Dec. 13, 2013
Senior Marie Elena Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) led the University of Connecticut to its third NCAA Field Hockey National Championship and has received the Honda Sports Award for Field Hockey announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics". With this honor, Bolles becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Bolles was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Rachel Mack (Michigan), Jill Witmer (Maryland) and Emily Wold (North Carolina).
"The UConn Field Hockey family is thrilled for MarieElena as the recipient of the prestigious Honda Sports Award, " stated UConn head coach Nancy Stevens. "MarieElena ranks among the top 1% of all student-athletes that I have coached during the past thirty-four years. She has done a remarkable job of balancing the demands of a rigorous academic major with the challenges of competing for championships as a collegiate athlete and representing her country at the highest level of international competition. She is committed to excellence in all areas of her life. MarieElena was brought up in a tradition of giving back and has fully embraced community outreach at the University of Connecticut. She has spent countless hours in these endeavors. She leads by example as a scholar, accomplished student-athlete and compassionate volunteer."
Bolles is the fourth Husky to be honored with the Honda Award for field hockey joining Laurie Decker (1983), Tracey Fuchs (1987) and Diane Madl (1988).
Named the 2013 NFHCA Player of the Year, the forward totaled 17 goals and added 14 assists for 48 points on the season, all of which are career-bests as she led the Huskies to their first National title since 1985. In her four years, she amassed 129 points to finish in sixth place on UConn's all-time points list. Her career marks of 47 goals and 35 assists landed her eighth and ninth, on the respective career lists.
The Phoenixville, Pa., native collected nearly every possible award this season. She was tabbed as a First Team All-Big East selection each of the last three years and following UConn's second consecutive conference championship, Bolles was announced as a member of the Big East All-Tournament Team. On a national scale, the NFHCA recognized Bolles as the National Player of the Year, the Mideast Region Player of the Year and listed her as a First Team All-American and All-Region choice. Bolles also took home an NCAA All-Tournament nod following UConn's National Title.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. The 2014 awards season opened this fall with winners being selected from the sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The 2013 Honda Sports Award winner for Field Hockey was Katie Reinprecht of Princeton University. Reinprecht is currently a member of the U.S. National team.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.