HADLEY, Mass. - A total of seven women, representing six institutions, have been nominated to represent the NESCAC as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. A committee of conference administrators will select the NESCAC’s representative for the award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership. The award has been given annually since 1991 and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 20 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Maeve McNamara – Amherst
Maeve McNamara was a two-sport athlete at Amherst, competing on the women’s basketball and soccer teams while carrying a 3.70 GPA as a double major in biology and film and media studies.
Although she won two national championships as a basketball player and four NESCAC titles across both sports, one of McNamara’s most rewarding experiences at Amherst came while creating a film for her senior thesis working with four elderly women from a local independent living community. She was inspired through the relationships she forged with the women to extend her studies and pursue a research position at Harvard Medical School where she will join a team to investigate the role of epigenetics in aging.
On the soccer pitch, she started 61 of the 75 games she played and finished her career with 29 points (8 goals, 13 assists). The Mammoths won the NESCAC title in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2018. On the court, she played in over 100 games as a guard on the women’s basketball team, including starting 23 of 28 games as a senior. She helped the Mammoths win two national championships and three NESCAC titles.
Outside of her athletic achievements, McNamara was a student leader on campus through various admissions and educational policy committees. She was a senator in the Amherst Association of Students, served on three different committees related to admissions, financial aid, educational policy, and athletics. She also served as a committee member for the Amherst Faculty/Staff Sexual Respect Task Force and held roles as a research assistant and a teaching assistant.
McNamara was a six-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, earning the honor each year she was eligible in both basketball and soccer. She was honored with the Amherst Leads Distinguished Captain Award and the Peter Gooding Award for her efforts in soccer. She also earned the Edward Spugnardi Award, which is presented to the student who, through the qualities of sportsmanship and dedication, has made Amherst a more enjoyable place as a student and an athlete.
Sarah Rothmann – Bates
A nine-time NESCAC All-Academic selection as a member of the cross country, and indoor and outdoor track & field teams, Sarah Rothmann was the winner of the Milton L. Lindholm Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to the Bates varsity letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade point average. She recorded a 3.93 GPA as an English major and minored in educational studies with a concentration in film and media studies.
Rothmann graduated with magna cum laude honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She was presented with the William H. Dunham Sr. ’32 Literacy Award, which is given to a graduating English major who has displayed excellence in the study of English or American Literature.
In addition to her academic accolades, Rothmann also spent over 200 hours teaching in elementary, middle school, and high school classrooms in Lewiston, Maine, and is headed the Czech Republic to teach English as a Fulbright Scholar. On campus, Rothmann climbed the ladder to the role of Editor-In-Chief at The Bates Student, the school’s newspaper.
Rothmann was a three-sport captain and earned All-America honors as a member of Bates’ distance medley relay team. She competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, twice helping the Bobcats finish 17th at the 2018 championship, the second-best finish in program history. She was also named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team in women’s cross country in 2016 as a sophomore.
As a middle-distance runner for the track & field team, she earned All-America honors in 2017 as a member of the Bobcats’ distance medley relay team that finished fourth and was part of the team’s runner-up performance at the Open New England Indoor Championships. In 2016, Rothmann was a member of the Bates 4x800 relay team that placed third at the ECAC Outdoor Championships and became the third-fastest 4x800 team in program history. She was a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree in track and field
Chandler Solimine - Trinity
Chandler Solimine, the 2018 NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year in field hockey, aspires to use the lessons learned as a female student-athlete to further the cause of gender equality. As an American Studies major with minors in writing, rhetoric, and media/studio arts, she developed an understanding and passion around the topic through work for her thesis which focused on media coverage of women’s ice hockey and its impact on gender equality.
Solimine graduated from Trinity with a 3.77 GPA. She was a five-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree for both field hockey and ice hockey, which she played two years for the Bantams. She was a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad selection and earned Faculty Honors six semesters. In 2018, she was awarded the Rosamond M. Mancall Prize, which is presented to an outstanding member of the junior class who is an American Studies major.
Solimine finished her career starting 61 of 72 games and recorded 117 points (45 goals, 27 assists). Her 45 goals rank fifth all-time at Trinity, and the 14 game-winning goals she scored in her career are second among the Bantams’ all-time leaders. She earned All-NESCAC First Team in 2018 after earning Second Team honors in 2016 and 2017. Solimine, a co-captain, ranked fifth in the conference in scoring with 32 points on 12 goals and eight assists. She netted five game-winning goals to lead the Bantams to the NESCAC Semifinals in 2018.
A three-time NFHCA All-New England selection and a 2018 First Team All-American, Solimine helped Trinity finish as the NESCAC Runner-Up in 2017 and earn a pair of NCAA appearances in 2016 and 2017.
Among her many activities outside of athletics, Solimine was a senator, representing the Class of 2019, in the Trinity Student Government, served as a student representative on the Bantams in Balance Committee, helping promote healthy lifestyles to the campus community. She also served as a first-year seminar mentor, a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, and helped organize charity events for the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation with the field hockey team.
Colleen Doolan – Tufts
Colleen Doolan, who graduated from Tufts with a 3.93 GPA as a double major in biology and community health, was selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She also earned a spot on the 2019 CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Women's At-Large Team.
Through her time as a member of the Tufts women’s swimming and diving team, she learned the value of teamwork to help fulfill goals and also learned the values of service from a pair of trips to developing nations to provide medical services. She hopes to use that knowledge to have an impactful career in medicine. She is currently working in clinical research at Boston Children's Hospital and will enter the Tufts University School of Medicine in the fall.
