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Eckart is soccer Student-Athlete of the Year

M J EckartLamar University senior M.J. Eckart was named the Southland Conference Women's Soccer Student-Athlete of the Year, and the Cardinals placed four student-athletes on the conference's all-academic team that was announced Monday by the SLC office.

Eckart of Flower Mound, Texas, who has a 4.00 GPA in exercise science, is the first Cardinal in the 11-year history of the women's soccer program at LU to be named the conference's student-athlete of the year. The midfielder is one of three Cardinals to be named first-team all-academic this season, along with senior goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy of Port Neches, and senior defender Marie Lund of Bergen, Norway). Junior midfielder Juliana Ocampo of Bogotá, Colombia, was a second-team all-academic selection.

M J Eckart"I'm really proud of what these players have accomplished in the classroom," LU coach Steve Holeman said. "With all the success we had on the field this year, it's great to see four players recognized for their academic efforts."

Eckart, a first-team all-conference player, had solid season on the field for the Cardinals, who went 18-4-1 overall and 10-1-0 in conference play, capturing the Southland's regular-season and tournament championships for the first time ever. Eckart tied for third on the team in scoring with 15 points on six goals and three assists. She leaves LU as the program's all-time leader in games played and games started at 78.

"For M.J. to be named first-team all-conference and then follow that up as the student-athlete of the year is truly remarkable," Holeman said.

Eckart on the fieldLovejoy set a slew of school records this season, including goals-against average (0.90), shutouts (10) and wins 18. Her 26 career wins are also an LU record. Lovejoy has a 3.25 GPA in kinesiology. Lovejoy was a second-team all-conference selection.

Lund, who has a 3.38 GPA in general business, was a first-team all-conference player this past season. The defender also contributed on offense with five goals, including three-game winning goals, and one assist for 11 points.

Ocampo has a 3.68 GPA in management. Ocampo appeared in all 23 games this season, making 22 starts. She finished the campaign with 13 points on five goals and three assists.

The three first-team selections are the most the Cardinals have had on the conference's all-academic team.