Cambridge, Mass. (December 5) – MIT women's soccer sophomore Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.) and juniors Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.) and Hailey Nichols (Boulder, Colo.) have all been named as Academic All-Americans by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for their hard work both on the field and in the classroom. Berzolla and Mueller were named to the First Team, while Nichols was named to the Second Team.
The trio of Engineers are the seventh, eighth and ninth CoSIDA Academic All-America selections in program history for the MIT women's soccer team and all three have earned the honor for the first time in their careers. MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (275) and ranks second across all NCAA Divisions only behind the University of Nebraska.
Berzolla, a mechanical engineering major with a perfect GPA, had a great sophomore campaign as she finished the year ranked fifth in all of Division III women's soccer with 16 assists. The mark also tied the program record with Rebecca Hill '94 and Amy Ludlum '07. Berzolla added seven goals to her 16 assists for 30 points this fall as she was joined by Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) as the first student-athletes to record 30+ points in a single year since Alisha Lussiez '12. Berzolla is also a two-sport athlete, who also competes for the MIT women's lacrosse team. Off the field, the sophomore is a Teaching Assistant in MIT Physics 1, is the Head of Athletic Promotion for the MIT SAAC and is a Tutor at Greenwich SES, helping students with material in courses ranging from biology to calculus as well as SAT/ACT prep.
Nichols, who was also named as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Athlete of the Year, aided the Engineers to nine shutouts and a goals against average of 0.90 as a key member of the MIT defense. Nichols, an aerospace engineering major, led MIT to a 0.90 goals against average, which ranked third in the NEWMAC this fall and offensively contributed five goals and three assists for 13 points, which ranked seventh on the team. Off the field, Nichols is currently doing research at the MIT Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies and has worked as a Systems Engineering Intern at Lockheed Martin and a Research and Lab Assistant at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is also a Tutor for Unified, where she aids sophomore MIT students in understanding the concepts and real-world applications of Signals and Systems Engineering.
Mueller, in her first year as the starting goalkeeper for the Engineers posted a record of 19-2-1, to go along with six shutouts, a goals against average of 0.86, a save percentage of 0.782 and 61 saves in 1778 minutes of action. A mechanical engineering major, her 19 wins are the most for a goalkeeper in a single season in program history. Off the field, the junior is currently a Women in Science and Engineers (WiSE) Mentor and has been a Mechanical Engineering Research and Development Intern at Integer-Greatbatch Medical. She has also served as the Wellness Committee Chair for Maseeh Hall, has competed in the MIT 2.007 Robot Competition and a Chemical Engineering Intern at HOBO, Inc.
The trio led the nationally-ranked Engineers to their best season in program history as MIT finished 2017 with a record of 20-2-1, earned its first NEWMAC Championship title since 2011 and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. Berzolla, Nichols and Mueller also helped the Engineers break seven team records including win percentage (.891), most wins (20), longest win streak (12), most wins to start a season (12), goals (77), assists (62) and points (216) and aided MIT rank in the top-10 nationally in total assists, total goals, total points, win percentage, and shots on goal per game.
CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar athletes in the 1950's, has honored thousands of deserving recipients across all divisions in numerous sports. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her Sports Information Director.