For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · firstname.lastname@example.org
Indianapolis, Ind. – St. Mary's College of Maryland graduate Gillian Sawyer '17 (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) is The College's nominee for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Sawyer is one of 543 female student-athletes across all three divisions – the most ever in the history of the program – to be selected as a nominee for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The school nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II, and 197 from Division III. The nominees competed in 21 different women's sports.
Fellow Capital Athletic Conference student-athletes Anna Corley (swimming) of the University of Mary Washington, Katie Stouffer (volleyball) of Salisbury University, and Nina Marcano (softball) of Wesley College also join Sawyer as nominees.
Sawyer concluded her soccer career as a two-time NSCAA Division III All-South Atlantic Region First Team selection as well as a four-time all-conference pick, including two first team awards in 2015 and 2016. In addition, the 5-7 forward was voted the CAC Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
She also excelled in the classroom with a pair of NSCAA Scholar All-East Region Second Team citations and a 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District® First Team honor. Sawyer graduated summa cum laude in May as a double major in biology and environmental studies while earning a minor in French. She made the Dean's List every semester and was inducted into three national honor societies.
On the field, Sawyer led the conference and St. Mary's in goals and points for the last two seasons. She ended the 2016 campaign ranked 39th in Division III in goals per game (0.89), 42nd in total goals (16), and 48th in points per game (2.00).
She pretty much rewrote the St. Mary's women's soccer records for scoring as Sawyer leaves the program as the all-time leader in points (109), goals (48), game-winning goals (13), and minutes played (5,543) as well as sharing the program lead for games played (72) with Sophia Esparza '10. She also finished tied for 10th with 13 assists.
In relation to the program's single-season records, Sawyer ranks tied for first with four game-winning goals in 2016, second with 18 goals in 2015, tied for third with 40 points in 2015, and sixth with 1,534 minutes played in 2016.
St. Mary's finished 2016 with a 10-6-2 (6-2-1 CAC) record, registering 10 wins for the second straight season and the fourth time in program history. The Seahawks advanced to the semifinals of the CAC Tournament for the second straight season under third-year head coach Peter Krech '09.
This marks the 27th year of the Woman of the Year Award program, which was established in 1991. The award program honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.
The NCAA encourages member schools to honor its top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award. Then, conferences assess each nominee's eligibility and select up to two conference nominees. All conference nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the Top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.
From the Top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.
The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony on October 22 in Indianapolis in October.
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