BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland seniors Taryn VanThof and Nikko Pontrello were the 2015 recipients of the John R. Mohler and Ernest Lagna Awards, respectively, as the top male and female senior student-athletes who excel in athletics, scholarship and character.
These awards, and many others, were presented on Monday evening at the 2014-2015 Loyola Athletic Awards Banquet held in McGuire Hall on the Evergreen Campus. In addition to the team and departmental awards, Loyola inducted its first-ever class to the Maryland Iota Chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national student-athlete honor society.
VanThof helped lead her team to their fifth-straight NCAA Championships bid on Sunday as the Loyola women's lacrosse team won the Patriot League Championship. Earlier in the week, VanThof was named the Patriot League Midfielder of the Year. She is a two-time IWLCA All-American, three-time all-conference honoree and, last summer, she was named to the U.S. National Team. VanThof will leave Loyola in possession of career, season and single-game draw control records, as well.
Pontrello was a key member of the Loyola men's lacrosse team over the past four years, helping the Greyhounds to the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I lacrosse since he came to the program for the 2013 season. He is one of eight players in program history to rank in the top-15 in goals, assists and points in a career, and he recently moved into the top-10 in points scored.
Several other awards were handed out to Loyola senior student-athletes, beginning with the Unsung Hero Awards.
Molly Hulseman of the women's lacrosse team was a starter or key reserve throughout her four years at Loyola, filling many roles seamlessly. She has scored nearly 70 goals with almost 100 points in her career, and she has given of her time through service to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Men's rowing's Craig Spicer was described his coach as someone who strives to represent Loyola well in all situations and has done things without asking for any recognition that will help his teammates and the program.
The Women's Leadership Award went to tennis' Olivia Ott who through her dedication and work ethic quickly earned the respect of her teammates and others on campus. She has been a leader in the classroom as a Dean's List honoree and physics major, as well.
Pat Frazier of the men's lacrosse program came to Loyola as a walk-on without a guaranteed spot on the roster, but through his desire to improve himself those around him, he became a starter and All-Patriot League First Team member. He was a member of this year's Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 male and female students who serve as liasions to the campus administrators and community.
Two student-athletes tied in the balloting for the women's Medal of Merit, which is given yearly to those who have combined athletic and academic excellence at Loyola. The first recipient was swimming and diving's Erin Calderoni. In addition to working with Special Olympics and the York Road Initiative, Calderoni has maintained a 3.47 grade-point average and was a captain of her team that has set individual and relay records at Loyola. She was joined in receiving the award by Hannah Schmitt of the women's lacrosse program. An All-Patriot League First Team honoree, Schmitt will graduate from Loyola as one of the top-10 all-time goal scorers in program history.
Joey Cahalan of the men's soccer team was a leader, mentor and standout to his peers and did whatever was necessary for his team to succeed. His coached described him as being "unbelievably unselfish," and he led the team in scoring as a defender as a senior. Cahalan was also a member of the Green & Grey Society and an Academic All-District honoree this year.
The women's tennis team and Head Coach Rick McClure was tabbed for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the Greyhounds' 18 teams; women's soccer's Colleen Folan and Cahalan were the two senior student-athletes with the highest grade point averages.
Father Tim Brown, S.J., an associate professor for law and social responsibility and the special assistant to the president for mission integration at Loyola, was honored with the Diane Geppi-Aikens Inspiration Award. A longtime member of the community, Brown has been a key figure in leading Loyola student-athletes on preseason retreats, as well as his role as a chaplain to many teams. Men's basketball student manager Eddie Flaherty was given the Student Service Award.
In addition to the department-wide awards, student-athletes from each team received Most Dedicated and Most Valuable awards:
|Team||Most Valuable||Most Dedicated|
|Men's Basketball||Eric Laster||Denzel Brito|
|Men's Cross Country||Chris Regan||Sean Brennan|
|Men's Golf||Matt Oshrine||Will Wears|
|Men's Lacrosse||Nikko Pontrello||Pat Frazier|
|Men's Rowing||Robert Moore||Victor Santiago|
|Men's Soccer||Joey Cahalan||Ryan Tuck|
|Men's Swimming & Diving||Madison Hardimon||Aidan O'Hara|
|Men's Tennis||Connor Pietrak||Greg Olesnycky|
|Women's Basketball||Colleen Marshall||Lisa Mirarchi|
|Women's Cross Country||Erica Canas||Anna Bosse|
|Women's Lacrosse||Annie Thomas||Taryn VanThof|
|Women's Rowing||Natasha Murray||Keenan Gibbons|
|Women's Soccer||Kelly Santangelo||Lindsay LeSavage|
|Women's Swimming & Diving||Brianna Keelan||Erin Calderoni|
|Women's Tennis||Ania Krawiec||Olivia Ott|
|Women's Indoor Track & Field||Charlotte Criqui||Jenna Smith|
|Women's Outdoor Track & Field||Kelly Maguire||Anna Bosse|
|Women's Volleyball||Mindy Maloney||Lauren Andersen|
|Cheerleading||Kaitlynn Welly||Courtney Heller|