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Ek, Akeo Named 2012-13 Siena College Student Athletes of the Year

2012-13 Student Athletes of the Year Sindre Ek (Men's Soccer) and Lesli Akeo (Volleyball)

2012-13 Student Athletes of the Year Sindre Ek (Men's Soccer) and Lesli Akeo (Volleyball)

May 7, 2013

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The Siena College Athletic Department held its annual All-Sports Celebration Tuesday, honoring the achievements of student athletes both and off the field while also recognizing graduating seniors for their years of service to the College.

The department also handed out awards honoring some of the Siena's top student athletes. Men's Soccer senior striker Sindre Ek and volleyball senior libero Lesli Akeo were named the Student Athletes of the Year.

A native of Oslo, Norway, Ek was the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and an NSCAA First Team All-North Atlantic selection after leading men's soccer to a 10-7 overall record and second place league finish. Ek finished the season ranked eighth nationally in points per game (1.71) and 12th in goals per game (0.71). He tied for the MAAC lead in both scoring (29) and game-winning goals (four) and was second in goals scored (12).

Akeo was the MAAC Libero of the Year after recording a Siena single season record 788 digs last fall which was the second most in MAAC history. The Kapolei, Hawaii product was the only Northeast volleyball candidate and one of four liberos nationally for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. She finished her career with 2,285 career digs which was the most in school history and 800 more than the second place total.

While a pair of fall athletes won Player of the Year honors, two spring sport athletes took home Rookie of the Year accolades. Bryan Goossens (baseball) and Sarah Croutier (women's lacrosse) were named Siena's top freshmen.

A native of Hampden, Mass., Goossens leads the Saints with a 2.67 ERA this spring. In 12 appearances including seven starts he has walked just four batters in 54.0 innings and his 0.67 walks per nine innings ranks fourth nationally.

A Second Team All-MAAC and MAAC All-Rookie Team selection, Croutier led all MAAC freshmen in scoring with 40 points. Also Siena's top scorer, the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native was a three-time MAAC Rookie of the Week and ranked fourth in the league with 18 assists.

The Bill Kirsch Coach of the Year Award was presented to softball head coach Bill Lajeunesse who last weekend led the Saints to the program's first MAAC Regular Season Championship.

SAAC President Elizabeth Ives presented the SAAC Appreciation Award to Director of Student Athlete Engagement Lori Jancik. The award recognizes an individual for dedication and commitment to Siena's student-athletes.

The S.A.I.N.T.S. Cup was presented to the softball team for their exemplary community service involvement.

Academic Advisor Gail Picillo awarded the Student-Athlete Achievement Awards to men's lacrosse's Erik Casparius (Portland, Maine) and women's tennis' Elora Benfer (Milton, N.Y.). The honor goes to a graduating student athlete who has worked diligently in the classroom and shown great improvement.

Jancik handed out Senior Academic Honor and Academic Excellence awards to graduating seniors who have posted cumulative GPA's above a 3.20 over their four years. More than two dozen seniors were recognized with these honors.

Jancik also presented awards to student athletes who posted the highest cumulative GPA in their respective schools. They were women's cross country's Lia Gizzarelli (School of Science), women's basketball's Lily Grenci (Arts) and women's soccer's Caitlin Cahalan (Business)

Four-year graduating seniors were also honored from each of Siena's sports and received special watches as a thank you gift for their efforts both on and off the field over the past four years.

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