2008-2009 Flat Hat Sports Awards

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May 1, 2009

12:24 AM

Team of the year: Men’s soccer

After falling 1-0 in overtime to the NCAA tournament’s no. 1 ranked Wake Forest University in the second round, the best team at the College saw its season come to an end. The Tribe finished 23rd in the final NCAA RPI ranking, the highest of any CAA squad. The College led the CAA with 1.71 goals per game, with Andrew Hoxie’s 10 goals leading the charge. Nat Baako collected first-team CAA honors after notching six goals and six assists, while Andrew McAdams recorded six shutouts in goal.

Coach of the year: Christine Halfpenny, Lacrosse

In only her third year at the helm of the lacrosse team, Halfpenny led the Tribe to its second-straight regular season CAA title before falling to Towson University in the semi-final round of the CAA championships. The coach guided her squad to a 10-6 regular season mark, with five of her losses against top 20 foes, including two overtime setbacks. The energetic Halfpenny was able to turn around an early 5-6 record thanks to a five-game winning streak at the end of the regular season.

Game of the year: No. 16 Tribe vs. no. 6 Richmond

With an FCS playoff berth on the line for the winner, Richmond jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead, intercepting Tribe quarterback Jake Phillips six times. Late in the second half, the Tribe still trailed 20-6, before senior cornerback Derek Cox returned a punt for a touchdown. The Tribe then recovered an onside kick and a Phillips touchdown sent the game into overtime. Richmond then blocked a College field goal attempt before the Spiders won it with a kick of their own.

Play of the year: Derek Cox’s 80-yard punt return against Richmond

With three minutes remaining in the Tribe’s crucial contest against Richmond, the College was trailing 20-6 after falling behind 20-0 at halftime. Needing a spark, the defense forced Richmond to punt from deep in their own territory. Senior cornerback Derek Cox fielded it at his 20, cut past a defender and was gone, streaking 80 yards for the touchdown that brought the Tribe back into the game.

Men’s First Team

Derek Cox, Football, Senior
Male athlete of the year

A four-year standout cornerback for the Tribe. A two-time captain of the football team. A senior season in which he scored four touchdowns — two on punt returns and two on interception returns — while picking off four passes. And, to cap it off, a third round selection in Sunday’s NFL draft. By the numbers, Cox’s career has been one of the greatest in the history of the College. But the senior’s contributions to the program go further than those statistics. As a defensive lynchpin, Cox spearheaded a defensive revival his senior season, which brought the Tribe to the very brink of a postseason berth — a mere year after the defense finished at the bottom of the conference in total yardage. Several months later, his draft selection is providing the College with an invaluable recruiting selling point for a program that had not had a player drafted for 12 years. For these reasons and a slew of others, Derek Cox is our 2009 male athlete of the year.

Ian Fitzgerald, Track, Senior

In 2009, Fitzgerald made the mile his focus, earning his first All-American honors in the mile at this winter’s NCAA Indoor Championships. The senior spent the spring season in pursuit of the elusive four-minute mile, a mark that few at the College have ever obtained. He has come close; Fitgerald ran a 4:00.01 at the University of Washington.

Derek Gygax, Gymnastics, Junior

The junior all-arounder posted a solid season, competing in all six events for the Tribe and qualifying for the NCAAs in the all-around. Gygax led the Tribe to the USAG title and a third-place finish at ECACs. The junior capped the season by being named the conference’s most improved athlete.

Adrian Tracy, Football, Junior

The defensive end turned in a monster of a year for the Tribe, leading a defensive line that ranked among the top in the FCS and proved key in the College’s 7-4 season. Racking up 10 sacks, 72 tackles and a blocked kick, Tracy earned first-team All-CAA honors while notching numerous other area and national accolades.

Women’s First Team

Emily Anderson, Track, Junior
Female athlete of the year

In only her second competitve race in the 5,000-m, Anderson finished ninth at indoor nationals to collect the second All-American honor of her College career, making her The Flat Hat’s female athlete of the year. The junior has followed up her winter dominance with a successful spring performance, becoming the second runner in CAA history to win both the 1,500-m and the 5,000-m at the conference championships. For this acheivement, she was named the most outstanding athlete of the meet. In cross country, Anderson led the Tribe to its sixth straight CAA championship while winning the individual crown with a time of 21:02. Anderson was also named CAA scholar-athlete of the year during the fall. Currently, Anderson is training to compete in the 1,500-m and 5,000-m at regionals before selecting one event for June’s NCAA championhips.

Katie Radloff, Swimming, Junior

Radloff led the swim team to second place at the CAA Championships in March after a successful season in which she set CAA records for the third-straight year in the 50-m free, 100-m free and 200-m free. She competed in three events at the NCAA championships with her highest finish being 24th in the 100-m free.

Claire Zimmeck, Soccer, Senior

The forward earned third-team All-American accolades from Soccer Buzz magazine and second-team honors by the NSCAA. She was one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy, given to the top female soccer player annually, after leading the Tribe with 15 goals. In January, the Washington Freedom drafted Zimmeck into the WPS.

Grace Golden, Lacrosse, Sophomore

Golden led the the Tribe with 44 goals to go along with her 12 assists this spring. She was named to the eight-member Womenslacrosse.com honor role twice and was awarded CAA player of the week on two separate occasions. Golden was named to the first-team all-CAA team and finished the year with a .518 shot percentage.

Men’s Second Team

Jeff Jones, Baseball, Senior
Doug McBride, Soccer, Senior
Rob Nickle, Baseball, Senior
Nat Baako, Soccer, Sophomore

Women’s Second Team

Tiffany Benson, Basketball, Junior
Danielle Collins, Soccer, Senior
Emily Geary, Lacrosse, Sophomore
Kim Mount, Volleyball, Senior

Men’s Rookie Team

Jonathon Grimes, Football

Rushed for 948 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and scoring 10 total touchdowns.

Brandon Heroux, Track and Field

Currently ranked 15th nationally in javelin and has qualified for the NCAA regional championships.

Scott Saal, Golf

Tied for ninth at the season-ending CAA championships, after redshirting his true freshman season.

Quinn McDowell, Basketball

Averaged 28.5 minutes and 9.3 points per game, earning CAA all-rookie honors.

Women’s Rookie Team

Taysha Pye, Basketball

Came on strong at the end of the year to finish second on the team in points per game and third in rebounds.

Kristin Milardo, Gymnastics

Consistently led the Tribe in the all-around competition and was a first-team USAG All-American.

Diana Weigel, Soccer

Started 11 games, registering four goals and four assists to finish fourth on the squad in points.

Katie Kargl, Tennis

Battled through injury to go 19-10 in singles and 15-12 in doubles, playing as high as the fourth seed.

Next year’s best male: Andrew Hoxie, Soccer

The junior striker tallied a breakout season for the Tribe this past fall, notching 10 goals and five assists despite starting only nine games due to a groin injury. Hoxie returned to the field after redshirting the 2007 season, earning second-team All-CAA honors in the process. A threat to score as much with his head as his feet, expect big things from the 6’4” goal-scorer in 2009 as he leads a strong men’s soccer team looking to improve upon their second place CAA finish.

Next year’s best female: Taysha Pye, Basketball

Watching Pye at the end of the women’s basketball season gave the fans a glimpse of the future. The speedy Pye was able to maneuver through the lane with ease and hit a consistent step-back jump shot. Her performances earned her a spot on the CAA rookie team after being named CAA rookie of the week five times. Although she had limited playing time early in the season, Pye was able to find her niche, averaging over 19 points in the College’s final 11 contests.

Written by Matt Poms and Chris Weidman

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