CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce its 2018 Fall Scholar Athlete of the Year honorees. During each season, the conference recognizes student-athletes for their effort in their sport, as well as their effort in academics. Out of hundreds of fall athletes, one athlete from each fall sport was selected for this distinction.
In order to be eligible for the SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year, award student-athletes must prove both academic and athletic excellence by obtaining a minimum 3.30 overall GPA, be a starter or significant reserve for their team, and be at least a sophomore. The SUNYAC Scholar Athlete Award originated in 2016-17.
Alyssa Brault - Women's Tennis, Oneonta
The senior tennis player demonstrated both academic and athletic prowess during the fall season. Brault, a mass communications major, boasts an overall GPA of 3.93 and was a major factor in helping propell Oneonta to the SUNYAC 2018 championship match for the first time in program history. This past fall, Brault's academic and athletic efforts were recognized by the conference, and she was bestowed the SUNYAC Women's Tennis Elite 20 award, which recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level in their sport, while also receiving the highest academic standard among their peers. Brault compiled a record of 7-3 in singles matches and went 12-1 in doubles during the fall, earning her SUNYAC All-Conference First Team honors in both singles and doubles.
Shannon McGuinness - Field Hockey, Cortland
McGuinness was part of a Cortland team that finished with a 13-6 record in 2018, boasting the best overall record in the conference. The senior helped lead a defensive unit that allowed one goal or less 10 times in the season, helping land the Red Dragons an apperance in the 2018 SUNYAC championship game. McGuinness maintains an overall GPA of 3.93, and was honored with the SUNYAC Field Hockey Elite 20 award this past fall for the second year in a row. The Red Dragon majors in speech and hearing science.
Sean McAneny - Men's Cross Country, Geneseo
McAneny's 2018 season established him as one of the superior men's cross country athletes in the conference. His efforts helped lead Geneseo to a dominating finish at the 2018 SUNYAC championship meet, where he finished first among 112 runners in the race. His impressive performance earned him honors as the 2018 SUNYAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year, along with All-Conference First Team honors. After leading the Knights to their fifth-consecutive SUNYAC title, McAneny crossed the finish line second among 307 runners during the 2018 Atlantic Region Championships, helping Geneseo emerge victorious out of 44 other competing teams. During the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships, the junior finished 24th among the 279 runners who crossed the finish line, helping the Knights land a tenth-place finish. McAneny finished the 2018 fall semester with a 4.0 GPA, and carries an overall GPA of 3.93 as an English major.
Elise Ramirez - Women's Cross Country, Geneseo
Ramirez enjoyed a dominant season in 2018 with the Knights, earning her the SUNYAC Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year honors for the second-straight year. She also received SUNYAC All-Conference First Team honors. The senior was the first runner to cross the finish line in the 2018 SUNYAC women's cross country championship, where Geneseo swept the meet to collect its eighth-consecutive conference title. During the Atlantic Region Championships this past season, Ramirez finish first among 299 runners, leading Geneseo to its fourth-consecutive Regional title. Her running efforts during the season helped lead her to be named the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Atlantic Region Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year. During the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships, Ramirez finished 25th, helping the Knights finish fifth overall. Ramirez majors in biology and carries an overall GPA of 3.67.
Nicholas Giordano - Men's Soccer, Oneonta
The senior goalkeeper was part of an Oneonta men's soccer team that made it to the conference semifinals match in 2018. Giordano played and started in 16 games this season, compiling 58 saves and finishing the season at 7-3-5. Giordano also received First Team honors on the Division III 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Soccer Team as selected by CoSIDA. The senior carries a 4.00 overall GPA and majors in economics.
Jennifer Moran - Women's Soccer, Geneseo
Moran started all 19 games with Geneseo in the 2018 season, and played a big role in the SUNYAC Tournament. Her two goals scored in the entire season came in a 2-0 victory over visiting Plattsburgh in the SUNYAC tournament semifinal. Geneseo would go on to win the conference title for the second-straight year, and Moran was named 2018 SUNYAC Tournament MVP. Moran also received Third Team All-SUNYAC honors for the second-consecutive season. Besides recognition for her performance in the conference, the Knight also recieved First Team honors on the Division III 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Women's Soccer Team as selected by CoSIDA. The senior's combintation of academic and athletic success was noticed by the conference, which landed her the 2018 SUNYAC Women's Soccer Elite 20 Award - the third time she's been bestowed with the award in her collegiate career. Moran, an accounting major, carries an overall GPA of 3.98. Additionally, the Knight is part of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, peer tutors in accounting for the athletic department and is also a member of the Student Finance Committee.
Emily Ast - Women's Volleyball, Geneseo
Ast posted solid numbers that amounted to a 2018 season that landed her 2018 SUNYAC All-Tournament Team honors. The senior finished second in the conference with 9.32 assists per set and sixth among all conference players with 708 assists. Those impressive figures helped propel the Knights to a 9-0 record in conference play for the first time in program history; the team also made it to the SUNYAC championship match. Off the court, Ast's academic success has landed her a 3.75 overall GPA as an accounting major. The senior has been a Geneseo Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for three years, is part of of Phi Eta Sigma, Beta Gamma Sigma, and the Golden Key honor societies, and has been a Relay For Life captain for two years.