The William Smith Department of Athletics honored the top student-athletes of the 2011-12 school year at the annual William Smith Awards Banquet this evening. Senior field hockey All-American Kiersten Hamilton received the Winn-Seeley Award for her achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics, while senior soccer All-American Amanda Davis was presented with the Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award for accomplishments that made a significant impact on the team.
A two-time all-region honoree and three-time All-Liberty League selection, Hamilton finished her senior season tied for second on the team with nine goals and third with five assists for 23 points. A starter in all 22 games this year, Hamilton was at her best during conference play, leading the league in game-winning goals (3) and ranking second in points (11) and goals (5). She scored a season-high five points (2g, 1a) in a 5-0 win over Manhattanville and notched two of the Herons’ three goals in a shutout of Union. Hamilton led the Herons to a 16-5 overall record. William Smith earned an at-large bid to its 19th NCAA tournament, beating Washington & Jefferson 2-0 in the first round before falling to third-ranked and eventual national champion TCNJ 1-0.
In 74 career games, Hamilton recorded 29 goals and 21 assists for 79 points. She finished her collegiate career 11th in assists, 13th in points and 15th in goals. Hamilton is a leader on and off the field. She serves as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, the student representative to the Heron Society Board and a student representative to the Stewardson Society. The NHFCA Senior All-Star and ECAC Mid-Atlantic All-Star selection has also excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic Team for the last three years in a row and was named to the NFHCA All-Academic squad for four straight years.
Hamilton also shared the field hockey team’s Charles P. Boswell ’50 Award.
A four-time all-region first team and four-time All-Liberty League selection, Davis finished the 2011 season first in Division III with a 0.140 goals against average. The 2011 D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year and Liberty League Player of the Year also ranked fifth in the nation in save percentage (.912). Davis broke the William Smith season records for wins (20) and GAA. Her 13 shutouts are two shy of the Heron season mark. She allowed just a single goal during the regular season and yielded only three the entire year, leading the Herons to the national semifinals with a 20-1-1 record.
Davis played in 86 career matches and is tied with Heron Hall of Honor inductee Leah Cornell ’02 for the most career wins (61). She ranks second in career shutouts (44), third in career save percentage (.878), third in career GAA (0.40), and fourth in career saves (245).
The Cynthia Oyler ’93 Award is presented to the senior who will be continuing her education at the postgraduate level within the year and displays outstanding athletic abilities, excellent academic records and exemplary leadership. This year, the award was presented to senior soccer defender Alyse DiCenzo. The three-time All-Liberty League selection, anchored the Heron defense that boasted a 0.12 goals against average this season. Dicenzo earned NSCAA All-East second team honors for the first time in 2011. The Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year was also recognized for her smothering defensive prowess with the Liberty League Tournament MVP Award. DiCenzo contributed to the offense during the Herons’ 2-1 NCAA third round win over No. 17 Middlebury, earning an assist on the first goal of the game.
DiCenzo has excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America first team. She has been named to the Dean’s List five times and is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection. The three-year starter notched two goals and an assist in 86 career matches, playing a role in 61 shutouts. A biochemistry major, DiCenzo will attend Penn State medical school in the fall.
The Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award was presented to seniors Kristen Kush and Rosie Scheibel for participation, leadership and off-field endeavors that supported the advancement of William Smith Athletics.
An attacker on the lacrosse team, Scheibel leads the Herons with 35 goals and shares the team lead with 45 points this spring. She has added 16 ground balls, five draws and five caused turnovers. Scheibel posted a season-high seven points on six goals and an assist in an 18-12 win over Clarkson. In 56 career games, Scheibel has registered 119 goals and 23 assists for 142 points.
A double major in international relations and Latin American studies and a minor in Spanish and Hispanic studies, Scheibel has earned a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic team for the last three years in a row. She has been on the Dean’s List for all eight semesters. Off the field, Scheibel volunteers for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, American Reads, Happiness House and Wayne County Secondary School. She is the Program Director of the Geneva Heroes Program and the Co-Founder and Coordinator for Chicas Valientes, an exchange program for college-athletes to coach children in Nicaragua. Scheibel also is the civic leader for the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
A forward on the basketball team and three-time All-Liberty League selection, Kush’s career numbers rank among the best in Heron history: field goals made (7th, 495), field goals attempted (7th, 1,079), field goal percentage (8th, .459), scoring average (9th, 12.6 ppg), total points (12th, 1,163) , total rebounds (12th, 529), free throws made (13th, 172), and free throws attempted (13th, 259).
