Kadeisha Buchanan from West Virginia University, St. John’s University’s Rachel Daly, Raquel Rodriguez of Penn State University and the University of Virginia’s Emily Sonnett are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for women’s soccer 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 Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Honda Sport award winner for soccer will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Buchanan, a junior defender hailing from Brampton, Ontario, is a 2015 MAC Hermann trophy finalist and is the first MAC finalist in the program's 20-year history. She is a three-time NSCAA All-America honoree having been twice selected to the first-team and is a three-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. As a team captain, she led team her squad to the NCAA Elite Eight and helped record a program record 15 shutouts and a program-low 11 opponent goals.
Daly is a senior forward from Harrogate, England, and is a two-time NSCAA All-American. She is the first player in program history to earn All-America honors. A 2015 MAC Hermann trophy semifinalist, she ranked third in the NCAA in scoring with 19 goals and led her team to the best record in program history (15-4-1) including the program’s first-ever Big East regular season title. She is the Red Storm’s all-time leader in every major offensive category.
Rodriguez, a senior forward/midfielder from San Jose, Costa Rica, is a 2015 MAC Hermann trophy finalist and led her team to the 2015 National Championship title, the first in program history. She scored the game-winning goal in the title game and was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player. She is a first-team NSCAA All-American and a two-time All-Big Ten first-team member. She finished the 2015 season with 18 points on six goals and six assists.
Sonnett is a senior defender from Marietta, Ga., who was named the 2015 ESPNW Player of the Year, a 2015 MAC Hermann trophy finalist and the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. She is a two-time NSCAA All-America honoree, with first-team honors this season, and a two-time first-team All-ACC selection. She helped her team to 15 shutouts on the year and has posted 54 shutouts in 84 victories in her career.
Last year's Honda Sports award winner for soccer was Sam Mewis from UCLA. 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 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.