Three Redbirds Named to MVC Scholar-Athlete Team
Jessica Carlson
Jessica Carlson

Nov. 18, 2011

ST. LOUIS - A trio of Illinois State soccer players were named to the 2011 Missouri Valley Conference women's soccer scholar-athlete team, as announced by the league office Friday afternoon. Senior Jessica Carlson was named to the team for the third time in her career, while senior Natalie McCabe and sophomore Anna Stinson earned their first-career selections.

Carlson set a school record for assists in a season with 10 and finished second on the team with 24 points. The Darien, Ill., native found the back of the net seven times and earned All-MVC First Team accolades for the third time in her four-year career. The senior forward finished her career as the Redbirds' all-time assists leader (22) and ranks second all-time for goals (29), points (80) and game-winning goals (12). Carlson is a physical education major and boasts a 3.87 cumulative grade-point average (GPA). She was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District V Second Team earlier this season.

McCabe was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the ISU defense to six shutouts and a 1.14 goals against average. The London, Ontario native notched her only point of the season on an assist in Illinois State's 5-0 victory over Missouri State in the championship match of the State Farm MVC Tournament. The senior defender owns a 3.61 GPA in marketing and is a two-time All-MVC First Team honoree.

Stinson was just one of two selections on the MVC scholar-athlete team with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native is an exercise science major and finished the season with 19 points on five goals and nine assists. The sophomore midfielder was an All-MVC First Team selection and was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District V Second Team earlier this season. Her nine assists was the second-most by a Redbird in a single-season behind only Carlson's 10.



Junior Kristin Cooley and sophomore Kyla Cross earned honorable mention status on the scholar-athlete team. Cooley was key part of ISU's defensive line and scored seven points with two goals and three assists. Cross ranked second on the team with eight goals and earned State Farm MVC Tournament MVP honors by scoring four goals in Illinois State's two tournament contests. Cooley is a chemistry major with a 3.80 GPA, while Cross owns a 3.67 GPA in exercise science.

A total of 44 student-athletes were nominated for the Valley's scholar-athlete team. The criteria for the honor is similar the CoSIDA standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be starters or important reserves with at least a 3.20 GPA and must have participated in at least 75 percent of the regular-season matches or the State Farm MVC Championship. Student-athletes must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution (true freshmen and redshirt freshmen were not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution. The team was voted on by the league's sports information directors.

Missouri State led the league with four first-team selections, followed by Illinois State with three. Eight of the first-team honorees maintained GPAs above 3.8, and six members were repeat selections. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.