SCC Soccer Standout Named All American

Orange, CA – Nearly 11 years ago, when the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees took steps to develop a comprehensive community college in east Orange, they also had the vision to launch an athletics instructional program. Fast forward to 2010-11 and that little-known college, which began as an extension of an existing college in central Orange County, has now become an athletics powerhouse, particularly in Women’s Soccer. The Santiago Canyon College (SCC) Women’s Soccer program has become one of the formidable women’s community college soccer programs in the state and nation. On January 10th at the college’s annual Women’s Soccer Banquet, the team, and one of its star players, Janelle Hanna, received yet another honor. Hanna, a 19-year old freshman who resides in Orange, was named to the elite 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru Women’s Junior College Division III All-American Team. Hanna was the only Orange County resident named to the Division III First Team. Last year, the college produced another First Team honoree, Amanda Hardeman, as well as the nation’s top All American Player of the Year, Leslie Bryant. To date, the college program has earned a national championship, two state championships, and seven consecutive Orange Empire Conference titles.

Hanna, who attended El Modena High School in Orange, served as the girls’ soccer team captain in her senior year, was the team’s top defensive player, and a 4-year academic scholar athlete (for maintaining a 3.5 GPA throughout high school), has continued her academic achievements at SCC, sustaining a 3.75 GPA while working part-time.

“We are deeply proud of Janelle’s achievements and her hard-earned national recognition,” commented Ian Woodhead, lead coach. “Janelle exemplifies the top-flight scholar athletes who come to SCC to excel in the classroom and on the field.” According to Coach Woodhead, who in 2007 was the recipient of the college’s Faculty Excellence Award, SCC uses a comprehensive, holistic approach to athletics instruction, where the focus on the field is placed on the academic and life success of students. Programs like Women’s Soccer are a pathway for helping students realize their talents and build their confidence so that they can successfully compete in the classroom and later, upon transfer and graduation, in their chosen professional fields. “The All-American title is the best of the best – the ‘cherry’ topper on the cake. But, in every instructional setting on campus and in every sport, we continue to underscore our mission of student transfer and success. Awards like this one are the ‘cherry’ – this honor validates that our approach to instruction continues to help our students succeed, giving them the tools and support they need to be the best they can be.”

According to Coach Woodhead, community college athletes consistently out perform their peers in the classroom and have higher transfer and course completion rates than the general student population. This year’s Women’s Soccer team members, for instance, were enrolled in an average of 15.5 units in fall 2010 (full-time students generally enroll in 12 units) with an average, overall GPA of 3.14. Many also work part-time in order to pay for tuition, college and living expenses. Hanna, a top academic scholar athlete, plans to continue her career at SCC, majoring in nursing. She endeavors to transfer in fall 2012 to the University of California, Irvine, where she hopes to earn a bachelor’s of science degree and continue to shine on the field in Women’s Soccer.

In addition to being a superstar on the El Modena girls’ soccer team during her high school career, Hanna also played soccer for the Orange Junior Soccer Club and finished her club career playing on the Legends FC premier-level team. She began playing soccer at age 4.

“I could never have accomplished this without the guidance and support of my SCC coaches, especially Head Coach Ian Woodhead. His instruction has made me a better player this year and I have seen improvement in all of my teammates because of his guidance. I’m humbled to think that soccer coaches around the nation chose me for this tremendous honor, and I am privileged to bear the All-American title for my college and the SCC Women’s Soccer team,” said Hanna.

To learn more about Hanna and the SCC Women’s Soccer program, visit www.sccollege/departments/athletics/WomensSoccerTeam.

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) provides students with quality educational opportunities in an attractive environment. First accredited in 2000, the college today serves more than 17,000 students from Anaheim Hills, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, Villa Park and throughout Orange County. SCC is part of the Rancho Santiago Community College District and provides education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and workforce training for business and industry. For more information, please visit www.sccollege.edu.

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Media Contact: John Weispfenning, (714) 628-5030 or Weispfenning_John@sccollege.edu