Junior Abby Dahlkemper (Menlo Park, Calif.) led UCLA to its first-ever NCAA Women's Soccer National Championship title and has received the Honda Sports Award for Soccer announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Dahlkemper becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Dahlkemper was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Morgan Brian (Virginia), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina) and Kassey Kallman (Florida State).
"I am so honored and grateful to be named the Honda Award winner," said Dahlkemper. “This award means so much, and it would not be possible without my amazing teammates. Together, we made history this season, and this award is as much theirs as it is mine.”
"Abby winning the Honda Award continues a season of firsts for UCLA women's soccer, “ stated UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell. “Winning the national championship and having Abby become UCLA's first-ever soccer recipient for this prestigious award is such a great honor. Abby has done so much this season for the team, for this program and for the university. We could not be more excited for her.”
Dahlkemper is the leader of a UCLA defense that ranked No. 1 in the nation in team goals against average (0.30) and shut out a school-record 18 opponents, including five of six in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruin defense allowed just eight goals all season and only one in postseason play.
A 24-game starter, Dahlkemper finished the year ranked second on the team in minutes played (2,194) and contributed one goal and two assists from her center back position.
Dahlkemper was honored for the third consecutive year as a NSCAA All-American, All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 member and is the first defender in 10 years to be selected a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. She was also named the NSCAA Scholar All-America Player of the Year and earned NSCAA first-team Scholar All-American and All-West Region honors in addition to Capital One Academic All-District second-team honors and Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention acclaim for the second consecutive year.
"Abby was instrumental in helping lead UCLA women's soccer to its first-ever NCAA championship," said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. "This honor caps a remarkable run and is a fitting end to a wonderful season. I could not be prouder of Abby and would like to congratulate her on becoming the first Bruin soccer player to win the Honda Award."
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. The 2014 awards season opened this fall with winners being selected from the sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Three Honda Sports Awards winners for soccer have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup, Christine Sinclair (2006), Cindy Daws (1997) and Mia Hamm (1994).
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.