Womens soccer player wins Academic All-American

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Womens soccer player wins Academic All-American

Story by Emily Albrent, Chief Copy Editor

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UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team captain Gina Williams has been named to the 2012 Capital One NCAA Division III Academic All-America Women’s Soccer Third Team. She is the 38th Blugold in history to be given
this award.

“I never expected to have such a great senior season,” Williams said. “I am pretty proud and happy to get
this award.”

Williams, a kinesiology major, said receiving this honor has helped her stay motivated even through her senioritis. She said that it reminds her of all the hard work that she has put in both on and off the field.

It gives her the spark she needs to maintain her GPA, which is currently 3.82, and to keep going forward in her academic endeavors.

She said by being on the soccer team, it has helped her manage her time better.

“Obviously it is a bigger time commitment in college,” she said. “There are a lot of away games and traveling, but our team is good about keeping on top of our homework, so there is a support system with that.”

On the field, Williams said she takes on a more serious leadership role than she does in her personal life where she is more carefree.

However, she said she uses the same her hardworking attitude on the field with her studies.

“Being in soccer in college has forced me to become more of a leader and take charge more,” Williams said. “I think is reflected in the classroom.”

Williams’ coach, Sean Yengo, said he  is very proud of Williams for receiving the award.

“She is an outstanding student in the classroom and performs at a very high level on the soccer field,” Yengo said.

He also said she has improved in soccer every  year that she has been on the team and continues to work hard.

“She is a leader on the team and is well respected by her teammates,” Yengo said. “She is the type of person that plays the game extremely hard. She is probably the hardest working player on the team which is great to have that characteristic as a captain.”

Associate Professor of Kinesiology Jeffrey Janot, who has known Williams for three years, said she is a strong student and cares deeply about doing well in school.

“She does a great job balancing both school and athletics,” Janot said. “She really has to with her future goals of going into physical therapy. She has to really maintain her high GPA.”

Janot said when he first had her in class, she was quiet and reserved, but now she is engaging in class more than ever and taking on a leadership role in class and among her classmates.

He also said people respond well to Williams and her positive, outgoing personality.

“She always has something pretty unique and intelligent to say about things,” Janot said. “She definitely knows her stuff.”

Janot said Williams is a humble person who never lets on that she is a great soccer player and that her motivation for academics comes from wanting to earn a great job when she graduates.

“I think it is a validation if anything. I would hope that it is an incentive to maintain what she has,” Janot said. “I don’t think Gina would ever say that she needs an academic award to motivate her.”

Williams was also recently placed on the 2012 NCAA Division III Women All-North Region team
for soccer.

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