CHANDLER, Ariz. - The National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced Wednesday its 2012 Gladiator by SGI / NFHCA Collegiate Scholars of Distinction. Winning this prestigious honor for Miami is junior goalkeeper Sarah Mueller (Berlin, Germany) and freshman midfielder Bea Dechant (Mannheim, Germany).
The Collegiate Scholars of Distinction is a brand new award that recognizes those student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or higher through the first semester of the 2012-13 academic year.
Mueller has had an impressive academic career at Miami, having already earned Academic All-MAC honors each of the past two seasons. She holds 3.96 GPA while double majoring in International Studies and French. Mueller was 9-9 this season with a 2.17 goals against average. Her .777 saves percentage ranked ninth in the nation. She was previously named to the All-MAC First Team and was MAC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.
"I am feeling very honored to receive this honor today," said Mueller. "I think that it shows a lot of dedication and high commitment in the classroom and reflects the work I put into things. Furthermore, it shows that for us as a team excellence is a life style on and off the field, because part-time excellence for us is unacceptable. I want to thank Miami, my professors, the athletic department, and my scholarship donors for providing me with this great opportunity that really enriches my life every day. Last but not least, I want to thank my family who is always there for me, no matter how many miles we are apart, supporting me in whatever I do."
In addition to her great early success in the classroom, Dechant had an amazing rookie season for Miami that saw her score nine goals and dish out six assists. She was previously honored as the MAC Freshman of the Year and MAC Tournament MVP, as well as earning a spot on the All-MAC First-Team and the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-West Region Second-Team. She recorded the game-winning goal in four games, including both MAC Tournament contests, and had a season-high two goals in a 3-2 victory vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 24.
The RedHawks finished the season 12-10 and advanced to the NCAA Play-In Game for the first time in school history.