Quinnipiac SAAC announces 2022-23 Boomie Awards


Aidan Sheedy

Quinnipiac SAAC honored outstanding student-athletes during its fifth-annual event Friday night.

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

In a semi-formal dinner hosted at the M&T Bank Arena, Quinnipiac Student-Athlete Advisory Committee gave out their annual Boomies Awards at their fifth annual event Friday night. Each winner was nominated by their respective teams and voted on by members of SAAC.

2022-23 Winners:

Community Service Award: Ana Caliri, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field

The junior distance runner was this year’s recipient who “displayed a passion for volunteering within the Quinnipiac, Hamden and greater New Haven community through extensive volunteer work.” Caliri, who was named to the 2022-23 MAAC All-Academic Team, often helped organize a team event at North Haven’s Animal Haven to help clean up the facility.  


Student-Athletic Trainer of the Year: Jayden Korah

The student-athletic trainer for the track and field, cross country and volleyball teams, Korah was held in high regard by the coaching staffs. All the squads voted for Korah after always being on time and his down-to-earth humor. 


Male Rookie of the Year: Sam Lipkin, Men’s Ice Hockey

After being drafted by the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, Lipkin had a fantastic first season in Hamden. He recorded 49 points in just 39 games, and was also selected to the U20 World Juniors U.S. National Team, where he won a bronze medal. Lipkin was named the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year, and selected to First Team All-ECAC Hockey.

Aidan Sheedy

Female Rookie of the Year: Damla Gunes, Volleyball

Immediately slotted in as the team’s starting setter, the Turkey native made her mark on the Bobcats. Gunes was named to the 2022 MAAC All-Rookie Team after recording 865 assists, as well as solidifying the middle of the court for the conference champions.


Unsung Hero Award: Rose Lockery, Women’s Soccer & Mia Lopata, Women’s Ice Hockey

The only award with two winners, this honor goes to an athlete who “is an integral member of a team who may not always make the highlight reel or press releases, but they work every day to be an excellent teammate.” Both Lockery, a junior, and Lopata, a sophomore, were praised for being a superstar in the locker room and providing constant energy. The women’s soccer team unanimously voted Lockery to be its nominee.


Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kate Reilly, Women’s Ice Hockey

The senior had a fantastic season, both on and off the ice. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in biology with a 3.98 grade point average, Reilly was also named to the Dean’s List in all six semesters as an undergraduate. With the skates on, she set a career-high in games (40), goals (eight) and points (18).

Peyton McKenzie

Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: John DeLucia, Men’s Lacrosse

A four-year starter for Quinnipiac, DeLucia is a strong student in the classroom. He recently completed the 3+1 MBA program with a focus in business healthcare, along with scoring 31 goals this season. DeLucia was also named to the 2021 MAAC All-Academic Team.


Moment of the Year: Men’s ice Hockey wins National Championship

Voted as the moment of the year by eight different teams, the men’s ice hockey’s NCAA championship season thrusted Quinnipiac athletics into the national stage. After going to overtime against No. 1 Minnesota, sophomore winger Jacob Quillan scored 10 seconds in, beating the Golden Gophers 3-2 on April 8. 


Mr. Bobcat Award: Ohm Patel, Men’s Cross Country

Given to the male athlete who “exemplifies great school spirit around the university,” Patel wins the award during his sophomore campaign. He was voted by his teammates because of his contribution to both the National Alliance on Mental Health and the South Asian Society. Patel is also the men’s cross country’s SAAC representative. 


Ms. Bobcat Award: Hailey Tolson, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field

Cross country swept these two awards. Tolson, a Hopkinton, Massachusetts, native, is in the Biology 3+1 dual-degree program, as well as serving on the Women’s Health Organization. In addition, the sprinter/jumper was the only Quinnipiac student-athlete to attend the MAAC SAAC conference in March.


Iron Woman Award: Madison Alves, Women’s Soccer

Alves was given the award for those who “exceed expectations day in and day out in the weight room. Whether they’re strength training or conditioning for their sport, they’re giving their 110% effort.” The freshman was voted by her teammates, citing she can squat over 300 lbs. In addition, Alves played in 13 games in her first season as a Bobcat.


Iron Man Award: Paul Otieno, Men’s Basketball

The lone basketball player to win an award, Otieno was given the Iron Man Award in his transfer season from Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. Hailing from Kenya, Otieno won the award as an inspiration in the weight room, encouraging his teammates to “lift with passion.”

Peyton McKenzie


Coaching Staff of the Year: Men’s Ice Hockey

One of the surefire awards handed out, the first national title in team history was a good benchmark for the men’s ice hockey coaching staff. Led by head coach Rand Pecknold, the entire staff helped guide the Bobcats to a program-best 34 wins and the first NCAA trophy in school history.


Inspiration Award: Eliza Bailey, Women’s Lacrosse

This award is given to the student-athlete that ​​has “overcome adversity … with a tough injury who came back to a really great season, a player who started with little playing time but ended their athletic career as an all-star player, or a player who has been through personal hardships and came back stronger.” Bailey, a senior from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, lost her father to cancer last season and has returned to be an inspiration in her team’s locker room.


Male Student-Athlete of the Year: Zach Metsa, Men’s Ice Hockey

For the second-straight year, Metsa takes home this award. The captain of the national champion Bobcats, the now-Buffalo Sabres prospect was named Quinnipiac’s finalist for the 2023 ECAC Hockey Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.


Female Student-Athlete of the Year: Shay Maloney, Women’s Ice Hockey

Maloney transferred to Quinnipiac from Brown for her graduate season and instantly made an impact. She played in all 40 games this year, racking up 15 goals and 16 assists in the blue and gold. In addition, Maloney was also voted as the team’s Most Valuable Player by her coaches and teammates. 

Ephemia Nicolakis/Quinnipiac Athletics


Action Shot of the Year Award: Aryanah Diaz celebrates MAAC title, by Ephemia Nicolakis

Voted on by the fans on Twitter, this picture received 45.5% of the votes online. Taken on Nov. 19, the picture by Ephemia Nicolakis shows Aryanah Diaz celebrating like NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant after clinching the Bobcats’ first MAAC title in program history in Orlando, Florida.