Paula Heuser of the University at Albany was named the Honda Sports Award winner for Field Hockey as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Heuser becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup. Heuser was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Laura Gebhart (Penn State), Kelsey Harbin (Stanford) and Roisin Upton (UConn).
“For all of the awards Paula’s won, she is particularly deserving of the Honda,” added head coach Phil Sykes. “Not only is she an incredible player, but her humility on the field sets a great example for the rest of our team. Paula’s skill level, work ethic and determination put her on another level in our sport.”
“First, I would like to thank the committee for this recognition of my dedication on and off the field,” said Heuser. “I could not have won this award without the effort of the coaching staff everyday and my hard-working teammates. It is a fantastic honor for me, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team this season.”
Heuser, a sophomore midfielder, was recently named the 2014 NFHCA Player of the Year and was the first Division I underclassman ever to receive the high honor. She was also a first-team NFHCA All-American making her the school’s first field hockey student-athlete to be selected to the first-team in the Division I era.
Hailing from Monchengladbach, Germany, she was named the Northeast Region Player of the Year and is a two-time America East Midfielder of the Year. This season she set the school’s all-time single-season record for goals (29) and points (69), leading the nation in both categories, and as a sophomore ranks third at UAlbany with 114 career points.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Last year's Honda Sports award winner for field hockey was MarieElena Bolles from the University of Connecticut.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 38 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.