LANCASTER, Pa. — Washington soccer player Rachel Chatfield and Swarthmore tennis player Rushil Patel are the 2022-23 Centennial Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

The conference recognizes a Scholar-Athlete of the Year in each of its 24 championship sports.

The overall Scholar-Athletes of the Year are the best of the best, the student-athletes with the highest grade point averages among the 12 male and 12 female winners.

A senior defender from Lovettsville, Virginia, Chatfield is a three-time all-conference performer and a straight-A student.

She was the Centennial Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's soccer, i.e. the All-Centennial Conference performer with junior or senior standing who has the highest cumulative grade point average, as well as a United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Region V (second team) and Academic All-District player.

A stalwart on Washington’s defense since her arrival in Chestertown four years ago, Chatfield appeared in all 51 matches possible — as a starter in all but one match. Her line included two goals and four assists for eight points.

The Academic All-District team that is selected by members of the College Sports Communicators recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their performances on the field and in the classroom.

Criteria for selection include a grade point average of at least 3.50 (and not rounded up) on a 4.0 scale.

Chatfield is the third Washington student-athlete to be named the overall Scholar-Athlete of the Year since the award was established in the 2015-16 academic year, following lacrosse player Anna Inserra in the inaugural year and swimmer Julia Portmann in 2017-18.

A double major in biology and mathematics, she held a perfect 4.0 grade point average entering her final semester. In April she was one of nine Washington athletes — all female — who were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society for the arts and sciences. 

Chatfield was one of the anchors of the Washington defense from 2019 to 2022.

This past fall, she helped the 6-5-6 Shore ladies post eight shutouts in 17 matches. 

At Washington's athletic awards ceremony in May, Chatfield received the Thomas Reeder Spedden Award for academic standing and outstanding achievement in athletics and the Doris T. Bell '50 Award as the senior female with the highest cumulative GPA who won a varsity letter during the year.

Patel, a junior, is the second Swarthmore student-athlete to receive overall Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades.

An economics and computer science major from Duncan, South Carolina, he also sported a perfect 4.0 grade point average entering the spring semester.

On the court, Patel earned All-Centennial second team doubles honors this spring with partner Max Lindstrom and helped the Garnet capture their first-ever Centennial title.