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Soccer: Two are Academic Honorees

For Hickey, honor follows All-America selection; Appel is second-teamer

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Below: Hickey (at left) and Appel

hickey_head_72_2040.jpgappel_shirt_72_1982.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Followers of college soccer have long known of the on-field accomplishments of Eastern Connecticut State University's Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ).

That pair have now been officially recognized nationally for their achievements in the classroom as selections to their respective National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) College Scholar All-America College Division teams.

Both followed up their selections to their respective NSCAA Scholar All-East Region College Division teams by being named to the national scholar College Division All-America team. Hickey was one of six defenders chosen to the Scholar All-America women's first team and Appel was the lone goalkeeper named to the men's second team. Hickey is a senior and Appel a junior.

Hickey becomes the first member of the Eastern women's team and second member of the soccer program to receive both  NSCAA All-America and Scholar All-America accolades in the same season. Last week, the two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year became the second player from the women's program - first in 18 years - to gain NSCAA All-America honors when she was tabbed as a second-team pick.
Eastern Hall of Famer Glenn Judge is the only other member of the soccer program to earn both honors in the same season. In 1986, Judge was a second-team pick to both men's team.

 "Lauren and Carl excel both on the soccer field and in the classroom, and represent the very best in what a public liberal arts education is all about," praised Eastern interim Director of Athletics Michael J. Stenko. "These honors are well-deserved, and I know the entire Eastern community of alumni, administration, staff, faculty and students join with me in offering our congratulations.  We are very proud of them for their commitment as student-athletes."

Hickey72_3726.jpgHickey and Appel were the only regional or national academic representatives from the Little East Conference.

The NSCAA selected  four regional men's and four women's academic teams  throughout the country, with the first-team selections advancing to national consideration.  The East Region is comprised of student-athletes from four-year Division II and III institutions located on the east coast from Maine to Virginia and includes New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

At left: Lauren Hickey.

Hickey was among only six NSCAA Division III All-Americas nationwide - the only one from New England -- to additionally garner first-team Scholar All-America laurels.

Earlier this year, Hickey was additionally selected as the program's first first-team CoSIDA/ESPN College Division Academic All-District  1 selection.

A business major with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.62, Hickey has earned a spot on the LEC All-Academic Team in both soccer and basketball in all three years of eligibility and has received an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in both years of eligibility. Appel, a Sport and Leisure Management major with a 3.50 cumbulative GPA, has earned the conference academic honor in both seasons of eligibility and the E-Club award in his only season of eligibility to date.

Hickey helped the Warriors to their most accomplished season in the program's 25-year history, the Warriors going unbeaten until reaching the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The team was ranked first in New England (for the first time) for four consecutive weeks and earned a program-best No. 8 national ranking in early November on the way to a program record 16 wins against five ties and a single loss.

In the season-ending 2-0 loss to Williams College in the NCAA tournament, Hickey set a program record with her 77th career start. She appeared in all possible 79 games in her career fifth all-time) and set a program season record for field players with 1,965 minutes  (89.3 mpg.) this year and 6,891 (87.2 mpg.) in her career. This year, Hickey played every minute of the game 16 times, including the final 14 of her career. She wasappel1472dpi_6433.jpg on the field for all but 115 possible minutes in 22 matches.

Appel won out as a first-team Scholar All-East Region pick among 90 total selections to  first, second, third team and honorable mention regional teams. He was the only first-team regional pick at goalkeeper and one of only four Division III first-teamers at any position from New England on the first team.

At right: Carl Appel

Only two goalkeepers nationwide in Division II and III earned spots on the men's Scholar All-America College Division squad. Appel was joined by first-team pick Nate Sprenkel, a junior Psychology major with a 3.30 GPA from DePauw University. Two student-athletes from New England Division III institutions were named to the first team and two to the second (including Appel).

In his third starting season this past fall, Appel backstopped the men's team to its fourth straight post-season appearance and a final record of 14-4-3. The Warriors qualified for their second NCAA tournament in Appel's career and went on to the program's first-ever NCAA victory when Appel shut out homestanding Nichols College, 1-0,  in the opening round..

A second-team NSCAA All-New England Region and second-team All-LEC selection this past fall, Appel was the conference leader in all three major individual categories: shutouts (8), GAA (0.72) and save percentage (.877).

Among keepers over the last 20 years, Appel rates first in career GAA (0.83), second in full shutouts (20) and minutes (5,325)  and third in appearances (62) and starts (61).