>Article Courtesy of the ECAC
Rider's Cottam and UMBC's Paddock Named
2012 ECAC Division I Scholar-Athletes of the Year
CENTERVILLE, Mass. -British soccer players Abi Cottam of Rider University and Liam Paddock from the University of Maryland Baltimore County have been named the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Cottam and Paddock will be feted at the 2012 ECAC Honors dinner held in conjunction with the 24th Annual ECAC Convention and Trade Show that will be held September 29-October 2 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton, Conn. The Honors Dinner is slated for Sunday evening, September 30.
Cottam, from Leominster, England, was a member of the Aston Villa Ladies, the English Schools National Championship teams in 2003, 2004 and 2007. She has continued her outstanding play earning a spot on the 2011 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference first-team and being a national Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region second -team selection. She entered her senior season at Rider fourth on the career scoring list, and she led the MAAC in goals (14), assists (11), and points (39) in 2011. Her point total tied a school single season record. Entering the 2012 season she had 22 goals, including five game winners in each of her sophomore and junior years, and 20 assists in her career. In her first game of 2012 she notched an assist to tie the Rider career assists record. She also co-holds the single game goal record with hat-tricks she scored in games against Canisius and Delaware State.
A Psychology major, Cottam has been nearly perfect in the classroom. In 2011 she was a first-team Capital One Academic All-America as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Cottam has also earned a spot on both the 2010 and 2011 MAAC All-Academic Teams.
Cottam's interest in special needs people is evident as she has assisted with bowling events at the Special Olympics and volunteered with road races for the handicapped. She has also taken part in the Relay for Life, and worked at a free clinic for abused and neglected children.
Paddock, a native of Worchester, England, has been a starter since his freshman year, and is a team co-captain for UMBC in this, his final collegiate season. A center back, Paddock anchors the Retriever defense, and was named to the America East All-Rookie Team in 2009 when he was voted the UMBC men's Soccer Freshman of the year. The Retrievers won the America East title Paddock's sophomore season.
A double major in Psychology and Sociology, Paddock will graduate a semester early in December. In February of 2012, Paddock became the first Retriever to be named an America East Scholar-Athlete in the sport of men's soccer. Paddock earned first-team all-conference honors and was the only first-team league honoree to be named to the All-Academic team in 2011. Additionally that year he was among three Retrievers selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America University Division Men's Scholar All-East Region team, where he landed on the second team. Paddock has earned a place on the Fall 2010 and Fall 2011 America East Commissioner's Honor Roll, and is a five-time member of the UMBC President's List for earning a perfect 4.0 semester grade point average.
In his spare time, Paddock has spent over 30 hours tutoring at-risk youth in the College Gardens Youth Program. He has devoted time to Albertus Middle School for Earth Day and the College for Every Student Program. He has also made time to volunteer with the Casey Cares Foundation Soccer Clinic for critically ill children.
One male and one female student-athlete from each NCAA Division are selected annually for the scholar-athlete awards based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics, and community service.
Persons interested in attending the Honors Dinner should contact Roger Crosley, ECAC Director of Communications, at 508-771-5060, est. 230, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.