WASHINGTON - The Landmark Conference has selected The Catholic University of America's Kelly Cousoulis as the league's nominee for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Since it was first given in 1991, the award has honored graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service, and leadership. Cousoulis has left her mark at Catholic in the classroom, the community, and on the field for the Cardinals' field hockey program since arriving in the fall of 2014.
Cousoulis was notified of the honor in a letter from Landmark Commissioner Daniel Fisher, and expressed gratitude for everyone who helped her succeed along the way.
"My time playing field hockey at The Catholic University of America for the past four years allowed me to find a newfound sense of empowerment that I never dreamed I would discover," Cousoulis said. "My coaches, teammates, and professors each helped me to see that the opportunities around me were truly limitless if I was willing to put in the work, which applied to all aspects of my life as a collegiate student-athlete."
Cousoulis, the 2018 Donley Cup winner (Catholic's highest student-athlete honor), made considerable contributions to the campus and community in her four years with the Cardinals. She joined the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as a freshman, where she helped coordinate Brookland Field Day and Polar Plunge, and sought out leadership roles wherever available.
She holds the distinction of earning several athletic accolades on multiple occasions. Cousoulis received honors as First Team All-Landmark Conference, League Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Region, and All-American twice each. Just as impressively, this past fall she was named the Landmark Field Hockey Scholar Athlete of the Year.
On the field, the two-year captain for the Cardinals' field hockey team was a constant presence on defense. In her senior season, Cousoulis started all 18 games in Catholic's 15-3 campaign that included six shutout victories. She made a career-high five defensive saves for the Cards, earning herself a second straight Landmark Defensive Player of the Year award.
Cousoulis found similar success in the classroom, holding a 3.78 cumulative GPA as a politics major. She was a member of three different Honors societies – a national honor in political science, an international honor in the Social Sciences, and a second national honor for first-year students. She is a multi-year member of the Dean's List and Landmark Conference Honor Roll. Lastly, Cousoulis was also chosen to be a member of the Catholic University President's Society, which exists to honor those students who combine academics, integrity, university-wide awareness, participation, and leadership demonstrated by their significant contributions to the life of the University.
"Kelly set an example on the field and in our community during her four years as a Catholic University student-athlete. She's done so much to represent her team and university positively, and the honor is well deserved," said Director of Athletics Sean Sullivan. "We are all very proud of her for representing the Landmark Conference as a nominee for such a significant honor."
A record 581 female college athletes were nominated by their schools across all three divisions. The nominee pool has since narrowed to less than 200 after conferences selected up to two nominees as representatives. The Landmark chose Cousoulis as the lone representative nominee out of its eight member schools.
Rooted in Title IX and directed by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, the NCAA Woman of the Year program celebrates the accomplishments of female college athletes across all three NCAA divisions. The top 30 honorees, 10 from each NCAA division, will be announced in early September. The Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year from a group of nine finalists. The 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced Sunday, October 28, at an awards dinner in Indianapolis.
You can learn more about the award program, next steps and previous winners by visiting ncaa.org/woty.
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