Lenoir-Rhyne University's Claire Neibergall has been named the 2018 South Atlantic Conference Women Soccer's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, league officials announced Wednesday.
The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the league's championship sports and is voted on by the SAC's Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee.
Neibergall, a senior from Springfield, Ill., has been one of the Bears' top defenders for four-straight seasons and led the 2018 squad to an 11-6-1 record and a 3-seed in the SAC tournament this year.
Neibergall played her way onto the All-SAC First Team and the NCCSIA All-State First Team thanks to a year where she started in all 18 games and scored three goals, one of them being a game-winner. The 5-6 defender anchored a back line that allowed less than one goal per contest.
Neibergall is pursuing a Computer Science degree and heads into the final semester with a 3.764 grade point average. Off the pitch, Neibergall has made an immense impact in the community and the classroom. She has been named to the Dean's List four times and to the President's List twice, in addition to being named to the NCAA Division II Scholar All-South Region Team. She is a member of several student organizations, including Chi Alpha Sigma, the Broyhill Leadership Academy, the math club, and the Lenoir-Rhyne Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
"Claire is everything that a coach looks for in a student-athlete," Head Coach Gary Higgins said. "She is a model of consistency and professionalism, on and off the field, and it has been an absolute pleasure being a part of her journey here at Lenoir-Rhyne. We are very proud of her and she fully deserves this award."
She has volunteered her time throughout the community working with the Eagles Practice Soccer Club, the Catawba Youth Soccer Association, and the Humane Society of Catawba County. Neibergall also volunteers on campus serving as a math and computer science tutor, working with Computer Science Outreach, and volunteering at the soup kitchen with Chi Alpha Sigma.