Skelly is Chosen for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University women's soccer midfielder Stephanie Skelly (Sr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) has been chosen to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The award provides $7,500 toward graduate school tuition.

Skelly and Kimber Mattox (see similar press release) are the first Willamette soccer players to be chosen for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Each academic year, a total of 174 student-athletes from all three divisions are granted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. The overall number includes 29 male athletes and 29 female athletes from each sport season.

The prestigious award adds to the lengthy list of Skelly's academic and athletic honors and accomplishments.

Skelly was named First Team Capital One Academic All-America for NCAA Division III this past season, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was selected First Team Academic All-District VIII for the second year in a row.

In addition, she was a Second Team College Scholar All-West Region selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Just 26 athletes from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, the NAIA and junior colleges were selected for the honor.

Skelly is majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at Willamette. She completed the 2011 fall semester with a 3.893 cumulative grade point average.  She plans to attend medical school starting in the fall of 2013.

"I'm extremely proud of Stephanie Skelly and her many accomplishments both on the field and in the classroom," WU women's soccer Head Coach Hillary Arthur said. "Having been selected as a recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is a tribute to her stellar performance. Stephanie is a student-athlete who exemplifies our Bearcat Soccer values of commitment to success, being prepared, honoring the process, and continued pursuit of excellence”.

Skelly was the leading scorer in the Northwest Conference during the 2011 season in both goals and total points. She scored 16 goals and added five assists for 37 points. She scored two goals in a single game six times during the year and was involved in 21 of the 37 goals scored by the Bearcats.

Led by Skelly's outstanding play, Willamette went 11-8-1 overall and took third place in the NWC with a 10-5-1 record.

"Stephanie embodies the true essence of a Division III scholar-athlete – a gifted student, dedicated athlete, loyal teammate, and active member of the college community," WU Director of Athletics David Rigsby said.

"For the past four years, Stephanie Skelly has been synonymous with women's soccer at Willamette. As she pursues her graduate studies in medicine, the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is a well-deserved recognition for her many successes in the classroom, laboratory and on the soccer field."

Skelly finished her four seasons at Willamette with 35 goals and seven assists for 77 points. She played in 75 games for the Bearcats with a total of 70 starts. She blasted 196 total shots in her career, including 97 shots on goal.

As a result of her success this past season, Skelly was named First Team All-Northwest Conference, was chosen NWC Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year, and earned Second Team All-West Region honors. She also was chosen First Team All-NWC in 2009 and was Second Team All-NWC in 2010.

“I am surprised and honored to receive the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship,” Skelly said. “The award could not have come at a more opportune time as it will be of great benefit toward my medical school obligations. Many at Willamette University have truly supported me as a unified team. I would not have received this scholarship and other acknowledgments without the support and encouragement of so many.”

Stephanie Skelly scored 35 goals and played in 75 games during her Willamette career.

Stephanie Skelly scored 35 goals and played in 75 games during her Willamette career.