May 27, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s lacrosse standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) is one of four Division I players to be nominated for the Lacrosse Honda Sports Award that is presented annually to top collegiate athlete in that sport. The winner goes on to become a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup awarded to the Collegiate Woman’s Athlete of the Year.
Joining Byers, as nominees for 2009 are Amber Falcone of North Carolina, Caitlyn McFadden of Maryland and Northwestern’s Hannah Nielsen, who was the 2008 winner in lacrosse.
Now in its 33rd year, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognizes annually the top woman collegiate athlete in each of 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, each of whom receives the Honda Sports Award. In addition, the program honors the top women collegiate athletes representing Division II and Division III schools each year, as well as the recipient of the Honda Inspiration Award. Throughout the years, the program has also often chosen to honor individuals and groups with its special Irv Grossman Award of Merit.
In addition, each year a single athlete from the group of 12 Honda Sports Award winners is chosen as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and is presented with the Honda-Broderick Cup.
To determine the Honda Sports Award winners in each of the 12 sports, ballots are distributed during the year to senior women’s sports administrators at all NCAA-member schools. Nominees on the ballots are selected by All-American committees or placement in NCAA championships. Balloting is conducted separately for Division II and Division III Athletes of the Year while the ballot for The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year completes the balloting. Winners of the Inspiration Award and the Irv Grossman Award of Merit are chosen by the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards program.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., sponsor of the program celebrates each nominee by donating $5,000 to each Honda Sports Award recipient school and $1,000 to each nominee school.
Byers, a team captain this year, becomes the second Notre Dame player to be nominated for the Honda Sports Award, joining Crysti Foote `06, who was a nominee following the 2006 season.
The Honda Sports Award nomination adds to the growing list of accolades for Byers who helped lead Notre Dame to a 16-5 record, the first BIG EAST tournament championship for the Irish and a third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last four years.
The high-scoring attack player led Notre Dame in scoring with career highs in goals (83), assists (28) and points (111) while also turning in career bests in draw controls (55), ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (26) in her final season. Her 83 goals and 55 draw controls are single-season records for the Irish.
One of five finalists for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy that will be awarded on May 28, Byers was a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection for the fourth consecutive season and was the BIG EAST co-attack player of the year. She has been selected as a second team IWLCA All-American in each of her first three seasons with those honors to be announced later this month.
For her career, Byers is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in games played (76), goals (262), points (336) and draw controls (154). She is the BIG EAST’s all-time leader in single-season goals (31 in 2009) and career goals with 78. Her 42 points this season are the second-highest single-season total and her 101 career points are the second-best total in BIG EAST history. During her senior season, Byers set the conference’s single-game point mark with 12 (seven goals and five assists) in an April 18 win over Connecticut.
On the national level, Byers’ 83 goals ranked second in the nation and her 111 points were third best. In NCAA history, she ranks sixth all-time in goals with 262 and 10th in career points with 336.
A press conference announcing the winner of the 2008-2009 Honda-Broderick Cup will be held at the Low Library, Columbia University, New York City June 22, 2009. The Cup will be presented to The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The Divisions II and III Athletes of the Year, as well as the recipients of the Inspiration Award and the Irv Grossman Award of Merit, will also be honored and will receive their awards at the press conference.