NEC Announces 2016 Fall Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content


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The Official Site of the Northeast Conference


NEC Announces 2016 Fall Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll


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Click Here For NEC Fall Commissioner's Honor Roll

Somerset, NJ -- It was a banner season both athletically and academically at Saint Francis U with five Red Flash student-athletes earning Northeast Conference (NEC) Fall Scholar-Athlete awards.

In what may be the most academically decorated group of scholar-athletes in NEC history, all seven fall honorees possess a 3.90 or better cumulative grade point average and four are repeat winners. Most notably, the group includes three-time NSCAA All-American and 2016 Academic All-American Francis de Vries (Christchurch, New Zealand/Cashmiere), a senior men’s soccer player for Saint Francis U. de Vries ended his distinguished career as a three-time NEC scholar-athlete winner.

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 announced its fall Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 680 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average, a 3.7 percent increase from 2015. There were also 225 student-athletes named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. The Commissioner’s Honor Roll figure represents a whopping 31.6 percent increase from a year ago.

Saint Francis U junior Bryce England (Williamsburg, PA/Williamsburg) is the men’s cross country scholar-athlete recipient. England collected All-NEC honors for the second straight year following a sixth place finish at the NEC Men’s Cross Country Championship in Loretto this past October. His time of 27:44.6 led all SFU runners and helped pace the Red Flash to a third place finish. England won two races (Paul Short Run & Ted Owen Invitational) and was the runner-up in two others (Father Bede Invitational & Canisius Alumni Classic) as part of a terrific fall campaign. He also placed 25th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship meet. Pursuing a double-major in Biology and Spanish, England is a three-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. The Williamsburg, PA product maintains a 3.96 grade point average.


St. Francis Brooklyn junior Annais Cummiskey (Tenafly, NJ/Tenafly) is the co-winner of the women’s cross country scholar-athlete award. Cummiskey earned the bronze medal at the NEC Women’s Cross Country Championship last fall, covering the course in 19:45.9 to set a new school record and earn All-Conference honors for the second straight year. The 2015 NEC Rookie of the Year also won the Monmouth Invitational, posted fourth place finishes at the St. John’s Invitational and Monmouth Kickoff, finished seventh at the Fordham Invitational and took 12th at the Met Championships at Van Cortlandt Park. Cummiskey, a Tenafly, NJ native and Mathematics major, carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average and has been named to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll twice.

Saint Francis U junior Danae Peters (Manheim, PA/Manheim Central) makes it back-to-back women’s cross country scholar-athlete honors. Peters crossed the tape in 19:37.4 to earn runner-up honors at the NEC Women’s Cross Country Championship in October. Running on her home course, she was one of three SFU harriers to crack the top-10 and helped spark the Red Flash to the program’s first NEC title since 2004. She went on to place eighth at the IC4A/ECAC Cross Country Championships at Van Cortlandt Park to become SFU’s first medalist at the event in nine years. Peters also finished second at the Canisius Alumni Classic and Father Bede Invitational, and third at the Ted Owen Invitational. Peters, who hails from Manheim, PA, is a Physical Therapy major and a three-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She has compiled a 3.96 grade point average. 


Saint Francis U redshirt senior kicker Lance Geesey (Harrisburg, PA/Cumberland Valley) repeats as the football scholar-athlete award winner. Geesey, who entered the 2016 campaign as a preseason All-American, kicked 12 field goals and made all 39 of his extra points this past season for the Red Flash, who captured their first-ever NEC title. Three of his field goals were at least 47 yards in length, including a season-long 50-yarder against Albany in September. Geesey, who as a junior was named an ADA and AFCA All-American, and was the recipient of the CFPA Placekicker Award (nation’s top kicker), wrapped his career as SFU’s career leader and tied for first in NEC history with 57 field goals. His 294 points also ranks him fourth in league annals. This past season he finished as a semifinalist for the NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded annually to the top football scholar-athlete in the nation. Geesey was also a finalist for the STATS Doris Buchanan Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which honors an FCS student-athlete who excels not only on the field and in the classroom, but in the community and beyond. Geesey was chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team for the second straight year and has been named to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of his four years. The Harrisburg, PA product maintains a 3.93 grade point average as he works to complete his MBA.


