Tom Thornton was a spirited leader and big-game pitcher during his four seasons with the Notre Dame baseball program (photo by Joe Raymond).

Fifth Annual O.S.C.A.R.S. All-Sports Celebration Honors Student-Athletes For All-Around Excellence

May 3, 2006

The Notre Dame Athletic Department held the fifth annual O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) on Wednesday, May 3 at the Joyce Center. The event honored the more than 750 Irish student-athletes who competed during the 2005-06 school year.

The presentation of the three major athletic awards – the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award and the Christopher Zorich Service Award – highlighted the evening’s festivities. A member of each team was selected for the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award and the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award. In addition, the inaugural Trophy Award (recognizing excellence in community service) was presented to the Notre Dame baseball team.


Megan Duffy becomes just the third Notre Dame student-athlete to receive both the Kanaley Award and the O’Connor Award at the athletic department’s annual awards banquet.



Five seniors were honored with the Byron V. Kanaley Award — women’s tennis captain Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.), women’s basketball All-America point guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio), cross country and track All-American Stephanie Madia (Wexford, Pa.), women’s soccer midfielder Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash.) and baseball pitcher Tom Thornton (Middleboro, Mass.).

The Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor presented to an Irish student-athlete, has been given each year since 1927 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders. Chosen by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics, the awards are named in honor of the 1904 Notre Dame graduate who was a member of the baseball team as an undergraduate. Kanaley went on to a successful banking career in Chicago and served the University as a lay trustee until his death in 1960.

Duffy and Chris Quinn (Dublin, Ohio), both first team all-BIG EAST honorees and first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America selections, were the recipients of the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award. Since 1993, the University has presented this award in the name of O’Connor, a former student-athlete who died in 1973 following his freshman year at Notre Dame. Pat was the son of William “Bucky” O’Connor who played guard for the Notre Dame football team in the 1940s.

The award honors one female and one male senior student-athlete who best display the total embodiment of the true spirit of Notre Dame as exemplified by their contributions and inspirations to their respective teams. To be considered, student-athletes must possess those qualities attributed to Pat O’Connor: caring, courage, confidence, encouragement, humility, honesty, humor, kindness and patience.

Duffy is the third Notre Dame student-athlete ever to receive both the Kanaley Award and the O’Connor Award, joining fencer Grzegorz Wozniak (’94) and hockey player Steve Noble (’98) in that distinction.

Thornton, senior hockey player Chris Trick (Troy, Mich.) and junior women’s lacrosse player Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) received the Christopher Zorich Award, which was first presented in 1998. It was created to recognize the contributions of Notre Dame student-athletes to the University and community at-large. The award holds the name of Christopher Zorich, a two-time football All-American and 1991 graduate. He went on to play in the National Football League for both the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins and received his law degree from Notre Dame in 2002.

Thornton joins former women’s basketball player Ruth Riley (’01) as the only Notre Dame student-athletes ever to receive the Kanaley Award and the Zorich Award.

The Notre Dame baseball team was the recipient of the inaugural Trophy Award. Established by the Office of Student Welfare and Development, The Trophy Award will annually recognize an athletic team that has demonstrated its commitment and dedication to the community through unparalleled community service to Notre Dame and South Bend.


Lauren Connelly (O’Connor) and her older sister Sarah Jane (Kanaley) both have received major awards from the athletic department during the past two years.



Connelly – whose sister Sarah Jane Connelly was a 2005 recipient of the O’Connor Award – has been a starter throughout her career at Notre Dame, compiling a 74-50 record in singles and a 107-38 mark in doubles, placing her just two victories shy of the Irish career record for wins in partnered play. She has played in the bottom half of the singles lineup, posting 43 wins in dual matches, while notching a 71-22 record in dual action in doubles. This season, she has served as the captain of a record-setting Irish squad that stands 24-1 and has rocketed to an all-time high of #2 in the ITA national rankings. She has been outstanding in doubles, going 33-6 overall and 21-1 in dual-match action.

The honor continues the tradition of Irish senior women’s tennis players being honored by the University, as it is the eighth consecutive season that head coach Jay Louderback’s program has produced either a Kanaley winner or an O’Connor winner. Connelly is the seventh women’s tennis player to win the Kanaley, including the third in the last five years. She has to her credit 26 career clinching victories in doubles play, more than any other ND player since the current doubles-point format was adopted in 2000-01. Connelly – who put together a 15-match winning streak in doubles earlier this spring and currently has won 10 straight in singles – has been ranked as high as 36th in the nation in doubles and was a BIG EAST all-tournament selection in doubles in 2003 and ’05.

A marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business with a minor in theology, Connelly owns a 3.69 cumulative grade-point average. She is a member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program for Student-Athletes and has been tabbed an ITA Scholar-Athlete and BIG EAST Academic All-Star in each of the last three years. Connelly won the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award as the team’s top academic performer in both 2004-05 and ’05-’06.

A three-year starter and two-time captain as a point guard on the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, Duffy twice was named honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press and Kodak/WBCA, and she was a three-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection, including first-team honors each of her final two seasons. In 2006, she was the second Notre Dame player chosen to receive the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the nation’s top senior standing 5-foot-8 or under, and she was one of three finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented annually to the country’s top point guard. Duffy holds a total of 34 spots on top-10 lists in the Notre Dame record book, is 13th on the all-time scoring list (1,290 points), ranks among the top 10 in BIG EAST history for single-season and career free-throw percentage, and stands 15th in NCAA history with an .859 career free-throw percentage. She was selected in the third round of the WNBA Draft (31st overall pick) by the Minnesota Lynx, becoming the sixth Irish women’s basketball player in the past six seasons to be drafted.

Off the court, Duffy earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-America honors in 2006 after garnering second-team academic all-district recognition a year earlier. She also was tapped as the 2006 BIG EAST/Aeropostale Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and she was named a second-team Senior CLASS Award All-American, an honor reserved for those elite athletes who combine success in both their academic and athletic endeavors. Duffy holds a 3.56 cumulative grade-point average in the College of Arts and Letters as a double major in psychology and computer applications and has been a Dean’s List selection each of the past four semesters. She is the seventh women’s basketball player to earn the Kanaley and third to receive the O’Connor Award.

A valuable contributor to both the Notre Dame women’s cross country and track & field teams, Madia will go down as one of the elite runners in both program’s histories. A four-time All-American, she has earned All-America honors in both cross country and track each of the past two years, with her most recent citation coming at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, when she finished fourth in the 5,000-meter run. Last fall, she placed third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, tying the best finish ever by a Notre Dame female, and she was one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award after pacing the Irish to their fourth consecutive NCAA top-10 finish. That capped off a spectacular senior season that saw the three-time captain finish sixth or higher in all five races she ran, including four top-three finishes. Madia was a two-time all-BIG EAST cross country selection and helped the Irish win three league titles in her four-year career. A seven-time all-BIG EAST choice, she most recently captained Notre Dame to the BIG EAST Indoor Championship that put the Irish in position to capture the league’s first women’s “triple crown” (titles in cross country, plus indoor and outdoor track) since 1987.


Stephanie Madia has earned All-America honors in both cross country and track and field.



Madia – the second women’s cross country/track-and-field athlete to receive the Kanaley – also has been a stellar performer in the classroom, carrying a 3.48 cumulative grade-point average as a student in the Mendoza College of Business, where she is a finance major. She also is a two-year member of the Notre Dame Athletics Department Academic Honors faculty mentoring program, and earlier this year, she was named a recipient of a BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Stipend. She will graduate from the University later this month and intends to pursue an MBA during her postgraduate studies.

Schefter follows Molly Lennon (’92), Jen Renola (’97), Jenny Streiffer (’00), Ashley Dryer (’03) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (’04) as the fifth Notre Dame women’s soccer player to receive the Kanaley Award, with Randy Waldrum’s seven seasons as the Irish head coach now including four Kanaley Award recipients. A prospective medical-school student with a 3.80 cumulative GPA as a double major in pre-professional studies and psychology, Schefter is one of six Notre Dame women’s soccer players ever to repeat as an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American – earning second-team honors as a junior before being named to the elite first team for her senior season. The former U.S. Under-19 National Team member missed all of her freshman season in 2002 due to a knee injury but made a strong return to appear in all 76 games during the 2003-05 seasons, totaling 12 career goals and 21 assists while helping the Irish compile a 67-7-2 record in that three-year stretch.

A team co-captain for Notre Dame’s 2005 team, Schefter was that squad’s seventh-leading scorer with four goals and nine assists as part of a talented four-player rotation in the midfield. She ranked fifth among BIG EAST players in assists for the ’05 season, with her top games including 1G-1A in a 4-0 win over #10 Connecticut and in the NCAA second-round win over #25 Michigan State (3-0). Schefter played a lead role in helping the ’05 Irish dominate possession with a 110-15 season scoring edge, just 124 total shots allowed and only three deficits faced in the 25-game season. A two-year participant in the athletic department’s Academic Honors faculty mentoring program, she earlier ranked as the fifth-leading scorer on the 2004 NCAA championship team (4G-7A, plus a converted penalty kick in the NCAA title-game shootout vs. UCLA) before posting a 3.72 GPA in the ’04 fall semester, a 3.88 in the ’05 spring and a 3.94 in the fall of ’05.

