Drexel Athletics’ annual Blue and Gold awards night returned this year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The event took place in the Daskalakis Athletic Center and handed out awards to the men’s and women’s teams of the year, coach of the year, play of the year, and more. The stars of the night were seniors Chris Donovan and Karson Harris, who were awarded the 2022 Mary and John Semanik awards, presented to student-athletes who exemplify the attitudes and ideals of athletics as defined by the former athletic directors, Mr. and Mrs. Semanik.
Donovan, from the men’s soccer team, had also already been named Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Player of the Year, along with being the second player in Drexel’s history to be drafted in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. He is now playing for the Philadelphia Union. To add to his array of awards this season, he was also named Drexel’s CAA Male Soccer Athlete of the Year. His final season at Drexel ended with 12 goals. Along with all of these achievements, his exemplification of athletic ideals resulted in him being presented with the John Semanik award.
Harris led the women’s lacrosse team to make history when they won their first CAA Championship title after entering the NCAA Tournament for the second time in a row. Her career at Drexel ended with 351 draw controls, breaking the CAA record. She also scored a record-breaking 62 goals this season, finishing with 70 points. Harris was named Drexel’s CAA Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, and was also part of the All-CAA First Team. Harris also exemplified what it means to be a student and scholar-athlete, for which she received the Mary Semanik award.
As for Play of the Year, women’s lacrosse picked up another award when Allison Drake was presented with the award for her performance in the CAA title game against Towson. She scored the decisive point to secure an 11-10 win for the Dragons and their first-ever CAA Championship title. Drake was also one of four recipients of the National Strength and Conditioning Association All-Americans award.
Women’s Team of the Year was won by women’s squash for their second-place finish at the National Championships. The team picked up their first ever program wins against Princeton and Trinity, ranked third and second respectively. Their second-place finish at the National Championships broke the program record for highest finish at a National Championship. Alina Bushma won the Female Performance of the Year for her win against Trinity in the semi-final match, where she came back from two games down to win, propelling the Dragons into the national championship match. John White, head coach, was also awarded with Drexel’s Coach of the Year award.
Men’s Team of the Year was won by rowing, who won the Varsity 8+ at the Dad Vail Regatta. The Dragons qualified for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship thanks to their performances. They also won the Kerr cup, Bergen Cup and Murphy Cup this year.
Mickey O’Malley picked up an award for the wrestling team when he won Drexel’s Male Performer of the Year award for his win at the EIWA Championships in the 174 pounds category.
Women’s basketball’s Maura Hendrixson won the I Am A Dragon Award. The team was further honored for Kelsi Lidge, the Coordinator of Strategic and Player Development, who won the BSAU Impact Award. The men’s basketball team won the men’s Dragon Cup, an award given to the team who supports the most athletic games at Drexel.
Softball won the women’s Dragon Cup and Kristi DiMeo won the SAAC Service Award. Spirit Team Performers of the Year was won by Amanda Fields, Evan Sykes and Meghan Wickersham. Along with Drake, the National Strength and Conditioning Associations All-Americans were Natalie Cleri of women’s rowing, Brennan Greenwald of men’s lacrosse and Noel Heaton of men’s squash.
Laura White, the Senior Associate Athletics Director, received the Calvin Hicks Spirit Award. White will be retiring this year. She was awarded for her dedication and positive attitude towards Drexel Athletics, and her constant support to our student-athletes.