May 29, 2009

Seibald, Nielsen Win Tewaaraton Awards

from staff reports

Cornell's Max Seibald and Northwestern's Hannah Nielsen were named the winners of the 2009 Tewaaraton Awards on Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

Seibald, a senior from Hewlett, N.Y., helped Cornell reach the national championship game. Seibald has been named first-team All-American for the past three seasons, after earning a second-team selection as a freshman. Seibald is also the only men’s lacrosse player in the history of the Ivy League to be named a four-team first-team All-Ivy selection. He has racked up 141 career points, the most ever by a Big Red midfielder, and has proven to be one of the most consistent players in the country, having registered at least one point in 59 of his 62 career games. Seibald capped his senior season by ranking second on the team with 28 goals and third overall with 38 points.

“Winning the Tewaaraton Trophy is an absolute honor, and it tops off the best four years of my life as a member of the Cornell lacrosse team,” said Seibald. “It is a gratifying feeling to work so hard to reach a goal, and then accomplish it, and winning this today is so amazing because I have worked so hard everyday to be the best player I could be. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for pushing me and making me the player I am, and setting me up for success. It has been an unbelievable ride, and although it is no national championship trophy, to me this is the next best thing.”

In addition to the Tewaaraton, Seibald was named the winner of the Diane Geppi-Aikens Scholarship, presented by CSTV in recognition of his oustanding commitment to community service. The award was presented to Seibald and a $5,000 donation will be made in his name to the Dream Factory of Central New York.

The awards are the latest in a long list for Seibald, who was recently named the winner of both the USILA Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award, for the Outstanding DI Player of the Year, as well as the USILA Lt. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award, for the Outstanding Midfielder of the Year. He was also selected as the Lowe’s Senior Class Award winner for his achievements in the classroom, in the community and on the playing field.

Nielsen, a senior from Adelaide, Australia, won the award for the second consecutive season, and her selection marked the fourth straight year that a Northwestern player won the award. Northwestern's Kristen Kjellman won the award in 2006 and 2007.

Nielsen played a vital role in helping Northwestern to a 23-0 record in 2009 and its fifth-straight national championship. She finishes her four years in Evanston as the Wildcats' all-time leader in points (398) after becoming the NCAA Division I all-time assist leader with 224. She also ranks sixth in program history in goals (174) after tallying a career-best 59 this year.

She will go down as the top distributor in Division I history, as in addition to holding the all-time career assist record, Nielsen set the single-game record with 10 at Duquesne on Feb. 17, and also set a new season-best mark of 83, shattering her previous record of 69 in 2007. Her 16 assists during the 2009 Women's Lacrosse Championship is a new tournament-best, while her career 35 assists in the NCAA tournament is also tops all-time.

"Hannah has does everything for this team," said Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "More than ever she has taken the led for us this season. She is one of the most dominant players that I have seen and I can't think of a better way for her to top her career."

The two-time American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year and reigning IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Year, Nielsen led the nation in points with 142, the second-highest season total in NCAA history. Her 398 career points ranks third all-time in Division I history, behind only Jen Adams' 445 and Karen Emas' 420, and she recorded at least one point in her final 67 games in a Wildcat uniform.

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