Posted: Nov 26, 2019
HADLEY, Mass. – A total of 671 student-athletes have been named to the 2019 NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team. To be honored, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing, and be in good standing in their sport with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 or equivalent on a 4.0 scale. Transfers must have completed one year of study at an institution.
Of the 671 student-athletes named to the team, 181 were honored for the second time in their career, while 156 were recognized for the third time. In addition, 63 members of the group garnered both All-Academic and All-NESCAC accolades this fall, led by 18 student-athletes from both Middlebury. A total of 42 individuals were named to both the All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic Teams.
Seniors Henry Wilhelm (Shaker Heights, Ohio) of Middlebury and Rachel Furash (Westlake Village, Calif.) of Tufts were selected to all three squads. Wilhelm, a three-time All-Academic honoree, was an All-NESCAC selection in men’s soccer, earned a spot on the All-Sportsmanship Team for the second year in a row. He helped the Panthers reach the NESCAC Championship game and finish as the 2019 Runners-Up, as well as earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Furash was an All-NESCAC volleyball performer and helped the Jumbos win the 2019 NESCAC title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. She is a two-time All-Sportsmanship Team honoree and a three-time All-Academic selection.
The 2019 Fall All-Academic Team includes three NESCAC Players of the Year, a NESCAC Football Offensive Player of the Year, a NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, and a NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer.
Middlebury junior Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) repeated as the NESCAC Field Hockey Player of the Year. A midfielder, she helped the Panthers win their third straight NESCAC title and their third consecutive NCAA Championship. Nicholas ranked among the NESCAC leaders in scoring with 29 points on 11 goals, including six game-winning tallies, and seven assists.
Fellow Panther, junior Will Jernigan (Decatur, Ga.) was named the 2019 NESCAC Football Offensive Player of the Year after directing a Middlebury offense that finished the year ranked second in the NESCAC in scoring offense (30.6 ppg) and total offense (410.6 ypg). A quarterback, Jernigan ranked second in the NESCAC in passing yards per game (222.1) and totaled 1,990 yards through the air with 16 touchdowns. He also ranked ninth in the league in rushing yards per game (56.8) and recorded eight touchdowns on the ground. Jernigan finished the year leading the conference in total offense with 2,501 yards (277.9 ypg) and helped the Panthers post the first 9-0 season in NESCAC history to capture their fourth NESCAC title and their first outright crown since 2007.
Tufts senior Marguerite Salamone (Yardley, Pa.) was voted as the 2019 NESCAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Year. A midfielder, she totaled 19 points, while starting all 20 games for the Jumbos this season. Salamone earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team and helped Tufts, the 2019 NESCAC Runner-Up, earn an at-large selection to the 2019 NCAA Tournament field. The Jumbos advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Tufts senior Maddie Stewart (Menlo Park, Calif.) was named the NESCAC Volleyball Player of the Year. An outside hitter, Stewart ranked among the league leaders in hitting percentage (.366) and kills (284). Stewart helped the Jumbos claim their second NESCAC title in program history and first since 1996, by providing the championship-clinching kill to win the deciding fifth set, 15-13, and the overall match, 3-2, over Bowdoin. The Jumbos hosted an NCAA Regional and advanced to the second round.
Williams junior Victoria Laino (Charlotte, Vt.) was the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. A midfielder, Laino led Williams in points (18) and goals (8), including 12 points and five goals in NESCAC games. Williams was the No. 3 seed in the NESCAC Championship and reached the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament. The Ephs earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinal round for the sixth straight year.
Junior Aidan Ryan (New York, N.Y.) of Williams was the NESCAC Men’s Cross Country Most Outstanding Performer following the 2019 NESCAC Cross Country Championship hosted by the Ephs. Ryan won the men’s race with a time of 25:27.3, 14 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Ryan also won the NCAA New England Regional race and finished 10th at the NCAA Championship to help the Ephs earn third place in the team standings.
Founded in 1971, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) consists of 11 liberal arts colleges and has consistently reflected its commitment to the values of athletics and academic achievement. The member colleges of the conference are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.