Dec. 13, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Santa Clara University senior midfielder Leslie Osborne has been named one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award for women's soccer, announced today by the Honda Awards program. The winner will be announced next Wednesday, Dec. 22. In addition to the honor of this selection, the Honda Awards Program will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic fund for each university. The winner's university will receive $5,000.
Osborne is the only senior of the four nominees. Joining her is North Carolina's Heather O'Reilly, Portland's Christine Sinclair and Penn State's Tiffany Weimer. 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalists Brandi Chastain (1990-91) and Aly Wagner (2001-02) are former Bronco standouts that have also received this honor.
The Honda Awards Program is in its 28th year and recognizes the top woman collegiate athlete in each of 12 sports. The trophy was established in 1977 by Thomas Broderick, founder and owner of a sports apparel company that bears his name. Honda took over sponsorship in 1987.
The honoree for the women's soccer collegiate player of the year will become an automatic nominee for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is awarded annually to the national's outstanding collegiate woman athlete of the year through all NCAA competition, as chosen by a panel of college athletic directors. That winner will be announced in June 2005 at the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Banquet, which will be held in Dallas during the NACDA convention.
A senior midfielder from Menomonee Falls, Wis., Osborne was the Broncos' leader this past season. She was named the West Coast Conference's Defender of the Year, becoming the first player in league history to be selected as both the Player of the Year (which she accomplished in 2003) and Defender of the Year. She led the 16th-seeded Broncos to the program's 10th overall semifinal appearance, and was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team. A four-time All-WCC first team honoree, Osborne was also a semifinalist for the 2004 MAC Hermann Trophy.
A team captain, Osborne was one of three players that started all 25 contests. A holding midfielder, she netted nine goals and one assist for 19 points this past season. She converted all three penalty kick attempts and led the team with five game-winning goals. She played the last eight weeks of the season with two torn ligaments in her right ankle, but persevered, scoring the game-winner against California in the opening round of the NCAA Championship, and helped advance her team to the College Cup with a goal in the quarterfinal against Illinois.