MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- Auburn Montgomery junior men's soccer defender Taian Souza was named the first recipient of the Army ROTC Athletic Achievement Award for the 2012-13 school year on Wednesday, for his efforts both on and off the field.
Souza has continued to provide steady support both offensively and defensively this season for AUM. In the three games that he has participated in, Souza has one assist and three shots from the right defensive back position for the No. 3 Warhawks. He also is a key part of a defense which allowed only one goal in those three games combined.
"Taian has been a great leader for us this season," Head Coach Wulf Koch said. "He always comes to practice with a positive attitude, and he has a great sense of humor. We are fortunate to have him as a team captain."
An injury forced Souza to miss the previous game against No. 1 Lindsey Wilson. It did not prevent him, however, from volunteering his free time last weekend to coach soccer to kids through the Upward Bound program at the St. James United Methodist Church. Upward Bound is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide support for high school students in need.
Souza also maintains a 3.58 grade-point average despite the significant time dedication required for soccer. In his time at AUM, he has not had a semester with a GPA lower than 3.50. Earlier in the summer, Souza volunteered at a soccer camp in Prattville and assisted with AUM Move-in-Day along with the rest of his team.
Criteria for the Army ROTC Athletic Achievement Award includes being certified for eligibility and involved in participation of a varsity sport; performance on the field or court during the previous two weeks; contributions to the team's success through their individual leadership skills, their commitment to teamwork, their extra effort during practice and their demonstration of sportsmanship; and performance off the field of play, including academic success, character and exemplary community outreach.
Freshman men's cross country runner Garrett Carr and senior women's soccer forward Margret Albertsdottir were also nominated for the award.