COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College women's basketball senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) was named to the Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America second team on Wednesday, becoming just the ninth student-athlete in school history to be named Academic All-America.
Olsen, who advanced to the national ballot for the second straight year after earning an Academic All-District I selection for the second time earlier this month, was one of 15 women from across Division II to be lauded on three teams due to their accomplishments both on the court and in the classroom. She was also one of two from the Northeast-10 Conference while landing on the six-player second squad. The honorees are selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Olsen is first on the team in steals (62) while standing second in scoring (13.5), assists (59), free throws (87), free throw percentage (79.1), three-pointers (28) and three-point shooting (31.8). The captain is tied for fifth in the East Region in steals per game (2.7) while tying for fourth in the NE-10 in steals average and sitting sixth in both freebies and free throw shooting. Thanks to recording 108 takeaways over the last two seasons combined, Olsen is on pace to become the first player to lead the Purple Knights in steals in consecutive seasons since Brigid Hegarty '06 in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
A double major in economics and psychology, Olsen has qualified for the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll as an academic standout seven times while being named NE-10 Academic All-Conference twice. Olsen carries a 3.98 cumulative grade-point average, which was good for third among the 15 Academic All-America selections.
During the team's recent 7-5 surge following an 0-7 league start, Olsen averaged 15.5 points on 43.6 percent shooting to go along with 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals in the last 13 games. Among her highlights were a 31-point, six-steal performance on Jan. 26, as she came within five points of a 32-year-old school record, and a near triple-double of 19 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and five steals on Feb. 9.
Men's soccer student-athlete Jared Berry '10 had been the last Purple Knight to earn Academic All-America, during the 2009-10 school year, while Mandee Galbraith '97 was the most recent woman to be honored, for her academic and athletic achievements on both the field hockey and lacrosse fields during the 1996-97 school year. Now the third Purple and Gold female to be recognized, Olsen is the first women's basketball player to earn the accolade since Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Fame member Kathy O'Neil '81 in 1980-81.
To be nominated for the Academic All-America program, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore in academic standing, possess at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average and be a starter or significant reserve. This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America program, as CoSIDA moved away from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and aims to double the number of scholar-athlete honorees. There are now four teams, one apiece lauding NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.