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Athletics Annual Report • 2016-17

A MESSAGE FROM THE INTERIM DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS ... The 2016-17 academic year was filled with success stories!

We launched women's lacrosse and eSports

teams, garnering positive attention from media including The New York Times, Newsday, ABC, CBS and News 12 Long Island.

The volleyball, women's basketball, softball,

women's lacrosse and both tennis teams reached

their NCAA tournaments, while the men's lacrosse team won the ECC regular-season and postseason titles.

We raised more than $26,096.78 on

money that will directly benefit our



Donor Matching Day in March,


154 student-athletes qualified for the Athletic Director's Fall Honor Roll by achieving at least a 3.2 GPA. Nine student-athletes had

perfect 4.0 GPAs, including women soccer's Elise Brune for the third straight semester.

We also held our inaugural First-Pitch Dinner to christen the baseball and softball seasons, matching the events we already hold for basketball and lacrosse.


CONTENTS 4 Women’s lacrosse 6 Men’s lacrosse 8 Men’s basketball 10 Women’s basketball 12 Volleyball 14 Women’s soccer 16 Men’s soccer 18 Baseball 20 Softball 22 Men’s and women’s tennis 24 Men’s and women’s cross country 26 eSports 28 Event photography 29 Leadership Forum 30 Battle of the Bears 31 Year-end banquet 32 All-ECC recipients

Cover: Erin Smith introduced before the inaugural home game in NYIT women’s lacrosse history 3

2016-17 Rewind

DEBUTANTS The inaugural season of women’s lacrosse at NYIT could not have been scripted much better. Buoyed by 14 former members of the defunct Dowling College program, the Bears came within one goal of earning the East Coast Conference regular-season title, peaked at No. 11 in the national coaches poll, produced an 11-game winning streak and earned an NCAA Tournament invitation.


Lacrosse 2017 Results (15-4, 7-1 ECC) FEBRUARY 25 Georgian Court 28 MERRIMACK


12-7 6-5


20-1 20-2 8-7 19-7 18-3 14-7 21-7

APRIL 1 BRIDGEPORT* 4 Mercy* 8 St. Thomas Aquinas* 14 Roberts Wesleyan* 19 MOLLOY* 22 Stonehill 26 QUEENS* 29 LIU Post*

W 17-3 W 13-11 W 16-3 W 19-8 W 11-8 W 13-12 (OT) W 20-0 L 12-11 (OT)

MAY 4 MERCY (ECC semfinal) 12 LIU Post (NCAA Tournament)


* East Coast Conference game


9-7 12-5

NYIT had stormed back from a five-goal second-half deficit to force the extra period. Milano, the team’s top goal scorer, fueled the furious comeback with four goals before suffering a season-ending knee injury late in regulation.

TAKING HOME HARDWARE Senior Erin Smith earned the ECC Defensive Player of the Year award, while eight of her teammates also received league honors.

The student-athletes’ story of transferring en masse to NYIT also generated significant positive media attention for the university, with profiles in The New York Times and Newsday as well as on WABC, WCBS and News 12 Long Island.

Joining Smith as first-team All-ECC were Meinecke, Milano, Znaniecki and Taylor Davide. Brooke Basso, Trisha Serras, Kelly McQuail and Young earned second-team All-ECC honors.

Other members of the team played women’s soccer at NYIT and joined a lacrosse team for the first time since high school to become two-sport athletes and ensure the Bears had enough players to compete during their inaugural season.

“I’m proud of Erin for earning this honor,” Handras said. “She is one of our anchors on defense, who has played consistently at a high level. Her efforts on the field have been an integral part of our success.”


Milano also earned CoSIDA Academic All-AmeriIn the first game can first-team honin program histoThe inaugural women’s lacrosse team in NYIT history after its home debut. ors, while Smith ry, the Bears won and Znaniecki at Georgian Court, 12-7, on Feb. 25. Katie Meinecke scored the first goal were named Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse in program history only 99 seconds into the game. Coaches Association second-team All-American and Alyssa Milano had six goals, Karie Znaniecki tallied first-team All-Region. three goals and three assists and Meinecke had two goals and three assists in the historic win. Lauren SISTER ACT Young had 13 saves. Smith had some extra motivation when she scored “There was a lot of anxiety, and expectations to do her lone goal of the season on April 26 against well,” said coach Kerri Handras, who also came over Queens, in what became a 20-0 rout on Senior Day. Smith’s sister Meaghan was the first-year coach of from Dowling. the Knights, who happened to be on the schedule as Said Milano: “It was awesome. We were all really the opponent at President’s Stadium. excited. We had a lot of Meaghan joined other family members in escorting high energy.” her sister onto the field during the Senior Day ceremony. The Bears steamrolled through East Coast Confer“To end up scoring the goal against her, I think that ence play, winning their Milano Meinecke first seven league games. Then, in a game between made her mad,” Smith said. teams unbeaten in the league, LIU Post topped the Alyssa Milano takes the first draw in Bears, 12-11, in overtime to earn the ECC title on the the first game in program history. final day of the regular season.


2016-17 Rewind

ECC CHAMPS! The NYIT men’s lacrosse team earned the East Coast Conference postseason championship for the first time since the launch of the tournament in 2014.


