23 OCTOBER 2021; KENYON COLLEGE plays the HIRAM COLLEGE in a conference men’s soccer match. 15054000

Six Owls earn Academic All-District Team distinctions

GAMBIER, Ohio — On Tuesday, College Sports Communicators (CSC) announced their selections for the 2022 Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Teams. The teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom, and Kenyon College had six Owls selected as honorees. 

The Kenyon contingent included seniors Sam Carson, Sebastian Gaese, Luke Muther, Mac Nardiello-Smith, Aidan Schoellkopf, and junior Aidan Burns. The half-dozen Owls have helped the team to an 18-1-1 record this season, including a 7-0-1 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) that clinched the regular-season title for Kenyon. After a hiccup in the NCAC Tournament Championship, the Owls notched two wins in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament, advancing to and hosting the ‘Sweet 16’ as the No. 3-ranked team in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete had to be a starter or important reserve who played in at least 50 percent of the team’s games. The student-athlete had to be on the team’s active roster for at least two years and, most importantly, own at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average.

An Art History major, Carson earned Academic All-District distinction after starting every game for the Owls. He has notched seven goals and two assists so far, winning the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year award for his efforts on the NCAA’s second-best scoring offense. Over his career, the Denver, Colorado, native earned two All-NCAC First Team nods and one spot on the conference’s second team.

Gaese, who majors in Neuroscience, started every game this season and earned First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for the third consecutive season. He was named to the All-NCAC First Team after two seasons as an All-NCAC Second Team honoree after leading the NCAC in assists (7) and ranking fifth in goals (8), and third in points (23). Overall, the Frankfurt am Main, Germany, native has tallied 10 goals and eight assists, including an NCAC-best five game-winners.

Muther is a Physics major who started 14 games and played in 15 of Kenyon’s 20 contests. He was an All-American last season, being named to the United Soccer Coaches Second Team and D3soccer.com First Team, while also being selected as the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021. The Concord, New Hampshire, native earned a second consecutive All-NCAC First Team nod after helping anchor the NCAA’s eighth-best scoring defense (0.50 goals against average) that shut out 65 percent of its opponents, tied for third-best in the nation.

Nardiello-Smith, an Economics major, earned his honor after playing in 18 of 20 games, starting 12. He has tallied 10 points on four goals and three assists, including two game-winners. The Columbus, OH native joined his five fellow Owls on the Kenyon Merit List and NCAC Academic Honor Roll this season.

Schoellkopf, who also majors in Economics, was named to the team after playing in 15 of 20 games this season. He is part of a senior class that earned an NCAA tournament berth in four straight seasons and won four regular-season NCAC titles and two NCAC Tournament titles. The Warren, Vermont, native earned a spot on the Kenyon Merit List and NCAC Honor Roll every year.

Burns, a Biology major, earned his spot on the squad after starting all but one of Kenyon’s games. He played the third-most minutes on the NCAA’s eighth-best scoring defense, manning a back line that helped the Owls compile a plus-62 goal differential (72-10), the second-best mark in the country. The Newfield, New Jersey, native earned a spot on the 2022 All-NCAC First Team after a second-team nod last year.

The Academic All-District honorees now advance to the CSC Academic All-America ballot. First-, second-, and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced in early December.

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