Sunday, May 8, 2005
Eastern student-athletes representing all 17 of the department's intercollegiate programs were honored for excellence both in the classroom and on the athletic fields this evening at the annual Athletic Awards Banquet in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center.
Eight individuals were honored by receiving one of the six major awards -- the Bonnie J. Edmondson Female SportsPerson-of-the-Year, Francis E. Geissler Male SportsPerson-of-the-Year, Male and Female Athlete-of-the-Year and Male and Female Rookie-of-the-Year. Edmondson and Geissler were in attendance to present their awards.
The women's soccer program was recognized for
having the highest overall team GPA.
In addition, 20 junior and senior student-athletes were honored with an ECSU/E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award and 35 were recognized as four-year athletes, 23 of whom received an official Eastern watch as four-year varsity letterwinners.
Additional awards were presented to the women's soccer team for compiling the highest overall GPA during the year and to senior Jen Ferrari (pictured at right), who received the Morrell Service Award for her contributions as a student-worker in the athletic department. The award is named in honor of Morrell brothers John, Tim, Brian and Patrick, who served the athletic department as undergraduates.
BONNIE J. EDMONDSON
SENIOR FEMALE SPORTSPERSON-OF-THE-YEAR
Named in honor of the former Eastern All-America Track & Field athlete and Eastern Hall of Famer, who went on to win the Mobil/USA national championship in the hammer and was an alternate on the US Olympic Team.
Recipients Julie Motolo (third from left) and Jessica Leifert (second from right) with head swimming coach Maureen Fahey, Bonnie Edmondson and head volleyball coach Jolie Ward.
Jessica Leifert Volleyball
Leifert was a four-year member of the volleyball program, two-time team captain, two-time all-conference selection and two-time team MVP and was also a selection to the New England Senior Classic this past fall. She left the program ranked first all-time in digs, second in games played and total attacks and among the all-time Top 10 in numerous other categories.
According to head volleyball coach Jolie Ward, “Jess is the ultimate leader and role model who has contributed to Eastern in many ways. A spirited player, Jess was a vocal leader who never gave up. She served as a driving force to her teammates and the people around her. Jess truly defines what characteristics a true Division III student-athlete possesses: determination, strong work ethic, love for the game, and desire to succeed in all areas of her life. Her fellow teammates have complete admiration and respect for Jess, who will truly be missed.”
Off the court, she has been a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and has worked as an intramural referee.
Leifert will graduate this month with a degree in Communication with a minor in Sports and Leisure Management.
Julie Motolo Swimming
Motolo was a four-year member of the swimming program, two-time team captain, all-Little East Conference and All-New England achiever. At this year’s New England meet, she was second in the both the 50 yard freestyle and 50 yard butterfly and sixth in the 100 yard butterfly. Among competitors at this year’s New England meet, she finished with the second-highest career point total. She is a two-time Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award recipient who has made Dean’s List in each of her eight semesters, a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and recipient of several scholarships and numerous additional awards.
According to head swimming coach Maureen Fahey, “Julie has exhibited model leadership over the past four years as a leader both in and out of the pool. She routinely makes herself available to help her teammates by providing guidance to many of the underclassmen, providing academic advice and support and counseling. From the moment that she arrived at Eastern, she has been an eager and quick learner.”
Motolo will graduate this month with a degree in Graphic Design.
FRANCIS E. GEISSLER
SENIOR MALE SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
Named in honor of the former Eastern coach, athletic director and administrator and Eastern Hall of Famer.
Andrew Bessette with Francis Geissler
Andrew Bessette Soccer/Track and Field
s accomplishments as a student and athlete over the last four years speak for themselves. Athletically, he was a three-year member of the soccer program and a senior captain, and a four-year member of the indoor and outdoor track and field programs. In outdoor track, he was a four-time all-New England Alliance and all-conference achiever in the javelin and also an all-alliance honoree in the hammer. He is also the only individual to contribute to Eastern’s Little East Conference Outdoor Track and Field championships each of the past four years.
Off the field, Bessette has excelled to the highest degree. He currently serves as the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and has spent the last year developing a comprehensive student-athlete handbook.
Head track and field coach Frank Poulin characterizes Bessette as “not only a tireless worker, but an inspirational leader. His presence is always felt both on and off the field of competition. His work ethic and dedication is a model for others to emulate. “
Bessette will graduate this month with a degree in Sport and Leisure Management and a minor in Communication.
Mo Deegan Sr. Lacrosse/Field Hockey
Deegan was a four-year starter in both lacrosse and field hockey and leaves both programs as their all-time career leaders in goals, assists and points and as a four-time all-conference selection in both sports. She led the field hockey team to the ECAC tournament as a freshman, and the lacrosse team to three straight ECAC tournaments – including
Mo Deegan with head coach Kathy Railey
the 2002 championship. This weekend, she had nine goals and five assists to help lead the team to its first Little East Conference championship, and with it, its first bid to the NCAA tournament.
