St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 6, 2017 – Washington University in St. Louis graduate Lizzy Crist was selected as a Top 30 honoree for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as announced by the Woman of the Year selection committee.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which is in its 27th year, honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.
Schools nominated a record 543 women for the award this year, which conferences then narrowed to 145 nominees to be considered by the committee.
"The Top 30 honorees are remarkable representatives of the thousands of women competing in college sports each year," said Sarah Hebberd, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and director of compliance at Georgia. "They have seized every opportunity available to them on the field of play, in the classroom and in the community, and we are proud to recognize them for their outstanding achievements."
The Top 30 honorees — including 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions — have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. They represent 12 sports and a wide range of academic majors, including neuroscience, communication, biomedical engineering, sport management, political science and art.
Crist was named the 2017 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year and the 2016 National Soccer Coaches Soccer Association (NSCAA) National Player of the Year after helping lead the Bears to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer National Championship. She was also the D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year and a NSCAA, HERO Sports and D3soccer.com First-Team All-America selection.
Crist started 23 games in goal for the Bears and recorded a 19-1-2 mark with a single-season school record 0.29 goals against average. She also set the single-season school record with 13 shutouts, and tied the single-season win total. Crist led the UAA and ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in goals allowed (6) and goals against average.
She was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second-consecutive season after posting a 2-0 mark with a 0.90 goals against average in two games at the Final Four. Crist helped guide the Bears to the program's first NCAA Championship in school history and concludes her career as the school's all-time leader in shutouts (31) and was second in wins (48).
"There are so many outstanding and inspiring women across the country in all divisions and sports, and to be named one of the top 30 in the NCAA is incredibly humbling," said Crist. "The journey to this accomplishment would not have been possible without my teammates, coaches, parents, and sisters. I have been surrounded by the love and support of an unbelievable group of people who always cheered me on and challenged me to reach my full potential."
Crist also excelled in the classroom during her four years on the Danforth Campus. She graduated in May with a 3.90 grade point average while majoring in biomedical engineering. Crist was the 2016 NSCAA National Scholar of the Year and College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First-Team Academic All-America and All-District selection.
She was also a three-time Academic all-UAA honoree, and is currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota Biomedical Engineering PhD program.
Crist earned the Department of Biomedical Engineering Outstanding Senior Achievement Award and was the first student in school history to sweep the three major awards at the Chancellor's Dinner. She served as an undergraduate researcher in the transport and tissue engineering laboratory since 2015, and earned summa cum laude and Tau Beta Pi honors in 2017.
In addition, Crist was also a four-year student tutor for Engineering Student Services and a teaching assistant for Quantitative Physiology II in 2017. She also was named the 2016-17 William K.Y. and Anne Tao W Club Distinguished Athlete of the Year Award.
"I am extremely grateful for the culture at Washington University in St. Louis that supports student athletes to grow, develop and thrive both in the classroom and on the field," Crist added.
In late September, the selection committee will announce three women from each division as the nine finalists. From the finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2017 Woman of the Year, who will be named Oct. 22 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.