Four RedHawks Named Academic All-MAC
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Jan. 7, 2010
CLEVELAND - Four RedHawks were named to the 2009 Women's Soccer Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league office announced Thursday, giving Miami its most recipients since 2001. Rachel Byron, Courtney Clarke, Stephanie Laser and Brooke Livingston were all recognized for their work on the field and in the classroom, as the four honorees equaled Miami's record for Academic All-MAC recipients (2001).
Central Michigan had seven players named to the 32-member squad to lead all schools, while Toledo had five and Miami four. All four RedHawks were named to the Academic All-MAC Team for the first time.
Byron, a junior midfielder/defender, is an exercise science major who had a 3.69 cumulative grade-point average during the season. She was one of just four RedHawks to start all 21 games this season. Byron helped anchor a Miami defense that allowed the fewest goals in school history (14), the fewest in the league this year, and had the lowest goals-against average in RedHawk history (0.65), which ranked second in the MAC. The Elkhart, Ind., native was a key cog in a defense that allowed more than one goal in a game just once all season (2 goals), holding all other opponents to 0 or 1 goal in a contest. She helped Miami pitch eight shutouts on the year. Byron also tallied her second-career assist Oct. 29 in an 8-0 win over Ball State.
Clarke, a sophomore, is a mechanical engineering major who had a team-best 3.84 GPA during the season. She was named Third-Team Academic All-District earlier this year by CoSIDA and ESPN the Magazine. Clarke served as a two-way player for the RedHawks, playing mostly on defense but also seeing some time at forward, as she played in all 21 games making 18 starts. She scored two goals on the year--both headers-- for a four-point season, capitalizing on her only two shots on goal all season. Defensively, the Scarborough, Ont., native helped Miami pitch eight shutouts, limiting foes to just 14 goals all year (a Miami record), including more than one goal in a game just once all season (2 goals vs. Dayton). Miami's 0.65 goals-against average was also a school record, to which Clarke contributed.
Laser, a senior zoology major, carried a 3.65 GPA in the fall. After totaling just one goal and one assist in her first three years combined, she scored three goals and added a trio of assists in 2009, ranking fourth on the team in both categories. An Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention selection last year, Laser played in 20 of 21 contests this year and started 15, all in the midfield. The Hinsdale, Ill., native totaled nine points on the year to rank fifth on the squad. Two of her three goals were game-winners, including Oct. 2 when Miami knocked off defending MAC champion Toledo, 1-0. Her other game-winner came against Ball State, when she also recorded an assist for a career-best three-point game. Laser scored in Miami's next game too (vs. Akron in MAC Quarterfinals) and earned MAC Player of the Week for her efforts.
Livingston, a junior exercise science major, had a 3.70 cumulative GPA during the season. The 2009 First-Team All-MAC selection was one of four RedHawks to start all 21 games this season. Despite being the quarterback of Miami's defense, Livingston still managed to score a pair of goals, both on headers off corner kicks, with the one vs. Bowling Green (10/4/09) turning out to be the game-winner. The Lisle, Ill., native led a RedHawk defense that allowed the fewest goals in school history (14), the fewest in the league this year, and had the lowest goals-against average in RedHawk history (0.65). Livingston helped Miami pitch eight shutouts on the year as the 'Hawks allowed more than one goal in a game just once all season.
To be eligible for the Academic All-MAC team, student-athletes must have completed at least one year at their institution, competed in at least half the team's contests and have a cumulative GPA above 3.20. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award. The team is voted upon by faculty athletic representatives at MAC institutions and the number of honorees on the MAC All-Academic Team is the number that is set for the specific sport or 33 percent of the number of nominees, whichever is greater. For a complete list of the 2009 Academic All-MAC Women's Soccer Team, click here.