WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Ten University of Colorado soccer players were named to Pac-12 Conference All-Academic teams, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Thursday. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.
For the third consecutive year (every year she has been eligible for the honor), senior co-captain Hayley Hughes has been selected as first-team Pac-12 All-Academic. Hughes is the first soccer Buff to accomplish this feat in the Pac-12, and just the ninth total. The honor is Hughes’ sixth academic recognition.
Hughes, a defender from Highlands Ranch, Colo., majors in finance in the CU Leeds School of Business, with a minor in economics and a certificate in quantitative finance, and holds a 3.93 cumulative GPA. Earlier this month, Hughes was also named second-team Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District VII.
In her final season, Hughes has started all 21 games, while helping the Buffaloes to nine shutouts, including a record-breaking five to open the season. Hughes has also been an offensive presence, netting the game-winner in CU’s 1-0 win over Oregon to help the Buffs to their first back-to-back Pac-12 home wins. In four seasons, Hughes has played in all but one of the Buffs’ games, helping her rank in CU’s all-time top 10 in minutes and games started and played.
Nine Buffs were selected as Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention: Carly Bolyard (Jr., speech, language and hearing sciences), Annie Brunner (Sr., management), Lizzy Herzl (Sr., communication), Darcy Jerman (Jr., communication), Bianca Jones (Jr., management and finance), Madison Krauser (So., studio art), Olivia Pappalardo (So., psychology and sociology), Anne Stuller (Sr., philosophy) and Heather Ward (So., sociology).
Dating back to their time in the Big 12, the Buffs have placed at least eight student-athletes to conference all-academic teams in each of the last three years. With ten CU soccer student-athletes selected this year, the Buffs have had their best conference academic performance since a record 16 student-athletes were selected in soccer’s inaugural year of 1996.
The team has also earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2012-13 academic year for posting a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The Buffs posted a team GPA of 3.36. Head coach Danny Sanchez has led his teams to six NSCAA Team Academic Awards.