leopardThe PARDees, Lafayette’s senior student-athlete awards ceremony, were held Thursday evening at the Williams Center for the Arts. More than 100 student-athletes and their families celebrated the close of the Class of 2013′s competitive careers.

Two of the seniors stood out from the packDeanna DiCroce (Kappa Kappa Gamma),and Emily Valeo (Delta Gamma) took home the top honors as selected by head coaches and athletic administrators. Read the full story…

DicroceKKGDiCroce were honored with the Charles L. Albert ’08 Award, given to the senior female student-athletes judged to be the most outstanding athlete. The endowed award was established in 1966.

KKGCrestDiCroce was twice named the Patriot League Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Year. She leaves College Hill with 53 goals, 44 assists and 150 points, ranking her second in the Patriot League in career assists and points and fourth in career goals. She was a four-time All-Patriot League First-Team honoree, a two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Mideast Region Team member in 2011 and 2012, and a second-team honoree in 2009.

The center forward was a three-time selection to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team and was the tourney MVP in 2012. A team captain her final two seasons, DiCroce played on the USA Senior National Indoor Squad during her time at Lafayette.

“Deanna is a competitor and a top-level athlete,” said head coach Jennifer Stone (Kappa Kappa Gamma) “She played a very significant role in the program’s success over the past four years, helping win Patriot League championships in 2011 and 2012, along with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.”

5022979Valeo received the Class of 1913 Trophy, an endowed award presented to the senior female student-athlete who have attained the greatest distinction both as an athlete and a scholar. The Class of 1913 Trophy has been presented annually since 1940.

DGCrestValeo was a four-year starter and served as a team captain her junior and senior years. She garnered regional All-America honors her senior year and was an All-Patriot League selection three times. The Maroon Club Scholar-Athlete Award winner in the fall of 2012, Valeo holds a 3.72 cumulative GPA while majoring in English.

She has served as a peer mentor in the Academic Tutoring and Training Information Center and is a four-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selection. She linched a spot on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad.

The center midfielder is a member of the senior squad of the USA National Indoor Team, representing the U.S. in international tournaments while also participating in the U.S. high-performance training program and competing with and against other national team players. Valeo leaves Lafayette in a tie for the lead in career assists with 45 after starting 79 games. She set a single-season record in 2012 with 17 assists.

“Emily was a four-year starter and rarely left the field. She was undoubtedly one of the top players in the league and also in the country. She was a very significant piece to the success the program has had over the past four years,” Stone said. “She was who the team turned to when times got tough. Emily was a true leader who has genuinely achieved success in the classroom and on the athletic field.”

The ceremony, which featured a pre-ceremony red carpet and a reception afterwards, was hosted by Gary Laubach of the Lafayette Sports Network and Susan Averett, (Kappa Kappa Gamma Faculty Adviser) Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics and Lafayette’s faculty athletics representative.

Additional remarks were delivered by Director of Athletics Bruce McCutcheon and Sarah Frohnapfel, (Kappa Kappa Gamma) a senior volleyball player and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.