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Belcher earns athletic, academic All-MIAA honors

Photo courtesy of Missouri Southern Athletics

Missouri Southern sophomore, and Louisburg graduate, Bailey Belcher had another successful season with the Lions soccer program on and off the field.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Bailey Belcher faced a big transition more than a year ago when she graduated from Louisburg and joined the Missouri Southern soccer program.

As a freshman, Belcher seemed to settle right in as she earned All-MIAA honors in her first year. It was a big step for Belcher at the time, but several months later she faced another transition.

Missouri Southern hired a new coach and Belcher saw a lot of new players enter the program. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect in her sophomore campaign, but she more than held her own.

Belcher earned All-MIAA honorable mention honors for the second consecutive season at the forward position for a Lions team that finished with a 3-14-1 record.

She led the Lions with 50 shots on the season, 27 of which were on goal after she started all but one match in 2019. She was second on the team in points and finished the year with three goals.

“It meant a lot to get all-conference recognition again this year and I was really happy with it,” Belcher said. “I wasn’t expecting anything this year with half the girls on the team being new and a new coach. There is a lot of transitioning that’s still in the process, but I am really grateful that I was recognized again.”

The awards didn’t stop there for Belcher as she also earned a spot on the All-MIAA Academic Honor Roll. On top of that, Belcher was one of 15 student athletes to be named an Academic Excellence honoree, which goes to student-athletes that achieve a 4.0 grade point average and had attended their current institution for at least two terms.

Belcher, who is majoring in biology, also qualified for the Scholar-Athlete Award after making the All-MIAA team as an honorable mention and earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“The academic honors makes me so happy,” Belcher said. “I’ve put so much into school and getting all my work done since I’ve got here, and being an athlete, makes it so much harder to stay on top of school because of the commitment we put into soccer and everything else we have going on in our lives.

“It’s really hard to keep up depending on how far you’ve gotten into school and I’ve made my class load pretty difficult to make sure that I graduate a year early. I’m right on track to graduate two springs from now, and as long as I keep putting in the work that I have been, I have no doubt I’ll achieve my goal.”

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