Hannah Nielsen follows Kristen Kjellman as a Tewaaraton Trophy winner.
May 29, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Tewaaraton Trophy will remain in Evanston as junior midfielder Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary) was honored as the top female collegiate lacrosse player in the nation Thursday night.
A finalist last season, Nielsen becomes the second Wildcat to capture the sport's most prestigious award as former teammate Kristen Kjellman took home the trophy in 2006 and 2007.
"Hannah really was such an incredible leader for the program this year," head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said of Nielsen. "No matter what the situation, she stepped up and made a difference for the team. It's so exciting for Northwestern lacrosse to have this award won by a team member three consecutive years."
Nielsen was a vital component of Northwestern's fourth-straight national championship, serving as the quarterback of the Wildcat offense. She led the team in points for the second-straight year with 114, becoming the first player in the program's history to put together back-to-back 100 point seasons.
Her 63 assists on the year led the Wildcats, and she was one of three players to record at least 50 goals, finishing with 51. She concludes her junior campaign ranked fourth on the all-time points list at Northwestern with 256 points (115g, 141a). During this year's NCAA tournament run, Nielsen tallied 12 goals and 10 assists, including the final two against Penn to clinch the title en route to being named to the all-tournament team.
The American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year and ALC Championship Most Valuable Player,
Nielsen surpassed current assistant coach Lindsey Munday as the Wildcats' all-time assist leader in
the ALC final, and her 141 career assists already places her third in the NCAA record book, just
37 shy of Maryland's Jen Adams, all-time record of 178.
She set the single-season assist record in 2007 with 69, and followed it up with 63 in 2008 -- the third-best single-season performance in NCAA history. Nielsen also added to her reputation as one of the most consistent players in the country, contributing at least one point in 44 consecutive games for the Wildcats.
Nationally, Nielsen was among the nation's best in a handful of categories. She ranked second in points (114) and assists (63), third in points per game (5.18) and assists per game (2.86), and was fifth in draw controls (63). She recently was named one of four finalists for the 2008 Lacrosse Honda Sports Award and earned WomensLax.com Player of the Year honors.
It marked the second-straight year that Northwestern had a pair of Tewaaraton Trophy finalists, as Nielsen was joined by senior defender Christy Finch (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), the nation's leader in caused turnovers (70). Finch finished her impressive Wildcat career ranked fourth in NCAA history in caused turnovers (183) and compiled an overall record of 83-3 in a Northwestern uniform.
"To have two players nominated as finalists for this award is a great honor for our program," Amonte Hiller said.
Northwestern fans are invited to celebrate Nielsen's Tewaaraton Trophy as well as the team's fourth-straight national championship at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Lakeside Field. The Wildcats will be on hand to sign autographs and mingle with fans, and a tailgate also will be provided.
Previous Tewaaraton Trophy Winners
2008 -- Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern
2007 -- Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern
2006 -- Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern
2005 -- Katie Chrest, Duke
2004 -- Amy Appelt, Virginia
2003 -- Rachael Becker, Princeton
2002 -- Erin Elbe, Georgetown
2001 -- Jen Adams, Maryland