Aristeguieta earns top Big East academic honor
USF's men's soccer team wasn't able to defend its Big East championship this past season, but the Bulls have pulled off perhaps a more difficult repeat, as for the second year in a row, a USF soccer player has been honored as the Big East Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Francisco Aristeguieta, a senior from Venezuela, has won the conference's top academic honor, one year after Bulls standout Zak Boggs won the award in 2008-09. That the same team held the honor in consecutive years is an impressive feat, considering there are 132 men's athletic teams competing at the Big East's 16 member schools. That's more competition than in all of Division I-A football.
"This is a tremendous honor," USF coach George Kiefer said in a statement. "While this is the second year in a row for a member of our program to win this award, I think that the main focus is on Francisco winning it. He has served as a two-year captain for our program and has really been a leader, and for him to be picked for this award from all the great student-athletes in the BIG EAST shows a lot about him and his character. I think that is why he has been such a great captain that past two years."
Aristeguieta, who carries a 3.94 grade-point average as a finance major, has also been named to the Big East All-Academic team four times. He now receives a $4,000 scholarship that can be applied to graduate or professional studies. USF is the first Big East school to win consecutive Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year since Villanova won the award from 1987-89.
"I think that this is a reflection of a lot of hard work, because that is the mentality that is instilled in us here at USF," Aristeguieta said in a statement. "Our advisors and our coaches are always telling us to work as hard as we possibly can. I am honored to receive the award, and equally as honored to represent the school in earning this award."