LACROSSE 2017 Results (14-3, 8-0 ECC) FEBRUARY 25 BENTLEY





W 9-8 (OT) W 17-7 W 13-11 W 21-7 L 9-8 W 13-9 L 9-7 W 16-11

MAY 3 LIU POST (ECC semifinal) 6 Mercy (ECC final at Molloy)

W 9-7 W 9-8 (OT)

* East Coast Conference game

Tom Hughes scored the equalizer with 4:19 remaining in regulation, then scored the winner with 20 seconds remaining in the first sudden-death overtime period as the Bears beat Mercy, 9-8, at LIU Post.

Unforunately, the Bears were not invited to the NCAA Tournament despite finishing with the No. 6 ranking in the nation. Since the ECC launched in 1997, when it was referred to as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference, it had never been deprived of a representative in the NCAA Tournament.

Hughes was named MVP.


The game-tying goal from Hughes late in regulation allowed him to become the 11th player in program history to reach the 100-career-goal plateau.

In addition to Kistinger and Hughes netting their 100th career goals, Alex Seltzer became the program’s all-time saves leader in 2017.

Hughes scored the game’s final three goals and finished with a game-high five goals, giving him 101 for his career. Teammate Will Kistinger, who reached that 100-goal milestone earlier this season, picked up assists on Hughes’ final two goals of regulation as the Bears overcame a late 8-6 deficit.

Seltzer’s 11th save of the game on April 8 against Tampa gave him 573 for his career, passing Matt Hunter, who had established the record from 2000 through 2003.

NYIT made a habit of late-game comebacks.

MARCH 3 Florida Southern 5 Rollins 8 Pace 11 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA* 18 Roberts Wesleyan* 25 Molloy*

10-7 8-7 13-7 25-4 15-11 9-6

“I honestly didn’t know, but it was a great feeling. I got hot in that fourth quarter. And that’s when you finish strong.”

Hunter helped lead the Bears to the second of their four Division II national championships during his senior season.

A week earlier in Dobbs Ferry in the regular-sea- “I’ve never paid any attention to statistics,” said son finale, the Bears completed an undefeated run Seltzer, a Plainview, N.Y., native. “It’s something I didn’t think about through the ECC when I was getting regular-season recruited here. But schedule and it’s an honor to be handed Mercy mentioned in the its first league same category as loss by rallying someone who won from a four-goal a national chamthird-quarter pionship for the deficit. NYIT then Bears.” needed to rally to defeat LIU Post in Seltzer finished The Bears celebrate their first ECC postseason title after beating Mercy in OT. the ECC semifinal with 645 saves. at President’s Stadium. Hughes scored the opening two goals of the Kistinger finished with 138 career goals, fifth in prosecond half in that game as the Bears turned a one- gram history. goal deficit into a lead in what became a 9-7 win. Kistinger was named ECC Offensive Player of the Hughes noted his late-season contributions have Year. Teammate Ian Prate, a junior, was honored as been more meaningful because he missed four ECC co-Defensive Player of the Year. Both also were early season games with a partially torn PCL and a named first-team All-Americans. bone-marrow bruise in his right knee. The Bears placed five student-athletes on the All“Coming off an early season injury that sat me out ECC’s first team: Matt Chanenchuk, George Schultz, for four games, it couldn’t have been a better clos- Kistinger, Joe Morhardt and Prate. ing to the season, especially winning on this field,” Senior Alex Seltzer became NYIT’s Hughes said.

all-time saves leader in 2017.

As for tallying his 100th career goal, Hughes added:



2016-17 Rewind

ENCORE PERFORMANCE Forward Jon Feiler had no shortage of accolades during the 2016-17 season. Feiler was named to the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association’s Division II All-Met first team. He also was honored as second-team All-East Coast Conference, second-team All-East Region by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and was named NYIT AthFeiler letics male athlete of the year at the May 7 year-end banquet.


Feiler led Division II nationally in rebounds per game (14.8) and double-doubles (22). The rebounding average was more than two per game ahead of runner-ups Kadarius Ash of Lane and Matt Bonds of Saint Michael’s (12.4 apiece).

l l a b t e k s a b 2016-17 Results (8-18, 6-12 ECC)

NOVEMBER 12 Wilmington (Del.) (at LIU Post) L 75-70 13 USciences (at LIU Post) W 68-62 14 Fordham L 101-75 27 Philadelphia L 69-56 30 BRIDGEPORT* L 97-78 DECEMBER 3 QUEENS* 10 St. Thomas Aquinas* 14 Daemen* 17 LIU Post* 19 Dominican (N.Y.) 30 Adelphi

W 83-80 L 107-88 L 88-74 L 80-71 W 95-89 L 101-82

JANUARY 2 St. Michael’s 4 MOLLOY* 7 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA* 14 Roberts Wesleyan* 18 MERCY* 21 Queens* 25 Bridgeport* 28 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS*


FEBRUARY 4 LIU POST* 8 DAEMEN* 11 District of Columbia* 15 Molloy* 18 ROBERTS WESLEYAN* 25 Mercy*

L 94-83 L 80-72 L 108-89 L 88-80 W 102-88 W 89-71

* East Coast Conference game

95-85 76-73 71-69 85-75 78-75 72-70 98-77 95-74

Feiler, who returned for an additional season as a graduate student after suffering an ACL tear four games into the 2015-16 season, now expects to pursue a professional career in Europe. He earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies in May 2016.

