JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After leading the nation in scoring, ground balls, and caused turnovers, the Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse program was recognized for another national honor that involved leadership in the classroom. The IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association) unveiled their Academic Merit Squads this week. These squads represent the top three teams in terms of Grade Point Average. Of all the schools in Division I lacrosse, Jacksonville University finished the year with the second highest GPA in the nation.
“You never like the chant “We’re number two!” but in this case I think it is a very exciting and awesome award,” commented head caoch Mindy McCord, the 2013 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year. “We had a lot of seniors this year and they certainly led the way in the classroom. I think they carried a 3.75 as a class, which is simply amazing. One of the secrets to our success is how much our young people thrive and achieve while they are at JU. The GPA figure is an outward expression of the happiness and success that our student-athletes feel.”
The 33-member roster for the Dolphins proudly combined for a 3.46 GPA during the 2012-13 academic year. The program has alway strived for high marks on the field, but the award for academic achievement is just as important to McCord.
“When we recruit young people to come to JU we talk to them about the academic freedom they have here. The ability to study challenging majors such as nursing, pre-med, exercise science, engineering, or any of our seventy majors on campus. Honestly, at the Division I level this does not always work out for the student-athletes, but here at JU, it’s how we operate on a daily basis. We want to prove that you can study anything your dreams desire while you compete and are challenged to play on a championship lacrosse program too. We believe that you should not have to compromise one over the other. This season we proved that and we will continue to strive for it every year.”
Coming off the first NCAA berth in the four-year history of the program, JU will welcome 11 new freshman this Fall who have garnered their own share of academic accolades in high school.
“There is no professional women’s lacrosse league yet. So the focus should be on exploring both your academic options and playing at a world-class level while you are in college. Our students should never compromise and love every challenge in front of them.”
The Dolphins were joined by Detroit Mercy and American as the three schools of Merit by the IWLCA.
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