Northcroft Named One of NCAA's Top Eight

Updated 1/9/2000
(Jan. 3) - Ball State University senior field hockey player Sally Northcroft (Harare, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent H.S.) is the recipient of a 2000 NCAA Today's Top VIII Award. The award honors eight distinguished student-athletes from the preceding calendar year for achievement in athletics, academics and leadership. The recipients will be recognized at the annual honors dinner held Sunday, Jan. 9, 2000 at the NCAA Convention in San Diego.

The awards keep piling up for Sally and this is another tremendous honor for her, for our program and for Ball State University, BSU head coach Karen Fitzpatrick said. I find it hard to grasp at times that one of our players is part of a group of the most elite student-athletes in the country. It is a tribute to Sally and to her commitment to excel both on the field and in the classroom. What a fabulous four-year ride it has been with her as a part of our program. Once again, I am so incredibly proud of Sally for this accomplishment and for all that she has achieved during her career at Ball State.

Joining Northcroft will be Michael Hunter, baseball, Vanderbilt; Debbie Ferguson, track and field, Georgia; Brian Moorman, football and track and field, Pittsburg State; Stephanie Nickitas, tennis, Florida; Chad Pennington, football, Marshall; Michael Ruffin, basketball, Tulsa and Kelly Schade, softball, Simpson College.

Last week, Northcroft was honored 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.

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.