Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
|Academic honors roll in|
MOSCOW, Idaho – Add one more individual honor and one team honor to the University of Idaho soccer team’s seemingly ever-growing list of classroom accomplishments.
On Thursday, senior forward Chelsea Small was announced as a Capital One Academic All-American for the second time in her career, while earlier in the week, the Vandal women’s team was honored with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award.
Small, who finished her career this season as the most decorated player in program history and the the team’s all-time scoring leader, was voted to the Academic All-America Second Team, as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She was also a Second Team selection in 2010 as a sophomore.
She joins 2010 Idaho graduate Allix Potratz-Lee (cross country/track & field) as one of two Vandals to earn Academic All-America honors multiple times.
“There are 33 women’s soccer players who get this accolade out of close to 10,000 at the Division I level,” Idaho head soccer coach Peter Showler said. “That speaks for itself. I can’t say enough about her commitment to excellence in everything she does.”
Small scored 39 goals and tallied 91 career points on 404 shots, all of which are Idaho records. She also netted a program-best 16 career game-winning goals. Her shots total is second-highest in Western Athletic Conference history, while her goals total ranks seventh.
She was the 2009 WAC Freshman of the Year and the 2010 WAC Offensive Player of the Year and is the only player in Idaho soccer history to be a four-time First-Team All-WAC honoree. She is the first Vandal woman since Alli Nieman in women’s basketball (1996-00) to be a four-time first-team all-conference selection in a team sport.
Small is also a three-time WAC All-Academic honoree, a three-time Capital One First-Team Academic All-District honoree, a 2011 NSCAA First-Team Scholar All-West Region honoree and last week, was selected as a University of Idaho Alumni Award for Excellence recipient.
She is a Mathematics major who holds a 3.94 cumulative grade-point average. After graduation in May, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Accounting.
“She has a lot of pride in everything she does and the tradition and legacy that she has set here is almost immeasurable,” Showler said. “It’s everything that she deserves.”
The NSCAA Team Academic Award is for the 2011-12 school year and marks Idaho’s second-consecutive selection. The Vandal women posted a 3.45 team GPA last year, which tied them for 40th in the NCAA out of 505 schools so honored.
The Vandal women’s soccer team has maintained a 3.0 GPA for 13 semesters in a row and a team GPA of 3.30 or better in each of the last seven semesters.
“There’s no better recognition than this,” Showler said. “It shows we’re producing quality student-athletes.”