STORRS, Conn. - Former UConn standout and USA Women's National Team Captain Melissa Gonzalez has been nominated for this year's International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Stars Awards, celebrating athletes, coaches and umpires who have lit up the world of field hockey.
Gonzalez is one of five women nominated for the accolade and is joined by teammate Jackie Briggs, nominated for FIH Goalkeeper of the Year, as the only other representative from the United States National Team. If Gonzalez is honored as the FIH Player of the Year, she will become the first representative from the USWNT to accomplish the feat.
Voting has now opened for this year's @FIH_Hockey Hockey Stars Awards. 💫 Vote Melissa Gonzalez for Player of the Year and Jackie Briggs for Goalkeeper of the Year. #HockeyStarAwards
Cast your vote here: https://t.co/zGCySMSFIi pic.twitter.com/AME1zXolZZ
-- USA Field Hockey (@USAFieldHockey) December 1, 2017
Voting opens Friday, December 1 and will close on Sunday, January 14, 2018. Hockey fans are invited to cast their vote in the following categories: Player of the Year (men and women); Goalkeeper of the Year (men and women) and Rising Star of the Year (men and women). The public can vote for their favorite hockey players here.
On August 15, Gonzalez and the No. 4 USA Women's National Team captured a bronze medal at the PAN American Cup. On their way to a third place finish, the USWNT posted a 3-1-1 record during the tournament. Gonzalez, who serves as the team captain, started all five matches and played a critical role in the teams' strong defense. During the games, USA outscored its opponents 20-7, and was tied for the largest goal differential in the tournament.
A 2011 UConn, graduate, Gonzalez is a three-time NFHCA All-American - achieving First Team status in her junior and senior seasons. She is a two-time Olympian, competing in both the 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio) Summer Olympics.
One of just two former Huskies to make multiple Olympic appearances, Gonzalez has been a major piece of the USA Field Hockey team since joining the program in 2011.
Winners in six of the 10 categories will be decided by the combined results of an online vote that is open to the public and a peer vote from international athletes.
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