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California's Smith named 2020 Pac-12 Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Apr 23, 2021


SAN FRANCISCO - CALIFORNIA’s Emily Smith has been named the Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2020 season — played during the spring of 2021 — the Conference announced today. The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports sponsored by the Pac-12, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their respective sports disciplines. 

Smith, a senior defender from Los Gatos, Calif., is an applied mathematics and data science major at UC Berkeley with a 3.92 cumulative grade-point average. A three-time All-Pac-12 selection and three-year co-captain for the Golden Bears, Smith previously earned First Team Pac-12 All-Academic and received the Golden Bear Award in 2018, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the team. In 2019, she put together a First Team All-Pac-12 season on the field, and earned 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honors as well. 

In 2021, Smith was selected with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft by Racing Louisville FC. Across four years in Berkeley, Smith played in 68 games (67 starts), scoring three goals and recording five assists while leading California’s defensive front. She is the first Pac-12 Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient from the California women's soccer program. 

In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility), on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year is named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2008-09 academic year.

ALSO NOMINATED: Jill Aguilera, Arizona; Olivia Jones, Arizona State; Libby Geraghty, Colorado; Chardonnay Curran, Oregon; Nicole Nickerson, Oregon State; Kiki Pickett, Stanford; Jacey Pederson, UCLA; Kaylie Collins, USC; Kaylene Pang, Washington; Elyse Bennett, Washington State.