Stanford senior Teresa Noyola, whose playmaking prowess and ball-handling excellence helped lead her team to the 2011 national championship, has won the Honda Sports Award for soccer. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Award Program recognizes Noyola as the country's top female player in her sport.
"This is a very prestigious award," said Noyola. "I'm surprised but excited to be able to represent Stanford. We play a ball possession game that ultimately wears down teams. In previous final fours, we weren't able to show what we do all season. This time we were able to keep playing our game. We knew we were a good team and it's great to be recognized for our hard work."
The senior midfielder from Palo Alto High scored the game-winning goal in Stanford 's 1-0 victory over Duke University at the NCAA College Cup finals.
Noyola earned first-team All-American honors by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, becoming only the second Stanford player to receive three consecutive first-team honors.
Stanford finished the season undefeated, and Noyola's squad amassed a four-year record of 95-4-4. Noyola had 15 assists for the year and 60 in her college career, the second highest in Stanford history behind Christen Press .
A math and computational science major, Noyola also was honored as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She carried a 3.52 cumulative grade-point average through her junior year.
"My parents both attended graduate school at Stanford and they taught me what it takes in terms of time management," said Noyola, whose father's consulting company is based in Mexico .
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Noyola becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup.
Noyola was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Stanford teammate Lindsay Taylor.
Earlier in the day, Noyola was named as the NSCAA Scholar of the Year, adding to the accolades from an outstanding senior season in which she led Stanford to its first national championship.
Noyola received the award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and will receive it during the NSCAA convention on Jan. 14 in Kansas City, Mo.
Noyola is also one of three finalists, along with Taylor, for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, which will be awarded Jan. 6 to the best player in college soccer.