Three soccer players honored for academics

FAYETTEVILLE – Not only did the University of Arkansas soccer team have a great year on the field, but in the classroom as well as three Lady Razorback players were honored for their academic accomplishments on Thursday with the release of the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic all-District Awards.

Senior Carrie Dillsaver and junior Allison Harris were among the 11 players named to the district six first team while senior Christina Burger was tabbed as a second-team selection. The honors are a first for both Dillsaver and Burger while Harris earns her third CoSIDA academic award.

“This is wonderful news,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Not only does it reflect the high standards that we have athletically, but also the academic standards we strive for. Our team grade point average last spring was 3.51 and these three young ladies have been at the core of that. Considering the on the field progress we made this fall, it would only be fitting if these young ladies were recognized on the national level. It is something that they certainly deserve.”

Dillsaver earned her award thanks in part to a 3.74 GPA in nursing. During the 2006 season she broke five Lady Razorback career goalkeeping records and over her four-year career set 29 class, season and career marks. Saving her best for last, the Claremore, Okla., native eclipsed the 17-year-old single season goals against average record this fall when she allowed just 18 goals in 19 games for a 0.91 average.

Harris continues to maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA in psychology which explains her multiple honors. Returning to the Lady Razorback lineup after a knee injury in 2005, Harris started all 19 games at center defender in 2006 and had her the best offensive season of her career when she scored a goal and added four assists.

Burger completed her Arkansas career as one of the Lady Razorbacks most prolific scorers while keeping a 3.40 GPA in marketing. Fourth on the Lady’Backs’ all-time goals and points lists, she is third on the game-winning goals chart and was ranked among the Southeastern Conference’s elite players when she earned second-team all-SEC honors for the second consecutive season.

The Lady Razorbacks honored were pitted against other soccer players from a district that encompasses the states of Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Arkansas placed all three of its nominees on the district teams and is just one of three teams to place three players on the first and second teams. Each team consists of one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.

To be eligible for the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic all-district honors, student-athletes must maintain a minimum 3.20 grade point average, must be of sophomore or higher in academic standing and be a significant contributor on the field of play. Nominees are voted on by the membership of the district in which they play and are compared not just on their academics, but also their athletic statistics. For Arkansas, Dillsaver and Harris’ first-team honors allow them to proceed to the Academic all-America balloting which takes place over the next two weeks with those teams getting released on Nov. 21.

The academic awards for the Lady Razorbacks come on the heels of three Arkansas athletes picking up SEC honors. Dillsaver was named to the SEC’s Good Works Team while Burger picked up second-team all-conference honor.

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