Northeast Conference Announces 2019 Spring Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content


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The Official Site of the Northeast Conference


Northeast Conference Announces 2019 Spring Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll


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Somerset, NJ --  An elite group of student-athletes were honored today by the Northeast Conference (NEC) as 2019 Spring Scholar-Athlete award winners.

These highly decorated individuals included a pair of repeat scholar-athlete winners, the male and female NEC Student-Athlete of the Year recipients, an Academic All-District honoree, two NEC Player of the Year awardees, an NEC individual champion, and seven student-athletes with at least a 3.90 grade point average.

LIU Brooklyn led the way with three student-athletes earning accolades, followed by two apiece for Fairleigh Dickinson and Wagner, and one each for Bryant, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart.

All scholar-athlete award winners have compiled 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 1,002 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average. There were also 283 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 2018-19 academic year, a league record 2,427 NEC student-athletes landed a spot on the Academic Honor Roll. That figure also represents over 60 percent of the NEC’s competitors. Likewise, a record 761 student-athletes were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, a 5.7 percent jump from 2017-18.
Fairleigh Dickinson senior catcher Evan McDonald (Circleville, OH/Logan Elm) earned the baseball scholar-athlete award. McDonald earned first team All-NEC recognition this spring after hitting .319 with 10 homers, 37 RBI and a team-high 39 runs scored. He ranked sixth on the circuit in round-trippers and fifth in slugging (.548). The Circleville, OH native wrapped his career ranked second at FDU in doubles (49), third in homers (28) and seventh in hits (197). McDonald, who was recently named the NEC Male Student-Athlete of the Year for his noteworthy on- and off-field accomplishments as a student-athlete, served on the FDU SAAC and as a Veteran & Emerging Leader in the Knights LEAD Program. He also donated his time to the local community with a long list of volunteer activities, including transporting the physically disabled to medical appointments and assembling care packages for troops. A Psychology major and four-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll, McDonald graduated with a 3.72 grade point average.
Fairleigh Dickinson junior Florian Schroedl (Berlin, Germany/Hans Carossa Oberschule) was the recipient of the men’s golf scholar-athlete honor. Schroedl captured the NEC individual title in April, shooting a one-under 215 (73-74-68) to win by four strokes. His four-under 68 in the final round was the seventh-best 18-hole performance in championship history. Schroedl went on to represent the NEC at NCAA Regionals in Myrtle Beach, SC. On the year, he posted the second-lowest stroke average in the conference at 74.1 and was named to the All-NEC first team after earning second team honors in 2018. Schroedl has been named to the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of his three years as a Knight. The International Business major from Berlin, Germany has compiled a 3.90 grade point average.
Accomplished Wagner senior Pascalle Tego (Mexico City, Mexico/Mexico Colegion Monteverde) claimed scholar-athlete honors in women’s golf. Tego ended her star-studded career as a four-time All-NEC performer after picking up first team accolades last month. She sparked the Seahawks to a third place finish at the NEC Golf Championship in April with a fourth place individual showing. Tego showed remarkable consistency over her four years, finishing in the top-10 at the conference meet each time. The Mexico City product paced Wagner with a 77.69 stroke average this season, highlighted by a seventh-place finish at the Bucknell Invitational. Tego, who posted a 3.92 GPA as an Economics major, was recently honored as the NEC Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She earned invitations into Wagner’s Nicolais School of Business Select Program as well as the Student Alumni Association, and served as the President of the Student Professional Association. The Omicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society member (International Economics) also earned Wagner’s Economics Department Award. Tego’s service to the Staten Island community included working as a teaching assistant at Port Richmond Middle School and volunteering for Project Hospitality, a local organization that delivers food to those in need. She leaves Wagner as a four-time selection to