Five Spring Student-Athletes Earn USCAA National Academic Awards

USCAA National Academic Team winners
USCAA National Academic Team winners

MEDIA, Pa. -- The United States Collegiate Athletic Association released its spring National Academic Teams recently and five Penn State Brandywine student-athletes earned the distinction. Sophomore Kevin Roche (Malvern, Pa./Chaminade College Prep) represented the baseball team, while four members of the PSUAC champion softball team claimed the honor: junior Julie Foeldes (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick) and sophomores Grace DeRosa (Glenside, Pa./Cheltenham), Stephanie Harvey (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional) and Maddie Malfara (Ardsley, Pa./Abington).

The USCAA National Academic Team is awarded to student-athletes each season who have amassed a minimum grade-point average of 3.50 prior to the spring semester and reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution. Combined with fall and winter winners, Brandywine placed 12 student-athletes on national academic teams this year.

Roche owns a 3.98 grade-point average as a finance major and has been accepted to Penn State's Smeal College of Business where he will begin studying this fall. A two-time PSUAC All-Academic Team honoree, Roche also earned Penn State's President Sparks Award and Academic Achievement Award this year. As the Brandywine baseball team's primary shortstop, Roche batted .280 with 15 RBI and 27 runs scored in 31 games, helping the Lions finish first in the PSUAC Eastern Division during the regular season.

DeRosa will also transition to University Park in the fall after amassing a 3.71 GPA as an early childhood education major. A two-time USCAA Pitcher of the Week this spring, DeRosa claimed Penn State's Academic Achievement Award and PSUAC All-Academic Team honors. On the field, she led the Lions with 10 victories and was named first team all-conference. DeRosa fired the first perfect game in Brandywine softball history, while also throwing three no-hitters, including one at the USCAA World Series, this spring.

Foeldes, a psychology major who boasts a 3.98 GPA, is now a two-time USCAA National Academic Team selection after also earning the award as a sophomore. Earlier this spring, Foeldes was the lone student from Brandywine and one of just 137 in Penn State's 17,000-member junior class honored as an Evan Pugh Scholar as her GPA ranks among the top 0.5 percent in her class. Foeldes was selected to the USCAA World Series All-Tournament Team after collecting eight hits in 14 at-bats at the World Series and hit .317 with two home runs and 22 RBI overall this season.

Also named Student-Athlete of the Year by the USCAA, Harvey became Brandywine's fourth student-athlete to be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District when she was a first team selection in April. A communication sciences and disorders major, Harvey owns a 3.80 GPA and was named Woman of the Year by Penn State Brandywine, while also earning PSUAC All-Academic Team honors. She is a career .327 hitter with 47 RBI and will move on to University Park in the fall.

Malfara, who is majoring in biology, has earned a 3.75 GPA in two years at Brandywine. Also a two-time selection to the PSUAC All-Academic Team, Malfara is a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete and Penn State Academic Achievement Award winner. She owns 47 hits and 31 RBI during 72 career games with the Lions.

Brandywine softball won its third-straight PSUAC title in 2017 and finished fourth at the USCAA World Series for the second consecutive year. The team also excelled in the classroom, leading all of Brandywine's 13 varsity teams with a combined 3.42 GPA during the 2016-17 academic year. Brandywine led all PSUAC schools with four softball national academic team selections.