Skyhawks honored for their efforts on and off the field of play
Representing Stonehill on the NE-10 All-Academic teams are men's cross country senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial), seniors Jill Alves (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) and Maura Ferrarini (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Cathedral) from the women's cross country team, field hockey seniors Laura Menke (Greenland, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) and Kathryn Nelson (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), senior Matt Iannucci (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) from the football team, men's soccer seniors Christopher Agan (Niskayuna, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) and Michael White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional), senior Kelsey Mahoney (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) and juniors Elizabeth Belanger (Hooksett, N.H./Manchester Central) and Sara Nagle (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) from the women's soccer team and junior Erin Kelly (Tinley Park, Ill./Marist) and sophomore Sydney Maxey (Hutto, Texas/Hutto) from the volleyball team.
Stonehill's 13 honorees are second most in the NE-10 behind just Bentley University's 15, with Southern Connecticut State University third with eight. Of Stonehill's 13 honorees, nine are seniors, three juniors and one a sophomore. Ten of the honorees also earned All-Northeast-10 Conference honors this past season, seven collected All-Region accolades from their respective sports organizations and Nelson was a consensus All-American in field, while Belanger earned Capital One Academic All-America status.
Alves, a four-time NE-10 All-Conference and NCAA Division II East Region performer, collects NE-10 All-Academic honors for the second time in cross country (fourth overall, including track and field). Alves, a Capital One Academic All-District I selection for cross country and track and field as a junior, helped Stonehill to its third-straight NE-10 championship and tenth in program history by placing 15th overall in a season-best time of 18:34.85 on the five-kilometer layout.
Alves, the NE-10 Freshman of the Year in 2008, also posted a season-best time of 23:23.0 at the NCAA Division II East Regionals over six kilometers, to push the Skyhawks to its third-straight title and 12th-straight trip to the NCAA Division II Championships. The psychology major has compiled a 3.46 cumulative grade point average and is a member of the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls.
Ferrarini gathers NE-10 All-Academic honors in cross country for the second time in her career (sixth overall, including track and field), having earned a cumulative 3.77 GPA as a chemistry major at Stonehill. Ferrarini shined in her senior season for the Skyhawks earning NCAA Division II All-East Region and All-Conference first team honors for the first time in her career while guiding Stonehill to its third-straight NE-10 championship, third-straight East Regionals title and 12th-straight trip to Nationals.Ferrarini, who earned Capital One Academic All-District I honors as a junior, posted a career-best time of 18:12.58 finishing third overall on the five-kilometer course. Ferrarini followed up that performance with her second-straight career-best time of 23.12 at the NCAA Division II East Regionals. She has been a member of the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Department Honor Rolls every semester in her four-year career and participated in the College's SURE program last summer researched The Neural Arousal System, a project focused on the neuroanatomical circuits involved in switching between sleep and wakefulness.
Polito earns his third NE-10 All-Academic cross country selection (seventh overall, including his four indoor and outdoor track and field honors) after leading Stonehill to its second NE-10 championship in its last three seasons and fifth in program history. The 2010 NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for cross country, finished second overall at the NE-10 Championships with a personal best time of 24:19.24 on the eight-kilometer course.
Senior Jill Alves earned Academic All-Conference honors for the second-straight year after helping lead the Skyhawks to the NE-10 and NCAA East Regional titles.
Polito also finished 11th overall at the New England Championships in 25:07 picking up All-New England honors and third overall at the NCAA Division II East Regionals in a personal best time of 31:30.4 on the ten-kilometer layout. The graphic design major has earned a 3.70 cumulative grade point average and is a four-time All-NE-10 performer and has been on the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's honor rolls every semester at Stonehill.
Nelson earns Academic All-Conference honors for the first time, having earned a 3.54 cumulative grade point average as a psychology major at Stonehill. She was a consensus All-American for the second-straight year this fall, collecting first team honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and second team by womensfieldhockey.com. Nelson earned Capital One Academic All-District I at large honors for the 2010-11 academic year, is a three-time NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad member and has been named to the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls every semester.
