St. Louis, Mo., Dec 7, 2015 – Washington University in St. Louis junior forward Katie Chandler and senior midfielder Olivia Lillegraven were named to the 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III Women's Soccer All-America First Team, as announced by the Association.
Chandler and Lillegraven are the ninth and 10th players in school history to earn first-team honors. It also marks the first time WashU has had a pair of first-team honorees in the same season.
"Months ago, Olivia and Katie agreed to support and play off each other to makes themselves, each other and the team better," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon. "For both of them to be First-team All-America is truly special due to their personal compromise for the betterment of each other. To be an All-American means to be the best of the best in the country, and we are proud to have two of them."
Lillegraven led the team and the University Athletic Association (UAA) in scoring with 12 goals and five assists for 29 points. She also led the conference in game-winning goals with six, netting game-winners in victories over NCAA Tournament qualifiers Wartburg College (9/12), No. 23 Wheaton College (Ill.) (9/26) and No. 19 University of Chicago (11/7).
Lillegraven was the 2015 UAA Most Valuable Player, and also a first-team all-Central Region and all-conference selection. She was a four-time UAA Athlete of the Week honoree, and ranks third in school history in game-winning goals (14), eighth in goals scored (31) and ninth in points (77). Lillegraven was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team following the Bears' runner-up finish.
"Olivia had an incredible season transcending from her natural forward position to center midfield," Conlon said. "She was a beast in the air and an absolute goal-scoring threat coming from the midfield."
Chandler started 22 of 24 games played and had eight goals and three assists for 19 points. She ranked second in the conference in goals, points and game-winning goals (five). Chandler netted three game-winners in UAA play, including back-to-back against No. 3 and previously unbeaten Carnegie Mellon University (10/30) and Case Western Reserve University (11/1). She also scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over No. 4 Illinois Wesleyan University (9/19) and in a 1-0 win over Denison University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament (11/15).
Chandler, a first-team all-Central Region and all-UAA selection, was named the NSCAA National Player of the Week Nov. 3 and was a two-time UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week honoree. She earned NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team honors after scoring the tying goal against No. 1 Messiah College Friday in the NCAA Semifinals.
"Katie was the hub of our offense," Conlon said. "She embraced the role of being the focus of our attack. She can pass, turn, finish, and handle the mental and physical pressures that come with being the primary offensive player."
WashU tied a single-season record with a 20-3-1 overall record, and finished as the 2015 NCAA Division III National Runner-Up. The Bears advanced to the Final Four for the third time in school history and claimed a share of their 10th UAA title.
Chandler and Lillegraven will be recognized at the annual NSCAA All-America Luncheon, to be held Saturday, Jan. 16, in conjunction with the 2016 NSCAA Convention in Baltimore.