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Terrier student-athletes recognized at annual awards ceremony

Boston University honored several outstanding student-athletes at its annual awards reception, held at the Francis D. Burke Club Room at Agganis Arena Monday evening.

Junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin of women’s hockey and senior guard Chantell Alford of women’s basketball shared the Mildred Barnes Award, which is awarded to the top female athlete.

Poulin rebounded from an injury-laden year in 2011-12 to set career bests in points (55) and assists (36) this season, leading the team in both categories. She led the team to its third Hockey East Title in four years and second national championship game in three seasons.

Alford earned her third consecutive America East Player of the Year title after leading her squad to a postseason appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. She finished the season second place in the record books with 1,802 career points, and also holds the BU record in career 3-point percentage (40 percent) and made 3-pointers (244).

Junior wrestler Nestor Taffur was awarded the Mickey Cochrane Award for the top male athlete.

Taffur competed at the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career after winning the 157-pound title at the 2013 CAA Championships. At the national tournament, he won two of his matches, beating Andy McCulley of the University of Wyoming and the Air Force Academy’s Joshua Kreimier. He led the Terriers in wins (36), pins (eight), technical fails (three) and major decisions (seven).

Senior defenseman Ryan Ruikka of men’s hockey and senior defender Jessica Morrow of women’s soccer took home the E. Ray Speare and Gretchen Schyler awards, which are given to the top male and female scholar-athletes.

As an assistant captain, Ruikka helped his squad reach the Hockey East championship game. In his career, he posted 19 points on four goals and 15 assists in 97 career games. Ruikka is currently earning a second master’s degree in administrative studies from the Metropolitan College after graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences with bachelor’s degrees in math and economics and a master’s degree in economics in 2012.

Morrow, who was named America East Defender of the Year at the conclusion of the 2012 season, led the BU defense, which allowed only four goals in eight conference matches. She is a two-time America East All-Academic team member, with a GPA of 3.80, majoring in business administration.

Senior distance runner Katie Matthews was named the 2013 BU Woman of the Year.

Matthews became the first female in school history to earn All-America nods in two events in the same season. Her school-record time of 15:42.27 in the 5,000m run at the NCAA Championships in March earned her First Team All-American honors, while her 11th-place finish in the 3,000m run placed her on the Second Team. She also broke the school record in the 3,000m run at the Husky Classic in February with a time of 9:05.73. Matthews has also had success academically, earning a 3.94 GPA while studying for a master’s in speech-language pathology.

Senior guard Mo Moran of women’s basketball and senior Josh Friedman of the  men’s tennis received the John B. Simpson Award, which is given to a male and female senior who show outstanding leadership and enthusiasm.

Moran led the backcourt with Alford en route to the team’s WNIT appearance. She played a school-record 4,496 minutes in her four seasons at BU, and also broke the school record in career assists with 558.

Friedman has been named the MVP of men’s tennis for the past three seasons. This season, he competed at the top singles and doubles spots, and led the Terriers to their first winning season since 2007.

Senior swimmer Tina Hoppe received the Student-Athlete Service Award. She served this year as president of the BU Student-Athlete Advisory Council, organizing several charity events. Under her tenure, BU athletes have performed a collective 3,000 hours of community service.

Former men’s hockey coach Jack Parker received the Terrier Pride Award for his 40 seasons leading the men’s hockey team. In his tenure, he won 897 games, third-best in NCAA history for a head coach. Additionally, he led BU to seven Hockey East titles, a record 21 Beanpot wins and three national championships.

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