November 14, 2017 Article from GOBLUERAIDERS.COM
RAIDER SOCCER EARNS COLLEGE TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee earned its 16th consecutive College Team Academic Award in 2017 with a team grade point average of 3.37, as announced by the United Soccer Coaches, formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
In order to qualify for the award teams must carry a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year.
The Blue Raiders have accomplished the feat in every year of Head Coach Aston Rhoden's tenure at Middle Tennessee.
"It's truly an honor for our program to receive this recognition," said Rhoden. "To earn this award for 16 consecutive years speaks to the commitment our staff, both past and present team members, and our athletic administration have made to ensure the academic welfare of our student athletes. I thank everyone who has played a part in the academic success of our program but most importantly I thank the players for continuing to make academics a priority over these last 16 years."
Middle Tennessee was one of 552 women's programs across the country to be honored while 301 men's soccer programs were also recognized with the College Team Academic Award.
In the history of the award, of the 1,034 women's soccer programs in the country to have earned the honor, Middle Tennessee is one of just 50 to have received the College Team Academic Award 16 or more times. This puts the Blue Raiders in the top five percent in the country. The Blue Raiders are also one of just 16 schools to have accomplished the feat in consecutive years.
Case Western Reserve and Bucknell have the most awards, with 21 all time. Bucknell has done it consecutively since 1997.
In the state of Tennessee, Middle is one of four programs to have earned the award 16 or more times. Of the 27 women's soccer programs, just Maryville has won it more times at 19. Like the Raiders, Lincoln Memorial and Rhodes have also been awarded 16 times, not consecutively however.
Amongst C-USA schools, only Marshall has won the award more times, at 18. The Blue Raiders current 16 time award streak though, tops the Thundering Herd's 14 consecutive award streak which was snapped during the 2017 season.