SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has announced its selections to the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-District 1 Women’s At-Large Team and two Mount Holyoke College student-athletes have been recognized. Junior swimmer Cathleen Pruden and sophomore field hockey goalie Liz DiCesare were honored for their outstanding contributions. With their selection, both are now eligible for Capital One Academic All-America consideration.
This is the second straight Academic All-District honor for Pruden, who is a native of Raleigh, N.C. Her junior season was highlighted by her second straight National All-America honor after finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships in the 400-individual medley. She is now the only swimmer in Lyons’ history to earn All-America (top-eight) honors twice.
Pruden, who was the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year in 2014-15, powered her way to 37 victories in the pool this season. In addition to achieving 10 school records, she also defended her NEWMAC title in the 400-IM, posting a conference meet and open record time. In addition to her 400-IM win, she was also this year’s conference champion in the 200-IM and the 1650-freestyle. Among her other top performances was at the 2015 Seven Sisters Championships, where she claimed victory in five events (200-breast, 200-IM, 400-IM, 1650-Free, 200-free relay), setting two meet records and achieving two NCAA B Cuts as well.
A former standout at the Ravenscroft School, Pruden has established herself as one of the all-time best at Mount Holyoke through three seasons. Last year, she became the first swimmer in program history to finish in the top-eight at Nationals, garnering All-America in the 400-IM. She was a four-event winner at the Seven Sisters Championship, as well as the NEWMAC Champion in the 400-IM. During her rookie campaign, she was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year – the first-time ever by an MHC swimmer – after winning two events in record fashion. Pruden, who was a three-time Swimmer of the Week honoree in the conference, also posted two victories at Seven Sisters.
Pruden, who is a psychology and education major with a 3.93 cumulative grade point average, was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team in 2014. A two-time selection on the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, she has been involved with a number of organizations on campus. In addition to serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including this year as its Chair, she is a co-coordinator and volunteer swim instructor for Project SPLASH! Pruden also received the 2014 Psychology and Education Department Award for Academic Excellence and was named a Sarah Williston Scholar.
DiCesare, who hails from Weston, Mass., backstopped the Lyons field hockey team to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season in 2014-15. She owned a record of 16-4, boasting a goals against average of 1.16 and a save percentage of .820. Allowing just 22 goals, DiCesare made 100 saves over 1329:10 minutes of action.
The Bishop Guertin High School graduate concluded the season ranked second in the NEWMAC in goals against average, save percentage and wins. She was also third in minutes played, fourth in saves and fifth in goals allowed. Among Division III goalies, DiCesare was 13th in save percentage and 20th in GAA.
For her efforts, DiCesare was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team, while also garnering Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-America Third Team recognition. As a team, the Lyons went 17-4 on the season, including a 7-1 conference mark, finishing the season with their highest-ever national ranking (#13).
As a first year, DiCesare was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, leading Mount Holyoke to an 18-3 record (7-1 NEWMAC). Starting all 21 games, she posted a 1.14 goals against average with a .841 save percentage. She made 111 saves over 1289:53 minutes of action, recording one shutout with five combined shutouts. DiCesare also ranked first in the NEWMAC in wins and save percentage and was second among conference's best in saves and GAA.
DiCesare is an economics major, sporting a 3.89 grade point average. She is a NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection and has twice been named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad. In addition to serving as a student ambassador, DiCesare is US Sailing Certified and also holds Grade 8 distinction as a soccer referee. A student assistant coach for the Seekers Field Hockey Club, she has also represented MHC at the BOA/Merrill Lynch Undergraduate Leadership Summit.
A total of 87 students were honored from Division III to eight District teams. Of the 87 selections, DiCesare was one of just seven sophomores honored.