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LeTourneau University




FC Dallas announced on Sunday that they had signed recent LeTourneau University graduate, Stephanie Vana to their 28-player squad.

“I feel very blessed to have this opportunity, and I’m excited to play at the next level of soccer,” said Vana. “I’m thankful for everyone that has helped me get to this point and hope to further my soccer career as far as I can. It’s an honor to be able to play for FC Dallas as they are building this organization to help women’s soccer grow at a higher level of competition.”

Vana was named the 2016 Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year in the American Southwest Conference to cap off an incredible four-year career as a YellowJacket. The La Verne, California native was a 3-time First Team All-ASC player and totaled 24 goals and 11 assists at LeTourneau University.

FC Dallas named the versatile midfielder to the NSCAA Division III All-West Region Team for the third time in 2016 after a senior season where, despite missing seven games, she rocketed home five goals and dished out five assists. Vana put constant pressure on opposing defenses as she recorded 182 career shots, which is the second-most in school history.

“Stephanie has been an outstanding student-athlete since she arrived here as a freshman,” said head women’s soccer coach John Antonisse<>. “She has raised the bar for this soccer program to a new level, and I am so happy for her and the YellowJacket women’s soccer family. She has earned the right to step onto the pitch as a professional with FC Dallas, and we’ll all be watching to see where she takes this opportunity. Congratulations Stephanie Vana<>!”

Stephanie and her FC Dallas teammates will begin training in early March as they prepare for a big doubleheader on March 19.

Learn more about FC Dallas and the WPSL here<>.



Taber Miyauchi

Senior Taber Miyauchi of LeTourneau’s men’s cross country team was one of seven student-athletes from four different member universities to headline the 2016 Fall American Southwest Conference Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams, the league office announced on Wednesday (Jan. 25).

Taber (Grand Lake, Colo. / Middle Park HS) is the second consecutive LeTourneau runner to be named the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in men’s cross country and gives LeTourneau a league-best three awards in men’s cross country. One of the top runners in the ASC, Miyauchi was a five-time ASC Runner of the Week. He took first place at the ASC Preview in Austin and led for a majority of the ASC Championship race before collapsing in the final 1,000 meters. Miyauchi bounced back to run the best race of his career at the NCAA Regional Meet (27:18) and finished as the highest ASC runner at 51st overall.

Luke Funk received the award for LeTourneau in 2015 after twice being named to the ASC All-Academic Team during his career at LeTourneau. Funk earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in biomedical engineering, and his 20th-place finish at the 2015 ASC Championships secured a second-place finish for the LETU men’s cross country team. It was the first time in program history that an LETU men’s cross country student-athlete has earned the distinguished honor. Funk received a full-ride scholarship to pursue his graduate degree at Harvard/MIT in Boston.

The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams recognizes student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team. From that list – limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport – the sports information directors from the 13 ASC member institutions select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport.

The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete recipients include Taber Miyauchi<> of LeTourneau in men’s cross country, co-winners in women’s cross country as Shelby Spencer-Taylor of East Texas Baptist and Lindsey Rayborn of UT Dallas received honors. Conlan Aguirre of Hardin-Simmons in football, Sam Konstanty of UT Dallas in men’s soccer, Kami Jones of Hardin-Simmons in women’s soccer and Michelle Toro of UT Dallas in volleyball.

Overall, the American Southwest Conference named 59 student-athletes to the American Southwest Conference 2016 Fall Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams. Included in those were Elisa Hamm, a senior from San Diego, California on the women’s cross country team. Brian Howell, a junior from, Germantown, Maryland is on the men’s soccer team. Stephanie Vana, a senior from La Verne, California, is on the women’s soccer team and Kelsie Jeffries, a sophomore from Collinsville, Illinois is on the volleyball team.