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Four Sorensen Finalists Named

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Four Sorensen Finalists Named

Ilona Maher is one of four Sorensen finalists. Donna Doherty photo.

The finalists for the 2016-17 MA Sorensen Award have been named, as the search for the top women's DI-level college rugby player is now down to four.

A panel of coaches, USA Rugby representatives, and media selected the nominees, and the college rugby public was then asked to vote for the finalists. The MA Sorensen Award is named after former Women's Rugby World Cup-winning prop and successful coach and medical doctor Maryanne Sorensen. It is given to the top women's college rugby player in the country, and is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash. 

The award will be presented at a gala event Saturday, June 10 at the WAC in Seattle. Last year, the Sorensen and Scholz Awards were not only a massive success (Sorensen, Scholz Awards Given in Gala Event), but the event itself won an award (College Rugby Awards Get Award of Their Own). Penn State prop Hope Rogers won the inaugural Sorensen Award in 2016.

For this year's Sorensen Award, the panel will once again choose the winner from among the finalists. As for those finalists - the voters have spoken, and here are the four players selected:


Francesca Sands. A junior center from Dartmouth, Sands is a supremely dangerous attacking threat for the Ivy League team. (Photo courtesy Dartmouth Rugby) Frankie Sands, Dartmouth, 2017 Sorensen Finalists
Danielle Walko Siua. The shifty, diminutive Notre Dame College scrumhalf/center/wing is almost impossible to catch and harder to pin down. She has been at the center of Notre Dame College's success.  Danielle Siua, Notre Dame College, 2017 Sorensen Finalists
Sydnee Watanabe. The hard-charging center from UC Davis helped lead the Aggies to a national title last season, and she has stepped up her game this year in the quest for a repeat. (Photo courtesy US Davis Rugby) Sydnee Watanabe, UC Davis, 2017 Sorensen Finalists
Ilona Maher. An imposing presence in the midfield for NIRA Champs Quinnipiac, Maher is a big, steamrolling center. (Photo Donna Doherty.)  Ilona Maher, Quinnipiac, 2017 Sorensen Finalists