(courtesy of Ball State Athletics)
MUNCIE, Ind. (Dec. 15) -- Ball State University senior field hockey player
Sally Northcroft (Harare, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent H.S.)
has been selected as the winner of the 1999-2000 Honda Award for the
sport of field hockey. Northcroft, one of four finalists in each of
the past two years, was chosen in a national balloting of NCAA member
schools over Tracey Larson of Penn State, Tara Mounsey of Brown and
Carla Tagliente of National Champion Maryland.
Northcroft will join 11 other Honda Award winners in their respective
sports (basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse,
softball, swimming and diving, soccer, tennis, track and field and
volleyball) as a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which
recognizes the outstanding Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The
awards program, which is sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.,
will take place June 12, 2000, during the NACDA convention in Orlando,
Fla. Northcroft is the first student-athlete in school history and
the first field hockey player in Mid-American Conference history to
win the Honda Award.
A First-Team All-American and an all-region selection the past two
seasons, Northcroft was honored as the MAC*s Player of the Year in
1999 for the second-straight year. She is a four-time recipient of
First-Team All-MAC accolades.
Northcroft, a four-time recipient of MAC Player of the Week and
two-time winner of MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week accolades in 1999,
ranked No. 1 in the nation in goals with 52, points with 107 and
scoring average at 5.09. In an Oct. 30 win over Louisville, she set
the all-time NCAA Division I single-season goals record with her 49th.
She dominated MAC statistics with three times the number of goals of
the second-place person and double the number of points of the
Northcroft, who logged multiple goals in 15 of BSU*s 21 games this
past season, tallied nine hat tricks in 1999 and scored four or more
goals five times, including a school-record seven vs. American Sept.
18. She scored the game-winning goal nine times in 1999 for a total
of 20 times in her career. Northcroft has registered a total of 21
hat tricks in her career and owns BSU*s top two single-season
records for goals with her 52 in 1999 and 34 a year ago. Her 126
career goals and 270 points rank No. 1 at Ball State and in the MAC
plus are the third-highest totals in NCAA Division I history.
Northcroft, who was selected to play in the NFHCA North/South Senior
All-Star game last weekend in Boston, Mass., as part of the final four
festivities, is a three-time member of the National Academic Squad and
a three-time unanimous selection to the Academic All-MAC Team. She
owns a 3.57 grade-point average as a physical education major.
"This is just a tremendous honor for both Sally and Ball State
University,"BSU head coach Karen Fitzpatrick said. "I don*t want to
say that I am amazed, but it is hard to grasp the fact that Sally has
been chosen as the top player in the nation in the sport of field
hockey and will be mentioned in the same breath with the most elite
athletes from across the nation. I cannot tell you how exciting this
is for me and for our entire program. I am incredibly proud of Sally
for this accomplishment and for all that she has achieved during her
career here at Ball State."
"To be honest, I am still in shock," Northcroft said. "It*s such a
huge honor that it*s very difficult for me to put into proper
perspective. I give all the credit to what I have been able to
achieve to Fitz, her coaching staff, to my teammates this year and
throughout my career at Ball State. I also want to pay tribute to the
three other finalists, who are outstanding field hockey players. I
have all the respect in the world for them."
As the 2000 winner, Northcroft joins an elite group of previous Honda
Award winners in field hockey, including Mimi Smith of Old Dominion,
Cindy Werley of North Carolina, Kristy Gleason of Iowa and Kelli James
of Old Dominion. Past winners of the Honda-Broderick Cup include
basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee in 1998, basketball
player Rebecca Lobo of Connecticut in 1995 and soccer player Mia Hamm
of North Carolina in 1994, track Olympian Jackie Joyner of UCLA in
1985, basketball player Cheryl Miller of Southern California in 1984
and basketball player Ann Meyers of UCLA in 1978.