The third player in program history to surpass 100 career points this fall, Nelson started all 20 games for Stonehill and led the way with 12 goals (8th NE-10) and seven assists (8th) for 31 points (7th). The two-time All-Northeast-10 selection finished her career ranked third in program history with 103 points and 45 goals to go with 13 assists in 82 career games played. Nelson was an NE-10 All-Rookie team selection as a freshman in 2008 and has netted 12 game winning goals over her career.
Menke is also an NE-10 Academic All-Conference selection for the first time, having earned a 3.76 cumulative GPA while majoring in biology at the College - the second-highest GPA on the team. She started 12 of the 13 games she appeared in during her senior season and finished with two goals and two assists for six points, moving to the Skyhawks defensive unit midway through the season after playing forward her first three years.
Menke, who posted a perfect 4.0 GPA during the fall 2011 semester, has earned NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Roll status each semester. She and Nelson were part of two NE-10 Tournament runner-up squads and NCAA Tournament teams, reaching the national semifinals on two occasions. They helped the Skyhawks to the NE-10 regular season championship in 2009. Menke posted seven goals and six assists for 20 points in 59 career games played.
Iannucci earns NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors for the first time, having achieved a 3.32 cumulative grade point average as a business major at Stonehill. He started all 11 games for the Skyhawks this fall and finished second on the team with 91 tackles (8th NE-10), including a team-high 46 solo stops, with 1.5 for a loss of seven yards, 0.5 sacks for a loss of six, two interceptions, an additional pass breakup, an NE-10 leading three fumble recoveries and team-best three forced fumbles (2nd).
Iannucci earned NE10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Roll status both semesters during the 2010-11 academic year. He played 33 games over his career at Stonehill and totaled 203 tackles (105 solo), including 4.0 for a loss of 12 yards, eight interceptions, eight additional breakups and forced five fumbles.
Agan picks up NE-10 All-Academic honor for the second straight year and has earned a 3.53 cumulative grade points average, the highest on the team, while majoring in accounting. Agan is the first Stonehill men's soccer player since Robbie Burns in 1997 to earn three-straight All-Northeast-10 awards with his three third-team selections. He is one of four players on the 2011 team to start all 19 games and guided the Skyhawks backline to a 1.50 goals against average (GAA) and four shutouts in conference play.
Senior Maura Ferrarini is a six time NE-10 Academic All-Conference selection with her second cross country honor to go with four in track and field. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Agan played in 66 games throughout his career (62 starts) and helped Stonehill to its first winning season since 1997 this past fall.
White earns NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors in soccer for the second straight year to go with honors in baseball as well last spring. The business major has a 3.30 GPA at Stonehill and has also earned NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll status each semester. White is a two-time All-East Region selection after collecting second team NSCAA/adidas honors this past season. He has also earned All-Region honors in two sports, as the recently named Preseason All-American has been an All-East Region performer for Stonehill's baseball program as well.
White finished tied for second among NE-10 leaders in goals (ten) and third in points (25) during his senior season while leading his squad in both categories. White earned All-Northeast-10 first team honors this past fall and is the first Stonehill player to do so since 1999. He finished his career with 59 points in 69 games played, netting 24 goals to go with 11 assists.
Belanger collects NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors for the second-straight year, adding to what has already been a banner year for the junior in the classroom and in the field of play. Belanger became the eighth Capital One Academic All-American in school history this past fall after earning Academic All-District honors for the second-straight year. She was awarded the Fred C. Petti Academic Award for having the highest grade point average among all female student-athletes at the College during the 2010-11 academic year and received the St. Thomas Aquinas Medal for the highest cumulative GPA on her team. The neuroscience major has earned a 3.96 GPA at Stonehill, is a member of the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls and has also participated in Stonehill's SURE Program, focusing on research that will look at how caffeine can be used to assess the role of adenosine in mediating the connection between sleep restriction and memory deficits.
