Valpo senior defender Keegan Maris (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) added yet another accolade from an award-filled season to her list of accomplishments on Thursday, and this honor is the biggest yet as she was tabbed a Third Team Scholar All-American by United Soccer Coaches for her work both in the classroom and on the field. Maris also received First Team Scholar All-North/Central Region honors as well.
A standout in the classroom, Maris carried 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. 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 for the 2019-20 academic year, is a two-time MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award recipient and three-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 this season 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 Valpo’s first Scholar All-American since the 2014 season, when Rita Craven was a First Team selection and Jenny Fassbinder earned Third Team honors. Maris is also the first Valpo player to pick up First Team Scholar All-Region accolades since 2014 as well.