St. Peter, Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus senior men’s soccer player Sean Sendelbach (Sioux Falls, S.D.) has been named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Division III Men’s Soccer Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Sendelbach, a two-time Academic All-District honoree, earns a place on this year’s third team.
“Wonderful news for Sean, I could not be more pleased for him,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “He is a very gifted student and a bright and articulate lad. Additionally, he is the life and soul of the party, fun to be around, and wonderful company. Sean is the epitome of a student-athlete – he is just the best.”
Playing with a chip on his shoulder and wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Sean Sendelbach was the ideal teammate and the opposition’s worst enemy as he dictated the tempo of Gustavus’s possession system.
“Sean was our team leader and driving force throughout the season,” said Middleton about his captain’s leadership qualities on the pitch. “The power of his will drives everyone forward and his determination is second to none.”
Middleton also credits Sean’s success on the field to his overall athletic ability and effort. “He has the remarkable ability to run all day and cover every blade of grass. He wins every tackle, contests every header, and always makes good decisions in possession. Sean’s ability on the ball is vastly underrated – he shields the ball beautifully and keeps the ball moving.”
Sendelbach earned All-Conference honors for the first time in his career this season after turning in what was the best statistical year of his four-year career. The Sioux Falls, S.D. product started in 18-of-19 games and scored 11 points off of four goals and three assists. He scored two game-winning goals, which came in a 1-0 win over Concordia on Sept. 21 and 4-0 victory over Saint John’s on Sept. 24. Sendelbach played over 80 minutes per match on average and scored all four of his goals against league foes.
The 2013 Gustavus men’s soccer team finished the season with an overall record of 14-4-1 after falling to Westminster in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament. Sendelbach captained the Gusties to a perfect 10-0-0 MIAC record and second straight MIAC title. It was the second year in a row that Gustavus earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament and the third straight year the Gusties posted 14 or more wins in a season. Middleton’s club was just the fifth team in the history of MIAC soccer to complete its league schedule with an unblemished and perfect record.
Over the course of Sendelbach’s four years representing the Three Crowns, the men’s soccer team compiled an overall record of 53-13-10 and an MIAC mark of 29-4-7. The Gusties won two MIAC Championships, earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament twice, and posted an impressive team goals against average of 0.59. A member of Middleton’s first freshman class at Gustavus, Sean played and started in 66 straight matches beginning halfway through his freshman year. He posted 18 career points on six goals and six assists to go along with three game-winning goals.
Away from the pitch, Sean excels in the prestigious Gustavus nursing program where he carries a cumulative grade point average of 3.8.
“It’s a great sadness for me that he is a senior,” said Middleton. “Sean is an absolute joy at practice, giving 100-percent, laughing, and joking with anyone who will listen.”
Sendelbach is the 97th CoSIDA Academic All-American in the history of the Gustavus Athletics Department. He earns the accolade in the footsteps of former men’s soccer players Trevor Brown (2007) and Ben Ceder (2011) who also garnered the honor.
“He carries everyone on his shoulders,” Middleton said. “When it’s needed to calm the players down, he does so. When it’s go time, he is steely-eyed and serious. All that happens in the blink of an eye and that is what makes him such a tremendous captain and leader.”
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 19,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.