CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The Sarah Devens Award committee announced Wednesday that the 2022-23 award will be presented to Holy Cross’ Carly Beniek and Quinnipiac’s Kate Reilly.
This year marks the first time the award was presented to multiple student-athletes, as the committee determined that both were highly deserving and ultimately too close to make a clear decision.
Presented annually to a player who “demonstrates leadership and commitment both on and off the ice,” the Devens Award is given as a joint honor between ECAC Hockey and Hockey East and aids a deserving student-athlete with a post-graduate scholarship of $15,000. The award is named in honor of former Dartmouth Big Green ice hockey player Sarah Devens, who died in 1995 prior to her senior year. This year’s winners will each receive $15,000 each in post-graduate scholarship funds.
Reilly, who will compete as a fifth-year at Quinnipiac next season, completed an undergraduate degree in Biology in three years (graduating Summa Cum Laude) and is currently pursuing her Masters in Molecular Cell Biology. She is the President of Quinnipiac’s Q-Munity Service program and won the athletic department award for community service in 2021-22. Reilly also conducted independent research for which she earned a $2,500 grant to support her work and eventually presented at the Gait and Clinical Movement Society conference.
On the ice, the Richmond, B.C. native has played 124 games for the Bobcats, tallying 21 goals and 37 assists while helping the program to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of tournament victories.
Beniek is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Health Professions Advisory Program in the Pre-Med program. She completed undergraduate research with UMass Med and presented her findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November. She serves as an EMT and on-site First Responder during non-hockey events and also coordinates Big Brother Big Sister participation for her team.
At the rink, Beniek has played a large role in Holy Cross’ transition into Hockey East. The Mound, Minnesota native has played 114 games for the Crusaders, posting seven goals and nine assists in her career.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Kate Reilly: “I am honored to receive the Sarah Devens Award, and I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Devens family. Competing as a college athlete is a privilege that has allowed me to pursue my academic goals and given me the opportunity to be a leader in my community. I am grateful for this scholarship, which will help me to further my education after Quinnipiac. I will strive to continue to be a leader throughout the remainder of my academic and athletic career.”
Cass Turner, Quinnipiac Head Coach: “We are so proud of Kate and grateful to the Devens Family for their generosity and opportunity to celebrate Sarah. Kate’s passion for learning, her commitment to her community and impact on the ice are nothing short of impressive. She’s an outstanding leader in our program and on our campus making a positive and lasting impact on those around her. Congratulations Kate on such a prestigious honor!”
Carly Beniek: “It is an absolute honor to receive an award in Sarah Devens’ name. She is the kind of person every athlete strives to be like. She was an incredible athlete, leader and teammate, so it means so much to me to receive an award in her name. I want to thank my amazing coaches and teammates for supporting me and pushing me to be my best self and teammate the last four years; I could not have done it without them. I, also, want to thank my family for supporting me throughout my hockey journey and showing me what it means to be a good leader. Lastly, I want to thank the Devens family for providing such an incredible gift for college athletes. This scholarship is going to help me so much in my postgraduate journey and I am eternally grateful for your family’s generosity.”
Katie Lachapelle, Holy Cross Head Coach: “It is such an honor for Carly to receive the Sarah Devens award. She exemplifies what it means to be a leader on the ice, in our Holy Cross community and throughout Worcester. She made a huge mark on all of us and we know that she will continue to lead and effect positive change in the world.”
Past recipients of the award include: 1997 -- Kathryn Waldo (F), Northeastern; 1998 -- Sarah Hood (F), Dartmouth; 1999 -- Jamie Totten (D), Northeastern; 2000 -- Carrie Jokiel (F), New Hampshire; 2001 -- Christina Sorbara (F), Brown; 2002 -- Dianna Bell (F), Cornell; 2003 -- Rachel Barrie (G), St. Lawrence; 2004 -- Lindsay Charlebois (F), St. Lawrence; 2005 -- Nicole Corriero (F), Harvard; 2006 -- Karen Thatcher (F), Providence; 2007 -- Lindsay Williams (F), Clarkson; 2008 -- Lizzie Keady (F), Princeton; 2009; -- Marianna Locke (F), St. Lawrence; 2010 -- Laura Gersten (F), Rensselaer; 2011 -- Jackee Snikeris (G), Yale; 2012 -- Aleca Hughes (F), Yale; 2013 -- Alyssa Zupon (F), Yale; 2014 — Vanessa Gagnon (F), Clarkson; 2015 — Chelsea Laden (G), Quinnipiac; 2016 — Alison Rolandelli (D), Brown; 2017 — Paula Voorheis (G), Cornell; 2018 — Taylor Willard (D), Vermont; 2019 — Kenzie Lancaster (F), Quinnipiac; 2020 — Sammy Davis (F), Boston U.; 2021 — Grace Markey (F), Quinnipiac; 2022 - Gianna Meloni (G), Yale