Washington University in St. Louis senior goalkeeper Lizzy Crist, Wayzata, Minn. (Minnetonka) was named the 2017 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year, as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Crist is the first WashU student-athlete since 2000-01 and the fifth in school history to earn the honor. She joins Amy Albers (1994-95), Shelley Swan (1995-96), Alia Fischer (1999-2000) and Tasha Rodgers (2000-01) as previous award winners.
Crist will be presented with this honor on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, at 6 p.m. (PT) in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles. The honor was voted on by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the CWSA program, now in its 41st year.
"To me, being named the D3 Honda Athlete of the Year is the culmination of 18 plus years of hard work and sacrifice,” said Crist. “If I think about it all at once, it is a little overwhelming, so I try to take a step back and look at all of the people who have helped me get here. This award would not have been possible without my talented and dedicated teammates. Without them, there is no success."
"I also owe this achievement to my parents who have always believed in me and who have been there for me as role models. To my coaches, professors, Chancellor Wrighton, and members of the athletic department, thank you for promoting WashU students to achieve their full potential in both academics and athletics. I am extraordinarily grateful for the time and energy you give to making our four-year experience at WashU last a lifetime."
Crist was the 2017 National Soccer Coaches Soccer Association (NSCAA) National Player of the Year after helping lead the Bears to the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship. She was also the D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year and an NSCAA, HERO Sports and D3soccer.com First-Team All-America selection.
Crist started 23 games in goal for the Bears and recorded a 19-1-2 mark with a single-season school record 0.29 goals against average. She also set the single-season school record with 13 shutouts, and tied the single-season win total. Crist led the University Athletic Association (UAA) and ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in goals allowed (6) and goals against average.
“I am proud of the woman Lizzy Crist has become, “said head coach Jim Conlon. “Lizzy has carved out a special collegiate career, academically, athletically, and socially. In the Washington University women's soccer family, we want to transcend the NCAA student-athlete experience into one of a scholar-champion. We ask our women to push their boundaries academically and athletically and open their minds to respecting other people's differences. Lizzy has opened her mind and pushed boundaries throughout her career at WashU.”
"Her academic prowess in biomedical engineering takes classroom theory and puts it into life practicality with all of her internships and research opportunities," added Conlon. "On the field, she takes the ball and turns it into a tool of growth. She makes herself, me and her teammates better by the way she approaches life, the game and learning. Lizzy is truly a scholar-champion."
She was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second-consecutive season after posting a 2-0 mark with a 0.90 goals against average in two games at the Final Four. Crist helped lead the Bears to the program’s first NCAA Championship in school history and concludes her career as the school’s all-time leader in shutouts (31) and was second in wins (48).
“Lizzy Crist exemplifies the true meaning of a student-athlete,” said WashU Assistant AD for Communications Chris Mitchell. “She has had success on and off the earning All-America and Academic All-America honors. I feel grateful to have gotten to know Lizzy and her family the past four years.”
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.