After receiving the news from his father, Kieran thought about the successful father-son combinations around college basketball, including the recent Greg and Doug McDermott pairing at Creighton. Kieran averaged 12.8 points per game for the Bears as a sophomore during the 2016-17 season, his first being coached by his father at NYIT. The best has yet to come too, with an aggressive schedule next season that includes multiple Division I opponents. “Kieran is one of the most exciting players I’ve ever coached,” Coach Hamilton said. “If you watch him play, he gives it everything he has every moment he’s on the floor. You never have to worry about getting his best, because he’s always trying very hard. I treat him like every other player. “As a matter of fact, I treat every other player like they’re my sons.” Kieran suggested the best part of playing for his father is that the elder Hamilton gets to share in his achievements. They keep it a business relationship on the court, though.

FATHER-SON DUO NYIT guard Kieran Hamilton was driving home from working a basketball camp at Army West Point during the summer of 2016 when he received a call from his father.

Onyekachi Nzerem averaged 8.6 ppg in 2016-17.

“I’m you’re coach now,” Kevin Hamilton told Kieran. Said Kieran: “We shared a laugh and said, ‘Let’s get to work.’” When NYIT hired its new men’s basketball coach for the 2016-17 season, it also produced a family reunion — pairing the father-son duo as coach and player, as had been the case during Kieran’s prep days at Holy Cross High School in Queens and in AAU play. “I was in shock, but it was a good feeling,” Kieran said. “I was happy about it. He brings out the best in me.” Said Coach Hamilton: “I asked my wife’s permission


first. And then I asked him how he felt about it. Honestly, if it was something that he did not feel positive about, I wouldn’t have done it.”

until after the season.”

“I call him, ‘Coach,’” Kieran said. “I try to avoid the word, ‘Dad,’

The two laugh now about the process when Coach Hamiton was interviewing with NYIT. “He did not know that I was having discussions with NYIT,” Coach Hamilton said. “When it got to the point of me deciding whether I wanted to do this, certainly he and my wife were two people I wanted to speak to. Kieran has played for me all his life. I think it’s been a good experience, especially because I know how to separate being a coach and dad. It’s worked out pretty well. I’m happy to be here.”

Jon Feiler led Division II in rebounds per game and double-doubles.


2016-17 Rewind

WELCOME, COACH Kenny Parham guided the women’s basketball team to an 18-12 record and its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance in his first season at the helm. He had been named the seventh head coach in program history in July 2016. Parham previously led the St. Anthony’s varsity girls from obscurity to national prominence, winning three New York State Catholic titles and four NSCHSAA Long Island championships. Under Parham’s direction, St. Anthony’s ended a 23-year drought by capturing the program’s first state championship since 1987.



l l a b t e k s a b

The Bears used a strong performance in the East Coast Conference playoffs as the fifth seed to propel themselves back into the NCAA Tournament as an atlarge selection.

2016-17 Results (18-12, 10-8 ECC) NOVEMBER 11 Adelphi (ECC/NE-10 Challenge) 12 Pace (ECC/NE-10 Challenge) 15 CONCORDIA 16 Dominican (Dominican tourney) 20 Felician (Dominican tourney) 23 LIU Post* 26 BENTLEY 30 BRIDGEPORT*


73-59 64-59 74-59 76-75 65-47 62-57 72-60 82-73

DECEMBER 3 QUEENS* 8 GOLDEY-BEACOM 10 St. Thomas Aquinas* 14 Daemen* 31 Saint Anselm


72-61 70-67 68-54 64-63 56-50

JANUARY 4 MOLLOY* 7 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA* 14 Roberts Wesleyan* 18 MERCY* 21 Queens* 25 Bridgeport* 28 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS*


64-61 66-44 84-58 79-58 62-54 70-52 75-51

FEBRUARY 4 LIU POST* 8 DAEMEN* 11 District of Columbia* 15 Molloy* 18 ROBERTS WESLEYAN* 25 Mercy*


59-53 85-74 86-83 74-68 88-85 62-35

MARCH 1 Roberts Wesleyan (ECC playoff) 4 Queens (ECC semifinal) 5 Molloy (ECC final) 10 Adelphi (NCAA Tournament)


80-69 76-71 56-53 64-47

* East Coast Conference game


First, NYIT won an opening-round ECC playoff game at fourth-seeded Roberts Wesleyan. The victory marked the program’s first-ever win in six trips to the Rochester school. The Bears then beat top-seeded Queens in the semifinals behind Nina Vukosavljevic’s 30 points, snapping the Knights’ 16-game winning streak. Although NYIT lost in the ECC finals to Molloy, the impressive showing — as well as regular-season wins against Adelphi and Bentley — earned the Bears an NCAA Tournament invite. Vukosavljevic and Meg Knollmeyer were named to the ECC All-Tournament team for their performances during the league playoffs. NYIT lost its opening-round game in the NCAA East Regional to host and top-seeded Adelphi, 64-47. Knollmeyer continued to display her promise in the loss, though, netting 17 points.

