May 27, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Women's soccer standout Molly McGuigan, and nationally ranked gymnast Kip Webber, were the recipients of Army's highest athletic honor Tuesday afternoon when they were presented with the Army Athletic Association Trophy as the top athletes in the Class of 2014 at the annual Awards Convocation in Eisenhower Hall.
The trophy, presented to the male and female cadets who display the "most valuable service to intercollegiate athletes during a career as a cadet," was first conferred in 1904. McGuigan, a four-time first team All-Patriot League selection and two-time defensive player of the year, was the female winner and Webber, an NCAA Qualifier all four years, was the male winner.
McGuigan starred for four years on the pitch as a defender on the women's soccer team and ranks among the most decorated players in the history of the program. The 2013 co-captain is a two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, earning back-to-back honors in 2010 and 2011, along with being the first Army player named to the MAC (Missouri Athletic Club) Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2011.
In addition to her league accolades, the native of Boulder, Colo., is a two-time Mid-Atlantic selection who earned first-team honors in 2010 and third team in 2011.
McGuigan also shined in the classroom as the Economics major was twice named to the Capital One Academic All-District 1 team. She was a first-team selection in 2013, Army's first since 2009, after earning second-team honors in 2011. McGuigan is a three-time selection to the exclusive Patriot League All-Academic Team, and was a member of the league's academic honor roll all four years.
During her career, McGuigan played an instrumental role in keying a Black Knight defensive unit that ranked No. 1 nationally in goals against average, save percentage and shutout percentage in 2010, along with holding opponents to just six goals while setting a school-record 16 shutouts. McGuigan was named to the Patriot league All-Tournament Team after helping Army reach the championship finals her freshman season.
The following year, McGuigan was instrumental in the posting of 15 shutouts, to include a pair in capturing the 2011 Patriot League Tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Her performance earned all-tournament honors for the second straight year.
McGuigan helped write Army's story in its second NCAA appearance as the Black Knights kept No. 13 Penn State scoreless in its Regional match until late in the game before bowing 1-0. Army closed out the season ranked No. 2 in shutout percentage, No. 3 in save percentage and No. 7 in GAA.
As a starter in 77 games, McGuigan played a key role leading Army to 41 shutouts, along with scoring three goals and four assists for 10 points that included a pair of game-winning goals.
McGuigan is the fifth women's soccer player to earn the AAA award and first since Lauren Rowe, who was also a defender, in 2003.
Webber, a four-time NCAA qualifier, was a senior finalist for the Nissan-Emery Award, the highest collegiate award in gymnastics. He capped his career this season with a USAG All-America certificate following a second-place on vault at the USA Gymnastics Championships after finishing first in the preliminary round as the Black Knights earned the bronze in the team scoring.
The native of Boxboro, Mass., competed in floor exercise and vault his final year at the NCAAs, where he advanced to the preliminary round in the latter for the third time in four years. He qualified as an all-rounder in 2011 and 2013, advancing to the next round in floor exercise and vault in 2011 and in all-around in 2013. When Webber advanced past the first round in 2011, he was the first Army gymnast to do so since 2006.
Army's school record holder in floor exercise, vault and still rings, Webber set a career-high 15.45 on vault and tied his mark in floor exercise (15.25) closing out his final home meet on a high note at Gross Sports Center on Senior Day in March. He headed to this year's NCAA Qualifier ranked 13th on vault (15.012 average) and 48th in floor exercise (14.388 average).
As a junior, Weber was the ECAC (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) co-champion in all-around, the fourth Black Knight to claim the title and first since Army Hall of Famer Steve Marshall was crowned in 1995. At the 2014 ECAC Championships, Webber finished first in the prelims on vault.
In 2011, Webber was named the CGA Collegiate Division National Gymnast of the Week (March 13) after earning ECAC Gymnast of the Week honors in January. At the 2011 ECAC Championships, Webber posted third-place finishes on still rings and vault after earning the bronze in floor exercise the year prior.
Among Webber's individual highlights was defeating five-time All-American and co-NCAA defending vault champion Eddie Penev of Stanford in a home triangular his junior year (2013).
A Civil Engineering major, Weber is the third gymnast presented with the Army Athletic Association Award; and first since Dustin Greenhill in 2003.
McGuigan and Webber will receive their diplomas from the President of the United States during the Commencement Exercises on Wednesday, May 28.