COLCHESTER, Vt. – Six Saint Michael’s College women’s soccer players qualified for College Sports Communicators (CSC) NCAA Division II Academic All-District honors on Tuesday.

Seniors Katie Escobedo (New Rochelle, N.Y./Maria Regina)Cassidy Koons (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle)Zoe Rogers (Shelton, Conn./Shelton), Izzy Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass./Silver Lake Regional) and Paulina Valentine (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and junior Claire Williams (Saint Leonard, Md./Calvert) all claimed accolades.

Saint Michael’s was one of three schools in the Northeast-10 Conference with the maximum six qualifiers, joining Bentley University and Southern New Hampshire University. The six Purple Knights were among 32 total from the NE10.

College Sports Communicators, formerly known as College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), moved to a qualification system for All-District accolades this year, with major contributors toting at least a 3.50 cumulative grade-point average by their sophomore seasons eligible. Each school was able to put six student-athletes forward for an award that previously necessitated voting. Instead, All-District honorees can now advance directly to the Academic All-America ballot, which will still incorporate national membership voting.

Escobedo played all 1,350 minutes in goal this year, landing NE10 All-Conference second team accolades. The captain is currently 17th in the nation in save percentage (.864), 18th in goals-against average (0.60) and tied for 33rd in shutouts (8). A double major in psychology and sociology, Escobedo carries a 3.94 GPA while qualifying six times for the NE10 Academic Honor Roll and twice for a Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Award.

Koons started seven of her 15 games in the backfield, aiding a defense that is 14th in Division II in save percentage (.870), 19th in GAA (0.60) and tied for 29th in shutout percentage (53.3%). The Purple Knights allowed only nine goals in 15 games, including playing to a scoreless tie on Sept. 14 with second-ranked The College of Saint Rose, which has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Koons is a business administration major with a 3.93 GPA, and has landed on the NE10 Academic Honor Roll six times while claiming two D2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards.

Rogers started six times in 14 outings on the attacking side of the ball, assisting the game-winning goal during a 1-0 victory against the University of New Haven on Oct. 12. Rogers is a double major in business administration and psychology with a 3.70 GPA, and has qualified six times for the NE10 Academic Honor Roll and twice for the D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award.

Ruprecht was a starter in the midfield throughout her career, serving as a senior captain while starting all 15 games. She assisted the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over regionally-ranked Pace University on Oct. 1 while burying a penalty kick in a 1-0 win on Oct. 4 against eventual United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division I national champion University of Maine Fort Kent. Ruprecht has a 3.70 GPA as a double major in business administration and psychology, and has earned an NE10 Academic Honor Roll nod six times and a pair of D2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards.

Valentine was an NE10 All-Conference third team back after playing up top as a junior and missing her rookie season due to injury. The captain started all 15 games on defense, helping the Purple Knights set a school record with a 0.60 GAA while posting its best save percentage in 32 years. The education and psychology double major has a 3.98 GPA, and landed on the NE10 Academic Honor Roll six times and a pair of D2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards.

Williams started 14 of 15 games while potting two goals and adding a pair of assists, scoring the tying goal in the win over regionally-ranked Pace while assisting the winner at Queens (N.Y.) College on Sept. 4. A business administration and accounting double major, Williams has a 3.56 GPA while earning four selections to the NE10 Academic Honor Roll and a 2021-22 D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award.

Through the Academic All-America program, CSC names separate Academic All-District and Academic All-America teams at each the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III levels, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.


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