Richmond, Va. – Every year, universities across Divisions I, II, and III nominate a graduating female athlete to represent their university for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. This prestigious award was established by the NCAA in 1991 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women throughout intercollegiate athletics.
To be considered eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, completed eligibility in her primary sport and earned her undergraduate degree by the summer of 2019. A record 585 female athletes were nominated for this year's award.
Women's Soccer's Kelly Graves, a standout forward, was nominated for the award this year. Graves graduated from VCU with a degree in Psychology with minors in Statistics and Finance. She managed to maintain one of the highest cumulative marks on the team which was awarded with the United States Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award last year.
On the pitch, Graves helped lead the Rams to three straight Atlantic 10 Championship appearances. Following her sophomore season, she was named Offensive Player of the Year and Team MVP. Graves had a stellar senior campaign starting every game, scoring seven goals, and contributing four assists. A highlight of the season was Graves leading the charge and scoring two late goals against Northern Iowa on August 31st to give the Rams a shutout victory.
Along with Graves, Caroline Yarbrough (Davidson) and Anna Willocks (Saint Joseph's) were representatives of the Atlantic 10. The 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on Sunday, October 20, at the NCAA awards dinner in Indianapolis.
VCU opens its season August 16th on the road at East Carolina. The Rams season opener is scheduled for Thursday, August 29th against Loyola (Md.). Fans can find tickets for the match at Sports Backers stadium at www.vcuathletics.com.