CLEVELAND - Not only did the Miami University women's soccer team have arguably its best season in program history this year on the field, several RedHawks were recognized for their work in the classroom as well as junior midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski and sophomore defenders Olivia Evans and Courtney Zanotti were all named Academic All-MAC, the Mid-American Conference announced Monday.
All three earned the honor for the first time in their careers while Miami's three recipients marked the most RedHawks to earn the honor since Miami placed five on the squad in 2010. Central Michigan led the way with eight recipients on the 41-woman team while Kent State and Toledo each had five players selected to the squad.
Zakrzewski (London, Ont.), who carries a 3.27 grade-point average, earned First-Team All-Great Lakes Region honors as she tied for second on the team and third in the MAC with 29 points. In addition, the sport studies major was tabbed First-Team All-MAC and to the All-MAC Tournament Team, helping Miami win the tournament title. The speedy midfielder started all 24 games, scoring nine goals, tying for fifth in the MAC, while adding 11 assists, which tied for second in the MAC and 13th nationally. She scored three game-winning goals, including in overtime to defeat Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Zakrzewski notched at least a point in 15 of the 24 matches, including five-point and four-point performances in MAC play. The two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Week recorded 15 of her points in MAC action, including seven assists.
Evans (Dublin, Ohio) boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in middle childhood education. In her first year at Miami after transferring from UNC Charlotte at the end of last season, Evans made a solid contribution on defense, playing in 22 of 24 games while starting the first 16 of them at center back. Evans played in all 11 regular-season MAC matches. She totaled 1,373 minutes in the backfield, including six entire matches. She helped Miami pitch all 10 shutouts on the year, which tied the school record and ranked second in the MAC. Evans also dished out two assists, doing so at Indiana State Sep. 16 and in the MAC opener vs. Akron Sep. 21.
Zanotti (North Royalton, Ohio), who has compiled a 3.96 GPA, recovered from offseason knee surgery to play in 20 of 24 games while starting the final 12 games of the season at center back. The middle childhood education major played in all 11 MAC games, starting seven, while playing all but 15 minutes in three MAC Tournament matches and all but one minute in two NCAA Tournament games. She was named to the All-MAC Tournament Team, anchoring Miami's defense and leading them to the MAC title. Zanotti was key in Miami's upset of No. 19 Tennessee in the NCAA first round, as well. She was in the lineup for eight of Miami's 10 shutouts on the season and earned MAC Defensive Player of the Week after Miami allowed one goal in two wins Oct. 19 and 21. She totaled 1,339 minutes, playing five full matches, three of which came in the postseason.
In addition to the trio of 'Hawks named Academic All-MAC, three RedHawks earned Honorable Mention Academic All-MAC in junior forward Katy Dolesh (Chardon, Ohio), who was an Academic All-MAC selection last year, sophomore defender Emilee Kaminski (Saline, Mich.) and junior defender Sam Parrish (Noblesville, Ind.).
To be eligible for the Academic All-MAC Team, student-athletes must have completed at least one year at their institution, competed in at least half the team's games and have a cumulative GPA above 3.20. The team is then voted on by faculty athletic representatives from MAC institutions. The number of honorees on the Academic All-MAC Team is the number that is set for the specific sport or 33 percent of the number of nominees, whichever is greater.