Jessica Soja and Jason Vancura Named 2013-14 Quinnipiac Senior Scholar-Athletes

HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac University hosted its 31st annual Senior Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Recreation Center on Mount Carmel Campus. Seniors Jason Vancura (Whitman, Mass.) of the men’s soccer team and Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Conn.) of the women’s cross country team were selected as the two recipients of this year's Quinnipiac Scholar-Athlete awards.

The annual banquet recognizes academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements by selected students, which includes the prestigious athletics Scholar-Athlete award. This particular award is presented to a letter-winner who has given extra effort for the athletic department, shown strength of character and high academic average, and was a valuable member of his/her team. Last year, graduates Sarah Viebrock of the women's tennis team and Spencer Kane of the baseball team served as the two recipients.

Quinnipiac University Male Scholar-Athlete – Jason Vancura
Men’s Soccer - Goalkeeper
Whitman, Mass.
Public Relations
GPA: 3.58

Jason Vancura joined the men’s soccer team in 2012 and immediately provided stability at the goalkeeper position for the Bobcats. He had four career appearances and was nothing short of spectacular in each of them. This past season, he had two victories and a shutout which were vital in helping Quinnipiac remain in contention for the regular-season title.

The Whitman, Mass. native made a career best of seven saves in his first win against Canisius (10/19), and then made five saves against Manhattan (10/23) to earn his first career shutout. He finished his career with a 0.650 goals against average in a Bobcat uniform.

Quinnipiac University Female Scholar-Athlete – Jessica Soja
Women’s Cross Country
Simsbury, Conn.
Health Science
GPA: 3.9

Jess Soja burst onto the scene for the women’s cross country program with a breakout 2012 campaign that had her earning her first career All-Conference distinction. She established a personal-best time of 18:18.73 in the New England Varsity Championship while she helped lift her team to an eighth consecutive Northeast Conference title with a 7th place finish in 2012.

This past season, in what was the programs first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Soja won her first career Runner of the Week award with her Top 10 finish in the Nassaney Memorial Race. She wrapped up her career with two great performances, placing 14th at the MAAC Championships to earn consecutive All-Conference honors and career-best finish in the NCAA Regionals. Soja is also a four-time All-Conference Academic Team honoree.

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In addition to Vancura and Soja, seniors Phoebe Laplante (New Bedford, Mass.) of the women's lacrosse team and Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) of the women's ice hockey team received awards as well. Laplante and Colin received the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges award - distinguishing students who are outstanding in scholarship and leadership - and the Outstanding Senior Award - recognizing seniors with a 3.0 GPA or better, service, dedication and contribution to Quinnipiac throughout their four years.

Men's ice hockey student athletic trainer Marissa Harper received the Athletic Training Student Achievement Award, given each year to a senior majoring in athletic training who has shown exceptional achievement and who has contributed significantly to the department.