Deegan is a two-time all-region selection in field hockey and was also named to the prestigious North-South Senior All-Star Game last fall. In lacrosse thisyear, she has been nominated for both the all-region team and to the North-South Senior All-Star Game. She is a leading candidate as this year’s Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year.
In lacrosse this year, she became the first player in program history to record as many as 100 points. She currently has 64 goals and a season-record 40 assists heading into the NCAA tournament.
Ryan DiPietro Jr. Baseball
Coming off the greatest pitching season in 30 years as a sophomore, DiPietro has put up impressive numbers for the third straight season as a junior. Heading into the Little East Conference tournament, DiPietro leads the team with seven wins in eight decisions and leads all starters with a 1 point 78 ERA. He also leads the Little East Conference with 77 strikeouts and has allowedonly 41 hits in a team-leading 60 innings pitched. This year, he became the only pitcher in program history to be part of two no-hitters. Against Westfield State, he pitched a perfect game for 7 innings and shared a no-hitter in a 7-0 win. A week ago, he pitched a no-hitter in a six-inning win over Rhode Island College. This year, he also became only the second pitcher in program history with as many as 300 strikeouts and already ranks in a tie for 4th all-time with 28 career wins.
David Nicholson Jr. Indoor/Outdoor Track
Nicholson is one of the premier sprinters at any level in New England. During the indoor season, he was undefeated in regular-season competition at 400 meters, won New England Alliance and Little East Conference championships at both 400 and 200 meters and finished second and third, respectively, in those events to earn All-New England honors at the New England Division David Nicholson with head coach Frank Poulin
III championships. He was also a member of the All-New England 4x400 meter relay team which placed sixth at the New England Division III meet. At 400 meters, Nicholson also finished sixth in the New England Open against Division I,II and III competitors and qualified provisionally for the NCAADivision III national meet. He additionally earned All-ECAC honors by placing eighth at 400 meters and as a member of the 4x200 relay team which finished second in that competition.
At the New England Outdoor Track and Field meet last week, Nicholson finished third at 400 meters and was also named All-New England as the anchor on the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays which placed sixth and eighth, respectively. At the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Outdoor Championship, he was named either all-conference or all-alliance a total of eight times. He won the 400 meter dash in both conference and alliancescoring for the second straight year, anchored the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relays and placed second at 200 meters. This year, Nicholson has also qualified for the upcoming New England Open and ECAC Division III meet at both 200 and 400 meters.
Sarah Barber Fr. Swimming
In her first season, Barber won New England championships in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events – setting Bentley College pool records and Eastern records in each. In the meet, she totalled 78 points – the most of any swimmer in the meet. After becoming only the second Eastern swimmer ever to qualify for the ECAC Open Meet at the University of Pittsburgh – she qualified in
three events -- Barber
Sarah Barber with head coach Maureen Fahey
became the first swimmer in program history to place at the championship when he finished 15th in the 1,650 yard freestyle. In her first Little East Conference championship meet in December, she became the first Eastern swimmer to win an individual title when she captured gold in the 500, 1,000 and 400 individual medley. In the meet, she was named all-conference in all four of the events in which she competed. During the year, Barber also qualified provisionally for the NCAA national championship meet. During the season, she broke six Eastern individual records a total of 20 times in the freestyle and individual medley and was also a part of two record-setting relays. As only a freshman, she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Jay Barney Fr. Soccer
Barney was a key reason why the Warriors qualified for the four-team Little East Conference playoffs for the first time in three years. As the team’s goalkeeper, Barney was named Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Year – the only true freshman to earn that honor in program history – and was also named to the All-conference second team. Jay Barney (center) with head coach Frantz Innocent ( right) and assistant coach Byron Brown.
Twice during the year, he was named conferenceRookie-of-the-Week and
once was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week. On the first weekend of his career, he was named to the all-tournament team at the New Jersey City University Invitational after making 13 saves against regionally-ranked New Jersey City University in an overtime loss. On the season, he started 19 of the team’s 20 games, with eight shutouts, a 1.10 goals-against average and an .832 save percentage. As only a freshman, he was first in the Little East Conference in save percentage and shutouts and third in goals-against average.
(Presented to juniors and seniors who have participated in athletics for at least three years and who have compiled the minimum overall GPA.)
Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award
(cumulative 3.50+ GPA)
Lorelei Durrell, Field Hockey
Katie Kline, Women’s Basketball
Sarah McDonald, Women’s Basketball
Julie Motolo, Women’s Swimming
Brooke Nici, Softball
Carl Segura, Men’s Soccer
Aniko Szabo, Women’s Track & Field
(cumulative 3.15-3.49 GPA)
Jen Ferrari, Women’s Soccer
Annmarie Fillian, Women’s Soccer
Jillian Gardner, Women’s Lacrosse
Marc Garofalo, Baseball
Brian Hebron, Men’s Lacrosse
Kristen McDonald, Track & Field
David Pavia, Track & Field
Jason Pekrul, Baseball
Allie Pinault, Women’s Swimming
Allison Sumecki, Women’s Socce
Laura Tignonsini, Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field
Tracey Udas, Track & Field
Megan Williamson, Women’s Soccer
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