Northeast Conference Announces 2015 Spring Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content

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Northeast Conference Announces 2015 Spring Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll

6/22/2015

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Somerset, NJ -- Three student-athletes from LIU Brooklyn, along with two apiece from Fairleigh Dickinson, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart, and one each from Bryant and Saint Joseph’s comprised the 2015 Spring Scholar-Athlete award winners for the Northeast Conference (NEC).  This exceptional group of student-athletes featured three NEC Player of the Year recipients, three repeat award winners, a Capital One Academic All-American and the NEC Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

All scholar-athlete award winners earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC also announced its spring Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 853 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average.  There were also 198 student-athletes named to the spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average.  

Over the course of the 2014-15 academic year, a total of 1,922 NEC student-athletes landed a spot on the Academic Honor Roll, a 6.4 percent increase from a year ago. That figure also represents nearly half of the NEC’s competitors. On the year, 470 student-athletes were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll.


Sacred Heart senior pitcher James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT/Norwalk) repeated as the baseball scholar-athlete award winner.  Cooksey was tabbed to the All-NEC second team a year after earning first team honors.  He compiled a 7-3 record and a pair of saves to lead the Pioneers in both categories.  Cooksey, who posted a 3.79 ERA, saved his best for when it counted most, tossing a complete-game two hitter in a 3-1 win over Wagner in the NEC Tournament.  He was named to the NEC All-Tournament team for the Pioneers, who won their fourth conference title and advanced to NCAA Regional play.  A two-time NEC Pitcher of the Week, Cooksey ranked in the top-10 on the circuit in wins, saves, ERA, innings pitched and opponent batting average.  The Norwalk, CT native finished as a four-time member of the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll.  Cooksey majored in Finance and Business Economics and graduated summa cum laude with a 3.88 grade point average.
Robert Morris senior Ryan Prokay (Grove City, PA/Grove City) earned men’s golf scholar-athlete honors.  Prokay helped lead the Colonials to the 2015 NEC championship and the program’s inaugural berth in the NCAA Tournament.  He was tabbed the NEC Player of the Year after pacing the conference with a 73.9 stroke average, the third-best single-season average in program history.  Prokay shot in the 70s or better in 21 of his 22 rounds of play and posted seven top-10 finishes in nine tournaments this past season, including the individual title at the Leo Keenan Invitational last September.  The Grove City, PA product placed seventh at the 2015 NEC Championship for his 12th career top-10 finish, which ranks fourth in RMU annals.  Prokay, who was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in the third grade, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) David Toms Award, which is given annually to one men’s collegiate golfer who has overcome adversity to achieve collegiate excellence.  A four-time NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient, Prokay compiled a 3.77 grade point average majoring in Sport Management.
LIU Brooklyn senior Cristina Felip (Barcelona, Spain/IES Joaquim Blume) was the recipient of the women’s golf scholar-athlete award.  A four-time All-NEC performer, Felip was named to the first team this past season after leading the Blackbirds with a 77.2 stroke average per round.  She posted six top-10 finishes, including a fifth place showing at the NEC Championship in May.  Felip tied for first place at both the Hoya Invitational and the Rutgers Invitational, helping the Blackbirds to the team title at Rutgers.  She broke 80 in 18 of her 24 rounds in 2014-15, and was named the September NEC Golfer of the Month and the NEC Golfer of the Week on April 1.  Felip, who was tabbed the NEC Player of the Year back as a freshman in 2012, is a three-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll.  The Barcelona native graduated with a 3.77 grade point average majoring in Business Management.
