Make room for one more award in the trophy case for Keegan Maris (Batavia, Ill./Batavia), as the Valpo soccer standout was honored Monday for her excellence both on the field and in the classroom as a CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American. Maris was one of just 33 D-I student-athletes to pick up Academic All-American honors this season.
By earning CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, Maris has now been recognized nationally multiple times following her senior season of play for her academic and athletic excellence, as she was chosen in May as a Third Team Scholar All-American by United Soccer Coaches. Maris is one of just nine D-I student-athletes to earn both CoSIDA Academic All-American honors and United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American accolades this year.
A standout in the classroom, Maris graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA as a nursing major. She was the MVC’s Elite 17 recipient for women’s soccer, presented to the student-athlete participating in the conference championship match with the highest GPA. She was a United Soccer Coaches First Team Scholar All-North/Central Region honoree, as well as a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District choice. Maris was honored with Valpo’s Laurel Award this year as well, presented to the graduating senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA.
Maris earned Valpo Athletics’ Dean’s Award for the College of Nursing and Health Professions each of the last two years as the student-athlete from the college with the best GPA, and was one of three graduating seniors this year to earn the department’s Top of the Class Award. She received the MVC President’s Council Academic Excellence Award each of the last two years, was a three-time MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award recipient and four-time member of the MVC Honor Roll and has earned Valpo Presidential Academic Honors each of the last three years.
On the field, Maris played a vital role in Valpo’s robust defensive effort in the spring of 2021 as the program earned its best MVC regular season finish and advanced to the MVC title match for the first time. After not playing a competitive match in over two and a half years due to injury, Maris returned this spring and played every minute of every match at left back for the Brown and Gold — 1,379 total minutes over 14 matches.
Maris helped anchor a defensive unit which surrendered just eight goals in 14 matches and posted seven clean sheets, including back-to-back shutouts in the first two rounds of the MVC Championship as Valpo advanced to the conference title match. Maris also contributed on the offensive end with an assist on Valpo’s opening goal in its win over Missouri State late in the regular season schedule, a victory which secured a key three points.
For her work on the pitch, Maris was a Second Team All-Midwest Region honoree from United Soccer Coaches. She picked up First Team All-MVC honors on the back line and was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week in the season’s opening week of the spring campaign.
Maris is the sixth different Valpo soccer student-athlete to earn Academic All-American honors over the last 14 seasons. She is the fourth Valpo player to receive national recognition from both CoSIDA and United Soccer Coaches, but is the first to do so in the same season.