William Smith honors top student-athletes at annual awards banquet – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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William Smith honors top student-athletes at annual awards banquet

The William Smith Athletic Department honored the top student-athletes of 2014-15 at the annual Heron Awards Banquet Tuesday, April 21st. Senior soccer forward Madeline Buckley received the Winn-Seeley Award for her achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics, while senior rower Caroline DeWeirdt earned the Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award for her impact on her team. Below is the list of William Smith Herons awards honored to the top student-athletes at the annual awards banquet.

Winn-Seeley Award—Madeline Buckley ’15

Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award—Caroline DeWeirdt ’15

Cynthia Oyler ’93 Award—MaryClaire Pelletier ’15

Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award—Biz Chirco ’17

Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Award—Geneva Calder & Anola Stage

Susan Bassett Award—Hannah Connolly ’16

Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award—Brenna Kincaid ’15

Hazel Nettleship Hardy ’65 Award—Caroline Conboy ’17

Stephanie Christie Award—Katie Storch ’18 & Hannah Wood ’18

Dean’s Award—William Smith Cross Country

Joseph N. Abraham Award—Krista Longo ’15

Joe Abraham Prize—Kendra Napierala ’15

An NSCAA All-American and Scholar All-American, Buckley led the Herons with 27 points and 11 goals this season. She was selected the Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year, earning all-conference honors for the third straight season. Buckley is also a finalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup which is presented to one intercollegiate student-athlete who displays character, teamwork and citizenship. On the field she ranks 10th all-time on the Heron list with 83 career points, tied for 10th with 33 career goals and tied for 18th with 17 career assists. She helped the Herons to four straight Liberty League regular season and tournament titles and four trips to the NCAA tournament, including a trip to the 2011 national semifinals and the 2013 national championship.

Off the field, Buckley is the 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. She has been member of the HWS Leads Certificate Program and will graduate with a certificate of leadership. Buckley works tirelessly with the Youth Leadership College which involves more than 30 HWS students working with elementary students in the Geneva community. She also dedicates a great deal of her time to the Geneva Heroes program. She’s a three-year member of the William Smith Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and serves as the Heron Society Board of Directors Student Representative. Buckley is a critical studies major with a minor in education. She’s a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection and a two-time CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District first team honoree.

A senior tri-captain, DeWeirdt has been a member of three NCAA travel squads. She has helped the Heron rowing team capture three straight Liberty League titles.  DeWeirdt has been a gold medalist at the New York State Championships twice and a bronze medalist once. She powered William Smith to a silver medal at the Head of the Charles in 2012. DeWeirdt leads her team on paper and also has proven her speed as the top starboard on the team. She pursues personal excellence which in turn helps her teammates to be faster.

Off the water, DeWeirdt was a Pitch semifinalist this year. The psychology major with a minor in media and society has also held impressive summer internships at the WNBA and a WGN-TV’s Weather Center Chicago.

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 soccer senior midfielder MaryClaire Pelletier. A two-time All-Liberty League first team and ECAC All-Star first team selection, Pelletier has been a member of William Smith soccer’s leadership group for two and a half years. She was tabbed an NSCAA All-East Region second team honoree and a D3soccer.com third team All-American after helping the Herons to the national title in 2013.

Pelletier played in 82 career games, posting seven goals and nine assists for 23 points. She helped William Smith to four straight Liberty League regular season and tournament titles as well as four trips to the NCAA tournament. A health studies and Spanish and Hispanic Studies double major, Pelletier has been accepted to the School of Physician Assistant Studies at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Studies.

The Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award was presented to sophomore field hockey forward Biz Chirco for participation, leadership and off-field endeavors that supported the advancement of William Smith Athletics. Chirco played in 10 games for the Herons this year and notched her first collegiate goal against Oswego. A natural leader, Chirco is her class president for the second year in a row. She’s a vocal and active member of her team’s leadership group and serves as the secretary for the William Smith Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Chirco is involved in team and SAAC community service projects and is the public address announcer at home Heron ice hockey and lacrosse games. The political science and public policy studies double major is a Dean’s List student and earned Liberty League All-Academic and NFHCA National Academic honors.

William Smith lacrosse junior Geneva Calder and Heron rowing senior Anola Stage were both honored with the Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Award for their consistent commitment to the pursuit of excellence in athletics and in the classroom.

Calder is a three-year starter for the Heron lacrosse team. She puts all of herself into everything she does and inspires those around her to work harder. On the field, she currently leads William Smith with 18 caused turnovers. She ranks second with 31 ground balls and 23 points. Off the field, the international relations and public policy studies double major excels in the classroom and has earned Liberty League All-Academic honors two years in a row. Calder holds four work study jobs, volunteers in the Title IX office, is a SAAC representative, CGE Global Ambassador, as well as a Reunions and Orientation Staff member.

The 2014 All-Liberty League selection has played in 45 career games, posting 48 goals and 15 assists for 63 points. She has added 82 ground balls, 48 draws and 46 caused turnovers.

A senior tri-captain, Stage has been a member of one national championship travel squad for the Herons. She’s a New York State and an ECAC medalist and won gold medals at the Liberty League and New York State championships as a first-year. Stage has battled through injury to recently earn a seat in the first varsity eight.

