May 28, 2009
2008 Tewaaraton Trophy Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Tewaaraton Trophy will remain in Evanston as senior Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary) was once again named the nation's top player. Nielsen becomes just the second player to win the sport's most prestigious award in back-to-back seasons, joining former Wildcat standout Kristen Kjellman, who took home the trophy in 2006 and 2007.
"Hannah has done everything for this team," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "More than ever she has taken the lead for us this season. She is one of the most dominant players that I have seen and I can't think of a better way for her to top her career."
Nielsen played a vital role in helping Northwestern to a 23-0 record in 2009 and its fifth-straight national championship. She finishes her four years in Evanston as the Wildcats' all-time leader in points (398) after becoming the NCAA Division I all-time assist leader with 224. She also ranks sixth in program history in goals (174) after tallying a career-best 59 this year.
She will go down as the top distributor in Division I history, as in addition to holding the all-time career assist record, Nielsen set the single-game record with 10 at Duquesne on Feb. 17, and also set a new season-best mark of 83, shattering her previous record of 69 in 2007. Her 16 assists during the 2009 Women's Lacrosse Championship is a new tournament-best, while her career 35 assists in the NCAA tournament is also tops all-time.
The two-time American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year and reigning IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Year, Nielsen led the nation in points with 142, the second-highest season total in NCAA history. Her 398 career points ranks third all-time in Division I history, behind only Jen Adams' 445 and Karen Emas' 420, and she recorded at least one point in her final 67 games in a Wildcat uniform. Nielsen had three game-winning goals this year, with the most memorable her wrap-around with 1:31 remaining to defeat Virginia 11-10 on April 19.
But Nielsen's impact was much more than just that of a scoring threat. She won a season-best 72 draw controls, the fourth-highest mark in team history, and finished her career third on the program's all-time list with 183. Nielsen started all 88 games of her Wildcat career, posting an 85-3 record during her time in Evanston. She ends her time at Northwestern having never lost a game at home (42-0) nor in the postseason (26-0, including both the ALC Championship and NCAA tournament).
Nielsen has already been named Player of the Year by both WomensLacrosse.com and WomensLax.com, with more honors expected to roll in in the coming days. She was named to the NCAA all-tournament team for the third-straight year, and was a five-time American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Week, including four straight honors from March 17 to April 7.
She is the reigning Lacrosse Honda Sports Award winner, and is a finalist again this year, and earned her third-straight IWLCA first-team All-American nod earlier in the day. But her lacrosse career is not quite over, as Nielsen will represent Australia in the FIL Women's Lacrosse World Cup in Prague June 17-27.
Previous Tewaaraton Trophy Winners
2009 -- Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern
2008 -- Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern
2007 -- Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern
2006 -- Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern
2005 -- Katie Chrest, Duke
2004 -- Amy Appelt, Virginia
2003 -- Rachael Becker, Princeton
2002 -- Erin Elbe, Georgetown
2001 -- Jen Adams, Maryland