Thornton – the baseball program’s 13th recipient of the Kanaley Award (third of the 12-year Paul Mainieri era) and first to receive the Zorich Award – has served as a co-captain for the baseball team, a rare leadership role for the pitcher position. A double major in anthropology and film-television-and-theater, he carries a 3.54 cumulative GPA that includes semester marks of 3.73, 3.81, 3.73 and 3.75 (fall ’05) during the past four terms. Thornton currently serves as one of team’s top weekend starters, ranking third on the staff in wins (5-1) and strikeouts (42) and fourth in innings pitched (51.1), with a 4.38 ERA (22nd-best among pitchers in the 12-team BIG EAST), just 4 walks and no wild pitches while helping the team rise as high as No. 8 in the national polls. Thornton’s low season rate of 0.70 walks per 9.0 innings would rank second in Notre Dame history, as would his 10.5 season strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is the only pitcher among 37 BIG EAST “regulars” (1.0 IP per team game) who has not posted double-digit walks this season.

For his career, Thornton owns a 3.85 ERA in 56 appearances while ranking fourth in Notre Dame history with 48 starts, eighth in wins (25), sixth in innings (301.2) and third in low walk average (1.83/9 IP). He has helped Notre Dame compile one of the best four-year records in all of college baseball during his career (140-63-2, from ’03-’06) and has been named BIG EAST pitcher of the week five times in his career, second-most in the 22-year history of BIG EAST baseball (behind former ND ace Aaron Heilman’s 10). Those honors have come after outings such as an opening-week win at #20 USC in ’04 (6 IP, UER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks), a shutdown effort versus a potent Texas Tech team later that season (3 BB, HB, 7 Ks; 8-1) and this season’s five-hit solo shutout of Southern Illinois (2 Ks, 0 BB; 4-0). His all-BIG EAST junior season saw him become the only pitcher in the 12-year Paul Mainieri era to throw three straight 9-inning complete games before finishing 13th among the league’s pitchers with a 2.83 ERA in ’05 BIG EAST games. He was a proven big-game pitcher in ’04, finishing atop the BIG EAST charts for wins (9-2) while ranking second with 99.2 innings and fifth in strikeouts (77). His top games that season included a rare 9-inning shutout at West Virginia; (6 H, 2 BB; 4-0) and a career-best 12 Ks in an NCAA elimination game versus Kent State (3 H, 2 BB; 7-1).

Thornton – who has been tabbed by the NDWorks magazine as a “senior we will miss” and currently is under consideration for a prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship – has been a consistent and eager participant in community service work throughout his career as a Notre Dame student-athlete. This year he took on a personal project by serving as a weekly mentor to students at South Bend’s Veritos Academy. He also has been a leading participant in the baseball’s teams many service activities, including: the Buddy Walk for children with Downs Syndrome; adopting an area family for Christmas, through the Salvation Army; participating in the South Bend Reads program and the D.A.R.E. drugs and alcohol education program; and the athletic department’s annual Christmas party for patients from Memorial Hospital’s hematology/oncology ward. He also was an invited participant in the athletic department’s Academic Honors faculty mentoring program.


Chris Quinn follows Chris Thomas as the second Notre Dame basketball player to receive the O’Connor Award during the past two years.



Quinn was the heart and soul of the Irish basketball team during the ’05-’06 season and follows his former teammate Chris Thomas (’05) as the team’s second all-time recipient of the O’Connor Award. The two-time captain had one of the most productive basketball seasons in recent memory for a Notre Dame player. A first-time winner of the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award, he averaged a team-leading 17.7 points, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals during his senior season and was selected an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. A first team all-BIG EAST selection, he became the fifth Irish men’s basketball player in school history to earn first-team all-conference, joining Pat Garrity, Troy Murphy, Ryan Humphrey and Matt Carroll on that notable list. Quinn became just the third Notre Dame player to average better than 20.0 points per game during the conference season when he averaged 20.2 points per game in 16 league outings.

A three-year starter, he was the recipient of the BIG EAST’s Sportsmanship Award. Quinn finished his career with 1,454 career points (11.8 ppg.) and 428 assists (3.5 assists) in 123 games played (tied for seventh all-time) and is one of just six players in school history with better than 1,000 points and 400 assists. He also ranks in the top 10 in seven different career categories. His accomplishments in the classroom culminated with him being named a first team Academic All-American by ESPN the Magazine. A marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business, he has maintained a 3.24 grade-point average during his career and earned a 3.83 following the ’05 fall semester.


