RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician College women's soccer team has been awarded the 2014 National Girls and Women in Sport Day (NGWSD) Team Academic Award for fall sports by the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW). Furthermore, women's soccer student-athlete Alysia Arcona (Hackettstown, N.J./Hackettstown) has been named Felician's recipient of the 2014 NJAIAW Woman of the Year Award.
Arcona and fellow senior Katie McDermott (Monroe Township, N.J./St. John Vianney), who accepted the Team Academic Award on behalf of her teammates, were among the guests of honor at the annual NJAIAW Woman of the Year Luncheon on Sunday, run in celebration of NGSWD. Following this year's luncheon, held at Seton Hall University in South Orange, each winner was recognized at halftime of the Pirates' women's basketball game against Villanova University.
Felician's 18-member squad posted a team grade-point average of 3.78 in the 2012-13 academic year, one of the top figures in any NCAA division reported to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Golden Falcons earned the NSCAA's Team Academic Award, and placed 11 members on the 2013 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference All-Academic Team.
"These young ladies have completely exceeded my expectations," said six-year Felician head coach Thomas Notte. "Not only do they compete on the soccer field, but they are ideal demonstrations of student-athletes."
Arcona owns a 3.96 cumulative GPA as a double major in elementary education and English. She is the first female two-time Academic All-American in any sport in Felician history, and was named the CACC Student-Athlete of the Month in September 2013. She volunteers as a religious education instructor and as a camp coordinator for cognitively impaired children. Arcona is a 2010 graduate of Hackettstown High.
"I'm extremely proud of everything Alysia has accomplished," Notte said. "With all of her accolades, she has become a role model for our younger players and a good example for all Felician student-athletes."
Competitively, Arcona amassed 25 goals and 19 assists in her career, with both totals ranking among Felician's all-time top 10. She was elected to the all-CACC team three times.
NGWSD celebrates the athletic achievements of women and the positive well-being associated with sports participation while also recognizing the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports. Feb. 6 was the 28th anniversary of the chartering of NGWSD by Congress.