Albany, NY—The Sage College's department of athletics gathered to recognize and honor the outstanding performances of the 2015-2016 year with the naming of the athletic award winners for the 15 varsity athletic teams. In addition to awarding the Gator Award, for the Most Outstanding Player, the department also named the 2015-2016 Female and Male Athletes of the Year. Sage selected women's soccer goalie and women's lacrosse attacker Nicole Maher (Glen Cove, NY/Saint Dominic) as the Female Athlete of the Year honoree. The senior excelled in two sports and earned acclaim for her efforts over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Lauren Marois said of Nicole, "Nicole came in to the women's lacrosse program after taking some time off from the sport and was a huge impact player to our season this year." She continued, "Her focus and passion for being a successful student-athlete is admirable. She constantly was pushing herself and others to become better lacrosse players and student-athletes. Her leadership on the field was extremely noticeable and contributed to our successes this season."
Sage's women's soccer Andrew Gamarra noted, "Nicole Maher was an incredible asset to the Sage Gator women's soccer team and was willing to sacrifice everything for the benefit of the team." Gamarra added, "Not only did Nicole have an amazing career on the field, with a noteworthy offensive effort, but she played goalkeeper her senior year. Nicole's performance in goal made an unparalleled difference in the performance and composition of the 2015 team. Nicole's leadership and passion will be difficult to replace!"
Maher, who played for Sage's women's soccer team for four seasons, added women's lacrosse to her resume this spring as well. In soccer, she played her first three years as a field player and capped her senior campaign performing as both a goalie and field performer. She helped lead the Gators to the first Skyline Conference regular-season championship after a record setting campaign. She earned 2015 Skyline Conference First Team honors as a goalie and became the first player in the program's history to earn acclaim as a 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division III East Regional Third Team honoree. She went 13-2-1 in net with a 0.80 GAA, while allowing just 10 goals in 16 games. She also tallied 16 points this fall on six goals and four assists. In the final NCAA Division III statistics, Maher ranked No. 70 in the country with her 0.80 goals against average. Offensively, Maher finished as the program's No. 3 all-time leader in career goals with 34, while adding 18 assists, which was No. 2. She tallied 86 career points, which is No. 3 at Sage.
In women's lacrosse, the talented attacker tallied 34 points to finish second in scoring. She helped the women's lacrosse team to the best finish in school history. Her 2016 accomplishments also rank among the program's all-time career highs as she stands No. 7 in goals (29), No. 8 in assists (5), and No. 7 in points (34). She also earned a spot on the 2016 Skyline Conference Women's Lacrosse Second All-Star Team after also earning a spot on the 2015 Skyline Conference Women's Soccer All-Star First Team as a goalie.