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Pfeiffer is DI Female Athlete of Year

BY JEFF PAWOLA | MAY 13, 2009 7:29 AM

As if she did not have enough honors and recognition, senior field hockey player Lauren Pfeiffer adds another award to her proverbial trophy case, being named the Female Athlete of the Year by The Daily Iowan.

The Mount Laurel, N.J., native was the catalyst in advancing the Iowa field-hockey team to its first Final Four since 1999 and claiming its third-consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship.

“I guess as a team, we knew we could really do well this year,” Pfeiffer said. “For me, I felt my confidence was really high going into the season, and that made me really well prepared.”

Prepared is an understatement. She held team highs in points with 44, goals with 20 — moving her into ninth place on Iowa’s all-time goal list with 53 — and shots with 129. The goals and shots ranked first in the Big Ten, while the 44 points were the second most in the Big Ten, and the most by a Hawkeye since 1999.

“[Pfeiffer] is so deserving … she could be up for probably any award. Whether it’s an academic award, athletics award, leadership award, anything. She’s just so well-rounded and a high quality person,” Iowa head coach Tracey Griesbaum said. “She’s a player who motivates me to want to come to work and work harder for her.”

Pfeiffer’s most notable recognition was her nomination as a Honda Sports Award Finalist. The Honda Sports Award is given out to the nation’s best field-hockey player, and each year four players are selected as finalists — comparable with football’s Heisman Trophy.

“I really don’t pay attention to awards, but I felt very honored,” Pfeiffer said. “Especially seeing the history of players recognized by the award, I was just shocked. I wasn’t prepared for that.”

She also claimed pretty much every other recognition prior to becoming a Honda Sports Award Finalist, including the Big Ten Tournament MVP, recognized as a first team All-American by NFHCA, first team All-Big Ten, played in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association senior All-Star game, was a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team and was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week.

In addition to the awards, some of Pfeiffer’s season highlights include scoring four game-winning goals, two of which occurred in overtimes during the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. The first came in the semifinals against No. 10 Michigan State and then in the championship game against No. 17 Ohio State.

“[Pfeiffer] was awesome this year. She’s been awesome the three years I’ve been here,” junior Tricia Dean said. “She’s definitely really dedicated to the sport, and she was a great leader on and off the field. So I think she’s deserving.”

Pfeiffer is atop an impressive list of qualified Hawkeyes who were in contention for this year’s honor, which included fifth-year senior and cross country runner Racheal Marchand, who finished fifth in the NCAA cross-country championships, and senior softball pitcher Brittany Weil, who set numerous Iowa softball pitching records this spring.

“[The Daily Iowan Female Athlete of the Year award is] something I would have never have expected. The university has so many amazing athletes,” Pfeiffer said. “There are so many great athletes at all the different teams, so it is really a great honor.”


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