1,000-POINT CLUB A pair of seniors reached the 1,000-point milestone during the 2016-17 season. First, Shannon Duer hit the mark during a Nov. 20 game against Felician. Eight games later, Shanice Allen also reached that Duer Allen plateau, on Dec. 31 against Saint Anselm. The Bears nearly had a third player join them in that exclusive club. However, Vukosavljevic — a first-team

All-ECC honoree and ECAC All-Star — finished the season at 998 points and will have to wait until next season’s opener to join Duer and Allen. Unfortunately, Duer suffered a season-ending torn ACL on Dec. 3 against Queens.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR Knollmeyer earned ECC and ECAC Rookie of the Year honors for her stellar freshman campaign. She also joined Allen as a third-team All-ECC selection. Knollmeyer averaged 14.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. The rebounding mark led Division II freshmen nationally, 0.7 ahead of runner-up Morgan Greene of Cal State East Bay. Knollmeyer Knollmeyer also led Division II freshmen with 18 double-doubles. She became the focal point of the offense after Duer suffered the knee injury. The freshman from Hampton, N.H., produced a career-high 23 rebounds as NYIT won its opening-round ECC playoff game at Roberts Wesleyan. Knollmeyer then had a huge offensive rebound and sank two free throws with 27 seconds remaining to restore a one-point lead in an eventual 76-71 win against Queens the following round. In her first NCAA Tournament game, Knollmeyer had team highs in scoring (matching Vukosavljevic’s 17-point output) and rebounds (12).

TEAM IMPACT The NYIT women’s basketball team added a new member at the start of its 2016-17 campaign. With help from Team Impact — a Boston-based nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for children facing chronic illnesses — Giovanna Veteri, or Gigi, as she likes to be called, joined the team at a special “Draft Day” held by the athletic department in November. Veteri was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 4, and managing the disorder is never easy. As an official member of the roster, Veteri warms up with the team on game days and often has inspiring words during halftime. She also was presented her own personal locker, NYIT backpack, practice suit and travel gear.

Julie Williams goes airborne while driving during the NCAA tourney loss.


2016-17 Rewind

HISTORIC SEASON How’s this for an impressive season? NYIT volleyball earned its first East Coast Conference title in 26 years, coach Gail Wasmus claimed her 600th career victory, the Bears set a program record for wins with 29 and NYIT earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s East Region. NYIT claimed it first volleyball league title since 1990 on Nov. 19 with a four-set win against host Daemen in the ECC finals at Lumsden Gymnasium in Buffalo. Allison Fowler, a junior mechanical-engineering major from Centennial, Colo., was named ECC Tournament MVP. Fowler finished the championship match with 35 assists, 18 digs and five block assists.

l l a b y e l l vo 2016 Results (29-6, 11-3 ECC)

SEPTEMBER 2 POST W AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL W 3 SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT ST. W BLOOMFIELD W 9 S. New Hampshire (GCU Invitational) W Georgian Court (GCU Invitational) W 10 Bentley (GCU Invitational) W Caldwell (GCU Invitational) W 13 Mercy* W 16 Franklin Pierce W 17 Stonehill L 20 PACE L 22 CONCORDIA (NY) W 28 NEW HAVEN W 30 Roberts Wesleyan* W

3-2 3-0 3-1 3-0 3-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-2 3-1 3-2 3-0 3-2 3-2

OCTOBER 1 Daeman* W 4 LIU POST* W 8 Molloy* W Saint Rose (at Molloy) W 11 QUEENS* W 13 Bridgeport* L 27 ADELPHI W 29 ROBERTS WESLEYAN* W 30 DAEMEN* W SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE W

3-2 3-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-2 3-1 3-0 3-0 3-0

NOVEMBER 1 LIU Post* 3 MOLLOY* 5 MERCY* DOMINICAN (NY) 8 Queens* 10 BRIDGEPORT* 18 Bridgeport (ECC semifinal) 19 Daeman (ECC final)

3-0 3-0 3-0 3-0 3-2 3-1 3-1 3-1


DECEMBER 1 Adelphi (NCAA Tournament) W 3-1 2 American Inter. (NCAA Tournament) L 3-1 * East Coast Conference game


Tiffany Verni, a transfer from Dowling, Fowler had 14 kills and Karolina Moderova had 13 kills in the 25-23, 25-21, 24-26, 25-20 win against the host Wildcats. The Bears overcame a five-point deficit in the opening set to establish the tone in the finals.

as the 11th-most winningest active coach in Division II volleyball. Among the Bears’ 29 wins in 2016, 17 came in straight sets.

EARNING HARDWARE The Bears dominated the ECC postseason awards, with four NYIT student-athletes landing among the league’s first-team all-conference honorees — Fowler, Rachel Guida, Moderova Guida Moderova and Verni. Fowler also claimed her second straight Setter of the Year honor from the league. The awards kept coming, too. Fowler and Moderova claimed Division II honorable mention All-America recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Fowler, Guida and Moderova had all earned spots on the AVCA’s East Region team.

