Nov. 2, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - Lehigh senior Abby Tilton was selected as the 2011 Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned one of 11 spots on the sport's Academic All-Patriot League Team, it was announced on Wednesday. The awards are voted on by the Patriot League's field hockey sports information directors, who can not select their own student-athletes.
Three players from both American and Bucknell join Tilton as Academic All-Patriot League selections. Sophomore Jaclyn Anspach and seniors Melissa Casale and Gina Hofmann represented the Eagles, with seniors Marci Richard and Mallory Smith and junior Tayler Siegrist making the list from the Bison. Senior Caitlin Donnelly joined Tilton on the list from Lehigh, while junior Adrianna Libutti (Colgate), senior Kirsten Walther (Holy Cross) and junior Emily Valeo (Lafayette) represented their schools.
The Academic All-Patriot League Team is in its second season and features 11 players to equal the size of the sport's All-Patriot League squad. Tilton, Donnelly, Siegrist and Walther all repeated as Academic All-Patriot League selections.
Tilton had an outstanding season for the Mountain Hawks, helping Lehigh to its first winning Patriot League mark since 2007 and a berth in this weekend's Patriot League Tournament. She scored seven goals and tallied five assists on the year to finish third in the Patriot League with 19 points. Tilton led all players with three game-winning goals, including the lone score in a 1-0 triumph over Bucknell on Oct. 15.
Tilton also boasts an impressive resume in the classroom. She carries a 3.88 cumulative grade-point average as an IDEAS (Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences) major at Lehigh where she has a concentration in both Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. Tilton is a member of the Dean's List at Lehigh and earned Patriot League Academic Honor Roll recognition in each of her first three seasons in addition to last year's nod to the Academic All-Patriot League Team. She is also a recipient of a 2011 NFHCA National Individual Award and was named to the organization's Division I National Academic Squad.
Tilton becomes Lehigh's third Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and first since Sheila Clabby in 2004. She was a unanimous selection as the winner from opposing schools.
Five of the 11 selections to the Academic All-Patriot League team were also honored with All-League selections for their play on the field. Hofmann, Richard, Smith and Valeo were first-team All-Patriot League picks, while Casale made the second team.
Each student-athlete has also excelled in the classroom. For American, Anspach maintains a 3.75 GPA as a Journalism major, while Casale holds a 3.87 mark and Hofmann has a 3.50 cumulative GPA as both major in Business Administration. Bucknell's trio all feature impressive credentials, as Richard has a 3.61 GPA as a Chemistry major, Siegrist maintains a 3.77 mark while majoring in Management and Smith holds a 3.84 GPA as a Biology major with a Linguistics minor. Colgate's Libutti has a 3.4 GPA as an International Relations major, Holy Cross' Walther maintains a 3.78 mark while majoring in English and Lafayette's Valeo has a 3.69 GPA as an English major. Donnelly joins Tilton on the list while recording a 3.80 cumulative GPA as a Global Studies Major with a Business minor.
To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the Academic All-Patriot League Team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible for the honor.
The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for each individual sport comprises the pool of nominees for the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards given out over the summer. One male and one female are selected for this honor.
Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Abby Tilton, Lehigh, Sr.
Field Hockey Academic All-Patriot League Team
Jaclyn Anspach, American, So.
Melissa Casale, American, Sr.
Gina Hofmann, American, Sr.
Marci Richard, Bucknell, Sr.
Tayler Siegrist, Bucknell, Jr.
Mallory Smith, Bucknell, Sr.
Adrianna Libutti, Colgate, Jr.
Kirsten Walther, Holy Cross, Sr.
Emily Valeo, Lafayette, Jr.
Caitlin Donnelly, Lehigh, Sr.
Abby Tilton, Lehigh, Sr.