GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Williams College seniors Danielle Sim (Bel Air) and Natasha Albaneze (Northport, N.Y) were selected as United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Americans Thursday on the eve of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship semifinals in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Sim was a First Team All-America selection while Albaneze was a Third Team selection.
Previously, Sim had been named USC First Team All-New England and the NESCAC Player of the Year, the first defender to earn the award, as well as First-Team All-NESCAC. She was also a First-Team All-Region selection in 2016. She anchors an Eph defense that has allowed eight goals this season and owns a 0.36 goals against average. She helped the Ephs (20-1-1) win their eighth NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship and advance to their third NCAA Div. III Final Four in three years. The Ephs are set to play Hardin-Simmons in a national semifinal Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Albaneze, who was recognized with an All-Region honor for the first time, (First Team All-New England) has dished out a NESCAC-best 10 assists and leads the Ephs with 28 points (9 goals, 10 assists). Four of her goals this season were game-winners. She has scored five goals in her last four games, all in the NCAA Tournament.
Sim began her soccer career at Williams as a forward but was moved to the back her first year. The transition to the back was slowed by illness that first season, but her commitment to the change showed in her sophomore season.
"By her junior year she became the very best individual defender I've ever had the opportunity to coach and she has evolved as a senior to being the best athlete, competitor, defender and organizer this program and potentially the league has ever seen," Ephs' head coach Michelyne Pinard noted. "Hence, I believe, the reason she was recognized. Natasha has also taken her game to another level this season. She's really developed a knack for scoring the key goal when we really need it."
The Ephs' current senior class of tri-captains Sim, Evan Gancedo, Jacqueline Simeone and Albaneze, Kate Sands and Hanna Kaeser, have compiled a four-year mark of 80-5-6 at the school, a .912 winning percentage. They are the first class to win 80 games over a four-year span, breaking the mark of 74 wins set by the 2016 seniors. In addition, they are the first class to advance to the NCAA Div. III Tournament quarterfinals all four years and the first to advance to three Final Fours.
This is the third 20-win season in the history of the program (2014, 2015, 2017). The seniors have played a role in all three.
This year's NCAA Division III All-Americans, along with their families and coaches, will be formally acknowledged for their accomplishments at the United Soccer Coaches All-America Luncheon on January 20, 2018 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention in downtown Philadelphia.
Sim and Albaneze are the 15th and 16th All-Americans Pinard has coached in her 16 years at Williams.