Toledo senior Natalia Gaitan has earned a spot on the first team of the Capital One Academic All-District@ 5 Women's Soccer Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Gaitan is the second member of the Rocket soccer program to garner first team Academic All-District accolades and will now advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration, joining former teammate Kristen Lynn (2008-11) in 2011.
Gaitan's inclusion on the prestigious team should come as no surprise, as she carries a 3.93 cumulative grade-point average in business. The Bogota, Colombia native is a two-time Academic All-MAC honoree and a member of UT's Dean's List the last six semesters, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in Fall 2010. Last season, she was named third-team NSCAA Scholar All-America, becoming the first Rocket to earn Academic All-America accolades.
On the pitch, the 2012 second-team All-Mid-American Conference selection has started all 20 matches on defense and played every single minute this fall. She has spearheaded a Toledo defense that has posted five shutouts and given up one goal or less on 12 occasions in 2012. A dangerous player in the attack as well, Gaitan currently sits second on the team in goals (4) and total points (8).
Gaitan and the No. 6 seed Rockets (7-11-2) will look to take one step closer to successfully defending their MAC Tournament championship when they face No. 2 seed Central Michigan (14-5-1) in the second of two semifinal matchups today at 2:00 p.m. The other semifinal pits top seed Miami (17-2-1) against No. 4 seed Kent State (13-4-2) at 11:00 a.m. The winner of the 16th-annual postseason event receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
District 5 is made up of NCAA Division I schools from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.