April 25, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College honored its top student-athletes at the 51st Annual All-Sports Gala on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. The social hour and ceremony were held at the Smith Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Providence College in Providence, R.I.
Senior Jhojan Obando (Kissimmee, Fla.), who back-stopped the men's soccer team to its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, was named Male Athlete of the Year for Team Sports. Senior David McCarthy (Waterford, Ireland), of the cross country/track team, was named Male Athlete of the Year for Individual Sports. It marks the second time McCarthy has taken home the honor, having earned the award in 2009. On the women's side, senior ice hockey goaltender Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario) was honored as Female Athlete of the Year for Team Sports for a second-straight year. Sophomore All-American Emily Sisson(Chesterfield, Mo.), of the cross country/track team, claimed Female Athlete of the Year for Individual Sports during her first year of competition as a Friar.
Along with the Athlete of the Year Awards, five other major awards were presented at the banquet. Senior Abby Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.) of the women's ice hockey team, was the winner of the Paul Connolly Award as the female athlete who has distinguished herself among her peers through sportsmanship, courage and honor. Senior men's lacrosse player Pete Wujciak(Essex Fells, N.J.) was the recipient of the Mal Brown Award. The Mal Brown Award is given annually to the male athlete whose career of intercollegiate competition portrayed sportsmanship, courage and honor.
The Sine Qua Non Awards, given annually to the male and female athletes who have distinguished themselves among their peers without receiving proper recognition, were presented to senior men's soccer player Daniel Fabian (Southbury, Conn.), men's cross country and track stand-out Julian Matthews (Nelson, New Zealand) and senior women's cross country/track runner Hannah Davidson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). Senior Christie Jensen(Delta, B.C.), a member of the women's ice hockey team, was the recipient of the Jane Thompson Award, which is presented to the male or female senior student-athlete, who personifies all that is good about being a student-athlete at Providence College and exhibits selflessness, dedication, loyalty, courage and perseverance.
Obando started all 20 games in goal and led the Providence men's soccer team to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The co-captain posted an 11-8-1 record, with seven shutouts, including a 1-0 blanking of Dartmouth in the NCAA Tournament First Round. He had a stretch during the 2011 season in which he recorded four-consecutive shutouts. In addition, he had a streak in which he didn't allow a goal during a span of 429 minutes. Obando was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week on September 5 and was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week on September 7.
McCarthy has enjoyed one of the top campaigns in the nation this year. During the cross country season, he placed second at the BIG EAST Championship and the NCAA Northeast Regional, helping to lead the Friars to their 16th NCAA Championship in the last 17 years. During the indoor season, he broke the Providence College and New England Collegiate record in the mile with a time of 3:55.75. He was invited to take part in the prestigious Wannamaker Mile at the Millrose Games on February 12. McCarthy later earned Second-Team All-America honors with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Lacasse secured every major goaltending record in program history, finishing the season with the Providence marks for career victories (64), career games played (127), career saves (3,482) and career shutouts (20). Last season, she nailed down the program's record for saves in a season (948). Lacasse was named a New England Hockey Writer's All-Star, a Hockey East Second-Team All-Star and Conference Goaltender of the Month. She also was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team after playing over 179 minutes of playoff hockey without allowing a goal. This month, she became the 19th Friar to be named to an IIHF Women's World Championship Team and the first for Team Canada. The Canadians went on to win the World Championships, marking their first title since 2007.
Sisson continues to excel in her first year at Providence College after transferring from Wisconsin. Last week, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5,000 meters. This past indoor season, she became a Second-Team All-American by placing 12th at the NCAA Championships in the 3,000 meters. Sisson also led the cross country team to multiple victories, including the prestigious Paul Short Invitational, and helped the Friars achieve a No. 2 national ranking and a second-place finish at the BIG EAST Championship.
Gauthier enjoyed a career year while guiding the Friars to the Hockey East championship game. She led the team in scoring with 29 points on eight goals and 21 assists, despite battling through an injury. She also was the top Providence scorer in conference play, accumulating 19 points on six goals and 13 assists. She led the team with eight multi-point games, including a three-assist effort in the Friars' 6-2 victory over Maine in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
Wujciak becomes the first men's lacrosse player to earn the Mal Brown Award since Brian O'Rorke`04 took home the honor in 2004. Wujciak, a team captain, is a consummate leader for the program on and off the field as it continues the transition into the highly-competitive BIG EAST Conference. Through 12 games this season, Wujciak has scored eight points on six goals and two assists. His six goals tie his personal-best with the Friars, having previously tallied six goals during the 2010 campaign.
Fabian was one of three men's soccer players to start all 20 matches during the 2011 season and helped the Friars to their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance. Fabian, who was responsible for defending the opponents' top scorer, recorded one goal in a BIG EAST Conference win over Seton Hall.
Matthews continues to excel on the track, most recently winning the New Zealand Olympic Trial qualifier in the 1,500 meters. In the fall, he ran in his fourth-consecutive NCAA Cross Championship. He has run a sub-four minute mile four times during his career, including three times this year. Matthews also was named a BIG EAST Scholar Athlete Award winner.
Davidson has been a consistent force for the Friar cross country and track teams. This fall, she helped cross country win the Paul Short Invitational and reach a No. 2 national ranking. During the indoor season, the 2011 All-American was fourth at the BIG EAST Championships and later won the New England Championship in the mile.
Jensen also enjoyed a career year for the Friars, finishing with a personal best of 10 points as a defenseman. She was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament team, having assisted on the game-winning goal in PC's 2-0 semifinal upset of No. 7 Northeastern. She also assisted on a goal in the finals against #9 Boston University. Jensen led several community service initiatives, such as the Road Hockey Humble charity event to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Friars' domestic Violence Awareness Day to benefit SOAR and the Sojourner House.
More than 300 hundred student-athletes attended the event and each senior received a gift.