NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—The Atlantic 10 Conference Thursday announced it has nine institutional nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Representing six sports and hailing from eight different A-10 institutions each candidate was chosen by her institution for being an outstanding student-athlete and leader who is active in her community.
The league’s Council of Senior Woman Administrators will select from the nine candidates the nominee(s) that will represent the Atlantic 10 Conference in the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year program.
One of the most prestigious NCAA awards, The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 23rd year, the unique award recognizes the athletics achievements of outstanding young women, as well as their academic achievements, community service and leadership. To be eligible, these women must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in their primary sport.
A brief bio of each of the Atlantic 10 candidates follows.
Juliana Libertin, Dayton
Women’s Soccer | Pre-Physical Therapy | Green, Ohio
Libertin, a team captain, is a three-time member of the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region Team (2011, 2012, 2013). She led the Flyers to Atlantic 10 regular season crowns (2010 and 2013) and two A-10 Championship titles (2010 and 2011). She was named to the A-10 All-Championship Team in 2011 and 2013 and led Dayton to two NCAA appearances (2010 and 2011). An All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection three times (2011, 2012, 2013), she was a Top 30 selection for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, and was named Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year in 2013. Libertin received numerous awards, both as a senior and throughout her career. This included Capital One Academic All-America honors as a junior and Second Team of the Capital One Academic All-District Team. She received First Team recognition from the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region as well as Second Team NSCAA Scholar All-American honors also. She was named the Dayton 2013 Presidential Scholar Athlete, the highest honor an athlete can earn from the University of Dayton. A tutor for Dayton’s Health and Sport Science department, she also was a student assistant and student associate/intern. She participated in Kicks for Kids, assisted in aquatic therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis and coached for TOPSoccer, an outreach program that teaches soccer to disabled children. Libertin was a volunteer coach for youth and church teams as well.
Allison Foschia, Duquesne
Volleyball | Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy | Northfield, Ohio
Foschia, Duquesne’s 2013-14 Female Student-Athlete of the Year, finished her career second in Dukes history with 1,247 kills and third in program history with 1,376 digs. She led Duquesne to 84 victories-including a 43-7 record at home in four seasons. A First Team All-Conference selection as a senior, she also earned in-season Tournament MVP honors and won multiple player of the week awards. Foschia, a team captain, will graduate Summa Cum Laude after spending all eight semesters on both the Duquesne Dean’s List, the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. She was named Academic All-Conference in 2012 and 2013. Very active in occupational therapy, she has served as a research assistant and been published. She has also presented at an Occupational Therapy conference and at a Duquesne Research Symposium. She participated in a number of honors sororities as well as being active in Athletes’ Fellowship and Occupational Therapy Associations. Foschia, who served as volleyball representative on Duquesne’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), also contributed in National Girls and Women in Sports Day, helped with shoe and canned food drives and worked to assist young adults with disabilities through St. Anthony’s.
Caroline Myers, George Washington
Women’s Swimming & Diving | Sport, Event and Hospitality Management | Palm Harbor, Fla.
Myers, a four-time team MVP, is a three-time Atlantic 10 All-Academic team selection (2012, 2013 and 2014). She won gold after finishing first in the Women’s 1,650 yard freestyle at the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship after earning the silver medal in the event in both 2011 and 2012. She also earned the silver medal in the 500-yd freestyle at the 2012 A-10 championship. Myers is on the George Washington all-time top 10 list in the 500-yd freestyle (second), the 1,650-yd freestyle (third), the 200-yd backstroke (third), the 400-yd Individual Medley (third), the 200-yd freestyle (sixth) and the 200-yd Individual Medley (ninth). Myers was named to the George Washington Athletics Academic Dean’s List and to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll every semester. She was also named to the George Washington School of Business Dean’s List for three semesters. Myers held a leadership position within the George Washington Leadership Academy. She additionally worked with the Make a Wish Foundation and volunteered in many local service projects.
Meghan McGlinchey, La Salle
Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field | Speech-Language-Hearing Science | West Deptford, N.J.
McGlinchey, the 2014 Atlantic 10 Women’s Indoor Track & Field Performer of the Year, earned All-American honors at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. McGlinchey is the only female in A-10 history to win three consecutive titles in the 5,000 meters (2012, 2013 and 2014). She qualified for the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships and the 2013 Outdoor Track & Field Championships. McGlinchey was named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and was honored as a USTFCCCA Academic All-American in 2012 and 2013. She was also recognized as Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference in 2012 and 2013, and was named the 2014 La Salle University Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. McGlinchey has served as a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and has volunteered with Inglis House in Philadelphia and at the Blue Ridge Running Camp.
Renee Washington, La Salle
Women’s Soccer | Communication | Ewing, N.J.
