DEARBORN, Mich. – The 2019-20 academic year has been a roller coaster for the University of Michigan-Dearborn junior women's soccer goalkeeper Jordan Anheuser and the standout student-athlete hit another high point this week with a prestigious honor from the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
Anheuser, a native of Canton, Mich., is the 2020 WHAC Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award honoree, it was announced by the conference on Thursday.
"I am truly honored and excited to even be considered for this award," Anheuser said. "This is a prestigious award. It pertains to following the core values of the NAIA and the potential of the recipient. It is special because it is about more than just competition."
The award, named after United States Olympic Committee President Emeritus Dr. Walker, a former president of the NAIA, recognizes a student-athlete who excels academically, athletically and embraces the core values of Champions of Character.
Anheuser is the first UM-Dearborn student-athlete from any sport to win the WHAC Walker Award. She will join conference recipients from across the country, as the NAIA will select a winner at the national level later this year.
The Saginaw Valley State University transfer has been a constant presence for the Wolverine women's soccer team since stepping foot on campus. She has played every minute of every game in goal in each of the team's first three seasons, setting records and helping to build the program for the future. Anheuser was named the 2017-18 UM-Dearborn Female Newcomer of the Year. The three-time Wolverine team captain also holds the WHAC single-season record for saves per game with 12.42 as a freshman.
Off the field, Anheuser is involved in many areas in the UM-Dearborn Department of Athletics as well as the community. She has served on the UM-Dearborn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Emerging Leaders Council. She is a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and WHAC All-Academic, as well as the 2017 women's soccer Champion of Character.
"We started this team three years ago and this award shows that we have started to find a place in the WHAC," Anheuser said. "We have started to get better on the field and we are getting involved in the community. This team is more than just soccer."
The COVID-19 pandemic cut short her junior year on campus, however, Anheuser has not had time to relax in quarantine. As a health care worker, Anheuser has been on the front lines of the pandemic, including as a certified nurse's assistant with Beaumont hospital and in a COVID-19 hospice unit. She is currently providing in-home health care, while also recently finishing the 2019 Winter term on the AD Honor Roll and preparing to run two half marathons this summer, which were unfortunately canceled. Anheuser is now gearing up for the start of her summer league soccer season with Livonia F.C.
Anheuser will lead the Wolverine women's soccer team once again during the 2020 season, her final campaign at UM-Dearborn. She will enter the season with just short of 3,700 total minutes played and 438 saves. Anheuser will be chasing down the WHAC career saves a record of 519 set in 1999.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to transfer to UM-Dearborn," Anheuser said. "The community has brought me so much opportunity."