The University of Scranton women's soccer team has enjoyed an outstanding season on the field this fall as it prepares to make its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance on Saturday night. The Royals are also excelling in the classroom, as it was revealed on Thursday that a trio of players were named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District® Women's Soccer Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Seniors Colleen Berry (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) and Erica Licari (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East), along with junior Rebecca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) have been honored as First Team selections for District 4, which includes Division III programs throughout Pennsylvania. The honor recognizes the nation's top student-athletes who must be a starter or key reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution.
As First-team Academic All-District® honorees, all three players advance to the Google Cloud Academic All-America® ballot, with first- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees to be announced in early December.
A day after being named First Team All-Landmark Conference for the second year in a row, Berry snagged the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team award. She is enjoying an outstanding senior campaign in Scranton's net, posting a Landmark Conference-best 0.32 goals against average, the 15th best mark among NCAA Division III netminders. Her .909 save percentage is 12th-best in the country and she has also posted eight solo shutouts on the fall.
A two-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll award recipient, Berry was named a Second Team All-American by d3soccer.com last fall. The exercise science major boasts in impressive 3.69 cumulative grade point average.
Licari followed up her third straight All-Landmark Conference award, a Second Team nod, with today's CoSIDA Academic All-District Team selection. The senior midfielder, who was a United Soccer Coaches (USC) Third Team All-American and First Team All-Region pick last fall, is enjoying another strong season for the Royals. She has scored six goals, all of which have been game-winners, to rank second on the team in goals while leading the Landmark Conference and sitting 15th in the country in game-winning tallies. Licari has also dished out two assists to total 14 points.
Licari is no stranger to major academic awards as she was also USC Scholar All-American Third Team selection last fall after garnering USC Scholar All-Region First Team recognition. A two-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll award recipient, she sports an outstanding 3.94 cumulative grade point average while majoring in Biology and Philosophy.
Russo's second-straight selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team adds another impressive award to rapidly growing list of accolades for the junior defender, who was named the Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday while picking up her second straight First Team All-Conference selection. The center back as led a formidable Scranton defense that has limited opponents to just seven goals in 19 games this fall for a 0.36 goals per game average, the 12th best mark in the all of NCAA Division III. She has also scored three goals while helping the Royals post 12 shutouts on the year.
A Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll selection last fall, Russo has achieved a remarkable 3.96 grade point average while majoring in nursing.
Scranton (15-1-3) will take on Arcadia (12-5-3) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at Christopher Newport University. The Royals earned an at-large bid to the national tournament after playing Susquehanna to a 1-1 draw in the Landmark Conference championship game before being edged in a shootout by the River Hawks, 5-4.
Saturday's game between the Royals and Knights is set for 7:30 p.m. in Newport News, Va.
To see the full 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women's Soccer Team, click here.