Liberty senior goalkeeper Karen Blocker (center) was named the 2012-13 Big South Woman of the Year at the conference's annual awards banquet.
The Big South Conference announced Thursday evening at its Spring Meetings Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner that Liberty women's soccer player Karen Blocker is the Big South Conference's Woman of the Year for 2012-13. The conference's Woman of the Year award is sponsored by Big South corporate partner Musco Sports Lighting. The announcement marks the fourth time a Lady Flame has garnered the conference's prestigious award and the first since Karyl Bacon in 2011. The Big South's Woman of the Year selection committee voted Blocker the winner among the 13 candidates nominated for the award. The committee used criteria of service and leadership (including community services, campus activities and leadership positions), academic achievement, athletics excellence and a personal statement from each candidate. As the Big South's Woman of the Year, Blocker is nominated as a candidate for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Blocker concluded her four-year career this past fall after appearing in 67 games for the Lady Flames – all starts at goalkeeper. She ended her time at Liberty tied for third in Big South history with 67 appearances, third with 6156:27 minutes in net and tied for fifth in career saves with 339. Blocker finished her career with a .788 career save percentage, 5.06 saves per game and 27 victories – tied for seventh in the conference record book. She is also tied for sixth in league history with a school-record 20 shutouts and was voted all-conference twice in her career, including this past season after going 11-7-3 with a school-record 0.74 goals-against average, .843 save percentage and nine shutouts. A nursing major, Blocker has volunteered with local soccer camps while at Liberty, and has been involved with various overseas missions where she has performed soccer clinics for underprivileged individuals. Those missions took her to Nassau, East Asia and Brazil where she worked in orphanages, taught English and assisted with food distribution, in addition to the soccer clinics. The team captain has also led Bible study classes for girls and has been a volunteer national patroller with the National Ski Patrol since 2005. Blocker's time as a volunteer includes serving as an emergency contact babysitter for local foster children, and she was one of 16 students selected for the Pediatric Richmond Program, which allowed her to study pediatrics at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Va. Blocker also worked with Meals Ministry, which provides food for families in need, and volunteered with the Lynchburg City Schools all four years at Liberty. She was named Liberty Nursing Student of the Year in May 2012, was a Dean's List student all four years, has been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll every season and was a two-time member of the Big South Women's Soccer All-Academic Team.
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