CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is excited to announce the 2017 Fall Scholar Athletes of the Year. Each season the conference recognizes student-athletes not only for their effort on the field, but also for their effort in the classroom. Out of the hundreds of fall student-athletes that compete in the SUNYAC, eight were chosen for this special distinction.
To be eligible for the SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year award students must prove both academic and athletic excellence by obtaining a 3.30 overall GPA, by being a starter or significant reserve for their team and they must be at least a sophomore.
Megan Gangewere (Sr.) Field Hockey, New Paltz
Gangewere, a native of Nazareth, PA (Nazareth) closed out her field hockey career in well-rounded fashion. In the classroom, the senior mechanical engineering major maintained a 3.77 GPA and was a member of both the honors and STAR (Students Trained as Resources) programs. On the field, Gangewere led the Hawks to a 4-2 conference record in 2017 and finished her career with the third-most saves in program history. Her efforts earned a spot on the NFHCA senior All-Star team.
Ethan Francis (Jr.), Men's Cross Country, Fredonia
Originally from Dunkirk (Dunkirk), Francis excelled in both the classroom and cross-country competition. The junior video production/political science major has carried a 3.94 GPA during his career, including a 4.0 mark this past semester. Francis finished seventh at the conference championship meet, a feat that placed him in the SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame. Francis then went on to earn NCAA Atlantic All-Region honors to close out his established career for the Blue Devils.
Elise Ramirez (Jr.), Women's Cross Country, Geneseo
Ramirez (Nesconset/Sachem North) was a dual threat academically and athletically. A biology major, Ramirez has maintained a 3.60 overall GPA, including a 3.71 in Fall 2017. \She has been named to the Dean's List at Geneseo four times and has volunteered in her hometown for the past eight years. Ramirez was named Cross Country Runner of the Year during the Fall season after placing first in the SUNYAC championships and guiding the Knights to their seventh straight team victory. At the regional championships, she placed second and helped Geneseo capture their third straight Atlantic Regional crown. Ramirez closed out the season with a strong showing at the NCAA Championships, helping her team finish sixth overall.
Daniel Ioos (So.), Men's Soccer, Oneonta
Ioos, the lone sophomore to be recognized, had an outstanding Fall campaign for the Red Dragons. Academically, the Wappingers Falls (Roy C. Ketcham) native has maintained a 3.97 GPA as a business economics major. On the field, Ioos started 16 of his teams 18 games on defense, helping Oneonta capture the conference championship and berth into the NCAA tournament. Ioos has been recognized for his success in both athletics and academics, as he has been awarded the SUNYAC Elite 20 Award and earned CoSIDA Academic All-American (Third Team) honors.
Madeline Saccocio (Sr.) Women's Soccer, Plattsburgh
Saccocio, a native of Schenectady, was accomplished athletically and academically for the Cardinals. As nutrition major, she was able to maintain a 3.53 GPA and was recognized by CoSIDA for Academic All-District III, as well as the SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. On the pitch, Saccocio was near the top of SUNYAC leaderboards in goals (16) and total points (37) and was tied for the lead in game-winning goals (5). She was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year and placed on the SUNYAC all-conference team. Saccocio was also recognized by the United Soccer Coaches as a First-Team All-Region member.
Noelle Poloncarz (Sr.), Volleyball, Brockport
Poloncarz (Orchard Park/Orchard Park), who won the award last year, continued her prowess on the court and in the classroom. The nursing major maintained a 3.53 GPA while leading her Golden Eagles squad to another successful season. Brockport finished 9-0 in conference play and took their third straight conference title. Poloncarz ranked fourth in the SUNYAC with 308 assists and was named to the SUNYAC All-Tournament team and First-Team All-Conference. The AVCA recognized Poloncarz with First-Team All-Region and All-American Honorable Mention.
Carol Tyson (Gr.) Tennis, New Paltz
Tyson (Clinton Corners/Rhinebeck), who was also awarded the honor last year, continued her overall excellence. As a graduate student in New Paltz's MBA program, Tyson has maintained a 3.90 overall GPA. On the tennis court, she led the Hawks to their fourteenth straight SUNYAC championship finals appearance and was awarded the Peter J. Cahill Award (MVP) and selected for First-Team All-Conference in singles and doubles. Tyson finished her career in the top five for singles win percentage and top ten in career singles victories.