Nov. 4, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State seniors Heath Melugin and Thomas Vania were named to the Capital One All-District VI first team on Friday. It is the third-straight year that Melugin has received the honor and marks the first year that Vania has been named to the team. The senior duo is now eligible for the Capital One Academic All-America ballot, which opens for voting on Tuesday, November 8.
Melugin, who is majoring in cell and molecular biology with a chemistry minor, holds a 3.97 grade point average and a perfect 4.0 in his college curriculum. The Springfield, Mo. native is no stranger to the Academic All-America program. In 2010, Melugin was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District VII and Academic All-America second team. He is a two-time MVC Academic First Team honoree and has received the Prairie Farms/MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week award twice in his career.
On the field, Melugin has continued to excel, leading the Bears in goals (4), points (12), shots (33) and shots on goal (16). He ranks among the league's best during conference play as he is tied for first with his two goals and is second with five points.
Vania, who is majoring in accounting, holds a 3.73 GPA. The senior hailing from Kennesaw, Ga., was named to the 2010 MVC Scholar-Athlete second team.
Besides the Missouri State goalkeeper, Vania leads the team in minutes played (1,367 of 1,480 total minutes). He is one of just three Bears to have started all 16 matches this season and has compiled 59 career starts. This season, the team captain started at midfielder, but was called on once again to take over at the center back position. Since his move to defense, Missouri State has limited MVC opponents to one goal on 48 shots.
The Bears head to Des Moines, Iowa to take on Drake in its regular-season finale on Saturday at 7 p.m. At 4-1 in league play, the Bears are one win away from the regular-season MVC title. Missouri State currently holds the tiebreaker over Creighton after a 1-0 win against the Bluejays on Oct. 12.