In a mild surprise, senior defenseman Emily Pfalzer of the Boston College women's hockey team was named female Eagle of the Year last night at the all sports awards banquet, beating out a number of other excellent candidates including her teammate Alex Carpenter, Liv Westphal (who won last year) and Covie Stanwick.
On the men's side, there was only one obvious choice, however: Olivier Hanlan was honored as the men's Eagle of the Year. Hanlan emerged down the stretch as the clear choice for BC's premier male athlete, leading the ACC in scoring and being named a first team All-ACC player. Tyler Murphy could have merited some consideration before Hanlan went off down the stretch, but beyond that it's hard to say anyone else was in Hanlan's realm.
It was a nice reward for Hanlan to send him off to his professional career with recognition from the school. Despite being an outstanding player at BC for three seasons, Hanlan largely toiled in obscurity as he played for a string of bad to mediocre teams. As such, it will be easy for his accomplishments to be overlooked in future years. But it's hard to imagine just where the program would have been without Hanlan, who leaves BC as its 12th all-time leading scorer.
Pfalzer, captain of the women's hockey team, was a first team All American defenseman and an exemplary senior leader for the team as they skated to a Frozen Four berth. Pfalzer's two-way skills and her ability to quickly turn up ice to start rushes set the tone for BC's highly aggressive and sometimes overwhelming offensive attack; her speed and positioning also allowed her to get back and make excellent defensive plays.
Both the men's basketball and the women's hockey teams will greatly miss these two Eagles next year, but they will be fondly remembered for their place in history - now made permanent by winning BC athletics' most prestigious award. Congratulations to Emily and Olivier, and to all of BC's student-athletes who were honored last night.