Chris Trick has been involved with numerous community service projects during his career with the Notre Dame hockey program.



A four-year monogram winner for the Notre Dame hockey team, Trick has been involved in community service throughout his four years at Notre Dame. A two-year member of the Notre Dame Student Advisory Committee (SAAC), the defenseman has been a team organizer for Notre Dame’s annual “Buddy Walk,” and has participated in the D.A.R.E. program, the annual Christmas Party and Christmas in April. In the fall, he organized the hockey team’s efforts for sending care packages to troops in Iraq. In his local community, Trick was involved with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association’s MAHA Great Lakes Sled Dogs, a local sled hockey program for hockey players with MS, Muscular Dystrophy and paraplegics, playing on teams, working as a coach and fundraiser. For his community service efforts this past season, he was one of seven finalists for college hockey’s prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award and a finalist for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s (CCHA) Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award.

A finance major in the Mendoza College of Business, Trick has excelled in the classroom with a 3.57 grade-point average and is a nominee for Academic All-America honors. This past fall, Notre Dame president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., invited him to serve on Notre Dame’s Diversity Committee

On the ice, Trick was named one of the team’s alternate captains in 2005-06 and played in 126 career games with four goals and 13 assists for 17 points. He was a member of Notre Dame’s first hockey team to advance to the NCAA tournament in 2003-04 and follows in the footsteps of former defenseman Neil Komadoski (’04) as the hockey program’s second Zorich Award recipient.


Meghan Murphy was one of three student-athletes to receive the Zorich Award for 2005-06..



Murphy – the first women’s lacrosse player to receive the Zorich Award – is in her third year with the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team and has been involved it community service activities both in the South Bend community and in her hometown of Denver. Also a member of SAAC, she will serve as the organization’s vice-president in 2006-07. At Notre Dame, she has participated in and helped organize a variety of projects with other students and members of the women’s lacrosse team. Among her service activities, Murphy has been involved with the YWCA Women’s Shelter Spring Cleaning, the Cavanaugh/Zahm Winter Carnival and several projects at the Center for the Homeless, including cooking and serving meals, spending time at Thanksgiving with the children and helping coordinate a shoebox assembly first as part of a class and then as a SAAC project that delivered several carloads of personal items for use at the Center. Working with children has been a focus for Murphy as she has been involved with holiday parties for kids at both the St. Joseph’s Pediatric and Memorial Hospital Pediatric wings, as well as Notre Dame’s annual Christmas Pediatric Party.

Murphy and the women’s lacrosse team also participates in the Adopt-A-Family program that purchased Christmas gifts and coordinated a Christmas dinner for a local family. In her hometown, Murphy has spent her summer vacations working as a volunteer at the Skyridge Medical Center, with the Sixth-Floor Recovery for Spinal and Orthopedic Surgery (in 2004) and in 2005 worked with the University Hills Rotary Club (’05), chaperoning a Zoo Day for children with physical and mental disabilities

A three-year regular with the women’s lacrosse team, she has bounced back from a serious knee injury in 2005 to have a career-best year in 2006 with 14 goals and eight assists, both career highs. Her biggest goal of the season came versus Syracuse when she scored with no time left on the clock to give Notre Dame an 11-10 victory. A Coca-Cola Community All-American award nominee, Murphy has a 3.70 grade-point average with a double major in anthropology and pre-professional studies in the College of Arts and Letters. She is a nominee for Academic All-American honors this spring.


Members of the Notre Dame baseball team combined to perform nearly 200 hours of community service work during the 2005-06 academic year.



The members of the Notre Dame baseball team combined to total nearly 200 hours of community service during the 2005-06 academic year:
• One of the team’s annual events has been the Buddy Walk to benefit children with Downs Syndrome and their parents. The days includes various activities with the children and concludes with a walk that always brings plenty of smiles to the children’s faces.
• The team “adopted” a local South Bend-area family, through a Salvation Army program during the Christmas holidays. The senior class coordinated the effort while the entire team participated in providing food, supplies and presents to help cheer up the holidays for a local family.
• Sophomore David Gruener and senior Eddie Smith donated their time during fall break while assisting in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
• Senior Tom Thornton undertook a personal project during the fall semester in which he made weekly visits to South Bend’s Veritos Academy, where he served as a mentor for the young students.
• Members of the team continued to participate in the South Bend Reads program (at Hums and Messel elementary schools) and the D.A.R.E. drugs and alcohol education program.
• The athletic department’s annual Christmas party again featured plenty of participants from the baseball program, with this popular event including an assortment of activities and games that help bring joy to young cancer patients from Memorial Hospital’s hematology/oncology ward.
• The baseball team also assisted in the Student-Athlete Advisory Council’s Shoebox Drive that helps provide supplies to a local homeless shelter.

