Gabby Nelson

Randolph-Macon College senior forward Gabby Nelson waits for a pass from a teammate during one of this season’s games. Nelson, a former Halifax County High School soccer standout, has been named Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year in women’s soccer.

Senior forward Gabby Nelson, a Halifax County High School graduate, was named Player of the Year as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) announced its post-season awards for women’s soccer.

Nelson was All-ODAC First Team in 2018 and Third Team in 2016. Nelson started all 21 matches for the Yellow Jackets this season. She leads the ODAC, and is third in the nation with 27 goals and nine game-winning goals.

In addition, Nelson is fourth in the country with 61 points. She is second in program history in goals and points in a season. Jennifer Foster had 32 goals and 78 points in 1989.

Nelson was named to the 2019 ODAC All-Tournament Team and to the Academic All-District Women’s Soccer Team by CoSIDA.

This is the 12th time a Yellow Jacket has been selected as ODAC Player of the Year. Since 1998, R-MC has had only two major award winners in women’s soccer.

In addition, Randolph-Macon College head coach Jay Howell was voted Coach of the Year. Howell is in his sixth season in Ashland and led R-MC to 20 straight wins to start the season, a program record.

R-MC tied the program mark for victories in a season, set in 1996. The Yellow Jackets went 10-0 in ODAC play and earned the top seed in the ODAC Tournament. R-MC defeated Virginia Wesleyan to claim the program’s 13th ODAC title.

Randolph-Macon earned the ODAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and will head to Grantham, Pennsylvania, to begin tourney play. The Yellow Jackets will meet Haverford (12-4-2) in the first round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Host Messiah (18-1-1) and Lesley (14-3-2) will tangle on Saturday at 11 a.m. The winners will play on Sunday at 1 p.m.