Student-Athletes Honored at Athletics Awards Banquet

Student-Athletes Honored at Athletics Awards Banquet

AURORA, N.Y. – Student-athletes representing all 14 of Wells College’s NCAA Division III varsity sports were honored at the 41st-annual Athletics Awards Banquet on Monday. 


Orchestrated by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Wells, the ceremony formally recognizes the accomplishments of both teams and individuals for their performances across various arenas, from the courts, pools and fields to the classrooms on the Aurora campus. 

Several major awards are issued at the yearly ceremony, including the Kathryn S. Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete Award, the John D. Wilson–Ralph H. Poole, Jr. Award and the Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year awards. Other team honors are issued at the banquet, including team Most Valuable Player, Rookie, Express and other special awards. 

Kathryn S. Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete Award 

Established in 1988, the Kathryn S. Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete Award is awarded to the member of the senior class who has participated on a varsity team for a minimum of three seasons and has exemplified academic excellence throughout his or her career at Wells College. 

Maloney, who joined Wells as a physical education instructor in 1946, served as the College’s Associate Dean of Students and coached the field hockey and women’s tennis teams during the 1970’s. She also served as an instructor for various sports, including basketball and synchronized swimming. 

She retired from Wells in 1988 and returned in 1995, assuming the Director of Physical Education position for one year. She came out of retirement once again, assuming that position once again during the 2003-04 academic year. 

In recognition of his strong academic and athletic performance with the men’s soccer program, Michael Sciotti (North Syracuse, N.Y.) is the recipient of the Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. A three-year member of the men’s soccer team at Wells, Sciotti has achieved a 4.152 grade-point average and is set to graduate a full year early with a degree in Economics and Management alongside a minor in Sport Management. 

A two-time North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Scholar-Athlete award recipient, Sciotti earned prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association of America Men’s College Division Scholar All-East Region Honorable Mention placement in 2014 in recognition of his strong academic and athletic performance. He has received numerous other academic-based awards, including the Wall Street Journal prize, the Henry Wells Scholarship and the 21st Century Scholarship. 

On campus, Sciotti is an active participant in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and represented the NEAC at the annual NCAA convention in 2015. Joining four student-athletes from other member institutions, Sciotti and his peers sat in on a variety of meetings to gain insight on the administrative operations of athletics programs. 

On the pitch, Sciotti has started 27 games as a goalkeeper for the Express. During that span, he has posted a miniscule 1.20 goals-against average, making 117 total saves for a save percentage of .791 which ranks third all-time. He collected NEAC Third Team All-Conference honors after posting a NEAC-leading .840 save percentage and a league-best (and team record) seven shutouts in 2014. 

His three NEAC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week selections in 2014 led the conference’s men’s soccer players. 

John D. Wilson–Ralph H. Poole, Jr. Award 

The John D. Wilson–Ralph H. Poole, Jr. Award is issued to a member of the senior class who, in the spirit of a liberal arts education, has made a distinguished contribution during his or her four years to the Wells College Department of Athletics. John D. Wilson was the president of Wells College from 1969-75 and Ralph H. Poole, Jr., was Chairman of the Wells Board of Trustees for 13 years. 

In recognition of her athletic and academic prowess, Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) was tabbed as the recipient of the Wilson-Poole award. Achzet is a four-year member of the women’s basketball team and has played two years of women’s lacrosse and softball for the Express. 

Achzet joined the women’s basketball team in 2012 and would go on to appear in 104 games across four seasons, a program record. A member of the “starting five” in all 104 contests, she averaged nearly seven points per game and hauled in 5.3 rebounds per contest, wrapping up her career ranked second all-time in boards (548) and third all-time in points scored (719). 

A key member of the 2013-14 NEAC Championship team that made its first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament appearance that same season, Achzet also ranks third in career minutes played (2,856) and fifth in career assists (144) and steals (93). She also served a pivotal leadership role with the team, earning the Express Award while serving as a two-time team captain. 

Achzet was a member of the softball program at Wells before it was discontinued following the 2014 campaign. She racked up a .340 batting average, collecting 36 hits in 106 at-bats while hitting a program-record six career home runs. Playing primarily at shortstop, Achzet stroked three home runs as a freshman and a sophomore en route to earning NEAC Second Team All-Conference in both seasons. Her career slugging percentage of .575 places her second all-time in the program’s history – additionally, she secured her team’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore in 2014. 

She joined the women’s lacrosse program in 2015, appearing in 25 games on defense for Wells. She scored three goals and three assists for six points (3-3=6) while reeling in 40 ground balls and causing 22 turnovers, including 14 as a senior. She earned her team’s Express Award in 2015 in recognition of her hard work in transitioning from softball to lacrosse. 

