Hofstra Athletics Celebrates 2012-13 At Year-End Banquet

Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Banquet
The Hofstra Athletics Department celebrated the 2012-13 athletic season on Monday evening when it held its annual Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet at David S. Mack Hall, located on Hofstra’s North Campus.
Among the top award winners were Shante Evans (Women’s Basketballand Olivia Galati (Softballearning the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award as the top female student-athlete,Shaun Foster (Men’s Soccer) taking home the “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year Award, Melissa McCarthy (Field Hockeyas the recipient of the Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar Athlete Award, Joe Burg(Baseball) as the Dr. James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete Award winner and Taylor Albright (Women’s Lacrosse) andStevie Mejia (Men’s Basketball) as the recipients of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Awards.
Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award

Shante Evans, Basketball

Shante Evans, a senior forward on the basketball team is a 2013 co-recipient of the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award. Shante is the first women’s basketball player to earn the award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top female student-athlete.

This past season Shante led Hofstra in scoring at 16.1 points per game and rebounding with 11.5 boards per game on the way to her third consecutive Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America selection. She was also a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-Metropolitan New York performer for the third year in a row as well.

Named to both the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy watch lists, Shante scored in double-figures in 28 of Hofstra’s 29 regular season games and notched a double-double in 35 of her last 52 career games.

Shante, a West Chester, PA, native rewrote the Hofstra Basketball record book, as well as the Colonial Athletic Association record book during her storied four-year career. She set numerous program records this season, including the Pride’s all-time points record with 2,116. She became the first 2,000-point scorer in program history at Georgia State on Feb. 10. Shante is also Hofstra’s and the CAA’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,348, and had the most double-doubles (69) of any active Division I player before completing her eligibility this past March. Hofstra retired Evans’ her No. 30 jersey at the Mack Sports Complex before her final collegiate home game versus UNC Wilmington on March 3.

During her four years with the Pride, Shante helped the team to two WNIT appearances.

Olivia Galati, Softball

Olivia Galati, a senior pitcher/designated player on the softball team, is a co-recipient 2013 Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top female student-athlete. Olivia is the first softball player to win the award since 2009.

Olivia is in the midst of another stellar campaign, posting a 34-10 record with a 1.46 ERA and 352 strikeouts. The right-hander leads the Colonial Athletic Association in wins, complete games (41), shutouts (18) and strikeouts. She also ranks first nationally in strikeouts and third in victories.

The West Babylon, NY, native has tossed four no-hitters this season, including her fourth career perfect game to tie for the second-most in NCAA Division I history. Olivia threw two no-hitters in a four-day span and was named the Louisville Slugger Division I Co-National Player of the Week for games played from April 1-7. She was also named the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week by the ASA and the Pitcher of the Week by both the ECAC and the CAA after going 4-1 with a save that included the two no-hitters, two one-hitters and four shutouts.

In 2012 she became the program’s first-ever first-team All-America selection after leading the nation with a 0.95 ERA and guiding the Pride to a CAA championship and the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals. Olivia set a program record with 34 wins, including victories over UCLA and two wins against San Diego State to lift Hofstra to the first NCAA Regional championship in school history. Hofstra came within one win of the Women’s College World Series.

A three-time CAA Pitcher of the Year, Olivia holds Hofstra records for wins (123), strikeouts (1,372), no-hitters (11), innings pitched and appearances (173).

The Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Female Athlete of the Year 
2012 – Genna Kovar, Field Hockey
2011 – Tiffany Yovino, Soccer
2010 – Corrine Gandolfi, Lacrosse
2009 – Kayleigh Lotti, Softball
2008 – Sue Weber, Soccer
2007 – Elizabeth Curley, Volleyball & Ashley Lane, Softball
2006 – Ashley Lane, Softball & Sue Weber, Soccer
2005 – Bridget Eder, Lacrosse
2004 – Dolores Deasley, Soccer
2003 – Kathleen Mikowski, Lacrosse
2002 – Kathleen Mikowski, Lacrosse and Soccer

Howard “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year
Shaun FosterMen’s SoccerShaun Foster, a junior defender on the soccer team, is the recipient of the 2013 Howard “Howdy” Myers Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top male student-athlete. Shaun is just the second soccer player to win the Myers Award.

