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Student athletes honored at 48th Annual Elmira College Athletics Banquet

STAFF REPORTS

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- On the eve of Monday, May 21, the Elmira College Department of Athletics recognized a multitude of student-athletes, teams, and staff members for their successes both on the field and in the classroom at the 2017-18 Athletics Awards Reception. For the 48th consecutive year, members from each of the College's 20 varsity teams, as well as the Sports Medicine Department, were honored for their outstanding achievement with end-of-year accolades, including the designation of the 2017-18 EC Athlete of the Year Awards to Nick Ford '20 and Sarah Hughson '18. 

Ford becomes the first EC men's ice hockey player to collect an EC Athlete of the Year Award since former All-American Kevin Willer '12 did so as a senior in 2012. The left-winger on Elmira's lethal top line compiled one of the greatest seasons by a Soaring Eagle in the past three decades, all while leading the team to the inaugural United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Tournament title game. In his sophomore season, Ford ranked second in all of NCAA Division III in points (50), points per game (1.79), goals (25), and goals per game (0.89). His 50 points are the most by a Soaring Eagle since Dave Evans '97 accumulated 54 in 1996-97. At the year's end, Ford was elected to the All-UCHC First Team and the CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-America Second Team, the 20th All-American in the program's storied history.

A second-year forward from New Lenox, Illinois, Ford tallied at least one point in 23 of Elmira's 28 games, which included 14 multi-point performances. He registered five points on two occasions, including an early-season win over King's College (Pa.) (4g-1a) and in a 5-3 victory over Stevenson University in the UCHC semifinal round (2g-3a). Not only did he help guide the Soaring Eagles to the conference final, he posted multiple points in all three games, as fifth-seeded EC earned to upset wins over higher seeds in the first two rounds.

Like her counterpart, Hughson broke out in a big way in 2017-18 and led the nationally-ranked women's ice hockey team in scoring. The senior skater paced the Purple and Gold with 49 points and 28 goals, and was just one assist shy of the team lead with 21. Among national leaders, she was fifth in goals per game (0.93) and tied for eighth in points per game (1.63), while ranking second in power-play goals (9) and fifth in game-winning goals (5). Hughson was crowned the inaugural UCHC Player of the Year, in addition to UCHC All-Conference First Team, UCHC All-Tournament Team, tournament MVP honors. Furthermore, her breakout season culminated with CCM/AHCA All-America First Team accolades, while her work in the classroom garnered a spot on the Google Cloud Academic All-District® Women's At-Large Team.

Hughson's 49 points as a senior rank eighth on the program's single-season leaderboard, and her 28 goals are tied for fourth place. Her first-career hat trick in a season-opening victory on the road against Oswego State was just a glimpse of the success the East Haddam, Connecticut, native would find; she recorded 14 multi-point games and concluded her career on a 10-game point streak. Her third hat trick came in a season-high-tying four-point outing in the UCHC title game against Stevenson University (3g-1a), and Hughson was credited with the game-winner in a 2-0 home win over Adrian College in the NCAA quarterfinals.


2017-18 AWARD WINNERS
INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Scholar-Athletes of the YearJames Fritsche '18
Ari Smith '18
Team Academic AwardWomen's Cross Country
Paul Brand Athletics Staff AwardTravis Larner
Lowman AwardWill Gardner '18
Wayne Moschetti Memorial AwardJustin Porrett '19
Margaret Locke Citizenship AwardChelsea Bousquet '18
Ellen Gibbs Matson Athletic AwardRachel Grampp '18
Dean William S. Neal – SAAB Sportsmanship AwardMen's Basketball
Elmira College Male Athlete of the YearNick Ford '20
Elmira College Female Athlete of the Year Sarah Hughson '18

"BEST OF" TEAM AWARDS
Best Team Moment
Seniors Megan Brain '18 and Sarah McCaffrey '18 score late goals to lift Field Hockey to a 2-1 win over Nazareth College on Class of 2018 Recognition Day.

Best Upset
Men's Volleyball upsets No. 5 Dominican (Ill.) in five sets on the road for just the second win over a top-5 team in program history.

Best Come-From-Behind Victory
Women's Ice Hockey overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period with three unanswered goals, all scored by Shannon Strawinski '19, as the Soaring Eagles knocked off Plattsburgh State in NCAA Tournament semis.

Resiliency Award
Fifth-seeded EC Men's Ice Hockey upset two higher-seeded teams on the road in the UCHC Tournament quarterfinal and semifinal rounds to punch its ticket to the inaugural UCHC Tournament Championship.

BOOSTER CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
BaseballDennis Rudolph '18
CheerleadingMarissa Olsen '19
Field HockeyAtu Machika '18
Men's BasketballJustin Porrett '19
Men's Cross CountryJames Fritsche '18
Men's GolfCharl Pretorius '19
Men's Ice HockeyNick Ford '20
Men's LacrosseJacob Mattice '21
Men's SoccerColin Morrison '19
Men's TennisStephen Gervase '20
Men's VolleyballMatthew Buffum '18
SoftballMaddy Johnson '19
Sports MedicineCassie Chun '18
Women's BasketballEmily Green '18
Women's Cross CountryClaire Preisch '21
Women's GolfAudrey Clarke '18
Women's Ice HockeyKelcey Crawford '18
Women's LacrosseKelcey Crawford '18
Women's SoccerLindsay Proulx '18
Women's TennisMegan Fitzgerald '18
Women's VolleyballNatalie Schieder '19

For full bios of each 2017-18 Booster Club Player of the Year, please click here.