Off the water, she serves as a lieutenant of personnel for HWS EMS organizing the duty schedule for every EMT while also logging long hours herself. A three-time All-Liberty League selection, she has also earned ECAC Stewards’ All-Academic honors twice and was tabbed a CRCA National Scholar Athlete. An English major with a double minor in chemistry and healthcare professions and a Blackwell Scholar, Stage has been accepted into Upstate Medical College for the fall.

The Susan Bassett Award went to junior Hannah Connolly for excellence in academics, athletics and leadership. On the field, Connolly battles through a nagging leg injury, but still ranks third on the team with 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists. An excellent student, she’s a two-time Liberty League All-Academic selection. Connolly is an active member of the campus community. She’s a writing colleague, a member of the Laurel Society, a member of The Core, a Geneva Head Start volunteer, the HWS representative at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, an Admissions tour guide, a reunion staff member and a 2015 Orientation Coordinator. She has been accepted into the SUNY Upstate Medical School Early Assurance Program.

Connolly has played in 44 career games, posting 76 goals and 38 assists for 114 points. She has added 21 ground balls, six draws and 12 caused turnovers.

William Smith soccer senior defender Brenna Kincaid received the Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award for meeting and overcoming personal challenges. She has known both hardship and calamity in her time at William Smith. Through these difficult times she demonstrated resilience, increased strength and found the balance to “land on her feet.” Despite the challenges she faced, Kincaid achieved a great deal on the soccer field and in the classroom. A three-year starter, Kincaid garnered NSCAA All-East Region honors this year. She ranked second on the team with a career-high six assists and added one goal. Kincaid played an integral role in the Heron defense that limited its opponents to nine goals and tallied 13 shutouts in 2014.

A two-time All-Liberty League selection and three-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree, Kincaid played in 86 career games and logged eight goals and nine assists for 25 career points. She was a three-time member of the Liberty League All-Tournament team. William Smith logged 65 shutouts during Kincaid’s career. The Herons also captured four straight Liberty League regular season and tournament titles and made four trips to the NCAA tournament including a trip to the 2011 national semifinals and the 2013 national championship.

Heron sophomore swimmer Caroline Conboy 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. Conboy rewrote the William Smith record books this season, breaking six school and eight pool records across New York State. She logged NCAA “B” qualifying times in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, winning those events at the Liberty League Championships. At the same time, the psychology major excelled in the classroom. She earned Liberty League All-Academic and UNYSCSA All-Academic honors. Conboy volunteers with the Geneva Special Olympics Swim Team, serves as an Orientation Mentor, volunteers for Geneva 2020 and HWS Day of Service and is a member of Rising Stars. Conboy is the Co-President of the College Experience Outreach Club and helped produced a video entitled “Spread the Word to End the Word.” This August she will also work as an Orientation Leader.

First-year swimmer Katie Storch and first-year field hockey player Hannah Wood were both given the Stephanie Christie Award as William Smith’s Rookie of the Year.

In the pool, Storch helped her team rewrite the record books by breaking four school records and one pool record. At the New York State Championships Meet, she broke a school record that had stood for more than three decades in the 200 backstroke. At the same meet, Storch was a member of the 200 and 400 medley relay and 400 free relay teams that also broke school records.

On the turf, Wood led the Herons with 22 goals and 49 points. Both totals are William Smith single season rookie records. Wood was named the Liberty League and ECAC Mid-Atlantic Rookie of the Year and earned all-conference first team honors. She also earned a spot on the NFHCA All-North Atlantic first team and was tabbed a Syanspesports.com All-American.

The Dean’s Award goes to the William Smith team with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year, the cross country team was honored after earning a cumulative GPA of 3.61. The soccer team earned the second highest GPA with a 3.56 and the swimming and diving team was next with a 3.52. The average fall GPA of William Smith student-athletes was 3.4. Eighty-two percent of Heron student-athletes held a 3.0 or higher fall GPA with 26 attaining a 4.0 or higher.

Soccer senior Krista Longo was presented with the Joseph N. Abraham Award for perseverance through injury. She battled to overcome a number of injuries during her career, even one which sidelined her in what would have been her sophomore season. Longo returned to the field and finished this year second on the team with 10 goals and third with 25 points. She notched four game-winning this year, including the game winner in the Liberty League tournament championship game. The economics major has played in 64 career matches, posting 23 goals and 10 assists for 56 points.

William Smith senior Kendra Napierala received the Joe Abraham Prize. The Prize is presented to a student in recognition of his or her outstanding service to the athletic programs. Napierala was a three-year member of the Heron field hockey team. During her junior season she sustained a significant head injury. Napierala continued to advance in her college career in the wake of her athletic career coming to an unexpected end. For every challenge and limitation she faced, she sought out new ways to level the playing field. After all the hardship and over a year and a half of recovering, the only thing she can think to do now is find new ways to share her experiences with others and help others overcome similar challenges.

In addition to these department awards, each team gave two awards individual performance, while members of the Class of 2015 were presented with a Heron ring.