BUFFALO, NY – Four University at Buffalo student-athletes were named Mid-American Conference Distinguished Scholar Athletes for the fall sports seasons, the league announced on Thursday. The four include Julia Benati and Carissima Cutrona from women's soccer, John McCarty from men's cross country and Tim Roberts from football. Voted on by faculty athletic representatives at MAC institutions, these student-athletes represent the 'best of the best' from each sports Academic All-MAC Teams.
Benati, an exercise science major with a 3.99 GPA, wrapped up her impressive UB career with her best offensive season of her career. The team captain tied for the team-lead with a career-high seven goals, four assists and 18 points while notching 63 shots. The Dorchester, Ontario native started all 19 matches for the Bulls and was able to earn First Team All-MAC honors while netting 11 points in her final eight matches as a Bull. She closes out her UB career ranked 12th all-time in assists (13), 14th in points (49) and 15th in goals (15).
Cutrona, a psychology major with a 3.91 GPA, wrapped up her junior campaign tied for the team lead with seven goals, four assists and 18 points while leading the Bulls with 66 shots. The shifty forward was able to lead UB with three game-winning goals while starting all 19 matches up front. The team captain currently ranks 11th in program history in goals (20) and 13th in points (50).
McCarthy just concluded his senior season for the Bulls. The Painted Post, NY native is a biological sciences major with a 3.99 grade point average. He finished 44th at the Mid-American Conference Championships and 98th at the Northeast Regionals.
Roberts is a social science interdisciplinary major with a 3.68 grade point average. The senior safety ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 62. He also had a tackle for loss, an interception and a forced fumble on the year. The Hahnville, LA native was also a 2017 Academic All-District selection.
The Distinguished Scholar Athlete is a fourth-year award given to students who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the fall sports schedule, any student with a 3.20 GPA and participation in at least 50 percent of the contests was automatically named to the previously announced Academic All-MAC Team from each sport. Also, first-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence were not eligible for the award.
From the Academic All-MAC Teams, the faculty athletic representatives selected the 'best of the best' of the Academic All-MAC Teams to be honored with Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award for the 2017-18 season. The number of Distinguished Scholar Athletes from each sport were equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 20% of nominees, whichever was greater.
Later this winter and spring, the MAC will announce the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the remaining 16 winter and spring sports sponsored by the Conference.
Click here to see all the MAC winners.