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Somerset, NJ --
Four Northeast Conference student-athletes completed academic perfection this spring.
Graduating with 4.00 grade-point averages, Wagner’s Delaney Beck (Bakersfield, CA/Garces Memorial)
(women’s soccer) and Sacred Heart’s Adriana Forcucci (Stoughton, MA/Cardinal Spellman)
(women’s track) are co-recipients of the NEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Matching that 4.00 mark, Saint Francis U graduates Scott Meredith (Pilot Mountain, NC/Hargrave Military Academy (VA))
(men’s basketball) and Gregory Heider (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop)
(men’s golf) share the NEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
In its 14th year, the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which is sponsored by the league’s Faculty Athletic Representatives, goes to the male and female student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility, graduated and compiled the highest grade point average in the Conference at the conclusion of the academic calendar.
“I’m highly impressed by this quartet of student-athletes and their remarkable accomplishments,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “It takes an incredible amount of commitment and ability to come close to a 4.0 GPA while also meeting the demands of Division I athletic competition. Speaking on behalf of the entire NEC, we are so proud of what this group has accomplished and can't wait to see what the future holds in store for them.”
Forcucci completed an undergraduate career that featured multiple NEC championship rings and four consecutive selections to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. The Stoughton, MA product, who majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Rights and Social Justice, will pursue a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Competing as a sprinter and long jumper, Forcucci contributed to three NEC title teams (2017 Indoor, 2017 Outdoor, 2018 Outdoor) during her four years at Sacred Heart. She scored at three consecutive NEC Outdoor Championship meets as a member of the Pioneers’ 4x100 relay squad. Forcucci tallied five points with a fourth-place finish in the 60m dash, helping SHU top the team standings at the 2017 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships. At the 2020 title meet, she clocked the 10th-fastest preliminary 60m time.
Beck found a home on Staten Island after spending her freshman year at Campbell. After transferring to Wagner, the Bakersfield, CA native made three straight appearances on the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. The Economics and Mathematics double major is moving onto graduate school at Vanderbilt University, where she will study Economics and Law. On the pitch, Beck made 32 career appearances in goal for the Seahawks. Fighting through injury, she enjoyed a strong finish to the 2019 campaign. Beck held the opposition scoreless over the season’s final three NEC matches. Totaling nine starts this past fall, the keeper set career-best marks in save percentage (.833) and goals-against average (1.06). Beck also began her senior season on a high note, logging a 5-0 win over Delaware State.
Meredith, a four-year letter winner and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, made 90 appearances for the Red Flash. After playing in all 31 games as a junior, Meredith missed the 2018-19 campaign due to injury. He returned to log 20 appearances during the 2019-20 season, aiding a Red Flash team that advanced to the NEC Championship Game for the third time in his five years. The Pilot Mountain, NC product scored a season-high 18 points against Richmond during the non-conference schedule. In addition to an undergraduate degree in Accounting, Meredith departs Saint Francis U with an M.B.A. He will fulfill an accounting role for Ernst and Young in Pittsburgh while working to become a Certified Public Accountant.
Heider, a four-year member of the SFU men’s golf team, completed his undergraduate degree in Finance following four appearances on the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. As a junior, Heider did his best work on the course at the Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, VA and the Lonnie Barton Invitational in Daytona Beach, FL. He carded a season-best single-round score (82) in Daytona. Campus closures related to COVID-19 limited Heider to two competitive rounds during the 2019-20 campaign. Heider, who hails from Johnstown, PA (approximately 25 miles from SFU’s campus), is on the move to New York City where he will attend the Gemological Institute of America.
NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year History
Year Men Women
2019-20 Gregory Heider, Saint Francis U Delaney Beck, Wagner
Scott Meredith, Saint Francis U Adriana Forcucci, Sacred Heart
2018-19 Shane Vyskocil, Bryant Lacee Collins, Robert Morris
Frank Cerillo, LIU Brooklyn Dana DiRenzo, St. Francis Brooklyn
Nicholas Nemergut, St. Francis Brooklyn Samantha Lackner, Robert Morris
Elise Dumouchelle, Saint Francis U
2017-18 Charlton Boyd, Wagner Abigail Hood, Sacred Heart
Joseph Choiniere, Sacred Heart Kristina Neri, Fairleigh Dickinson
Marcus DaSliva, St. Francis Brooklyn
2016-17 Joseph Paparelli, Bryant Taylor Allison, Saint Francis U
Sarah Bonson, Mount St. Mary’s
Nicole Dean, Central Connecticut
Lea Lieb, Sacred Heart
Avika Sagwal, Wagner
2015-16 Washi Gervais, Saint Francis U Dragana Dzigurski, St. Francis Brooklyn
Haley Fournier, Mount St. Mary’s
Sarah Ross, Saint Francis U
Brittany Sarza, Bryant
2014-15 David Lonnberg, St. Francis Brooklyn Katie Fox, St. Francis Brooklyn
2013-14 Travis Denny, Robert Morris Ellen Huffman, Wagner
2012-13 Mark Quaranta, Mount St. Mary’s Una Japundza, Robert Morris
Carly Thibault, Monmouth
2011-12 Michael Foster, Mount St. Mary’s Evgeniya Tyrtova, Fairleigh Dickinson
2010-11 Sean O’Reilly, Saint Francis U Ali Kliment, Monmouth
2009-10 Filip Kisdobranski, St. Francis Brooklyn Maggie O’Connell Dubois, Mount St. Mary’s
2008-09 Benjamin Evenden, Monmouth Kathleen Henry, Sacred Heart
Tara Maxwell, Robert Morris
Erin Reifsteck, Saint Francis U
2007-08 Ian Butcher, Saint Francis U Katja Bavendam, St. Francis Brooklyn
2006-07 Moran Stern, St. Francis Brooklyn Lisa Jaszka, Robert Morris
Andrija Vrdoljak, St. Francis Brooklyn
About The Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 39th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 11 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to a number of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Boston (#9), Pittsburgh (#24), Baltimore (#26), Hartford/New Haven (#33) and Providence (#53). 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 access to 16 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Merrimack, 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 Snapchat, all @NECsports.