oct. 16. OLLU returns home to take on the University of Houston-Victoria (14-1) on Oct. 21, and then hits the road two days later versus Huston-Tillotson University (10-3). The series finale features the first matchup in program history against Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Oct. 30 at home.

Read more on the Saints website.

Soccer’s Brinkley and Pye named to Academic All-America NAIA Soccer Team

OLLU soccer student-athletes Dawson Brinkley and Patrick Pye have been selected to the Academic All-America® NAIA Soccer teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Brinkley was named to the first team, while Pye made the second team.

The NAIA Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NAIA national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2020-2021 NAIA Academic All-America® teams program. 

Brinkley, a junior forward from San Antonio, played in all 12 of OLLU women’s soccer games this past spring. She had one goal while taking 12 shots, eight on goal. Brinkley is second all-time in goals with 33 (38 is the record). In 2018, Brinkley broke the season record for most goals with 21, she was second in shots on goal with 41 (46 is the record), and she had the most shots in a season with 77. She also holds the record for most game-winning goals with eight.

Brinkley has accumulated a wide variety of individual awards, as well, including NAIA All-American Honorable Mention (2018), two All-Conference First Team awards (2018/2019), three conference Offensive Player of the Week awards (2018/2019), and two All-Tournament awards (2018/2019). Brinkley was the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in 2018. In addition, she has earned conference Scholar-Athlete awards in all three of her years at OLLU. She earned a cumulative 3.8 GPA. She will enter her senior year at OLLU this fall.

Pye, a junior transfer student from Norwich, Norfolk, U.K., started at OLLU in 2019. As a defender, he played eight of 10 games for the Saints this year and marked one goal, 10 shots and one shot on goal. He was selected to the conference’s All-Conference First Team this year, and last year, he made the Second Team. Pye earned conference Scholar-Athlete honors in both his years at OLLU, earning 4.0 GPAs. He will enter his senior year at OLLU this fall.

Since 1952, CoSIDA has presented these awards annually to student-athletes to recognize their outstanding academic and athletic achievements. The achievements of student-athletes in the classroom and on the playing fields and courts indicate their passion as true student-athletes.

CoSIDA member Patty Constantin, OLLU’s Sports Information Director, nominated several student-athletes. Two were selected from the women’s soccer team as recipients (Mikaela Gilbert) and one from the men’s soccer team. CoSIDA receives about 20,000 nominations throughout the academic year across all championship sports. From those nominations, approximately 5,000 student-athletes receive all-district recognition. First-team all-district selections advance to the national ballot. CoSIDA members vote, and 1,500 student-athletes receive Academic All-America honors.

Many women’s soccer student-athletes from OLLU have received this honor. They include 2011: Abby DuLaney; 2012: Emily Backus; 2012: Rebekah Valenta; 2013: Erika Thompson; 2014: Erika Thompson; 2014: Teegan Luckemeyer; 2015: Erika Thompson; 2015: Teegan Luckemeyer; 2016: Brooke Cousins; 2019: Dawson Brinkley. The following received Academic All-American honors: 2012: Rebekah Valenta; 2015: Erika Thompson; 2016: Brooke Cousins.

Men’s soccer student-athletes who have received All-District honors were 2011: Gary Hamilton; 2015: Jared Poling; 2018: Jorge Cavazos and Adrian Delgado. The following received Academic All-American honors: 2011: Gary Hamilton; 2018: Jorge Cavazos.

For more information on the Academic All-America® program, go to https://academicallamerica.com/

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