Links: NCAA Release
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Recent graduates Mikyla Grant-Mentis of the women’s ice hockey program and Jackie Ireland of the women’s soccer team were named nominees for 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year, as announced by the NCAA on Tuesday afternoon.
A record 605 female college athletes were nominated from NCAA members representing all three divisions. Division I institutions contributed 259 nominees, 126 came from Division II and 220 from Division III. Nominees competed in 24 sports, with multisport student-athletes accounting for 128 of the nominees.
Mikyla Grant-Mentis represented the women’s ice hockey team across the board as a leader across all aspects of her experience as a student-athlete. As a double major in criminal justice and psychology, Grant-Mentis made the Dean’s List and was recognized as a Hockey East Distinguished Scholar for making the conference’s All-Academic Team all four years. From Brampton, Ont., Grant-Mentis ended her tenure with 56 goals, 61 assists for 117 points in 137 games—holding the program record for points and assists, and is second all-time in goals. She was Hockey East Player of the Month in November for an 11-game point scoring streak during the month, where she tallied 14 goals and 22 points for the second-most of any player in the nation during that time. Grant-Mentis ended her senior season honored as a New England Hockey Writers Association Division I All-Star and Hockey East Second Team Member. Away from the ice, Grant-Mentis volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Kidnetix Kids Association, where she organized and delivered food and supplies boxes for community senior citizens. She also spent time as a First Year Experience Mentor, where she provided classroom and personal support for first year students at Merrimack.
Merrimack’s finalist for Northeast Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year, Ireland’s career resume includes illustrious marks. The communications & media studies major with a double minor in english and marketing graduated with a 3.77 cumulative grade-point average. She was bestowed the 2019-20 Rafferty Award as Merrimack’s top female scholar-athlete. She was named to the President’s List from 2018-20 as well as landing on the NEC’s Fall Academic Honor Roll. In the community, Ireland was involved with Habitat for Humanity as well as serving as a student leader for The Odyssey at Merrimack, focusing on healthy well-being, fitness and advocating for mental health. On the soccer field, Ireland served as team captain during the team’s inaugural Division I season, played in the NEWISA Senior Bowl as one of the region’s top players and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
As nominees, Grant-Mentis and Ireland are eligible to become one of the Top 30 honorees as selected by the Woman of the Year selection committee. From the Top 30, the Woman of the Year selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division and announce nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be named this fall.