USU soccer: Natalie Norris earns Academic All-American honors Thursday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 2:41 p.m. MST

Senior defender Natalie Norris became the first Utah State soccer player to earn first-team Women's Soccer Capital One Academic All-American honors. The announcement was made Thursday, and selection was made by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

"I am just so proud of her. She is a wonderful representative of Utah State soccer. Throughout her career at Utah State, she has been outstanding both on the field and in the classroom. She is a perfect representative of Utah State soccer, and I am so proud that she is the first to win the Academic All-American award in the history of the program," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.

The Sandy, Utah, native rounded out her highly decorated Utah State career with the honor. Norris, who has a double major in nutrition, dietetics & food science and exercise science with a 3.95 grade point average, was named the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading Utah State to its second-straight WAC tournament title. Norris earned the WAC Defensive Player of the Year award for the third consecutive season and led the Aggies to a 13-3-6 record. A three-time All-WAC first team selection, Norris was the mainstay of a Utah State defense that allowed 13 goals. She earned NSCAA all-West Region second team honors in 2011.

Baylor's Dana Larsen was chosen as the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for the Division I women’s soccer. A biochemistry major with a 4.00 GPA, Larsen led Baylor to an 19-1-5 record, the Big 12 Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Championship’s third round.

The 11 members of the Capital One Academic All-America Division I Women’s Soccer first team combined for an average GPA of 3.941. There are 10 seniors and one junior on the first team.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his or her current institution and be nominated by his or her sports information director.

FIRST TEAM

Pos.; Name; School; Yr.; Hometown; GPA; Major

GK; Gabrielle Pakhitigian; La Salle; Sr.; North Wales, Pa.; 3.94; Nursing

D; Skylar Chew; Ball State; Sr.; Mason, Ohio; 4.00; Psychology

D; Ally Miller; Marquette; Sr.; Mequon, Wis.; 3.86; Advertising

D; Natalie Norris; Utah State; Sr.; Sandy, Utah; 3.95; Nutrition, Dietetics, Food

D; Ali Stahlke; W. Kentucky; Sr.; Naperville, Ill.; 4.00; Elementary Education

M; Amber Brooks; (2) North Carolina; Sr.; New Hope, Pa.; 3.81; Communication Studies

M; Paige Goeglein; MTSU; Sr.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; 3.93; Economics

M; Elizabeth Tucker; Notre Dame; Jr.; Jacksonville, Fla.; 4.00; Accountancy

F; Abi Cottam; (1) Rider; Sr.; Leominster, England; 3.99; Psychology

F; Dana Larsen; (2) Baylor; Sr.; Mequon, Wis.; 4.00; Biochemistry

F Nichole Schiro Loyola (Md.) Sr. Okemos, Mich. 3.88 Biology / Pre-Medicine

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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