Wasmus’ 600th victory came against Adelphi on Dec. 1, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Finally, the Division II Conference Commissioners It was with that same victory that the Bears also Association named Guida and Fowler to its All-East Region first team. achieved a program record for Guida ranked wins in a single fourth nationally season with No. in Division II with 29, topping the 154 total blocks previous record and 20th with set in 2003 and 1.20 blocks per repeated in 2015. set. Moderova Back in ‘03, NYIT ranked 16th with went 28-7 under 54 service aces. Wasmus and Verni was 23rd in The volleyball team celebrates earning its first league volleyball title in 26 years. qualified for the total kills with 480 NCAA Tournament Regional. Wasmus earned ECC Coach of the Year hon- and 33rd in total attacks with 1,296. ors for her contribution in 2015. Unfortunately, after topping Adelphi in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in December, the top-seeded Bears lost the following day to American International, the eventual East Region champion, to end an accomplishment-filled season. Under Wasmus’ leadership, the volleyball program has now posted 15 seasons of 20-plus wins. Wasmus boasts a 600-401 career record as the head volleyball coach at NYIT, good for a .599 winning percentage. She opened the 2016-17 academic year


Moderova, a business marketing major from Zalesie, Slovakia, picked up her 1,000th career kill on Nov. 3, during a three-set win against Molloy. The milestone kill for the junior outside hitter came in the second set en route to a 25-17, 25-10, 33-31 victory.

Tiffany Verni was one of volleyball’s four first-team All-ECC selections.


2016-17 Rewind

WELCOME, COACH NYIT women’s soccer showed considerable improvement in it first season under head coach Rachel Reeves, producing a 6-7 overall record and 3-5 mark in the East Coast Conference. Reeves arrived from Wagner College, where she spent two seasons as an assistant coach. In that role, the Huntington, N.Y., native was responsible for designing practice programs and pregame warmus and also spearheaded off-campus recruiting. Reeves previously had been a defender for the Seahawks. She helped the team in 2013 to the winningest season in program history (11-5-2). She was a four-year letterwinner at Wagner and captained the team as a senior.



Reeves earned a degree in business administration from Wagner.

2016 Results (6-7, 3-5 ECC) SEPTEMBER 1 Post 3 NEW HAVEN 14 Bloomfield 20 Lincoln (Pa.) 24 MOLLOY* 26 CALDWELL 28 Mercy*

OCTOBER 8 BRIDGEPORT* 14 Daeman* 16 Roberts Wesleyan* 19 St. Thomas Aquinas* 23 Queens* 29 LIU POST* * East Coast Conference game


3-1 2-1 5-1 8-1 4-1 2-1 4-1 2-0 1-0 2-0 5-1 3-0 3-0

LIONS TO BEARS When Dowling College ceased operations after the 2015-16 academic year, the NYIT women’s soccer program was bolstered by the addition of six student-athletes who transferred from that program. Jessie Sabal, a sophomore goalkeeper from Valley Stream, started all 13 games for the Bears in her first season in Old Westbury. She produced a 1.75 GAA, 52 saves and a .703 save percentage.

Christina Cottone, a Davide Cottone senior midfielder from Levittown, appeared in every game for the Bears. She scored three goals. Cottone had a .250 shooting percentage. Kristin Muir, a junior defender from Massapequa Park, contributed three assists while participating in all 13 matches.

PLAYER OF WEEK Dina Simonian earned ECC co-Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 24. The junior from Central Islip led the Bears in scoring with eight goals and three assists. Simonian contributed nine points that week. She had a hat trick in the first half against St. Thomas Aquinas. Later that week she added another goal in a 3-0 win against Queens.

LOOK AHEAD Despite 11 seniors graduating, Reeves enters the 2017 season with strong recruiting class.

Rachel Reeves completed her first season at the helm of the NYIT women’s soccer team.

Felicia Mulholland, a junior from Brockton, Mass., appeared in 11 games. Kim Spiciarich, a West Babylon native, transferred her intensity from Dowling during her senior year. A forward, Spiciarich started all 13 games. She contributed five goals and two assists and had a .145 shooting percentage.

The Bears will open on Sept. 1 at Stonehill College.

The home opener is Sept. 14 against Georgian Court. Other home matches: Mercy (Sept. 23), Bloomfield (Sept. 27), Daemen (Sept. 30), Caldwell (Oct. 2), Holy Family (Oct. 12), St. Thomas Aquinas (Oct. 14) and Queens (Oct. 21). The returnees include Simonian (19 points in 2016) and Davide (12 points) as well as Sabal in goal.


Taylor Davide, a senior forward from West Babylon, also started 13 games. Davide tallied four goals and four assists. Two of the goals were game-winners: against Post in the season opener and Bloomfield


on Sept. 14. She completed the season with a .138 shooting percentage. Davide also contributed to the inaugural season of women’s lacrosse at NYIT, earning first-team All-ECC honors and being named thirdteam All-Region by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association.

Dina Simonian led the women’s soccer team with eight goals.


2016-17 Rewind


assists last season.

The NYIT men’s soccer team’s 2016 season ended in heartbreaking fashion.

Rico, a goalkeeper, will enter his senior season with a career 1.11 GAA. That’s within striking distance of the program record of 1.05, established by Francisco Banuelos during the 2005 and ‘06 seasons.

With the match scoreless, penalty kicks were required on Nov. 3 to determine the result between second-seeded Molloy and third-seeded NYIT in the East Coast Conference men’s soccer semifinal in Rockville Centre. When all was said and done, the Lions held the upper hand, claiming a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks. The Bears concluded the 2016 campaign with a 10-44 overall record. They posted a 5-2-2 mark in the ECC under head coach Carlos Delcid in his 16th season at the helm of the program.




