Marking the ninth time in program history it has been accomplished, University of Scranton's women's soccer's Rebecca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) was named the 2019 Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete for the sport the conference office announced on Thursday afternoon.
The Landmark Senior Scholar Athlete award was created to recognize one student-athlete from each sport who has excelled both athletically and academically. Seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher are eligible for the award.
Nominations are submitted to the conference office and are selected by a committee of Landmark, athletics directors, sports information directors, senior women administrators, and faculty athletic representatives
Russo becomes the fourth Royal women's soccer player to earn the award from the Landmark over the last five seasons, joining Jasmine Sconciafurno (2015), Erin Casey (2016), and Erica Licari (2018). The other former Royals to win the award are Mary Beth Vogel (2007), Stephanie Huth (2009), Chelsea Paskman (2010), Emily Farrell (2012) and Kelsy McAnelly (2013).
The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award for Russo bookends an incredible run of Landmark Conference success for the defender, as recently she nabbed a spot on the All-Landmark Conference First Team for the third straight season last week.
On the field, Russo led the Royals to incredible heights in her four-year career, helping the program win three Landmark Conference titles (2016, 2017, 2019), earn bids to four NCAA Division III Championships and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament three years in a row (2017 through 2019).
The Royals also posted a 59-12-12 overall mark and a 26-2 ledger in Landmark Conference play in the four seasons Russo was on-campus, as she served as team captain in each of the last two years.
In 2019, Russo once again led a strong Scranton defense on their way to the Landmark Conference title, as the Royals won the championship as the number three seed knocking off Elizabethtown (3-2) and Susquehanna (3-0) in the postseason to avenge a pair of losses in the regular season (ironically, the only two such losses in Russo's career at Scranton).
On the year, Scranton blanked nine opponents, including Ohio Northern in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament to send the game to penalty kicks. Allowing under a goal a game (0.85), Russo also helped out the Royals in key spots throughout the year on offense. In all, she scored four goals and had an assist for a nine-point season total, her highest in a season in her career.
Two of Russo's goals came in key moments. The first, in double overtime against Catholic on Sept. 28, lifting Scranton to a 1-0 win. The second, on a successful penalty kick in the Landmark title match at Susquehanna on Nov. 9 that gave Scranton an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the second half.
Russo also nailed her penalty kick chance against Centre in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in which Scranton would advance from by a 5-4 margin. For her career, she finishes with nine goals and one assist.
A 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection, Russo boasts a 3.89 GPA as a Nursing major at Scranton. Meanwhile, she also excels at women's lacrosse, earning All-American honors in that sport last season, becoming the first student-athlete in Scranton athletics history to be named an All-American in two different sports.
For more on the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete award, click here: https://www.landmarkconference.org/honors/srscholar/index