The Northeast Conference announced the Fall Team Sportsmanship Awards for each of the six fall sports on Tuesday with Central Connecticut claiming the award in four sports. The Blue Devils' women's cross country, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball teams were all named the winner of the award in their respective sports.
The awards were instituted by league Presidents in 2008 and are designed to acknowledge the team in each conference sport that, in the opinion of its peers, most closely demonstrates good sportsmanship based on the NEC Principles of Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct. Voting is conducted at the conclusion of each season by each team and head coach, who rank teams within the conference based on a set of criteria.
Women's cross country earned the league's Sportsmanship Award for the first time after finishing as runner-up at the NEC Championships for the second year in a row. Five CCSU runners earned all-conference honors, led by junior Dawn Hubbell who finished third individually at the championships. Freshman Megan Brawner was named the NEC Freshman of the Year.
The women's soccer team earned the NEC Sportsmanship Award for the third time. The Blue Devils set a program-record for fewest goals allowed in NEC play, surrending just two, and advanced to the semifinals of the NEC Tournament. Senior Jennifer Cafferky was named NEC Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time and junior Ashley Cavanaugh was named NEC Goalkeeper of the Year. The squad also earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for a 16th consecutive year.
The men's soccer team was named the Sportsmanship Award winner for the second straight season and third time overall. The Blue Devils had five players earn All-Northeast Conference honors, including sophomore Andres Muriel Albino being named to the First Team. The men's soccer team was also a United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award winner for the third straight year.
The volleyball team also earned its third Sportsmanship Award after earning a share of the NEC regular-season title. The Blue Devils had four all-conference selections and head coach Linda Sagnelli was named the ECAC Coach of the Year and NEC Coach of the Year. The team was honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 11th straight year, while senior Maddie Smith was named CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team.
The awards are the latest in a successful fall season for Blue Devils athletics. CCSU had five teams post top-three NEC finishes, including two NEC titles in football and men's cross country, and one regular-season NEC title. Four individuals earned major postseason awards, three coaches were named NEC Coach of the Year. The Blue Devils had 20 First Team All-NEC selections and 12 Second Team All-NEC selections.