In the May 27 issue, which comes out on May 22, the magazine will name one male and one female winner, chosen through online fan voting, who excel on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Thornton has already racked up a number of awards in her career, including conference and national Player of the Year in 2012, National Defender of the Year in 2011, four years on an all-ALC team, and three (so far) IWLCA All-America honors.
The midfielder holds the NU single-season record for ground balls, accomplished in 2012. She is also seventh on the NU all-time draw controls list, third in ground balls and third in caused turnovers.
This season, Thornton has recorded 24 goals and 36 draw controls. She leads the team in both ground balls with 38 and caused turnovers with 24.
Not only has the Dallas, Texas native never missed a game, she has started all 87 contests in her four years at NU.
The other nominees include Baylor basketball player Brittney Griner, Oregon volleyball and basketball player Liz Brenner, LSU track athlete Kimberlyn Duncan and North Carolina field hockey play Loren Shealy.
Thornton and the Cats begin their quest for an eighth national title this Sunday against the winner of the Stanford-Notre Dame matchup.