Saint Francis U senior defender Francis de Vries (Christchurch, New Zealand/Cashmiere) earns his second straight NEC men’s soccer scholar-athlete honor to cap an extraordinary career in Loretto. Most notable in his laundry list of honors was his selection as an NSCAA All-American for the third straight year, one of just three players nationwide who have been lauded in each of the last three seasons. He also earned distinction as one of five players in conference history to collect first team All-Conference honors in each of his four years and was a two-time NEC Defender of the Year. In each of the last three years de Vries was selected as an ECAC All-Star, NSCAA North Atlantic region honoree and NEC All-Tournament member. The Christchurch, New Zealand native and free kick specialist ended his senior year with three goals and seven points, and was the backbone of an SFU defense that permitted only four goals in conference play and advanced to the NEC title game for the third straight year. Just this month, he was chosen by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second round of the MLS Super Draft. de Vries has been as successful in the classroom as he has on the pitch. Double majoring in Psychology and Environmental Studies, he was tabbed to the CoSIDA Academic All-America second team this past season. He maintains a 3.90 grade point average as is a four-time NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree.


Saint Francis U junior Allison LaDuke (Greensburg, PA/Greater Latrobe) claims the women’s soccer scholar-athlete of the year award. A former striker, LaDuke switched to defender this past season and made a huge impact on a Red Flash team that won its third NEC Tournament title. The Greensburg, PA native was tabbed to the All-NEC first team after anchoring a defense that allowed just seven goals in eight league matches, then posted a pair of shutouts in the NEC Tournament. LaDuke, who was an NEC All-Rookie selection as a freshman, is now a three-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She is a Physician Assistant major who carries a 3.96 grade point average.


Bryant’s Vika Katzen (Kfar Saba, Israel/Wingate Academy for Sports Excellence) takes home the women’s volleyball scholar-athlete honor. Katzen wrapped her senior season with a second straight selection as the NEC Setter of the Year. She also repeated as an All-NEC first teamer and was named an ECAC All-Star after helping lead the Bulldogs to a second straight NEC Tournament appearance and second place regular season finish, the program’s highest-ever showing. Katzen ranked fourth in the NEC in assists (7.29/set), sixth in service aces (0.29/set) and sixth in hitting percentage (.252), while also contributing 2.84 digs per set. She recorded 20 double-doubles on the season to boost her career total to 55 in just three years. Katzen also became the fourth player in Bryant history and first at the DI level to compile 2,500+ assists and 1,000+ digs in her career. The native of Kfar Saba, Israel was voted to the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District team. A seven-time Dean’s List qualifier and four-time NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection, Katzen registered a perfect 4.0 this past fall. Katzen majors in International Business/Marketing and maintains a 3.93 grade point average.

2016 Northeast Conference Fall Scholar-Athletes
Sport                  Name                 School                  Cl    GPA    Major

Men’s Cross Country    Bryce England        Saint Francis U         Jr    3.96   Biology & Spanish
Women’s Cross Country  Annais Cummiskey     St. Francis Brooklyn    Jr    4.00   Mathematics
                       Danae Peters         Saint Francis U         Jr    3.96   Physical Therapy
Football               Lance Geesey         Saint Francis U         R-Sr  3.93   MBA
Men’s Soccer           Francis de Vries     Saint Francis U         Sr    3.90   Psychology & Environmental Studies
Women’s Soccer         Allison LaDuke       Saint Francis U         Jr    3.96   Physician Assistant
Women’s Volleyball     Vika Katzen          Bryant                  Sr    3.93   International Business/Marketing 
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 36th 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 ( and digital network (, or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, all @NECsports.