Yellowjackets’ Olson wins NCHA Scholar-Athlete AwardUniversity of Wisconsin-Superior senior Ashlee Olson has been named the recipient of the 2012 The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) Scholar-Athlete Award in women’s hockey.
University of Wisconsin-Superior senior Ashlee Olson has been named the recipient of the 2012 The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) Scholar-Athlete Award in women’s hockey. To be eligible for the award, a player must be a senior in their final year of eligibility and have a grade point average over 3.5.
Olson, a Superior native, is majoring in exercise science and carries a 3.823 grade point average. A two-time member of the NCHA All-Academic Team, Olson is a four-time member of the honor roll and the dean’s list at UW-Superior. Olson serves on the UWS Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is active in the Buzz’s Rookie Readers elementary school reading program, the Caroling for Cans Holiday Food Drive and the annual spring campus clean-up.
On the ice, Olson is a team captain for the Yellowjackets and has played more than 100 games in her career, including all 27 thus far as a senior. She has 11 points on the year and put up a pair of multiple-point games in last weekend’s sweep over St. Norbert College. Olson is currently on a five-game scoring streak.
“Ashlee is a very important part of our team because of everything that she does both on and off the ice,” said Dan Laughlin, UWS women’s hockey head coach. “She knows what it takes to succeed and is a great example for the younger players in our program. To be able to play two sports, work two jobs, do all the things that she does in the community and still have the grade point average that she does is truly remarkable. I couldn’t be happier for Ashlee.”
Olson also plays softball for the Yellowjackets.
In addition to Olson, Kelsey Firkus, Bailey Lane, Shanley Peters, Alison Shrift and Amy Torgerson were named to the NCHA All-Academic Team. All except Olson are receiving the honor for the first time.
The Yellowjackets (17-7-3) have advanced to the NCHA Final Four and will play Adrian College at W.H. Hunt Arena in River Falls at 3:05 p.m. today.
UWS men honored
The NHCA also named seven members of the Yellowjacket men’s hockey team to the annual all-academic team.
A total of 34 players were recognized conference-wide. Freshmen are not eligible to be named to the team, and players must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 to qualify.
Senior Tom Budziakowski, a finalist for the men’s hockey NCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award who is a double major in political science and legal studies, was named to the team for a third time. Juniors Chad Blanleil and Josh Kesler were named to the team for a second time.
Four other UWS players earned the honor for the first time season: juniors Justin Faryna, Ryan Hill and Derek Stauber and sophomore Drew Strandberg.
“As a coach, I find myself being just as proud, if not more proud of the academic awards that come out than I am of the on-ice honors. I know it seems like I’m saying the same thing every year, but that’s the truth. It doesn’t change from year to year,” head coach Dan Stauber said. “These young men make such a commitment to be good players on the ice and an even bigger commitment to being on top of their studies throughout the year. It means a lot to our program to see players get these honors and stay on track toward graduating on time.”
Tyler Jundt of UW-Eau Claire and Jason Yuel of UW-River Falls were named co-recipients of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.