KANSAS CITY, MO – Williams College women's soccer senior back and captain Danielle Sim (Bel Air, Md.) has been named the United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA DIII National Women's Soccer Player of the Year.
Earlier this fall Sim became the first defender to be named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year. Sim now is the first member of the women's soccer program to be named the National Player of the Year. She was also selected a First Team All-American by the USC and earned her second consecutive USC All-Region honor anchoring an Eph backline that allowed but eight goals in 24 games and none in the six NCAA Tournament games, helping the Ephs win their second NCAA title in the last three years when they defeated the University of Chicago, 1-0, on December 2nd.
"It's such an honor to represent Williams women's soccer with this award," Sim said. "It speaks to the resilience, passion, and commitment of every member of this program that contributed to our success this fall. As we met as a team for the first time in August we knew this 2017 season could be something special, and I am so proud of how we achieved our goals that were set in that meeting together. I want to thank the incredible coaching staff, teammates, and supporters for making this season one to remember forever."
Additionally, for the third year in a row Sim earned Academic All-NESCAC honors and this season she was named to the USC Scholar All-American Team. She was named to the 2017 NCAA All-Tournament team and she was also a member of the Williams class that set the record for most wins over four years. The Eph Class of 2018 compiled a four-year mark of 82-5-6, a .915 winning percentage. They are the first class at Williams to win 80-plus games, breaking the mark of 74 wins set by the 2016 seniors. The Class of 2018 won two national titles (2015 & 2017), advanced to three Final Fours (2014, 2015 & 2017) and earned their way to the NCAA quarterfinals all four years.
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.
"The team is thrilled to have Dani Sim receive the NCAA Player of the Year award," Ephs' head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "It is a testament to all things Williams soccer because she epitomizes our core values and stands for the things we hold most dear to our program. She has committed herself to becoming her best self, inspiring her teammates and coaches with her work throughout the year, she competes with an intensity and fire on game days and although quiet by nature, she has learned to communicate urgently, intensely and loudly on the field and in caring and productive ways off the field."
"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," Pinard noted. "To see her compete so magnificently on the biggest of stages at the Final Four against the best of the attackers this country has at our level was a complete joy. She and her teammates willed this championship run that allowed no goals against during the NCAA tournament and she was at the core of our defensive efforts. We are all thrilled and humbled that she, and thus the program, are being honored in this way."
Sim will be honored at the United Soccer Coaches All-America luncheon on January 20, 2018 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia during the 2018 USC National Convention.