Schwartz Voted Recipient of CAC Unsung Hero Award
York, Pa. – Sophomore defender Kira Schwartz (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) became the third St. Mary's College of Maryland student-athlete to win the Capital Athletic Conference Unsung Hero Award in the last 12 years as announced by conference commissioner, Tom Byrnes, Thursday afternoon.
Since the award's inception in 1997, the Seahawks have been represented by field hockey standout, Cara Roviello '01, in 2001 as well as women's soccer and women's basketball star, Katie Greenberg '06, in 2006.
To be eligible for the CAC Unsung Hero Award, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore; demonstrate success and be an integral part of the team's success; and demonstrate leadership skills and the ability to sacrifice their own personal goals for the good of the team or program.
Schwartz, a political science and German double major with a 3.84 grade point average, overcame knee surgeries in consecutive years and another midseason injury to lead the Seahawks to the 2011 CAC Women's Soccer championship game as the No. 6 seed, falling in the title game to Salisbury University in overtime.
The Seahawk defense, with Schwartz as a first-year starting center back, helped the team win its first four games in 2011, move into the regional rankings for the first time in five seasons and ended the campaign with six shutouts. This after suffering a devastating knee injury during her senior year in high school which limited her to three games played prior to the 2011 season.
Schwartz participated in every aspect of the team during her injured seasons, including the team's summer trip to Spain, to support her teammates. After a second-straight year of strenuous rehab activities, designed to strengthen the injury and get her back on the field, Schwartz suffered another setback during an early-season game that ultimately led to her decision to retire from competitive soccer following the 2011 season.
She did not tell anybody, including head coach Brianne Weaver, about the injury until the veteran mentor could tell there was something different about her style of play. With Weaver's support, Schwartz battled through the injury and led the Seahawks into the CAC playoffs, helping them win a pair of road games before falling in the title game to regular-season champion Salisbury in overtime – following another 90-minute shutout performance by the Schwartz-led defense.