Liberty women's soccer goalkeeper Holly Van Noord, along with Winthrop's women's tennis player Caitlin Cridland, has been named the 2016-17 Big South Woman of the Year award winner. The recent Liberty graduate is just one of 28 nominees from Division I NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award was established in 1991 and now enters its 27th year honoring graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. Van Noord is a part of a prestigious group that combined for a 3.88 grade point average (GPA).
In her senior campaign, Van Noord was stellar, leading the Big South Conference with a 0.85 goals-against average and a .866 save percentage over 1,805 minutes between the posts. Her first of eight shutouts on the season and 34th of her career, a 1-0 blanking of James Madison on Sept. 4, set a new Big South Conference record for shutouts. In addition, the goalkeeper backstopped a school record seven consecutive shutouts by the Lady Flames and the longest winning streak in program history of eight games, this past season. Van Noord rewrote the Liberty and Big South record book during her four-year career with the women's soccer program, recording 41 shutouts.
A two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week honoree in 2016, Van Noord was 14-7-0 in goal for the Lady Flames and allowed just 17 goals in net. In conference action, she allowed just four scores in 753 minutes for a 0.48 GAA. Van Noord posted a .909 save percentage with four shutouts in nine starts.
The goalkeeper garnered numerous postseason awards. Van Noord was named Big South Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-Big South, Big South Championship All-Tournament Team, NSCAA All-Southeast Region second team, VaSID All-State second team and Liberty's Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award recipient at the 2017 FLAMESPY.
Off the field, Van Noord volunteered her time at Payne Elementary, Sandusky Middle School and Lynchburg City Schools, as well as the 21st Century Grant Program, Dollar Makes a Difference, Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat, Share the Warmth, Operation Christmas Elf, the Lynchburg Daily Bread and the Parkview Community Center Food for Families. She was also involved with various community events, such as the Hop On Pop Day Collections.
After advancing from initial nomination, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the top 30 honorees — 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.
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