Monday, August 4, 2008

UAlbany's Ammann Achievements Recognized

What’s this? It was a text message unlike any Steve Ammann had ever received.
"Congrats on being scholar-athlete of the year, you big nerd," it read.

It was sent from a teammate late last month to the Putnam Valley native and lacrosse standout, a recent graduate of the University at Albany.

"It was a complete surprise," the former Great Danes midfielder said. "I thought the text was a joke, but I am proud of the team and proud to represent the university like that."

Ammann's 3.83 grade-point average as a finance and marketing major was certainly no joke.

Success both on and off the field led to his being named America East Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's lacrosse. Unlike Ammann, Albany coach Scott Marr was not surprised by such recognition.

"He is a complete person," Marr said. "From being a student to a tremendous athlete, he is just a good person, tutoring guys on the team. I am really sad to see him go."

Marr, a Yorktown native, is bidding farewell to not only Steve but also his twin brother, Mike Ammann.

The duo helped one another excel, as the Ammanns shared everything from the lacrosse field to excellence in the classroom to job hunting in New York City.

"They are best friends," Marr said. "It was neat, that connection between twins. They motivated each other and were competitive with one another, but always supportive."

Steve Ammann's achievements on the field mirrored his classroom success.

A captain his senior season, Ammann helped propel the Great Danes to the conference title game, where a one-goal loss to UMBC denied them an NCAA tournament appearance. His postseason honors included being named to the ESPN The Magazine District I All-Academic at-large team. As a second-team all-conference midfielder, Ammann scored 15 goals and 12 assists his final season.

His junior year, Albany was ranked second in the nation for a six-week span on its way to the second NCAA berth of Ammann's career.

"He had a tremendous effect on our team," Marr said. "He helped make us a top team in the nation."

Ammann's competitive nature in athletics carried over to his academics. His favorite class was financial management, which included its fair share of debates.

"I am competitive on and off the field, so it was not difficult for me to set high goals in the classroom," Ammann said.

The son of two teachers, Ammann is entering the world of finance this month. He has accepted a job at Nomura Securities in Manhattan.

However, don't be surprised if his hard work and competitiveness lead him back to the lacrosse field in the near future.

"I entered the professional lacrosse draft, but it didn't work out this year," Ammann said. "But I will keep working towards that. The possibility is still there."

By Rachel Stern

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