Courtesy of CNU Athletic Communications
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Earning the distinction of her sports top student-athlete, senior Gabby Gillis of the Christopher Newport University women's soccer team was selected as the United Soccer Coaches National Scholar Player of the Year for Division III.
The national coaches' organization announced it's National Players of the Year and National Scholar Players of the Year on Thursday afternoon for high school and college student-athletes. The awards recognize outstanding individuals from the association's All-America and Scholar All-America teams at the youth through college ranks. National Players of the Year and National Scholar Players of the Year will be honored for their accomplishments at the United Soccer Coaches All-America Luncheon at the national convention on January 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Gillis has been a groundbreaking student-athlete throughout her tenure at Christopher Newport and continues to set new standards for success both on and off the field with Thursday's announcement. She is the first Christopher Newport University student-athlete in any sport to earn National Scholar Player of the Year recognition, collecting the honor after a decorated career with the Captains.
A starting midfielder and team captain for head coach Dan Weiler's team, Gillis is a double major working toward degrees in Psychology and Sociology who, earlier this week, was named a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America First Team selection for the second straight year. On the field, she was also recognized as a United Soccer Coaches first team All-American in late November, becoming the first two-time All-American in program history.
Gillis has earned a 3.65 cumulative GPA and is a three-time Academic All-Conference selection. She also garnered first team Scholar All-Region for a second time this season. A three-time All-Region selection on the field, Gillis was also a four-time All-Conference pick.
This year, the senior from Leesburg, Va. put forth the finest effort of her illustrious career, setting career-high's in every statistical category. She became just the third player in program history to score 40 points in a single season by finishing the year with 41 points on 15 goals and 11 assists. She scored three gamewinners and picked up a pair of hat tricks during the year while moving into the upper echelon of elite scorers in women's soccer history. She wrapped her career ranked third in career points, with 96, and fourth in career goals scored, with 38. She added 20 assists and ranks in the top-ten all-time at CNU in that category as well.
The veteran was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season after another exceptional campaign offensively and defensively. She helped the Captains break the program records for points in a season and assists in a single year while also shattering the most wins in a season with 21. She led the team to greater heights as the Captains advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer National Semifinals for the first time after winning 16 straight games for the second longest win streak in school history. As an individual, Gillis became the all-time leader in games played and started, as well as obliterating the previous record for consecutive games played and started in a career. She started all 85 games in her tenure as a Captain while helping CNU women's soccer raise the bar for team success. The Captains won a record 71 games over the last four years, going 71-11-3 for a monstrous winning percentage of 85.3%.
Gillis helped lead the Captains to a sixth consecutive conference regular season championship, while finishing out the year with a program-best 21-2-0 overall record and 7-0-0 mark in conference play. CNU would go on to win the program's third straight CAC Championship and advanced to the final four of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. CNU captured the team's first NCAA Regional Championship with a 1-0 win over Lynchburg in the sectional title game before suffering a season-ending loss to eventual national champion Williams College in the national semifinals.
2018 United Soccer Coaches National Scholar Players of the Year
NCAA DI Men: Andre Shinyashiki (Sao Paulo, Brazil), University of Denver
NCAA DI Women: Jordan DiBiasi (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Stanford University
NCAA DII Men: Mikie Rowe (Wexford, Ireland), Young Harris College
NCAA DII Women: Anna Gregg (Sacramento, Calif.), University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
NCAA DIII Men: Trent Vegter (Hudsonville, Mich.), Calvin College
NCAA DIII Women: Gabrielle Gillis (Leesburg, Va.), Christopher Newport University
NAIA/NCCAA Men: Jose Porras (Las Alturas, Guatemala), Carroll College
NAIA/NCCAA Women: Molly Schmidt (Overland Park, Kan.), Benedictine College (Kan.)
Junior College Men: Rafael Mariano-Ramos (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Marshalltown Community College
Junior College Women: Sarah George (Dolgeville, N.Y.), Herkimer College
High School Boys: Tyler Swanbeck (Hebron, Maine), Hebron Academy
High School Girls: Meredith Haakenson (Maple Grove, Minn.), Maple Grove Senior High School