ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League selected Denver men's soccer player Andre Shinyashiki (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as the Male Athlete of the Month and South Dakota State women's soccer player Maggie Smither (Sioux Falls, S.D.) as the Female Athlete of the Month for November.
Shinyashiki collectes his first career Athlete of the Month honor after guiding Denver to its fourth consecutive Summit League Tournament title. The sophomore ended the month by tallying the game-winner against No. 14 Washington (Nov. 26) sending the Pioneers to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. He began the month by scoring both goals in Denver's 2-1 regular season finale victory over Portland, including the golden goal in the 108th minute. For his efforts against the Pilots, he was named to the College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. In the league tournament championship match, the second team all-league selection also scored both Pioneer goals to defeat Omaha, 2-1, en route to being named the Tournament MVP. For the month, Shinyashiki scored five goals, three being game-winners, and collected 10 points.
Smither also earns her first career Athlete of the Month award after guiding South Dakota State to its third straight Summit League Tournament crown and appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The all-freshman team selection captured league tournament MVP honors by helping the Jackrabbits advance on penalty kicks in both matches. In the championship match against Oral Roberts (Nov. 5), Smither stopped the first three Golden Eagle attempts to help her team win the title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. SDSU had its third penalty kick match of the month after playing to a scoreless draw against Nebraska in its NCAA Tournament First Round match. For the month, Smither collected three ties, including two shutouts, and made five penalty kick stops on 12 attempts.
Also nominated for the Men's Athlete of the Month: Mo Evans, Fort Wayne, basketball; Matt O'Leary, IUPUI, basketball; Paul Miller, North Dakota State, basketball; Mark Moulton, Omaha, soccer; Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Oral Roberts, basketball; Tyler Flack, South Dakota, basketball; Joel Reichow, South Dakota State, cross country
Also nominated for the Women's Athlete of the Month: Ruth Okoye, Denver, volleyball; Olivia Hahn, Fort Wayne, volleyball; Olivia Treski, IUPUI, swimming & diving; Faith Ihim, Oral Roberts, basketball; Allison Arens, South Dakota, basketball; Emily Clemens, Western Illinois, basketball
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE?
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.