TOWSON, Md. - Northern Arizona senior soccer player Kristi Andreassen was selected as the Academic All-American of the Year in the University division for the 2010-11 ESPN Academic All-America® Soccer Teams, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Out of 322 Division-I women's soccer programs and over 8,000 Division-I women's soccer players, Andreassen was selected as the premier women's soccer student-athlete in the country.
"It's a huge honor to receive this award and I was shocked to get it, but I am so glad that my hard work both on and off the field can be recognized in this way," said Andreassen. "I think this shows that NAU has great athletics and academics and hopefully this will bring more national attention to the university in terms of all that it can offer student-athletes."
She is one of 12 student-athletes in the country to earn the title of Academic All-American of the Year in the university division, joining the likes of Florida's Tim Tebow in football, Kansas' Cole Aldrich in men's basketball and Connecticut's Maya Moore in women's basketball among the reigning individual sport winners. NAU's David McNeill earned the title for men's track and field/cross country in the spring of 2010, meaning that Northern Arizona is the only school in the country to have two current Academic All-Americans of the Year for the university division.
"As a member of the Academic All-America committee, it is a tremendous honor to select the top student-athletes in each sport," said Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Media Relations Steve Shaff. "For Kristi to join David McNeill as two representatives from NAU among a select group of premiere student-athletes in the nation brings great recognition to this university. One of the main goals of our athletic department is the academic success of our student athletes and to have two standout representatives nationally puts us amongst the best schools in the country."
Andreassen, a native of Tempe, Ariz., joins track standouts McNeill and Rikke Pedersen and football players Eric Damko and Mark Gould as the only multiple Academic All-America selections in school history. She was a second-team All-America selection in 2009 and is the only All-American in soccer program history. She has a perfect 4.0 GPA during her collegiate career while majoring in exercise science and was one of 30 finalists nationwide this season for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She is also a three-time All-Big Sky first team selection, just the second player in NAU soccer history to receive first team honors three times, and was named the 2010 Big Sky Defensive Most Valuable Player.
"This awards Kristi for all of her academic achievements and all of the hard work she has put in here in the classroom and on the soccer field during her four years at Northern Arizona," said women's soccer head coach Andre Luciano. "She has embodied everything that we have ever asked for from a student athlete representing our program and we are so in awe of her receiving this award."
"This is a great honor for both Kristi and our soccer program and it really validates the direction that our program is going in terms of us trying to do everything the right way both on and off the field," continued Luciano. "I think this is the most fitting way for Kristi to end her career here as a tribute to everything she has accomplished as a member of this institution."
Northern Arizona Multiple Academic All-America Selections
Kristi Andreassen, Soccer – 2009, 2010
Eric Damko, Football – 2000, 2001
Mark Gould, Football – 2002, 2003
Rikke Pedersen, Track and Field, Women's At-Large - 1997, 1998, 1999
David McNeill, Men's Track/Cross Country – 2009, 2010
Reigning University Division Academic All-Americans of the Year
Cole Aldrich, Kansas (Men's Basketball)
Kristi Andreassen, Northern Arizona (Women's Soccer)
Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State (Softball)
Megan Hodge, Penn State (Volleyball)
Jim Klocke, Southeast Missouri State (Baseball)
David McNeill, Northern Arizona (Men's Track/Cross Country)
Maya Moore, Connecticut (Women's Basketball)
Kofi Sarkodie, Akron (Men's Soccer)
Justine Schluntz, Arizona (Women's At-Large)
Jeff Spear, Columbia (Men's At-Large)
Tim Tebow, Florida (Football)
Pheobe Wright, Tennessee (Women's Track/Cross Country)