KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Eastern Connecticut State University senior J.D. Stearns (Bolton, Conn.) and Plymouth State University senior Nick Rutherford (Sydney, Australia) have been honored by the United Soccer Coaches Association for the combined success in the classroom and on the field. Rutherford was named a Third-Team Scholar All-America and First-Team Scholar Al-Region selection, while Stearns was named a Third-Team Scholar All-Region honoree.
This marks the first Scholar All-America honor for Rutherford, who was named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for the second consecutive season. He is the fourth Little East Conference (LEC) student-athlete to be named a United Soccer Coaches (formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Scholar All-American, and is the first for Plymouth State.
The finance major finished second in the league in scoring with nine goals and a league-best 10 assists for 28 points. Following the season, Rutherford was named a first-team LEC all-conference selection for the first time and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District® honors for the third consecutive year. He was named a second-team all-LEC pick each of the previous two seasons.
An accounting major, Stearns finished third on the team in scoring this season with two goals and three assists for seven points in what was a balanced attack for the Warriors this season. The two-time LEC All-Academic selection picked up second-team all-conference honors as a sophomore after recording career-high totals of three goals, five assists and 11 points.
Student-athletes receiving Scholar All-America recognition at these levels meet the following criteria:
- 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) or better throughout career
- Started more than 50 percent of all games and significantly contribute to their team
- Nominated by head coach of current College Services member institution
- Junior or above in academic standing; and, if a transfer student, in second year at school