Outside of athletics, Achzet is an active member of her campus community. A Teacher’s Assistant in Anatomy/Physiology and Organic Chemistry, Achzet has served as a Resident Advisor and the Collegiate 4-H Club chairperson. Active in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Wells, she was elected Chair as a senior after serving as a team representative for several years. 

Achzet has earned both Dean’s List and NEAC Scholar-Athlete honors in her career and entered her final semester at Wells with a 3.59 grade-point average. She will graduate with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. 

Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year 

Senior Tyler Morris (Maryland, N.Y.) and junior Ashida Cooper (Bensalem, Pa.) were tabbed as the 2015-16 Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year for their performances across the prior season of play. Nominations were submitted and voted on by the Department of Athletics coaches and staff. 

As a team captain of the men's soccer program in 2015, Morris has helped his team to a 13-7 overall record and a program-best 9-3 mark in North Eastern Athletic Conference. Serving as his team's starting centerback, Morris and his defensive corps recorded a program-record 0.93 goals-against average in 2015. As a team, the Express also posted eight shutouts in 20 games, setting a team record for clean sheets in one season. 

He helped his team to a 2-1 victory over Keuka on Nov. 7, clinching a spot in the NEAC Championship game for the first time in team history – against the Wolfpack, Morris assisted the game-tying goal in the 71st minute. Offensively, he chipped in with two goals and his first collegiate assist in 2015. 

Across the previous two seasons, Morris’ defensive efforts have helped the Wells backfield to limit its opponents to a 0.98 goals-against average across that span. 

Morris has appeared in 65 career games for the Express since 2012, scoring five goals and posting one assist for 11 points (5-1=11) while leading all field players in minutes played across the last two seasons. The Rookie of the Year for the men's soccer team in 2012, Morris has also competed on the men's swimming team where he helped three relays to top-10 records in only his first year as a swimmer in 2014. 

A double major in Physics and Computer Science, Morris became the second-ever recipient of CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this past November. The prestigious award recognizes student-athletes across the nation for athletic and academic prowess – he also earned Academic All-District shortly after the season, becoming his school’s fifth-ever selection. 

Joining the Express prior to this season as a transfer student from NCAA Division I Drexel University, Cooper earned NEAC First Team All-Conference honors after averaging 18.8 points per game across 26 contests for Wells. Shooting .524 from the floor (209-for-399), she registered 135 total rebounds, picked up 93 steals and dished out 89 total rebounds across 739 minutes played. 

Among women's basketball players in the NEAC, Cooper's .524 field goal percentage was the second-highest while her 18.8 points per game was tied for fifth-best. She also earned top-10 ranks in the conference with 93 steals (third-most), 488 points scored (fourth-highest) and 93 assists (seventh-most). 

In games against conference teams, Cooper raised her field goal percentage to an even 54% (155-for-287, second-highest in the NEAC) and also posted 66 steals, the third-most by any NEAC student-athlete in conference play. 

Cooper also found herself ranked nationally, finishing 13th in NCAA Division III in field goals made (209), 15th in steals per game (3.58) and 17th in steals (93) nationwide. Her .524 field goal percentage (209-for-399) placed her 44th among qualifying players nationwide while her 18.8 points per game was 43rd in the nation. 

She also set single-season records for Wells, posting the program's finest assists average (3.4) and steals (93). Her 3.6 steals per game also was the best single-season mark in team history while her 209 field goals made ranks second alongside her .524 field goal percentage. Her 89 assists in one season is the second-most by any student-athlete in school history. 

Team Achievement Award 

Faculty Athletics Representative Jaclyn Schnurr presented the Team Achievement Award to the Wells field hockey team. This award is presented annually to the intercollegiate team that achieved the highest grade-point average across both the spring and fall semesters of 2015. 

With a collective grade-point average of 3.584, the field hockey team recorded the second-highest average since the award was instituted in 1999. Additionally, the field hockey team at Wells picked up the award for the first time since the 2000-01 academic year when the squad notched a 3.339 grade-point average. 

Head Coach Kat Heterbring and the Express enjoyed a successful season after, for the first time in the team's 40-year history as a varsity sport, the Express captured its first-ever conference championship this past October, winning the North Eastern Athletic Conference league title after defeating Wilson College by a 1-0 score. The team is the first in Wells College history to win both a NEAC Championship and the Team Achievement Award. 

Academically, 11 members of the team earned placement on the ZAG / NFHCA National Academic Squad while sophomores Nicole Sales (Woodbury, Conn.) and Kaitlyn Schwend (San Marcos, Calif.) were tabbed as Scholars of Distinction by the organization. Furthermore, Wells posted the nation's fifth highest grade-point average, trailing only Elizabethtown College (3.70), Marywood University (3.63), Earlham College (3.62) and Salisbury University (3.61). 

Additional Awards and Recognition

President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter began the ceremony by announcing the department's major awards and accomplishments while acknowledging the two NEAC championships won by Wells College sports teams (men's swimming, field hockey).