2016 Results (10-4-4, 5-2-2 ECC)

SEPTEMBER 1 BLOOMFIELD W 3-1 3 Wilmington (Del.) L 3-2 7 Chestnut Hill W 1-0 (OT) 10 AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL W 3-0 14 WEST CHESTER T 0-0 17 POST W 2-0 21 Seton Hill L 5-2 24 MOLLOY* L 1-0 28 Mercy* W 3-1 OCTOBER 1 District of Columbia* 5 BLOOMSBURG 8 BRIDGEPORT* 14 Daeman* 16 Roberts Wesleyan* 19 St. Thomas Aquinas* 23 Queens* 29 LIU POST*


3-0 1-0 2-2 4-0 2-0 2-2 4-3 1-0

NOVEMBER 3 Molloy (ECC semifinal)



* East Coast Conference game

NYIT men’s soccer opens its 2017 season on Aug. 31 with a home match against Concordia. The schedule also features home matches against Chestnut Hill (Sept. 6), Caldwell (Sept. 11), Goldey-Beacom (Sept. 21), Mercy (Sept. 23), Wilmington-Delaware (Sept. 28), Daemen (Sept. 30), St. Thomas Aquinas (Oct. 14), Nyack (Oct. 16) and Queens (Oct. 21).

As announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in December, Wilson and Rico Wilson Babar also earned inclusion on the All-Region third team for their efforts in 2016-17. Wilson and Rico are playing for the Long Island Rough Riders of the Premier Development League during the summer of 2017. Their home games are played at St. Anthony’s High School. The Bears also should get an infusion in 2017 from players injured last season. John Camponeschi and Jason Scott both sat out the full fall slate in 2016 with knee issues, while Carlos Coto was limited to six games because of a toe issue.

Camponeschi participated in spring games. He had netted In May 2017, the Martin Sundell led the Bears with eight goals in 2016. the game-winner Bears graduated Ben Wilson, a first-team All-East Coast Conference against Queens as a sophomore in an ECC semifinal selection and four-year contributor in the midfield. match on Nov. 4, 2015. Still, NYIT returns a talented squad. NYIT has a talented incoming freshman class for Second-team All-ECC selections Martin Sundell and 2017 to bolster Delcid’s squad. The signees include Randy Gomez (Bayshore, N.Y.), Jonathan Koenig Dan Babar and third(Fayetteville, N.C.), Kevin Martinez (Bayshore, N.Y.), team All-ECC selections Adam Raso (Islip, N.Y.), Victor Sanchez (Orihuela, Krishen Patel and JonaSpain) and Justin Quintero (Morristown, N.J.). than Rico highlight the returnees. Babar


Sundell led the Bears with eight goals, including three game-winners, while Patel had a team-high 17 points on six goals and five


Rico also has 13 career shutouts. The program record of 17 is shared by Liam Waddy (2011-14) and Matt Burke (2000-03).

Goalkeeper Jonathan Rico has a career 1.11 GAA.


2016-17 Rewind

BASEBALL TO JOIN ECC The NYIT baseball team will move to Division II in 2017-18, joining the East Coast Conference and aligning it with the university’s 12 other varsity sports. The baseball program operated as a Division I independent for the past four seasons, since the Great West Conference dissolved. That league had spanned programs from New York to California. The move to Division II and the ECC will maximize the baseball program’s competitiveness. As an independent, the Bears’ season annually ended when the regular-season schedule is complete. Independent status also prevented competing for conference titles, and largely deprived student-athletes of individual honors.

baseball 2017 Results (5-36-1) FEBRUARY 17 Arkansas State 18 Arkansas State 19 Arkansas State 24 SACRED HEART 25 SACRED HEART

L 6-0 L 11-5, L 5-2 L 13-5 W 4-3, L 6-0 L 6-2

MARCH 7 Stony Brook 8 Hofstra 9 ALBANY 17 Navy 18 Navy 19 Navy 21 HOFSTRA 24 SIENA 25 SIENA 29 IONA

L 7-2 L 14-3 L 8-1, W 3-0 L 10-5 L 15-3, L 12-0 L 10-2 L 6-5 L 5-3 L 6-0, T 5-5 L 9-1

APRIL 1 WAGNER 5 LEHIGH 7 Georgetown 8 Georgetown 9 Georgetown 11 Iona 12 FAIRFIELD 18 St. John’s 19 Army West Point 22 Northeastern 23 Northeastern 26 LIU Brooklyn 30 Monmouth

L 5-0, L 4-0 W 6-4 L 6-4 L 9-0 L 13-3 L 13-4 L 8-2 L 13-8 L 8-3 L 12-3, L 11-0 L 16-7, L 8-3 L 9-5 L 10-4, L 7-1


L 11-8 L 4-0, W 4-3 W 10-7, L 6-2


NYIT actively searched for a Division I league — even considering conferences outside the geographic region. However, conferences were reluctant to add a single-sport associate member that could earn the league’s lone automatic bid for an NCAA Regional. The baseball program originated in 1971 as a Division II team and last competed at that level in 1989. It had been grandfathered from the NCAA requirement that all of a university program’s offerings operate at the same division level.

Joannou interned for the campaign of Donald Trump from the summer of 2016 through the election. He then joined the transition team and was offered a job in the White House. A three-year starter for the Bears, Joannou gave up his senior season to work in the West Wing. But because he was taking NYIT classes remotely as a full-time student in order to graduate on time with his classmates in May 2017, he remained eligible for college baseball. And with the Bears playing not far from the White House, Malvagna invited Joannou to dust off his cleats and glove. “It worked out great, and I’m lucky that the coaches let me suit up and get three at-bats,” Joannou said.

