Three Earn A-10 Postseason Honors for GW Women's Soccer
Abbate Named to All-Conference Second Team; Keer, Ulrick Earn All-Academic Honors
Nov. 6, 2013
WASHINGTON – One day before the 2013 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championship is set to kick off, three George Washington student-athletes have been named to postseason all-conference teams, the league announced on Wednesday.
Sophomore forward Kristi Abbate was named to the A-10 All-Conference Second Team while senior defender Melanie Keer and classmate goalkeeper Nicole Ulrick earned All-Academic Team honors. Keer and Ulrick are the first Colonials players to earn All-Academic accolades since 2009.
“I am really happy for and proud of Kristi. She is a dynamic dribbler who makes teams change how they defend us each game, and she works really hard on both sides of the ball,” second-year Head Coach Sarah Barnes said. “Mel and Nicole are great examples of what student-athletes should be – great competitors on the field and fantastic students in the classroom.”
The All-Conference Second Team honor marks the second consecutive postseason nod for Abbate, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team in 2012. The Northport, N.Y., product has started all 17 games this season and tallied two points on a pair of assists.
A four-year starter on defense, Keer is an instrumental piece of the back line that has helped GW hold its opponents to a 0.77 goals-against average while posting eight shutouts this season. Over her career Keer has been the defensive anchor who has helped the Colonials record 18 shutouts, highlighted by blanking Richmond in this fall's regular-season finale that helped GW clinch a bid to the A-10 Championship. The Doylestown, Pa., native will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a pre-health professional concentration. Upon graduation, Keer plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy.
Ulrick jumped into the starting goalkeeper spot this season and has proven her ability between the posts as she ranks atop the A-10 with just 14 goals allowed. Ulrick also ranks second in the conference with a 0.77 goals-against average, good for 46th in NCAA Division I, and is second in the league with a .827 save percentage. Her eight shutouts this season are the most for any keeper in the A-10 and are the most clean sheets in a season for GW since 1994. The Holland, Pa., product made a career-high 10 saves in GW’s conference-opening victory at Rhode Island and was subsequently named A-10 Co-Player of the Week. She was also a key component in the Colonials’ 1-0 shutout of defending A-10 champion La Salle, which snapped the Explorers’ 19-match regular-season conference win streak that dated back to Oct. 2010. Ulrick will graduate with honors this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a concentration in cognitive neuroscience and plans to attend graduate school in the fall.
Abbate, Keer and Ulrick return to the pitch with the Colonials on Thursday in the quarterfinal match of the Atlantic 10 Championship. Action against La Salle at VCU’s Sports Backers Stadium is slated for 11 a.m.