Provost Dr. Cindy Speaker and Director of Athletics Mike Lindberg concluded the first half of the ceremony by presenting gifts of appreciation to the graduating student-athletes for their contributions to the various athletic programs at Wells during their tenure. 

Prior to the major award winners being recognized and celebrated, each team’s Most Valuable Players, Rookie of the Year and Lesley Wead Zabriskie Express Award winners were hailed during speeches by the department’s head coaching staff. 

To be selected as a team’s Most Valuable Player, the player must exhibit exceptional athletic ability while making an outstanding contribution to the team at large. The Rookie of the Year award recipient must demonstrate the skill and personal characteristics that are reflected in the philosophy of intercollegiate athletics. 

The Express Award is issued by the coach to the player who embodies the true ideals of team commitment – leadership, discipline, dedication and sportsmanship. A fourth award was introduced at the banquet – each coach may elect to issue a Most Outstanding Offensive/Defensive Player or a Most Improved Player. 

A full list of athletic award recipients reads as follows.

Field Hockey

Shelby Bourn
(Sidney, N.Y.) 

Ivy Cromp
(Sauquoit, N.Y.) 
Lexie Roberson
(Lewisville, N.C.) 
Cat Taylor
(Jackson, N.J.)
Outstanding Offensive Player 
Men's Basketball Rich Ross
(Bronx, N.Y.) 
Rich Ross
(Bronx, N.Y.) 
James Feocco
(Auburn, N.Y.) 
James Feocco
(Auburn, N.Y.)
Outstanding Defensive Player 
Men's Cross Country Stephen Armstrong
(Erin, N.Y.) 
Tanner Mingen
(Houston, Texas) 
Stephen Armstrong
(Erin, N.Y.) 

Bradlee Sherman
(Cortland, N.Y.)
Most Improved Runner

 Men's Lacrosse Connor Jansen
(Horseheads, N.Y.) 

Benjamin Posecznick
(Marcellus, N.Y.) 

Tanner Mingen
(Houston, Texas) 

Michael Flaherty
(Rochester, N.Y.)
Outstanding Defensive Player

 Men's Soccer Tyler Morris
(Maryland, N.Y.) 
Jack Pilgrim
(N. Kingstown, R.I.) 
Alex van Hoekelen
(Hazleton, Pa.) 
Jesse Constantino
(Cincinnatus, N.Y.)
Most Improved Player 
 Men's Swimming Austin Heil
(Medina, N.Y.) 
Arthur Brooks
(Morristown, N.J.) 
Shawn Snell
(Hilton, N.Y.) 

Brandon Sprague
(Brockton, Mass.)
Most Improved Swimmer

 Men's Volleyball John Farruggia
(New Hartford, N.Y.) 
Ryan Turner
(Liverpool, N.Y.) 
Liam Kaylor
(Falls Church, Va.) 

Jonathan Haines
(Wellington, Fla.)
Most Improved Player

Women's Basketball  Ashida Cooper
(Bensalem, Pa.) 
Shelby Medovich
(Harpursville, N.Y.) 
Holli Erkson
(Cooperstown, N.Y.) 
Jaritza Santiago
(New York City, N.Y.)
Most Improved Player
 Women's Cross Country Amanda Fastiggi
(Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) 
Amanda Fastiggi
(Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) 
Bailey Brown
(Marcy, N.Y.) 
No Award Issued 
 Women's Lacrosse Lexie Roberson
(Lewisville, N.C.) 
Mackenzie Maloney
(Huntington Station, N.Y.) 
Sydney Line
(Northport, N.Y.) 
Mackenzie Maloney
(Huntington Station, N.Y.)
Outstanding Offensive Player 
 Women's Soccer Yanna Ososkalo
(Lyme, N.Y.)
Mackenzie Maloney
(Huntington Station, N.Y.)
Sarah Halstead
(Fulton, N.Y.)

Carley Ryan
(Middleburgh, N.Y.)
Outstanding Defensive Player

 Women's Swimming Quinn Griswold
(Alpine, N.Y.) 
Courtney Cloutier
(W. Springfield, Mass.) 
Nina Daniels
(Pittsford, N.Y.) 
Emily Blake
(Naples, N.Y.)
Most Improved Swimmer 
Women's Tennis  Brooke Benedetto
(Williamstown, N.Y.) 
Yuna Furusawa
(Hirakata, Osaka, Japan)
Brooke Benedetto
(Williamstown, N.Y.) 
Kevisha Hunt
(Germantown, Md.)
Most Improved Player 
 Women's Volleyball Vashti Nettles
(Long Beach, Calif.) 
Amanda Springer
(Norwood, Mass.) 
Nicole Loeven
(Pawling, N.Y.) 
Meredith Kadjeski
(Mechanicsburg, Pa.)
Most Improved Player