RUSTON – Due to her work on the field, in the classroom and around the community, former Louisiana Tech soccer standout Olivia Lukasewich has been nominated for the 22nd annual 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Lukasewich is one of 429 female student-athletes, spanning NCAA Divisions I, II and III, to be nominated for the prestigious award established in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics.
This award highlights the success of female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership. Lukasewich exceedingly shined in all four of these areas while at Louisiana Tech.
Aspiring to be a future physical education teacher, she recently received her undergraduate degree in Health & Physical Education with a graduate grade point average of 3.87. She was a member of the Louisiana Tech Dean's List and President's List all four years (2008-12), a member of the WAC All-Academic Team all four years and was a first team Capital One Academic All-American in 2011.
On the soccer field, the forward/defender was an instrumental part in turning the Louisiana Tech soccer program around. During her freshman year in 2008, the Lady Techsters were recognized as one of the most improved teams in the nation after winning eight more games than the previous season.
Lukasewich went on to start numerous games and garner many awards during her playing career such as WAC Offensive Player of the Week in 2009 and being part of the LSWA All-Louisiana team twice. As a result, her name is now littered throughout the Tech record books. She currently is the career leader in most games played (81), most shots on goal (93) and is third in most points (54).
After completing her soccer eligibility, the Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada native decided to take her talents to the track and field world and competed in everything from the 400 meters to the 1600 meters for the Tech track team.
Her astounding athletic and academic accomplishments were impressive, but perhaps her greatest fulfillments at Tech came through the community service projects she selflessly participated in to help others.
"Olivia has shown sensitivity to the plight of the marginalized, the less fortunate, and the youth in the community," said Tech soccer head coach Kevin Sherry. "She helped with many projects such as 'secret Santa' for underprivileged families, YMCA outreach, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude Radiothon amongst many others. She freely gave up her own time to help coach local kids in the community twice and sometimes even four times a week."
Lukasewich was also a nominee for the 2011-12 Stan Bates Award which recognizes the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in the Western Athletic Conference.
Now a member of the Spartans Women's and Girls' Football Club of the Scottish Women's Premier League, the highest level of women's soccer in Scotland, she continues to display the strong values and character Sherry first encountered nearly five years ago.
"During the nearly 25 years I have been associated with teaching and coaching, I have been fortunate to periodically encounter students and colleagues whose wit, wisdom, generosity, social grace, and humility have stunned me," said Sherry. "Olivia is such a person. She is among just a handful of people about whom I could say such things."
Conferences will soon select one or two women from the nominees to represent their conference. Those names are then sent to the Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 10 honorees in each division.
From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the top three in each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. Finally, members of the NCAA Committee on Woman's Athletics will vote from among the finalists to determine the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year, announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 14.
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