El Paso, Texas (KDBC) — The UTEP soccer team has received a prestigious honor by earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award (min. cumulative team GPA of 3.0) while Tori Martyn (second team), Aleah Davis (third team) and Azia Nicholson (third team) were all named to the 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s All-Central Region Team.
UTEP has been a perennial honoree of the NSCAA Team Academic Honor, and the squad’s performance in the classroom for the 2012-13 season was sensational. The Miners recorded a team cumulative GPA of 3.40 to easily surpass the minimum requirement of 3.0.
“I am very proud of UTEP Soccer achieving the NSCAA Team Academic Award,” UTEP head coach Kevin Cross said. “I am very thankful for the soccer team’s commitment to not only soccer but most importantly to its academics. This award shows a lot about our players’ character. I am proud to coach a team with such high commitment to both soccer and academics.”
In terms of the athletic realm, it marked a school-record-tying three Miners on the all-region team. UTEP also achieved the feat in 2009.
“Tori, Azia, and Aleah being recognized as one of the top 33 players in the entire central region is a tremendous honor for the players and for the UTEP Soccer program,” Cross said. “I know all three of them have worked very hard for this prestigious recognition, and they would want the team to understand that these individual awards are a result of the team’s success. They could not obtain these awards without their UTEP teammates. This award carries extra weight because it is voted on by the central region coaches which consists of many top soccer programs, and the central region is extremely competitive.”
Martyn was a standout on both the defense and midfield with her play in the air. She helped the Miners maintain possession & control play in the midfield. She served as an impact player in set pieces, both offense and defense because of that ability. The senior scored three goals on the year, including two on headers.
Nicholson paced the Miners and tied for fourth in the league (through all games played in regular season) in goals (nine) while checking in fifth in points (20). She enjoyed a stretch of a goal in four straight and five of six conference matches, including three tallies which served as match winners. Nicholson started every contest of the campaign, and led the team in minutes played.
Davis, who had to redshirt the 2012 season due to an injury, was a key cog in the midfield. She tied for third on the squad in goals (three) and fourth in points (seven). She provided the match winner in the 86th minute in a 1-0 conquest at Texas State (9/15) while also scoring against Abilene Christian (9/1) and at FAU (10/6). She was a weapon as well with her long & accurate throw-ins.