Trio Recognized with Prestigious AAA Honors
Army West Point Women’s Soccer standout Sydney Cassalia and Baseball star Anthony Giachin were honored with the United States Military Academy's most prestigious athletic honor -- the Army Athletic Association (AAA) Award. Tyrese Bender, a member of the Men’s Track and Field Team, was a recipient of the AAA Special Award. The AAA trophy is awarded annually to the male and female cadet-athletes who display the “most valuable service to intercollegiate athletics during a career as a cadet.”
This year marks the 117th anniversary of the AAA Award, which was first presented to football's Horatio Hackett in 1904. Cassalia is sixth women's soccer player to earn the award and first since 2014 when Molly McGuigan was recognized with the distinction. Giachin is the 12th baseball player to earn the prestigious honor. The last baseball player to win the award was Cole White in 2008. The AAA Special Award is not awarded on an annual basis, but only presented when a worthy candidate arises. The Special Award is presented to a cadet-athlete for “exhibiting outstanding achievement and exemplary leadership in athletic competition.” Bender is the 32nd recipient of the AAA Special Award, which was first presented in 1966 to three-sport star Frank Kobes.
A two-time captain, Cassalia posted the second most shutouts in program history with 25 in her career. The Omaha, Nebraska native was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year her cow and firstie seasons. She posted a career save percentage of .724 and had 254 saves across her four years. A mathematical systems major with honors, Cassalia boasts a cumulative grade point average of 3.829. Cassalia earned all-league honors each of the four years she was on the team. She was a first team selection her cow and firstie seasons, landed on the second team as a yearling and was a third team honoree her plebe year.
Giachin, also a two-year captain, has etched his name into the Army record book in the following categories: doubles (45, fourth), RBI (133, sixth) and hits (203, seventh). A three-time All-Patriot League First Team selection, Giachin has helped lead the Black Knights to the Patriot League championship all three years it has been played. Army won in 2018 and 2019 and will square off with Lehigh in the best-of-three series on May 26-28 to determine the 2021 champion. Read more.