Women's Soccer: Rio Hondo earns 2015-16 NSCAA Team Academic Award

Women's Soccer: Rio Hondo earns 2015-16 NSCAA Team Academic Award

NSCAA Press Release

Rio Hondo College head coach Jennifer Tanaka's women's soccer team not only excels on the field, but in the classroom as well. Her 2015-16 squad that reached the CCCAA State Championship final game last season was recently honored with a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award for exemplary performance in the classroom as a team.

To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players. Rio Hondo achieved a 3.07 team GPA. According to Tanaka, this is the third consecutive year her Roadrunners have earned the honor.

"The coaching staff and I are very proud of our athletes continued excellence in the classroom," said Tanaka.  "A great education is for life and we are happy to see that we work as hard in the classroom as on the field."

A total of 893 soccer teams (315 men, 578 women) from throughout the United States have earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award. Rio Hondo was one of just four California community college women's soccer programs to earn the honor.

"Our Rio Hondo women's soccer team has proven that you can win at the highest level and still earn high academic honors at the same time," said Dean of Kinesiology, Dance, and Athletics/Athletic Director  Steve Hebert. "These young ladies are terrific examples of what a 'student-athlete' should strive to be.  Last season ended with a State Runner-up finish and a national ranking.  Coach Jennifer Tanaka and staff also deserve credit for their part in the victories on the field and supporting our student-athletes' academic progress at the same time."

Leading the way on the field and in the classroom for the Roadrunners were sisters Maritza and Janeth Acuna. Maritza was named the NSCAA Junior College Scholar National Player of the Year after achieving a 4.0 GPA. Janeth was also honored by the NSCAA as a second-team Scholar All-American.

For their play on the soccer field, Janeth earned first-team NSCAA All-American honors while Maritza was a second-team selection. Both are currently attending UC Irvine and are competing on the Anteaters' women's soccer team.

The 2015 Roadrunners compiled an impressive 17-2-4 overall record and advanced to the state championship final for the first time in school history. The team closed the season ranked No. 8 in the final NSCAA national poll.

"We as an athletic department are proud of all 14 of our teams," said Hebert.  "Today we salute and celebrate our women's soccer team's accomplishments on a national level. Way to go Roadrunners!"