University of Virginia places six on VaSID Academic All-State list
Joe Bell (Wanaka, New Zealand) from men’s soccer, Jordan Mack (Lithonia, Ga.) from football, Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) from women’s swimming and diving, Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) from women’s soccer, Rachel Robinson (Mount Joy, Pa.) from field hockey and Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) from women’s basketball were named honorees, joining a list of 222 student-athletes from 37 colleges and universities within the state.
Joe Bell co-captained the Virginia men’s soccer team that reached its 13th College Cup in program history. The midfielder collected the sport’s highest academic honor, earning United Soccer Coaches Scholar Athlete of the Year Award in addition to being named the ACC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Bell is the first Cavalier ever to earn either distinction. On the pitch, he was a consensus All-American and garnered the program’s first ACC Midfielder of the Year award. He started all but two matches for UVA in 2019, missing two games after a call up to the New Zealand Full National Team in late November. Bell was second on the team with 18 points (7 goals, 4 assists). His two-goal performance in the NCAA Quarterfinal sent Virginia to the College Cup for the first time since 2015.
Jordan Mack, the winner of the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award as the conference’s top football scholar-athlete, appeared in 47 games as a Cavalier and recorded 289 total tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. He was a finalist for the 2019 William B. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete. The Lithonia, Ga., native is a three-time ACC All-Academic Team member and a four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection. He was named to College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 3 team. Mack is also an ACC Postgraduate Scholar. He was invited to attend the 2020 NFL Combine and signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers.
Paige Madden was the top point scorer at the Women’s ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, winning an individual ACC title in the 200, 500 and 1650-yard freestyle and a relay title in the 400 and 800-yard freestyle. Her performance at the conference championships earned her the title of ACC Swimmer of the Meet. Madden was named a five-time All-America honoree for advancing to the NCAA Championships in five events and held a top-10 time nationally in four events, ranking second nationally in the 500-yard freestyle, sixth in the mile and seventh in both the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle. Madden was a CoSIDA All-District At-Large District 3 Team selection, in addition to being named the Women’s Swimming Co-ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ACC Swimmer of the Year.
Meghan McCool was a United Soccer Coaches All-America selection after tying for the ACC lead in goals scored (15) and helping the Cavaliers to the top of the polls for most of the season. A team co-captain, McCool hit a team-leading six game-winning goals on the season to lead the ACC in that category as well. McCool finished the season with 33 points (15 goals, 3 assists). She was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America selection. She was also an All-ACC selection and named to the ACC Women’s Soccer All-Academic team.
Rachel Robinson, the ACC Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year, started all 23 games for the Cavaliers as a defensive midfielder, earning first-team All-America and All-ACC honors. She ended the season with five goals and four assists for 14 points, scoring the game-winning goals against Penn State and the regular-season meeting with Duke. She also scored Virginia’s lone goal in the NCAA semifinal game against Princeton. She was named to the roster of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Senior National Team in January.
Jocelyn Willoughby, an honorable mention WBCA All-American and a recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, finished the season as the ACC scoring leader at 19.2 points per game, making her just the second player in program history to pace the conference in scoring. She also ranked 10th in the ACC in rebounding at 7.5 per game and was named All-ACC First Team in votes by the Blue Ribbon Panel and the league’s head coaches. The first-round WNBA draft pick is a member of the New York Liberty. The third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American was the first player in program history to be the recipient of the 2019-20 Kay Yow Award as the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Willoughby was also named to the 2019-20 All-ACC Academic Team, making her Virginia’s first four-time recipient of that honor.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and be a sophomore or higher.
VaSID is comprised of sports information or athletics communications professionals from intercollegiate institutions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Membership is open to any individual affiliated with one of the state’s institutions at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, USCAA, NJCAA, community college and independent levels, provided that individual’s area of responsibility lies within the realm of sports information.