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Hofstra Athletics Celebrates 2013-14 At Awards Banquet

Hofstra Athletics Celebrates 2013-14 At Awards Banquet
Hofstra Athletics Celebrates 2013-14 At Awards Banquet

The Hofstra Athletics Department celebrated the 2013-14 athletic season Monday evening when it held its annual Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet at David S. Mack Hall, located on Hofstra’s North Campus.

Photo Gallery / Full Video Of Event / Video Interviews With Award Winners 

Among the top award winners were Leah Galton (Women’s Soccer) earning the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award as the top female student-athlete, Chris Griebsch (Men’s Soccer) taking home the “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year Award, Rachael Senatore (Softball) as the recipient of the Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete Award, Cody Ruggirello (Wrestling) as the Dr. James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete Award winner, Cynthia Cheng (Women’s Golf) andDavid D’Errico (Baseball) as the recipients of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Awards, and Jonel Boileau (Field Hockey) and Ari Richman (Men’s Tennis) as the inaugural recipients of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award. In addition, Griebsch and Alexandra Mezzanotte (Women’s Lacrosse) served as Senior Speakers.

In addition, The Hofstra Pride Club presented Noel Thompson ‘04 with the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. A former Hofstra Wrestler, Thompson is a member of The Hofstra Pride Club Board of Directors and the Blue and Gold Society. He was also played a key role in the NCAA awarding the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships, of which Hofstra will serve as the host institution, to New York City and Madison Square Garden.

Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award – Female Athlete of the Year

Leah Galton, Soccer

Leah Galton, a sophomore forward on the soccer team, was the recipient 2014 Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top female student-athlete. Leah is the fourth soccer player to win the award, joining Dolores Deasley (2004), Sue Weber (2006, 2008) and Tiffany Yovino (2011).

Leah was selected the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year this past season after scoring eight goals and a team-high 11 assists in helping the Pride to a 10-6-3 record and a spot in the CAA Semifinals. She led the CAA in assists, ranked third in points (27) and was sixth in goals.

The CAA Player of the Year Award was Leah’s third major conference award in her two seasons as the Harrogate, England, native was the 2012 CAA Rookie of the Year and the 2013 CAA Preseason Player of the Year. She was also just the second Pride player to earn CAA Player of the Year, joining 2010 recipient Yovino.

Leah logged at least one point in 13 of Hofstra’s 19 games this past season and her assist total was tied for 20th in Division I.  She was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Mid-Atlantic first team selection in each of her first two seasons.

During her first two seasons, Leah has tallied 19 goals and 16 assists for 54 points.

The Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Female Athlete of the Year
2013 – Shante Evans, Basketball & Olivia Galati, Softball
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 Award – Male Athlete of the Year

 Chris Griebsch, Soccer

Chris Griebsch, a senior forward on the soccer team, was the recipient of the 2014 Howard “Howdy” Myers Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top male student-athlete. Chris is just the third soccer player to win the Myers Award and the second in a row. Chris will also serve as one two Senior Speakers tonight.

Chris was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year as well as an All-South Atlantic Region second team selection in 2013. He was also a finalist for the Soccer News Net College Boot Award, which recognizes the men’s college national player of the year. In addition, he earned first team All-CAA accolades for the first time in his career. He was a third team All-CAA selection in 2011 and a second team All-CAA pick in 2012 before moving up to the first team this past season.

The Dessau-Rosslau, Germany, native was one of the top offensive performers in the CAA, ranking among the top-three in the conference in goals, assists and points. Chris led the league in assists for the third year in a row with eight, and is the Pride’s all-time assists leader with 32. He also ranked third in the CAA with seven goals and 22 points. Chris contributed either a goal or an assist in 10 of the Pride’s 18 matches, including five of seven CAA contests.

During his career, Chris scored 18 goals and tallied 32 assists for 68 points.

Chris excelled off the field as well, earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-America honors, Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition and NSCAA Scholar All-East Region accolades. An international business major, Chris owns a 3.65 grade point average.

He became just the second Pride soccer player to earn CAA Player of the Year honors, joining 2006 recipient Michael Todd. He joined Todd (2005) and Arni Gunnarsson (2004) as a recipient of the CAA Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

The Howard “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year

2013 – Shaun Foster, Soccer
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 Gunnarsson, Soccer
2002 – Kahmal Roy, Football

Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award – Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Rachael Senatore, Softball

Rachael Senatore, an outfielder on the softball team was the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award. The award is given annually to Hofstra’s top female scholar-athlete. Rachael is the third softball player to win the award, joining Heather Brousseau (2003) and Michele DePasquale (2010).

A native of Sparta, New Jersey, Rachael graduated in May 2013 with an undergraduate degree in English and compiled a 3.48 grade point average. She is currently enrolled in the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, pursuing an MBA in finance and has a 3.93 grade point average. As an undergraduate, Rachael was a three-time member of the Dean’s List and a four-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award. This season she was named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District I Team.

