For the second consecutive year, the California Collegiate Athletic Association has selected a Stanislaus State student-athlete as the conference's nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Nicole Larson, who was a senior defender on the women's soccer team, has been selected as a nominee for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year. She is the only representative from the CCAA.
NCAA conferences and independent schools have nominated 145 female student-athletes for the prestigious award, thought to be the highest honor for a female student-athlete competing at an NCAA institution. The nominees represent college athletes from 16 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 58 nominees competed in Division I, 34 in Division II and 53 in Division III.
Larson is the sixth Warrior to earn the NCAA Woman of the Year nomination. Last year, Channing Wilson was a Top 30 finalist. Karenee Demery (women's soccer) represented the CCAA in 2014. In 2011, Briana McClain (women's soccer) was a conference nomination and Jasimen Bailey (women's track & field) was a top 30 finalist in 2009. Verena Preikschas (women's tennis, a non-CCAA sport) was an independent nominee and a top nine finalist in 2012.
Larson played four seasons on the Stan State women's soccer team. She became a team leader after a stellar junior season in 2015 when she capped the year being named to the CCAA Championship Tournament All-Tournament team. She played in all 20 matches in 2016 as part of the Warriors' stifling defensive unit that recorded eight shutouts.
A criminal justice major, Larson served two terms as President of the Stanislaus State Associated Students, Inc., the university's student body government. She has been an active advocate for student at CSU Stanislaus in various areas, including Turlock Transit, as well serving in the community. Larson is the vice-chair of the Turlock Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission and has interned in the Stanislaus County District Attorney's office.
The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now 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 the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.
Warrior volleyball opens the 2017 season across the West Coast
After hosting four preseason scrimmages at home, the Stanislaus State women's volleyball team will open the 2017 regular season with two tournaments on opposite ends of the West Coast.
Trips to Irvine and Ellensburg, Washington will kick start the Warriors' year with eight matches on the road. The two-day tournament in Irvine will host Stan State matchups against Winona State and Concordia-Irvine on Sept. 1., and California Baptist and McKendree on Sept. 2.
Four days later the Warriors will hop on a flight to Washington state to compete in the annual D2 West Region Showcase hosted this year by Central Washington, one of six locations across the West Coast. The showcase is a three-day round robin style tournament where each team plays two opponents from the opposing West Region conferences: The California Collegiate Athletics Association, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Pacific West Conference. Stan State will open against Dixie State on Sept. 7 followed by the host team later that night. The Warriors will take on Concordia-Portland on Sept. 8 and finish off the weekend against Azusa Pacific on Sept. 9.
Stan State will make their CCAA debut in the newly renovated Ed & Bertha Fitzpatrick Arena on Sept. 15 as they host Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday, and Cal State L.A. on Saturday. With two consecutive weekends on the road the Warriors won't make it back to Fitzpatrick Arena until October where they will play a stretch of five matches in 11 days.
Season tickets and family passes are available for purchase now online at WarriorAthletics.com/Tickets. Season Ticket and Family Pass holders are guaranteed chair back seating in the newly renovated arena.
Stanislaus women's soccer readies for 20th season
The 2017 women's soccer schedule features eight home contests as the program celebrates its 20th season when the campaign kicks off on Aug. 31 at Warrior Stadium.
After a friendly scrimmage against Fresno Pacific on Aug. 25, the Warriors open regular season play against Southern Oregon, coached by former Warrior and assistant coach Jenni Rosenberg. Notre Dame de Namur is the other non-CCAA contest, scheduled for Monday, Sept. 4.
After that, the Warriors will become road Warriors with five straight away matches, including a trip to Canada (Burnaby, B.C.) and central Washington (Ellensburg, Wash.). Stan State's first CCAA home match is on Sept. 24 against San Francisco State and the Warriors will have five consecutive home matches in October before their final road trip to the LA area to wrap up the regular season.
As it is the case each year, the first postseason goal is to make the CCAA Tournament, slated for Oct. 31 on campus sites. The semifinals and finals will be played at UC San Diego's Triton Stadium, Nov. 3-5.
Season tickets and family passes are available for purchase now online at WarriorAthletics.com/Tickets. New in 2017, season ticket holders will get a reserved seat in the Red Seat section, at midfield. These seats feature chair backs and are mostly in the shade under the press box.