Aeschliman, Foster, Smith, Swartzendruber Named Goshen College’s Top 2017-18 Athletes

Athletes of Year, Scholar-Athletes of Year among honors given at awards banquet

GOSHEN, Ind. — Sophomores Ollie Smith and Chelsea Foster were tabbed Athletes of the Year while junior Spencer Aeschliman and senior Christy Swartzendruber received Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition Thursday night at Goshen College’s second annual Maple Leaf athletic awards dessert banquet.

Smith, a native of York, England, led the Maple Leaf men’s soccer team with eight assists on the season, the most helpers by a GC freshman or sophomore in nearly two decades. He also scored eight goals, which was second on the team, and earned second-team all-conference honors. Smith beat out a field of nominees including teammate Stuart Aeschliman, tennis player Juan Miguel Ciudad, basketball guard Billy Geschke, cross country/track runner Vincent Kibunja and baseball outfielder Ben Longacre.

Foster qualified for the NAIA national cross country meet, becoming the first Goshen woman to reach that stage since 2008, and posted three of the top 50 times in school history. Only three runners have run faster times than the Mount Vernon, Indiana, native during their sophomore seasons. Foster won the award one year after being tabbed a finalist in 2017. Other 2018 finalists included teammate Siana Emery, softball pitcher Alexis Carpenter and basketball guard Carley O’Neal.

Spencer Aeschliman, a defender from West Salem, Oregon, is a junior physics major with a 3.99 grade-point average who has started 50 of his team’s 56 games over the past three seasons. Swartzendruber, an outside hitter and six-rotation player from Shickley, Nebraska, graduates with a 4.00 GPA in accounting after posting the second-best efficiencies in program history in both serving and receiving serves..

The Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were sponsored by public accounting firm Crowe Horwath, founded in South Bend in 1942, which also provided refreshments for the evening.

Other men’s finalists included tennis player Evan Beck, cross country runner Brenner Burkholder, basketball wing Christian Grider, baseball pitcher Chandler Ingle, tennis player Luke Rush and track and field thrower Austin Weaver. Soccer defender Lena Charles, tennis player Megan Ewing, basketball center Hanna Hochstetler, softball outfielder Brooke Maes and cross country/track runner Jill Steinmetz comprised the balance of the women’s field.

Thirteen athletes received the #OneLeaf Leadership Award, with each head coach selecting a member of their team who supported the mission of their team and the broader athletic department through servant leadership. The 13 athletes were, in alphabetical order:

  • Alyssa Arella (Ann Arbor, Michigan), women’s soccer
  • Mara Beck (Archbold, Ohio), women’s track and field
  • Tyler Born (Goshen, Indiana), men’s soccer
  • Tanner Camp (Fremont, Indiana), men’s basketball
  • Katie Crump (Franklin, Indiana), softball
  • Meghan Gerke (Wyoming, Michigan), women’s volleyball
  • Vincent Kibunja (Nakuru, Kenya), men’s track and field)
  • Elsie Koop Liechty (Goshen, Indiana), women’s tennis
  • Caitlyn O’Neal (Russiaville, Indiana), women’s basketball
  • Sierra Ross Richer (Goshen, Indiana), women’s cross country
  • Kartikeya Sharma (Delhi, India), men’s tennis
  • Brad Stoltzfus (Goshen, Indiana), baseball
  • Ben Wiebe (Goshen, Indiana), men’s cross country

Men’s soccer head coach Arron Patrick was picked Coach of the Year by his colleagues: the fourth-year coach led his team to a 12-6-2 mark, the best winning percentage for a GC soccer team since 2012. The Maple Leaf men’s soccer team racked up four all-conference first- and second-team accolades, an NAIA national player of the week, a CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and received votes in the national coaches poll.

The men’s tennis program was named academic team of the year for 2016-17, measured by highest team GPA; team academic awards for 2017-18 cannot be determined until the close of the college’s academic year in June.