Balise, Balschmiter, Kelly, Schneider Take Home UMass' Top Honors For 2008-09
May 12, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass Senior Awards Dinner was held on Monday night. Softball pitcher Brandice Balschmiter and lacrosse goalie Doc Schneider were named the Female and Male Athletes of the Year, respectively. Lacrosse attacker Tim Balise was named the Male Scholar-Athlete for the year and rower Erin Kelly took home the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Additionally, all senior athletes were recognized by their coaches. The seniors were presented with senior rings.
Balise starred on the lacrosse field and in the classroom with a perfect 4.0 GPA in Psychology. The senior from Wilbraham, Mass., emerged as a star the last two seasons on the field with 64 combined goals. He was named an All-ECAC First-Team selection in 2009 and a finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award. He finished his senior season with 31 goals and 36 points, second on the team. His fifth goal of the game at Rutgers in this year's season-finale on May 2 sent the Minutemen to the ECAC Title and the program's first NCAA Tournament Berth since 2006.
Kelly, a senior from Stougton, Mass. earned the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She had a 3.78 cum GPA, majoring in Nursing. Kelly was a 2009 A-10 1st team All-Conference selection rowing for the A-10 Champion Minutewomen. She rowed the three seat of the 2nd-place varsity 8 in the Grand Final. Kelly was a four-time A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll selection. She was the winner of the 2009 Alumni Association Senior Leadership Award.
Balschmiter, the 2008-09 Female Athlete of the Year has re-written the pitching record book at UMass. The Newark, N.Y. native was named the A-10 Pitcher of the Year for the fourth straight season in 2009. She is only the second athlete in A-10 history, in any sport, to win its player of the year honor all four years. She has been named A-10 Pitcher of the Week 28 times in her career and thrown nine career no-hitters, including two this season. After winning her fourth A-10 Championship this spring, she is hoping to lead the team past Washington, Cornell and Sacred Heart this weekend in the NCAA Regional held in Amherst.
Schneider was named the Male Athlete of the Year after a star career between the pipes on the lacrosse field. The Massapequa, N.Y., native had his most outstanding statistical season as a senior, posting a
7.43 GAA and .653 save percentage (good for eighth in program history). He
finished his career second in UMass history with 753 career saves. Schneider's 205 saves in 2009 stand as eighth most in a
single season, 15 behind his 220 saves in 2006 (fourth all-time) as part of
the National Finalist Team. He was a national finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the top player in college lacrosse this season. He was also a six-time ECAC Player of the Week and ECAC Goalie of the Year.
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