Long Named Honda Award Finalist for Second Straight Year
Nov. 25, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Jen Long, of the Penn State field hockey team, was named a finalist for the Honda Sports Award for the second consecutive year, Collegiate Women's Sports Awards officials announced Tuesday. The laurel awards the top college woman athlete of the year in each sport.
Long repeats as one of four finalists for the award. The winner, after nationwide balloting, will become the nominee for The Honda-Broderick Cup, which goes to the nation's outstanding female athlete in all of collegiate sports.
In addition to the honor, American Honda will donate $1,000 to Penn State's women's athletics fund, along with the other three institutions represented. The winner's program will receive $5,000. The award winner will be announced Dec. 9.
Along with Long, the Big Ten was represented by Lauren Pfeiffer, of the University of Iowa. Shannon Taylor, of Syracuse University, and Susie Rowe, whose University of Maryland team won its sixth NCAA championship this past weekend, also are vying for the award.
Without four of its top five top-point scorers from its 2007 NCAA runner-up squad, the Penn State field hockey team relied heavily on its senior captain Jen Long to orchestrate offensive production and lead a crew of young Nittany Lion players on and off the field. Like she did in the last season's surprising playoff run, Long defied expectations, leading Penn State to its fifth Big Ten regular season championship.
In 2008, Long added more laurels to her repertoire. The Big Ten named her its Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, along with a first-team conference standing. She became the first Penn State player to win the top defender award in back-to-back years.
Long - despite playing from the back position - proved to be a catalyst for the Nittany Lion offense in 2007. She became a key component to one of the top producing penalty-corner operations in Division I field hockey. From the stopper position, she accumulated 12 assists on the season and added a helping hand to five other penalty-corner goals. For the second-straight year, she totaled more than 10 assists - a feat not seen in University Park, Pa. since the 1990s before this year.
The Doylestown, Pa. native, a first-team All-American in 2007 and a second-team All-American in her sophomore campaign, was a part of a defense responsible for holding one of the nation's toughest schedules to 1.11 goals per game. Penn State had the fourth best defense in the nation, despite having the eighth toughest schedule. This season, the Nittany Lion defense shut out then-No. 4 Iowa - an eventual Final Four participant - and -No. 10 Virginia. Throughout the season, she stifled breakaway chances before opponents could enter Penn State's circle.
Off the field, she is a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member, as well as an Academic All-Big Ten member from the past two years. She is a member of the THON finance committee. Penn State's THON organization, which provides emotional and financial support for pediatric cancer, is the world's largest student-run philanthropic organization, and a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi, an academic business fraternity, as well as the Omi Cron Delta Kappa honor society. She maintains a 3.4 grade point average as a health policy administration
Long is nominated for her second Honda Award in her career. Last season, she was a finalist after the Penn State defensive corps shut out Maryland and Wake Forest, consecutively, en route to an appearance in the NCAA Championship game.