Rachel Conway, a senior midfielder for the Radford University women's soccer team, has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA 1 First Team.
Conway was named to the team Nov. 26 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She has a 4.0 GPA in exercise, sport and health education and is the 16th Highlander and seventh first-teamer to earn this prestigious academic distinction.
"I'm extremely excited about this accomplishment and sort of at a loss for words," said Conway. "I am so thankful to have even been nominated for such a prestigious award. A recognition like this is not something you really think about while focusing on your school work."
"On behalf of the Radford University community, I want to congratulate Rachel on this most significant national recognition," said RU President Penelope W. Kyle. "To be honored as a first team Academic All-American is a credit to Rachel's talent, hard work and dedication on the field, but more importantly, this award recognizes her successes in the classroom. The achievements of all of RU's student-athletes are a reflection of the commitment shown by Radford's student-athletes, coaches, advisors, professors and staff. Their steadfast focus on academic excellence is validated by this great news."
Conway is the women's soccer team's first Capital One Academic All-America® honoree. She is one of 11 first-team women's soccer selections from across the country and one of only five to sport a perfect 4.0. She is a two-time All-Big South selection and was named to the league's All-Academic team in 2013. From Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Conway is a member of the Phi Kappa Honors Society and serves as a tutor in Radford's Student-Athlete Support Services department.
"It is an honor to have my dedication to my studies recognized at this level," continued Conway. "I have been fortunate in being surrounded by an excellent support system at Radford. I want to thank all my professors, advisors, and the entire academic staff in the athletic department for everything they have helped me with for the past four years."
Conway registered four goals and four assists in 2013 to help the Highlanders to their third Big South regular season championship and a conference runner-up finish, following back-to-back Big South Tournament titles in 2011 and 2012.
"The program and athletics department place academic success as the number one priority towards success," said head coach Ben Sohrabi. "Individually, I am proud of Rachel. She works very hard at everything she does, and I feel she is very deserving of this award."
Conway was a key contributor to the most successful senior class in program history that went 56-19-7 (.726) overall and 31-5-5 (.817) in Big South play, along with winning three league regular season titles and two tournament championships.
"This is a great example of what an individual can achieve at Radford University if you stay focused and have your priorities straight," concluded Sohrabi. "It's an outstanding award for Rachel, the athletics department, and Radford University."
To be eligible for Capital One Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 19,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
Radford University CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (First team unless otherwise noted)
1986 – Billy Myers, Honorable Mention (Men's Basketball)
1994 – Samantha Gilbert (Women's Basketball)
1994 – Brian Pardue (Baseball)
1997 – Corey Reed, 3rd Team (Men's Basketball)
1998 – Corey Reed (Men's Basketball)
1999 - Jennifer Grant, 3rd team (Women's Basketball)
2002 – T.J. Rolfing (Men's Soccer)
2003 – Goran Nava (Men's Track & Field/XC)
2004 – Goran Nava (Men's Track & Field/XC)
2004 – Laura Tereby (Women's Golf)
2004 – Patrick Colas, 3rd team (Men's Soccer)
2005 – Patrick Colas, 2nd team (Men's Soccer)
2007 – Steve Mignogna, 2nd Team (Baseball)
2008 – Cassandra Price, 3rd Team (Women's Tennis)
2012 – Brett Olinger – 2nd Team (Men's Track & Field/XC)
2013 – Rachel Conway (Women's Soccer)