NU's Shannon Smith Voted Honda Sports Award

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern junior standout Shannon Smith claimed her second major national player of the year award Tuesday when she was tabbed the Lacrosse Honda Sports Award winner by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA). By virtue of her selection, Smith becomes one of 12 individuals from NCAA-sponsored sports eligible to be named 2011 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Smith's win marks the sixth time that a Northwestern lacrosse player has been honored with the Honda Sports Award. Kristen Kjellman received the distinction three straight seasons from 2005-07 while Hannah Nielsen followed suit by garnering player of the year recognition in 2008-09.

From its pool of 12 candidates from 12 different NCAA women's sports, the CWSA will select three finalists to attend the Honda-Broderick Cup ceremony at Columbia University on June 27.

"I am so humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award and I owe everything to my teammates," Smith said. "Receiving the Honda Sports Award would not have been possible without the 28 of them along with the world's best coaching staff here at Northwestern University. The game of lacrosse has offered me so much in my life and I would not be where I am today without it. This year has been an amazing ride and I am very glad to have the trophy back in Evanston."

Smith captured the award over fellow lacrosse nominees Grace Gavin (Loyola), Sarah Mollison (Maryland) and Katie Schwarzmann (Maryland).

A junior from West Babylon, N.Y., Smith went from featured attacker in 2010 to one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history this year, racking up the seventh-most points (128) in a single season in Division I annals. She scored a Northwestern-record 86 goals in 2011, 18 of which came during an incredible four-game run in the NCAA Championship. Smith, the MVP of the tournament, was responsible for game-winning goals in an 11-10 semifinal victory over North Carolina as well as the 8-7 title game win over Maryland on May 29.

Also the winner of the Tewaaraton Award, Smith twice was named National Player of the Week in 2011 and was the ALC Offensive Player of the Week on three occasions. On March 5 at Georgetown, Smith recorded only the third 10-point game in NU history with five goals and five assists and later in the year tied a career-best with seven goals -- as well as the game-winning assist -- in a 12-11 home victory over No. 7 Stanford.

Smith will begin her senior year in 2012 ranked sixth in career points (268), seventh in goals (184) and tied for fifth in career assists at Northwestern (80).


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