SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke College Department of Athletics hosted its annual awards celebration on Tuesday evening in Chapin Auditorium. Individuals from all 14 varsity teams were honored. Athletic Director Lori Hendricks served as the event's emcee.
Among the awards handed out was the 2016 Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete Award. Re-named in honor of MHC's former Athletic Director, who stepped down in 2013 after 24 years, the award was presented by Jonencia Wood, the Senior Director of Programs for the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association.
This year's Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete Award was presented to Liz DiCesare, a senior captain on the field hockey team.
DiCesare, a goalkeeper out of Westford, Mass., helped backstop the field hockey team to unprecedented success over the past four years. During her career, the Lyons won the program's third NEWMAC Championship title and played in the NCAA Tournament three straight years. The squad also played in the NEWMAC Tournament every season, including four straight Semifinal appearances and three consecutive championship games.
An economics major with a 3.90 cumulative grade point average, DiCesare is also earning a minor in Philosophy, a nexus in Data Science, and a Five College Certificate in Coastal and Marine Sciences. Below are several of her outstanding achievements academically.
- Completing a thesis in Economics (Game Theory) and an independent project in Data Science; will give two presentations during Senior Symposium
- Presented oceanographic research project from Trans-Atlantic crossing with SEA Summer Semester at Amherst College as part of my Five College Certificate program
- Mount Holyoke Sarah Williston Scholar (sophomore year, top 15% class)
- CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team (sophomore year)
- NFHCA Scholar of Distinction (2x, freshman and senior year)
- NFHCA National Academic Squad (4x)
- NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team (3x, sophomore-senior year)
- Teaching Assistant for Ecology 223 as part of Mount Holyoke's Peer Led Undergraduate Mentoring System (PLUMS) program; co-led biweekly review sessions and workshops for ~30 students and supported students during lectures and labs (by the way, this was during the FH season, fall of junior and senior years)
- Book Club under Prof Hartley
- Completed internships at three prominent Boston biotech companies in three different functional areas (finance, sales analytics and operations, and market access and pricing)
- Accepted job offer as an Associate Consultant at Putnam Associates, a boutique life sciences firm in Boston (starting in July)
- Received scholarship from MHC to attend Harvard Business School Peek Weekend Program; in process of applying to Harvard Business School MBA 2+2 program
DiCesare's ability on the field has never been in question as she posted a 58-21 record in her four-year career. She played in 79 games, including 78 as a starter, while boasting a 1.28 goals against average and a .825 save percentage. Playing over 5,244 minutes in her career, she made 454 saves and also posted 13 shutouts.
Among the program's all-time best, DiCesare owns the lowest career goals against average and is fourth overall in career saves. She has seen a number of honors throughout her career as well, which are listed below.
- Top 10 in nation for career save percentage and wins; top 20 for goals against average.
- Backstopped team to first NEWMAC Conference Championship since 2003; received tournament's Most Outstanding Player award
- Also backstopped team to highest national ranking in program history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row
- 2014 NFHCA Division III National All-America Third Team
- 2x Longstreth/NFHCA New England East Region First Team
- 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA New England East Region Second Team
- 2014 & 2016 NEWMAC All-Conference First Team
- 2013 & 2015 NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team
- 2013 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year
- 4x NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Week
A total of 37 Lyons took home Senior Athlete Awards. They each participated in their sport for at least three years, including their senior year.
2016-17 Award Winners
- Peter Meltzer Award (Volleyball) - Natalie Lyon '17
- Anne C. Cummings Award (Swimming and Diving) - Emily Craig '17
- Noll Newcomer of the Year Award (Swimming and Diving) - Sarah Ratzlaff '20
- The O'Malley Cup (Rowing) - Susannah Lickus '20
- Holly Metcalf Award (Rowing) - Meghan Ryan '17
- Fiske-Harrington Cup (Soccer) - Zoe Marshall '17
- Ruth C. Timm Award (Lacrosse) - Charlotte Wagner '17
- Lauren Filipiak Memorial Award (Lacrosse) - Taylor Hough '17
- Alice Crothers Bland Memorial Award (Basketball) - Xajaah Williams-Flores '17
- Ruth C. Andrew Award (Golf) - Allison Shilling '17
- Cramer Players Award (Tennis) - Amy Chen '17
- Sally Barnes Bondurant Award (Tennis) - Ching-Ching Huang '20
- Player's Cup Award (Squash) - Brandy Williamson '18
- Rookie of the Year Award (Squash) - Nadindhi Udangawa '19
- Winter Hill Challenge Trophy (Riding) - Taryn Isenburg '18
- Betsy Brown Award (Cross Country) - Mia Barnes '18
- Achievement Award (Indoor Track and Field) - Donari Yahzid '19
- Achievement Award (Outdoor Track and Field) - Corrin Moss '19
- Mildred S. Howard Award (Field Hockey) - Ruvimbo Mushavi '17
- Laurie Priest Alumane Scholar Athlete Award - Liz DiCesare '17
All photos courtesy of MHC Athletic Communications Department.