Four Utah State soccer players were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar all-West Region team.
Junior defender Natalie Norris was named to the first team, while senior goalkeeper Molli Merrill and senior defender Summer Tillotson were named to the second team. Senior midfielder Chandra Salmon-Christensen earned third-team honors.
Norris, from Sandy, Utah, earned a 3.94 in nutrition and food sciences to help lead the Aggies in the classroom. She has earned academic all-WAC honors her first two seasons.
She became the first defender in the Western Athletic Conference to earn back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year honors since San Jose State's Rachelle Jagdeo in 2005-06. Norris also earned her second-straight first-team honor after being the anchor of the USU defense that allowed only three goals in conference play. She was also one of four Aggies named to the WAC all-tournament team.
Merrill, a Bountiful, Utah, native, earned a 3.65 grade point average in family and consumer science last semester. She also earned academic all-WAC honors in 2009 and 2010.
The goalkeeper started all 22 matches for the Aggies this season, leading USU to its first NCAA Tournament berth. She ended the season with 11 shutouts and a goals against average of 0.59. Merrill was also named MVP of the WAC Tournament and first-team all-WAC.
Tillotson, a Sandy, Utah, native, earned a 3.63 GPA in human movement science. She also earned academic all-WAC honors in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The senior was honored by the WAC for the second-straight season after being named to the second team in 2010. Tillotson has started every match this season and has added five assists this year. She was part of the Utah State defense that allowed only 15 goals in 22 matches last season.
Salmon-Christensen, a native of Provo, Utah, earned a 3.46 in human movement science to help lead the Aggies in the classroom. She earned academic all-WAC honors in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
She is a four-time all-WAC honoree, one of only three in Utah State history. Last season, she was named to the second team after earning first-team honors the previous three seasons. She played in all 22 matches, starting 21.Comment on this story
As a team, Utah State captured the NSCAA Team Academic Award after posting a 3.43 grade point average. This is the ninth-straight year that the Aggies have been honored with the NSCAA award.
Utah State ended the season with a 15-5-2 record, winning its first WAC Tournament. USU also captured its second-straight WAC regular season title.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University.