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UB soccer's Julia Benati named 2018 NCAA Woman Of The Year nominee


BUFFALO, NY – Former University at Buffalo women's soccer standout Julia Benati earned the Bulls nomination for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year award, as announced by the NCAA on Thursday afternoon.

Benati becomes the first UB women's soccer player under current head coach Shawn Burke to earn the nomination for the award. There are a total of 581 nominees for the prestigious award including 81 women's soccer players across all three division across the country.

"To get this recognition on a national scale just further reiterates Julia's desire, commitment, and drive to be the very best student-athlete she could be," stated head coach Shawn Burke. "She embodies everything the University at Buffalo, UB women's soccer and UB Athletics stands for."

The Dorchester, Ontario native finished off her impressive four-year Buffalo career this past season by earning First Team All-MAC honors and Third Team All-Midwest Region after posting a career-high seven goals, four assists and 18 points across 19 matches for UB. The explosive midfielder wrapped up her successful UB career ranking 12th in assists (13), 14th in points (49) and 15th in goals (15).

Not only did Benati perform on the pitch, the team captain also put in the work inside the classroom as she posted a 3.99 GPA in exercise science while earning Academic All-MAC honors and MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete honors for the third straight season. The senior also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for the first time in her UB career.

The NCAA Woman of the Year award, established in 1991, honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

Conferences now will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will 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 the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 28 in Indianapolis.

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