Blue Hens’ Nauck named nation’s top field hockey player

Greta Nauck

NEWARK — Delaware’s Greta Nauck was named the country’s best collegiate field hockey player on Thursday.

The Blue Hens’ sophomore sophomore midfielder was named the winner of the Honda Sport Award winner for field hockey.

Nauck joins basketball All-American Elena Delle Donne as the University of Delaware’s lone recipients of the Honda Sport Award, which 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.”

Delle Donne won the Honda Sport Award for women’s basketball following her senior season in 2012-13.

With this honor, Nauck becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup, which will be presented on a live telecast on the CBS Sports Network on June 26, 2017 from downtown Los Angeles.

Nauck was chosen for the award based on voting by administrators from more than 1,000 NCAA member schools.

“I am totally speechless,” said Nauck, a native of Germany. “The hard work, commitment and support of an amazing team allowed me to immensely grow throughout the season — on and off the field. I had 23 teammates that challenged and supported me every day for the last few months, which helped me so much to become the player and person I am today.

“It is a joy and privilege to work and to play together with a group of close friends, who are eager to always help each other, to grow together and to achieve goals we have set together.”

Nauck led the Blue Hens to the first national championship in program history. Delaware finished the year with a 19-game winning streak and an overall mark of 23-2.

The NFHCA All-Mid Atlantic Region Player of the Year and CAA Player of the Year finished the season first nationally with 3.04 points per game and 1.32 goals per game on a school record 76 points and 33 goals.

In just two seasons for Delaware, the midfielder is seventh in program history with 103 career points on 44 goals and 15 assists.

Nauck tallied the game-winning goal in 10 of UD’s 23 victories and came through in the clutch in two huge NCAA Tournament wins.

“A year ago, Greta and I stood in front of the banner in the Bob Carpenter Center that honors Elena Delle Donne and her women’s basketball Honda Award selection,” said Delaware coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. “I mentioned, ‘Why not you?’ I know it was never a goal for Greta to focus in on this award, which is something that showed me she was a true team player and focused on team-first.

“Of course I hoped that Elena’s story could provide her with extra motivation and desire to become better throughout the 2016 season.”

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