William Smith College senior Madeline Buckley was recently named one of the five finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup presented by Athletes for a Better World.
The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes from any sport-one intercollegiate and one professional-that best display character, teamwork, and citizenship, the attributes Athletes for a Better World deems central to transforming individuals, sport and society. The award establishes the recipients as athletes of excellence both on and off the field, role models both as performers and persons, the most important and distinctive honor athletes can achieve. The Wooden Cup is open to all college athletes, all divisions, all sports. For this reason, the Wooden Cup is regarded as the highest award in college sports.
The other four finalists are:
Zach Hyman, University of Michigan, Hockey
Maria Lanyi, Northeastern University, Soccer
Chris Tamasi, Amherst College, Football
Tiana Woolridge, Princeton University, Volleyball
The forward on the Heron soccer team has achieved a great deal on the pitch, but at the same time has devoted seemingly countless hours to making an impact on the lives of those around her. At the heart of her service is the passion for helping the youth.
Athletically, Buckley was a member of the 2013 William Smith soccer national championship squad. She ranks 10th on the all-time Heron list with 83 career points, is tied for 10th with 33 career goals and tied for 18th with 17 career assists. Buckley helped the Herons to four straight Liberty League regular season and tournament titles posting a 30-1-0 four-year conference record and a 73-7-6 overall record, notching the highest winning percentage by a William Smith soccer graduating class (.884). She played a key role in four trips to the NCAA tournament and a trip to the national semifinals in addition to the 2013 national championship.
Off the field, Buckley has made a difference in the lives of those around her in countless ways. She has been an avid supporter of the B+ Foundation. The organization honors the memory of Andrew McDonough, a 14-year old athlete and ‘A’ student from Wilmington, Delaware, Buckley’s hometown. Since high school, Buckley has raised over $4,000 for the foundation. She has conducted fundraisers for B+ as a William Smith student on campus, has raised awareness through her team wearing B+ shirts to warm up during the season and she is currently planning a B+ Thon for spring of 2015.
Buckley was also William Smith soccer’s team ambassador with Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illness. The Herons had Courtney Wagner, a high school student from the Canandaigua area, join their team in the spring of 2012. Since then, Buckley has gone above and beyond in her relationship with Courtney. She speaks with Courtney every week. She visits her at home and organizes trips and rides for the William Smith soccer team to watch her soccer games. Buckley has organized outings with Courtney’s siblings such as taking them to the movies and even helped the family raise money for Christmas presents this year.
Buckley served as a summer volunteer at Golisano Children’s Hospital this summer. She has been a member of the HWS Leads Certificate Program and will graduate with a certificate of leadership. Buckley has also worked tirelessly for the Youth Leadership College which involves more than 30 HWS students working with elementary school students in the Geneva community. She also dedicates a great deal of her time to a program called Geneva Heroes, an eight-week service and leadership program for 40-45 local middle and high school students created and run by HWS students. The leaders and students work on team-building, leadership skills and service activities every Saturday of the spring semester.
Buckley is also a three-year member of the William Smith Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and serves as the Heron Society Board of Directors Student Representative. She’s a critical studies major with a minor in education and a three-time Liberty League All-Academic Team selection, as well as a two-time CoSIDA Captial One Academic All-District first team honoree.
Buckley is the second student-athlete from the Colleges to be named a finalist for the award. Hobart hockey’s Ryan Adler ’09 was named a finalist in 2009. This year four of the finalists will receive a $1000 scholarship for their school. The Wooden Cup recipient’s school will receive a $2,000 scholarship for four years. All five finalists will also receive $1,000 to be donated to the charity of their choice. All finalists will attend a banquet in the spring and will be recognized and honored along with a representative of their school. The 2014 college and professional recipients will be honored at the end of the banquet.