The Scholarship was awarded at the Tewaaraton Trophy Awards presentation in Washington, D.C.Here are Ashley Gersuk's remarks at the presentation...
The Scholarship was established to honor Diane Geppi-Aikens, Women's Lacrosse coach of Loyola College, who lost a battle with brain cancer in 2003 after taking her team to the NCAA Final Four.
[talking about Dianne Geppi-Aikens] Based on everything she did and everything she stood for as a coach and a person, I'm tremendously honored to be given this award in her name.
Gersuk noted the other two finalists - Lindsey Biles of Princeton and Katieanne Christian of Dartmouth, then continued,
They're obviously great people off the field as well.
Thank you to the Tewaaraton Trophy Foundation for putting this award in this program. I am tremendously honored to be here .
I'd like to thank my coaches, especially Kelly Amonte Hiller, for all they've done to teach me how to be a real top player these four years and all they've taught me on and off the field and all the opportunities they've given me the past four years.
Afterwards we asked Ashley about what the Geppi-Aikens Scholarship award means to both her and the Lacrosse team.
AG: I just think that Northwestern Lacrosse has given me so much, as a player, but even more as a person, so I'm just so thrilled to be honored, and put in the same ... as Diane Geppi, its unbelievable, I'm grateful to our players and the game in general - to be able to be given that honor is very, very awesome, and reflective of an unbelieveable four years of experience and learning at Northwestern.The night turned out to be an exciting night for NU Lacrosse at the National Geographic Auditorium. Watching all the highlights of the Tewaaraton finalists showed just how tough the competition was. We'll have more from the Award Dinner later.
Ashley Gersuk was one of the original class of recruits during the rebuilding of the program at Northwestern.
AG: I knew the players were confident vision of where the program was going to go, what we what we wanted as players. [Ashley was one of the original team tri-captains] I learned to talk to my team about the Northwestern way, and I started with the responsibility of leading my team on the field and wound up helping out myself.
(Coach) Kelly and the whole coaching staff have been so unbelievably helpful to me in situations and to be a better person as well.
Ashley started lacrosse at an early age - Starting as a Goalie in 7th grade, and even played the Attack position before returning to the goal. she graduates from Northwestern with a degree in Political Science next week, and may head to grad school next, or maybe the sidelines of another Lacrosse team.
AG: I want to find some way to give back to the game.
About the CSTV Diane Geppi-Aikens Scholarship:
The $5,000 scholarship honors the student-athlete who has displayed the same extraordinary leadership, character and perseverance exhibited by Geppi-Aikens, the Hall of Fame coach of the Loyola (Md.) women's lacrosse team who passed away last summer from brain cancer just weeks after leading the Greyhounds to the NCAA Final Four.
"Diane Geppi-Aikens displayed a tremendous amount of grace, dignity and courage in leading her Loyola teams to success on the field while battling cancer and raising a family off it" said Brian Bedol, president and CEO, CSTV. "We were privileged to have followed Coach and her team in its drive for a national championship last season. She was an inspiration to all who met her, and we feel that this scholarship is the most fitting way of honoring her memory."
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