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Santiago Named First Team All-American

Santiago Named First Team All-American

Dallas College North Lake women's soccer player Lia Santiago was named a National Junior College Athletic Association Division III First Team All-American.

A freshman forward from Fort Worth, Texas, Santiago scored 18 goals, and had two assists for 38 points. She led the Dallas Athletic Conference in goals and points, and was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

"I'm super excited," Santiago said. "It just feels like a really big accomplishment. It's something I never thought I'd get because I'm in college, and there's so many other people you're competing against, but it's really rewarding."

Santiago had a hat trick in two games, including the penultimate game of the Blazers' season when she scored three goals against Dallas College Mountain View. She had two stretches of scoring at least one goal in four straight games.

"She accomplished so much with this program," North Lake head coach Adrian Gonzalez said. "It's an honor for us to have such a player like her."

Santiago scored on all but one team in the DAC, and had multiple goals against five opponents this season, including three in conference play. She became the only player in the league to score on three-time national champion Dallas College Brookhaven in the regular season.

"Since we saw her in videos, we knew that she was a really good player," Gonzalez said. "She ended up doing a lot herself. We knew her talents, I knew her speed, her finishing, and more than anything, her attitude to work. She was always 100 percent ready to play."

Santiago will return to North Lake next year – her final season at the junior college level.

"I think this will just put more of a chip on my shoulder, something to work at next year that I didn't just win this because my name was put on other things," Santiago said. "I just want to show people that this is going to happen again next year, and I'm going to fight for it again next year."