Illinois State soccer standout Kate Del Fava is one of ten NCAA Division I women’s soccer student-athletes selected as a finalist for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Friday.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
The finalists were chosen by a selection committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through Nov. 18.
Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup® championships later this fall.
A midfielder from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Del Fava has been a standout performer on the pitch, an exceptional student in the classroom and an active member of the Bloomington-Normal community in her four years at Illinois State. She is the only men’s or women’s soccer student-athlete to represent the Missouri Valley Conference as a Senior CLASS finalist.
Del Fava has played in every single Illinois State soccer match since her arrival on campus in 2016 and has started in all but two. The midfielder has been recognized by the conference every year, earning All-MVC First Team honors as a junior (2018) and sophomore (2017) and being recognized on the MVC All-Freshman Team (2016) in her first season. She helped the Redbirds to MVC regular season and tournament championships in 2016, playing all 110 minutes as a freshman in the NCAA First Round match that saw ISU advance over Michigan in double overtime.
She is off to a stellar start in her senior season, scoring 13 goals and 30 points through 13 games of play, and earning MVC Offensive Player of the Week an MVC record five times in a single season.
Del Fava delivers in the classroom as well, maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA while double-majoring in pre-veterinary medicine and animal science and minoring in chemistry. She has a passion for helping animals and volunteers at several local veterinary clinics and animal hospitals with aspirations to one day run her own veterinary clinic. She has earned a number of academic accolades during her time at Illinois State, including the Presidential Scholarship, AFNI Honor Roll, MVC Honor Roll, MVC Commissioner’s List, and being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American during the 2018 season.
This school year, Del Fava was named a recipient of the Robert G. Bone Scholarship. The Bone Scholarship, named in honor of ISU’s late president, is the highest university-wide honor to be bestowed upon undergraduate students. Bone Scholars are selected through a rigorous campus-wide competition based on their scholarly achievements and their engagement and leadership in activities in the university community and beyond. Only 14 of Illinois State’s more than 20,000 students were tabbed for this honor.
Del Fava serves in many leadership roles, including as a member of the soccer team’s leadership group for the past two seasons, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Leadership Academy and Emerging Leaders. Her investment in serving the team and Illinois State University in these leadership roles has provided a platform for her to make a powerful and positive impact on the ISU soccer program.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.