Sarah Coy ’17 playing soccer

Sarah Coy ’17 (Photo by Bob Cornell)

Colgate University has taken the No. 8 spot in a recent ranking of top colleges for women who want to play Division I soccer while enjoying a rigorous academic experience.

The ranking came from College Factual and appeared on

To create the list, College Factual compared its own Best Colleges ranking to win-loss percentages, NCAA academic progress rates, and other measures. The University of Virginia, Stanford University, and Rice University also appeared on this list.

For all but a small fraction of college-level athletes, elite competition comes to an end at graduation. (Women’s soccer co-captain Alexis Panepinto ’16 recently shared her reflections on life without the game.) A solid academic foundation allows former student-athletes to transition successfully to graduate school or a new job, transforming victories and losses on the field into crucial learning moments.

“My life has always been centered on soccer,” said Sarah Coy ’17, an All-Patriot League women’s soccer forward from Boca Raton, Fla. “But I knew that I wanted to put myself in the best position to be successful after college with whatever it was I was going to pursue.”

So Coy, 2014 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, is also working hard on a degree in political science while participating in Colgate’s Women in Business group, Project Beauty, and Sisters of the Round Table.

“This balance of academics and athletics is very rare — usually one takes precedence over the other, but not here,” she said. “It has allowed me to develop a skill set that has prepared me for success in every facet of life.”

“I have found that success in the classroom goes hand in hand with athletic achievement,” said women’s head coach Kathy Brawn. After 25 seasons at Colgate, Brawn has racked up 278 victories on the way to a dozen Patriot League Championships, three ECAC Championships, and six NCAA tournament appearances. She has also coached numerous members of the Patriot League All-Academic Team and five winners of the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete award for soccer.

“As educators, my staff and I create an environment that nurtures a culture of excellence in all facets of college life.”

Just as many Colgate students form longstanding bonds with professors they meet in the classroom, many players come to see Brawn and her staff as mentors who are willing to offer a bit of coaching long after the last whistle has sounded and their diplomas have been earned.

“We recruit student-athletes who are driven to work diligently in their academic and soccer pursuits,” Brawn said. “I feel quite fortunate to coach such outstanding individuals during their time at Colgate, and to continue those relationships long after they have graduated.”

Read about the 2015 Colgate women’s soccer season at, and find out more about College Factual on its website.