PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College Department of Athletics recently announced its annual award winners for the 2012-13 academic year, a year that could arguably be considered the most successful in school history.
The Storm posted their highest finish in the Learfield Sports Division II Directors’ Cup final standings released in mid-June. Lake Erie ranked 95th overall, accumulating 212 total points. Lake Erie, which had a total of 10 individual national qualifiers and saw the men’s lacrosse team qualify for the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time this year, scored 81points in the spring in men’s track and field and lacrosse. With a 17th-place finish in outdoor track and field, the Storm garnered 56 points. The lacrosse team’s fifth-place finish was good for 25 points. The Storm picked up 131 points in the winter for top-30 finishes in men’s indoor track and field, men’s swimming and wrestling.
Each year, five student-athletes are selected by a vote of the department coaches and administrative staff for the annual department awards.
For 2012-13, recent graduates Julia Kudla (Harlesysville, Pa./Souderton) and Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary) were named the Jane White Lincoln Female Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year, respectively. Sophomore Justin Goodwin (New Westminster, B.C./New Westminster Secondary) was named the recipient of the Gloria A. Heaney Athletic & Academic Excellence Award and freshmen Kady Held (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw) and Tom Lipomi )Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) were voted the female and male Rookies of the Year, respectively.
Kudla finished a decorated women’s lacrosse career by being named first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and All-GLIAC Academic Excellence as a senior, posting a school-record total of 132 points in 18 games, scoring 46 goals and adding 86 assists. She ranked 3rd overall in NCAA Division II in points per game and second in assists and ended her career ranked in top 15 all-time in DII scoring history. In helping lead the Storm to their first winning season and a 13-5 overall record, she was a multiple GLIAC Athlete of the Week nominee and winner and was also a GLIAC Commissioner’s Award nominee for the spring semester.
Bal capped a record-setting career by racking up a number of conference and national awards in leading the men’s lacrosse team to its best season ever and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He was voted a second-team All-American – the highest in the program’s history- first-team All-Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference, ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, ECAC All-Tournament Team and ECAC All-Academic selection as a senior. Individually he ranked 4th in Division II with 4.88 points per game and ninth in both goals and assists per game. Bal finished the season with 86 points on 47 goals and 36 assists. The points and assists totals were both school, single-season record. Bal graduated as all-time leading scorer in school history and most decorated player in program’s first four years.
Goodwin led the men’s lacrosse team’s defense and also led the Storm in the classroom with a better than 3.9 grade points average as a Biology major with a Pre-Medicine concentration. On the field he earned first-team All-ECAC and honorable mention All-American honors in 2013. Goodwin set a school-record with 95 ground balls and led team with24 caused turnovers. He was twice named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week and also scored three goals and assisted on two others. Goodwin was named to both the ECAC All-Tournament and Academic All-ECAC teams.
Held placed 5th at the GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the discus throw and posted a NCAA Division II provisional qualifying throw of 151’4” at the Hillsdale Charger Classic. That distance was 22nd best in country on the season. During the year, she posted nine top-10 finishes in the discus and another two in the hammer throw.
Lipomi started all 17 games as a first-year goal keeper for the men’s lacrosse team. He made 122 saves and posted a 7.96 goals-against-average in over 800 minutes of action. Both those numbers ranked among the national leaders. Lipomi had three games with over 10 saves and five times he allowed two goals or fewer. He was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team goalkeeper and Academic All-ECAC.