Penn Announces 2014-15 Senior Athlete Awards

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) handed out its major intercollegiate senior student-athlete awards Monday night, April 27, in a ceremony held at The Inn at Penn. Five awards were handed out.

In the two largest awards of the night, men’s soccer player Duke Lacroix (New Egypt, N.J.) was honored with the Class of 1915 Award while the Association of Alumnae Fathers’ Trophy was shared by women’s tennis player Sol Eskenazi (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and women’s lacrosse standout Meg Markham (Manhasset, N.Y.). It marked the first tie in the history of the Fathers’ Trophy, which has been given annually since 1945.

The Class of 1915 Award, given annually since 1931, is presented to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit and tradition of University of Pennsylvania Athletics. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA. Voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn’s men’s varsity programs.

The Fathers’ Trophy, meanwhile, has been given annually since 1945 to the person who is recognized for her contribution to Women’s Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA, and voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn’s women’s varsity programs.

The Norman J. Goldring Award was won on the men’s side by Louis Lombardi (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) from men’s heavyweight rowing, while the female recipient was Alexandra Ion (Bucharest, Romania) from the women’s tennis team. The Goldring Award is given to one graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year. Lombardi also was recipient of the George H. Frazier Award, which is given to a graduating student-athlete (male or female) with the highest GPA who competed on one of the following teams: basketball, crew, track, soccer, baseball or football.

CLASS OF 1915 AWARD – Markhus P. “Duke” Lacroix, men’s soccer
Duke Lacroix is just the fourth soccer player, and the first since 2009, to be voted as recipient of the Class of 1915 Award.

The honor is well-deserved, as Duke has enjoyed a stellar career on the pitch. A two-time captain, he is just the third player in program history to earn All-Ivy recognition all four years, gaining first-team each of the last two years -- including a unanimous selection as a junior -- after garnering second-team honors as a sophomore and honorable mention recognition as a freshman (when he was also the Ivy League Rookie of the Year). As a junior, he was also voted the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of the Year as he finished second among Ancient Eight players in goals (8) and assists (19) and helped lead the Quakers to the Ivy League title and an NCAA Championship bid. Duke is the first player in Penn men’s soccer program, and just the sixth in Ivy League history, to be named Ivy League Rookie AND Player of the Year during his career.

In addition to his All-Ivy honors, Duke also was a two-time second-team All-Region selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Just a few weeks ago, Duke was named the 2014 Philadelphia Soccer Six Player of the Year, and each of the last two years he has been a Philadelphia Soccer Six All-Star.

Duke ended his career with 65 career points (25 goals, 15 assists), which is fifth all-time at Penn and the most by a Quakers player since 1990. He played in 68 matches during his career, starting all but one.

In January, Duke was one of 64 collegiate players selected to participate in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In 2012, he was invited to the United States Under-20 National Team Camp.

A sociology major, Duke was an Academic All-Ivy selection this fall and is a Friars Senior Society member.

ASSOCIATION OF ALUMNAE FATHERS’ TROPHY – Agustina S. “Sol” Eskenazi, women's tennis

Sol entered her senior year as a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection in both singles and doubles, and was the Ivy League and Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Region Rookie of the Year as a freshman. Sol is the first Penn player since 2008 to earn first-team All-Ivy three times in singles, and she is already the first player in program history to earn first-team All-Ivy in doubles three times -- AND she earned it each year with a different partner!

(If Sol earns first-team All-Ivy in both singles and doubles this year, she will be the third player in program history to earn first-team All-Ivy in singles four times; the first to earn first-team All-Ivy doubles four times; and she will have the most combined first-team All-Ivy nods in program history, at eight.)

Sol has been Penn’s No. 1 singles and half of Penn’s No. 1 doubles team since she stepped on campus. As of the printing of this program, she had career records of 76-29 in singles and 74-26 in doubles. Earlier this month, she was awarded the Trustees Council for Penn Women (TCPW) Athletic Award of Excellence.

Academically, Sol -- a French and International Relations major -- was an ITA Scholar Athlete her freshman year, and she was Academic All-Ivy as a junior as well as two-time member of the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women’s Tennis Team (with the 2015 team yet to be voted upon). A Dean’s List student, she is a Friars Senior Society member and has held research positions at MTM Consulting, The Raben Group, The Lauder Institute, and CIPPEC.

ASSOCIATION OF ALUMNAE FATHERS’ TROPHY – MeghanRose Markham, women’s lacrosse
Another spring-sport woman who has already cemented an indelible legacy at Penn is Meg Markham from women’s lacrosse.

One of this year’s team captains, Meg was an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) first-team All-America last year, the Quakers’ first since 2010, and also received All-America recognition from WomensLax.com, Lacrosse Magazine and Inside Lacrosse. She finished last season fifth in the nation in caused turnovers per game, she is third in that category this season, and has been one of 25 semifinalists each of the last two years for the Tewaaraton Trophy which is presented each year to the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse players.

Within the Ivy League, Meg was the 2014 Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Year as well as a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection by the Ancient Eight coaches, the second time she was a unanimous pick. Meg also was an ECAC All-Star selection last year and an IWLCA All-Region pick her sophomore and junior campaigns.

Penn has continued to dominate the Ivy League in women’s lacrosse throughout Meg’s career – the Quakers went 25-3 against the Ancient Eight during her time on the team, winning three regular-season titles as well as the 2013 and 2014 Ivy League Tournament crowns. (Meg was an Ivy League Tournament All-Tournament selection for those two years.) The Quakers have also appeared in the NCAA Championship each of her three seasons, and are a good bet to return again in a few weeks.

A communication major, Meg was Academic All-Ivy last year and also was named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll. She is also a two-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection. Like her teammates, Meg is involved in the West Philly Young Quakers program, and she is also a Friars Senior Honor Society member.

GOLDRING AWARD (male) – Louis Lombardi, men’s heavyweight rowing
FRAZIER AWARD – Louis Lombardi, men’s heavyweight rowing
*Coxswain of Varsity 8

*Bronze medalist at 2014 Under-23 World Championships with Team USA

*2013, 2014 Navy Day Regatta champion

*Winner of two Cup races in 2015

*Winner of two Cup races in 2014

*Winner of one Cup race in 2013

*Advanced to Third Final at IRA Regatta national championships in 2013 and 2014.

*Won the Third Final in 2013

*Coxed team to 10th place finish at 2013 EARC Sprints, its highest finish since 2007

*Academic All-Ivy

*Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area

*IRA All-Academic

*Dean’s List

*Collegiate National Honors Society member

*Community School Student Partnership

*PATH Pride Games participant

GOLDRING AWARD (female) – Alexandra Ion, women’s tennis
*Career singles record: 48-49

*Career doubles record: 34-49

*In her career playing singles, she has played every position in the lineup except No. 1.

*Has played in doubles pairing No. 1-3 at various points in her career.

*Totaled double-digit singles win totals her freshman (18), sophomore (12) and junior seasons (11).

*Columbia Invitational Flight B singles champion (So.)

*Two-time Cissie Leary Invitational singles semifinalist (So., Jr.)

*ITA Scholar Athlete (So.).