INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mount Holyoke College field hockey's Liz DiCesare has been named one of a record 543 institutional nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The conference nominees will be announced next month with those honorees moving forward in the selection process.
Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
The school nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II and 197 from Division III. The nominees competed in 21 different women's sports, and 122 were multisport athletes during their time in college.
DiCesare, a senior goalkeeper and captain out of Westford, Mass., saw the majority of action with a 10-7 record during the 2016 campaign. She had a 1.53 goals against average with a .783 save percentage. Through 17 games, she allowed just 26 goals, recording 94 saves over 1193:08 minutes of action.
The 2016 NEWMAC All-Conference First Team keeper finished the season ranked 38th among all Division III goalies in save percentage. She was also 47th in the nation in goals against average. On the conference level, DiCesare was third overall in minutes played, fourth in GAA, saves and save percentage, while ranking seventh in goals against.
DiCesare helped backstop the field hockey team to unprecedented success over the past four years. During her career, the Lyons won the program's third NEWMAC Championship title and played in the NCAA Tournament three straight years. The squad also played in the NEWMAC Tournament every season, including four straight Semifinal appearances and three consecutive championship games.
An economics major with a 3.90 cumulative grade point average, DiCesare also earned a minor in Philosophy, a nexus in Data Science, and a Five College Certificate in Coastal and Marine Sciences. Below are several of her outstanding achievements academically.
- Graduated Magna Cum Laude in Economics
- Completed a thesis in Economics (Game Theory) and an independent project in Data Science; gave two presentations during Senior Symposium
- Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
- Earned High Honor in Economics
- Presented oceanographic research project from Trans-Atlantic crossing with SEA Summer Semester at Amherst College as part of my Five College Certificate program
- Mount Holyoke Sarah Williston Scholar (2014-15, top 15% class)
- CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team (2014-15, 2016-17)
- NFHCA Scholar of Distinction (2x, 2014 & 2017)
- NFHCA National Academic Squad (4x)
- NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team (3x, sophomore-senior year)
- Teaching Assistant for Ecology 223 as part of Mount Holyoke's Peer Led Undergraduate Mentoring System (PLUMS) program; co-led biweekly review sessions and workshops for ~30 students and supported students during lectures and labs (completed during the field hockey season, fall of junior and senior years)
- Completed internships at three prominent Boston biotech companies in three different functional areas (finance, sales analytics and operations, and market access and pricing)
- Accepted job offer as an Associate Consultant at Putnam Associates, a boutique life sciences firm in Boston (starting in July)
- Received scholarship from MHC to attend Harvard Business School Peek Weekend Program; in process of applying to Harvard Business School MBA 2+2 program
DiCesare's ability on the field has never been in question as she posted a 58-21 record in her four-year career to rank as one of the all-time best players in Mount Holyoke history. She played in 79 games, including 78 as a starter, while boasting a 1.28 goals against average and a .825 save percentage. Playing over 5,244 minutes in her career, she made 454 saves and also posted 13 shutouts.
Among the program's all-time best, DiCesare owns the lowest career goals against average and is fourth overall in career saves. She has seen a number of honors throughout her career as well, which are listed below.
- Top 10 in nation for career save percentage and wins; top 20 for goals against average.
- Backstopped team to first NEWMAC Conference Championship since 2003; received tournament's Most Outstanding Player award
- Also backstopped team to highest national ranking in program history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row
- 2014 NFHCA Division III National All-America Third Team
- 2x Longstreth/NFHCA New England East Region First Team
- 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA New England East Region Second Team
- 2014 & 2016 NEWMAC All-Conference First Team
- 2013 & 2015 NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team
- 2013 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year
- 4x NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Week