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Somerset, NJ --
Two student-athletes from Sacred Heart and Saint Francis University, along with one apiece from Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth make up the 2012-13 Winter Scholar-Athlete award winners for the Northeast Conference (NEC). This exceptional group of student-athletes features a pair of honorees with perfect 4.0 grade point averages as well as a National Player of the Year.
All scholar-athlete award winners must have 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 winter Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 599 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average, an increase of 12 percent from the 2011-12 academic year. There were also a record 161 student-athletes named to the winter Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. The number of students named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll represents a whopping 16 percent increase from a year ago.
Sacred Heart sophomore guard Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT/Sheehan (Choate Rosemary))
is this year’s scholar-athlete winner in men’s basketball. Gaetano stepped into a starting role and finished the season second in both the NEC and nation in assists, averaging 7.9 per game. It marked the second-highest single-season assist average in the Conference since the 1986-87 season. Gaetano dished out 222 assists in 2012-13, a new Division I school record and fifth in program history. He also ranked second in the NEC with a 2.29 assist-to-turnover ratio and had 11 games of double-digits assists on the year. In NEC play, he handed out 8.7 helpers per game and improved his A/TO ratio to 2.69. The Wallingford, CT native also contributed 4.8 points per outing and hit 21 shots from three-point range. Gaetano has posted a 3.80 grade point average as a Business Administration major.
Saint Francis University forward Alli Williams (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle)
, a Capital One Academic All-American, caps off her outstanding junior campaign by winning women’s basketball scholar-athlete accolades. Williams picked up her second All-NEC honor this past year with her selection to the first team. She concluded the season ranked in the NEC top-10 in scoring (17.2, second), steals (3.7, second), double-doubles (24, second), rebounding (10.8, fourth) and three-point percentage (.345, ninth). Williams was one of only four players in the Conference to average a double-double. Over the course of the year she became the 22nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone and now ranks as just the third player in Red Flash annals to rack up 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 200 steals in her career. Playing close to her hometown of Altoona, PA, Williams was tabbed to the Capital One Academic All-America second team with a 3.89 grade point average. She majors in Occupational Therapy.
There are few student-athletes in the history of the Northeast Conference more decorated than Fairleigh Dickinson senior Danielle McEwan (Stony Point, NY/Stony Point)
, who takes home the NEC Scholar-Athlete award in women’s bowling. McEwan was named the NTCA Division I Player of the Year for the second consecutive year and earned a position on the NTCA First Team for the third year in a row. In doing so, McEwan became the just the second two-time winner of the Player of the Year award. She earner her third straight NEC Player of the Year honor and was voted to the All-NEC first team after averaging 216.46 in 50 games and carrying a 21.21 overall frame average for nearly 1,100 frames. The three-time Junior Team USA member had a strike percentage of 55 percent and filled nearly 90 percent of all frames as the Knights won their third consecutive NEC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in ten years. The two-time Team USA Trials champion was at her best at the NEC Fall Meet back in November when she produced an astronomical 232.4 traditional game average over the course of nine league matches. McEwan won the NEC Bowler of the Week award for her efforts on November 14 and went on to claim the honor another two times this season. She finished her career having garnered a league-record 11 NEC Bowler of the Week selections. An Education/Psychology major from Stony Point, NY, McEwan maintains a 3.56 grade point average.
Sacred Heart senior Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT/North Branford)
collects women’s indoor track and field scholar-athlete honors. At the 2013 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, Selmquist broke the meet record in the 5,000 meters, finishing second to teammate Brianna Castrogivanni with a time of 17:03.69. She also placed third in the 3,000 meters with an ECAC qualifying time of 9:56.94. At the New England Championship, Selmquist ran a personal-best and school record 16:49.55 in the 5,000 meters, winning the event by six seconds. The Northford, CT product took third in the 3,000 meters (9:42.98) to earn All-New England honors in both events. She capped her season with another school record in the 5,000, posting a time of 16:34.65 at the ECAC Championships to claim All-East plaudits. Selmquist is an Accounting major who has compiled a 3.83 grade point average.
Monmouth sophomore Ben Boyd (Port Murray, NJ/West Morris Central)
is the recipient of the NEC men’s indoor track and field scholar-athlete award. Boyd raced to the 400 meter title at the 2013 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in Landover, MD, clocking in at 49.22, nearly a second ahead of the pack. He also finished sixth in the 200 meters and ran the anchor leg on MU’s runner-up 4x400 meter relay team as the Hawks won their second straight conference title. Boyd won a number of races over the course of the season, including the 200 meters at the Army 6 Team Meet, the 300 meters at the Princeton Invitational and MAC Classic and the 400 meters at the Blue-White Invitational. He also took part in Monmouth’s winning DMR at the ECAC/IC4A Championships in March. Boyd, a Port Murray, NJ native, maintains a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is majoring in Business Economics.
2012-13 Northeast Conference Winter Scholar-Athletes
The quintessential student-athlete, Saint Francis University junior Elise Löfgren (Molnlycke, Sweden/Hulebacks)
earns NEC women’s swimming and diving scholar-athlete accolades. Löfgren was tabbed the NEC Tri-Swimmer of the Meet at the 2013 NEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships after winning two individual titles and scoring 57 points to help lead the Red Flash to their fourth consecutive league crown. For the third straight year she touched first in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.77), and won the 200 IM (2:04.15) for the second year running. Löfgren also finished second in the 200 breaststroke and swam on the Red Flash’s first place 400 yard medley relay team. For her performance, she was tabbed to the All-NEC first team in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, and second team in the 200 breaststroke. Löfgren, who hails from Molnlycke, Sweden, carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is majoring in Chemistry.
Sport Name School Cl GPA Major
Men’s XC Andrew Hill CCSU Jr 3.77 Mathematics
MBB Phil Gaetano SHU So 3.80 Business Administration
WBB Alli Williams SFU Jr 3.89 Occupational Therapy
WBOWL Danielle McEwan FDU Sr 3.56 Education/Psychology
WITF Alyssa Selmquist SHU Sr 3.83 Accounting
MITF Ben Boyd MU So 4.00 Business Economics
WSWIM Elise Löfgren SFU Jr 4.00 Chemistry
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 32nd year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 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 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, 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 and YouTube (@NECsports).