Dec. 19, 2008

Courtesy of The ACC

December 18, 2008 — Casey Nogueira, a University of North Carolina junior, has been chosen as the nation’s top collegiate female soccer player.  The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 33rd year. Nogueira’s win marks the tenth time that a University of North Carolina soccer player has been honored with the award. Past Honda Sports Award winners from the school include soccer great Mia Hamm, who won it two years in a row. (See below for list of past winners.)

Nogueira’s victory will earn her the 2009 Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.  She was voted over three other nominees: Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock, both Notre Dame seniors; and Christina DiMartino, a senior at UCLA.  The candidates were selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association.

Noted Nogueira: “It’s such an honor and it feels great to win the Honda Sports Award. I remember when Heather O'Reilly won it in 2006, and I’m not surprised that our team has had so many previous winners. Coach Anson Dorrance has really worked hard to develop the players and create a program that makes us the best we can be. I’m very honored by this award and I really owe it all to my teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Nogueira resides in Raleigh, NC. The 5’6” forward scored two second-half goals to lead her Tar Heels to an upset win in last season’s NCAA Championship game, earning her NCAA Tournament offensive MVP honors. She led the nation last season with 58 points and 25 goals, seven of them game winners. She was also named ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP, following her team’s win in the ACC Tournament. She is a NSCAA First-Team All-American two-time NSCAA Top Drawer Soccer Player of the Year Her many outstanding accomplishments include a four-goal game, as well as six games with two goals and a hat trick (three consecutive goals in a single game). A communications major, Nogueira is a member of both the ACC Tournament and NCAA College Cup All-Tournament teams. She was recently named National Player of the Year by Soccer America Magazine.

Previous Honda Award winners from the University of North Carolina for soccer include: Shannon Higgins (1980); Kristine Lilly (1992); Mia Hamm (1992 and ‘93); Tisha Venturini (1994); Lorrie Fair (1999); Meredith Florance (2000); Catherine Reddick (2003) and Heather O’Reily (2006).

Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients include Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego for cross-country, and Susie Rowe from the University of Maryland for Field Hockey. Honda Sports Award winners in basketball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field will be announced in the coming months. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at a ceremony in New York in June 2009.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.