Dec. 4, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior goalkeeper Emily Rusk and senior forward Laura Lee Smith were selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region Third Team, the organization announced.
The honors mark the first time since 1998 that Alabama has had multiple players named to the NSCAA All-South Region Team. It is also the fifth consecutive season under head coach Todd Bramble that Alabama has had at least one player earn regional accolades. Rusk and Smith are the fourth and fifth players during Bramble’s tenure at the Capstone to earn this distinction, joining forward Pia Rijsdijk (2013, 2011), midfielder Merel van Dongen (2012) and goalkeeper Justine Bernier (2010).
Rusk finished 2014 with a 9-6-2 record in goal and collected seven shutouts with a 0.94 goals against average. Her seven shutouts tied Bernier (2011) and Carrie Warner (1997) for the all-time season record, while her 0.94 goal against average ranks the second lowest single-season mark in program history. The Southeastern Conference twice took note of her weekly efforts, naming her its defensive player of the week on Oct. 20 and Sept. 21. At season’s end, the SEC also named her to its all-conference second team.
Smith finished the campaign as the Tide’s leader in points with 20, thanks in part to her team-leading seven goals along with her six assists that tied her for second on the team in that category. She joined Rusk on the All-SEC Second Team at season’s end, and she was also recognized for her efforts off the field. Smith was named the 2014 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year and was named a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America team honoree for her academic success. For her efforts in the Tuscaloosa community, as well as her home state of Mississippi, Smith was named as the representative for the Crimson Tide on the 2014 SEC Soccer Community Service Team.
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