The IWLCA named its 2016 Scholar-Athletes of the Year, honoring the top student-athlete in NCAA Division I, II, III, and NAIA. Nominees for the award must be a senior or graduate student, have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA, and be a starter or significant reserve.
The 2016 IWLCA Division I Scholar-Athlete of the Year is Kylie Birney, a senior midfielder at the University of Detroit Mercy. Birney’s 3.99 GPA as a Business Administration major earned her two consecutive Atlantic Sun conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. She is enrolled in a five-year MBA program at Detroit Mercy, and has also earned the President’s Award, the highest honor possible for a senior student-athlete at the institution.
Birney also excels on the lacrosse field, having earned All-Atlantic Sun honors for three consecutive years. She is only the fourth player in program history to tally over 100 goals in her career (she finished with 110), and she capped off her senior season by contributing 30 points, 23 draw controls, 42 ground balls, and 14 caused turnovers in 20 contests.
Additional accolades for Kylie Birney include earning CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large honors this year, along with two departmental awards at Detroit Mercy: the Norbert Heutter award as a junior, and the Larry Bleach award as a senior. The three-time captain also earned Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team honors the past three years and posted a perfect 4.0 GPA for the 2015-16 academic year.
Lauren Lebo, a senior Nursing student at Nyack College, has been named the 2016 IWLCA Division II Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Lebo’s 3.80 GPA landed her on the Dean’s list at Nyack, where she also was inducted into the Alpha Chi honor society and the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing honor society. She won the American Nursing Association (ANA) Future Nurse Leader Award and also the Drs. Ardel and Teresa Veitti Award for Academic Excellence in Nursing. Lebo graduated at the top of her nursing class and is one of only two athletes at the school to graduate from the rigorous nursing program while competing as a varsity athlete.
On the lacrosse field, Lebo tallied 202 career goals in only 63 games. In her senior season, she totaled 66 points, 150 draw controls, 25 ground balls, and 9 caused turnovers en route to earning First-team All-CACC honors. She led NCAA Division II in draw controls for each of the last two seasons, and served as a four-year captain for her team.
Rachel Bombardier of Castleton University has been named the 2016 IWLCA Division III Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She earned her B.S in Exercise Science this year and posted a 3.99 cumulative GPA while also minoring in Statistics. Bombardier was named the most outstanding student in Castleton’s Natural Science department, won the Sharon Brown Memorial Award and was named the North Atlantic Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s lacrosse. The two-sport athlete also played ice hockey for the Spartans and was recently named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team for her efforts in and out of the classroom.
Bombardier is a two-time All-North Atlantic Conference honoree at goalkeeper, but made the switch to defense this spring, collecting 20 ground balls, 11 draw controls, and causing 10 turnovers. She is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and also served as an EMT in the greater Rutland Region during her senior year. She is now attending graduate school at the University of Vermont and is pursuing a master’s of medical science degree.
Georgetown College’s senior midfielder Christina “Bea” Cameron is the 2016 IWLCA NAIA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She posted a 3.53 cumulative GPA as a Psychology/Environmental Science major. Cameron was the 2016 NWLL National Defender of the Year for the second consecutive year, and also earned first-team NAIA All-American status.
Cameron is a two year captain for the Tigers, and posted 38 points, 30 draw controls, and 61 caused turnovers in her senior season. Cameron was also named the conference MVP for 2016 and was named first-team NWLL All-American in both 2015 and 2016.
Kylie Birney, Detroit Mercy
Lauren Lebo, Nyack
Rachel Bombardier, Castleton
Bea Cameron, Georgetown College