Northcroft Receives Honda Award

Updated 6/12/2000
Sally Northcroft
(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 second-place person.

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.