Balder nets Academic All-District honors

Stillwater graduate and St. John’s University senior Joe Balder has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District VI men’s soccer team. (SJU photo)

Stillwater graduate and St. John’s University senior Joe Balder has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District VI men’s soccer team. (SJU photo)

COLLEGEVILLE — Stillwater graduate and St. John’s University senior Joe Balder was named to the Capital One Academic All-District VI men’s soccer team on Oct. 31.

Balder has served as a captain for the Johnnies each of the past two seasons and a two-time Academic All-MIAC honoree, which is reserved for players with a minimum 3.50 grade point average.

The honor caps an injury-plagued season for Balder, who missed the first four games with a torn hip flexor. After starting the next eight games, the defender suffered a season- and career-ending broken fibula and tibia in a game against Bethel on Oct. 12.

In 55 career matches for the Johnnies, Balder totaled six goals — including two game-winners — and six assists for 18 points.

“Joe is truly the quintessential student-athlete,” SJU head coach John Haws said. “He fully buys into our notion that you can excel in multiple areas. He has rejected the either/or paradigm and embraced the both/and model that Johnnie soccer student-athletes are expected to strive toward.”

Balder, who is a Hispanic studies and business management double major with a 3.71 GPA, also becomes eligible for Academic All-America honors, which will be announced Nov. 22. A year ago, Balder was also a member of a United States Division III All-Star Team that played in Brazil.

The Johnnies defeated Concordia-Moorhead 5-0 on Saturday to earn the No. 4 seed for the MIAC Playoffs on Nov. 6 at top-seeded Gustavus Adolphus. St. John’s (6-2-2 MIAC, 8-6-3) lost to the Gusties 4-0 on Sept. 28, but is 5-0-2 in league games since that loss.

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