William Smith College Director of Athletics Deb Steward recently announced the Heron Hall of Honor Class of 2016. In conjunction with the 35th anniversary of the Heron nickname, the Heron Society will celebrate eight legendary Herons on Saturday, Oct. 15 in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center.
The ninth class to be inducted into the Hall of Honor will include Jessica Dascano-Becker ’01, of Greene, Sophie Dennis Riskie ’07, of Geneva, Anne Jachney Erskine ’88, of Marblehead, Mass., Christine Jurczak Little ’00, of Brick, N.J., Kerry McCullough Brown ’87, of Cheshire, Conn., BreLynn Nasypany ’11, of New Windsor, Wendi Schoff Waters ’98, of Amsterdam, and Allyson Shirtz Howe ’94, of Portland, Maine.
During the induction ceremony, the Heron Society will also honor its ninth William Smith Team of Distinction, the 2000 Field Hockey national champions, and present the Hosking Award to Dr. Krista Ammirati Archer ’96 and the Heron Award to Carolyn Madeira Brauer ’78.
A tenacious defender, Dascano-Becker was a two-time All-American for the field hockey team. The four-year starter helped the Herons to 72-13 overall record, including a 24-1 mark in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (now known as the Liberty League). Dascano-Becker and her fellow defenders were among the stingiest in William Smith history, ranking fourth (0.64 in 1997), sixth (0.78 in 1998), and ninth (1.02 in 2000) in season goals against average. In addition to winning three UCAA Championships, Dascano-Becker helped William Smith capture national championships in 1997 and 2000. She capped her collegiate career with the Division III Player of the Year award.
One of the most prolific scorers in NCAA Division III history, Dennis Riskie was a three-time All-American at forward for the field hockey team. She smashed the program record for career points, logging 217 in 84 games. With 70 points as a senior, Dennis Riskie led the Liberty League and broke the program season record. She is the only Heron to score 20 or more goals in a season three times. Dennis Riskie and her teammates compiled a four-year record of 67-17, winning four consecutive Liberty League regular season championships and three straight Liberty League Tournament titles. In all three of their NCAA tournament appearances, they reached the quarterfinal round, advancing as far as the national semifinals in 2004. Since 2008, Dennis Riskie has served her alma mater as an assistant field hockey coach. While still retaining her coaching role, she was promoted to assistant athletic director for student-athlete development in 2015.
The first lacrosse All-American in William Smith history, Jachney Erskine played attack and graduated as the program’s career scoring leader (145-39-184). She led the team in scoring in each of her first three seasons. As a junior, Jachney Erskine produced 40 goals and 12 assists for 52 points, garnering IWLCA second team All-American recognition. A year earlier, she notched 39 points as William Smith won an ECAC regional championship. Jachney Erskine didn’t play in 1987, but returned to the field in 1988 and logged career-highs in goals, assists, and points (43-19-62) and helped the Herons to their first NCAA Division III Championship game appearance. Her efforts were rewarded with a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament Team and IWLCA first team All-American honors.
Jurczak Little was the first William Smith sailor to be named an All-American women’s skipper. She helped the Colleges’ sailing team capture four Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Championships, including the 1999 MAISA Women’s Dinghy Championship, clinching the program’s first trip to the women’s national championship. Jurczak Little sailed in A Division in the 1999 women’s national championship regatta, helping the Herons finish ninth overall. She was a two-time team captain and a three-time recipient of the Ady Symonds ’96 Most Valuable Sailing Award. After graduating, Jurczak Little returned to her alma mater as an assistant sailing coach for the 2000-01 season.
A fierce defender, McCullough Brown was a two-time IWLCA All-Region selection and a member of the 1987 IWLCA All-America first team. During her four seasons, she and her classmates limited the opposition to just 7.8 goals per game, including a mere 7.0 goals per game in 1987. That season saw the Herons earn their first NCAA tournament bid, advancing to the semifinals. McCullough Brown served as a team captain during her junior and senior seasons and she continues to lead Herons. A past president of the Heron Society, she is a long-time member of the Heron Society board of directors.
One of the most prolific scorers in William Smith soccer history, Nasypany was a three-time NSCAA All-American while leading the Herons to four consecutive Liberty League Championships and four straight NCAA tournament runs. In 85 career matches, she produced 53 goals and 32 assists for 138 points, graduating second on all three lists. Nasypany was a four-time first team All-Liberty League selection, earning the conference’s Rookie of the Year (2007), Player of the Year (2008), and Offensive Player of the Year (2010) awards. With career-highs for goals (18) and assists (13) as a senior, she broke the William Smith season record for points with 49, five more than any Heron before her or since, while earning the D3soccer.com Forward of the Year award. After graduating, Nasypany spent three years on the William Smith soccer coaching staff, helping the Herons win the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship.
A four-year starter at center, Schoff Waters began her career by earning the conference Rookie of the Year award and capped it with the conference Player of the Year Award. In between, she became a 1,000-point scorer, an incredible rebounder, and top-notch thief. Schoff Waters compiled 1,195 points (10th all-time at William Smith), 858 rebounds (4th), and 216 steals (12th). During her career, the Herons were an impressive 98-9 on the hardwood, including a 45-3 mark in conference play. She helped William Smith win four straight conference championships and made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. In 1996-97, Schoff Waters and the Herons won 27 games in a row to start the season, suffering their only loss of the campaign in the NCAA quarterfinals. She is one of only three William Smith basketball players to be named an Academic All-American (1998 third team) and also earned a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
A two-sport athlete, Shirtz Howe was an all-star midfielder for the soccer team and a small forward for the basketball team. On the pitch, she helped the Herons to a four-year record of 61-9-8, earning four consecutive NCAA tournament bids. Shirtz Howe scored 15 goals as a junior, which was fourth on the Herons’ single season list at the time, earning all-conference, all-state, and all-region honors. A year-later, she registered 14 goals to repeat her junior accolades and add conference and state player of the year, NCAA All-Tournament Team, and NSCAA All-America first team honors to the list. She played three seasons on the hardwood, helping William Smith go 70-13 with two NCAA tournament appearances. A standout in the classroom as well, Shirtz Howe earned a long list of scholarships and awards from William Smith and brought home NSCAA Scholar All-American praise.
The 2000 William Smith field hockey team suffered its only loss on opening day, rattling off a program record 20 consecutive wins to secure the program’s third national championship. The Herons finished the season with a 20-1 record and were ranked No. 1 in Division III for the last five weeks of the season. William Smith also won the UCAA Championship with a perfect 7-0 mark. After a first round bye in the NCAA tournament, the Herons knocked off New England College 3-0 in the second round, Cortland State 3-2 after double overtime and a round of penalty strokes in the quarterfinals, Salisbury State 3-1 in the semifinals, and Springfield 1-0 in the championship game. Dascano-Becker and goalie Marjie MacVean were named to the 2000 All-America first team while forwards Jackie Hall and Nicky Livingston earned second team All-America recognition. Dascano Becker will be the first player from that team inducted into the Hall of Honor.
The 2000 William Smith Field Hockey Team
The William Smith College Heron Hall of Honor celebrates the role, advancement and importance of women in athletics. The honorees exemplify William Smith’s standard of excellence by advancing women in sports through their commitment, participation and accomplishments.
About the Heron Society
Founded in 1983 to celebrate the many student-athletes and coaches who bring increased recognition to William Smith College for their individual and team accomplishments, the Heron Society works to support the entire athletics program with financial assistance, to increase visibility for William Smith athletics, and to promote camaraderie among William Smith alumnae, parents, and friends.
For more information, visit www.HWSAthletics.com/HeronSociety.