May 19, 2014

Senior Student-Athlete Athletic Banquet

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Senior Banquet Video

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, May 15, the Catholic University of America Department of Athletics held its annual Senior Student-Athlete Athletic Banquet to celebrate the academic, athletic and community service achievements of each team’s senior class.

Prior to announcing the recipients of the special individual awards, the Athletics Department Family took the time to honor and acknowledge Dr. Michael Allen for his dedication to the growth and development of the Catholic Athletics. 

Six Cardinal student-athletes were the winners of the annual prestigious Harris Cup, Donley Cup, Jone Dowd Awards and the Outstanding Male/Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Harris Cup

Marc Hanna (Baseball) 

The Harris Cup is presented annually to a male student-athlete regarded as an outstanding leader, athlete, and scholar who made a significant contribution to the campus and community.

Throughout his career, Hanna was the central driving force of CUA baseball. “This extremely talented 2-year captain, fierce competitor and undeniable team leader has earned the utmost respect from his teammates and opponents while challenging his teammates to achieve excellence, both on and off the field,” said head baseball coach Ross Natoli.

Hanna is a two-time First Team All-Landmark selection, a two-time player of the week and led the team in numerous statistical categories.  His achievements on the field guided the program to four straight Landmark Conference Tournament appearances, while clinching the title his freshman year to advance to the NCAA regionals and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.

Hanna was a member of the Dean’s List since his freshman year and is a member of the Landmark Honor Roll three years running, Hanna will graduate with a 3.5 grade point average and a degree in psychology.

In addition to his success on the field and in the classroom, is his dedication to serving the community and his fellow student-athletes.  Hanna, who is currently the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Vice President, has been a member of SAAC all four years.  He also volunteered with D.C. Reads, the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge, Fall Sports Cleanup Day, and the Martin Luther King Day Of Service.  Hanna was the co-chairman for the Brookland Field Day at the DuFour Athletic Center this past April, a camp counselor with New Jersey’s Bloomfield Parks and Recreation and a private tutor for special needs students in Silver Spring, Md.  Hanna is a truly inspiring young man and leader.

Donley Cup

Megan Comunale (Field Hockey)

The Donley Cup is presented annually to a female student-athlete regarded as an outstanding leader, athlete, and scholar who made a significant contribution to the campus and community. 

Comunale, a nursing major with a 3.24 grade point average and graduated as an integral part of the program’s three Landmark Conference championships, three NCAA appearances and the program’s first Elite 8 appearance.  As a senior, she led the nation in goals against average at a remarkable .65 average, she is a NFHCA 2nd team All-American, First Team All-Region, a two-time First Team All-Conference selection, Synapse sports First Team All-American, ECAC player of the week, a NFHCA senior All-Star Game participant, and a two-time Landmark Conference Defensive Player Of The Week.

Academically, Comunale is a member of the Dean’s List, Nursing Dean’s List, one-of-four student-athletes selected to the Landmark Conference All-Academic Team, a member of the NFHCA all-academic squad, and a member of the Landmark Conference Honor Roll three years in a row.  Comunale has been very active in the community, volunteering with the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Relay For Life, Special Olympics, Martin Luther King day of service, Carroll Manor Nursing Home and Little Sisters Of The Poor.

“A regular at the Duf, Comunale is always quick to smile, kind hearted and loves the elderly,” said head field hockey coach Gia Cillizza.

Comunale looks to pursue a career in gerontology has accepted a position at Georgetown Hospital. 

Jone Dowd (Male)

Michael O'Shea (Football)

The Jone Dowd Student-Athlete Role Model Award is given annually to a male and female student-athlete who exudes graciousness in victory, humility in defeat and rallies their peers to consistently compete at a high level in athletics and beyond.

O’shea was a three-year starter and a two-time captain, and was the heart and soul of the CUA football team.  The mechanical engineering student is a three-time All-ODAC selection and an All-Region selection.

