|(l. to r.) Forward of the Year Meg Van de Loo, Midfielder of the Year Mia Calamari, Defender of the Year Emma Diehl and Goalkeeper of the Year Lizzy Crist.
Photos: Johns Hopkins Athletics, UChicago Athletics, William Smith Athletics, James Byard/WUSTL Photos
The D3soccer.com has announced its 2016 women's All-America teams. The teams were chosen by D3soccer.com staff, Division III soccer coaches and sports information directors from a field of nearly 500 nominations. This is the seventh year that D3soccer.com has recognized the top men's and women's players from across the nation.
Thirty-three players representing twenty-one schools and sixteen different conferences have been named to the three All-America teams. Seven of this year's honorees are repeat selections, six from last year and one from 2014. Among this group is the first repeat women's player of the year in the history of the D3soccer.com awards. The twenty-two seniors named equals the high set in 2010, the inaugural year of the D3soccer.com honors, and again last year. Eight juniors and three sophomores round out this year's selections. The UAA led all conferences with five representatives.
The D3soccer.com Forward of the Year is John Hopkins senior Meg Van de Loo. The Centennial Conference Player of the Year had a career year, setting program records for goals and points in a season. Her 25 tallies—22 from the run of play and three penalty kicks—tied for most in the nation and were accompanied by nine assists. Van de Loo also finished in the top ten in goals per game (1.14), points (59), points per game (2.68) and game-winning goals (7) despite Hopkins playing one of the nation's toughest schedules. She got on the score sheet in all but two games, scoring in 16 straight matches from mid-September through the second round of the NCAA tournament: the third longest streak in Division III history. Van de Loo scored in eight of nine games against Top 25 opponents with 10 goals and 3 assists. More impressive yet, she scored four goals in three games against top 20 defenses with a combined goals-against-average of 0.35, personally accounting for one-sixth of the total goals conceded by Lynchburg, Messiah and TCNJ all season. After helping the Blue Jays to their second straight Centennial Conference Championship, Van de Loo notched a hattrick in the opening round of the NCAA tournament followed by a 2-goal, 2-assist performance in round two to punctuate one of the best individual seasons in Johns Hopkins' history.
Junior Mia Calamari of the University of Chicago is the D3soccer.com Midfielder of the Year award winner. The central midfielder's leadership and influence was vital to the Maroons' advancement to the national semifinal—the program's first Final Four in eleven years—with their 18 wins matching the program high. Not only did Calamari help Chicago control the midfield, but she excelled at launching attacks with her vision and distribution. Her pin-point deliveries from free kicks, corner kicks as well as open play regularly created goal-scoring opportunities. For the third time in her three years, Calamari was credited with double-digit assists, her 12 helpers bringing her career total to a program-best 40 with her senior year yet to be played. After resetting the team record for assists in a season in each of her first two years, Calamari added goal-scoring to her repertoire in 2016 with eight tallies. But fittingly it was an assist that may have been her defining moment of the season when she set up the game-tying goal in the dying minutes of Chicago’s NCAA quarterfinal match to enable the Maroons to book their place in the Final Four with a shootout win.
William Smith College senior Emma Diehl has earned the D3soccer.com Defender of the Year award. It is the second straight season and third time in four years that the top defender came from William Smith. The Herons limited opponents to an average of just 3.4 shots and a stingy 1.7 shots on goal with Diehl anchoring the backline—both marks ranking second in the nation. And just like in 2015, the William Smith defense secured 14 straight shutouts from mid-September into November, going nearly 1320 minutes without conceding a goal. In total, the Herons logged 16 shutouts, tied for seventh nationally, and posted a 0.46 goals-against-average as they won 21 consecutive games before suffering their first loss in the Elite 8 stage of the NCAA tournament. Diehl's best performance of the season may have come in the annual heavyweight clash with Messiah. After conceding goals in each of their first three matches, William Smith scored a massive 2-0 shutout win on the road with Diehl keeping All-American forward Marisa Weaver from getting off a single shot. A four-year starter who only missed one game during her collegiate career, Diehl was named Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year.
For the second time in as many years, Washington University's Lizzy Crist is the D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year. In helping the Bears to their first-ever national title, the senior became the first women's player to earn D3soccer.com's highest honor twice. Facing an average of about three shots on goal per game from less than seven shots on average, Crist posted a .898 save percentage (11th in the nation) that contributed to a miserly goals against average of 0.29 that ranked fourth nationally. She factored in 17 of the team's 18 shutouts which ranked tied for third in the nation and broke the program record. All this was accomplished while playing one of the nation's toughest schedules that includes the UAA slate. She may not have matched the heroics of her four penalty kicks saves in last year's semifinal shootout win versus Messiah, but Crist came up huge against the Falcons once again with a season-high six saves in the title game. Crist was a repeat All-UAA first team selection and a repeat choice as NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
The D3soccer.com women's Coach of the Year is Jim Conlon of Washington University. Coach Conlon guided his team to the program's first ever national championship after coming up just short the previous year. The back-to-back title games make it three finals appearances for Conlon since being hired to guide the Bears in 2008. He inherited a successful program and has fulfilled the task of taking it to the next level. Following a Sweet 16 run in his debut campaign, his Bears reached the program's first national final in just his second season. Elite 8 finishes followed in years four and five and another Sweet 16 in 2013 before last year’s run to the final. This year, Coach Conlon and the Bears finally reached the summit when they equalled Messiah for 110 minutes and were perfect from the spot in the championship-deciding shootout. With a final ledger of 19-2-3, the Bears came within one win of the program record set a year ago and made Colon the winningest head coach in program history. His nine-year record at Wash. U. stands at 152-33-15 (.798).
|2016 WOMEN'S PLAYERS OF THE YEAR|
|Forward of the Year: Meg Van de Loo (Sr.), Johns Hopkins|
|Midfielder of the Year: Mia Calamari (Jr.), Chicago|
|Defender of the Year: Emma Diehl (Sr.), William Smith|
|Goalkeeper of the Year: Lizzy Crist (Sr.), Washington U.|
|2016 WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICANS|
|F||Meg Van de Loo||Sr.||Johns Hopkins|
|F||Raba Nassif *||Sr.||Stevens|
|M||Ana Bengoechea *||Sr.||Johns Hopkins|
|M||Yasmeen Farra||Sr.||Trinity (Texas)|
|D||Emma Diehl||Sr.||William Smith|
|D||Kayla Deckert *||Sr.||Messiah|
|D||Emily Maxwell *||Jr.||Lynchburg|
|GK||Lizzy Crist *||Sr.||Washington U.|
|F||Destinie Graves *||Sr.||Centre|
|M||Maggie Crist||So.||Washington U.|
|M||Laura Felix||Sr.||Thomas More|
|D||Taylor Robinson||Sr.||Thomas More|
|GK||Tarynn Theilig||Sr.||St. Thomas|
|F||Autumn Sorice||Jr.||Western Connecticut|
|F/M||Kara Shue||Sr.||William Smith|
|D||Michaela Friedman *||Sr.||Brandeis|
|D||Jordan Leeper||Sr.||Trinity (Texas)|
|* previous D3soccer.com All-America honors|
|2016 WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR|
|Jim Conlon, Washington U. (19-2-3) - 2016 National Champions|