Rachel Gaines

Gaines excelled in goal for App State’s field hockey team and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and minors in sport science and coaching in August 2019.

BOONE — App State’s Rachel Gaines is a candidate for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The NCAA announced the list of nominees July 14. Gaines excelled in goal for App State’s field hockey team and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and minors in sport science and coaching in August 2019. She maintains a 4.0 GPA in her master’s program in renewable energy engineering and will begin pursuit of her doctorate at the University of Illinois this fall.

Last month, Gaines became the first App State field hockey student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), earning a spot on the women’s third team. She is a three-time Academic All-MAC selection, a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member and a three-time NFHCA Scholar of Distinction.

A three-year starter in goal for the Mountaineers, Gaines recorded 468 career saves and was a two-time MAC Player of the Week selection. She was named second-team all-conference after producing seven shutouts as a senior.

One of 23 athletes selected to the 2020 U.S. Women’s Field Hockey National Development Team, she was also a two-time member of the U.S. Senior Indoor National Field Hockey Team during her college years.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each of the NCAA’s three divisions. From the top 30, the selection committee will next determine the top three honorees in each division and announce nine finalists.

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