A chemistry major with a double minor in psychology and health professions, Kush has earned a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic team for the past three years in a row. A 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-American, Kush has been named to the Dean’s List, is a member of the Laurel Society and Hai Timiai and has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Off the field, Kush is a chemistry teaching fellow, a member of the brass ensemble and a co-leader and member of the Christian Fellowship Group. Kush participated in the HWS Leadership Institute and coordinates and volunteers for after school youth programs at St. Peter’s Church. With her teammates, she has also taught basketball at local elementary and middles schools and ran a clinic for the Ontario ARC Special Olympics. Next year, Kush will enter the Team for America program.
Kush also received the Joseph N. Abraham Award for persevering through injury. After producing 494 points (4th on the Heron single season list) as a junior, she was poised to ascend into the top 5 in career points. Unfortunately, Kush suffered a knee injury on the first day of the fall semester. She then was faced with the decision to have surgery and miss her senior season or attempt to play through the injury. Kush dedicated herself to daily rehab sessions from September through her first game back in January. She played all 16 conference games, starting 14. She averaged 9.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Kush notched a pair of double-doubles, including 11 points and a season-high 14 rebounds in the regular season finale at Vassar. Kush also received the Maria Vespa ’08 Basketball Award.
Senior soccer defender Jessie Tarantino was honored with the Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Award for her consistent commitment to the pursuit of excellence both in athletics and the classroom. It’s the second year in a row that she has received the honor. The economics and mathematics double major, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, has been named to the Dean’s List five times and is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection. Tarantino earned the 2011 Elite 89 Award, as the student-athlete at the NCAA Championship with the highest cumulative grade point average and also earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-America first team.
On the field, Tarantino started all 22 matches this season. She scored the game-winning goal in the Liberty League Championship which earned her all-tournament honors. Tarantino garnered a spot on the NSCAA All-East second team and earned All-Liberty League second team recognition. One of the most aggressive defenders in the nation, Tarantino played her way onto the NCAA All-Tournament Team as the Heron defense gave up just two goals in five matches. In 84 career matches, she logged five goals and two assists.
The Susan Bassett Award went to junior swimmer Casey Sherwin for excellence in academics, athletics and leadership. The biology major is a two-time Liberty League and Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association All-Academic Team selection. Sherwin holds school records in the 200 medley relay and the 400 medley relay and currently ranks second in school history in both the 50 and 100 backstroke. She was named to Hai Timiai, is a member of the Laurel Society and has been named to the Dean’s List every semester.
In addition, Sherwin volunteers as a Special Olympics Coach for the Geneva Gators and sought out training to become a nationally certified Special Olympics Coaching Staff member. She is a member of William Smith Congress and has served on the Campus Services Committee. Sherwin has participated in the Day of Service every year and has volunteered at the Festival of Nations.
Senior rower Claire Brown was presented with the Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award for meeting and overcoming personal challenges. A two-time member of the Rowing Program’s NCAA travel squad, Head of the Charles, and NYS medalist, and Liberty League Champion, Brown has been an empathetic leader on the Heron rowing team since her arrival at William Smith four years ago.
Junior runner Emily D’Addario was presented with the Hazel Nettleship Hardy ’65 Award, which is given to the student in her middle years who has contributed to the growth of Heron athletics and is an excellent representative of William Smith Athletics. The former Heron soccer player had never run cross country at any level before this season, and was voted the 2011 Liberty League Women’s Cross Country Rookie of the Year. D’Addario began her career by winning the season-opening SUNYIT Wildcat Invitational with a course record time of 19:25.0. D’Addario posted four additional victories during the season, earned all-conference honors with a second place finish at the Liberty League Championship, and garnered all-region honors after a seventh place finish at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship. She became just the second Heron to run at the NCAA Championship, and led the William Smith across the finish line in all 11 races this season. D’Addario also garnered the Sharon Peckham Best ’62 Most Valuable Cross Country Award.
First-year forward Dineo Mmutla was given Stephanie Christie Award as William Smith’s Rookie of the Year. She led the Heron soccer team with 28 points on a team-high 12 goals and four assists. A starter in all 21 games she played in, Mmutla was selected the Liberty League Rookie of the Year and garnered the league Rookie of the Week award six times. She earned a spot on the all-conference first team and was named to the NSCAA All-East second team. Mmutla was also selected to the Liberty League All-Tournament team. She notched six game-winning goals this year, including the lone goal in 1-0 wins over RIT, Nazareth and Wheaton.
Every year, the Dean’s Award goes to the William Smith team with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year, the cross country squad was honored after earning a cumulative GPA of 3.53, marking the fourth time in the past seven years that the harriers have won the award. The soccer team posted the second highest fall GPA with a 3.40, and the tennis team was next with a 3.35. With 240 William Smith student-athletes, the fall average GPA was 3.3, and 72 percent of Heron student-athletes held a 3.0 or higher fall GPA.
In addition to these department awards, each team gave two individual awards, while members of the Class of 2012 were presented with a Heron ring.