Honda Inspiration Award Winner Arin Gilliland To Be Honored At UK Soccer Game

Photo by Robert Beck/CWSA
Photo by Robert Beck/CWSA

Arin Gilliland of the University of Kentucky, THE CWSA's 2014 Honda Inspiration Award winner, will be formally presented with the prestigious Honda Inspiration Award during the Kentucky women's soccer game on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 6:00 pm ET, as announced by THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards presented by Honda. Sunday's match against Auburn will mark UK's annual Kick-Cancer Match, in which UK will wear special gold jerseys in support of the research for Pediatric Cancer.

Gilliland was in attendance in Los Angeles on June 30th for the CBS Sports Network broadcast of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards presented by Honda where she was recognized as the most inspirational female student-athlete in the nation. The Honda Awards are presented annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA sports and to one nationally inspiring student-athlete which honor the “best of the best” in women's collegiate athletics.

The on-campus presentation gives the CWSA the opportunity to recognize Gilliland in front of her own fans and teammates. The award will be presented on field by Erik Wedin, Manager of Corporate Community Relations for American Honda.

Nominated as “one of the most inspiring student-athletes to ever play varsity sports at Kentucky”, Gilliland was hit with multiple adversities during her freshman year of college. A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury was a notable setback to her athletic endeavors as a first-year player but a more significant hardship to the young student-athlete was the loss of her mother to cancer. Gilliland rebounded admirably from injury and loss in her freshman year to become one of the top soccer players in the nation as a junior.

The defender from Lexington, Ky., is a two-time first-team All-American and was selected to play on the United States Women's National Under-23 Team this spring. During her fall campaign she collected 34 points, scored a career-high 12 goals and assisted on 10 tallies, just one shy of the program record. The team captain set a new school record in shots with 100 and continues to rewrite the Kentucky record books in a number of categories.

The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. The 2015 awards seasons open this fall with winners being selected from the sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. All Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup award presented in June.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 38 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 $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.