Saint Joseph’s graduate student Ryan McGee (White Plains, NY/White Plains) made it back-to-back scholar-athlete honors in men’s lacrosse.  The high-scoring midfielder was chosen to the All-NEC first team for the second straight year after helping the Hawks defend their NEC regular season title with a perfect 6-0 record.  McGee led the NEC with 1.47 assists per game, and ranked second in points (3.29/game) and fifth in goals (1.82/game).  The White Plains, NY native was recognized as a 2015 Senior CLASS Award second team All-American and the 2015 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Men’s Lacrosse Performer of the Year.  McGee is also a nominee for the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Overall Performer of the Year.  The Hawks’ all-time leader in shots (400), McGee also ranks fourth in points (175) and goals (107), and seventh in assists (68).  He closed out his career on a 43-game point scoring streak dating back to March 2, 2012.  McGee graduated from Saint Joseph’s in May 2014 with a degree in Finance and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Financial Services.  He registered a 3.59 grade point average as an undergraduate and maintains a 3.30 GPA in his graduate studies.
Sacred Heart junior Jesslyn Joseph (Bolton, MA/Nashoba Regional) took home scholar-athlete accolades in women’s lacrosse.  Joseph was chosen as a first team All-NEC attacker this past season after tallying a team-best 34 goals and 38 draw controls on the year.  She ranked seventh in the NEC with 2.12 goals per game.  Joseph collected the final NEC Player of the Week award of the 2015 campaign after she scored 12 times in a pair of Sacred Heart wins.  Her eight goals in the Pioneers’ season final against Saint Francis U represented an NEC single-game season-high.  Joseph, who hails from Bolton, MA, is a three-time NEC Academic Honor Roll honoree.  She majors in Business and has compiled a 3.79 grade point average.
LIU Brooklyn graduate student Lauren Morizi (San Diego, CA/Torrey Pines) claimed the second softball scholar-athlete award of her distinguished career.  A first team All-NEC selection at shortstop, Morizi hit .296 this past year and ranked first in the league in walks (26), second in runs scored (35) and doubles (16), and sixth in hits (47).  She caught fire during NEC play, batting .370 with a .424 on-base percentage and .593 slugging percentage.  Morizi was named to NEC All-Tournament Team after hitting .454 with a home run and six RBIs to help the fourth-seeded Blackbirds to the championship round for fourth straight year.  Morizi closed out her career as LIU Brooklyn’s all-time leader with 52 doubles in just three seasons.  She was named a first team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2013, the same year she won NEC scholar-athlete accolades in softball.  The San Diego product was also tabbed the LIU Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014.  A four-time member of the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Morizi graduated summa cum laude with bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 2013.  She is working toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.  Morizi posted a near-perfect 3.94 grade point average as an undergraduate student and has maintained an identical GPA in her postgraduate work.
One of the most decorated student-athletes in NEC softball history, Robert Morris senior pitcher Nicole Sleith (Smithton, PA/Yough) added another to her long list of honors with this year’s softball scholar-athlete award.  Sleith was recently named the NEC Female Student-Athlete of the Year, an award that recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one’s community.  Sleith finished as the first four-time NFCA All-Region honoree in school history and was one of just 11 players nationally to claim All-Region accolades in each of the past four seasons.  Sleith also made history within the Conference this past May when she became just the second three-time NEC Pitcher of the Year award winner.  She accumulated 22 wins as a senior to lead the Colonials to the 2015 NEC regular season title.  Sleith ranked second in the NEC in victories, ERA (2.08) and shutouts (nine), and led the conference with an NEC-record tying 296 strikeouts.  The Smithton, PA native put forth the most impressive performance of her career by tossing a perfect game in a 2015 NEC Tournament elimination contest, the third no-hitter of her career.  A Biomedical Engineering major, Sleith is participating in RMU’s integrated bachelor/master program and intends to earn a Master of Science in Engineering Management this December.  She concluded her senior year with a cumulative 3.72 grade point average, and for the second straight year earned Capital One Academic All-District first team honors.  Sleith was also a three-time NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete (with the 2015 awards still to come) and was named an RMU Dean’s Scholar by the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.  She earned a spot on the NEC Academic Honor Roll in each of her four years.