Shaun was just the third NSCAA All-America selection in Hofstra history when he was selected to the third team, joining Michael Todd and Ed Gaffney as Hofstra All-Americans. He was one of 11 defenders nationally who were named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire Division I All-America teams.

He was also an All-South Atlantic Region pick for the third consecutive season (2010-12), becoming the first Hofstra player to accomplish the feat. Before the 2012 team was announced, he was one of just two Hofstra players to even be a two-time winner, joining Richard Martinez (2008, 2009).

The Southport, England, native was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Award and was also named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I All-Star team after leading Hofstra to an 11-6-4 record and a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game.

In November Shaun was named one of just 34 finalists for the Soccer News Net College Boot award, recognizing the men’s college player of the year.

A junior who has exhausted his NCAA eligibility, Shaun was the CAA’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year recipient, making him the league’s first three-time winner of the defensive award. He was also named to the league’s all first-team in 2012 for the third consecutive season.

Shaun was a key part of a Hofstra defensive unit that allowed only 21 goals in 19 contests and posted seven shutouts, including four in CAA play. Offensively, he contributed two goals (both game-winners) and an assist.

During his career he recorded nine goals and three assists for 21 points. He led the team in scoring in 2011 with five goals and an assist.

The Howard “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year 
2012 – Danny Poma, Baseball
2011 – Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2010 – Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2009 – Jay Card, Lacrosse & Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2008 – Antoine Agudio, Basketball & Charles Griffin, Wrestling
2007 – Loren Stokes, Basketball
2006 – Chris Unterstein, Lacrosse
2005 – Loren Stokes, Basketball & Jon Masa, Wrestling
2004 – Noel Thompson, Wrestling
2003 – Arni Gunnarson, Soccer
2002 – Kahmal Roy, Football
Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete Award

Melissa McCarthy, Field Hockey

Melissa McCarthy, a senior defender on the field hockey team is the recipient of the 2013 Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award. The award is given annually to Hofstra’s top female scholar-athlete. Melissa is the first field hockey player to win the award.

A native of Havertown, Pennsylvania, Melissa owns a 3.98 grade point average while majoring in both psychology and early childhood and childhood education. This past season she was named the Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year in field hockey. She is a two-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award and was chosen to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic squad in 2011 and 2012.

Melissa started all 19 games on defense for the Pride in 2012 and was third on the team in scoring with four goals and three assists from the back line. Despite taking only six shots all year, she recorded a pair of goals against VCU and also scored against Saint Joseph’s and Towson. She led Hofstra with 1,274 minutes played.

A transfer from Division II Millersville University, Melissa was a two-time All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) second team selection, a PSAC Scholar-Athlete award winner and a NFHCA National Division II Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.

The Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2012 – Jill Maier, Lacrosse
2011 – Dana Bergstrom, Soccer
2010 – Michele DePasquale, Softball & Stephanie Rice, Lacrosse 
2009 – Lauren Engle, Volleyball
2008 – Shellane Ogoshi, Volleyball
2007 – Sue Weber, Soccer
2006 – Chrissy Arnone, Soccer & Tessa Sphar, Volleyball
2005 – Emma Kilduff, Soccer
2004 – Julie Tatar, Volleyball
2003 – Heather Brousseau, Softball
2002 – Stefanie Rewitz, Volleyball

Dr. James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete Award

Joe Burg, Baseball

Joe Burg, a senior pitcher on the baseball team, is the 2013 recipient of the Dr. James M. Shuart Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top male scholar-athlete. Joe is the second baseball player to earn the award.

Joe was a finalist for a 2012 Rhodes Scholarship, only the second Hofstra student to be a Rhodes finalist. He is enrolled in Honors College and owns a 4.0 grade point average as a dual major in physics and mathematics. Joe is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

He was the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Book Award, the 2010 Carl Friedrich Gauss Award for Excellence in Mathematics , the 2011 Homer Demetriou Endowed Scholarship for Mathematics, and the Azelle Waltcher Endowed Scholarship for Mathematics in 2012. Joe is also a three-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient and just last week was named to the CoSIDA-Capital One All-Academic District Team, making him eligible for national Academic All-America accolades.

Active in the community, both on and off-campus, Joe is a member of Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and participates in the many service projects undertaken by the organization. He also serves as a physics and astronomy tutor, and as a teaching assistant for the Physics Department.

On the field, Joe is currently 3-4 in 11 starts for the Pride and shares the team lead in wins.

