For the second straight year, EMU women’s soccer senior Megan Breidigan (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) earned a spot on the Google Cloud District 5 Academic All-District Team. The award recognizes her work both in the athletic and academic spheres at Eastern Mennonite University.
Breidigan, one of just 13 players on the all-district team, is a four-year starter in the Royals’ defense. She started 54 of her 55 games and helped Eastern Mennonite to 19 shutouts over her career. A secondary English education major with a psychology minor, Breidigan also carried a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
“I am honored to be named Academic All-District by CoSIDA for my final season playing soccer as a Royal,” Breidigan said. “Playing a sport while being a full-time student has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences of my life. I learned that time management, communication, and flexibility are all qualities that can be developed with intentional effort both on the soccer field and in the classroom. The leadership skills that I developed from acting as captain of the EMU soccer team contributed to my confidence in front of the classroom during my student teaching semester, and now as I teach in a long-term substitute position. The team work required to play soccer has allowed me to work with peers on group projects and be successful at maintaining positive relationships. Overall, collegiate athletics gave me a well-rounded undergraduate education experience, which I will take with me into the next chapter of my life.”
To wrap up her collegiate experience, Breidigan recently earned the EMU President’s Award, given to just one female and one male Royals athlete every year. She has been a regular on the ODAC All-Academic Team and EMU Dean’s List, and has been involved in many campus and community activities while at EMU. These include Executive Royal Ambassador Tour Guide, Fellow of Christian Athletes Leadership Team, University Choir, and the Weather Vane, while most recently she was named as Teacher of Promise.
Coach Ted Erickson explained that Breidigan has displayed a wonderful ability to adapt and thrive during her time at EMU.
“Megan has an older sister, Rachel, who was part of our first group of recruits who established the ‘academics first, athletics second’ approach. So when Megan enrolled four years ago we knew she understood what it took off the field and allowed us as a coaching staff to help her develop into the college player she became. In that freshman season she dealt with the transition to college, transitioning into a brand new position, center back, and transitioning into the college game. None of that distracted her from her success in the classroom. Those were not the only challenges Megan faced while at EMU: she became a captain her junior year, had her cross cultural in Central America cut short due to COVID-19, got engaged before her senior year, planned a wedding, handled her COVID-19-affected senior season, and amidst all that, she still finished school with a perfect GPA.”
Erickson said Breidigan pushed her teammates to be better and will do the same in her career as a teacher.
“Megan played in all but one game in her four-year career, forced her teammates to be focused every day in training or else she was going to land a crunching tackle on them, and made time in her individual schedule to get to know each teammate individually,” he explained. “We are honored to have Megan represent our program for a second straight year with this award but we are not surprised by her accomplishments. We look forward to her impacting young minds this coming year as a teacher in the Fairfax County School System.”
The Academic All-District team is voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Breidigan is now eligible for CoSIDA’s Academic All-America voting.
The criteria for the All-District program states that a player must be of sophomore academic standing, be a starter or important reserve and claim a GPA of at least 3.30 on a 4.0 scale. Eastern Mennonite is a member of District 5, which includes players from NCAA D-III institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.