Mercado Named CWPA Southern Division Coach of the Year, Woods and McNamara Earn All-Division

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. – For the second time in three years, Brown women's water polo Head Coach Felix Mercado has been named the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Coach of the Year, it was announced by the league office on Thursday. Joining their coach on the list of honorees, seniors Kate Woods (La Jolla, Calif.) and Emily McNamara (Winters, Calif.) played their way onto the Southern Division First Team and Second Team, respectively.

"I've been blessed with a team that wants to be together and win together," said Mercado, who brings home the sixth Coach of the Year award of his Brown career and led the Bears to a third straight appearance in the CWPA Southern Division title game. "I wish I could take credit for this but any award that I get is a team award and an award for my assistant coach, Kate Flanagan. She stepped up when we needed it this year. This award says 'Coach of the Year' but a coach is only as good as his staff and Katie has been fabulous."

Woods, Brown's all-time points leader, secures her fourth consecutive nod to the Southern Division First Team with another standout season. A three-time CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week this year, she leads the team in goals (74), steals (86) and assists (52).

"You'll never find a more humble superstar," Mercado said of Woods. "She's a reflection of this program with her work ethic and her demeanor. She deserves everything she gets."

McNamara earns the first All-Division accolade of her career after posting a team-best 70 draw ejections to go with 46 goals.  

"She's flown under the radar because she fills whatever role I need her to fill," Mercado said. "She's always been someone who's in the pool when it's the fourth quarter and there's two minutes left in the game. She's helped us exceed any expectations we had about how we were going to be at the 2-meter position."

The fifth-seeded Bears open CWPA Championship play on Friday when they take on fourth-seeded Michigan at 12 p.m.

For the complete list of award winners, see below.


Southern Division Team



Player of the Year:


Katie Rigler (Princeton University)

Coach of the Year:


Felix Mercado (Brown University)

Rookie of the Year:


Melissa Balding (Harvard University)


First Team



Ashleigh Johnson (Goalie)


Princeton University

Katie Rigler


Princeton University

Molly McBee


Princeton University

Diana Murphy


Princeton University

Kate Woods


Brown University

Hannah Sunday


Bucknell University

Yoshi Andersen


Harvard University




Second Team



Rena Heim (Goalie)


Bucknell University

Julianne Valdes


Bucknell University

Emily McNamara


Brown University

Megan Brolley


George Washington University

Rachael Bentley


George Washington University

Shayna Price


Harvard University

Cailin Jope


Mercyhurst University




Western Division Team



Player of the Year:


Shae Fournier (Indiana University)

Coach of the Year:


Barry King (Indiana University)

Rookie of the Year:


Allison Skaggs (University of Michigan)


First Team



Jessica Gaudreault (Goalie)


Indiana University

Shae Fournier


Indiana University

Allison Campbell


Indiana University

Rebecca Gerrity


Indiana University

Jemma Dendy Young


Hartwick College

Sami Capparelli


Hartwick College

Kelsey Nolan


University of Michigan




Second Team



Michaela Davies (Goalie)


Hartwick College

Katelyn Jacobs


Gannon University

Shelby Taylor


Indiana University

Candyce Schroeder


Indiana University

Presley Pender


University of Michigan

Allison Skaggs


University of Michigan

Gina-Bella Mata 'afa


Notre Dame College