Jan. 9, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri State's Heath Melugin collected yet another All-America award as he was named to the 2011 NSCAA Men's Collegiate Scholar All-America Team. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America recently announced the contingent of 35 players in the University Division, in which the Bears' leading scorer picked up third-team honors.
The honorees will be recognized at the annual All-America Luncheon, to be held at the Kansas City Convention Center's Grand Ballroom on Jan. 14, in conjunction with the 2012 NSCAA Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Melugin also earned Academic All-America® honors for the second year in-a-row, but for the first time in his career he reached elite status as he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America ® Men's Soccer Division I first team. He became just the second MSU men's soccer player to earn first-team accolades.
The senior, majoring in cell and molecular biology, was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the third consecutive year and was one of four unanimous first-team selections. This season, he also garnered the Prairie Farms-MVC Student Athlete of the Week award twice and was named MVC Offensive Player of the Week once.
At the conclusion of the State Farm MVC Men's Soccer Championship, Melugin was named to the All-Tournament Team and was also selected as the 2011 MVC Elite 18 Award winner, honoring the highest performer in both athletics and academics in the championship match. The Springfield, Mo. native led the Bears in points, goals, shots, shots on goal and game-winners this season. Melugin finished his career ranked fifth all-time at MSU in game-winners (8), seventh in goals (22) and eighth in points (53).
In addition to the Collegiate Scholar All-America Team, the NSCAA recently announced the Scholar All-North/Central Region Teams where Melugin and fellow senior Thomas Vania were named to the first team.
Vania finished his career as one of just three Bears to start all 19 contests, playing in 1,652 of 1,765 minutes this season. The senior from Kennesaw, Ga., was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the second straight year and joined Melugin as a 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District VI first team pick.
Vania began the season at midfield, but was called upon to take over at the center back position midway through the season. After his move to defense, Missouri State limited MVC opponents to four goals on 93 shots attempts. He earned All-MVC Second Team honors and was also named to the MVC All-Tournament team.