the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Robert Morris senior midfielder Tyson Gibson (Maple, Ontario/St. Michael’s College School) was a double winner, earning both NEC Player of the Year and scholar-athlete plaudits in men’s lacrosse. Gibson was named to the All-NEC first team for a third straight year and was tabbed a USILA Honorable Mention All-American after helping guide the Colonials to a second straight NEC title. He scored the game-winner in RMU’s semifinal win over top-seeded Mount and was named to the NEC All-Tournament team. Gibson led the NEC with 2.35 assists per game, which ranked 15th in the nation. He also paced the Colonials with 69 points and racked up 50 ground balls. Gibson leaves RMU as its all-time leader in assists (89) and assists per game (1.41), and ranks fifth in points (161) and points per game (2.56). Adding to his honors, the Maple, Ontario native was a Senior CLASS award nominee and a member of the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of his four years. Gibson graduated with a 3.88 grade point average while majoring in Finance.
Mount St. Mary’s senior goalkeeper Jillian Petito (Ocean City, MD/Stephen Decatur) was at the top of her game on the field and in the classroom on her way to women’s lacrosse scholar-athlete honors. Petito made her third-straight All-NEC appearance and earned her second consecutive All-NEC first team accolade for the regular season champion Mountaineers. Petito remarkably led the NCAA in for the second straight year in save percentage (.564), and also ranked first nationally in goals against average (7.14). She held opponents to single-digit goals in 15-of-19 outings to anchor the nation’s top-ranked defensive unit. Petito finished her career second on the Mount all-time list with 30 career wins and ranks third with 504 saves. Named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll in each of her four years, she registered a 3.68 grade point average as a Business major.
LIU Brooklyn redshirt junior outfielder Patricia Griffin (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) was the co-recipient of the softball scholar-athlete award. Griffin earned a slew of year-end honors for the NEC regular season champs and NEC Tournament runner-up Blackbirds. A catalyst from the leadoff spot, she was named first team All-NEC, second team NFCA All-Region and second team All-ECAC after ranking in the conference top-10 in hitting (.353, ninth), hits (65, fourth), runs scored (37, seventh) and doubles (13, seventh). She had previously earned second team All-Conference honors in 2018. Griffin, who hails from Marlton, NJ, also led LIU with eight stolen bases, recorded seven three-hit games and did not commit an error while recording five outfield assists. Griffin has been recognized on the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her four years. She is a Middle Childhood Education major and has compiled a near-perfect 3.99 grade point average.
Sacred Heart junior pitcher Emily Orosco (Camarillo, CA/Aldolfo Camarillo) made it back-to-back scholar-athlete awards in softball. Orosco followed up her NEC Pitcher of the Year season in 2018 with an 11-6 showing at the mound, striking out a league-high 145 batters on her way to All-Conference first team honors for the second straight year. She held opposing batters to a league-low .188 average and her 2.51 ERA ranked third on the circuit. Orosco was even better in league play with a 6-1 record and NEC-best numbers in ERA (1.60), strikeouts (63) and opponent batting average (.182). She landed a spot on the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her four years. The native of Camarillo, CA majored in Biology and graduated with a near-perfect 3.98 grade point average.
A case can be made that Bryant redshirt senior Matt Kuhar’s (Smithfield, RI/Smithfield) brilliant on-court career has been matched by his success off of it. Kuhar has now three-peated as both NEC Player of the Year and NEC scholar-athlete in men’s tennis for the six-time defending champion Bulldogs. In becoming just the second player in conference history to win three NEC Player of the Year honors, Kuhar posted a 24-8 singles record, including a 17-3 mark in #1 flight play and a perfect 4-0 slate against conference competitors. He led the NEC in total victories and ranked third in win percentage (.750). After earning his first national ITA ranking a year ago, Kuhar reached as high as #77 this past season with wins over a host of ranked opponents, and also ascended to #38 in the ITA doubles rankings as part of his pairing with Wilson Dong. The duo earned a spot in the NCAA doubles championship, the first team in league history to do so. A homegrown product from Smithfield, he finished his career with 13 NEC Player of the Week/Month honors, and posted a 87-31 career singles record and 58-18 lifetime doubles mark. Kuhar ended his time at Bryant as a four-time All-NEC singles and three-time All-NEC doubles honoree, and was a former NEC Rookie of the Year and two-time member of the NEC All-Tournament team. Likewise, he was named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll five times. Kuhar majored in Finance and has already earned his MBA. He posted a 3.70 grade point average as an undergraduate and 3.66 GPA in graduate school.
