COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Senior Jessica Peacock (Hopedale, MA) of the Merrimack women's soccer team has been awarded the National Strength and Conditioning Association's All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year Award.
This year, the NSCA awarded 225 collegiate and high school athletes from 90 schools with this prestigious award. Merrimack baseball player Joe Mantoni also received the esteemed award this year.
Peacock was nominated by Merrimack's head strength and conditioning coach Mike Kamal. "Jessica has easily been one of the most dedicated and committed athletes to ever come through the program here," said Kamal. "With her emphasis on physical preparation and training, there is no wonder why she has become an All-American on the field and in the weight room."
The NSCA All-American Athlete of the Year Award is in its 33rd year and is made possible by a grant from Power Systems, Inc., a fitness product leader based in Knoxville, TN.
Peacock became just the third player in program history to earn All-America and Scholar All-America honors by the NSCAA. The last player to accomplish it was Patty Cronin in 2002, Peacock's high school coach at Hopedale High.
Peacock was one of five players to start all 22 matches this fall for the Warriors. She played an integral role as Merrimack's sweeper, anchoring a defense that allowed just 1.10 goals per game. The senior co-captain finished the season with nine points on three goals and three assists.
A first team NSCAA All-Region and Scholar All-Region selection, Peacock was named the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team Northeast-10 All-Conference pick. She was tabbed to the Daktronics All-Region first team and to the All-New England first team as well as earning a spot in the NEWISA Senior Bowl.
With a 3.69 grade-point average, the senior psychology major also earned a spot on the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference squad this season.
The Warriors posted a 16-4-2 overall record in 2011 with an 11-2-1 mark in the Northeast-10 Conference. Merrimack earned the No. 2 seed in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament and fell to top-seeded Saint Rose in the finals.
The Warriors made their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament this fall, receiving an at-large berth as the No. 3 seed in the East Region. Merrimack edged Holy Family in penalty kicks in the first round before losing to eventual-National Champion Saint Rose in the second round.
Gabe Mejail's squad reached as high as #14 in the NSCAA National Rankings after rattling off 10-straight wins to open the year. The Warriors owned a 9-0-0 mark on home turf this season, including a pair of postseason victories at Martone-Mejail Field. Merrimack handed Saint Rose its first and only loss of the season in North Andover on October 15.