MR. 300 Louis Mele completed the 2017 season with a .341 average. He posted a four-year career average of .301, with 17 homers and 98 RBIs in 568 at-bats. “To compete at this level and put up good numbers, it makes me happy,” Mele said.

BROTHERLY LOVE For the first time in their baseball careers, brothers Jeffrey Tabares and Kevin Tabares were teammates in 2017. Separated by three years age-wise, Jeffrey graduated from high school early and the brothers never overlapped as prep players in Tampa, or at any other level.

“I’m on board with it. I think it’s the best thing for the program,” coach Bob MalThe brothers even Ben McNeill is greeted at the plate after scoring against Hofstra on March 21. vagna said. “It got to serve as batwas a real challenge and a struggle trying to do what we do. So I terymates on a handful of occasions with the Bears, beginning with a Feb. 18 game at Arkansas State, think this is the right move for us.” during the season’s opening weekend. Jeffrey was a senior catcher. Kevin was a freshman right-handed SPECIAL PINCH HIT pitcher and logged an inning in relief that day. White House staff assistant Tom Joannou awoke sore on April 9 after playing a day earlier in his first “It was just surreal,” Jeffrey recalled. “I remember college baseball game of the season. Still, Malvag- when he first went to the mound and I was just lookna asked Joannou if he wanted a chance to pinch ing at him and looking at the whole field. I was like, hit in the ninth inning in the series finale against ‘Is this really happening right now?’” Georgetown at Shirley Povich Field. Joannou accepted, then delivered an opposite-field single over first Tom Joannou (right) reacts after base with two outs in the ninth inning of a 13-3 loss pinch-hit single at Georgetown. to the Hoyas.


2016-17 Rewind

DANCING AGAIN NYIT Athletics had a banner spring season. That success included the softball team reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Led by coach Steve Christianson, the Bears closed the regular season by winning 11 of their final 14 games. NYIT then knocked off Molloy in the East Coast Conference Tournament opener to further impress the NCAA selection committee. The Bears ultimately earned the seventh seed and a rematch with second-seeded Molloy in the NCAA opener. “We’ve been on the outside looking in for quite a few years,” Christianson said. “It’s nice to finally be in.”

SOFTBALL 2017 Results (25-20, 14-10 ECC)

MARCH 3 Saint Rose (at Clermont, Fla.) W 5-0, W 10-1 4 Felician (at Clermont, Fla.) L 4-2, L 2-0 5 Le Moyne (at Clermont, Fla.) L 3-1, W 9-7 6 Notre Dame (Ohio) (at Clermont, Fla.) W 1-0 6 Quincy (at Clermont, Fla.) L 5-1 9 Adelphi L 14-0, W 7-6 24 New Haven L 7-3, W 5-4 29 MOLLOY* W 6-1, L 2-1 APRIL 2 St. Thomas Aquinas* L 4-0, L 4-2 5 LIU POST* L 5-2, W 5-1 8 MERCY* W 5-4, L 5-3 9 Bridgeport* W 11-9 (8), W 2-1 11 QUEENS* W 3-0, L 4-3 13 Molloy* W 3-0, L 2-1 15 Chestnut Hill W 9-0, W 9-0 18 LIU Post* W 3-0, W 3-2 20 PACE W 2-0, W 3-1 23 Mercy* L 5-2, L 1-0 24 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS* W 3-2, W 3-2 28 Queens* L 2-1, W 1-0 29 BRIDGEPORT* W 4-3, W 5-4 (8) MAY 4 Molloy (ECC Tournament) 6 Mercy (ECC Tournament) 6 LIU Post (ECC Tournament) 11 Molloy (NCAA Tournament) 12 Merrimack (ECC Tournament) * East Coast Conference game

W 3-0 L 3-2 (8) L 6-2 L 2-1 L 3-1

The stay in the tournament, unfortunately, was shortlived as host Molloy and then Merrimack handed the Bears defeats in the double-elimination subregional in Rockville Centre. The ouster ended the distinguished careers of four seniors: right-handed pitcher Laura McLaughlin, shortstop Tiffany McCracken, catcher Madison Smith and desigated player Josie Santagata. “It didn’t finish the way we wanted to, but we were one of 64 teams to make the tournament,” Christianson said. “It’s a big deal. It’s not an easy thing.”

McLaughlin also finished second in the league with 133 strikeouts. She produced an 18-9 record with two saves, seven shutouts and 22 complete games in 174 2/3 innings. Most impressive of all, McLaughlin produced a streak without allowing an earned run of 42 2/3 innings, which spanned 10 regular-season appearances. Opponents scored only two unearned runs against McLaughlin during that stretch.

AWARD WINNERS McLaughlin and McCracken earned first-team All-ECC honors, while Smith and second baseman Kaitlyn Lanksbury received second-team recognition from the league. McCracken hit .359 with 16 homers and 65 RBIs in 245 at-bats during her two-year NYIT career.


Smith hit .357 with five homers and 47 RBIs in 294 at-bats over two seasons at NYIT. Lanksbury batted .308 with a teamhigh-matching nine homers and 22 RBIs in 2017.

