DURHAM, N.C. – It has been nearly a year since Christina Gibbons last donned a Duke women’s soccer jersey, but the recent Blue Devil graduate keeps reeling in national attention as she was selected as one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award Wednesday.
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.
Schools nominated a record 543 women for the award this year, which conference then narrowed down to 145 nominees that represented all three NCAA divisions, with 58 from Division I, 34 from Division II and 53 from Division III. From there the Woman of the Year selection committee knocked down the list to 30.
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 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.
A two-time captain at Duke, Gibbons received a degree in visual media studies.
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.
“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.”
For more information on Duke women’s soccer, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeWSoc”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.
2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 Honorees
Sabrina Anderson, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Serena Barr, Liberty University
Kaitlyn Brunworth, Wingate University
Clare Carlson, Grand Valley State University
Jennifer Carmichael, University of Oklahoma
Caroline Conboy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Eliana Crawford, Kenyon College
Lizzy Crist, Washington University in St. Louis
Alyssa Domico, Dominican University (Illinois)
Laura Rose Donegan, University of New Hampshire
Brooke Donnelly, Washington and Lee University
Christina Gibbons, Duke University
Maryann Gong, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chardae Greenlee, University of Memphis
Morgan Hasty, Johnson C. Smith University
Olivia Hompe, Princeton University
Nicole Hoynaski, Hawaii Pacific University
Jessica January, DePaul University
Jamie Johnson, Lewis University
Allison Kosobud, College of Saint Benedict
Katie Krick, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Juliana Madzia, University of Cincinnati
Kaina Martinez, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Christina Melian, Stony Brook University
Jelena Momirov, Barry University
Natalie O'Keefe, Southwest Baptist University
Jayme Perez, East Texas Baptist University
Maddie Pronovost, Middlebury College
Cashlee Rayas, Dallas Baptist University
Chantal Van Landeghem, University of Georgia