Six Honored As CAA Fall Scholar-Athletes
The conference honors one Scholar-Athlete in each of its 22 championship sports. Nominees for the award must be a starter or important reserve on their team and must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25. The winners were selected by a vote of the sports information directors at each CAA institution.
Earning Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors were William & Mary senior Alex McGrath in men's cross country, James Madison senior Katie Gorman in women's cross country, Hofstra senior Melissa McCarthy in field hockey, Georgia State junior Chris Locandro in men's soccer, William & Mary senior Mallory Schaffer in women's soccer and Towson junior Katy Buck in volleyball.
Here is a brief biographical sketch on the award winners:
Alex McGrath, Sr., Marlborough, N.H./ConVal Regional - William & Mary (men's cross country)
A senior majoring in international relations, McGrath received USTFCCCA All-Academic honors in cross country in 2011 and is expected to earn the award again in 2012. He is also a four-time CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient. McGrath was selected as the CAA men's cross country Athlete of the Year in 2012. He captured the individual title at the CAA Men's Cross Country Championship with a course-record time of 24:04 in the 8K race and led the Tribe to their 13th consecutive conference crown. McGrath also earned All-Region accolades after placing 18th overall at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship with a time of 30:37 on the 10K course.
Katie Gorman, Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh - James Madison (women's cross country)
A senior majoring in kinesiology, Gorman is a five-time CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient and has earned the JMU Athletic Director Scholar-Athlete award three times. She has made the JMU President's List (3.9+ GPA) in three semesters and the Dean's List (3.5+ GPA) in three semesters. Gorman earned All-CAA honors in cross country for the third year in a row after placing fourth overall at the 2012 CAA Cross Country Championship. She captured the individual title at the 2012 ECAC Championship and the 2012 JMU Invitational and led the Dukes to the team championships in both events.
Melissa McCarthy, Sr., Havertown, Pa./Haverford - Hofstra (field hockey)
A senior who is double majoring in psychology and early childhood and childhood education, McCarthy is a two-time member of the Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll and is a CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient. She was chosen to the NFHCA National Academic squad in 2011 and is expected to receive the honor again in 2012. McCarthy started all 19 games on defense for the Pride this season and was third on the team in scoring with four goals and three assists from the back line. Despite taking only six shots all year, she recorded a pair of goals against VCU and also scored against Saint Joseph's and Towson. McCarthy led Hofstra with 1,274 minutes played.
Chris Locandro, Jr., Kennesaw, Ga./The Walker School - Georgia State (men's soccer)
A junior who is majoring in neuroscience and double-minoring in mathematics and chemistry, Locandro has made the GSU President's List and is a two-time CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient. He is enrolled in the Georgia State University Honors College and is a member of the Collegiate Neuroscience Society. On the field, Locandro earned first-team All-CAA honors in 2011 and third-team accolades in 2012 as a defender. He anchored a Panthers' defense that has recorded 11 shutouts over the past two seasons, including a school-record nine in 2011 when they earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Locandro was selected to the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region third team in 2011.
Mallory Schaffer, Sr., Allison Park, Pa./Hampton - William & Mary (women's soccer)
A senior majoring in biology, Schaffer earns the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in women's soccer for the second year in a row. She was selected to the NSCAA Scholar All-America team in 2012 and received CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2011. On the field, Schaffer was chosen as the CAA women's soccer Player of the Year for the second consecutive season in 2012 and was named to the NSCAA All-America second team, becoming just the ninth player in W&M history to receive All-America honors in back-to-back years. The senior midfielder contributed a team-high 10 goals and 23 points in 2012 as the Tribe captured the CAA regular-season title. Schaffer, who is a three-time All-CAA and All-Region selection, completed her career ranked among the top 10 in W&M history in goals and points.
Katy Buck, Jr., Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales Academy - Towson (volleyball)
A junior majoring in biology, Buck was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America first team in 2012 and made the Academic All-District first team for the second year in a row. She is a three-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award. On the court, Buck was chosen to the All-CAA first team for the second straight season, becoming the first Towson volleyball player to be named to the first team in back-to-back years since 2004. The outside hitter ranked fourth in the CAA in kills per set (3.42) and fifth in points per set (3.77) this season and became the 13th player in school history to reach 1,000 kills for her career. In leading the Tigers to the CAA regular-season title, Buck also was chosen as the MVP of the Battle at the Bay Tournament and was a member of the CAA All-Tournament team.