On the field Rachael has been a member of three NCAA Regional squads and one NCAA Super Regional team. She was a first team All-CAA selection and a first team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Northeast Region pick in 2012. After missing the 2013 season due to injury, Rachael has come back to start all 43 games for the Pride and is batting .307 with a team-leading 37 runs scored. She has added two doubles, five triples, 14 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in helping the Pride to a 32-11 record.

During her career, Rachael has a .321 average, 117 runs, 180 hits and 36 stolen bases. Her 31 steals rank seventh on the Pride’s all-time list and her 10 career triples rank seventh all-time.

The Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2013 – Melissa McCarthy, Field Hockey
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 Award – Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Cody Ruggirello, Wrestling

Cody Ruggirello, a redshirt junior on the wrestling team, was the 2014 recipient of the Dr. James M. Shuart Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top male scholar-athlete. Cody is the third wrestler to earn the award, joining his brother, Lou (2009, 2011) and Steve Bonanno (2012).

A finance major, Cody has earned a 3.87 grade point average during his academic career at Hofstra. He has been a member of the Dean’s List six times and was named to the Provost’s List following the Fall 2012 semester. He has also been a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

On the mat, Cody complied a 26-12 record in 2013-14 and qualified for the NCAA Championships. He was 13-3 in dual matches, tying for team-high honors in dual wins. His 26 overall victories ranked third on the team. Cody also had a team-high 10 wins by fall.

Ranked 19th in the nation at 149 pounds, Cody placed fourth at the EIWA Championships and earned a bid to the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career. He won his first match of the tournament over Kevin Birmingham of Davidson.

The James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2013 – Joe Burg, Baseball
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 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.”

Cynthia Cheng, Golf

Cynthia Cheng, a senior on the Pride women’s golf team, was a recipient of the 2014 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award. Cynthia is the first women’s golfer to earn the award.

A four-year starter on the team, Cynthia competed in all 38 events during her career. During her 83 career rounds, she posted an 84.3 scoring average, five top 10 finishes and two top five finishes.

As one of two seniors on this season’s squad, Cynthia provided leadership to a lineup that usually started three freshmen. Off the course, she was a standout student who compiled a 3.85 grade point average as a dual major in computer science and mathematics. She was a National Golf Coaches Association Scholar-All-America selection and a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

Cynthia, a Sayville, New York, native, has been an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has taken part in numerous community service endeavors with the organization.

The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award
2013 – Taylor Albright, Lacrosse
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

David D’Errico, Baseball

Senior pitcher David D’Errico of the baseball team was a recipient of the 2014 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

A fifth-year senior on the Pride, David has been one of the teams top pitchers during his tenure and battled back from Tommy John surgery to help anchor the pitching staff in 2014.

David has won 15 games during his Hofstra tenure and is 2-3 this season with a stellar 3.45 earned run average. The 15 victories rank third all-time in program history. He began his career with three consecutive wins as a freshman and then led the team as a sophomore with five wins and 46 strikeouts. One of those wins was the biggest win in program history, as he allowed five hits and struck out four in a 5-0 win at 14th-ranked Miami. Coming back as the undisputed ace of the staff in 2012, David was sidelined by an elbow injury after five appearances and missed the rest of the Pride’s school record setting campaign.

After more than a year of rehabilitation, David made his return in 2013 and won three games. He was forced to reinvent himself as a pitcher due to his injury, becoming more of a finesse pitcher who relied on his defense than a strikeout pitcher. But at the same time, he maintained the same bulldog mentality that epitomized the Pride program.

David started opening night this season, but was forced to leave with an arm injury. He missed five weeks, but has returned to the starting rotation and has pitched well in his starts since the injury including wins at CAA preseason favorite UNCW and at league-leading William & Mary.

A native of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, David is majoring in psychology.

The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award

2013 – Stevie Mejia, Basketball
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

Hofstra Pride Community Service Award

Introduced this year, the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award seeks to recognize a male and female student-athlete based on their service to the community. Selection is based on the total number of community service projects/hours during an academic year as well as overall enthusiasm for community service involvement. Also taken into consideration was how proactive they were in planning projects and getting their teammates on board.

Jonel Boileau, Field Hockey

Jonel Boileau, a junior on the field hockey team, was an inaugural recipient of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award. Jonel took part in several community service events during 2013-14 and was instrumental in the planning and execution of several endeavors.

As a member of the field hockey team, Jonel took part in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game, wearing pink socks and accessories in support of breast cancer research. She volunteered at Hofstra’s annual blood drive as part of the Colonial Athletic Association’s Blood Challenge and helped organize team members into specific time shifts throughout the day. Her efforts helped the Pride set a new donation record in the CAA’s Blood Challenge.

