After earning an Academic All-Big Ten award this season, Vanessa picks up her first NSCAA Scholar All-American
Dec. 14, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced their Scholar All-American teams today with University of Illinois product Vanessa DiBernardo named to the First Team. The junior was one of 12 student-athletes on the First-Team list, recognized amongst all Division-I women's soccer players. To be named Scholar All-America, a college student must attain a 3.30 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.
"The uniqueness of this accolade is that it recognizes Vanessa for both her success on the field and her accomplishments in the classroom," said Illinois head soccer coach Janet Rayfield. "To be a Scholar All-American speaks to the attribute of excellence because true excellence is a habit that transcends beyond the playing field. We hope that our culture as a program continues to develop this in all of our student athletes."
DiBernardo becomes the eighth Illini to earn the prestigious honor and the third to be named on the First Team. Previous winners include: Meghan Kolze (1st) in 2003, Christen Karniski (3rd, 1st) in 2004-05, both Mary Therese McDonnell (2nd) and Kara Gostisha (3rd) in 2007, Marti Desjarlais (2nd) in 2008 and Jenna Carosio (2nd) in 2011.
In the classroom, DiBernardo achieved a 3.60 GPA while working on her Bachelor's in Recreation, Sport and Tourism and already has earned an Academic All-Big Ten award this post-season. On the pitch, the NSCAA Second-Team All-American produced another solid season for Illinois, leading the team in goals (8), points (21), shots (89) and game-winning goals (2). As a whole, the Illini ranked 20th in the country and first in the Big Ten in GPA (3.53), while finishing 10-9-4 on the year and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
DiBernardo and the rest of the 2012 Scholar All-America Teams will be recognized Jan. 19 at the All-America Luncheon held during the 2013 NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. Coach Rayfield will also be in attendance, accepting the 2012 Honor Award.