St. Mary’s City, Md. – On Wednesday night, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Department of Athletics & Recreation recognized the athletic accomplishments from the 2012-13 academic year with the annual athletics reception. Each of the Seahawks’ 17 varsity teams as well as college administrators and athletics staff attended the event.
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Advisor Stephanie Guzzo expressed, “The banquet was a wonderful night to celebrate the student-athletes and all of their hard work and success. It was a nice appreciation of all the athletes. The event always reminds me of what a great place I work for and how lucky I am to work with such great athletes. It was a great way wrap up the year.”
After opening remarks by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Beth Rushing, the evening was highlighted by the presentation of the department’s eight major awards – the Female and Male Athletes of the Year, the Female and Male Rookie Athletes of the Year, the Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year, and the Athletic Director’s Award. The night also included a special presentation to Dr. Jeffrey Byrd, professor of biology and faculty athletic representative.
The Female Athlete of the Year Award went to two outstanding individuals – sailor Mimi Roller (Coral Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands) and swimmer Kelly Heyde (Wilton, Conn./Wilton).
This is Heyde’s second consecutive year nabbing St. Mary’s Female Athlete of the Year honors. She led the women’s swim team to an 11-2 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in conference dual meets, as well as a second-place finish at the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference Championship Meet. The 5-2 senior captain became the first-ever female conference swimmer to win the same three events – the 200 and 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly events – all four years. Heyde picked up all-conference honors in a maximum seven events at this year’s conference championships while swimming the fastest leg on the school’s record-setting 800 freestyle relay. She was the CAC Female Swimmer of the Week five times this season while also earning St. Mary’s Athlete of the Month honors in November and February. Heyde set the school record in the 100 breaststroke while garnering her fourth consecutive team MVP award.
Roller had an astounding year as well as she started the year by representing her native country of the Virgin Islands in the 2012 London Olympic Games. She demonstrated herself to be one of the top women in college sailing this year. The 5-5 skipper/crew finished in the top five in every event she sailed, including a podium finish at every national-level event. Her highlights include winning the Middle Atlantic Women’s Spring Dinghy Championship on April 21st as well as seven second-place finishes, including at the Mid-Atlantic Singlehanded Championships and ICSA Singlehanded National Championships. A second-place finish at the Middle Atlantic Team Race Championship qualified the Seahawks for the Team Race National Championship on May 25 at the University of South Florida. Roller earned All-MAISA honors as a skipper this season and was selected as one of only seven all-star sailors to represent the ICSA against British University All-Stars in a month long tour this July.
Men’s tennis player Andrew Gear (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) was the recipient of the Male Athlete of the Year Award. Gear, who won the 2010-11 St. Mary’s Male Rookie of the Year award, became the school’s all-time leader in doubles wins with a 45-20 career record, surpassing the old mark of 42 set by Kyle Feeley ’12. This season, the 6-3 junior captain picked up his 50th career singles victory and takes a 56-11 career record into next year’s senior campaign. At No. 1 singles, Gear finished the season with a team-best 16-5 record. He posted a 17-5 mark at No. 1 doubles with his partner, first-year Mark Hardesty. He was twice named CAC Player of the Week this season.
The Female Rookie Athlete of the Year Award went to volleyball player Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton). The 6-1 middle blocker finished the 2012 campaign as the conference leader in hitting percentage with a team-best .365 on 271 kills against 66 errors in 561 attempts. She also owned a conference-best 1.09 blocks per set on 41 solo blocks and 64 block assists for 105 total blocks. Goodspeed was also third in the league in kills per set with a 2.82 average while contributing 74 digs and 24 service aces. She averaged a team-high 3.83 points per set and garnered the St. Mary’s Athlete of the Month award for October. Goodspeed ended the year by being named the 2012 CAC Rookie of the Year and picking up first team all-league honors.
Dual-sport athlete Ben Goldsmith (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) was the recipient of this year’s Male Rookie Athlete of the Year Award. As a 6-3 guard on the hard-court, Goldsmith averaged 2.4 minutes and owned an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.3 in 19 games played. For the Seahawk baseball team, the left-handed pitcher posted a 2.31 earned run average in 39 innings pitched. He registered a 2-1 record in 11 appearances with 27 strikeouts, picking up his first collegiate win by pitching 2.1 relief innings against then No. 1 Salisbury University. Goldsmith gave up just two hits and struck out three in the win.
This year’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award went to cross country runner Katie Phipps (Severna Park, Md./Chesapeake) as the psychology major posted a 3.858 cumulative grade point average. The 5-1 senior is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma national college student-athlete honor society and on the Dean’s List. Phipps has been a four-year leader for the women’s cross country team, earning all-conference honors as a junior in 2011.
Baseball senior Stefano Muscatelli (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate) was the recipient of this year’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The 6-1 catcher owns a 3.98 cumulative grade point average as a biology major. He is a member of three national honor societies – Chi Alpha Sigma for college student-athletes, Tri-Beta for biology, and Omicron Delta Kappa for leadership. Muscatelli has landed a spot on the Dean’s List every semester and was both a St. Mary’s Junior and Senior Scholar while earning the Mendel Biology Award. He has been active with the Health Sciences Advisory Committee and St. Mary’s Advising Students in Health, serving as its vice president this year. Muscatelli has been a four-year letterwinner for the Seahawks, starting at catcher his final three seasons, and served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee this year. He aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Muscatelli and women’s soccer senior Tori Eskay (Damascus, Md./Damascus) then honored Dr. Jeffrey Byrd with a plaque recognizing his many years of service to the athletic department as a Seahawk supporter, mentor and faculty athletic representative. The special presentation came as a surprise to Dr. Byrd and left him speechless.
Scott Devine, the St. Mary’s director of athletics & recreation, bestowed his Athletic Director’s Award on women’s basketball senior guard Jasmine Jones (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) while SAAC honored Muscatelli with the SAAC Award. As the SAAC President, Muscatelli gave out the first-ever SAAC President’s Award to field hockey sophomore Olivia Edwards (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) for dedicated commitment to SAAC.
As tradition goes, the awards reception concluded with the presentation of the athletic highlight video put together by athletic department photographer and sports information assistant, William Wood, and women’s soccer junior Katherine Schaffer (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) .
Guzzo commented, “The video was a nice tribute to the seniors and all the student-athletes’ hard work. It is clear that a lot of hard work and time went into making something special for everyone to enjoy.”
The reception was a great success full of camaraderie and genuine appreciation of the accomplishments achieved by each of the Seahawks’ 17 varsity teams.
“The awards reception could not have been possible without the help and hard work of SAAC. Not only did they help plan and organize this event but they also ran the entire show. The students have always wanted a day to be recognized in front of their peers and the SAAC helped them achieve this. Their time and dedication to their fellow athletes is always unsurpassed. I am very proud of all them and what they have done not just in planning and running such a large and fun event, but in all they do throughout the year,” concluded Guzzo.