LIU Brooklyn junior Ana Leonte (Basel, Switzerland/Gymnasium Kirschgarten) was the winner of the women’s tennis scholar-athlete of the year award. Leonte served as a catalyst on a Blackbird squad that won its third straight NEC title this past April. She was voted to the All-NEC doubles first team for the third straight year along with partner Anna Grigoryan, and also made her first All-NEC singles appearance with her selection to the second team. Leonte posted the highest singles win percentage in the conference this past season (.846), winning 11 of her 13 matches at the #5 and #6 flights. She picked up a straight set win in LIU’s title-clinching match against FDU to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team and cap a perfect 4-0 season against NEC competitors. Her pairing with Grigoryan yielded a 14-8 record on the year, including an 8-0 conference slate. Leonte, who calls Basel, Switzerland home, was tabbed to the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her three years in Brooklyn. She is a Psychology major who has compiled a 3.92 grade point average.
Wagner junior distance runner Jonathan Besselink (Kingston, Ontario/Holy Cross Catholic Secondary) parlayed a strong year on the track and in the classroom into men’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete honors. Besselink dominated the field in winning the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in May. He topped the field by nearly nine seconds, crossing the tape in an IC4A qualifying time of 9:13.98. Besselink went on to become Wagner’s first-ever NCAA Regional qualifier in the steeplechase, finishing 25th in a loaded field with a time of 9:01.34. The Kingston, Ontario product was recently named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District team and was also the NEC scholar-athlete of the year in men’s cross country last fall. Besselink is a three-time member of the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll. A Business Administration major, Besselink maintains a 3.90 grade point average.
LIU Brooklyn senior Eugenie Hue (Cherbourg, France/Cherbourg (Essex CC)) added women’s outdoor track and field scholar-athlete honors to her indoor award from the winter. Hue captured the NEC title in the 800 meters at the conference championship meet in May. She set a new meet record in her heat with a time of 2:10.10, then cruised to the title with a 2:11.82 effort that put her nearly two seconds ahead of the field. Hue also ran the second leg on LIU’s runner-up squad in the 4x400 meter relay. Hue, who hails from Cherbourg, France, has earned a spot on the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll lists in all three of her years at LIU. The Sports Science major posted a 3.95 cumulative grade point average.
2019 Northeast Conference Spring Scholar-Athletes
Sport                   Name                 School                  Cl     GPA     Major
Baseball                Evan McDonald        Fairleigh Dickinson     Sr     3.72    Psychology
Men’s Golf              Florian Schroedl     Fairleigh Dickinson     Jr     3.90    International Business
Women’s Golf            Pascalle Tego        Wagner                  Sr     3.92    Economics
Men’s Lacrosse          Tyson Gibson         Robert Morris           Sr     3.88    Finance
Women’s Lacrosse        Jillian Petito       Mount St. Mary’s        Sr     3.68    Accounting
Softball                Patricia Griffin     LIU Brooklyn            R-Jr   3.99    Middle Childhood Education
                        Emily Orosco         Sacred Heart            Sr     3.98    Biology
Men’s Tennis            Matt Kuhar           Bryant                  R-Sr   3.70    Finance (undergrad)
                                                                            3.66    MBA   
Women’s Tennis          Ana Leonte           LIU Brooklyn            Jr     3.92    Psychology
Men’s Outdoor Track     Jonathan Besselink   Wagner                  Sr     3.90    Business Administration
Women’s Outdoor Track   Eugenie Hue          LIU Brooklyn            Sr     3.95    Sports Science

About The Northeast Conference
Now wrapping up its 38th 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. Merrimack will join the NEC as a full-time member in July, 2019. 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 Google+, all @NECsports.