Southern Maine Fall Student-Athletes Excel Academically and Athletically

Third year recipients: Chris Dunn (cross country), Allison Ward (field hockey), CC Pelletier and Marissa Temple (soccer), Demi Ruder and Bridget Burns (volleyball)
Third year recipients: Chris Dunn (cross country), Allison Ward (field hockey), CC Pelletier and Marissa Temple (soccer), Demi Ruder and Bridget Burns (volleyball)

GORHAM, Maine –  Twenty-seven University of Southern Maine Huskies’ Fall student-athletes have been recognized by the Little East Conference for their academic achievements earning spots on the 2015 Little East Conference Fall All-Academic Team.  The Huskies have representatives in all seven sponsored fall championship sports: men’s cross country, women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. 

To earn the distinguished award, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point averaged of 3.3 or higher during the Fall 2015 semester and be at least a sophomore in standing both academically and athletically.  The student-athlete must also be a full-time member of the a varsity sport and be enrolled in its institution for the full academic year. 

“We are very proud of our student-athletes tremendous work ethic and their ability to excel in the classroom and competition,” noted USM Director of Athletics Al Bean. “Balancing academic responsibilities and the commitment and challenge of being a student-athlete with remarkable success is no easy task and each student should be proud of their accomplishments.”

With USM Athletics embracing the Division III philosophy and its commitment to academics, many of the Huskies’ 27 honorees are repeat recipients of the award. Six members of the Huskies’ fall athletic teams are three-year recipients.

Senior Chris Dunn (Kennebunk, Maine), one of the men’s cross country team captains, earned his third selection to the all-academic team.  Majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Dunn is also a three-time recipient of USM’s William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete award.  A 2014 All-Little East Conference and All-New England Alliance runner, Dunn was the Huskies’ top finisher at the 2015 cross country championship placing ninth. Dunn, in addition to his academic and athletic commitments, is also a student-employee in the Athletic Department’s Learning Center, working as a tutor.

Field hockey’s senior Allison Ward (Rockland, Maine/Oceanside) earns yet another academic honor, receiving the LEC All-Academic honor for the third time in her career.  A two-time member of the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association (NFHCA) All-Academic Squad and a three-time recipient of the William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete award, Ward is a two-time first team All-Little East Conference selection.  A four-year member of the Huskies’ field hockey team, and two-year captain, Ward earned first team honors in 2014 and 2015.  Ward finished her career with 19 goals and six assists for 44 points.  She is a Mathematics major and is a student in USM’s Pioneers program – a scholarship program for some of the top students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Ward is also a student-employee in the Department of Athletics’ Learning Center working as a tutor. 

A pair of women’s soccer players are also receiving all-academic recognition from the Little East for the third time in their careers as senior goalkeeper Marissa Temple (Grafton, Mass.) and forward CC Pelletier (West Newfield, Maine/Massabesic), both majoring in sport management, concluded successful athletic careers on-and-off the pitch.  Temple, a 2014 All-Little East Conference selection, is a three-time William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete, is fourth in career-saves (439) and eighth in career goals against average (2.88).  Also a three-time William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete, Pelletier was one of the Huskies’ top midfielders throughout her career, finishing with six goals and five assists for 17 points.

Seniors Bridget Burns (Warrenville, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and Demi Ruder (Littleton, Colo./Central), both members of the women’s volleyball team, are earning their third academic honors from the conference.  An environmental planning and policy major, Burns is also a three-time William B. Wise recipient and a four-year member of the Huskies’ volleyball program.  One of the Huskies’ defensive specialists, Burns has 78 services aces and 314 digs to her credit. 

Completing her degree in social work, Ruder is the first three-time captain of the Huskies’ volleyball program since the Stacy Dube had the honor in 1997 through the 1999 seasons.  Also a three-time William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete.  President of the USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the inaugural winner of the University’s Student-Athlete of the Year award, Ruder become the program’s all-time leader in digs (1,536). 

Three members of the women’s cross-country team received LEC All-Academic honors for the second time, including senior Alexandra Andrews (Boothbay, Maine/Boothbay Region) and juniors Leah Dell (Colchester, Vt.) and Jazymyn Sylvester-Cross (Fairfield, Vt./Enosburg Falls).  Andrews is a Health Science major, while Sylvester-Cross is working towards a degree in Linquistics.  Dell, an athletic training major is the recent winner in the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) District One Quiz Bowl, and recipient of the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (EATA) Kerkor "KoKo" Kassabian District 1 Scholarship

Two-sport standout (men’s soccer and men’s tennis) junior Kyle Curley (Gorham, Maine) is a two-time recipient of the LEC All-Academic team honor.  One of the Huskies’ co-captains, Curley, an electrical engineering major, is one of the conference’s top defenders and is also an All-LEC honoree in men’s tennis.

