Penn Hands Out Senior Athlete Awards

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) handed out its five major senior awards for the varsity programs at the annual Senior Student-Athlete Banquet, which was held Monday, April 27 at the Inn at Penn.

In addition to the awards presentations, the seniors and their coaches were treated to a guest speech from former Penn fencer Charles Hamann, C’01; the night was capped by the annual question-and-answer session with media personality (and father of a former Penn student-athlete) Tony Kornheiser.

The awards are listed below...

CLASS OF 1915 AWARD

(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. This award is voted on by the men’s varsity head coaches at the University.)

Alex Grendi, men’s soccer

Grendi was unable to attend Monday night’s festivities, but he certainly had a good excuse -- he has already started his post-Penn career. After leading the Quakers to the 2008 Ivy League championship -- the program’s first since 2001 -- he was drafted in the third round of the 2009 Major League Soccer (MLS) Superdraft by the reigning MLS champions, the Columbus Crew. Since joining the Crew, he has started once and tallied an assist. At Penn, Alex made an impact as a playmaker from the beginning, and he will go into the Penn record book as such. His 20 career assists puts him in a tie for third all-time -- a number made more impressive by the fact that, prior to his arrival, the top five marks were all set in the 1970s. Alex led the Quakers in assists three of his four seasons and was twice named the team’s Offensive MVP. As a freshman he was the team’s co-Most Valuable Freshman, and as a sophomore he earned All-Ivy. A third-team NSCAA all-region and unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection this fall, Alex scored eight goals while wearing the Red and Blue including four match-winners. Grendi is just the fourth men's soccer player to receive the Class of 1915 Award -- it has been given out since 1931 --and the first since Richard Baruch in 1990.

ASSOCIATION OF ALUMNAE FATHERS’ TROPHY

(The recipient 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. This award is voted on by the women’s varsity head coaches at the University.)

Natalie Capuano, women’s soccer

The first three-time captain in women’s soccer program history, Capuano is also just the third player in program history to receive first-team All-Ivy three times -- Katy Cross was a four-time honoree from 2001-04, and Robin Watson was a three-time honoree from 2003-05. After helping Penn to its first outright Ivy League title in 2007, Natalie finished the 2008 season with five goals (tied for the team lead) and helped stabilize a defense that posted a 1.00 goals-against average and garnered seven shutouts. Also a three-time regional selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Natalie had 14 career goals which is tied for 10th on Penn’s all-time list. Her sophomore year, Natalie had two stints with the United States under-21 national team in international competition. Academically, Natalie is unmatched in the Penn women’s soccer annals -- as evidenced by her being the first woman in program history to be a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in her sport. Natalie has been Dean’s List and was an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship finalist this year. She was the program’s first NSCAA Scholar All-America last year, as well as two-time NSCAA Scholar All-East, Academic All-Ivy, and Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area. This past fall, Natalie also earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District. Capuano is the second women's soccer player to receive the Fathers' Trophy, which has been given out since 1945; the other was Katy Cross in 2005.

NORMAN J. GOLDRING AWARD

(Given to one graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year)

MALE - Peter Stevens, sprint football

Stevens was a crucial member of the defensive line for the Penn sprint football team during his three years with the squad, leading them as a captain during his senior campaign. A two-time honorable mention All-CSFL selection (2007, 2008), Stevens nearly doubled his career totals in his senior year, picking up 14 tackles (including 11 solo) for the season. Stevens finished his career with 29 tackles and a fumble recovery. The Cranbury, N.J. native is enrolled in Wharton with a concentration in finance and the Colleges of Arts and Sciences as a mathematics major.

FEMALE - Charlotte Lawson, women’s cross country/track & field

Lawson has been a member of the Quakers’ cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams for four years. In her senior cross country campaign this past fall, she scored in four of Penn’s six meets. A native of Washington, D.C., Lawson had two top-50 finishes in her final year wearing the Red and Blue. Lawson consistently served as a middle-distance runner on the indoor and outdoor track & field teams, as well, competing in the 800, 1,000 and 1,500 meters as well as the mile over the span of her career. Her career-best time in the 800 came at the 2007 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Lawson will graduate in May with a degree in Biological Basis of Behavior; she also minored in chemistry.

GEORGE H. FRAZIER AWARD

(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)

Josh Baugh, men’s soccer

A native of Daly City, Calif., Baugh was Penn’s fourth-leading scorer as a freshman with two goals and two assists. An off-the-bench contributor in his first two seasons, he was sidelined with injury in 2006. This past season, he registered an assist just 30 seconds after checking into the game against Mercer. For his career, Josh tallied three goals and three assists. Off the field, Josh -- a Biological Basis of Behavior major -- is a four-year member of the 4.0 GPA club. He was twice named the Philadelphia Soccer Seven’s John McAdams Academic Player of the Year.