Morris, Benjamin named WU athletes of the year

Buffy Morris (Sr., Newport HS, Wash.) and Matt Benjamin (Sr., Tillamook HS) were named Willamette University’s athletes of the year during the first annual Athletic Awards Program Tuesday night in Cone Field House.

Morris, who led the Bearcat women’s soccer team to four NCAA Division III tournament appearances, was named the recipient of the Jean Williams Outstanding Woman Athlete of the Year award.

Benjamin, a standout on the football and baseball fields, was the recipient of the J.H. Booth Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year award.

The following is a list of their accomplishments.

Buffy Morris

• Led the Bearcats to Final Four appearances in her freshman and senior seasons and a No. 3 national ranking at the end of each season
• First-team adidas/NSCAA All-America for NCAA Division III (2001)
• First-team all-West Region (2001)
• NWC Player of the Year (2001)
• Three-time first-team all-Northwest Conference (1999, 2000, 2001)
• Three-time NWC Player of the Week
• Led NWC in scoring with 20 goals (2001)
• Finished career with 56 goals (No. 2 all-time at WU) and 27 assists.
• Scored the game-winning goal vs. Puget Sound that ultimately determined the 2001 NWC title and the conference’s lone berth to nationals.

Morris also led the Bearcats to:
Four trips to the NCAA Division III national tournament
Three NWC championships (1998, 1999, 2001)
An overall record of 74-6-8

Matt Benjamin

• 2001 Verizon Academic All-District VIII in football
• Played on WU’s 1999 NWC championship football team and 2001 NWC championship baseball team
• First-team NWC defensive back in football in 2001
• Little All-Northwest football in 2001
• Tied for No. 1 in the NWC in interceptions (5) in 2001
• Ranked fourth in the NWC in tackles in 2001
• NWC Defensive Player of the Week in 2001
• Second-team NWC selection in football in 2000
• In four seasons of baseball, he hit .295 with 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 79 RBI
• (2002 NWC selections will be released next week)