HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2011 Spring All-Academic selections today, with 809 student-athletes receiving All-Academic recognition. To be honored, a student-athlete must have reached sophomore academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35. A transfer student must have completed one year of study at the institution.
A total of 190 individuals out of the 483 student-athletes from the 2010 Spring All-Academic team earned the honor for the second year in a row. Additionally, 118 of this year's award recipients were also selected to an All-Conference team in their respective sport this spring. Fifty-five individuals garnered All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic accolades.
Seven student-athletes individuals were named to the 2011 editions of the All-Conference, All-Sportsmanship, and All-Academic NESCAC teams. The honorees were Bowdoin senior Ingrid Oelschlager (Roanoke, Va.), Hamilton senior Jeff Cardoni (Kensington, N.H.), the Middlebury trio of seniors Andrew Conner (Alexandria, Va.) and Kaitlynn Saldanha (Scarborough, Maine) and junior Victoria Aiello (Milton, Mass.), and senior Julia Browne (Old Brookville, Conn.) along with sophomore Emily Beinecke (Concord, Mass.) of Tufts.
Among the notable members of the 2011 Spring All-Academic Team are three individuals that not only earned NESCAC Player of the Year this spring but also were recognized for the second-straight year as All-Academic. Tufts featured two of those three players, seniors D.J. Hessler (Monkton, Md.) and Browne.
The Jumbos' annual scoring leader in each of his four years, Hessler amassed over 300 career points for the two-time NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Champions. The senior attacker left his mark on the Jumbos' record book, as he not only set the career points mark at Tufts this spring but also holds the top two single-season records for assists and points along with the career record for helpers. In 2011, Hessler led the NESCAC in scoring for the third time with 38 goals and 57 assists for 95 points through 21 games. Hessler also completed a rare feat by being named All-NESCAC for the fourth time, as he was recognized on the First Team for the third consecutive year. He also added USILA All-America First Team honors and was recognized at the national championship with the NCAA's Elite 88 award. The award recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Hessler was one of two individuals on the All-Academic squad to earn an Elite 88 award, joining Williams sophomore men's tennis player Bryan Chow (Schenectady, N.Y.).
Browne was recognized as the NESCAC Women's Tennis Player of the Year for the third consecutive spring and also garnered the Senior Sportswoman Award. The 2008 Rookie of the Year added All-NESCAC honors for the fourth time in her career as she was named First Team Singles and Doubles for the third year in a row after being named to the Second Team Singles as a rookie. During the fall, Browne reached the semifinals of the ITA New England Regional Championships and the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament. Browne won the 2010 NCAA women's tennis singles championship and reached the semifinal round this past May. She also helped Tufts reach the quarterfinals of the team tournament for the first time ever.
Middlebury senior Andrew Peters (Baltimore, Md.) was chosen as the NESCAC Men's Tennis Player of the Year. Peters, who was also named to the All-NESCAC First Team Singles and Doubles, had an impressive final season with the Panthers, going 27-7 overall and 14-5 in dual match play at the No. 1 position. Peters competed in the NCAA singles championship back in May, as he was the only player from the NESCAC to reach the quarterfinal round. After helping the Panthers win the 2010 NCAA men's tennis title, Peters' squad returned to the national tournament and advanced as far as the quarterfinals.
Other notables included Bowdoin's Oelschlager and Williams sophomore Jennifer Gossels (Sudbury, Mass.). A two-sport athlete for the Polar Bears, Oelschlager earned First Team All-America in both field hockey and women's lacrosse this season as she helped both teams reach the NCAA tournament final. Bowdoin won its third NCAA field hockey crown in the past four years during the fall, while the women's lacrosse team made it to the championship contest for the first time ever. Gossels claimed national titles in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in May, helping the Ephs to a top-five overall finish at the meet. She was also the runner up at the 2010 NCAA cross country championships, and was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) last fall.
Thirty individuals among the NESCAC Spring All-Academic selections won an NCAA championship this past May with their respective team. Eleven players from the Amherst men's tennis national championship team were recognized, as they helped the Lord Jeffs win their first NCAA men's tennis crown. The Williams women's tennis team, which won its fourth consecutive NCAA championship, had three honorees, and the Ephs' women's rowing team had 16 individuals from its squad recognized. Williams won its sixth consecutive and seventh overall NCAA women's rowing championship this year.
Founded in 1971, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) consists of 11 liberal arts colleges and has consistently reflected its commitment to the values of athletics and academic achievement. The member colleges of the conference are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College. For more information on the NESCAC, visit www.nescac.com.