LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's Maria Guarisco was selected as the 2016 Centennial Conference NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. The nominees were selected in a balloting by Conference Senior Women Administrators (SWA’s). Guarisco was a two-time All-American field hockey player who contributed to Franklin & Marshall athletically, academically, and in the community.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award is presented annually to a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. This year marks the 26th year of the Woman of the Year Award program.
In addition to being named an All-American twice, Guarisco was a three-time All-CC First Team member. She finished her career with the second-most points in Franklin & Marshall history (125), fifth-most goals (47) and second-most assists (31). During her four-year career, the Diplomats finished with a 70-11 record and 39-1 in regular season conference games. The team won a Centennial Conference championship and made three NCAA appearances.
Guarisco, an honors American Studies major with a concentration in Government from Cranford, N.J., also boasts numerous academic accomplishments. She was a three-time NFHCA National Academic squad member, two-time Academic All-Conference and member of the Academic All-Centennial list in 2015.
Over the past four years, Guarisco has tutored foreign-born women studying for the US citizenship test, assisted freshman with their writing and discussion techniques as a preceptor, and taught middle school and high school aged girls the importance of goal setting. She was a three-year member of the F&M Student Athlete Advisory Committee and captain of the field hockey team in her senior season.
The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will select the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – from the conference nominees. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the top three in each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) will then vote from among the finalists to determine the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top 30 honorees will be honored, and the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 16.