The Student-Athlete Leadership Institute opened in 2002 and initially was made possible by the generosity of Richard (Dick) Rosenthal, who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University in 1954. An All-American on the men’s basketball team, he served as Notre Dame’s director of athletics from 1987-95. Today, the Institute provides opportunities for leadership development and lifelong learning for select student-athletes at Notre Dame.

Student-Athlete Leadership Institute Certificates of Merit
Victor Abiamiri, (football); A.J. Andrassy (cross country/track & field); Jeremy Barnes, (baseball); Ann Barton (swimming & diving); Heather Booth (softball); Ross Brezovsky; (baseball); Stephanie Brown (softball); Ted Brown (swimming & diving); Louis Cavadini (swimming & diving); Stacey Cowan (track & field); Mallorie Croal (volleyball); Greg Dalby (soccer); Alejandra Diaz-Calderon (golf); DJ Driscoll (lacrosse); Ian Etherington (soccer); Meaghan Fitzpatrick, Women’s Lacrosse; Eileen Froehlke (rowing); Kenya Fuemmeler (softball); Sean Gaston (baseball); Sonia Garcia, (cheerleading); T.J. Jindra (hockey); Ellen Johnson (swimming & diving); Tim Kegelman (swimming & diving); Andrew Kowalski (cheerleading); Jane Lee (golf); Shannan Lettieri (rowing); Emily Loomis (track & field); Justin McGeeney (soccer); Ryan Miller (soccer); Meghan Murphy, (lacrosse); Kelly Nelson (tennis); Nate Norman (soccer); Okechi Ogbuokiri (track & field); Sunni Olding (cross country/track & field); Katherine Orr (lacrosse); Jason Paige (hockey); Drew Peters (lacrosse); Brandon Pierpont (tennis); Michael Popejoy (cross country/track & field); Casey Reising (cheerleading); Je’Rell Rogers (cheerleading); Maria Romano (rowing); Christie Shaner, (soccer); Brock Sheahan (hockey); Mike Shubert (track & field); Adrianna Stasiuk (volleyball); Anthony Sylvester (manager); Chris Trick (hockey); Mark VanGuilder (hockey); Nicole Villano (cheerleading); Dave Viken (track & field); Darius Walker (football); Anna Weber (track & field); Austin Wechter (track & field); Nikki Westfall (soccer); Tom Zbikowski (football)

Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award Winners
Baseball – Craig Cooper
Men’s Basketball – Chris Quinn
Women’s Basketball – Megan Duffy
Men’s Cross Country – Kurt Benninger
Men’s Fencing – Patrick Ghattas
Women’s Fencing – Mariel Zagunis
Football – Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija
Men’s Golf – Mark Baldwin
Women’s Golf – Noriko Nakazaki
Hockey – David Brown
Men’s Soccer – Greg Dalby
Women’s Soccer – Katie Thorlakson
Men’s Swimming and Diving – Jay Vanden Berg
Women’s Swimming and Diving – Katie Carroll
Men’s Tennis – Ryan Keckley and Sheeva Parbhu
Women’s Tennis – Kristina Stastny
Volleyball – Lauren Brewster
Note: MVP awards are TBA for women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s and women’s track and field; no awards given in women’s cross country, men’s lacrosse or rowing.

Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award Winners
Baseball – Matt Bransfield
Men’s Basketball – Chris Quinn
Women’s Basketball – Megan Duffy
Men’s Cross Country – Tim Moore
Women’s Cross Country – Stephanie Madia
Men’s Fencing – Alex Schumacher
Women’s Fencing – Valerie Providenza and Colleen Walsh
Football – Brandon Hoyte
Men’s Golf – Scott Gustafson
Women’s Golf – Lauren Gebauer
Hockey – Jason Paige
Men’s Soccer – Tony Megna
Women’s Soccer – Ashley Jones
Men’s Swimming and Diving – Patrick Davis
Women’s Swimming and Diving – Julia Quinn
Men’s Tennis – Ryan Keckley
Women’s Tennis – Lauren Connelly
Volleyball – Adrianna Stasiuk
Note: Student-athlete awards are TBA for women’s lacrosse, rowing, softball and men’s and women’s track and field; no award given in men’s lacrosse.