May 26, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the second consecutive year, senior Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary) is a finalist for the Lacrosse Honda Sports Award. It marks the fifth-straight year that a Wildcat has been a finalist, as Nielsen captured the award in 2008. Former All-American Kristen Kjellman was a three-time winner from 2005-07.
Nielsen is fresh off what is arguably the best season in Northwestern history. She led the nation in both points (142) and assists (83), breaking the previous NCAA record for goals in a season (69) that she set back in 2007. Nielsen set a new single-game record with 10 assists against Duquesne on Feb. 17, and surpassed fellow Australian Jen Adams as the Division I career assist leader with 224, meaning she holds all three records.
But she was more than just a great distributor. The team captain also tallied 59 goals on the year, which ranks third on the team, and led the team with 72 draw controls. Nielsen garnered American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season and was named to both the ALC Championship and NCAA Championship all-tournament teams. She is also one of five finalists for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy award, which will be announced Thursday, May 28, in Washington, D.C.
Nielsen joins Maryland's Caitlyn McFadden, North Carolina's Amber Falcone and Jillian Byers of Notre Dame as this year's finalists. The winner, after nationwide balloting, will become a candidate for The Honda-Broderick Cup, awarded annually to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. In addition to the honor of this selection, American Honda will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic fund of each nominee's university. The winner's program will receive $5,000.
Nielsen also becomes the third Wildcat finalist for the award this spring. Tennis' Maria Mosolova and softball's Tammy Williams were also among the four finalists for their respective sports.
2009 Lacrosse Honda Sports Award Finalists
Jillian Byers - Notre Dame
Amber Falcone - North Carolina
Caitlyn McFadden - Maryland
Hannah Nielsen - Northwestern