Gjonovich Selected as NCAA Woman of the Year Honoree
Courtsey of Cal State Fullerton Athletics
Cal State Fullerton’s Adriana Gjonovich was selected as the Big West Conference’s honoree for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award, it was announced today.
NCAA member schools nominated 480 women for the national award, the most in the program’s 25-year history, and a record 147 NCAA female-student-athletes have been named 2015 Woman of the Year honorees by conferences and independent schools. The Big West Conference office reviewed eight nominees from its league members, and selected Gjonovich for additional recognition.
"To be honored for NCAA Women of the Year by Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference is an incredible privilege,” Gjonovich said. “The honor came as a great surprise, and I am very blessed to be in this position. I must thank all the people that have made this possible: my teammates who have made my college experience so memorable and uplifting, my family who have always given me their utmost support, and my friends who have been there throughout each day. I could not have made it through the last four years without all those who have believed in me.”
A recent 2015 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, Gjonovich plans to attend medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. She is currently completing her prerequisites and interning at a hospital.
“We are very proud of Adriana for this prestigious honor,” Cal State Fullerton Athletics Director Jim Donovan said. “She exemplifies what a student-athlete is supposed to be at Cal State Fullerton, a champion both on and off the field. We are very excited for her as she begins the next journey in her life.”
Cal State Fullerton’s 2014 Big West Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year, Gjonovich played four years on the women’s soccer team, and most recently helped lead the Titans to back-to-back Big West Conference Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2013 and 2014. In addition, Gjonovich was part of two Big West regular season championship squads in 2012 and 2014.
She exemplifies the four pillars that the NCAA Woman of the Year award is based on: academics, athletics, service and leadership.
"The Big West Conference is proud to nominate Adriana Gjonovich for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award," said Commissioner Dennis Farrell. "Her exemplary display on the field, in the classroom and within her community during her four years at Cal State Fullerton makes her a worthy candidate for such an all-encompassing honor."
The native of Cypress, Calif., has earned Big West Academic All-Conference honors on two occasions, and has also been named to the Dean’s List seven times. She served as Vice President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for two years, and was actively involved with the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an afterschool program that provides tutoring to junior high school students.
“Adriana is an amazing example of what a Division I student-athlete should be,” Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer head coach Demian Brown said. “Her dedication to achieve success on the field and in the classroom is inspiring. It has truly been an honor to coach an individual with her character and determination.”
Gjonovich scored just one goal on the season during her senior campaign, but it was a critical one as she found the back of the net in the 83rd minute to lift the Titans to a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly at Titan Stadium on Nov. 2, 2014, helping Fullerton clinch its seventh Big West Conference regular season title and first since 2012. It also helped the Titans finish the season undefeated in Big West play, going 6-0-2. It was the first time Fullerton had finished conference play undefeated since the 1996 team did so with a 6-0-1 record.
During her four-year career, she played in 59 matches, scoring four goals and tallying one assist.
“Over the last four years at CSUF, I have been very fortunate to be a part of the women’s soccer team,” Gjonovich said. “The athletics department has provided me with the facilities, staff, and opportunity to excel in my sport. It is an honor to be alongside the other women who were nominated by their universities, and I am extremely humbled. I am excited that I get the opportunity to represent all the female student-athletes in the Big West."
The honorees, selected from the record 480 school nominees, represent college athletes from 18 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 57 honorees competed in Division I, 39 competed in Division II and 51 competed in Division III.
The Woman of the Year selection committee will next select the top 10 honorees in each division. These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from amongst those nine finalists to determine the 2015 Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be honored and the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 18.
Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.