June 2, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Deanna Lentz, MIT's Woman Athlete of the Year, was named the winner of CSTV's third annual Diane Geppi-Aikens Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship was awarded by CSTV's Executive Vice President, Tim Pernetti, at the Tewaaraton Trophy Awards Ceremony on Thursday at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.
The scholarship is given to a senior women's college lacrosse player who displays the same extraordinary leadership, character and perseverance as exhibited by Diane Geppi-Aikens, the Hall of Fame women's lacrosse coach who passed away from brain cancer just weeks after leading Loyola (Md.) to the NCAA Final Four in 2003. CSTV will televise the ceremony, including the presentation of Lentz's scholarship and the 2006 Men's and Women's Tewaaraton Trophies, on Thursday, June 8, at 8 p.m. The Tewaaraton Trophies are given to the top female and male varsity collegiate lacrosse players of the year.
Lentz, a two-sport standout in field hockey and lacrosse, had a tremendous 2006 season setting new MIT marks in points (72), assists (26) and groundballs (64). A two-time IWLCA Scholar-Athlete and two-year captain, Lentz owns the MIT career records in goals (138), assists (66), points (204), groundballs (194), caused turnovers (114), and draw controls (115). In 2005, she was named to the 2005 IWLCA New England All-Region Team, becoming the first player in the history of the program to earn this honor. A three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team selection, Lentz also boasts a 4.4 GPA and will graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The other finalists for the 2006 Diane Geppi-Aikens Scholarship were Crysti Foote of Notre Dame and Katie Chrest of Duke. Both players were members of squads that advanced to the Final Four of this year's NCAA Division I Championship Tournament.
Geppi-Aikens was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2002 after having cancerous brain tumors removed on three previous occasions. She coached the 2003 season in a wheelchair. CSTV chronicled Loyola's memorable 2003 season in its documentary, Season of Hope: The Diane Geppi-Aikens Story, which followed Geppi-Aikens and her team on the sidelines during games and practices, on the team bus, in the locker room and at home. She passed away on June 29, 2003, at the age of 40.
In her 15 seasons as head coach at Loyola, Geppi-Aikens posted a 197-71 record, guiding her teams to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, seven trips to the Final Four and one National Championship game. She earned three National Coach of the Year awards, and produced 35 All-Americas and three Academic All-Americas.
In 2003, she led Loyola to a school-record 15-1 regular season record and No. 1 ranking heading into the NCAA tournament, where it defeated Maryland-Baltimore County and Yale before losing to Princeton in the Final Four. As a student-athlete at Loyola, Geppi-Aikens was an All-America lacrosse goalie and also lettered in volleyball.
CSTV's establishment of the Diane Geppi-Aikens Scholarship is part of the network's commitment to covering and promoting women's college sports and women's lacrosse in particular. The network televised the NCAA Division I, II and III Women's Lacrosse Championships this season and featured prominent collegiate programs including Maryland and Georgetown.
About CSTV Networks
CSTV Networks, Inc., now part of the CBS Corporation, is the leading digital and cable programming company dedicated to college sports. Connecting more fans to more college sports than any other company, its many platforms for programming distribution include CSTV: College Sports TV, televising regular-season and championship events for 35 men's and women's college sports; CSTV.com and its network of nearly 250 official athletic sites of which MIT is a partner; CSTV All Access, broadband services providing live audio and video of more than 7,000 events annually; as well as satellite television and radio, in-flight entertainment, wireless networks and more. Further information is available at www.CSTV.com.