The criteria are as follows:
Each academic year, The Bootleg's Honor Roll will recognize the top ten Stanford student-athletes who have performed at an exceptional level, with athletic accomplishments that are both extraordinary and inspirational. While achieving athletic success, these athletes should also have displayed uncommon leadership, sportsmanship and respect towards their fellow teammates and opponents. Finally, these honorees' performances and actions should also demonstrate their love for their particular sport as well as their school pride, the famed "Spirit of Stanford."
During the months of June and July, we are releasing the 10 winners of this prestigious award, one by one. We have previously recognized baseball's Jason Castro, gymnastics' David Sender and swimming's Julia Smit and Paul Kornfeld as amongst this year's winners. Our fifth announced member of The Bootleg's 2007-08 Honor Roll is soccer defender Rachel Buehler.
Honor Roll Winner: Rachel
Honor Roll Winner: Rachel Buehler
Rachel Buehler is one of our most well-rounded Honor Rollees in this 2007-08 class. For while her athletic accomplishments are phenomenal, it's her work off the pitch that's won national awards, sets her up for a bright future, and earns her a coveted spot on our Honor Roll.
First, let's not sell Buehler short athletically. The fifth-year senior was called up to the U.S. National Team in February, and, though she has logged just 11 caps (soccer lingo for games played), she was named to the U.S. Olympic team a few weeks ago. Some of Stanford's most decorated athletes, for example Candice Wiggins, won't have the honor of representing the U.S. in Beijing. For Buehler to make the cut, despite having just 11 games under her belt, is equally incredible.
On the National team, Buehler has been dominant, as the U.S. won the Peace Queen Cup, the Algarve Cup, and the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament to enter the Olympics as one of the heavy favorites. As a defender, Buehler doesn't rack up the statistics of her teammates, but thanks to her contributions, the National team is allowing fewer than a goal per game, just like Stanford allowed 0.74 goals (and recorded nine shutouts) this past season.
Speaking of which, Buehler earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors and made the All-American Second Team for the second straight year, after helping Stanford finish 15-3-5 and reach the Sweet 16 this past season as a senior. Buehler, a Stanford captain for her last three years, was one of only two Cardinal to make an All-American team. She was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the women's soccer National Player of the Year, after her junior year. But it was after her senior season when the accolades truly started to pile up.
Most impressively, Buehler was one of eight NCAA athletes (along with Ben Wildman-Torbriner, Oregon football star Dennis Dixon and Nebraska volleyball star Sarah Pavan, among others) to earn the NCAA Top VIII Award, the NCAA's top award for athletic success, academic achievement and community service. Buehler earned it, graduating in December 2007 with a perfect 4.0 GPA in human biology, and volunteering at elementary schools, a nursing home and with the Special Olympics.
Additionally, Buehler was one of 11 First Team Academic All-Americans this past season, and one of just three repeat selections on the First Team. She was ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-American of the Year and on Lowe's Senior Class First Team.
Buehler was a pre-med in her time at Stanford, and while TheBootleg is no admissions counselor, we have to figure her grades, her athletic accomplishments and her leadership awards leave her with incredibly bright future prospects. In fact, her prospects are far brighter than those of most Stanford students, who have the luxury of just focusing on their schoolwork, and not the full-time job that is varsity athletics.
So congratulations to Rachel for shattering the mold – and the curve – in her time at Stanford, and TheBootleg wishes her all the best in the Olympics and afterwards. Judging by the past four years though, it's not like she needs our good luck anyways.
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