Justin Bard, Sammie Olson Take First WNE Student-Athlete of the Week Awards for March

Justin Bard, Sammie Olson Take First WNE Student-Athlete of the Week Awards for March
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--The Western New England University Athletic Department has named Justin Bard of men's lacrosse (Westfield High School) and women's basketball's Sammie Olson (Tolland, Conn.) as the student-athletes of the week, for the period ending Sunday.

Bard, a sophomore transfer from NCAA Division II American International College just down the road from Western New England, was named the season's first recipient of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Week. During the first week of the season, he scored seven goals and had two assists to lead the Golden Bears to a 1-1 record. Bard scored five goals during his first game as a Golden Bear in WNE's 17-16 comeback victory over Keene State last Wednesday, Feb. 25. His unassisted goal at the 5:38 mark in the fourth quarter gave WNE a 16-15 lead, and he assisted on teammate Patrick Dillon's game-winning goal with 37 seconds left. In a 17-4 loss Saturday at nationally No. 3-ranked Stevenson, Bard added a pair of tallies and an assist. He is tied for third in the CCC with seven goals.

Olson, a sophomore, scored eight points and had four rebounds during an 81-56 loss to the top-seeded University of New England Nor'easters in the semifinals of the CCC championship on Thursday. Before that, she scored 10 points on 7-of-10 free throw shooting and recorded three more rebounds in an 80-75 quarterfinal win Tuesday over Eastern Nazarene College to help prevent a Lions' third win over the Golden Bears this season. On the season, the criminal justice major averages career highs of 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds. She also has personal records so far of 41 assists and 17 blocked shots.

Western New England will participate in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Women's Basketball Tournament tonight (7 p.m.) at No. 1 ranked Westfield State.