Babson Honors Class of 2012 at 31st Annual Senior Athletics Awards Banquet
BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College Athletics Department held its 31st Annual Senior Awards Banquet on Friday night where a total of eight individuals received honors. Two women’s basketball seniors, Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) and Nicole Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.), were named co-winners of the Female Athlete of the Class, while men’s soccer senior Max Walker (Newton, Mass.) was named the Male Athlete of the Class. Senior golfer Joe Young Jr. (Westwood, Mass.) received the Scholar-Athlete of the Class Award, and field hockey and softball senior Jessica Pashos (Winchester, Mass.) took home the Michael J. Conlon Award.
In addition to the senior awards, Dr. Mickey Goldin, a longtime volunteer photographer of Babson Athletics, received the prestigious Paul C. Staake Award for outstanding contributions to Babson Athletics, while a pair of first-year athletes were also honored. Volleyball first-year Kseniya Stepanova (Upland, Calif.) received the Lori Vengrow Award, and men’s lacrosse first-year Alex Bunick (Millis, Mass.) was honored as the winner of the Colin “Chip” Brown Award.
King and Wurdeman were honored following the end of their magnificent careers in which they helped lead the Beavers to four straight NEWMAC Championships, four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, and two NCAA Tournament Elite 8 appearances. King, a four-time All-Conference honoree and three-time All-New England selection, leaves Babson as the only player in program history to rank in the top five in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. King is also one of only three players in program history to surpass both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during her career. Wurdeman completed her career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,042 points and 1,017 rebounds, and was the program’s first ever three-time All-American. The 2009 NEWMAC, New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA), ECAC, and D3hoops Rookie of the Year, and a three-time NEWMAC Player of the Year, Wurdeman was also a four-time All-New England selection and the 2012 NEWBA Regional Player of the Year.
Walker claimed the Male Athlete of the Class after a tremendous four-year career that culminated with an All-American selection this past fall. Walker was a two-time All-NEWMAC and All-New England selection, and helped the Beavers to 63 wins – the highest four-year total in program history – to go with three conference championships, four NCAA Tournament bids, and back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2011. Walker is tied for fifth on the program’s all-time list in assists (24) and finishes his career in 13th place in career points (58).
A three-year member of the golf team and its lone senior this season, Young received the Scholar-Athlete of the Class award. The 2010 and 2011 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Golfer of the Year and three-time All-NECC First Team selection, Young helped the Beavers to the 2009 and 2011 NECC titles and will lead Babson to its eighth appearance at the upcoming 2012 NCAA Championships, which will start on May 15. In nearly 50 rounds over the last three seasons, Young has posted an overall scoring average of 77.20, including a career-best 76.63 average so far this season.
As a four-year member of the field hockey and softball teams, Pashos received the coveted Michael J. Conlon Award, which is presented each year to the senior who best exhibits the qualities of leadership, integrity, loyalty, academic excellence, and most importantly, a willingness to find the time to care for others. As a captain of both the field hockey and softball squads this season, Pashos excelled not only on the field and in the classroom, but also took part in number extra-curricular activities. A two-year president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Pashos also served as a work-study student in several different areas within the Athletic Department during her time at Babson, including game management and the equipment room. On the field, Pashos was a two-time All-Conference and 2010 All-New England goalie who will graduate as the program’s all-time leader with 47 wins in field hockey, and she is the program’s all-time leader with 74 career walks in softball.
Presented each year to a person or entity that shows outstanding support of Babson’s Athletic programs, the Paul C. Staake Award went to Dr. Mickey Goldin. For the better part of the last decade, Goldin has been a fixture at athletic events as the primary photographer of the Beavers. Volunteering hundreds of hours, Goldin has covered baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, field hockey, and volleyball, taking thousands of photos and becoming an integral part of the department. Along with Babson’s athletics website, Goldin’s photographs have appeared in a number of publications throughout the years, including newspapers, Admissions materials, NCAA Tournament programs, and various magazines.
A long-time Babson tradition, the Senior Awards Banquet also included a pair of first-year awards. Stepanova was presented with the Lori Vengrow Award, which is given each year to a first-year female athlete that best represents the qualities of loyalty, selflessness, and a positive attitude. Stepanova was a key member of the volleyball team this season, leading the team with 47 services aces, while her 272 digs and 146 kills were both good for second on the team. She is a member of Babson’s Eco Reps, a student organization specially trained to be leaders in the community and encourage sustainable behaviors. She was cited by head coach Eric Neely for her outstanding leadership abilities, her desire to succeed, and her team-first attitude during her rookie campaign.
A first-year member of the lacrosse team, Bunick was presented with the Colin “Chip” Brown Award, presented annually to a freshman male athlete that exhibits energy, spirit, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to his team. Bunick played in all 17 of Babson’s games this spring, scoring one goal and adding 29 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers. He was commended by head coach Brendan Gorman for his positive and fun-loving attitude, care for his teammates, and his infectious enthusiasm, both on and off the field. In addition, Bunick also served in the highly-valued role of game clock operator for nearly all of Babson’s home ice hockey games this winter, including the Beavers’ contest at Fenway Park on January 13.
With baseball, softball, track and field, and golf still competing, the Athletics Class of 2012 has already established itself as one of the greatest in the history of the College. The group has won a total of 15 conference championships – one shy of the school record – while their 15 tournament titles and 19 national tournament appearances are both far and away the most of any class in Babson history.