Face of Defense: Goalie-Turned-Air Force Officer Earns NCAA Accolades
BETHESDA, Md. --
Air Force 2nd Lt. Sidney Peters, the four-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association Scholar-Athlete, WCHA All-Academic, Academic All-Big Ten honoree and 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient, has been named as one of the NCAA’s Top 30 Woman of the Year honorees for her excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Peters, who just began her studies as a first-year military medical student at the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine -- “America’s Medical School” -- at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences here, was a four-year letter winner as goalie for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s hockey team.
She completed her career with a record of 53-17-6, ranking 5th in all time wins, shutouts, goals against average and total saves for the Gophers, and sixth in save percentage.
In addition to her achievements on the ice, Peters devoted more than 800 hours over five years volunteering with the University of Minnesota’s campus Emergency Medical Services and the Maroon and Gold Impacting the Community student-athlete development program, which included community outreach to elementary schools and the university children's hospital.
And, at her own expense, Peters volunteered at the Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for eight days, an experience that further fostered her desire to help others and eventually led to her decision to pursue medical school at USU.
“I really want to work with a deserving population and I feel like there's no more deserving population than the U.S. military," she said.
“Sidney is an amazing individual, and we are fortunate to have her among our number,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Aaron Saguil, associate dean for medical school admissions and recruitment at USU. “She is taking that same passion and work ethic that made her a hockey star and pouring it into her studies -- she will be a phenomenal physician to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.”
Peters was among an initial 581 school nominees for the NCAA award. That number was culled to 154, and was ultimately narrowed to the top 30.
“These 30 women have demonstrated outstanding commitment to excelling in the classroom and in their sports while also serving their peers and community,” said Sherika Montgomery, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and associate commissioner for governance and compliance at The Summit League. “They represent the best and brightest of women competing in college and sports, and we’re thrilled to celebrate them and their achievements.”
In October, the selection committee will announce the nine finalists for Woman of the Year. The top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named Oct. 28 in a ceremony in Indianapolis.
‘It’s an Enormous Honor’
"It is an enormous honor to be among the top 30 nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had as an NCAA student-athlete at the University of Minnesota,” Peters said. “I believe that my experiences playing in the NCAA prepared me well for my career as an officer in the United States Air Force and future physician.”
She added, “Collegiate athletics provided me with a platform to connect with many remarkable people and taught me about both leadership and followership, as well as the value of discipline and hard work. I am proud to be associated with the NCAA and the others that have been nominated for this award."