A team captain and La Salle’s Co-Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, Washington led La Salle to two A-10 Championship titles and three NCAA appearances. She was an All-American selection by the NSCAA in 2011 and an All-Region pick in 2012 and 2013. Washington has over 100 career points and is the all-time leader in career points at La Salle and she’s also tied for first in all-time goals. A four-year All-Conference honoree, she also was on the A-10 All-Championship teams in 2012 and 2013, earning Most Outstanding Player honors in 2013. Named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each semester through her four years, she was also a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American and a three-time NSCAA Scholar All-American (2011, 2012, 2013). She also was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and was on the Hermann Trophy Watch List as a junior. She coaches youth soccer for multiple organizations, including Total Soccer Academy and the Hibernian Cyclones U14 team and has also worked the Explorer Soccer Camps. She oversaw the Score for the Cure program and founded the Make your Mark program. Make your Mark is a non-profit organization that works to raise money for Crohn's disease research. Washington raised roughly $3,500 in the first six months following Make Your Mark's inception. She also was a selected speaker for Gateways to Careers and the La Salle Charter Dinner. She participated in the Emerging Leaders Program, and also volunteered her time with multiple organizations, including serving as a tutor and helping community cleanup efforts.
Amalia Kobelja, Richmond
Women’s Swimming & Diving | Biology | Fort Wayne, Ind.
Kobelja, a team captain, is a three-time Atlantic 10 Swimming & Diving Performer of the Year award winner (2012, 2013 and 2014). A Phi Beta Kappa Society member and a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Richmond, she helped Richmond to four consecutive Atlantic 10 Championships and won a total of 27 gold medals in those four championships. She won the 200 IM in each of her four years, including setting an A-10 Championship record as a junior. She also holds the top four times in A-10 Championship history in the 200 IM. Kobelja was a member of Richmond relay teams that won gold medals in the 200 IM, 200 Freestyle, 400 IM and 400 Freestyle each of her four years. As a freshman, she was a part of the 200 free (1:31.57), 400 free (3:21.10) and 200 medley relay squads that set A-10 Championship records en route to gold. Those performances, and her fourA-10 Rookie of the Week honors led to her selection as the 2011 A-10 Rookie of the Year. Kobelja also won gold in the 400 IM as a junior, setting a meet record in the process. She was named CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2011 and 2013 and to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic team in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She was the 2012 Atlantic 10 Scholar Athlete of the Year award winner, the first recipient in UR history and the first A-10 swimmer to win the award. She also received the 2014 Westhampton College Leslie Sessoms Booker Good Citizen Undergraduate Award, given annually to the senior who has typified loyal, enthusiastic, and unselfish service to the campus community. During her time at Richmond, she served as a Spanish translator at the YMCA, transferring flyers from Spanish to English. Koelja collaborated with guidance counselors at Richmond’s John Marshall High School for the Coaches in the Classroom program, providing resources for athletes to understand college academics and athletics. A volunteer at Metro Richmond Young Life, Kobelja prepared and taught Bible-based lessons for students and counseled local high school girls in individual and group settings. A 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier, she earned A-10 Performer of the Week honors 13 times in her career.
Chelsea Bowker, St. Bonaventure
Women’s Basketball | Education | Salem, Ohio
A team-captain in 2013-14, Bowker graduated as the winningest player in St. Bonaventure Women’s Basketball history with 99 career wins. Bowker finished fourth all-time in Bonnies history in three-pointers made and helped SBU to an undefeated A-10 regular season and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2011-12. Bowker earned Dean’s List status in each of her 10 semesters at St. Bonaventure and was named to the A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her five years with SBU. A member of the International Honor Society in Education, Bowker was both a volunteer and student teacher in special educations classrooms. She also volunteered countless hours on a variety of projects including Special Olympics, Unified Special Olympic Basketball, Exceptional Athlete Track and Field Day.
Erin Shields, Saint Joseph’s
Women’s Basketball | Finance | Drexel Hill, Pa.
Shields led Saint Joseph’s to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons and the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship. As a senior she had a team-best 14.9 points per game, while setting the single-season mark for three-pointers with 96. She was named to the All-Big 5 First Team and its Scholar Athlete of the Year as well as Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team this season. Shields finished her career as SJU’s all-time leader in free throw percentage and finished fifth in three-point percentage. Her stellar senior season came on the heels of a junior campaign where she was named Atlantic 10 All-Conference Third-Team and the A-10’s Most Improved Player. A two-time captain, Shields was a member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her four years, earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team as a junior and as a senior and was a two-time member of the Division I AAA Scholar Athlete Team. Shields also served on Saint Joseph’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, while volunteering with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Developing Champions Everyday. She also took part in Philly’s Girl Got Game as well as food and sneaker drives.
Emilie Soares, VCU
Field Hockey | Mechanical Engineering | Santa Clara. Calif.
Soares served as VCU’s team captain in each of her final three seasons, appearing in 76 games with 70 starts during her four years with the Rams. As a senior, she was named to the All-Atlantic 10 First-Team and enjoyed one of the best offensive seasons in VCU field hockey history with a team-leading 14 goals and eight assists, both of which ranked in the top-10 in the conference. Those totals also rank in the top-10 in single-season VCU history. In the classroom, Soares was a member of VCU’s Dean’s List in each her eight semesters and also earned spots on both the A-10 Field All-Academic Team and the Commissioner’s Honor Roll. In each of her years at VCU, Soares took part in Women's National Sports Day, teaching Field Hockey skills to young girls. A mechanical engineering major, Soares was also a member American Society for Mechanical Engineers, National Society for Collegiate Scholars and Engineers without Borders.