Two members of the Huskies women’s tennis team are represented on the 2015 LEC Fall All-Academic team as senior Molly Gallagher (South Portland, Maine) and junior Katie Quinn (Hollis, Maine/Bonny Eagle) are being awarded for a second time. Gallagher, a Biology major, and Quinn, a Political Science major, are also recipients of the William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete award.

Sophomore Megan Nilson (Granby, Conn.), an athletic training major and co-captain of the women’s volleyball team in 2015, is following in the footsteps of teammates Ruder and Burns by being named to the LEC Fall All-Academic team for her second time. Nilson became just the third women’s volleyball player to record 2,000 assists in a career, reaching that milestone as a junior in a match against Maine Maritime in October 2015.

Fourteen USM student-athletes are first-time winners of the Little East All-Academic team honor, marking the second highest total of recipients for the Huskies since the award was first given nine years ago.  Junior Ian Byron (North Yarmouth, Maine/Greely) and sophomore Robert Stowe (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) represent the men’s soccer team and are majoring in exercise science and finance respectively.  Sophomores Lindsay Jackson (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) and Tayla Smedberg (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills), both members of the field hockey team, are first-time winners and are enrolled in the nursing major. 

Also earning the honor for the first time is sophomore Jess Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) of the women’s volleyball team.  Williamson, the 2014 LEC and ECAC Division III New England Rookie of the Year, earned 2015 All-Little East Conference first team honors.  A biology major, Williamson also earned William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete honors this fall.

Four members of the Huskies’ women’s soccer are earning the academic distinction from the LEC.  Senior Sam Brownell (Kenduskeag, Maine/Central), a therapeutic recreation major, and junior Katherine Hunziker (Portland, Maine/Cheverus), a political science major join sophomores Alexa Cicolini (Methuen, Mass.) and Dayna Staffiere (Merrimack, N.H.) on the all-academic team.  Cicolini has yet to declare an academic major, while Staffiere is pursuing a degree in nursing.

The women’s cross country team makes up the largest number of first year recipients with five student-athletes achieving the honor.  Senior Nicole Kirk (Scarborough, Maine), a standout on the indoor and outdoor track and field team, is earning the accolade for the first time as a member of the cross country team and is a nursing major, while juniors Abby Moore (Woolwich, Maine/Morse) and Danica Moore (Woolwich, Maine/Morse) are also first time recipients majoring in English and exercise science, respectively.  Senior Jasmine Boyle (Brunswick, Maine), a general management major, and junior Katie Hersom (Gray, Maine/Gray-New Gloucester), a health science major round out the list.

 

2015 Little East Conference Fall All-Academic Team

Men’s Cross Country

 

 

 

Student-Athlete

Class

Major

Hometown

Chris Dunn

Senior

Mechanical Engineering

Kennebunk, Maine

       

Women’s Cross Country

     

Alexandra Andrews

Senior

Health Sciences

Boothbay, Maine

Jasmine Boyle

Senior

Management

Brunswick, Maine

Leah Dell

Junior

Athletic Training

Colchester, Vt.

Katie Hersom

Junior

Health Sciences

Gray, Maine

Nicole Kirk

Senior

Nursing

Scarborough, Maine

Abby Moore

Junior

English

Woolwich, Maine

Danica Moore

Junior

Exercise Science

Woolwich, Maine

Jazmyn Sylvester-Cross

Junior

Linguistics

Fairfield, Vt.

       

Field Hockey

     

Lindsay Jackson

Sophomore

Nursing

Readfield, Maine

Tayla Smedberg

Sophomore

Nursing

Oxford, Maine

Allison Ward

Senior

Mathematics

Rockland, Maine

       

Men’s Soccer

     

Ian Byron

Junior

Exercise Science

North Yarmouth, Maine

Kyle Curley

Junior

Electrical Engineering

Gorham, Maine

Robert Stowe

Sophomore

Finance

Hampden, Maine

       

Women’s Soccer

     

Samantha Brownell

Senior

Recreation and Leisure Studies

Kenduskeag, Maine

Alexa Cicolini

Sophomore

Psychology

Methuen, Mass.

Katherine Hunziker

Senior

Political Science

Portland, Maine

CC Pelletier

Senior

Sports Management

West Newfield, Maine

Dayna Staffiere

Sophomore

Nursing

Merrimack, N.H.

Marissa Temple

Senior

Sports Management

Grafton, Mass.

       

Women’s Tennis

     

Molly Gallagher

Senior

Biology

South Portland, Maine

Katie Quinn

Junior

Political Science

Hollis, Maine

       

Volleyball

     

Bridget Burns

Senior

Environmental Policy and Planning

Warrenville, Ill.

Megan Nilson

Junior

Athletic Training

Granby, Conn.

Demi Ruder

Senior

Social Work

Littleton, Colo.

Jess Williamson

Sophomore

Biology

Goffstown, N.H.

–cac–