Laura Gebhart from Penn State University, Stanford University’s Kelsey Harbin, Paula Heuser of the University of Albany and Roisin Upton from the University of Connecticut are the four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for Field Hockey as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
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”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
The Honda Sports award winner for field hockey will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Gebhart is as four-time NFHCA All-American after earning first-team honors for the first time in her career this year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors four straight years. The senior forward from Mount Joy, Pa., finished the season with 10 goals and 27 points and totaled at least one point in 10 games. She led her team with three defensive saves and had a career-high six points with three goals in a game. The team captain finished her career eighth on PSU’s all-time assists list with 45.
Harbin, a senior defender from Escondido, Calif., is a two-time first-team NFHCA All-America honoree after earning her third All-American nod this year. She is a two-time NorPac Player of the Year and was named the NorPac Defensive Player of the Week four times this season. She anchored a defense that finished first in the country in save percentage (.820) and second in goals against average (0.81) and helped her team to seven shutouts. Her defensive unit limited opponents to one goal or less in 20 of 22 games. From her defensive position, she added three goals and six assists on the season and helped Stanford to it’s first-ever NCAA victory.
Hauser, a sophomore midfielder, was recently named the 2014 NFHCA Player of the Year and was the first Division I underclassman ever to receive the high honor. She was also a first-team NFHCA All-American making her the school’s first field hockey student-athlete to be selected to the first-team in the Division I era. Hailing from Monchengladbach, Germany, she was also named the Northeast Region Player of the Year and is a two-time America East Midfielder of the Year. This season she set the school’s all-time single-season record for goals (29) and points (69), leading the nation in both categories, and as a sophomore ranks third at UAlbany with 114 career points.
A native of Limerick, Ireland, Upton is a two-time NFHCA All-American, earning first-team honors this season. She captained her UConn squad to the 2014 national championship title, for the second straight season. She was named the 2014 Big East Defensive Player of the Year and the Big East Tournament MOP and is a two-time Big East first-team honoree. The junior midfielder finished the championship season with 12 assists and six goals for 24 points.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. 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 2015 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Last year's Honda Sports award winner for field hockey was MarieElena Bolles from the University of Connecticut.
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.