Whitney Engen, a senior at North Carolina, has won the 2010 Honda Sports Award in soccer, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in that sport. The honor 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 34th year.
“To end our season with a championship and then win the Honda Sports Award is beyond my wildest dreams,” Engen said. “I was really shocked when I heard the news.”
Engen’s win marks the 11th time that a University of North Carolina soccer player has been honored with the award.
Honda Award winners are selected in each of the 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports . Three other athletes are honored as the Division II Athlete of the Year, Division III Athlete of the Year and Inspiration Award winner. Each woman is selected not only for her superior athletic skills, but also for her leadership abilities, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.
At the end of the year, one deserving athlete will be chosen as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and receive the coveted Honda-Broderick Cup. Past winners of this prestigious award include Jackie Joyner and Mia Hamm. In 2009, the honor went to gymnastics star Courtney Kupets of the University of Georgia.
Other winners for this year’s award include Angela Bizzari (University of Illinois) for cross-country and Katie O’Donnell (University of Maryland) for field hockey.