Kansas City, Mo. – Five Saint Xavier University women's soccer players were recently named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes when the honors were announced by the national office late last week. Seniors Nancy Schueth (Lincoln, Neb./Saint Pius X), Ashley Shugar (Lake Orion, Mich./Western Illinois University/Lake Orion), Joanna Janulis (Bolingbrook, Ill./Benet Academy) and Amanda Wessel (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) all earned the award for the second time in their collegiate careers, while junior Brenda Ruiz (Cicero, Ill./Morton East) was a first-time honoree. Student-athletes are nominated by their institution's head coach and must maintain a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved a junior academic status in order to qualify for the honor.
"Earning five Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes should make the SXU family proud on a lot of levels," said Saint Xavier University women's soccer coach Jeremy Ekeler. "First, in my book, it's the highest honor a student-athlete can receive because it means you embody what college athletics is all about. This is certainly the case when one looks at our recipients, each of which has a very difficult major. Second, while the 2011 team faced a lot of adversity on the field, this is a testament to how the girls maintained our program's priorities. Lastly, our increasing number of scholar-athletes the past few years specifically reflects the culture of our program and Saint Xavier University Athletics in general."
This is the second year in a row that the Cougar women's soccer program has tallied five Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. In fact, the team is shooting for its seventh consecutive semester with a collective GPA of 3.10 or above. Over the entire NAIA, 485 women's soccer players were honored this season as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Saint Xavier finished its season with an overall record of 8-10-1. The Cougars took seventh place in the final CCAC standings at 4-5-1 and took the No. 7 seed into the 2011 CCAC Women's Soccer Tournament. SXU ended its season with a 1-0 road loss to No. 2 seed Judson University in first-round action.