June 11, 2007
WASHINGTON - American University field hockey player Heidi Hershberger (Davis, Calif./Davis) has been selected to represent the Patriot League for the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year award, league officials announced Friday. The honor recognizes senior athletes who excel in all aspects of being a student-athlete, perfecting the balance of athletics, academics, service and leadership.
On the turf, Hershberger was a four year starter for American University, who won its fourth-consecutive Patriot League Championship. In the 2006 season, Hershberger recorded 11 goals, one assist and led both the Eagles and the Patriot League in game-winning goals with five. She ends her career as an Eagle with 72 points, coming off of 33 goals and six assists, ranking 11th amongst American University's all-time career point leaders. Additionally, Hershberger was named Second-Team All-Patriot League and First-Team NFHCA All-Region in 2006.
In the classroom, the story remains the same with Hershberger, who graduated in three years, receiving her BA in international studies and is now currently pursuing her MA in international affairs: foreign policy at American University. The standout forward was a Magna Cum Laude honoree for her undergraduate degree and was awarded with University Honors in 2006. Most recently, Hershberger was named to ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District, qualifying for the Academic All-America Team. This past season, she was named the 2006 Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earning a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and the NFHCA National Academic Squad for four consecutive years. Hershberger winning PL Scholar Athlete of the Year marks the second consecutive year and the fourth time in five seasons that an AU student-athlete has earned the award for field hockey.
In the area of service and leadership, Hershberger served as a member of American University's Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship for four straight years. The Davis, Calif., native also took part in AU's annual Campus Beautification Day.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award is based on the following areas: service and leadership (28%), academic achievement (28%), athletics excellence (28%) and a personal statement from the student-athlete (16%). By August the list of contenders for the 2007 award will be narrowed down to the top-10 in each NCAA Division (I, II, III) and then paired down even further to the top three in each division by September. The national winner will be announced at an awards dinner in Indianapolis, Ind., home of the NCAA, on Oct. 27, 2007.