Cal captain and senior defender Emily Smith was voted the 2021 Pac-12 women's soccer scholar athlete of the year, the conference announced Friday morning.
The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports sponsored by the Pac-12, honor collegiate athletes who are standouts both academically and in their respective sports.
Smith is the first Golden Bear to receive such honor in the women's soccer program.
"To be named the Scholar Athlete of the Year in the Pac-12 is an amazing honor, especially when you consider how many truly gifted students there are in this conference," said head coach Neil McGuire in a statement issued by the school. "Emily has that special blend of being exceptional in both academics and athletics. She has been an outstanding captain and leader of our team all while dedicating herself to her studies. We are very proud of her."
Smith is a double major in Applied Mathematics and Data Science and currently holds a 3.92 GPA. the highest GPA on the team. Smith will return for the Fall 2021 season to complete her dual degrees and use the additional year of eligibility provided to all student athletes who competed during the COVID-19-impacted season.
Throughout her four seasons with the Bears, Smith has been a mainstay on the Cal backline that has collected 36 shutouts during her collegiate career. Smith was recently named a third-team all-Pac-12 selection thi season.
Prior to the spring 2021 season, Smith was drafted with the 31st overall pick in the NWSL draft by Racing Louisville FC and will report to Louisville following graduation.