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5 Finalists for Honda Broderick Cup Announced

The Collegiate Women Sports Awards announced last June 20 the five finalists for its annual top distinction - the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. By a vote from among over 1,000 NCAA-member institutions, the finalists were chosen. The winner will be named at a special press conference on June 25 in New York and will receive the prestigious 2007 Honda-Broderick Cup.

The cup is co-sponsored by Honda Motor Co., maker of quality Honda car bra, while American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will host the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.

This year's 5 finalists were chosen from previously announced Honda Sports Award winners in 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports. They are Monica Abbott, University of Tennessee (softball); Paula Infante, University of Maryland (field hockey); Heather O'Reilly, University of North Carolina (soccer); Candace Parker, University of Tennessee (basketball); and Sarah Pavan, University of Nebraska (volleyball).

Standing 6'3", Monica Abbott is a left-hander who basically holds every career and single-season softball pitching record at the University of Tennessee. During her senior year, she established the single-season strikeout record of 724. And through leading the nation with a 50-5 overall record plus a 0.68 ERA and 29 solo shutouts in 358.1 innings, she ended her 2007 season and senior year. Abbott is a four-time NFCA All-American with NCAA Division I career records for wins (189), appearances (253), strikeouts (2,440), shutouts (112) and innings pitched (1448.0).

Paula Infante is a native of Santiago, Chile who is a senior midfielder/defender. She brought her team to its second straight NCAA title this year and earned First Team All-American and First Team All-NCAA Tournament for four consecutive times. For the second time, she was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Defensive Player of the Year. Infante also got the All-Mid Atlantic Region title. This season, she had 12 goals (five of which were game-winning goals) and garnered 30 points. She finished her college career with 58 career goals and 139 points. Moreover, she was also named All-ACC and All-Region for four consecutive times and is a two-time winner of the Honda Sports Award.

A senior forward, Heather O'Reilly was her team's captain to an NCAA College Cup title this year. She was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament for the second time. She is ranked as the third highest scorer in NCAA women's soccer tournament history with 15 goals, 14 assists and 44 points. For the second time, she was a Hermann Trophy finalist this year. O'Reilly is also the Soccer America National Player of the Year and a three-time nominee of the Honda Sports Award. She ended college with 59 goals and 49 assists for 167 points.

Candace Parker is a 6-foot-4 sophomore who was recently awarded as the John R. Wooden Player of the Year and 2007 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She got the distinction of being named both as the SEC Player of the Year and the Basketball Writer's Association Player of the Year. The youngest recipient of the State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year award, Parker has scored double digits in every NCAA Tournament game she has played, with 19.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game this season as the averages. Moreover, she was named First-team All-America and the Dayton Regional MOP.

Sarah Pavan is a 6'5" junior from Kitchener, Ontario who brought the Huskers to a 33-1 record, the school's third national title and the team's #1 NCAA ranking for the entire season last year. She was the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player and AVCA National Player of the Year 2006, and a recipient of ESPN: The Magazine's 2006 Academic All-American of the Year with a 4.00 GPA in Biochemistry. Other highlights in her career include averaging 5.10 per game that led the Big 12 in kills and marked her 10th in the nation for kills.

Other nominees were Duke University's Amanda Blumenherst for golf; Northwestern University's 3-time Honda Sports Award winner, Kristen Kjellman for lacrosse; the University of Georgia's Courtney Kupets for gymnastics; the University of Georgia's Kara Lynn Joyce for swimming; Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego for cross-country, Auburn University's, Kerron Stewart for track and field; and the University of Miami's Audra Cohen for tennis.

Honda-Broderick Cup winner for 2006 was soccer superstar Christine Sinclair of the University of Portland.

About The Author Ally Wahlberg is a Computer Information Systems specialist. Ally leads an active lifestyle and he is a fan of extreme sports. He is also a car enthusiast and writing about his interests is one of his passions.
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