Kristin McLaughlin Honored by The Big West Conference

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March 11, 2010

By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)

Anaheim, Calif. - Moises (Moy) Gomez and Kristin McLaughlin certainly fit the description of student-athletes.

Not only are Gomez and McLaughlin exceptional athletes competing for Cal State Northridge, they are also exceptional students in the classroom and valued members of the community.

For their exceptional achievements, Gomez and McLaughlin were honored by the Big West Conference, along with 16 other conference student-athletes as Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year at a breakfast ceremony on Thursday morning at the Crown Plaza Anaheim Resort Hotel.

Gomez, who calls Panorama City, Calif., his home, has fought back from serious knee injuries on three occasions to be a valuable contributor to the success of the Matador men's soccer program.

Gomez played in 66 games during his four-year Matador career, 30 as a starter at the forward position.

Gomez was pushed to the sidelines by three serious knee injuries, but each time, the senior majoring in criminal justice, refused to quit.

"Moy is a fighter and a great competitor," said CSUN head coach Terry Davila. "He has fought back from three serious knee injuries and has continued to be a major contributor to the team's success. You can judge a player's character in the way he handles adversity and comes back. Each time, Moy came back stronger. His character and integrity makes him an All-American as a student-athlete."

Gomez' heroic exploits on the field were even greater off the field. Gomez has been a member of CSUN's Dean List and CSUN's Varsity `N Honor Roll.

His commitment to young people in the community is outstanding. Gomez has been a behavior interventionist at the Dubnoff Center for Child Development, a soccer coach at Viewpoint High School, at Milken Middle School, and as a camp counselor at the Cal State Northridge Soccer Camps.

After graduating from Cal State Northridge later this year, Gomez hopes to become a criminal probation officer, but first he aspires to play professional soccer in the United States or Mexico.

Kristin McLaughlin is no stranger to success. McLaughlin has been a key ingredient in the success of the nationally-ranked Cal State Northridge women's water polo team. McLaughlin currently has 66 career goals in 3-plus years at Cal State Northridge, and will end her career ranked in the Top-10 in career scoring at CSUN.

Besides scoring many goals for the tenth-ranked Matadors, McLaughlin is one of the all-time leaders in school history in steals and assists. Her steals total of 173 is third all-time in school history, and her assists mark of 133 is also third all-time in school history.

Last year, McLaughlin led the Matadors in both steals and assists in helping Cal State Northridge win the regular season championship.

More importantly is what McLaughlin has accomplished in the classroom. McLaughlin has won nearly all the top academic collegiate honors including Academic All-American, All-Academic Big West, CSUN's Dean's List, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

McLaughlin, who calls La Canada, Calif., her hometown, will graduate later this year from Cal State Northridge with a degree in Political Science.

Her academic goals remain focused. McLaughlin has already received full tuition scholarship offers from the Baylor Law School and the Michigan State Law School for the Fall of 2010, and is awaiting acceptance letters from such prestigious law schools including Duke, Notre Dame and USC.

In addition to her success in water polo and in the classroom, McLaughlin finds time in her busy schedule to mentor and tutor for Academic Services for Student-Athletes at Cal State Northridge, as a Student Assistant in the Center for Teaching and Learning at CSUN, and as a volunteer in the Teaching, Learning and Counseling Consortium at CSUN.

"It has been a pleasure and honor to coach Kristin and watch her develop into the individual she is today," said CSUN head coach Marcelo Leonardi. "She is not only a great water polo player, but she is also an exceptional student in the classroom. Kristin is a future leader in tomorrow's world. She has been the corner stone of the women's water polo program the past four years. She represents what the academia and the athletic department at Cal State Northridge wish to instill in its student-athletes. We are proud of Kristin and her family."

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