FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona soccer team placed two members – junior Elinor Priest and sophomore Diane Buzzard – on the 2012 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Women's Soccer First Team for District 8 as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Priest and Buzzard become the first two Lumberjacks to be named Academic All-District since Kristi Andreassen and Brandy Carr in 2010.
"I think it validates all of the hard work Elinor and Diane put into the classroom and on the field," said head coach Andre Luciano. "It demonstrates their commitments to academics and it's a reflection of what our program is really all about."
The Academic All-District teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada and it recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. NAU is included in District 8 which encompasses Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Canada.
Priest carries a 4.00 cumulative GPA as an English and psychology double major. The Portland, Ore. native originally transferred to NAU from the University of Portland where she spent her freshman year. This season, Priest tallied one goal for two points while playing in all 19 games with 11 starts. She notched her goal in the Lumberjacks' 4-0 victory over North Dakota on Oct. 12. Priest attempted 17 shots and was third on the team in shots on goal with nine and shots on goal percentage among players with double-digit shots at .529.
Buzzard, a product of local Flagstaff High School, is a civil engineering major with a 3.90 GPA. Buzzard started 17 of 19 games this season and earned her first career Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week honor in September after scoring the game-tying goal in NAU's 1-1 tie with Florida Gulf Coast, who had entered the game ranked No. 10 in the NSCAA Southeast Region poll. Buzzard was an integral part of the Lumberjack defensive backline that recorded eight shutouts this season, six of which came in conference play setting a new single-season record for conference shutouts in program history.
Both Priest and Buzzard were Big Sky All-Academic selections, Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award recipients and members of the Athletic Director Honor Roll last year. They were two of three players from the Big Sky – along with Eastern Washington's Cassie Black who earned second team District 8 honors – to be named to All-District teams this year.
By being named First Team Academic All-District honorees, Priest and Buzzard will advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot which will be selected later this month.