Central Connecticut seniors Erica Bardes and Angie Rafter were named Northeast Conference Fall Scholar-Athlete award winners it was announced Friday by the league office. Bardes, of the women's soccer team, and Rafter, of the women's cross country team, were named the Scholar-Athlete of their respective sports, while the league also named members of the Fall Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Rafter recorded a 3.95 GPA as a graduate student studying Psychology and is the first four-time NEC Scholar Athlete of the Year in any sport. She graduated last spring with a 3.96 GPA in English and was recognized as the highest GPA for a graduating female student-athlete at CCSU. She led the Blue Devils to their fourth consecutive Northeast Conference women's cross country title in the fall while winning her third individual crown, beccoming just the second runner in conference history to become a three-time winner. A four-time conference Athlete of the Week this year, she was also named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week on Oct. 25. The decorated runner and outstanding student, Rafter has been the Graduate Student Intern overseeing the Wellness Room for Student-Athletes at CCSU and is also a Research Assistant in the Assumption Lab.
Bardes is currently a graduate student studying Applied Linguistics and has a 3.90 GPA and is a three-time women's soccer scholar-athlete of the year. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in History and a 3.96 GPA. Bardes helped the Blue Devils win their fourth straight conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament with a 13-6 record overall. She started 18 games in 2022 and posted a team-high five assists with one goal. She finished her career with a program-record 86 games played, while scoring 10 goals and 18 assists. The 2022 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, she was a three-time All-NEC honoree, a three-time United Soccer Coaches All-North Region selection and a NEWISA All-New England First Team choice as a senior. Bardes was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District Team selection in 2022 and earned United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team honors in 2020-21. In 2020-21 she was honored as one of six CCSU students to receive the President's Citation Award.
All scholar-athlete award winners must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.
Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC announced its Fall Academic Honor Roll, consisting of a conference record 1,198 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average. There were also 498 student-athletes named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll with a 3.75 or better grade point average.