February 2021 marks the 35th year that the Women’s Sports Foundation honored girls and women from across the nation who have made significant contributions to their institutions and community through athletic accomplishments, academic excellence, service, and leadership. National Girls and Women in Sports Day is a vibrant movement celebrated annually honoring the achievements of female athletes, coaches, and leaders and continues to Lead Her Forward by acknowledging the power of sports to unlock her limitless potential.

The New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW) annually hosts the luncheon in NJ, this year it was virtual, to celebrate the honored top female student-athletes from high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the state.

Brookdale Community College’s Emily Clayton (Wall High School) was this year’s recipient of the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW), Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) – Woman of the Year Award for the Brookdale Jersey Blues.

Prior to COVID-19 and the 2020 women’s soccer season being postponed, Clayton had a banner 2019 season for the Jersey Blues. As a freshman defender, Emily Clayton cleaned up in the accolades department while appearing in sixteen games and six goals to start. Clayton was named GSAC Player of the Week for ripping two goals and being unstoppable in the backfield as the Jersey Blues clinched the Garden State Athletic Conference title against the Bergen Community College Bulldogs.

Clayton has been prized with, First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region, GSAC Player of the Year, and named to the National All-Tournament Team after the Jersey Blues placed third in the NJCAA National Tournament.

Along with her fellow teammates, Clayton also partnered with Student Life & Activities and Clean Ocean Action for a beach sweep along the shore of Asbury Park. The Jersey Blues filled large garage bags to their carrying weight in order to help protect and conserve our New Jersey beaches.

Clayton is no doubt spectacular on the field and in her community, but she is also an outstanding student with a 3.97 GPA! “I am so proud of Emily! She is a fantastic student-athlete and person. Such a joy to be around and to talk to,” said Katelyn Amundson, Director of Athletics & Recreation at Brookdale Community College.

The Women’s Sports Foundation applauds the vital role played by individuals and organizations who join them in championing their efforts to advocate to protect Title IX and advance gender equity, athletes using their platform to inspire greatness, and coaches working daily to promote play.