“This award is a testament to the outstanding leadership and commitment which Laura has displayed throughout her career at Rensselaer,” said head coach John Burke. “In addition to the impact she has had on the success of our program in ECAC Hockey, she has earned the respect of her teammates, coaches, and peers through her professionalism, excellent communication skills, and selflessness in representing her team and the Institute as a whole.”
A defenseman from Queensbury, N.Y., Gersten becomes the Engineers’ first student-athlete to earn the award, the winner of which receives a post-graduate scholarship of $10,000. She received the 2010 Sarah Devens Award at Rensselaer’s Senior Athlete Dinner on May 11. Gersten plans on pursuing a post-graduate degree in management at Rensselaer beginning this fall.
A captain in 2009-10, Gersten finished fourth on the team in points with 22. She tallied eight goals and was second on the team with 14 assists, while playing in all 37 games. Gersten ranked fourth among league blueliners in overall scoring and was sixth in scoring among her peers in league action with four goals and nine assists for 13 points.
The ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year and an All-League Third Team honoree, Gersten represented the Engineers in the conference’s All-Star Game against the 2010 U.S. National Team in January, and was a nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Off the ice, Gersten boasts a 3.82 cumulative grade point average as a business and management major. A Dean’s List student in every semester, she serves as the president of the Rensselaer chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and is also a three-time selection to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic team.
In the community, Gersten has donated her time to a number of youth teams in Capital Region organizations throughout her career. She has also participated and helped raise money in each of the last four Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walks in Albany’s Washington Park. She is also a three-time participant and fundraiser for Relay for Life.
During her career, Gersten had 21 goals and 43 assists for 64 points in 141 games. She finished fourth all-time in program history in defenseman scoring and has achieved several accolades, including a 2008-09 ECAC Hockey Championship All-Tournament Team selection. She was the team’s Most Valuable Player as a freshman and the recipient of the program’s Bill Cahill Memorial Award and the Robert Conway Student-Athlete Award this season.
The Engineers wrapped up the 2009-10 season with a 16-15-6 record, including an 11-7-4 mark in ECAC Hockey play. Rensselaer, which defeated Quinnipiac in a best-of-three quarterfinal series, advanced to its second straight appearance in the semifinals before falling to eventual conference champion and NCAA runner-up Cornell.
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