Four From Women's Soccer Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team

Headshots of four honorees with logo in middle

Cambridge, Mass. (June 4) - Four student-athletes from the MIT women's soccer team have been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team. The 2020-21 CoSIDA Women's Soccer Academic All-District Team recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.

Senior Maya Nielan (Danville, Calif.), classmate Sarah Moseson (Morristown, N.J.) and junior Karenna Groff (Weston, Mass.) earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for the second time, while sophomore Ava Gillikin (Flemington, N.J.) earned the honor for the first time in her career. 

CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar athletes in the 1950's, has honored thousands of deserving recipients across all divisions in numerous sports. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her Sports Information Director.

All four student-athletes will now appear on the national ballot for selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team which will be voted on by Sports Information Directors from across the country and will be released on Tuesday, July 6. Nielan, Moseson, Groff and Gillikin accounted for four of eight student-athletes selected from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this year.

Nielan, a double major in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering & computer science with a 4.00 grade point average, and Moseson, a business analytics major with a 3.76 grade point average, have been crucial pieces of MIT's defense over their four years with the program. Since Nielan and Moseson joined the women's soccer team in 2017, their defense has held opponents to a goals against average of 0.61 (44 goals allowed) over a span of nearly 6,500 minutes and have recorded 39 shutouts. In 2019 alone, the MIT defense ranked first in all of Division III women's soccer in goals against average (.162), save percentage (.941) and shutout percentage (.833). 

Off the field, Nielan has served as an incoming sensing and connectivity intern at Apple, as an engineering intern at Boeing and as a mechanical engineering intern at X1Wind. She is currently an admissions panelist at MIT and during IAP in 2018 and 2019, travelled to Peru, Ghana to design and teach hardware & software fundamentals using Arduino microcontrollers and sensors to over 250 female high school students.

Moseson currently serves as the Head of Internal Development and was the co-founder of New Member Education for StartLabs at MIT. She has also served as a Supply Chain Optimization Analyst for Tesla, as a consultant for TULU in Tel Aviv, as a Digital Product Manager for LYVE in Thailand and as a Junior Associate Marketing Strategist for SapientRazorfish. In 2019, Moseson and Groff represented the Engineers at the Maccabi European Olympic Games and took home the gold medal for Team USA.

Gillikin, an environmental engineering major with a 4.00 GPA, had the best season between the pipes in MIT women's soccer history in 2019 as she individually led NCAA Division III women's soccer in goals against average (.124) and save percentage (.959) to go along with a record of 16-0-2, ten shutouts and 47 saves. In addition to her earning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year accolades in 2019, Gillikin also earned a spot on the United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team and NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team. Off the field, Gillikin has done research on carbon farming in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and has served as an intern with Citizens' Climate Lobby.

Groff, a biological engineering major with a 3.84 GPA, has been a staple in MIT's offensive unit for the past three years. In 47 career matches, the junior has tallied 30 goals (ten game winners) and 12 assists for 72 points. Groff, a two-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection and three-time All-New England pick, ranks in the top-10 all-time at MIT in goals in a season, career goals and points in a season. Off the field, Groff has served as a research assistant at Boston Children's Hospital, as an EMT on MIT's campus and as a research assistant in Erode, India. She is also the Community Engagement Committee Lead for MIT's SAAC, is the President and Co-Founder of Amore and is the Director of Community Service for Alpha Phi.

MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (339) and ranks second across all NCAA Divisions only behind the University of Nebraska (341). 

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