Fairfield Hosts 2017 Student-Athlete Award Ceremony
April 24, 2017
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University Athletics held its annual Student-Athlete Award Ceremony on Monday evening at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Seven student-athletes received individual honors at the event for their performance in competition, in the classroom and in the community in addition to recognition for all of the department’s graduating seniors.
“There are so many of you that have done extraordinary work both on and off the field,” said Fairfield University Interim President Dr. Lynn Babington in her remarks. “You embody the Jesuit tradition of education.”
Prior to the announcement of the student-athlete awards, the ECAC Certificate of Appreciation was presented to former Fairfield University President, the Reverend Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. Fr. von Arx received the honor in recognition of his commitment to enhancing the student-athlete experience and his consistent presence as the Stags’ biggest fan during his 12-year presidency.
“Through his vision and example, Fairfield University became a leader in our community, in our state, and in our region. And I think I speak for everyone in the room tonight when I say thank you for that vision and example.” said Director of Athletics Gene Doris in his introduction.
“You, more than most people on this campus, are the face of Fairfield University to the public,” Fr. von Arx said in his address to the student-athletes. “The way that you compete and the way that you represent yourselves reflects upon Fairfield University more than almost anybody else.”
The 2016-17 major awards were presented to seven student-athletes, who were also asked to provide brief remarks in the form of a question and answer session with Fairfield’s Ivey Speight.
Female Freshman of the Year: Amanda Ulzheimer, Softball
The top-hitting freshman in the MAAC with a team-leading .369 batting average, Amanda Ulzheimer has set the pace for Fairfield softball from the top of the Stags’ batting order. In addition to her batting average, Ulzheimer also ranks third in the MAAC in hits (48), second in runs (29), and third in stolen bases (16), leading all conference rookies in each of those categories. She was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week on March 7 after batting .667 with five runs scored, four walks and five stolen bases in five attempts in a 3-1 weekend for the Stags.
Male Freshman of the Year: Dylan Beckwith, Men’s Lacrosse
Dylan Beckwith has recorded a point in all but one of the 13 games he has played for the Stags, including an active streak of 10 consecutive contests. With 13 goals and 12 assists to his credit, his 25 points rank second on the team behind Colin Burke’s 35. Beckwith had a five-point afternoon in the Stags’ March 21 win over NJIT, netting his first career hat trick to go along with a pair of assists.
Fairfield Alumni Association Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Ann Burgoyne, Field Hockey
The all-time leading scorer in the history of Fairfield field hockey, Ann Burgoyne excelled athletically and academically throughout her career. This season, she was a First Team All-MAAC, First Team All-ECAC and First Team All-Region honoree after racking up 13 goals and nine assists. The Stags’ two-year captain has been a Dean’s List student in each of her semesters at Fairfield along with four NFHCA Academic All-America selections as a Film, Television and Media Arts major.
Fairfield Alumni Association Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jake Knostman, Men’s Lacrosse
One of 20 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, Jake Knostman has been recognized nationally for his achievements in competition, in the classroom and in the community. A double major in Information Systems and Economics, Knostman is a Dean’s List student, a Magis Scholar and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Epsilon – the honor societies for business and economics, respectively. The Stags’ two-year co-captain has scored nine goals and two assists while scooping up 17 ground balls in the midfield this spring.
William Wallin Memorial Award: Nicole Gardon, Softball
The William Wallin Memorial Award is presented to the student-athlete that epitomizes the late William Wallin ’61, who demonstrated the highest levels of sportsmanship, character and leadership on and off the field.
Despite being unable to compete for the Stags this season, Nicole Gardon has remained integral to the team’s success. The senior has assumed a new role as a student pitching coach, helping to mentor a staff that includes two freshmen and two other Stags that had never pitched at the collegiate level prior to this spring. For her commitment to the softball program, Gardon is the 2017 recipient of the William Wallin Memorial Award.
Female Athlete of the Year: Skyler Day, Volleyball
The 2016 MAAC Player of the Year, Skyler Day was one of the catalysts that led Fairfield volleyball to the 2016 MAAC Championship. The junior led the MAAC with 4.28 kills and 4.70 points per set, adding 2.45 digs per frame to round out her 11 double-doubles. Her 497 total kills rank fifth in Fairfield single-season history and her 1,324 swings are the most by a Stag in a single-season. In addition to Player of the Year laurels, Day collected First Team All-MAAC honors for the second straight year. Also a MAAC All-Championship Team member and a First Team ECAC All-Star, Day was a three-time MAAC Player of the Week during the campaign.
Male Athlete of the Year: Gavin Wallace, Baseball
Midway through his junior season, Gavin Wallace has already made his mark on the Fairfield record books. This past Saturday, he tossed his program-record fourth complete game shutout of the spring to improve to 7-2 on the year. The right-hander has hurled an NCAA-best six complete games in total, ranking second in the MAAC with a 1.75 earned run average. Wallace currently leads the conference in WHIP (0.90) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.50). In his four starts during MAAC play, Wallace is 4-0 with three shutouts and a 0.60 ERA after allowing just two earned runs in 30 innings of work. He has struck out 23 batters and issued only one walk to MAAC hitters, who are batting .147 against him.