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Finalists for 2024 MA Sorensen Award Named

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Finalists for 2024 MA Sorensen Award Named

The MA Sorensen and Rudy Scholz Awards are presented by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash.

The finalists for the 2024 MA Sorensen Award have been set.

After huge participation from the collegiate rugby public in voting, and with the MA Sorensen Award selection panel, here are the final four candidates.

All of the nominees had impressive season, but there can only be a small list of finalists and only one awardee—this is an enormously difficult award to win.

Votes from the collegiate rugby public (with votes from opposing coaches and opposing captains carrying extra weight) help create this list, with the Sorensen Award's panel of experts adding their votes, as well. The list of finalists has historically been a list of four or five players. If there is a close vote for two of the players the list of finalists has, in the past, been expanded to five. But, if that fifth finalist is from the same college as another finalists, it can be detrimental to both players' chances to win.

The MA Sorensen Award (pronounce both initials separately, M. A. Sorensen) is named after groundbreaking Williams & Mary and USA prop MaryAnne Sorensen, who played in three World Cup finals and followed up on that with a brilliant career as a medical doctor. MaryAnne has personally presented the Sorensen Trophy at every awards dinner at the Washington Athletic Club, which sponsors the award. The award celebration is held in June at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle, Wash. 

Here is the list of finalists:

Freda Tafuna, Lindenwood

The hard-hitting flanker for the Lions, Tafuna has already been capped by the USA and has proven that she can excel at that level, as well. Setting the physical tone in every game she plays, Tafuna is also a devastating runner and savvy in the breakdown. She has led Lindenwood to the D1 Elite final, which is this weekend. (Photo Todd Lunow)

Akila Cathey, Brown

Garnering the biggest college community support and torching NIRA for 11 tries, Cathey is a dangerous attacking force with a nice combination of power and pace. A product of the Memphis Inner-City Rugby program, Cathey is a central figure in the Brown attack. (Photo Brown Women's Rugby)

Tiahna Padilla, Harvard

One of the key decision-makers in the Harvard backline Padilla produced a unique combination of playmaking, defense, and game understanding to lead the Crimson to a NIRA championship. While Harvard boasted many talented players, it was Padilla who brought them all together and create an in environment for them all to shine. (Photo Harvard Women's Rugby)

Matilda Kocaj, Life University

A versatile and intelligent rugby player, Kocaj has led Life to a D1 Elite final, playing a hard- tenacious defense, scoring key tries, and also setting up her teammates throughout the season. (Photo Life University Women's Rugby.)