CLEVELAND, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University senior United Soccer Coaches All-American forward Rachel Bender (Massillon/Jackson) won the Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year Award at the 19th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony.
Held at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Grand Ballroom Wednesday evening, Bender won the award over two NCAA Division I athletes – Cleveland State University cross country runner Anna Brandt and Kent State University volleyball player Erin Gardner.
In her senior season, Bender led both the Yellow Jackets and the OAC in most offensive categories once again with 143 shots, 16 assists and 44 points while her team-leading 14 goals was good for third in the conference. She capped off her four-year career with 60 goals, 37 assists, 157 points and 18 game-winning goals. Bender will graduate with the school's single-season and career assist records and will finish second all-time in career goals and career points scored.
Her other career accolades include four All-Ohio Athletic Conference first-team selections, two OAC Forward of the Year awards, two OAC All-Tournament Team selections, three OAC Women's Soccer Player of the Week honors, four Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association (OCSA) All-Ohio selections and two Most Valuable Player awards from the Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament, hosted by Penn State Behrend (Pa.) College.
Academically, Bender is a communications sciences and disorders major who carries a 3.94 GPA. She is a Dean's List student, a Jacket Scholar, a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society, a three-time Academic All-OAC selection, a three-time OCSA Academic All-Ohio honoree, a three-time Academic All-District 7 selection, a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/Google Cloud Academic All-American and a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American.
BW finished the 2018 campaign with an 11-7-1 record and a 5-4 mark in the conference, advancing to the OAC Tournament for the sixth consecutive season.