Soccer Duo Earn First Team C-USA All-Academic Honors
ARLINGTON, Texas - Conference USA announced its 2014 Women's Soccer All-Academic teams on Wednesday morning and senior Casey Adkins and sophomore Brittany Taylor of Southern Miss were both named to the First Team. For Adkins, it is the second time she as earned this accolade, while it marks the first time for Taylor.
Southern Miss has had a student-athlete earn First Team All-Academic honors each year dating back to 2010 and a player represented on the All-Academic team each year since 2008. With Adkins and Taylor's appearance on the 2014 team, the Golden Eagles now have 13 All-Academic accolades in school history - seven first team and six second team. Adkins becomes only the second player in school history to earn first-team honors in multiple years, joining Caitlin Leumas (2009-12) who earned first-team accolades three consecutive years.
"I could not be more proud of those two getting those awards," said head coach Mohammed El-Zare. "Both exemplify what a student-athlete should be. They are amazing people with wonderful character and strong values. They know why they are here. They have a very good sense of purpose in everything they do on the field and off the field. They are leaders in every aspect you can think of. I am really proud of both of them."
Adkins, who was named All-Conference USA (third team) yesterday, played in 18 of the team's 19 games on the season with 17 starts. The Mandeville, La. native led the team with four goals and eight points, despite playing center back. All four of Adkins' goals came in Conference USA play. She boasts a 3.75 cumulative grade point average in nursing.
The defender scored a goal against UAB in the 87th minute to force overtime and ultimately give Southern Miss a 1-1 tie with the Blazers. Adkins scored both goals in a 2-2 tie against Middle Tennessee, including another a goal in the 87th minute to once again force overtime. She scored the lone goal in a 2-1 loss on the road against Charlotte.
Adkins notched her first career multi-goal game against Blue Raiders this season. She finished the year with 1,413 minutes, recording 17 shots, nine shots on goal and four goals. She played in nearly 80-percent of the minutes on the season, averaging 74.4 minutes per game. Adkins finished her soccer career in sole possession of seventh place in the Southern Miss record book for games played with 72.
Off the pitch, Adkins was named First Team Conference USA All-Academic team last season and is a multi-year recipient of the Conference USA Academic Medal. She has appeared on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List and President's List multiple times in her academic career.
"I am proud of Casey and what she has done for us and the program," El-Zare added. "She is leaving the program heading in a better direction."
Taylor finished the season playing and starting in nine games at goalkeeper for the Golden Eagles, missing time during the year with an injury. Taylor was named Conference USA All-Freshman Team last year and earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 20, 2014. Off the field, Taylor boasts a 3.88 cumulative GPA in finance.
The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native led the team in saves (65), goals against average (1.03), save percentage (.867) and shutouts (3). She allowed just 10 goals on the year.
Taylor recorded shutout victories over Mississippi Valley State (W, 8-0) and Jackson State (W, 5-0), as well as notching a double overtime shutout against Louisiana Tech (T, 0-0 2ot). She posted a school record 21 saves (one save shy of the C-USA record) against LA Tech, in route to Defensive Player of the Week honors. Taylor finished the year with five or more saves in 6-of-9 (.667) starts.
Defensively, Southern Miss recorded 120 saves, which ranks third in season stats. Five wins tied for 10th in a season, while three ties is second behind only the 2013 team's four. As a team, the Golden Eagles recorded five shutouts on the year, ranking fourth.
"With Brittany, I am looking forward to her taking the baton from Casey and leading us going forward," El-Zare said. "She is a very resilient young lady.
"They both exemplify what the true student-athlete should be," El-Zare concluded about his two C-USA All-Academic selections. "They work hard during training. They are great teammates. They are there for their teammates to support them and lend them a hand when they need it. They are there to guide them in the right direction. I could not be more proud of those two getting those awards."
2014 C-USA WOMEN'S SOCCER ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS
All-Academic First Team
Claire Emslie, Florida Atlantic, Junior, 3.93, Exercise Science
Kathryn Sloan, Louisiana Tech, Sophomore, 4.00, Communication Arts and Design
Kelly Culicerto, Marshall, Junior, 3.67, Business Management
Kelsey Bransletter, Middle Tennessee, Senior, 4.00, Athletic Training
Kelsey Brouwer, Middle Tennessee, Junior, 3.87, Management
Rachel Holden, North Texas, Sophomore, 3.78, Kinesiology
Amy Czyz, Rice, Senior, 3.62, Sports Management
Casey Adkins, Southern Miss, Senior, 3.75, Nursing
Brittany Taylor, Southern Miss, Sophomore, 3.88, Finance
Hannah Asuchak, UTEP, Senior, 3.90, Pre-Business
Allie Auscherman, WKU, Senior, 3.96, Exercise Science
All-Academic Second Team
Tori Fubara, Charlotte, Junior, 3.90, Psychology
Shelby Hicks, Charlotte, Sophomore, 3.81, Pre-Kinesiology
Ashleigh Shim, FIU, Senior, 3.56, Sports and Fitness Studies
Johanna Volz, FIU, Senior, 3.77, Sports and Fitness Studies
Tori Hawkins, Middle Tennessee, Junior, 3.70, Aerospace Technology
Jessie Klamut, Old Dominion, Senior, 3.63, Therapeutic Recreation
Lauren Hughes, Rice, Junior, 3.32, Sports Management
Johanna Liney, UAB, Senior, 3.24, Civil Engineering
Anissa Munson, UTSA, Senior, 3.79, Kinesiology
Iris Dunn, WKU, Sophomore, 3.81, Biology
Caitlin Hesse, WKU, Sophomore, 4.0, Biology