Johnson Becomes Third Panther to Win the Honor.
MANSFIELD, Mass. - For the third time since Adelphi joined the Northeast-10 Conference in the fall of 2009, the coveted NE10 Woman of the Year award is coming to Garden City.
Alison Johnson, a five-year member of the women's lacrosse program, joins the elite company of Chelsea Abreu '19 and Brenna Martini '18 as this year's NE10 Woman of the Year, announced Monday evening at the annual - virtual - awards banquet.
The NE10's Man and Woman of the Year awards honor student-athletes for their excellence in competition, in the classroom, and in community service. Johnson's name will be forwarded to the NCAA for their National Woman of the Year award, which will be announced in the fall.
"I was unbelievably humbled to be included on a list of such talented women, both the nominees this year, as well as all of those who have come before me, including some notable Adelphi alumni," Johnson said.
Johnson has played an integral part of the nationally-acclaimed women's lacrosse program, which has captured two national championships in her five seasons in an Adelphi uniform, most recently in 2019.
"I am forever indebted to my 16-year-old self for choosing Adelphi as my future home and allowing me to gain my Panther family. My successes both on the field and in the classroom would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of everyone here on campus - my coaches, teammates, family and friends for supporting #16 every step of the way."
She carries an extensive resume of accolades during her time, including three IWLCA All-America nods and CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Her rookie campaign in 2017 culminated in the program's eighth Division II Championship title and recognition as the NE10 Rookie of the Year. That year, she tied for the team lead in points (97), ranked second in goals (40), and was the leader in assists (57) in a season where she started all 22 games and scored at least two goals in 13 contests.
"It's very easy to document the accomplishments of Alison Johnson as a lacrosse player at Adelphi University," commented head coach Pat McCabe. "It's all the other aspects of who Alison Johnson is that make her the remarkable person that we look at today."
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, the Middle Island, N.Y. native has impressed in the classroom, earning Academic All-America honors while being named to the NE10 Academic/Commissioner's Honor Roll in each semester. Incredibly, she has also found time to contribute in areas outside of the field and the classroom, as the coordinator of this year's Headstrong Game Hair Havoc fundraiser and active in the team's efforts with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which matched the program with five-year-old Alexia "Lexi" Corvino, who suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease.
But her road has not been without adversity, which is expressed in her personal statement that was included in the nomination process.
"In my time as a Panther, I suffered the tragedies of my father's heart attack leaving him in a vegetative state in 2019, and the passing of my mother in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As an only child, these two losses rendered me quite alone, especially in a socially distant world. Instead of succumbing, I called upon the fiery strength that Lexi demonstrates on a daily basis and the unwavering support of my loved ones and Panther family to power through. Resilience and perseverance are attributes that I initially developed through athletics, yet I now channel them in my daily life to face a world after loss. I remain determined to exude strength and positivity despite the odds, and be the best version of myself each day."
"Her effort, her energy, her passion, for not only playing, but being a great teammate, a great friend, a great student-athlete is really something that we hope all of our young people strive to become," McCabe continued.
"Alison has been through so much and handled it with such grace and dignity - she really is a remarkable human being. To continue to pursue her education and not only get by, but thrive, to become essentially a full time teacher as a senior just speaks volumes as to who she is. It's not about her, it's about everyone else around her and how she can help people."
Each of the league's 15 member institutions nominated a student-athlete for each of these awards and the 30 total nominations were narrowed down to three finalists for each award, both of which were selected by the organization's Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) Council.
-Release provided by Adelphi athletic communications staff-
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 14 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.