Toledo senior defender Natalia Gaitàn will go down in school history as one of the most decorated players in the storied history of the women’s soccer program.She added another award to her long list of accolades, earning a spot on the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors on America. The Bogota, Colombia, native is the first member of the program to earn Academic All-America accolades.
The 2012 tri-captain holds an impressive 3.93 GPA in pre-business and a season ago was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-America Third Team.
A two-time second-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region and two-time All-Mid-American Conference honoree, Gaitàn finished the 2012 campaign second on the team in goals (4) and total points (8). She played every minute in all 21 matches and was an integral part of a Toledo squad that advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals for a seventh consecutive season.
Also this fall, Gaitàn became only the third player in school history to earn all-tourney recognition on three occasions (2010, ’11, ’12), joining Molly Cornwell (2007, ’08, ’09) and Ali Leak (2006, ’08, ’09).
A well-credentialed player on the international level, Gaitàn has represented her home country as a team captain on the world’s biggest stages at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2011 FIFA World Cup. An excellent student in the classroom as well, the two-time Academic All-MAC selection has been a member of UT’s dean’s list each of the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in fall 2010.
Gaitàn was one of four MAC players named to the Academic All-America Team, as she was joined by first-team selection Skylar Chew from Ball State and second-team honorees Bailey Brandon from Central Michigan and Hannah Newhouse from Kent State.