WINTHROP, Mass. – Anna Maria College's Kylie Dalbec (Portland, Maine), a four-year field hockey standout, has been selected as the 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Woman of the Year, as announced by the GNAC office on Tuesday morning.
As the conference's choice for the honor, Dalbec will now be put forth for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year Award as part of the national program.
Dalbec was amongst 515 nominees nationwide – the most ever in the history of the NCAA's Woman of the Year program – and 169 female nominees across Division III.
Dalbec finished her undergrad at the school with a 3.90 grade point average as an Environmental Science major and Criminal Justice minor. She was named the 2016 Anna Maria Scholar-Athlete of the Year and is a two-time Phillip Grout Award in Environmental Science winner, as well as a four-time honoree of the NFHCA National Academic Squad.
In addition to serving as her school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) secretary for four years, Dalbec has also volunteered at the Department of Environmental Protection State Emergency Exercise, the York Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation, and Anna Maria-organized events such as the Special Olympics, Clothing Drive and Giving Tree.
"Being a student-athlete has helped me realize how to be a good role model and a well-rounded individual," said Dalbec. "After volunteering time helping with youth lacrosse and field hockey, I talked to the girls about how to be a good teammate, do well in school and empower other athletes. Being able to help shape children's minds and help them fall in love with the games I love was one of my most rewarding moments as a student-athlete."
A native of Portland, Maine, the forward had 184 points on 68 goals and 48 assists over her stellar four-year career, including two 20-goal seasons as a sophomore and junior. Dalbec was an All-GNAC First Team choice each of the last two years, and was also named the 2014 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year. Prior to the GNAC sponsoring field hockey beginning in 2014, the AMCATS field hockey program was a member of the New England Collegiate Conference, where Dalbec was named the 2013 NECC Player of the Year and 2012 NECC Rookie of the Year.
"Kylie has left her mark on Anna Maria College and this recognition from the GNAC only solidifies the exceptional success of her collegiate career," said Anna Maria Athletic Director Laura Habacker. "Succeeding both on the field and in the classroom at the level Kylie did is commendable and Anna Maria is very proud of her."
Dalbec was among four finalists for the honor along with Emmanuel College's Sarah Higgins, Lasell College's Bridget Munnelly, and Saint Joseph's College of Maine's Felicia Wachowiak. The nominees were graded on four pillars: academic, athletics, service and leadership.
The Woman of the Year selection committee, which is made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will get set to 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 nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from that pool to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony October 16 in Indianapolis.
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 12 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 17 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.