SSU’s de Lange bestowed with historic NAIA honor

PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University men’s soccer talent Kevin de Lange became the first athlete in the history of SSU Athletics to earn CoSIDA-NAIA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year honors, as announced by the organization on Thursday afternoon.

de Lange, who was one of just 22 men’s soccer players across the entire country to be named to the list, was one of only two players to earn Academic All-American honors in back-to-back seasons — and the only player in the land to repeat on his honors from the previous season.

The honor continues to build upon a career that will certainly be marked as legendary — once de Lange departs from the SSU campus.

A double major in both business administration and marketing, de Lange actually improved his lofty GPA from a 3.97 in the voting process a year prior to a stout 3.99 despite the extra courseload.

Athletically, de Lange followed up a 34-point freshman season and a 41-point sophomore campaign with a 30-point season as a junior — despite the season being shortened by five games due to the fallout from COVID-19.

In those three campaigns, de Lange has earned second-team all-MSC honors in all three — while scoring 14, 16 and 13 goals in each of those three seasons respectively.

This past season, de Lange led the Bears in goals, assists and points for the third season in a row — and also posted a team-best game-winning goals (five) as well as shots on goal (23).

His 43 goals are already first among all players in program history, while his 105 points are second only to Shawnee State Hall of Famer Jeff Suter (111) — with a full season still left to play.

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