ROSEMONT, Ill. -- University of Maryland lacrosse student Zoe Stukenberg and Penn State University soccer student Raquel Rodriguez have been selected as the Big Ten Conference nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
The pair are among 145 candidates across all three NCAA divisions (including 58 NCAA Division I students) nominated for this year's honor, which has been presented annually since 1991 and recognizes the nation's top senior female student-athlete who has excelled in the award's four pillars of academics, athletics, service and leadership. University of Nebraska volleyball standout Billie Winsett-Fletcher is the only student from a current Big Ten school to have been chosen as NCAA Woman of the Year, receiving the award in 1996.
Stukenberg graduated from Maryland in May with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average and her bachelor's degree in biological sciences. She is the reigning Tewaaraton Award and Honda Sports Award recipient, having earned college lacrosse's highest honors in May after helping lead the Terrapins to a 23-0 record this past season and their 14th NCAA title (third in four years). A native of Ellicott City, Maryland, Stukenberg was also a 2017 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, a three-time NCAA Elite 90 Award selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree during her college career.
Rodriguez earned her degree in recreation, park and tourism management from Penn State last year after helping the Nittany Lions to their first national championship in 2015 by scoring the winning goal in the NCAA Women's College Cup title game against Duke. The San Jose, Costa Rica, resident received the 2015 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy and the Honda Sports Award, in addition to being chosen the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the 2015 NCAA Women's College Cup. She was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a four-time all-Big Ten honoree while at Penn State.
The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, comprised of representatives from NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees -- 10 from each NCAA division -- for this year's award. From the top 30, the committee will then determine the top three honorees in each division, with those nine finalists revealed in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will ultimately select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year recipient from those nine finalists, with the top 30 honorees recognized and the award winner announced at a ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The complete NCAA release and full list of conference nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award can be found by CLICKING HERE.