Cathy Poor '02 Named to NCAA 25th Anniversary Team

cathy_poorFrom an NCAA release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - With 13 minutes and 46 seconds left in the first NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship, University of Rochester freshman forward Lisa Caraccilo buried a shot from eight yards out to tally the only goal in the November 16, 1986, title tilt. The 1-0 win gave Rochester the first of two NCAA national titles in program history and marked the beginning of a remarkable run for the division’s national championship tournament, which celebrates its silver anniversary in 2010.

In honor of that milestone goal two and a half decades ago, the NCAA named the Division III Women’s Soccer 25th Anniversary Team on November 1. Amherst College’s Cathy Poor ’02 earned her spot as one of the 11 student-athletes who comprise the team, and will be publicly recognized during the 2010 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, December 3-4 in San Antonio.

“The NCAA believes this is a good way to recognize what the individuals in the sport have accomplished and highlight the fact that the sport has grown so much over the last 25 years,” said John Neese, chair of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Committee and director of athletics at Hardin Simmons University.

A selection committee comprised of NCAA coaches and administrators charged with naming the team only considered the performances of players and coaches at past Division III championships. Former Amherst College head women’s soccer coach, and current women’s golf coach and Senior Women’s Administrator, Michelle Morgan served on the committee.

"Cathy Poor was the best all-around player in the Amherst program during my 26 years as the coach, and still holds nearly every scoring record for the school," said Morgan. "She led our team not only with her ability, but her tenacious effort. She scored so many goals for us, including when it mattered most, but more importantly, she was a great student and person off the field."

The anniversary team was chosen from an initial pool of more than 350 nominees that included members of every all-tournament team and each offensive and defensive player of the tournament in the championship’s history. The selection committee trimmed the list of potential honorees to 27 student-athletes and seven coaches and named the 12-member 25th anniversary team from that group of finalists.

Poor graduated from Amherst as a two-sport student-athlete in women’s soccer and diving, but it was on the soccer field where she left her mark. Poor remains atop the women’s soccer ranks at Amherst as the program’s all-time leading goal scorer (41) and points leader (105). During her career from 1998-2001, Poor was a three-time NSCAA All-American and a three-time NSCAA All-Scholar nominee. As the team’s standout star, Poor helped lead the Jeffs to the 2001 NCAA Division III Championship game against Ohio Wesleyan University. While Amherst lost 1-0 on that day, Poor was named to the All-Tournament Team for the NCAA Tournament, and was tabbed the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the Final Four.

Poor garnered numerous other accolades from Amherst, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and the NSCAA for her work on the field and in the classroom. She was named to the 2001-02 Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American women’s soccer team, while also earning the 2001 NESCAC Player of the Year title as a senior. She was named All-Region by NEWISA and the NSCAA on multiple occasions, while also earning NESCAC All-Academic honors as a junior and senior.  For the Amherst diving team, Poor was a three-time CSCAA All-American, and won the New England championship as a sophomore.

At Amherst, Poor received the 2002 Howard Mossman Trophy, considered the school’s highest honor for a student-athlete, and was also awarded the Psi-Upsilon and David R. Belevetz ’54 Memorial Awards.  Prior to her arrival at Amherst, Poor graduated from nearby Deerfield Academy. In 2005, she earned a graduate degree in Philosophy from Imperial College in London, and she is currently working towards a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Chicago.