DURHAM, N.C. – One of the greats in Duke women’s soccer history moved a step closer to a prestigious NCAA award Tuesday, as recent Blue Devil graduate Christina Gibbons has been selected as one of the ACC’s two nominations for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Gibbons joins Notre Dame’s Lee Kiefer (fencing) as the two ACC nominees for the award. 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.
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Gibbons was just the third Blue Devil to earn National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team All-America honors in 2016 and one of two Duke alumnae to be named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy. The 5-6 defender/midfielder earned First Team All-ACC honors in each of her final three years and concluded her career starting 87-of-88 contests, including the final 73 in a row.
The 145 total conference nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 58 from Division I, 34 from Division II and 53 from Division III. The nominees competed in 16 different women’s sports, and 49 were multisport athletes during their time in college.
Gibbons was a two-time NSCAA All-America and concluded her collegiate career with NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades. She finished her career with a Duke record seven penalty kick goals, while also logging 7,794 minutes, which was the second most by a field player in Blue Devil history. Gibbons registered a 3.909 grade-point average and went on to be selected No. 5 overall in the NWSL College draft to FC Kansas City.
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.
A two-time captain at Duke, Gibbons received a degree in visual media studies.
Next, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees from the conferences’ nominations — 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.