The James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2012 – Steve Bonanno, Wrestling
2011 – Lou Ruggirello, Wrestling
2010 – John Kenny, Baseball
2009 – Nick Altomare, Football
2008 – Lou Ruggirello, Wrestling
2007 – Michael Todd, Soccer
2006 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2005 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2004 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2003 – Aaron Kozlowski, Lacrosse
2002 – Marc Petit, Basketball

Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award
The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award was established in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of a male and female student-athlete who helped their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not always be measured by statistics. The award seeks to acknowledge those student-athlete’s who have not been adequately recognized during their careers, yet have always been exceptional representatives of the Hofstra Athletics Program. The award is named after the former Pride lacrosse player, who waged a courageous 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, before passing away in November 2006 at age 21.

“Nick will always be an inspiration to the Hofstra University community,” commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway. “While fighting this terrible disease, it’s amazing what Nick accomplished in developing the business plan for the HEADstrong Foundation and for having the foresight to know the future benefits that would be provided to the thousands afflicted with the same disease. Hofstra University thanks Cheryl and Pat Colleluori and their two sons for carrying on Nick’s work with the HEADstrong Foundation. We will continue to assist the HEADstrong Foundation in the fight against blood cancer. We congratulate this year’s honorees for being the unsung stars of their teams.”

Taylor Albright, Lacrosse

Taylor Albright, a senior attack on the lacrosse team, is a recipient of the 2013 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

Taylor epitomizes the philanthropic spirit of Nick and was on the forefront of the many charitable endeavors undertaken by the Hofstra Department of Athletics in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy in October of last year. She spearheaded a highly successful clothing and supply drive that resulted in numerous donations to Long island families in need.

In addition, Taylor took part in other community service projects performed by Hofstra student-athletes including Holiday Magic of Long Island, Surfer’s Healing and the Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic.

On the field Taylor is a key player for Coach Shannon Smith’s squad. She has played in all 19 games this year with 12 starts and tallied 17 goals and three assists. She has three three-goal games this season and set a career-high with five points on three goals and two assists versus George Mason on April 14.

A native of Morristown, NJ, Taylor has been a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

Stevie Mejia, Basketball

Senior guard Stevie Mejia of the men’s basketball team is a recipient of the 2013 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

A member of the Pride for three seasons after transferring from Rhode Island, Stevie really rose to the occasion as a player and team leader in 2012-13. During a turbulent season for the team, Stevie proved to be a model of consistency.

The Pride’s most dependable player all season, Stevie left his mark in every facet of the game. Defensively, he led Hofstra and the CAA with 63 steals, an average of 1.9 per contest. He had multiple steals 20 times this past season, including a season and career-high seven against Towson on February 16. That total is one off the school record set by Frank Walker (vs. Rider in 1985-96) and tied by Speedy Claxton (vs. New Hampshire in 1998-99). For his efforts, he was a CAA All-Defensive Team selection.

His game was very well-rounded this past season, as seen by his 11.9 points per game and his 4.1 assists per outing. He led Hofstra and ranked third in the CAA in assists and was second on the team in scoring in 2012-13.

Stevie had a stellar final month of the season as each of his major career-highs occurred during that time. He tied his career-high with 22 points at Towson on March 2 in the regular season finale and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds at Georgia State on February 13. Those two totals are in addition to his steals total versus Towson on February 16 and his career-best 10 assists against Old Dominion on February 24.

A Hyde Park, MA, native, Stevie’s value to the team was also evident by his team-best 34.3 minutes per game average, including three 40-minute showings late in the year. He played less than 34 minutes just five times over the final 25 games.

A May 2012 graduate with a degree in finance, Stevie was pursuing a graduate degree in higher education leadership this past academic year.

The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award

2012 – Brittany Butts, Soccer & Courtney Crews, Softball
2011 – Krista Thorn, Softball/Soccer & Rachel August, Volleyball
2010 – Sam Brigham, Basketball
2009 – Carolann Lubach, Softball & Lauren Whitcomb, Lacrosse
2008 – Joanna Kralowetz, Softball & Krystal Robens, Soccer
2007 – Lana Harshaw, Basketball

The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award
2012 – Ben Clymer, Wrestling & Nathaniel Lester, Basketball
2011 – Steven DeNapoli, Lacrosse & Mike Skudin, Lacrosse
2010 – Ray McDonough, Football
2009 – Michael Colleluori, Lacrosse
2008 – Kareem Huggins, Football & Michael Unterstein, Lacrosse
2007 – Gary Flood, Soccer

Senior Speaker
The Senior Speaker program was introduced in 2005 as a way of having one representative from the graduating senior class convey the Hofstra student-athlete experience. Beginning in 2013 two senior student-athletes, one female and one male, will deliver remarks. The Department of Athletics feels that the message of the senior class is best delivered by individuals who have represented the University at a high level in the classroom, on the fields of play and in the community. Each year the Senior Speaker will be selected based on these criteria.

