Union County Soccer Standouts Voted To Capital One Academic All-District First-Team

McLEAN, Va. – The New Jersey City University women’s soccer team enjoyed a historical season on the field during the 2011 campaign, and two prominent members of the starting lineup have earned accolades for their accomplishments on the pitch and in the classroom. Senior striker Julia Caseres (Union) and senior defender Nicole Sarica (Linden) have been voted to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District® II Division III Women’s Soccer First Team, in results released on November 4.

The dual selections mark the first time in the history of NJCU athletics that two student-athletes from the same sport have ever been voted to the First-Team Academic All-District team in the same season.

Caseres, a criminal justice major with a 3.58 grade point average entering the season, and Sarica, a biology major with a 3.62 GPA, each advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® National Team ballot, where first, second and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

To be eligible to be on the All-District ballot, student-athletes must be a starter and significant contributor of at least sophomore academic status, with a minimum GPA of 3.30.

“It is always an honor to receive academic awards through athletics,” said Sarica about her latest accolade. “The fact that two of us have been selected shows that the women’s soccer program at NJCU is progressing, on and off the field. And that to me is the importance of sports. It’s not always about statistics, and scoring goals. It’s about facing challenges, learning through experience, and being able to balance it all with our everyday lives.”

Caseres, a four-time All-NJAC selection in her career, earned Honorable Mention status this season after collecting Second-Team All-NJAC and Third-Team D3soccer.com All-America last season. Currently, she has notched 20 goals and 10 assists for 50 points in 20 games. She has 92 shots (45 SOG) and five game-winning goals in 1,578 minutes. A two-time NJAC Offensive Player of the Week in week one and seven (September 5 and October 17), she was also a one-time ECAC Metro/Upstate Player of the Week. Caseres earned Second-Team Academic All-NJAC honors during the 2010-11 season.

The all-time leading scorer in NJAC and New Jersey collegiate soccer history among Division I, II or III players—men or women— Caseres currently has 98 goals and 41 assists for 237 points in 84 career games between Rutgers-Newark (2008) and NJCU (2009-11). She has 468 career shots (236 SOG) and 22 game-winning goals, while making 7-of-10 penalty kicks. She ranks 15th in Division III history in points and 16th in goals, with more potential games next week in the ECAC Tournament.

In three seasons at NJCU, Caseres, who was also named Second-Team All-NJAC as a sophomore in 2009, has 76 goals and 33 assists for 185 points on 360 shots (172 shots on goal), netting 18 game-winners in 64 games. She is NJCU’s all-time leader in points per game (2.89), goals per game (1.19), game-winners, assists, assists per game (0.52), shots per game (5.62), shots on goal per game (2.69), penalty kicks made (4), and penalty kicks attempted (7), while listing second in points, goals, shots and shots on goal.

As of November 2, she is tied for the conference lead in assists and assists per game (0.50) and tied for first in game-winning goals (5) and game-winners per game (0.25). She currently ranks second overall in the NJAC in goals, points and points per game (2.50), third in shots, fourth in goals per game (1.00), and fifth in shots per game (4.60). Nationally, Caseres is currently among the NCAA Division III leaders in total points (ninth), total goals (12th), points per game (25th), total assists (25th), game-winning goals (25th), goals per game (28th), and assists per game (56th).

Sarica, a three-year co-captain, was named First-Team Academic All-NJAC in 2010 and Honorable Mention Academic All-NJAC in 2011. She was the 2010 NJCU Thomas M. Gerrity Scholar-Athlete of the Year winner—presented to the top all-around athlete at NJCU annually. In 2010, she was an NSCAA College Women Scholar All-East Region Honorable Mention selection.

The NJAC Defensive Player of the Week in week two (September 12), Sarica earned All-NJAC honors for the second time in her career this season and the first time since 2009, when she made the switch from midfield to defender. She missed much of the 2010 season with an injury. She played in 18 games this season and saw 1,636 minutes of action, contributing to four shutouts, including three straight when NJCU achieved a school record for longest scoreless minutes streak at 450:49—nearly 200 minutes longer than the previous record. Sarica scored one goal for two points and both of her shots during the season were on target.

In 72 career games she has 11 goals and 15 assists for 37 points on 66 shots (41 on goal) and two game-winners over 6,073 minutes. She is fourth in school history in games started (72) and minutes played, fifth in games, sixth in assists, ninth in shots on goal, 10 in points, 11th in game-winning goals, 13th in shots and 15th in assists per game (0.21).

Brittany McGinley of Cranford, who played for the University of New Jersey, was also recognized as part of the Capital One Academic All-District® II Division III Women’s Soccer First Team. She is a senior business management major with a 3.40 GPA.

McGinley was previously voted as 2011 NJAC Offensive Player of the Year and was selected to the All-NJAC First Team. McGinley led the Lions with 11 goals and 22 points, with two of her goals being game winners.

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