Birrell garners Woman of the Year nomination

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Kaitlyn Birrell ’13 has been named the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year. The award is presented annually to a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

The dual-sport athlete (soccer and basketball) majored in elementary and special education while being named to the academic all-CCC team. She served as a big sister through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and volunteered for the National Girls and Women in Sports Days at Salve Regina to encourage young girls to participate in sports.

Birrell, a two-time female athlete of the year at Salve Regina, was also a two-time CCC offensive player of the year in soccer and a two-time CCC defensive player of the year in basketball. She is also a four-time all-CCC player in soccer, three-time all-CCC player in basketball and a three-time all-New England selection for soccer.

She made two NCAA championship tournament appearances with the women’s basketball team, along with ECAC championship tournament appearances in both women’s basketball and women’s soccer.

Birrell holds several school records in soccer, including most career points (181), most career goals (74), most career assists (33) and most career game-winning goals (17). The top four single-season point records have her name on them (49, 46, 45, 41).

She also holds several school records in basketball, including most career assists (539) and most career steals (377), and she is one of 11 players in school history with 1,000 points scored.

Birrell was honored with Words Unlimited’s Marion Perkins Memorial Award (female athlete of the year), becoming the first non-Division I athlete in the 67-year history of the organization to receive this honor. She was also honored as a distinguished athlete by the Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year.

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