Junior soccer star named Academic All-American
Tara Ballay was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Rider University junior Tara Ballay was named to the CoSIDA Second Team Capital One Academic All-America Women’s Soccer Team.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Ballay compiled a 3.88 cumulative grade point average as a psychology major.
“It is a wonderful accomplishment to be honored as an Academic All-American,” says Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome, “and it is a testament to all the hard work Tara has devoted to her studies and training.”
On the field, Ballay led the MAAC in scoring despite missing five games with a broken leg. She came back from the injury to play in all three games in the MAAC Championship tournament, leading Rider to it’s first-ever MAAC Title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
“To be an elite performer on the field and an elite performer in the classroom is incredibly challenging. Tara is without doubt the hardest working student-athlete I’ve had the privilege of coaching and we’re so proud of what she is achieving as a Rider Bronc.”
During the regular season, Ballay compiled 11 goals and a pair of assists for 24 points. It marked the third time in the last four years that a Rider women’s soccer player earned Academic All-America honors. Abi Cottam ’13 received the award both in 2011 and 2012.
The Rider team as a whole was honored as a National Soccer Coaches of America Association Team Academic Award winner, with a team grade point average of 3.19.
“Our student-athletes have once again demonstrated they can excel in the classroom as well as on the field,” Hounsome says. “Along with performance on the field and winning a championship, one of our goals also included maintaining a specific academic GPA. So it is great for the team to be acknowledged for their academic achievements.”