KANSAS CITY, Kan. – After a successful season on the pitch and off the pitch for the 2013 Northern Arizona women's soccer team, seniors Alana D'Onofrio, Lauren Weaver, Elinor Priest and junior Diane Buzzard have been named to the 2013 NSCAA University Division Women's Scholar All-West Region team. Once again, the Northern Arizona women's soccer team has earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award after the team had to have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
"This is a fantastic honor for the student-athletes of this program as it highlights their quest to be recognized not only for their accomplishments on the field, but their commitment to academic excellence as well," said head coach Andre Luciano. "Our program has always emphasized the academic component of their careers, and this is reflection of that philosophy. In order to achieve that, you have to have great people surrounding our student-athletes, so I would like to thank the NAU Faculty and our Academic staff in helping them achieve their academic goals."
The Lumberjacks placed four players on the All-West Region teams, which is the most in the Big Sky Conference after finishing 11-5-3 and 2nd in the Big Sky. Luciano has been able to recruit players that are successful in the classroom and on the field. These four Lumberjacks are among some of the best players in the nation as well the national champions, UCLA.
D'Onofrio was the lone Lumberjack to be named to the second team after a stellar 2013 campaign. This is the third postseason award D'Onofrio has claimed after making First Team All-Big Sky and College Sports Madness Second Team. The senior captain was a big key in bringing back the Lumberjacks back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
D'Onofrio was a part of a great defense this year that allowed only 0.94 goals per game. The captain from Pleasanton, Calif. was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and recorded an assist against Southern Utah.
Senior goalkeeper Weaver earns her second postseason honor after an All-Big Sky Honorable Mention selection. Weaver was a part of a backline that recorded eight shutouts this season, while she recorded a 0.89 goals against average. This season, Weaver moved into second all-time in career shutouts.
Senior forward Priest garners her third postseason honor after earning her first all-conference selection as she made the Big Sky Honorable Mention team after having an outstanding senior season. Priest was tied for third on Northern Arizona's roster with 21 shots this season and has been a player head coach Andre Luciano can rely on every match this season. Priest was also named to the CoSida/Capital One Academic All-District Women's Soccer Team selection for District 8.
This is Buzzard's second postseason honor after earning her first Big Sky Honorable Mention selection after being a key piece to a stellar backline. The local Flagstaff product is a double major in environmental engineering and will look to lead the Lumberjacks back to the Big Sky Championships next season.
In order to be selected to the All-West Region teams, a player must have a minimum 3.3 GPA while making a significant impact on the field.