LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Siena Soccer senior captains Matt Needham from the men’s squad and Kirby O’Keefe from the women’s team have been selected as Siena College’s Leo Dufort Student Athletes of the Month representing September. The duo is being honored for their continued exemplary successes both on the soccer field and in the classroom.
A native of Sheffield, England, Needham has to date appeared in 52 career matches and made 51 starts at center back for the Saints. A 2012 MAAC All-Rookie Team selection, he has tallied 10 career points including a pair of game-winning goals. Named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 23, 2013 during his sophomore season, Needham has again been a staple on the Saints’ back line this fall where he has both appeared in and started 13 matches for a defensive unit which has recorded four shutouts to date.
In the classroom, Needham has been named to both the MAAC All-Academic Team and Academic Honor Roll in each year of eligibility. An economics major, he currently possesses a 3.85 cumulative GPA and is a member of Siena Athletics’ “4.0 Club” after achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA for both semesters of his junior year. Needham was inducted at the end of last year into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society for Students of AACSB-Accredited Business Schools and was selected to the 21st Century Leaders Society, an Honor Society for Business Majors.
Also a center back, O’Keefe has to date played in every minute of every match this fall for the Saints and anchored a defensive unit which has posted five clean sheets. For her career, the Wethersfield, Conn. product has appeared in 62 matches (39 starts) and tallied seven points. A 2012 MAAC All-Rookie Team selection, O’Keefe has recorded three points on a goal and an assist so far this season.
Academically, O’Keefe boasts a stellar 3.91 cumulative GPA as a mathematics major. She has been selected to both the MAAC All-Academic Team and Academic Honor Roll in each year of eligibility and is a member of Siena’s 4.0 Club. O’Keefe was recently inducted into the Phi Mu Epsilon National Honor Society for Mathematics.
The Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.