Athletes Honored at Annual Banquet
Volleyball setter Rachel Romansky and men's lacrosse goalkeeper Jack Murphy (in photo at right) were named the Fairfield University athletes of the year at the University's annual awards ceremony held on Tuesday, April 29.
The department of athletics also presented its other major awards with cross country runner Brian Cleary and volleyball middle blocker Hayley Moyer earning the Fairfield University Alumni Association scholar-athletes of the year. Men's soccer defender Martin Lindgren and women's lacrosse midfielder Riley Hellstein collected the freshmen of the year awards. Howie Rosas secured the William Wallin Award for his work in the community and his service to the University.
Mark Reed was honored for his service to the athletics program and to the University with the ECAC Certificate of Appreciation. A leader by example, Reed has served Fairfield University as its dean of students, associate vice president, and senior vice president and chief of staff. Under his watch, Fairfield University Athletics has enjoyed success and growth unlike any other time in the history of the program. He has initiated renovations at Lessing Field and University Field, and is currently overseeing the building of Rafferty Stadium.
Romansky led the volleyball team to the MAAC tournament title and a berth to the NCAA tournament last fall. She earned her third straight MAAC Setter of the Year award in 2013, the first student-athlete to accomplish the task. She appeared in 30 matches and recorded 1,028 assists with a career-best 31 aces. She is one of only two Fairfield volleyball players to record 4,000 career assists and 1,000 career digs.
Murphy has collected 134 saves this year, averaging nearly 10 saves per game. He tallied a season-best 15 saves against Stony Brook earlier this season. He earned multiple ECAC defensive player of the week honors in 2014. He already ranks fifth all-time in career saves and places 22nd among the NCAA Division I Career Active Leaders in saves and 19th in saves per game.
Moyer completed her season with a .323 hitting percentage and a .940 serve percentage. She appeared in all 32 matches and 117 of 119 sets played by the team. She placed second among her teammates with five block solos, 68 block assists, and 73 total blocks. She was an All-MAAC second-team player and earned MAAC All-Academic honors in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She went on to receive a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-Region team this year.
Cleary was a regular among the team’s top finishers throughout the season. His best performances of the season came in two of the team’s biggest meets, setting a personal-best time at the NCAA Regional and placing in the top 20 at the IC4A championship. He earned academic recognition from the MAAC by collecting MAAC Academic Honor Roll and MAAC All-Academic honors in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Hellstein currently ranks third among the team’s leading scorers for the women’s lacrosse team. She is a three-time winner of the MAAC Rookie of the Week award. This year, Hellstein has scored 23 goals with 10 assists for 33 points. She leads the team in free position goals with seven and draw controls with 40. She also places second in assists and third in goals scored.
Lindgren was part of a defense that allowed just 1.3 goals per game. He started all 16 games for the men’s soccer team, spending time both in the back with additional time at midfield. He was one of only two freshmen to start all 16 games this season. He tallied two goals during the season, including a goal against UMass Lowell that was voted by his peers as the goal of the year. He also scored a goal against the University of Massachusetts.
Rosas was co-president of SAAC this season and has been a SAAC member for all four of his years on campus. He was also a co-captain with the cross country team this year. Off the course, Rosas serves the community as a eucharistic minister and as a volunteer at Prospect House.
Several alumni were inducted into the Fairfield University Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame. Darren Phillip '00 of men's basketball remains one of the top rebounders in school history, among the top five all-time at Fairfield with 868 career rebounds. Jodie (Kuczarski) Shannon '99 graduated from the Fairfield University field hockey program as one of the top players both on and off the field. Ted Spencer served as the head coach of the Fairfield University lacrosse team for 13 years, the longest tenure in program history. During his tenure, Spencer posted 93 victories, including four seasons of 10 or more.