Francis and Murray named ACC All-Academics


Pitt defender Kevin Murray, alongside women’s goalie Taylor Francis, is a member of the ACC All-Academic team. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

The Pitt men’s and women’s soccer teams struggled to succeed on the field last year with both teams only winning twice this past season. But the ACC recognized women’s goalkeeper Taylor Francis and men’s defender Kevin Murray for their accomplishments off the field throughout their time at Pitt.

The ACC league office named the two senior soccer players to the conference’s All-Academic team Tuesday morning. To be considered, a player must have at least a 3.0 grade point average over the past two semesters as well as cumulatively over the course of his or her college career. But, scholastic success is not the only criterion for selection — the league also considers excellent on-the-field performance in the decision-making process.

Francis, who is from Cary, North Carolina, started in 60 consecutive games for the Panthers in a streak that dates back to her first year on the team. She is one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the program, holding the school record for most saves in a game with 16. Last season, she led the ACC with 114 saves, 21 more than the Syracuse netminder Courtney Brosnan.

Academically, Francis has earned an impressive 3.938 GPA while majoring in biological sciences and double minoring in chemistry and economics. She has been named to the Dean’s List every semester at college and has received a perfect 4.0 in six out of seven semesters.

Murray, from Lakewood, Ohio,  played in 15 of 18 games for the Panthers last fall, starting for the team in 12. In his career with the Panthers, Murray scored eight goals despite playing as a defender who rarely saw scoring opportunities.

Murray will graduate with a Bachelor of Science dual degree in economics and business and a minor in sociology. Last summer, he worked for BNY Mellon as a global risk solutions intern, according to his LinkedIn profile.

During his time at Pitt, Murray has earned a 3.874 GPA and received the University Scholar award, which is given to the top two percent of undergraduates with the highest GPA. He is also a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, a national honor society, as well as Delta Epsilon Iota, an academic honor society.

Both Francis and Murray are scheduled to graduate from the University this April.