Five Toledo women’s soccer players have been named to the 2012 Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, as voted by faculty athletic representatives at MAC institutions.
The Rockets finished tied for second with Kent State for most academic recipients and are represented by senior Megan Blake, senior Natalia Gaitàn, senior Rachael Kravitz, senior Kristen Mattei and senior Jaimie Morsillo.
Blake, Gaitàn and Kravitz become only the fourth, fifth and sixth players in school history to earn academic all-league accolades on three occasions, joining Ali Leak (2007-09), Alyssa Niese (2009-11) and Vicki Traven (2009-11), while Morsillo is a two-time selection and Mattei is a first-time recipient.
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.
A total of 41 student-athletes were named to this year’s squad. The number of honorees on the Academic All-MAC Team is set for the specific sport or 33 percent of the number of nominees, whichever is greater. The remaining student-athletes have been recognized as Academic Honor Roll selections.
An exercise science major with a 3.95 GPA, Blake was one of six Rockets to start all 21 matches this past fall. She finished third on the team with five points (two goals, one assist), finding the back of the net against Akron (Sept. 30) and Ball State (Oct. 12). The fourth-year letterwinner also was credited with a helper vs. Bowling Green (Oct. 7). Blake played every minute in 13 contests and was a key component in a Toledo defense that posted five shutouts. In the classroom, she has been a member of UT’s dean’s list the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA on four occasions (fall 2009, spring 2011, fall 2011, spring 2012).
A pre-business major with a 3.93 GPA, Gaitàn also was named second-team All-MAC and third-team Capital One Academic All-America, becoming the first Rocket to earn Academic All-America accolades this past fall. The 2012 tri-captain and three-time All-MAC Tournament selection played every possible minute this season and finished second on the squad with eight points (four goals). Gaitàn tallied goals against Buffalo (Sept. 28), Bowling Green (Oct. 7), Ball State (Oct. 12) and Kent State (Oct. 21), netting the match-winning tally vs. the Cardinals on a penalty kick in overtime. The 2011 third-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America has been a member of UT’s dean’s list the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in fall 2010.
A marketing major with a 3.79 GPA, Kravitz also started every match either on defense or in the midfield this past fall. The 2012 team tri-captain was credited with assists against Loyola (Ill.) (Aug. 31) and Buffalo (Sept. 28). Kravitz wrapped up her collegiate career second in Toledo annals in helpers (17). She saw at least 80 minutes of match action on 10 occasions in 2012, playing every minute in four contests. She also took 30 shots on goal, the second-highest total on the squad. In the classroom, Kravitz has been a member of UT’s dean’s list in five of the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in fall 2009.
An environmental science major with a concentration in public health, Mattei started every match in the midfield this past fall. The 2012 team tri-captain had four points on the season (two goals), scoring goals vs. Akron (Sept. 30) and Eastern Michigan in the opening round of MAC Tournament (Oct. 28). Mattei also converted a penalty kick in the shootout against the Eagles, helping the Rockets advance to MAC tourney semifinals. The Copley, Ohio, native saw at least 75 minutes of match action on nine occasions, including a season-high 97 minutes vs. EMU in postseason play. The 2012-13 UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President has been a member of UT’s dean’s list the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in spring 2010.
Morsillo, who graduated with a degree in accounting and information systems in spring 2012 and currently maintains a 3.84 GPA while working on a master’s degree in business administration, started every match either in the midfield or on defense this past fall. She was credited with two assists against Indian University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (Aug. 24) and Bowling Green (Oct. 7). The 2010 Academic All-MAC honoree saw at least 80 minutes of match action on eight occasions, including a season-high 107 minutes at Eastern Michigan in the opening round of the MAC Tournament (Oct. 28). She has been a member of UT’s dean’s list the last seven semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in spring 2009 and spring 2010.
Toledo wrapped up the 2012 season with a 7-12-2 overall record, 5-5-1 in the conference. UT finished fourth in the MAC West Division and made its eighth-consecutive postseason appearance under Head Coach Brad Evans. The No. 6 seed Rockets also advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals for an unprecedented seventh-consecutive season after outlasting No. 3 seed Eastern Michigan, 2-1, on penalty kicks. In the Final Four, Toledo came up short against No. 2 seed and eventual NCAA Championship participant Central Michigan, 1-0.