Maple Leaf midfielder one of four repeat picks to District 2 team

GREENWOOD, Ind. — Spencer Aeschliman, a senior midfielder for the Goshen College men’s soccer team, picked up his second consecutive Academic All-District honor from the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday.

Aeschliman, a native of Salem, Oregon, was one of three midfielders on the District 2 team, which covers NAIA institutions in eight states. The NAIA’s Academic All-District teams are divided into four districts, with the district selections comprising the ballot for the Academic All-America teams that will be announced in December.

A four-year Maple Leaf captain, Aeschliman started 64 of Goshen’s 74 games since his arrival on campus, coming off the bench seven more times. He spent more than 6,000 minutes on the field in that span, and his 1,731 minutes in 2017 were the most of any GC field player since at least 2010.

The physics major sports a 3.93 grade-point average in the classroom, a mark that is third-best on the District 2 team. He was a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete last fall; the 2018 Scholar-Athletes will be announced later this month. He also spent the summer of 2017 on campus as well, working with Professor of Physics John Ross Buschert to record and understand Elkhart County air quality data through Goshen’s Maple Scholars program.

Aeschliman tied for the team lead with five assists this fall, adding a career-high three goals while playing in all 18 games and starting 14. He took 15 shots and put more than half of those on goal.

For his career, he finished with 5 goals and 7 assists after spending the bulk of his first three seasons as a defender. The Maple Leafs posted 21 shutouts over the past four seasons, recording at least three clean sheets and six victories in each campaign, and their eight shutouts in 2017 were the team’s most since the Crossroads League expanded to eight schools in 1994.

Among the 11 winners from District 2, Aeschliman was one of four players to appear for the second straight season. Indiana Tech midfielder Ruben Leonardo, Taylor defender Paul Egenolf and Lindsey Wilson defender Yuta Yamamoto also made repeat appearances. Aeschliman, who was nominated as a defender in 2017, was the only one of the four to make the Academic All-America first team.

Aeschliman is the son of Jeff and Margaret Aeschliman, both 1987 GC alumni. Jeff was a two-time all-conference selection in men’s soccer and a member of the NAIA’s 1986 Academic All-American team. Margaret earned all-Hoosier Conference for Women honors in women’s tennis in 1986 and NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition the following spring.

Spencer’s brother Stuart also completed his second season on the Goshen men’s soccer team this fall; the younger Aeschliman was a first-team all-Crossroads League selection in 2017, with the league’s 2018 postseason honors slated to be announced next week.

The Academic All-District and Academic All-America program, sponsored by Google Cloud and selected by CoSIDA, recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. The program separately recognizes soccer honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

In order to be considered for Academic All-District or Academic All-America teams, student-athletes must have completed two semesters on campus, carry a GPA of 3.3 or greater, be a starter or significant reserve in their athletic program and have been nominated by a CoSIDA member. All-District voting is conducted by the CoSIDA members in each region.

For the latest updates on Goshen College soccer and each of the college’s varsity athletic programs, stay tuned to GoLeafs.net throughout the offseason and follow @GCMapleLeafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.

The Maple Leafs compete in 14 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, continuing a tradition of intercollegiate athletics that dates to 1956 and included women’s competition nearly a decade before Title IX. For more information on GC athletics, visit www.GoLeafs.net and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.