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NOTE: I posted this news item last January (2003) and later accidentally deleted the thread. It's interesting enough that I am reposting it now. Sorry if you've seen it already. - Jeff

(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Top 50 Female Athletes were announced Tuesday by Commissioner John D. Swofford. The 50-member team was voted on by a 120-member blue-ribbon committee that was selected by the league’s 50th Anniversary Committee.

"These women are more than just outstanding former student-athletes, they are pioneers for women's athletics as a result of their exceptional and varied accomplishments both professionally and athletically." said Swofford. "These women established a level of excellence and achievement, both nationally and internationally, that will serve as a standard for all future women athletes in the ACC."


Among the 50 athletes are 8 soccer players. In alphabetical order, they are:

Lorrie Fair, North Carolina (1996-1999)
Second-team All-American in 1996 and first-team in 1997, 1998 and 1999 ... Named the National Defender of the Year in 1998 and National Player of the Year in 1999 ... She received the Soccer Honda Award from 1995-96.

Mia Hamm, North Carolina (1989-90, 92-93)
Arguably, the greatest women’s soccer player in the world … Played on NCAA championship teams in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993 … Missed the 1991 season while helping U.S. win the first Women’s World Cup … Led four Tar Heel teams to a combined 92-1-2 record … Unanimous National Player of Year in 1992 and 1993 and ACC Player of Year in ‘90-92-93 … Led the nation in scoring in 1990-92-93 … Set NCAA season scoring record in ’92 with 97 points … Holds NCAA Tournament career and single-game records for goals, assists and points … Has starred on U.S. National and Olympic Teams throughout her career … Has scored more international goals than any player in history, male or female.

April Heinrichs, North Carolina (1983-1986)
Third-team All-American in 1983 and first-team in 1984, 1985 and 1986 ... National Player of the Year in 1984 and 1986 ... All-NCAA Tournament team from 1983-1986 ... NCAA Tournament Overall MVP in 1984 and the Offensive MVP in 1985 and 1986.

Shannon Higgins, North Carolina (1986-1989)
First-team All-American in 1988 and 1989 ... National Player of the Year in both 1988 & 1989 ... Won the Honda Award in 1989 ... All-NCAA Tournament team in 1987, 1988 & 1989, winning Offensive MVP honors in 1988.

:heart:Charmaine Hooper,:heart: NC State (1987-1990)
All American (1989,1990) … All-NCAA Final Four (1988) … All-ACC (1988,1989,1990) … NC State’s all time leader in goals (58, ninth in ACC history) and points (145, eighth in ACC history) … NC State single season records and led the ACC with 26 goals and 57 points in 1989 … H.C. Kennett Award in 1991 (NC State’s outstanding female athlete) … Canadian National Team (1987-present) ... Canadian Player of the Year 1995 … 1999 World Cup (Canada) … MVP of World All-Star Game in 1999 … Norway professional league (1993): Team MVP and Golden Boot runner up … Japanese professional J-league (1994-1997): Golden Boot Award for High-scorer (1994, 1995) Runner-up (1996,1997) League MVP (1995) League All-Star (1994,1996, 1997)… Chicago Cobras USWISL League (1998-2000) (2000 League Champions) … Atlanta Beat WUSA League (2001).

Kristine Lilly, North Carolina (1989-1992)
National Player of the Year in 1990 and ’91 … One of just two players in soccer history to be a four-time first-team All-American … 1991 ACC Player of Year … Played on UNC teams that won NCAA titles in 1989-90-91-92 with combined 93-1-1 record … Second to Mia Hamm in ACC career goals … Has been star at midfield on U.S. National and Olympic Teams throughout her career … Made biggest play in 1999 World Cup finals against China with overtime save at empty U.S. goal … Has played in more international matches than any American in history, male or female.

Cindy Parlow, North Carolina (1995-1998)
First-team All-American in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 ... National Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1998, winning the Hermann Trophy and the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation award in both 1997 and 1998.

Tisha Venturini, North Carolina (1991-1994)
Unanimous selection as 1994 National Player of Year … She and Kristine Lilly are the only players in women’s soccer history to be four-time first-team All-Americas … ACC Tournament MVP in 1991-93-94 … Named to NCAA All-Tournament team four straight times … Led nation in scoring as a freshman … Played on four NCAA championship teams which had overall record of 97-1-1 … Member of U.S. National and Olympic Teams in 1990s … Tied for USA scoring lead in ’95 World Cup.
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