May 3, 2006
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - At a senior student-athlete awards reception on Monday, the Lafayette Athletic Department announced the recipients of the department's most prestigious awards, the Class of 1913 and the Charles L. Albert trophies. Field hockey's Jenna Bratz and Amanda Eggleston swept the female awards, while soccer's Mike Tortora and football's Maurice Bennett garnered recognition at the event held at the Pfenning Alumni Center's Wilson Room.
The Class of 1913 Trophy is presented annually to the senior male and female student-athletes who have attained the greatest distinction both as an athlete and a scholar as voted on by the head coaches and administration.
Bratz boasted a 3.89 grade-point average in Mathematics and was selected as the 2005 Maroon Club Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in November. A two-time member of the All-Patriot League field hockey second team at midfield, she was a tri-captain and started every game over the last three years. Bratz finished her senior season with three goals and an assist, highlighted by a game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Temple in the season-opener.
Bratz was the only field hockey player in the Patriot League to earn a 4.0 GPA in the fall 2003 semester and is an NFHCA All-American. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa last March, is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, and has performed EXCEL Scholar research in mathematics. In addition, Bratz is a peer mentor, a founding member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Lafayette Christian Fellowship, and is a member of the NCAA Academic Integrity Subcommittee for Athletic Certification. She plans to pursue a career in teaching after completing her student-teaching assignment this spring.
Tortora, the male recipient of the Class of 1913 honor maintained a 3.95 GPA in Economics and Business and was the Patriot League Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior. A second team All-Patriot League honoree and Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player, Tortora allowed just one goal over the final seven games of the season, including a pair of shutouts in the Patriot League tournament to vault the Leopards to the NCAA Tournament.
Tortora was the first Lafayette men's soccer player to be named an Academic All-American, which he earned as a junior after winning All-District II honors. He finished all of his degree requirements in December and has spent this semester helping Professor Nicole Crain teach a section of Economics 101. He performed EXCEL Scholar research and served as a peer mentor. Tortora landed the top entry-level position for finance at CitiGroup in New York following graduation this month.
The Charles L. Albert '08 Trophy is awarded to the senior male and female student-athletes who are judged to be the most outstanding athletes as voted on by the head coaches and administration.
Eggleston was a member of the All-Patriot League field hockey first team last fall after being named to the second team as a junior. She started all 77 games in her career on College Hill and was the only freshman to start on the 2002 Patriot League championship team. Eggleston had five goals and three assists as a senior, finishing her career with nine goals and six assists. She scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Georgetown.
Eggleston helped the Lafayette field hockey team earn Academic All-America team status by the NFHCA following the 2005 season. A member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll with a 3.26 GPA in Engineering with a minor in Art, Eggleston posted a 3.6 mark last fall. After studying abroad in Italy last summer decided to pursue a career in architecture following graduate school.
The male recipient of the Albert Trophy concluded his career as one of the most decorated players in the history of the Lafayette football program. Bennett is the first Lafayette player to be named an All-American by five national organizations, including first team by The Sports Network and the Associated Press. He was also a finalist for the Buchanan Award, which goes to the most outstanding defensive player in I-AA football. A two-time First Team All-Patriot League performer, Bennett led the circuit in tackles as a junior and again as a senior, making 133 stops.
Academically, he was the Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an Academic All-District II honoree, a semi-finalist for the Draddy Trophy, known as the "Academic Heisman", and a member of the I-AA Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. Bennett boasts a 3.35 GPA, including a 3.65 in the fall semester when co-captained the Patriot League Champion Leopards. He completed a 10-week Wall Street internship with Credit Suisse First Boston last summer and has accepted a job offer, but also has aspirations of playing in the NFL. On May 1, Bennett signed a rookie free agent contract with the Chicago Bears, while teammate Blake Costanzo signed with the New York Jets.
The athletic department honored all senior-student athletes at the reception, as all were awarded commemorative plaques for their time spent in a Lafayette uniform.