Steve Bonanno, Wrestling

Steve Bonanno, a fifth-year senior on the wrestling team, is one of two Senior Speakers at the 2013 Student-Athlete Awards Banquet.

Steve, a native of Wantagh, NY, earned his undergraduate degree in accounting in May 2012, but returned for the 2012-13 school year to begin work on a MBA degree and complete his final year of eligibility on the Pride Wrestling team.

He earned the Colonial Athletic Association Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for a second consecutive year in 2013. Steve was a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large second team selection in 2012 and has twice been named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic squad. He has also been a Dean’s List member during every semester at Hofstra.

On the mat, Steve reached the 125-pound finals at the CAA Championship all four years and was the CAA champion in 2012 and 2013. He also qualified for the NCAA Championship four times and earned All-America accolades in 2012 after placing eighth. Steve had a 19-12 record in 2012-13 and completed his Hofstra career with a 103-50 mark.

Active in Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Steve is the organizations Vice President in 2012-13 after serving as a Pride Cup Coordinator last year. He participated in many community service endeavors with the group including helping out at the Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic and the North Shore LIJ 5K Fun Run, as well serving as a guest reader at a local elementary school to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Maryann Miller, Women’s Lacrosse

Maryann Miller, a fifth-year senior on the women’s lacrosse team, is one of two Senior Speakers at the 2013 Student-Athlete Awards Banquet.

A Morton, PA, native, Maryann has been a key member of the Pride women’s lacrosse squad, having played in 68 career games with 43 goals and 13 assists.

Maryann, who is a dual major in psychology and early childhood and childhood education, has been a member of the Hofstra Dean’s List in each of her nine semesters and she has also been a four-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award.

Maryann is an active participant in many community service projects undertaken by both the women’s lacrosse team and Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This past year she worked on several initiatives to assists in Sandy Relief efforts, including clothing and supply drives, and assisting storm victims with cleanup and repairs. She also took part in working with autistic children and their families with the Surfers Healing organization and with underprivileged children through Holiday Magic of Long Island.

Having attended the same high school (Ridley) as Nick Colleluori, Maryann is also highly active in the HEADstrong Foundation, assisting in fundraising efforts through the Pride’s annual fall tournament.

Senior Speaker
2012 – Candice Bellocchio, Women’s Basketball
2011 – Kayla Pifer, Women’s Soccer
2010 – Miklos Szabo, Men’s Basketball
2009 – Niki Williams, Women’s Basketball
2008 – Shellane Ogoshi, Volleyball
2007 – Lizanne Murphy, Women’s Basketball
2006 – Devale Ellis, Football
2005 – Danielle Skakandi, Women’s Lacrosse 

2011-12 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients
Baseball – Jared Hammer
Men’s Basketball – Stevie Mejia
Women’s Basketball – Candace Bond
Women’s Cross Country – Cara Mattson
Field Hockey – Krizia Layne
Women’s Golf – Jenna Masnyk
Men’s Lacrosse – Cody Solaja
Women’s Lacrosse – Casey Kellogg
Men’s Soccer – Thomas Bekas
Women’s Soccer – Brooke Bendernagel
Softball – Tessa Ziemba
Men’s Tennis – Pedro Gimenez
Women’s Tennis – Sonia Tsay
Volleyball – Kylee Maneja
Wrestling – Steve Bonanno

*CAA Randolph Award Release*
In addition to the awards presented to Hofstra’s student-athletes, the Colonial Athletic Association also awarded the John H. Randolph Inspiration Award to Nick Colleluori. CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager was on hand for the presentation, which was accepted by Nick’s mom, Cheryl, and brother, Michael. The award recognizes individuals who through strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success. It is named after former William & Mary athletic director John H. Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995.


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