The William Smith Athletic Department honored the top student-athletes of 2015-16 at the annual Heron Awards Banquet tonight. Senior lacrosse player Hannah Connolly was presented with the Winn-Seeley Award for her achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics, while senior soccer player Zoe Jackson Gibson earned the Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award for her impact on her team.
A member of the Heron lacrosse leadership group and two-time Liberty League All-Academic selection, Connolly leads the Herons with 22 goals and 31 points this season. She posted a season-high seven points on six goals and an assist against Nazareth. Connolly has played in 57 career games and registered 98 goals and 47 assists for 145 points. She earned All-Liberty League second team honors in 2014.
Off the field, Connolly is a member of Hai Timiai, the senior honor society. She gives back to the campus community as a writing colleague, an admissions tour guide, a reunions staff member, and as a member of The Core. Connolly is also a Head Start volunteer, a youth lacrosse coach and official, and served as an orientation coordinator. Following graduation, she will attend Upstate Medical College.
Connolly was also presented the Joseph N. Abraham Award for perseverance through injury, overcoming a number of injuries during her four years at William Smith to continue her Heron lacrosse career.
An NSCAA and D3occer.com first team All-American, Jackson Gibson was selected the Liberty League, ECAC Upstate and D3soccer.com Defensive Player of the Year. She’s a three-time All-Liberty League pick and two-time all-region selection. It’s the second year in a row Jackson Gibson was voted the Liberty League’s Defensive Player of the Year. She anchored the stingy Heron defense that posted 17 shutouts this fall, including 14 straight. The Herons allowed just six goals this season and finished the year tied for fourth in the nation with a 0.26 goals against average. Jackson Gibson played in 20 games this year, starting 19. She logged an assist in the Herons’ NCAA tournament quarterfinal match, a 1-1 tie with then No. 6 Williams.
Jackson Gibson played in 66 career matches. While she was on the pitch, the Herons posted 44 shutouts. Jackson Gibson added two goals and four assists for eight career points. She plans to continue her career playing abroad after graduation.
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 Heron lacrosse midfielder Geneva Calder. A member of the William Smith lacrosse leadership group, Calder leads the Herons with 24 draws and ranks third on the team with 19 points. She’s a two-time All-Liberty League selection and has earned a spot on the league’s all-academic squad the last two years. Calder plans to try out for the Canadian National Lacrosse Team this summer.
Calder’s honors project develops policy suggestions in the area of LGBTQ equality for Latvia. She’s been involved in the College’s “Beyond Borders” Global Leadership program. She will pursue her master’s degree at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
The first ever Madeline Buckley ’15 Award is presented to a William Smith student-athlete who best displays character, teamwork and citizenship. It was given to Heron swimmer Cece Carsky-Bush. After the death of her older brother, she gathered momentum from her grief and frustration to advocate for mental health awareness. As the President of the Health Promotions Club and the HWS chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms, she has raised over $15,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Her unrivaled strength and compassion for others has launched her into leadership roles as a member of SAAC, The Core, and Rising Stars.
A three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection, Carsky-Bush competed in two relays in the UNYSCSA Championship this year. She posted three top-10 finishes at the Vassar Invitational and placed fourth in the 200-yard individual medley against RIT. Carsky-Bush posted a season-best third place finish in the 1,000 freestyle against Utica.
The Melissa Mulliken ’80 Award was presented to junior lacrosse defender Amy Blanchard for participation, leadership and off-field endeavors that supported the advancement of William Smith Athletics. A graduate of the Rising Star program and a strong voice in The Core, Blanchard also represents the junior class on the lacrosse leadership team. Her academic achievement has earned her a spot on the Dean’s List as well as Liberty League All-Academic recognition. She has played in seven games this year, posting six ground balls and two caused turnovers.
She is a go-to teammate and leader, using her energy and goal-directed mindset to positively impact her team, the William Smith Community, and the Geneva Community. Her service includes helping to found Active House, which raised $2,000, for the Geneva-based charity, “Thrive to Survive,” and her role as the HWS Athletics Wellness Corps Intern, organizing 39 HWS Athletes as they deliver wellness activities to Geneva’s youth.
