Katie O'Donnell Wins Honda Sports Award

Dec. 9, 2010

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    COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland field hockey’s Katie O’Donnell has won the 2011 Honda Sports Award in field hockey, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in that sport.

    The honor, which O’Donnell also received in 2010, 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 35th year. O’Donnell’s win marks the sixth time that a University of Maryland field hockey player has been honored with the award. Autumn Welsh won in 2002, Paula Infante won twice (2006, ’07) and Susie Rowe won in 2009. A Maryland athlete has won the field hockey award in five of the last six years and six in the last 10.

    O’Donnell’s victory will earn her the 2011 Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic eligibility to become a “Top Three” finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She was voted over three other nominees for the 2011 award: Melissa Gonzalez, a University of Connecticut senior, Paige Selenski, a junior at the University of Virginia and Kathleen Sharkey, a junior at Princeton University.

    “I am absolutely thrilled to win the Honda Sports Award again,” O’Donnell said. “The first was amazing and the second is a dream come true. Thank you to all of our teammates, coaches, competitors and supporters that helped us achieve our ultimate goal of winning a national championship this year. I am proud to be a part of such a remarkable legacy here at Maryland.”

    A native of Blue Bell, Pa., O’Donnell led her team this season to the program’s seventh national title and ninth ACC title. She was named the NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year and was also named National Player of the Year and Offensive MVP by womensfieldhockey.com for the third consecutive year. Earlier this fall, O’Donnell was named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year, an award previously won by Mia Hamm and Lisa Leslie.

    O’Donnell led the nation in points this year (99) and assists (34), making her the first player in NCAA history to break the 100 career assist and the 300 career point marks. She concludes her college career with at least one goal and one assist in 17 of 24 games her senior year and had seven games in which she recorded three or more assists. She netted her seventh career hat trick this season. In 2010, she became the only player in NCAA history distinguished as both a four-time first-team All-American and four-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year. She is the ACC's career points and assists leader and leaves Maryland with 99 total college career goals, just three goals away from the ACC all-time goal record.

    Prior to her two consecutive wins of the Honda Sports Award, she was nominated her freshman year. O’Donnell has been a member of the U.S. Senior National team since 2005 and is currently the captain of the U.S. Junior National Team.

    Honda Award winners in basketball, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, 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. On June 27, 2011, the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at a ceremony in New York, at which the “Top Three” finalist are scheduled to attend.

    American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has sponsored the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program for 26 consecutive years. Honda has donated over $2 million in grants and sponsorships to universities over the course of the program.

    The Terrapins won their seventh national title and fourth in six years November 21 (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010). Either Maryland or North Carolina has won the last six titles. The Terps won the crown in front of 2,381 fans at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex – the largest crowd in NCAA field hockey history.