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Venter, Smith Pick Up NSCAA Scholar All-America Honors
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/03/2012
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 3, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- After earning first-team spots on the NSCAA All-Region team, sophomore Kyle Venter and junior Blake Smith were named first and second-team Scholar All-Americans respectively.

The award marked the second scholastic honor for Venter, the Lobos' primary centerback out of Aurora, Colo. Venter already has several postseason awards to his credit, including his first-team Scholar All-Region spot, and two prior All-American awards. He was named second-team CoSIDA/Capital One All-American and a third-team All-American spot by College Soccer News after leading the team in minutes played with 2,030.

Over the course of the season, Venter found his way onto three all-tournament teams throughout the course of the season, being named the defensive MVP in the TLC Invitational and the UA Tournament, and was named to the MPSF all-tournament team. He also has one MPSF Player of the Week award to his credit, and was named first-team all-conference.

Venter scored five goals for the Lobos this season, including three game-tying goals and one game-winner. At New Mexico, Venter is a business major and currently holds a 3.31 cumulative GPA.

Smith worked his way to a second-team NSCAA Scholar All-American spot, having also garnered a first-team Scholar All-Region spot with his 3.33 grade point average in business studies. The junior out of Boerne, Texas, was also named to first-team spot on CoSIDA's Academic All-District VI list, giving him three scholastic awards on the year.

A member of the All-Far West Region second-team, Smith finished the season leading the Lobos in scoring and total points with 10 goals and five assists to his name for 25 points on the season. He was once named an MPSF Player of the Week and also earned spots on two national teams of the week over the duration of the year. He was also credited with the game-tying goal that send the Lobos into golden goal overtime with Duke in the second round of the NCAA College Cup.

For a comprehensive Scholar All-American list, please visit: 2011 NSCAA Men's Collegiate Scholar All-America Team

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