One of the all-time NEC greats in any sport, Fairleigh Dickinson senior Arvis Berzins (Adazi, Latvia/Riga Centre Language School) claimed his third men’s tennis scholar-athlete award, but that’s just the start of the story for the Adazi, Latvia native.  Berzins earned an unprecedented fourth NEC Player of the Year award this past May, capping a career that included NEC Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, four All-NEC doubles accolades and two NEC championships.  He was recently voted to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America third team for the second straight year and was named FDU’s Walter Marusyn Male Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive year.  This past season, Berzins collected two NEC Player of the Month honors and a pair of NEC Player of the Week accolades in helping lead the Knights to a second straight finals appearance.  He wrapped his senior campaign with a 22-6 singles record, including an 11-3 mark at the #1 flight.  Berzins led all NEC singles players in wins and win percentage (.786), and ended the year capturing 11 of his final 13 matches.  In four years, he compiled a 71-29 singles record and finished 19-2 against NEC competitors.  Berzins picked up notable victories this past season against Mississippi State’s Juan Cruz Estevarena and Dartmouth’s Chris Kipouras, both of whom were ranked in the ITA top-100 this spring.   A Finance major, Berzins was a four-time member of both the NEC Academic and NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.  He graduated with a 3.88 grade point average. 
Bryant sophomore Ryan Brown (Austin, TX/Lake Travis) was the recipient of the women’s tennis scholar-athlete honor.  Brown was voted the 2015 NEC Player of the Year following a fantastic performance at the NEC Championship in April.  She won all three of her NEC Tournament matches in straight sets - dropping just 14 games in the process - as the Bulldogs captured their first conference title.  Brown finished the year with an 11-10 record, including a 9-7 mark at #1 singles.  The two-time NEC Player of the Week and three-time ECAC Player of the Week wrapped her sophomore campaign 4-2 versus NEC opposition.  Brown, who hails from Austin, TX, also earned second team All-NEC plaudits at #1 doubles for the second straight year after posting an 18-13 record.  An Applied Psychology major, Brown heads into her junior year carrying a 3.72 grade point average.  She is now a two-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll.
Fairleigh Dickinson senior Andrew Forbes (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) collected the men’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete award.  Forbes won the individual title in the javelin at the NEC Championship in May with a 61.79 meter throw, then followed with a fifth place finish at the IC4A Championship and a mark of 62.57 meters.  He also placed seventh at the Wake Forest Open and earned gold at the Aggie Invitational after throwing 62.58 meters, a season-best.  Forbes was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District first team, landing him a spot on the national All-America ballot.  He earned NEC Academic Honor Roll recognition six times in indoor and outdoor track and field over the course of his career, and landed a spot on the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll on four occasions.  A Sport Administration major out of Williamstown, NJ, Forbes graduated with a 3.88 grade point average.
LIU Brooklyn senior Katrina Anderson (Auckland, New Zealand/Howick College) was recognized as the women’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete honoree.  Anderson delivered a stellar performance at the 2015 NEC Championship to spark LIU Brooklyn to a second place finish.  She scored 18 points for the Blackbirds by winning the 1,500 meters (4:39.26) and finishing second in the 800 meters (2:14.39).  Anderson was subsequently named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country first team.  Previously honored as the NEC Scholar-Athlete in indoor track and field back in 2014, Anderson finished her career as an eight-time member of both the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll.  The Auckland, New Zealand native graduated with a degree in Biology and was the recipient of the John Burton ‘35 Science Award.  Anderson compiled a 3.87 grade point average during her stay at LIU.
  
2015 Northeast Conference Spring Scholar-Athletes
 
Sport                  Name               School  Cl   GPA      Major
Baseball               James Cooksey      SHU     Sr   3.88     Finance &
                                                                Business Economics
Men’s Golf             Ryan Prokay        RMU     Sr   3.77     Sport Management
Women’s Golf           Cristina Felip     LIU     Sr   3.77     Business Management
Men’s Lacrosse         Ryan McGee         SJU     Gr   3.30 (g) Financial Services
                                                       3.59 (u)
Women’s Lacrosse       Jesslyn Joseph     SHU     Jr   3.79     Business
Softball               Lauren Morizi      LIU     Gr   3.94 (g) Physical Therapy
                                                       3.94 (u)
                       Nicole Sleith      RMU     Sr   3.72     Biomedical Engineering
Men’s Tennis           Arvis Berzins      FDU     Sr   3.88     Finance
Women’s Tennis         Ryan Brown         BRY     So   3.72     Applied Psychology
Men’s Outdoor Track    Andrew Forbes      FDU     Sr   3.88     Sports Administration
Women’s Outdoor Track  Katrina Anderson   LIU     Sr   3.87     Biology
 


About The Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 34th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30).  Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Google+, all @NECsports.