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Norwich soccer player Mary-Kait Mace dribbles the ball through the midfield during a women’s soccer game in Northfield.

NORTHFIELD — Norwich University senior defender Mary-Kait Mace recently became the 16th student-athlete in school history to earn Academic All-America honors.

The women’s soccer standout was named to the Third Team, marking the 13th time in the last nine years that a Norwich player was recognized as one of the nation’s top student-athletes.

Mace’s combined performances athletically and in the classroom were top-notch, and she is the second female Academic All-American for Norwich in the last six months after softball standout Emily Oliver earned the honor in June for softball. Mace is just the fourth female in Norwich history to earn the honor and the second women’s soccer player to do do, following in the footsteps of 1987 graduate Portia Babcock.

Mace is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and was the first member of the women’s soccer team to earn that distinction since 2012, when Courtney Parisot was selected to the team two years in a row.

Mace carries a 4.0 GPA and is a University and Presidential Scholar. The athletic training major had the highest GPA in her class as a freshman and sophomore. She has been a two-sport NCAA varsity athlete, competing on both the soccer and lacrosse teams.

“I have always believed in the quote, ‘How you do anything is how you do everything,’” Mace said. “So I have always strived to put in equal dedication and time into both academics and athletics. Through my four years here I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by exceptionally supportive teammates, coaches and professors that have always motivated me to do my best. It is a privilege to be selected for this award.”

Mace was a two-year captain on the soccer and lacrosse teams while also serving as the women’s club hockey team captain. She is an athletic community service liaison as well as a civilian academic mentor. Mace serves as the Sports Medicine Society Treasurer and has been named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship team five times in her career. She also volunteers for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund in New York.

“(Mace) emulates the full definition of being a student-athlete,” Norwich women’s soccer coach Heather Faasse said. “As a captain, she has challenged her teammates to achieve greatness in every aspect of their lives. She leads by example and provides support for those around her. MK will have a lasting impression on our program and what it truly means to be a Norwich women’s soccer student-athlete.”

Mace is a six-time Dean’s List honoree and was named to the GNAC All-Academic team the last two years. This year she was one of five players to start in all 18 soccer games. During three seasons on the soccer team, Mace played in 48 games and made 45 starts. She scored her first collegiate goal this season in a 3-1 win over Colby-Sawyer.

Mace tallied one goal and two assists in her career while playing a vital factor in the team’s defense and the Cadets’ emergence the last two seasons as a legitimate league playoff contender again. Norwich won 13 total games the last two seasons after needing the previous five seasons to reach 13 total wins. She was the lone representative from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference on this year’s women’s soccer Academic All-American teams.

Norwich has had at least one Academic All-American each of the last five years, with football standout Derek Lotito and hockey star Braeden Ostepchuk earning the honor in 2016. Ostepchuk repeated the feat in 2017 and became Norwich’s first Academic All-American of the Year in 2018. He was also the school’s first three-time Academic All-American.

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