Astrid Kempainen, Women's Soccer, Connecticut College
Astrid Kempainen and the Connecticut College women’s soccer team made history in 2014 as the first program to win a NESCAC crown since the College joined the conference in 1982. The Camels set a program record with 16 wins, knocking off Trinity in the team’s first home NESCAC post-season game. Connecticut College went on to avenge an early season loss to Bowdoin with a 1-0 blanking of the Polar Bears in the semifinals and celebrated the College’s inaugural NESCAC crown by outlasting Williams in penalty kicks en route to an NCAA berth.
Kempainen was honored as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Continental Tire First Team All-American, a D3Soccer.com First Team All-American and as an NSCAA Scholar All-American. She is the first women’s soccer player to earn first team accolades from the NSCAA. The skilled central midfielder was recognized as the 2014 NESCAC Player of the Year, becoming just the second Camel women’s soccer player to earn this distinction.
Kempainen tallied 20 points with a league-best 10 assists during her senior campaign. Three of her five goals on the season were game-winning markers. The team exploded with 20 goals in its first four games and went on to shatter a program record for offensive proficiency with 47 goals scored.
During commencement weekend, Kempainen was honored by the Camel athletic program with the Anita L. DeFrantz Award.
The accolade is presented annually to the male and female members of the graduating class whose athletic ability, leadership and sportsmanship best exemplify the qualities of Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz '74.
"Astrid's achievement is a feather in cap for the entire Camel nation and an inspiration to us all," Connecticut College head women’s soccer coach Norm Riker said. "She combined her incredible talent with work ethic and grit. Astrid's accomplishment is a proud reminder for the Connecticut College community of professors, coaches, and support staff of our mission and the power of collaboration!"
In the classroom, Kempainen excelled as a Dean’s Honors List Student carrying the challenging major of biology. She was honored on the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Team, while also being named to the NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team for three consecutive years.