CHAPEL HILL- Two Tar Heel athletes recently became recipients of the most prestigious athletic award that UNC presents.
Kara Cannizzarro of this year’s national championship women’s lacrosse team and Jonathan Cooper of the football team were announced Friday as winners of the Patterson Medal. The award has been presented annually since 1924 in memory of John Durand Patterson of the UNC class of 1908. It’s given to Tar Heel athletes who demonstrate outstanding accomplishment on the field along with sportsmanship and leadership qualities.
The senior midfielder Cannizzaro earned MVP honors at this year’s NCAA Tournament, where she scored four goals and two assists in the triple-overtime title game against top-ranked Maryland. During her time in the Tar Heel uniform, she scored 157 goals and 46 assists, including 61 goals and 22 assists in her senior year alone.
Meanwhile, Cooper, a senior offensive guard, tallied 10 or more knockdown blocks in nine different games in 2012. This isn’t his first recent recognition; he earned first-team All-America honors last season and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is given to the ACC’s top offensive lineman. Cooper was also a finalist last season for the Outland Trophy, which is presented each year to the best interior lineman in the nation.
Next season, Cooper will play for the Arizona Cardinals after going as the seventh pick in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.
Cooper and Cannizzarro will formally receive their medals during next school year on dates still to be determined.