Jan. 7, 2010
CLEVELAND - A trio of senior men's soccer players garnered Mid-American Conference All-Academic Team notice for their performance on the field and in the classroom, the league announced Thursday.
Midfielders Luis De La Cerda (Guadalajara, Mexico/Waubonsie Valley) and Brad Bahr (Peoria, Ill./Dunlap) earned first team recognition. Outside back Aaron Zendejas (Okinawa, Japan/Kadena) was named to the MAC All-Academic Honorable Mention Team.
"Our players work hard in all of the aspects of being a student-athlete, in the classroom, on the field, in the community, and it's nice that they get recognized for the work they do," head coach Eric Luzzi said. "These three guys have really led our team in showing what it's like to be a true student-athlete."
A finance major with a 3.319 grade point average, De La Cerda co-led the Huskies with six goals, and tallied five assists to lead the team with 17 points. He started 18 of the 19 games in which he appeared, and scored game-winning goals against Oakland, Seattle, and Bowling Green. De La Cerda also scored multiple goals in two games, tallying doubles against Lafayette and BGSU. For his career, he played in 76 matches, with 42 starts, 13 goals and 10 assists.
Bahr, who is studying mechanical engineering and holds a lofty 3.789 GPA, played in 10 matches. He scored his first career goal against UNC-Greensboro, a game-winner, and played in wins over Lafayette, Buffalo, and Seattle. In four years at NIU, Bahr appeared in 32 matches with four starts.
Zendejas, a communication major with a 3.457 GPA, started in 17 matches for the Huskies. Playing outside back, he was a crucial member of the Huskie defense that allowed just 0.79 goals per game. Zendejas started and played all 110 minutes of NIU's tie against then-No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and was also on the field for 90 minutes in wins over UNC-Greensboro, Oregon State, Oakland, Seattle and Buffalo. He finished his Huskie career with 41 matches played and 17 starts.
The Huskies won 10 games for the fourth time in five years with a 10-8-1 record, losing in overtime to national runner-up consensus No. 1 Akron in the MAC Tournament semifinals.