Meghan Hegarty Named CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year
AUSTIN, Texas – Thursday was a landmark day for the Navy women’s soccer program as two of its players earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. A feat that has only been achieved three prior times in program history is highlighted by Meghan Hegarty earning the nod as the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year for Division I women’s soccer and Sydney Fortson garnering a spot on the Academic All-American Second Team.
In the 31 years of CoSIDA naming Academic All-American teams, Hegarty’s selection as the top scholar-athlete in the NCAA Division I ranks for her specific sport has occurred just one other time in the history of the United States Naval Academy’s athletic department. Prior to Thursday, Beth Reed (’10), a member of the Navy women’s soccer team, was the only other Midshipmen to have earned such a prestigious honor as she was selected as the 2009 Women’s Soccer Academic All-American of the Year.
Hegarty will also go into the record books as one of just four Midshipmen in the history of the athletic department to earn Academic All-America honors in three separate occasions. Kelly Zahalka (’09), John Dowd (’12) and Ellen Bradford (’16) are the only prior three-time winners.
The 2017 Patriot League Midfielder of the Year, Hegarty was selected by the conference’s coaches as the premier two-way player in the league as she started all 21 games for the Mids as the team’s holding midfielder. With responsibilities on both ends of the field, she notched eight points on two goals and four assists on offense, while providing strong defensive marking and veteran leadership to a defense that posted 13 shutouts, the fifth-most in program history. In the classroom, Hegarty has a 3.97 GPA in operations research and ranks 20th in the Naval Academy’s Overall Order of Merit and 13th in Military Order of Merit. She recently service selected the United States Navy Medical Corps with a specific area of interest in dentistry.
In addition to her honor as the top scholar-athlete, Hegarty is one of 11 players named to the Academic All-America First Team. Fellow members of the team, include eight players with 4.00 GPAs and none with less than a 3.90. She’s surrounded at the midfield position by Stanford’s Michelle Xiao (4.05 GPA, Biomechanical Engineering) and Tennessee’s Michele Christy (4.00, Chemical Engineering).
The Patriot League’s Goalkeeper of the Year, Fortson has equaled the high-level production of Hegarty both on and off the field. On the pitch, the first-year starting goalkeeper was between the pipes in all 21 games for Navy and led the team to a league-best 13 clean sheets with nine individual shutouts and four other combined efforts in which she played the majority of the minutes. In league-play, Fortson elevated her game even more with a just a 0.33 goals against average and .897 save percentage, while posting an 8-0-1 record. Away from soccer, Fortson is also finding success in the classroom as an aerospace engineering major with a 3.80 GPA. Named to both the Supt’s and Dant’s List in each of her first two semesters, the California native stands 48th in the Overall Order of Merit ranks at the Naval Academy and second in the Military Order of Merit.
Fortson is one of three national goalkeepers to be named to 2017 Academic All-America teams. Ball State’s Alyssa Heintschel (4.00 GPA/Chemisty: Pre-Med) is the First Team, while New Hampshire’s Mia Neas (3.91 GPA/Occupational Therapy) is the Third Team net-minder.
The College Sports Information Directors of America has been selecting the nation's pre-eminent Academic All-American team for over one-half of a century. Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
Criteria for the award requires a student-athlete be at least a sophomore, earn a varsity letter in their sport and have attained a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade-point average.
Nominees are first voted on by district, then all first-team all-district winners are placed onto a national ballot from which the Academic All-America teams are selected.
The Academic All-America® of the Year award, which began in 1987-88, is presented to the most outstanding student-athlete of the year and is chosen from the student-athletes who have been awarded Team Member of the Year honors.
Navy Women’s Soccer Academic All-Americans
2017: Meghan Hegarty (1st Team) – Academic All-American of the Year
2017: Sydney Fortson (2nd Team)
2016: Meghan Hegarty (2nd Team)
2015: Meghan Hegarty (3rd Team)
2013: Elizabeth Hoerner (1st Team)
2009: Beth Reed (1st Team) – Academic All-American of the Year
2009: Shelly Moeller (3rd Team)
2008: Lizzie Barnes (1st Team)
2007: Kari Weniger (1st Team)
2006: Lizzie Barnes (1st Team)
2006: Kari Weniger (2nd Team)
2004: Emma Hagen (3rd Team)
2001: Kate Macfarlane (1st Team)
2001: Justine Fisher (2nd Team)
1998: Nicole Aunapu (1st Team)
1997: Nicole Aunapu (1st Team)