HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2011 Fall All-Academic selections today with 615 student-athletes earning 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.
Of the 615 student-athletes that earned Fall All-Academic, 291 individuals received recognition for the second-straight year. In addition, 65 players garnered both All-Academic and All-Conference accolades with Amherst, Middlebury, and Williams each having 12 individuals claim All-NESCAC and All-Academic this fall. A total of 48 individuals received All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic.
Seven individuals were selected to all three squads: Bowdoin men's cross country senior Colin Ogilvie (Hopedale, Mass.), Middlebury seniors Otis Pitney (Washington, D.C.), a member of the Panthers' men's soccer team, and Chelsea Ward-Waller (San Antonio, Texas) from the women's cross country team, Trinity field hockey senior Gina Dinallo (West Hartford, Conn.), Wesleyan senior golfer Peter Taylor (East Greenwich, R.I.), and the Williams senior tandem of Olivia Delia (Califon, N.J.) and Anthony Raduazo (Bolton, Mass.), both harriers on the Ephs' cross country teams.
Notable members among the 2011 Fall All-Academic selections include an individual national champion, four NESCAC Players of the Year, a trio of two-time All-Americans, and a two-time Academic All-American.
Williams' Chiara Del Piccolo (Basalt, Colo.) had an impressive end to her sophomore season on the Ephs' cross country team. Del Piccolo won the last four races she competed in this fall, taking the Little Three crown on Oct. 15, the NESCAC championship on Oct. 29 by nearly 30 seconds, the NCAA regional at Bowdoin on Nov. 12, and the national title on Nov. 19. Del Piccolo, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's National Women's Athlete of the Year and the conference's Most Outstanding Performer award winner, became the first NESCAC harrier since 1995 to claim the individual women's title as she traversed the 6-kilometer course at Lake Breese Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis. in 20:52.
After placing second at the NESCAC men's cross country championship last fall, Middlebury senior Michael Schmidt (Wilmette, Ill.) became only the second Panther to ever win the NESCAC meet (1983). Schmidt covered a significant amount of the wet 8-kilometer course at Amherst with only one shoe, as his time of 25:51 was a full 20 seconds better than the next runner to cross the finish line. In addition to being named Most Outstanding Performer, Schmidt garnered All-NESCAC recognition for the fourth consecutive year with his third-straight First Team honor. During the national championship on Nov. 19, Schmidt finished 26th (24:38.70) to earn All-America honors.
A scoring threat for the Lord Jeff men's soccer team in each of his last three seasons, junior Spencer Noon (Farmington, Conn.) finished first in the NESCAC in points for the second year in a row. It may have been a three-peat for the 2011 NESCAC Men's Soccer Player of the Year had his rookie campaign of 2009 not been cut short by injury, yet he still managed that year to finish second in goals and third in overall scoring. This season, Noon recorded a career-best 15 goals and 35 points and set a new program record for career goals and points, as he heads into his final year with the Lord Jeffs with 35 tallies and 83 points.
Lauren Greer (North Hampton, N.H.) re-wrote the Panther field hockey record book in 2011, setting new single-season and career program marks in goals, assists, and points during her third year at Middlebury. The 2009 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and 2011 Player of the Year amassed 86 points over 21 outings - the most by any player since NESCAC championship play began in 2000 - with 35 goals and 16 assists. Greer was held off the score sheet only two times this season, as she had a hand in nearly 66 percent of her team's goals. In addition to being named the NESCAC Player of the Year, Greer garnered All-NESCAC honors for the third year in a row with her second-straight appointment to the First Team. She was also named the New England West Region Player of the Year and First Team All-America by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
Bowdoin senior defender Ella Curren (Roxbury, Conn.) was one of the best two-way players in the conference for the 2011 NESCAC field hockey champion Polar Bears. Curren provided strong leadership to a defensive corps that yielded a league-low 13 goals and on attack she tallied 10 goals and assisted on seven others to help her squad go 19-1 and reach the national semifinals. She piled up the honors this fall as she was named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, earned All-NESCAC First Team honors for the second time, and was selected All-America by the NFHCA for the second year in a row, moving up from the 2010 Third Team to the 2011 First Team.
After becoming the first Lord Jeff field hockey player in a decade to be named to the All-America First Team a year ago, Amherst senior Carly Dudzik (Darien, Conn.) returned to the NFHCA All-America First Team in 2011. Dudzik received All-NESCAC First Team recognition for the third time in as many years this past season, as she continued to play a vital role for the Jeffs on both sides of the ball and finished with five goals and a career-best 10 assists.
Connecticut College senior volleyball standout Amy Newman (Los Angeles, Calif.) closed out her tenure with the Camels pacing the NESCAC in kills for the second year in a row with a 5.10 average, nearly identical to the 5.17 per set figure she put up last autumn. The outside hitter completed her career with 1,315 kills, a figure that ranks second all-time at Connecticut College. The three-time All-NESCAC First Team member and two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association Third Team All-America selection also recorded a career-high .316 hitting percentage.
For the second consecutive year, Amherst senior goalkeeper Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America Division III Men's Soccer team, garnering Second Team honors. An economics and physics double major, Kovacs logged 6,556:54 minutes in net, going 52-11-10 with a 0.66 goals-against average, an .836 save percentage, and 32 shutouts over four seasons with the Lord Jeffs. During that span, Kovacs helped the Lord Jeffs capture a pair of NESCAC titles (2008, 2011) and reach the NCAA tournament three times, going as far as the national semifinals in 2008.
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.