Belanger started 15 of the 16 games she played this past fall, helping Stonehill record ten shutouts as a team, the best goals against average in NE-10 play at 0.58 and the third-best GAA overall in the Conference at 0.68. She was also instrumental in advancing the Skyhawks to the NE-10 semifinal round for the first time since 1999, their eighth appearance in school history.
Mahoney earns her second NE-10 All-Academic selection, having earned a 3.66 cumulative grade point average as an environmental studies major at Stonehill. She led the team in scoring with 13 points despite seeing her season cut to 14 games, netting five goals and dishing out three assists. The captain also scored one game-winning goal.
Mahoney, a third team All-Norteast-10 selection in 2009 and 2011, is a member of the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls and has earned an ADA Academic Achievement Award during her four-year career. Mahoney is a two-time NEWISA All-New England second team selection as well.
Nagle earns Academic All-Conference honors for the first time to round out the women's soccer team's three selections – the most among Stonehill's fall sports teams. Nagle received four regional awards throughout the season earning NSCAA All-East Region honors, a NEWISA second team selection, a first-time selection to the Daktronics All-East Region second team and Capital One Academic All-District second team selections.
Nagle, a criminology major with a 3.67 GPA, was only one of four players to start all 20 games for the Skyhawks and guided defensive backline that posted ten shutouts, the best goals against average in NE-10 play at 0.58 and the third-best GAA overall in the Conference at 0.68. Nagle also scored her second career goal in Stonehill's 3-2 NE-10 quarterfinal round victory at Southern Connecticut State University. The NE-10 All-Rookie Team selection in 2008 has also participated in Stonehill's HOPE Program in Honduras and Florida and boasts the second highest GPA on the team.
Kelly picks up her first-career NE-10 All-Academic All-Conference selection, having earned a 3.77 cumulative grade point average as a communications major at the College. She has also received the St. Thomas Aquinas Medal for having the highest GPA on the team and is a member of the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls. Kelly has also earned an ADA Academic Achievement Award and helped Stonehill win an AVCA Academic Achievement Team Award for the 2010-11 season.
Kelly, an AVCA All-East Region honorable mention selection this fall, ranked 15th overall in NCAA Division II with a Northeast-10 Conference leading 0.58 service aces per set. She also ranked third in the conference for total digs (487) and eighth in digs per set (3.87). Kelly earned All-NE-10 second team honors and an NE-10 All-Championship Team selection.
Maxey, also a first-time NE-10 All-Academic pick, led Stonehill to its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, ranking second in the NE-10 in kills (374), third in kills per set (3.22), third in points (418.5), sixth in hitting percentage (.253), seventh in points per set (3.61), eighth in digs (411) and tenth in digs per set (3.54). For her efforts, Maxey became one of the first two Stonehill players to earn AVCA All-East Region Team honors.
Maxey is a member of both the NE-10 Commissioner's and Athletic Director's Honor Rolls, having earned a 3.50 cumulative grade point average as an English major at Stonehill. Maxey was named the NE-10's Player of the Week three times (9/13, 9/27, 10/4) this past season and earned All-Conference first team honors. Maxey also helped the Skyhawks tie the program record for wins in a season (27-8, 1996) and establish a new record most conference wins in a season (14-1). She also maintains a weekly blog for the Stonehill athletic website during the season.
To be eligible for selection to the academic teams, a student-athlete must have met and/or exceeded the following minimum requirements: 1) participated in at least half of the team's competitions and be either a starter or significant contributor; 2) achieved a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale); and 3) completed at least one academic year at his/her current institution. The Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference teams are chosen by a vote of a selection pool that includes administrators, Senior Woman Administrator council, Sports Information Directors and the Faculty Athletic Representative council.