Doolan worked as a non-medical volunteer with the Little by Little Medical Team organization in Gramothe, Haiti. She supported the clinical team as a medical scribe in the woman's health clinic, collecting and organizing data about the patient population to be reported to the Haiti Ministry of Health. During the summer of 2016, she went on a Projects Abroad Medical Internship in Cape Coast, Ghana. She triaged incoming patients and provided care based on physician instructions, provided wound care in the community leprosy camp, schools, and hospitals, while also performing health screenings, teaching CPR, and offering health education in the community.
In addition to her two trips to developing countries, Doolan worked as a clinical research assistant and intern at Boston Children’s Hospital and was a Pre-Medical Society Mentor at Tufts. She also served as a member of Tufts' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), participating on SAAC's Jumbo Experience Committee, and was the Event Chair for Tufts’ annual Relay for Life fundraiser.
A four-year member of the women's swimming & diving team, she was a three-time NCAA qualifier and three-time honorable mention All-American. She was part of Tufts' 800-meter freestyle relay that placed ninth at the 2019 NCAA Championships with a time of 7:31.14, marking the best relay finish in the Tufts program's recent history. Doolan was also a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay that posted a school-record time of 3:28.22 and finished 16th to help the Jumbos finish 16th in the team standings, the highest place for the program since 1990.
In her rookie season at the 2016 NCAA Championships, Doolan achieved honorable mention All-American accolades with a 12th-place performance in the final of the 200 butterfly (2:04.11). She is also a three-time NESCAC All-Conference performer.
Victoria Yu - Wesleyan
Women’s tennis standout Victoria Yu graduated from Wesleyan with a 3.98 GPA while majoring in chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry.
She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2019 and recognized as a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American in 2018. A three-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, she was presented with the 2019 Hawk Prize by Wesleyan. The honor recognizes students who have done effective work in biochemistry. Yu will continue her academic career in medical school in 2019.
She led the Cardinals to their first NCAA Division III National Championship this spring to go along with the NCAA Doubles title she won in 2017. Yu won the ITA Small College National Doubles titles as a rookie and was a four-time ITA New England Doubles Champion. She also won the ITA Division III Oracle Cup National title as a junior and finished her career winning 80 singles matches (80-26) and 115 doubles matches (115-23).
Yu, a six-time All-American, was the ITA Senior Player of the Year in 2019 and earned Northeast Player of the Year honors as the No. 1 player in both singles and doubles for the Cardinals. She was an All-NESCAC First Team Singles player in 2019 after being a Second Team selection the previous three years. She was also a first-team all-conference doubles honors in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2019, Yu helped the Cardinals claim their first NESCAC Championship.
She was honored with the Wesleyan Scholar-Athlete Award three times, garnered a spot on the Dean’s List each semester from 2015-2019, and was presented with the athletic department’s Maynard Award which is given to the senior scholar-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit, accomplishments, and humility of alum Roger Maynard ’37. She also received the 2019 Suki Hagland Award presented annually by the athletic department for outstanding contributions to women’s athletics at Wesleyan and was honored with the Jones Award which is given to a member of each women’s team at Wesleyan acknowledging dedication to her sport.
Off the court, Yu was a volunteer at the New Braunfels Food Bank in her hometown of New Braunfels, Texas. She also served as a teaching assistant in chemistry and was a research assistant in organic chemistry at Wesleyan. Yu also spent two years as a peer tutor for students taking the Intro to Biology course at the institution.
Olivia Barnhill – Williams
Olivia Barnhill pursues excellence in whatever she is doing. She graduated from Williams with a 3.72 GPA as a double major in biology and psychology with a concentration in neuroscience, while winning three NCAA Women’s Soccer titles, including back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018, as a goalkeeper for the Ephs.
Barnhill graduated with honors after completing a research project involving an uncharacterized brain region and its connection to appetite suppression. She was inducted into Sigma Xi, an honor society for scientists and engineers, and was a named to the Dean’s List five times throughout her career.
She helped the Ephs capture two NESCAC titles in 2015 and 2017 and finish as the NESCAC Runner-Up in 2018. Barnhill was a three-time all-conference selection, earning first-team honors in 2018 after back-to-back years on the second team in 2016 and 2017. Barnhill ranked among the NESCAC leaders in save percentage and goals against average three of her four years. She finished her career starting 68 of 69 games and posted a 0.47 goals against average and .861 save percentage with 32 shutouts.
During her time at Williams, Barnhill also served as a teaching assistant for various biology courses, mentored 28 first-year students as a Junior Advisor to the Class of 2021 and was a member of the Williams Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She also coordinated educational events for the Rape and Sexual Assault Network and was the student-athlete liaison to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness group on campus.
Cordelia Chan – Williams
Cordelia Chan became the second Williams golfer and the second NESCAC golfer to win an NCAA Individual title in 2019. She will pursue a career in dentistry after graduating from Williams with a 3.63 GPA as a biology major.
Chan earned medalist honors at the 2019 NCAA Championships following a round of 72 on the final day and finished with a four-day total of 296. The Ephs finished the tournament as the national runner-up for the second straight year. Chan, the NESCAC Player of the Year in 2017 and the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2015, is a three-time All-NESCAC selection. She posted a school-record round of 67 to claim first at the Mount Holyoke Invitational this past fall and was runner-up at the NESCAC Championship as the Ephs won their fourth straight NESCAC title.
In addition to her accomplishments on the course, Chan was a teaching assistant for several biology courses and co-authored a published paper in physiology. She tutored students at Mt. Greylock Middle and High Schools as a teaching fellow for the Center for Learning in Action. Chan also taught dental hygiene as a SMILE Makers volunteer to kindergarten students at local schools. Chan served as also the Team IMPACT liaison for the women’s golf team and a member of the Williams Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).