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Eastern Michigan soccer's Emily Dzik wins NCAA Senior CLASS Award

Emily Dzik
Emily Dzik (Kelly Haapala)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan women's senior soccer captain Emily Dzik is recipient of the 2014 NCAA's Senior CLASS Award.

She was nominated among an original field of 30 candidates that were selected by a media panel. The candidates were narrowed down to 10 finalists and allowed fan voting to be combined with the media and Division 1 head coaches votes before naming her as the winner.

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"It is a big honor to receive this award," said Dzik. "Because it's not only honoring my accomplishments on the field but I am being recognized for all that I did off the field."

This award is given to student-athletes who participate as a senior in the Division 1 level of the NCAA and exhibit achievements in four areas of excellence which include community, classroom, character and competition. CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and looks at the student-athlete as a whole on and off the field and for those that use their position to make a positive impact and leadership within their community.

Dzik has one of the highest GPAs out of all Eastern Michigan student-athletes, is majoring in nursing and is a member of both of the honors college and the nursing mentor program. She is also a representative for her class in the child/family health nursing with administration coordination.

On the field, Emily played in all 73 games since the Troy native arrived at EMU as a freshman in 2011 and was named to MAC All-Freshman Team after starting all 18 games and had the most minutes played of any EMU player. Her sophomore year, the first year eligible for this award, she was an Academic All-MAC student-athlete. She was named junior year as Capital One Academic All-District Second Team and Academic All-MAC accolades. She was also the MAC Co-Defensive Player of the year. Dzik's honors in soccer also include, two-time All-MAC First Team honoree, NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team, All-MAC First Team honors besides being a team captain and her team winning the MAC regular season title.

"It takes a lot of time management and dedication," said Dzik. "It's what I've gotten really good at these last 4 years, to be able to really manage my time appropriately with soccer and school, extracurricular activities, volunteering and all of that stuff."

To be considered for the CLASS award, student-athletes need to show that they have what it takes to go the extra distance needed to succeed. Dzik has worked hard academically and not only has shown that with her GPA and high honors but also in her mentoring and being a member of the Eastern Michigan chapter of the nationwide Student Nurses Association that she has stepped it up academically.

In soccer, she is a natural talent, but this talent needs to be worked on as well and she would not be the player she is today had it not been for her drive to be the best she can, and this has included her additional private trainings in Metro Detroit with Aaron Byrd at Next Level Training (NLT).

"Realistically, a huge part of my accomplishments in soccer are because of NLT and all of the time and dedication they put into me and how hard they pushed me," said Dzik. "They worked to get me comfortable with the things that I was uncomfortable with so that when I left training session, I had some confidence in those areas. I didn't start to go there until the summer after my freshman year and was told in my sophomore season by the coaches how much they felt I improved in every aspect. I went again to NLT for winter break and kept coming back to school after trainings and being told by my coaches that I improved again. This extra training helped me focus on areas that I have been weak and helped me to accomplish those tasks that I've never really had the time to sit down with someone one on one and be able to improve upon. So I kept doing that each year and I feel that my improvement was all because of my hard work, dedication and because of Aaron Byrd and NLT."

"Your college career really is your make or breaking point. It is either you don't give it your all and you are done with soccer after college or you give it your all and possibly get to move on and maybe even play professionally. Everyone is going to their club practices and jogs but it's putting in that time and that extra dedication to maybe miss hanging out with your friends one night to go into that training session that can help to make the difference and set you apart from everyone else."

"To get to that level, you really have to set yourself apart from the others."

Dzik has done just that with her efforts and hard work. She has become the top in the nation as a student-athlete and besides the GPA, soccer and athletic accomplishment and knowing she gave it her all, she now has been recognized by the NCAA, media, coaches and her fans as being the 2014 NCAA CLASS Senior Award Women's Soccer winner.

She thanks everyone at Next Level Training for their help with her training.