Lauren Blazing from Duke University, Syracuse University’s Alyssa Manley, Sarah Sprink of the University of Maryland and the University of Connecticut’s Roisin Upton are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for field hockey as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 40 years 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 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). The Honda Sport 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.
Blazing is a redshirt-senior goalkeeper from Durham, N.C. who ranked first in the ACC and eighth in the nation in save percentage (.778). She is a three-time NFHCA All-American earning first-team honors for the first time this year and was a 2015 first-team All-ACC honoree. A member of the 2014-15 U.S. National Team, she registered a 1.39 GAA and four shutouts in 2015 while guiding the Blue Devils to a NCAA semifinal appearance.
Manley, a senior defender from Lititz, Pa., led her team to the 2015 NCAA Championship title and was the fourth player in program history to ear All-America honors three times in her career after a NFHCA first-team nod this season. She was the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-ACC. As a team captain, she registered four goals and seven assists from the backfield in 2015.
Senior defender Sarah Sprink hails from Neuss, Germany, and is also a three-time All-American after earning first-team honors in back-to-back seasons. She is a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and a two-time Big Ten first-team honoree. A three-time team captain, she led the Terps to a school record five straight shutouts in 2015 and tallied 10 goals and six assists on the season.
Upton, a senior midfielder from Limerick, Ireland, earned first-team NFHCA All-America honors for the second time in as many years and makes her third appearance overall as an All-American. A two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Big East first-team selection, she also appeared on the NCAA All-Tournament team for the last three years and is a four-time member of the Big East All-Tournament team. She was recently named to the Irish National Team and is a Honda Sport Award nominee for the second straight season.
Honda Sport award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Last year's Honda Sports award winner for field hockey was Paula Heuser from the University at Albany.
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes 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 $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.