Academically, O’Shea has received the Parish Scholarship, the Alumni Scholarship and the CUA Academic Scholarship.  He has worked along side several classmates to develop two outstanding projects.  For his senior project, O’Shea worked with a team of six individuals to design and fabricate an airplane, this project was then presented to the CUA Board of Trustees, Engineering Professors and Professional Engineering Alumni.  His second major project was a conceptual Mars Rover that went before a panel of professors and members of the “Curiosity” Rover Team from The Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

O’Shea was one of the most active student-athletes in the campus community.  He was selected by the Vice President of Student Affairs to assist other university officials in the planning process of the University Student Center.  He is a three-year member of the Catholic Athletes for Christ, volunteered at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and participated in various Special Olympics and American Cancer Society “Relay For Life” Fundraisers, as well as the Martin Luther King Day of Service and the Hurricane Sandy Relief Project. 

Jone Dowd (Female)

Andrea Ingram (W. Tennis)

The Jone Dowd Student-Athlete Role Model Award is given annually to a male and female student-athlete who exudes graciousness in victory, humility in defeat and rallies their peers to consistently compete at a high level in athletics and beyond.

Ingram was a recipient of the Student-Athlete Leader Award, Coach’s Award, Landmark Conference Rookie Of The Year and a two-time Second Team All-Conference selection.  She served as team captain this past season and was heavily involved in service initiatives.  Ingram is a member of the University Hearing Board, Campus Catechesis and the music ministry, she volunteered with numerous organizations, including March For Life, Athlete’s Service Day, the Brookland Community Outreach and Friday Night Fellowship.  “Ingram exhibits all we look for in our student-athletes, leadership, team spirit, and unrelenting hard work,” said head women’s tennis coach Dana Dowd.

“I can honestly say I have never coached a more valuable team player and leader than her,” said Dowd. Ingram is a politics major and member of the Dean’s List.

Outstanding Student Athlete (Male)

Kevin Romano (M. Soccer)

The Senior Athlete of the Year Award is presented to one male and one female who has made significant contributions to their respective sport and team.  This award takes into account the student-athlete’s aggregate career at CUA. 

Romano has excelled since he arrived on campus his freshman year both on and off the field.  He is a three-time First Team All-Conference selection, a two-time Second Team All Mid-Athletic Region selection, All-ECAC, named Landmark Conference Defensive Player Of The Year, defensive player of the week and offensive player of the week.  Romano’s athletic efforts have led to four consecutive winning seasons, three regular season championships accolades, two Top 25 national rankings, a Landmark Conference Title in addition to two NCAA Tournament berths.

Outside the playing field, Romano has been a member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for two years, and volunteered with the Barcelona Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Friends Of Jaclyn, Martin Luther King Day Of Service, Armed Forces Retirement Home, United For D.C. (D.C. United Charitable Foundation) and “Soccer Madness.”  

Romano also excelled in the classroom, after changing his major from architecture to marketing put him far behind in his studies.  In order to graduate on time, he went to summer school twice and has taken at least six courses each of the last four semesters.  Romano graduated with a 3.14 grad point average overall.

Outstanding Student Athlete (Female)

Emily Grabiak (W. Basketball)

The Senior Athlete of the Year Award is presented to one male and one female who has made significant contributions to their respective sport and team.  This award takes into account the student-athlete’s aggregate career at CUA.

Grabiak graduated as one of the most decorated student-athletes in the history of the women’s basketball program.  During her senior year alone, she became an All-American, a First Team All-Region selection, Landmark Conference Player Of The Year, an ECAC First Team All-Region selection, ECAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Most Valuable Player during the program’s holiday tournament, four-conference player of the week achievements, and one ECAC player of the week honor.  Grabiak graduated as one of CUA’s all-time leading scorers, having amassed more than 1100 points, 740 rebounds, 440 assists and 250 steals.  She is the only player in the history of the program to amass those numbers.  Grabiak has served as team captain during her junior and senior year and led the program to its first conference tournament, its first Landmark Conference Title, the first NCAA Tournament appearance, and win, numerous Top 25 rankings, and four consecutive winning seasons. 

Grabiak’s hard work extends past the court, as she has been very active in the campus community.   She has participated in the WBCA Play For Gray Initiative, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Aware-Ness Run, Race For The Cure, CUA Play For Kay Day, Washington D.C. Run For Health, Cheesecake Factory feed the homeless drive, Relay For Life, and numerous clinics for disadvantaged youths.

Grabiak graduated with a degree in media studies.

The Cardinals ended the 2013-14 year with four conference championships: Field Hockey, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Tennis and Softball, and one ECAC Championship: Women’s Basketball.

-CUA-

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