Neuner awarded postgraduate scholarship: Sports Shorts 3/3/06

By Tim Murphy

After an illustrious career on the soccer pitch, fourth-year striker Renee Neuner can add one more honor to her long list of accolades.

The 2003 NCAA player of the year was named as a recipient of the NCAA postgraduate scholarship Thursday. The $7,500 award, given annually to student-athletes from each of the NCAA’s three divisions, will go toward furthering her postgraduate education.

In addition to finishing her career as the Maroons’ all-time leading scorer with 78 goals, Neuner distinguished herself off the field with her academic success and service to the community. Neuner served as a camp counselor, grade school tutor, and rape victim advocate.

“She’s a wonderful person,” head coach Amy Reifert said. “She’s interwoven her academic passions with her work in the summer and in the community. She extended her work to go where the need was greatest.”

Neuner is the first Maroon to receive the award since Tom Haxton (AB ’04) earned the honor in 2004 as a member of the track and cross-country teams. Like Haxton, Neuner was a four-time UAA All-Academic selection. She was also a four-time first-team All-UAA, and All-Central region pick, was a first-team All-American, and won the 2003 Division III Player of the Year award.

Neuner averaged nearly a goal a game during her time in the maroon and white, notching 78 goals in 82 games, including the game winner in the NCAA quarterfinals against Puget Sound November 19 at Stagg Field. The win sent the Maroons to the NCAA Final Four for the second time during her four years, during which time they had an overall record of 65–12–9, the best winning percentage in program history.

“When she got the ball, she put it in the back of the net,” Reifert said. “She had absolute confidence that she was going to score. She toyed with goalkeepers.”

According to Reifert, Neuner plans to take at least a year off before using the scholarship for graduate school.