Ashland University junior women's lacrosse player Sofia Michael was named the Betty Jo Graber award winner for being the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2017-18.
Michael has already established herself as a standout to look for when the women's lacrosse season begins in the spring. During her two seasons in junior college, Michael led her team to back-to-back NJCAA National Tournament semifinal appearances. She also earned All-American, All-Region, and all-conference first-team honors in both years in junior college.
Michael tallied 51 goals and 29 assists in her freshman campaign at Anne Arundel. She also put 96 percent of her shots on target in that season. In her sophomore season, Michael increased her goal count to 56 on the year and assisted on 25 goals. She completed her junior college career with 161 total points in two seasons.
Michael's success wasn't just on the field in her time in junior college. She also boasted a 3.44 grade-point average, and was named to the All-Academic third team in 2018.
"I couldn't more pleased for Sofia to receive this honor," said Ashland women's lacrosse head coach Shaun Williamson. "Ashland getting someone with Sofia's qualities on and off the field is huge for our new program. I'm excited to see Sofia excel in the classroom and on the field for the Eagles."
Statement from the NJCAA regarding the Betty Jo Graber Award: "Betty Jo Graber was an influential leader in the Association and helped pioneer the creation of the Women's Division of the NJCAA in 1975. As the NJCAA Region 5 Women's Director, Graber chaired the Association's women's basketball committee from its inception in 1975 until her retirement in 1991. In addition to her contributions on the NJCAA Board of Directors, Graber helped establish the NJCAA Women's Basketball Coaches Association and was a member of its inaugural hall of fame class in 1998. Also, a member of the national Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Graber was a leader that exhibited dedication, service and resilience - traits that are recognized annually to the top female student-athlete with the award named in her honor."
The Eagles will begin their inaugural season of women's lacrosse at home on Feb. 23 vs. Notre Dame College.