During the fall Jonel helped organize her team for the annual Shake-A-Rake event, assisting in the cleanup of yards of elderly and disabled residents of the surrounding community. Jonel also took part in Hofstra Athletics’ annual food drive in partnership with Island Harvest and helped organize a schedule for staffing the collection tables at various events on campus.

She also organized a school supply collection drive with her teammates, filling two boxes that were donated to Jackson Main Elementary School in Hempstead. Jonel also helped raise funds for the Special Olympics by getting her team out for the annual Jail & Bail event held in the Hofstra Student Center.

A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, Jonel was an All-Mideast Region and All-CAA first team selection in 2013 after leading the Pride in scoring with career-highs of 13 goals, six assists and 32 points. She is majoring in international business.

Ari Richman, Tennis

Ari Richman, a junior on the men’s tennis team, was an inaugural recipient of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award. Ari was one of the most active student-athletes in participating in community service activities, taking part in numerous community service events during 2013-14 as well as assisting in the planning and execution of many events.

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Ari took part in both the fall and spring blood drives at Hofstra, volunteering at the check-in table and organizing team members in order to keep the table staffed. His efforts helped Hofstra establish a new school-best in the CAA Blood Challenge.

He also served as a volunteer at the Women’s Lacrosse Colleluori Classic in September, which raises money and awareness for the HEADstrong Foundation’s fight against blood cancer.

During the fall Ari helped organize his team for the annual Shake-A-Rake event, assisting in the cleanup of yards of elderly and disabled residents of the surrounding community. Ari also took part in Hofstra Athletics’ annual food drive in partnership with Island Harvest and helped organize collection schedules throughout the weeklong event.

With members of his team, Ari made four trips to Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Hempstead to assist community members in cleanup efforts. He also organized teammates and participated in the Polar Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics.

During Reading With Pride Week, Ari visited Jackson Main Elementary School in Hempstead and read to children in several classrooms. He also assisted in the running of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee-sponsored Let All The Children Play Foundation Clinic that was held on the Hofstra campus this past winter.

Ari, a mass media studies major with a minor in sociology, is an active member of SAAC and serves as the committee’s vice president this year. He plays first singles and first doubles on the tennis team and won five singles matches and nine doubles matches this past season.

Senior Speaker

The Senior Speaker program was introduced in 2005 as a way of having representatives from the graduating senior class convey the Hofstra student-athlete experience. The Department of Athletics feels that the message of the senior class is best delivered by individuals who are representative of the values and principles of what it means to be a Hofstra student-athlete, demonstrate a commitment to academic and athletic excellence, and have served as a leader on behalf of the Hofstra community.

Selected to represent the Class of 2014 were Alexandra Mezzanotte of the women’s lacrosse team and Chris Griebsch of the men’s soccer team. Chris was also the recipient of the 2014 Howdy Myers Award as Hofstra’s male athlete of the year.

Alexandra Mezzanotte, Lacrosse

Alexandra Mezzanotte, a senior on the women’s lacrosse team, served as one of two Senior Speakers at last night’s banquet.

A four-year member of the Pride, Alexandra has played in 69 games during her career with 34 starts. She has recorded 42 goals and 19 assists during her career. This season she has started all 18 games for the Pride and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 13 goals and three assists for 16 points.

An athletic training major, Alexandra has had the opportunity of working with her peers as a student athletic trainer. During her four years she has assisted Hofstra’s certified athletic training staff with the Pride field hockey, women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse teams. She also assisted with the Nassau Community College football program.

Alexandra, who is minoring in psychology, has also been a standout student. The Forest Hill, Maryland, native has been named to the Dean’s List six times and is a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

She is also actively involved in Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as president in 2013-14. She has been a SAAC representative from the women’s lacrosse team in each of the last three years. Through her involvement in SAAC as well as with the women’s lacrosse team, Alexandra has had the opportunity to participate in numerous community service initiatives including the annual Women’s Lacrosse Colleluori Classic that raises money for the HEADstrong Foundation, Surfer’s Healing and the American Cancer Society to name a few.

Senior Speaker

2013 – Maryann Miller, Women’s Lacrosse & Steve Bonanno, Wrestling
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

2013-14 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients
Baseball – Kenny Jackson
Men’s Basketball – Zeke Upshaw
Women’s Basketball – Anma Onyeuku
Men’s Cross Country – Daniel Rono
Women’s Cross Country – Kristin Mathis
Field Hockey – Kaitlyn De Turo
Men’s Golf – Jake Winn
Women’s Golf – Cynthia Cheng
Men’s Lacrosse – Drew Coholan
Women’s Lacrosse – Emily Corzel
Men’s Soccer – Tyler Botte
Women’s Soccer – Tara Kerns
Softball – Ashley Ainbinder
Men’s Tennis – Adrien Bailly
Women’s Tennis – No seniors
Volleyball – Sara Campolina
Wrestling – Luke Vaith

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