Bears Land Three on MVC Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete Teams
Heath Melugin was one of three Bears on the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams
Heath Melugin was one of three Bears on the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams

Nov. 22, 2011

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Three Missouri State men’s soccer players earned Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete honors, the league announced Tuesday. Seniors Heath Melugin and Thomas Vania were named to the first team, while sophomore Cole Alexander earned honorable mention accolades.

Melugin, who boasts a 3.97 GPA in cell and molecular biology, was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the third consecutive year. The senior from Springfield, Mo., was one of four unanimous first-team selections on the 11-member squad. This season, he became a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District first team selection and was named Prairie Farms-MVC Student Athlete of the Week twice. The 2010 CoSIDA Academic All-America second team pick also earned MVC Offensive Player of the Week honors following his game-winning goal on the road at Drake in double overtime. His game-winner against the Bulldogs helped MSU capture a share of the MVC regular-season title and earn the No. 1 seed for the conference championship in Omaha, Neb.

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 2011 All-MVC first team honoree 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).

Vania, who holds a 3.73 GPA in accounting, was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the second year in-a-row. The senior from Kennesaw, Ga., joined Melugin this season as a 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District VI first team pick. He was one of just three Bears to start all 19 contests, playing 1,652 of 1,765 minutes this season. Vania began the season at midfield, but was called upon to take over at the center back position at mid-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.

Alexander has a 3.60 GPA and has yet to declare a major. The sophomore from Elverta, Calif., played in 17 matches this season and started in three of those games. He stepped up his play during MVC action, scoring two of his three goals against Valley opponents. Additionally, two of his three goals were game-winners (UMKC, SIU Edwardsville). Alexander finished the season tied for second on the team with three goals and third in points (7).

2011 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team
Andrew Duran, Creighton
Ethan Finlay, Creighton
Tommy Fritze, Bradley
Bryan Gaul, Bradley
Brian Holt, Creighton
Matt Kuhn, Drake
Nick Marshall, Drake
Heath Melugin, Missouri State
Thomas Ostrander, Drake
Bobby Smith, Bradley
Thomas Vania, Missouri State

2011 MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention Team
Cole Alexander, Missouri State
Garrett Crall, Drake
Hunter Kennedy, Drake
Jace Peters, Creighton
Andrew Ribeiro, Creighton
Paxti Shortsleeve, Central Arkansas



Official Store

    Watch Video