WALTHAM, Mass. — On Monday, April 29, the Brandeis University Department of Athletics handed out its annual end-of-season awards. The following student-athletes were all recognized at the department's awards dinner.
Two Athletic Director's Awards were presented to student-athletes who have displayed general excellence in representing Brandeis Athletics. They went to:
Zoe Messinger of Short Hills, N.J., of the fencing team. A three-time University Athletic Association All-Academic who boasts a 3.68 grade-point average as an art history major, Messinger was a captain of the women’s squad as a senior. She was a two-time All-Northeast Fencing Conference selection in sabre who just missed selection to the NCAA championships as a junior. Outside of the team, Messinger was a three-year intern in the sports information office and as a senior, served as an intern at Brandeis’s renowned Rose Art Museum, serving on their Student Committee;
And Jon Ostrowsky of Newton, Mass., of the men’s tennis team. A team captain as a senior, Ostrowsky was a three-time Academic All-UAA selection with a 3.85 GPA in history and politics with a minor in journalism. Ostrowksy was a star off the court for the Judges. He coordinated the team’s participation with the ACEing Autism program for four years; served as a writer and editor for the student newspaper The Hoot; and interned in Beacon Hill for governor Deval Patrick and over the summer of 2012 in the White House.
The James McCully ‘85 Award, presented to seniors who best exemplify the character, dedication and good sportsmanship that depicted soccer All-American and inaugural Hall of Famer Jim McCully’s career at Brandeis, went to Joe Eisenbies of Hingham, Mass., and Lee Russo of Westford, Mass., both of the men’s soccer team.
Eisenbies, a defender, moved to back as a senior after three years as a midfielder, while Russo was the second-leading scorer in the UAA this season who will graduate as Brandeis’s ninth all-time leading scorer. Both were All-New England selections as seniors, while also earning six Academic All-UAA selections between them. Eisenbies was also a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American this year. The pair helped the Judges to their most successful season in decades, going 18-3-1 and reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III championships.
The Steven Gendzier Prize, presented to recognize a senior student-athlete who has overcome a hardship with perseverance, was awarded to Faith Broderick of Washingtonville, N.Y., and the women’s tennis team. Broderick, who served as captain and played first doubles and second singles for the women’s tennis team, did so despite battling plantar fasciitis in her senior campaign. Despite that injury, she helped the Judges to a national ranking throughout the season, a 10-9 record and fifth place in the UAA. She and teammate Carley Cooke of San Diego, Calif., are on track to earn a selection the NCAA individual championships in May.
The Morris Sepinuck Award, presented to the varsity athlete who not only displays outstanding sportsmanship but also makes a significant contribution to the athletic program and to campus life at Brandeis, went to Holly Spicer of Northampton, Mass., captain of the women’s swimming and diving team. Spicer, who was “instrumental in helping restart BUSDT 2.0” according head coach Mike Kotch, was the de facto captain of the swimming and diving team over the past three years, including two in which the program was temporarily suspended while Linsey Pool underwent renovations. Spicer served as vice-president of Brandeis’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during a particularly successful year, and after three years performing various duties in the Department of Athletics served in 2012-13 as the coordinator of the Club Sports program, helping serve over 500 members of Brandeis club sports teams.
The Morry Stein Award of Valor, presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated courage both on and off the playing fields and/or intervened to better the lives of others, went to junior Mohammed Sidique of Harlem, N.Y., of the men’s track and field team. Sidique, who is a tour guide and community advisor on campus in addition to serving as a co-captain for the track team, rehabbed from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2012-13. He also suffered the loss of two significant family members over the course of the past 18 months to return contribute in the sprinting and jumping events.
The Charlie Napoli '58 Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to an outstanding student athlete who has excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field, went to Alex Kramer of North Andover, Mass., of the men’s cross country and track and field teams. Kramer, who owns a 3.52 grade-point average as a psychology and philosophy double-major, served as team captain of both cross country and track as a senior. He won two UAA titles, capturing the mile run during the indoor season and the 1,500-meter run outdoors. He qualified for his first NCAA championship during the winter season, finishing 12th nationally in the mile run and is currently ranked 13th in Division III in the 1,500.
The Max I. Silber Award, presented to the outstanding female student-athlete, was given to sophomore Dara Spital of Miami, Fla., of the women’s soccer team, marking only the second time a non-senior has been presented with this award. Spital was named an NSCAA third-team All-American, finishing second the UAA in scoring with 33 points on a league-high 14 goals along with five assists. Spital led the conference with eight game-winning goals in 2012, fourth best in Division III. Her game-winners included two in UAA contests and another in the NCAA Tournament. Spital helped the Judges to a 16-5-2 record, tying a school record for wins, and a berth in Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III tournament.
The Harry, Joseph and Ida Stein Award, presented to the outstanding male athlete, was given to Sam Ocel of North Attleboro, Mass., captain of the men’s soccer teams. A third-team All-American team selection by the NSCAA and first-team choice by d3soccer.com, Ocel was the team’s and the UAA’s leading scorer with 34 points. Named the conference Most Valuable Player, Ocel had nine game-winning goals, including three in conference games and two more in the NCAA tournament as the Judges finished their season 18-3-1 and advanced to the Sweet 16. Ocel, who owns a 3.50 GPA as a biology major and hopes to attend dental school, will return to the Judges in 2013 for a final year of eligibility. He is currently 15th on the school’s career scoring list with 65 points on 23 goals and 19 assists.