Soccer player earns Scholar All-America Third-Team accolades

January 9, 2012 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis


The postseason awards for Toledo junior soccer defender Natalia Gaitàn keep piling up. She earned a spot on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-America Third Team.

The Bogota, Colombia, native becomes the first member of the Rocket soccer program to earn Academic All-America accolades.

Gaitàn holds an impressive 3.93 GPA in pre-business and also was named second-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region, first-team All-Mid-American Conference, MAC All-Tournament Team and most recently first-team Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association in 2011.

She was an integral part of a Toledo defense that posted nine shutouts this fall, fourth-best total in league. Gaitàn played every minute of 20 matches and finished fourth on the team with eight points (one goal, six assists), ranking tied for fourth in the MAC in helpers. One of nine Rockets selected Academic All-MAC in 2010, Gaitàn made UT’s dean’s list the last four semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in fall 2010.

Gaitàn helped the Rockets enjoy a record-shattering 2011 campaign, finishing with a 14-7-2 overall mark, 9-1-1 in the conference. UT successfully defended its MAC regular-season championship and captured a league-record fourth tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2008.

She was one of two MAC players named to the Scholar All-America Team; she was joined by fellow third-team selection Liesel Toth from Central Michigan.

Gaitàn and the other scholar-athlete award recipients will be recognized at the annual All-America Luncheon Saturday, Jan. 14, in the Kansas City Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom in conjunction with the 2012 NSCAA Convention in Kansas City, Mo.

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