Jason Sullivan marked for CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, spot on national ballot



November 6, 2003


DeKALB, IL---Success breeds success, as the saying goes. Northern Illinois University's Jason Sullivan (Quincy / Notre Dame) added a new chapter to the Huskie men's soccer program's history of academic achievement by earning a spot on the 2003 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District V men's soccer team.

Regional coordinator Kelly Loft announced the honor Thursday (Nov. 6), presenting a distinction which also places the senior defender on the list for Academic All-America consideration. The honorees from District V---which is comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, plus the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba---join their counterparts from CoSIDA's other seven districts on the ballot for Academic All-America accolades. That list will be announced Nov. 24.

The anchor of the Huskie back line, Sullivan serves as mentor for a defensive unit which allowed just six goals in six Mid-American Conference matches this season and recorded a 1.59 goals-against average despite two freshmen and a sophomore on the back line plus a freshman goalkeeper. The Quincy native started 14 matches in 2003 and his impact was evident as the Huskies allowed three goals in two of the three contests he missed.

Sullivan was one of five Northern Illinois players to garner Academic All-MAC status last year, adding that honor to a trio of Victory Scholar awards in the NIU Academic Excellence Program. In the classroom, he carries a 3.71 grade-point-average as an accountancy major in the university's nationally-acclaimed College of Business.

"Jason is a fantastic player, one of the best central defenders in the MAC," Northern Illinois coach Steve Simmons noted. "He makes a difference every time he's out on the field. To do what he does and still maintain the effort he has in the classroom, that's the epitome of what we want in our program. He excels both on the field and academically, and really sets the table for the people around him."

Sullivan's honor marks the ninth consecutive year the Huskie men's soccer program has been represented on a CoSIDA honor roll. Jeff Stojak earned First-Team Academic All-America honors for the 1998 season and Second-Team status in 1997, while Sigurd Slaastad was a Second-Team pick in both 1995 and 1996 as the program's first CoSIDA Academic All-America selection. Paal Bay Braathen earned Academic All-District notice in the 1999 campaign with Jason Tithof and Peter Agrimson drawing similar honors in 2000. Agrimson's certificate was the first of three consecutive awards before he completed his eligibility last fall.

"This award continues the tradition of academic excellence for the Huskie men's soccer program," Simmons added. "He has been the flagship for us, and represents the standards of what we want to have in a student-athlete. He gets it done both on the field and in the classroom, and I'm happy to see that effort recognized."

Bradley University and the University of Evansville each placed two players on the regional honor roll with goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath and defender Shannon Taylor representing BU and forward Dan Broxup joining defender Adam Schultz as Evansville's honorees. Dunsheath and Broxup were the only sophomores on the Academic All-District squad.

University of Wisconsin forward Jed Hohlbein and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee front-liner Antou Jallow also made the list, along with Northwestern University's Jeremy Cook, Justin Langan of Western Illinois University and Indiana University's Danny O'Rourke in the midfield. Defender Brandon Meyer of Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis rounded out the list.

Sullivan and his teammates open play in the Mid-American Conference postseason tournament Friday (Nov. 7), meeting tourney host Bowling Green St. in the quarterfinal round. The Huskies fell to BGSU 2-1 during the regular season (Oct. 12) despite Sullivan's assist on the lone Northern Illinois goal---his only point of the fall. NIU carries the fifth seed into the league summit, entering the weekend at 3-12-2 overall and 2-4-0 in conference play.

-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester



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