Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan’s Christen Chiesa has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Chiesa, who completed her eligibility with the 2016 season, was a key member and three-year starter on the CMU soccer team, where she played midfield and defense. She was a critical cog in helping coach Peter McGahey rebuild the program into a contender in the Mid-American Conference.
Last season, Chiesa helped lead the Chippewas to a 15-3-3 record, trying for the third-highest win total in program history.
Chiesa, a 4.0 student who holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in exercise science, earned the prestigious Mid-American Conference Medal of Excellence for the 2016-17 season.
She was also named a Second Team Academic All-America and First Team Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America, was recognized as a MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete, and was named in 2016 Academic All-MAC for the third time in her CMU career. In 2012, she was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.
Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
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, and 122 were multisport athletes during their time in college.
The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
Next, conferences will select up to two conference nominees each from the pool of school nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees - 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the 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 Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.