UConn's Gonzalez Named Honda Sports Award Finalist

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The accolades continue to roll in for BIG EAST field hockey players as the Collegiate Women Sports Awards announced Connecticut standout Melissa Gonzalez as a finalist for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for Field Hockey this week.

Gonzalez is the fourth Husky to be honored as a finalist in the last six years, joining Loren Sherer (2009), Lauren Henderson (2005) and Lizzy Peijs (2007).
The other three finalists this year are Katie O'Donnell (Maryland), Paige Selenski (Virginia) and Kathleen Sharkey (Princeton).

Gonzalez completed her career at UConn with 27 goals and four assists for 68 points. A member of the United States National Team, Gonzalez was selected as a First Team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association in 2009 and 2010 and earned Third Team honors in 2008.

The 2010 Mideast Region Player of the Year, Gonzalez is one of only five Huskies to earn All-Mideast Region status four times. Gonzalez was also a three-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection and was crowned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons.

Now in its 35th year, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognizes annually the top woman collegiate athlete in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, each of whom receives the Honda Sports Award. In addition, the program honors the top women collegiate athletes representing Division II and Division III schools each year, as well as the recipient of the Honda Inspiration Award. Throughout the years, the program has also often chosen to honor individuals and groups with its special Irv Grossman Award of Merit.

In addition, each year a single athlete from the group of 12 Honda Sports Award winners is chosen as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and is presented with the Honda-Broderick Cup. UConn women's basketball star Maya Moore took home the 2009-10 trophy, becoming the fifth BIG EAST student-athlete to win the award.

Moore was the first BIG EAST athlete to earn the Honda-Broderick cup since former-Notre Dame soccer standout Cindy Daws captured the award in 1997. Moore also joins former Connecticut women's basketball players Jennifer Rizzotti (1996) and Rebecca Lobo (1995) as honorees. Villanova track & field star Vicki Huber won the league's first Broderick Cup in 1989.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., sponsor of the program celebrates each nominee by donating $5,000 to each Honda Sports Award recipient school and $1,000 to each nominee school.
 
A press conference announcing the winner of the 2010-11 Honda-Broderick Cup will be held at the Low Library at Columbia University in New York City on June 21, 2010. The Cup will be presented to The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The Divisions II and III Athletes of the Year, as well as the recipients of the Inspiration Award and the Irv Grossman Award of Merit, will also be honored and will receive their awards at the press conference.