After 33 Years, U. T. Dallas Finally Has An All American of Its Own
Since its founding in 1969, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has conferred nearly 45,000 degrees, included among its faculty two Nobel laureates, won the “Final Four of Chess” two years in a row and worked with NASA to develop ways of predicting weather in outer space. But none of its athletes ever has been named first team All-America.
Trent Abbott, a senior majoring in business administration at UTD, was one of 11 soccer players just selected to the first team and one of only 33 in the country named to the men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III All-America team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Abbott, from Bedford, captained a Comet defense that this season gave up only 20 goals – for a stingy 0.94 goals against average. He also helped on offense, netting two goals and one assist in 2002. Abbott was named the co-defensive player of the year, all-conference and first team all-East Division. And keeping with UTD’s tradition of academic excellence, he maintained a 3.35 GPA throughout the season.
“This is a tremendous honor for Trent, the men’s soccer team and our entire sports program,” said Mary Walters, director of athletics at UTD. “Despite that fact that we don’t field a football team, we continue to make a name for ourselves not only in soccer, but in our basketball, baseball, softball and other sports programs.”
The UTD men’s soccer team, in its first year of active status in the NCAA and led by head coach Jack Peel and assistant coach Jeremy Morse, posted its best season in the program’s history with 16 wins and an undefeated 12-0 record in the American Southwest Conference East. The Comets finished at 16-4-1 overall and netted their first ASC East Division title, and Coach Peel was named coach of the year in the ASC.
UTD women’s soccer enjoyed similar success, finishing its best season ever with a 16-4-2 overall record and an ASC title. In addition, four women were named to the 2002 NSCAA/Adidas South Region teams, including sophomore goalkeeper Katie Johnson and senior midfielder Serena Griffin, who were named to the first team, and seniors Kristin Andrews and Katy Turner, who were named to the second team.
The NSCAA/Adidas All-America teams are determined through voting by NSCAA member coaches from across the nation. The teams, from youth to NCAA Division I, will be honored at the NSCAA/Adidas All-America luncheon to be held Saturday, Jan. 18, as part of the 2003 NSCAA convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Based in Mission, Kan., the NSCAA is the largest coaches’ organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1941, it has grown to include more than 16,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport. In addition to a national rankings program for colleges and high schools, NSCAA offers an extensive recognition program that presents more than 10,000 individual awards every year. It fulfills its mission of coaching education through a nationwide program of clinics and week-long courses, teaching more than 3,000 soccer coaches each year.