Nowak, Baseball Duo Named Senior Student-Athletes Of The Year

Senior Athlete Award winners posed.
(L-R) Felician president Dr. Anne M. Prisco, Bruce Strickland, Amanda Nowak, Matt Diesel, director of athletics Ben DiNallo Jr. (Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University senior Amanda Nowak (Kolbuszowa, Poland/Lyndhurst [N.J]) has been named the 2017-18 Felician Female Senior Student-Athlete of the Year. The University's Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year Award was split between Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) and Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan). All were honored at the athletics department's annual senior banquet last Sunday evening by Felician President Dr. Anne M. Prisco at the Holiday Inn-Hasbrouck Heights

The Felician Senior Student-Athletes of the Year are the female and male graduating athletes who, as selected by department administrators, best represent the mission statement of Golden Falcon athletics. Academic performance, athletic contribution, citizenship and leadership both inside and outside of athletics are among the selection criteria.

Nowak is the third consecutive women's soccer student-athlete to be recognized, following Julia Sheridan in 2016 and Carly Brantner a year ago. A forward and outside midfielder, she completed her college career with 28 goals and eight assists in 67 games, and is tied for second on the Golden Falcons' career goals list. A second-team all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference honoree in 2016, she helped lead Felician to four conference tournament appearances, including two trips to the semifinals.

Nowak is a three-time Academic All-CACC honoree and a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma college athlete honor society. She was Felician's selection for the 2018 NJAIAW "Woman of the Year" program, and was a member of Felician's Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) program.  She owns a 3.84 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in accounting. Nowak is a 2014 graduate of Lyndhurst High School.

Diesel and Strickland are both members of the baseball team, which claims the honor for the fifth year in a row. Joe Petosa won in 2014, Matthew Facendo in 2015, Dean Loucka in 2016, and Andrew LaMura last year. In their four years together, Diesel and Strickland have helped the Golden Falcons to a CACC championship in 2016, three conference regular-season crowns, and 117 victories. Both have also been inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma.

Diesel, a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and two-time Academic all-CACC honoree, owns a 3.71 GPA in accounting. This season, he has set Felician records for hits and runs batted in. He is the program's career leader in triples, and second to Strickland in hits and runs scored. Strickland, the 2015 CACC Rookie of the Year, is a two-time all-region selection. He carries a 3.41 GPA in criminal justice.

The athletics department also honored their 44 senior student-athletes across their 14 intercollegiate NCAA Division II sports at Sunday night's banquet.