The conclusion of the academic year signals a salute to those special individuals who left more than a mark on the Northeast Conference over the past 10 months.
Presented by Provident Bank, the NEC is proud to recognize the finalists for its Student-Athlete of the Year awards. The pools of ten men and ten women finalists will produce the two conference-wide winners.
The honor recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one’s community. Weighing one’s leadership ability, athletic prowess, academic achievement and community service, the NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award was formerly known as the NEC SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year award. One student-athlete was honored annually from 2003 to 2014, before the award was renamed and the decision was made to recognize one male and one female student-athlete per academic year.
The 2017-18 academic year marks the fourth consecutive year that the awards program is following the amended format.
2017-18 NEC Men’s Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists (presented by Provident Bank)
2017-18 NEC Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists (presented by Provident Bank)
The defense reached a championship level during the 2018 NEC Baseball Tournament.
Here’s a look at some of the top moments in the field…
Blackbird’s Big League Play
LIU Brooklyn second baseman Anthony Warneke produced a real eye-popper with his team protecting a 5-3 lead over Bryant in the sixth inning of Friday’s winners’ bracket game. Ranging deep to his right, Warneke snagged a ball that appeared destined for the outfield and made an acrobatic throw that beat Bryant’s Nick Angelini to first base.
Flashing Leather in the Outfield
It looked as if Nick Mascelli had just connected on Wagner’s first hit of the NEC Tournament. Batting with two out and no one on in the bottom of the first, the veteran infielder sent a sinking liner into right field. Coming in and moving fast to the foul line, LIU Brooklyn’s Dom Paiotti got there in the nick of time to snag a ball that seemed destined for the turf.
Silvestrone’s Snag In Center
Wagner’s centerfielder Joe Silvestrone began Saturday’s Championship Round contest with some championship caliber glove work. Leading off the game, LIU Brooklyn’s all-NEC outfielder Andrew Smith stroked a liner into shallow center. Silvestrone needed to slide but he made the catch at his shoe tops.
Loses Cap, But Makes The Play
Mount St. Mary’s leftfielder Myles Nicholson shows some speed while tracking down for this fly ball off the bat of Wagner’s Freddy Sabido during the fifth inning of Friday’s elimination game. His hat falls to the ground during the play, but the ball lands safely in his glove.
They just want an opportunity and a number of fortunate NEC football alumni are getting one this spring.
Six athletes with all-NEC credentials have accepted invitations to attend NFL Rookie Camps on a tryout basis.
They are as follows:
Malik Duncan, Saint Francis DB (Steelers)
Delondo Boyd, Saint Francis DB (Bears)
Ben Huss, Duquesne OG (Jaguars)
Matt Sewall, Bryant WR/KR (Texans)
Andy Smigiera, Robert Morris DB (Seahawks/Cardinals)
Randall Laguerre, Central Connecticut LB (Eagles)
Amongst the aforementioned six men, Huss and Duncan earned STATS FCS All-America honors this past winter. Huss competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January.
Meanwhile, Wagner two starting offensive tackles from the 2017 season will compete in NFL camps after signing rookie contracts. After being selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by Baltimore, Greg Senat inked a deal with the Ravens prior to the start of their mini camp. Meanwhile, all-NEC tackle Matt Diaz was one of 22 players to sign UDFA contracts with the Tennessee Titans.
Pretty good day for Northeast Conference lacrosse, wouldn’t you say?
The conference saw its men’s and women’s team champions triumph in NCAA Tournament action on Wednesday.
First, Wagner played host to Southern Conference champion Mercer in a NCAA Women’s Opening Round affair on Grymes Hill. The Seahawks saw their 5-0 lead evaporate, but eventually seized control for good midway through the second half.
By virtue of its victory, Wagner will have the chance to battle No. 7 Towson in the next round on Friday.
About an hour after Wagner concluded its victory in Staten Island, the Robert Morris men faced off against MAAC member Canisius on the opposite end of the Empire State. After watching the home team score first, RMU erupted en-route to a 12-6 victory in Downtown Buffalo.
Now, it’s on to College Park where the Colonials will try their luck against No. 1 Maryland.
Two title games, two fantastic finishes, all on the same day.
Overtime was needed to determine a winner in both games.
First, top-seeded Saint Joseph’s erased a two-goal over the final 5:00 of regulation play in the NEC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game. SJU’s Kyle Cain scored both goals, including the equalizer with 00:15 remaining, but those heroics will go down in history only as a footnote.
Overshadowing the host’s comeback effort, Tyson Gibson gave Robert Morris a sudden victory by rattling the cage with only 10 ticks left in overtime.
The NEC Women’s Championship Game, which began one hour after the men’s start, concluded in most-memorable fashion, too.
Bryant’s Lauren Britton scored the go-ahead goal with only 1:00 remaining, but NEC Rookie of the Year Ally Alliegro responded for Wagner.
After producing the equalizer in the final minute of regulation, Alliegro ended the game in the third overtime period.
Alliegro Ends It
A former college basketball player became the first Northeast Conference athlete selected in the NFL Draft in nearly a decade.
Wagner offensive tackle Greg Senat, who originally attended the school on a basketball scholarship, went to the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Prior to Senat being selected with the No. 212 overall pick this spring, former Monmouth tight end, a four-time all-NEC honoree, was the conference’s last draft pick. Nalbone went to the Dolphins with the 161st pick in the 2009 NFL Draft (5th Round).
Although Senat is the first NFL Draft pick in Wagner’s NEC history, the Seahawks have had a presence in the NFL in recent years. Former all-NEC linebacker Julian Stanford has played in 59 NFL games since 2012 and the veteran signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills this past offseason.
Five newsworthy tweets (from the past week) that Northeast Conference fans should see…