Dec. 2, 2010

CLEVELAND - After opening the season with a school-record 15 goals, the Miami University women’s soccer team set another record after its season was over as five RedHawks were named Academic All-Mid-American Conference, the MAC office announced Wednesday. The five recipients mark the school’s most since the league went to the current format in 2001.

Seniors Rachel Byron, Brooke Livingston and Julie Thompson, junior Courtney Clarke and sophomore Jess Kodiak were all honored for their work in the classroom and on the pitch. Byron, Livingston and Clarke are all repeat selections after Miami put four on the Academic All-MAC Team in 2009, which matched the school’s most honorees prior to this year.

The five RedHawks are the third-most selections among the 12 MAC schools this year. Toledo led the way with nine recipients while Central Michigan was second with eight members on the 37-woman team.

Byron (Elkhart, Ind.), who carries a 3.75 GPA, started all 22 games at defense for Miami, one of just seven RedHawks to start every game. The exercise science major helped Miami pitch six shutouts on the year and spurred the defense to a 1.37 goals-against average in 2010. Byron scored two goals on the year as well, going 2-for-2 on penalty kicks, as the two goals matched her career total. She also added an assist for five points on the year, which tied her career high.

In addition to being named Academic All-MAC, Clarke (Scarborough, Ont.) was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District Third Team for the second straight year in 2010 after compiling a 3.66 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in electrical engineering. She was one of seven ‘Hawks to start all 22 games and anchored a Miami defense that pitched six shutouts and compiled a 1.37 GAA. Clarke also scored a pair of goals on the year and handed out a career-high three assists during the season as she totaled seven points in 2010. She dished out assists in back-to-back games Sep. 10 and 12 in wins over Winthrop and Temple as part of the ETSU Invitational.

Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.), a business major with a 3.62 GPA, started all 22 games and tied for the team lead with eight goals (third in the MAC) and eight assists (tied for first in the MAC) while her 24 points were also first in the MAC. Kodiak had a career-high four points in a win over Alabama A&M with a goal and two assists and had another multi-assist game in her next match. The midfielder had a goal and an assist Sep. 10 in a win over Winthrop and scored Sep. 12 vs. Temple as she was named MVP of the ETSU Invitational and earned MAC Offensive Player of the Week. Kodiak had at least a point in each of her first seven games, including a goal in three straight, and tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals. She was named to the All-MAC Tournament Team as well.

Livingston (Lisle, Ill.), who has a 3.71 GPA, started all 22 games for Miami, the second straight year she’s started every game. Miami’s 2010 captain anchored a RedHawk defense that pitched six shutouts and compiled a 1.37 GAA. An exercise science major, Livingston was named CoSIDA/ESPN Second-Team Academic All-District this year as well. She was also named Second-Team All-MAC in 2010 after earning First-Team honors last year. In addition to her defense, Livingston scored a career-high three goals – all headers off corner kicks – matching her career total entering the year, including scores in back-to-back MAC games. Her six points also matched her career total, while notching one game-winning goal.

Thompson (Glenview, Ill.), a dietetics major with a 3.46 GPA, was one of seven RedHawks to start all 22 games this year, as she was a vital cog in the offense, distributing the ball out of the midfield. She totaled three goals and a career-best three assists on the year for nine points, with the three assists tying for fifth on the team as she had just one helper total her first three years. Five of her nine points came in MAC play while she had the game-winning goal Aug. 29 vs. Western Illinois. Thompson was also named to the All-MAC Tournament Team.

The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award. The number of honorees on the MAC All-Academic Team is the number that is set for the specific sport or 33 percent of the number of nominees, whichever is greater.