Macon, Ga. – USC Upstate junior forward Rachel Baylor was named by the Atlantic Sun Conference on Wednesday afternoon its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognizing her performance both in the classroom and on the soccer field.
Baylor becomes the first Upstate women’s soccer player in program history to be named the A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year and second to be placed on the A-Sun All-Academic Team, joining former Spartan goalkeeper Sarah Plantz who earned the distinction in 2011.
“I could not be prouder of Rachel,” said Upstate women’s soccer coach Abby Minihan. “She has put so much time and care into the person she is becoming, and this is the fruit of that commitment she has made to herself.”
Baylor was one of two players to be a unanimous selection to this year’s All-Academic Team along with Lipscomb midfielder Natalie DuBoise. The junior from Greensboro, N.C. finished the regular season tied for 10th in the A-Sun in goals and 13th in points. Baylor also tied for the team-lead in goals and game-winning goals, and was second in points. She tallied a career-high four goals and nine points this year for Upstate.
She scored a season-high two goals in the Spartans 3-3 draw against Alabama State on Aug. 28, and added one goal each at Lipscomb on Oct. 3 and Francis Marion on Oct. 20. Her goal against Francis Marion turned out to be the game-winner in a 1-0 overtime triumph. Baylor dished out one assist in a 5-0 win for Upstate over The Citadel on Aug. 23.
Baylor currently holds a 3.90 grade-point average and is majoring in Spanish.
The A-Sun All-Academic Team recognizes student-athletes who excel both on the field and in the classroom and exemplify the A-Sun’s mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or better and participated in at least half of their team’s games.
2015 Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team
Rachel Baylor, F, USC Upstate*
Natalie DuBoise, MF, Lipscomb*
Emma Blackwell, D, FGCU
Brittany Brown, GK, FGCU
Tabby Tindell, F, FGCU
Marie Weckhurst, F, Jacksonville
Anna Buhigas, GK, Lipscomb
Niamh Rawlins, D/MF, Lipscomb
Danielle Hurme, MF, Stetson
Annette Morton, D, Stetson
Adrianna Suarez, F, Stetson
* – Denotes a unanimous vote