William Smith basketball junior Melanie Patterson was honored with the Evaleen C. Harrison ’19 Award for consistent commitment to the pursuit of excellence in athletics and in the classroom. The only player on the basketball team to start all 24 games this season, she garnered All-Liberty League honorable mention. She averaged a team-leading 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, a team-high 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals. Patterson shot .409 from the floor, a team-best .380 from 3-point range, and a team-high .808 from the free throw line. Her 3-point percentage is 14th on William Smith’s single season list.
The 2013-14 Liberty League Co-Rookie of the Year has played in 74 career games, starting 51. She’s averaging 10.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. A biochemistry major, she’s earned a spot on the Dean’s List every semester, received the Dean’s Excellence Award this fall, and garnered CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this year.
The Susan Bassett Award was presented to junior swimmer Caroline Conboy for excellence in academics, athletics and leadership. She garnered All-America honors with an eighth place finish in the 100 breaststroke and All-America honorable mention after placing 16th in the 200 breaststroke at the 2016 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. Conboy owns eight William Smith records, after logging 15 record-breaking swims this season. She was a three-time Liberty League champion, winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 200 individual medley. In addition, she was a two-time New York State champion, taking first place in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.
Conboy also excels in the classroom, earning Liberty League All-Academic honors and UNYSCSA All-Academic accolades for two years in a row. Conboy is also active in the HWS community, serving as the president of the HWS College Experience Outreach Club, interning at Happiness House and volunteering with the Big Brother/Big Sister program.
William Smith tennis first-year Alex Greenberg received the Betsy Mitchell ’65 Award for meeting and overcoming personal challenges. Greenberg contracted Lyme disease when she was 17 years old. It cost her two years of high school and two years on the tennis courts. Greenberg was 20 when she matriculated at William Smith. The residual effects of her illness make juggling academics and athletics even more challenging than usual, but she has excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the Dean’s List.
On the court, Greenberg has played at Nos. 2 and 3 in singles and No. 2 doubles. She ranks second on the team with 12 singles wins, including 8-2 at No. 2. Greenberg has played at the top two spots in doubles, posting a 10-8 record.
Heron sophomore field hockey player Hannah Wood 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. An NFHCA All-American, Wood notched a team-high 29 goals and 65 points this fall. She finished the year ranked third in the nation in goals per game (1.38) and fifth in points per game (3.11).
Through 40 career games, Wood has 51 goals and 114 points. The 2014 Liberty League and ECAC Mid-Atlantic Rookie of the Year is currently sixth in school history in goals and 14th in points.
Off the turf, Wood has a passion for academic life, music and service within the HWS community. She recently helped Three Miles Lost finish in the top three in the “Til it Happens to You: Sing for Survivors” competition. Wood is a Dean’s List student, a member of SAAC, a Dean’s office representative at Admission’s open house events and has been selected to the Laurel Society.
First-year basketball player Mia Morrison was given the Stephanie Christie Award as William Smith’s Rookie of the Year. An All-Liberty League second team selection and unanimous pick to the league’s All-Rookie Team, Morrison started 20 of 22 games for the Herons this winter. She averaged 12.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocked shots per game. Morrison led William Smith with 28 blocked shots this season. She also led the Herons in steals per game, while ranking second in scoring, rebounding and assists per game. She ranked in the top 15 in the league in blocked shots (4th), rebounding (6th), scoring (12th), and steals (14th).
The Dean’s Award goes to the William Smith team with the highest cumulative grade point average in the fall semester. This year, the cross country team was honored after earning a cumulative GPA of 3.56. The sailing team was next with a 3.50 GPA and the basketball team was third with a GPA of 3.37. The average GPA of William Smith student-athletes in the fall was 3.3, with 20 Herons earning a 4.0 or higher.
In addition to these department awards, each team gave two awards for individual performance, while members of the Class of 2016 were presented with a Heron ring.