McLaughlin continued to clean up After addressing on awards into the entire team the offseason. She following the was selected NYIT season-ending deAthletics co-senior Madison Smith hit .357 during her two-year NYIT career. feat, Christianson woman athlete of separately gathyear, first-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conferered the seniors for an emotional farewell. ence and Division II Conference Commissioners As“It was a thank you for everything they’ve given us sociation All-East Region second team. — their hard work and dedication,” Christianson said. “... We struggled at the beginning of the season. We “My coach and teammates have high expectations had some quality wins, and some quality losses in of me,” McLaughlin said. “So I know when I go out there as well. We had a meeting as a team and had there, I need to hit my spots and pitch with high insome issues, and the seniors really took charge at tensity. I’ve been feeling confident about my pitchthat point and let bygones be bygones. The team ing.” started to jell at that point.”

UNTOUCHABLE McLaughlin dominated during the 2017 season en route to posting a 1.48 ERA, which led the ECC. Only


Bemmie Eustance in 1984 had a better single-season ERA in program history (1.33).

Laura McLaughlin finished her NYIT career with a 1.66 ERA.


2016-17 Rewind

SWEET! The NYIT tennis teams continued their remarkable string of success, each reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Championships in 2017. The women had an undefeated run through their regular season, posting a 15-0 record, and earned another East Coast Conference title. They then topped Adelphi, 5-2, at Stonehill College in Massachusetts to advance to the final rounds in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The men had a more challenging road. After falling to Queens in the ECC finals to snap a four-year run as league champions, the Bears were seeded third in the East Region and sent to second-seeded Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia for their opening two NCAA Championships matches.



9-0 9-0 9-0 8-1 9-0 7-2 9-0

OCTOBER 21 District of Columbia* 23 Daemen* 24 Queens* 28 District of Columbia (ECC semifinal) 29 Queens (ECC final)


8-1 9-0 8-1 5-1 5-0


W 6-3 W 9-0

APRIL 13 Goldey-Beacom

W 5-4

MAY 2 Adelphi (NCAA East Region) W 5-2 10 Southeastern Okla. (NCAA Sweet 16) L 5-2

2016-17 Men (13-6, 4-1 ECC) OCTOBER 5 Fairleigh Dickinson

L 5-0


W 8-1 W 8-1



7-2 6-3 7-2 6-3 6-3

APRIL 1 DAEMEN* W 5 Queens* L 8 St. Thomas Aquinas* W 10 CALDWELL W 14 District of Columbia* W 15 Bluefield State L 21 District of Columbia (ECC semifinal) W 22 Queens (ECC final) L 29 District of Columbia (NCAA East Region) W 30 Chestnut Hill (NCAA East Region) W

7-2 8-1 7-2 9-0 6-3 6-3 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-2

MAY 9 Hawaii Pacific (NCAA Sweet 16) * East Coast Conference match


L 5-1

On the eve of the regular season, head coach Jason Pasion departed for the same role with Hofstra University. Assistant coach Rich Bustamante, who ascended to the head role, then dealt with a health issue, resulting in the student-athletes leading themselves to some extent. NYIT officially added Kassimir as an assistant coach in March. A former instructor at the New England Tennis Camp, Kassimir had played at NYIT before it was recognized as a varsity sport. He then finished his collegiate career playing two years for Rochester Institute of Technology.

LEAGUE HONORS Both teams had strong showings in the postseason honors from the league.

Buoyed by the return of Jorge Gonzales Soler, who sat out spring competition with an injury, NYIT topped District of Columbia, then host Chestnut Hill to advance to the Sweet 16.

For the women, Lena Dimmer was named ECC Player of the Year, while Karolina Pondusova was named Rookie of the Year.

The men’s and women’s seasons ended upon reaching Florida. The women fell to Southeastern Oklahoma 5-2, while the men fell to Hawaii Pacific 5-1.

Both student-athletes, as well as teammates Melanie Benyadi and Gabriela Siembab, earned first-team All-ECC honors.

“They all played hard, stayed focused and fought to the last point,” assistant coach Owen Kassimir said after the women were handed their only loss of the entire 2016-17 academic year to end the season.



For the men, No. 1 singles player Rafal Charkiewicz was edged for ECC Player of the Year. He nonetheless was a first-team All-ECC selection. Karolina Pondusova earned ECC Rookie of the Year honors.

Said Kassimir about the men’s performance in their final match against Hawaii Pacific: “They gave it their all to the end, and the score doesn’t reflect the heart and soul that went into the match. After the match, the Hawaii Pacific coach mentioned to me that they certainly were not expecting the fight they had today. In the end, I am very proud of the men.”

ond-team All-ECC recognition.

Doubles partner Rares Ispas claimed sec-

Also recognized: Francisco Caldas was named freshman male athlete of the year at the annual NYIT Athletics banquet that concluded the acaCharkiewicz demic year.


OVERCOMING OBSTACLES A credit to their perseverance, both teams had to overcome a big obstacle early in the academic year

Jorge Gonzales Soler celebrates during NCAAs in Philly.


2016-17 Rewind

NICE TRIBUTE! How much did senior and three-year captain Tom Ruppel mean to the NYIT cross country program? At the annual NYIT Athletics year-end banquet, coach Lenroy Raffington offered a remarkable, heartfelt tribute that ended with the coach and runner embracing and a resounding cheer from onlookers inside Recreation Hall. “This young man is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met,” Raffington told the crowd. “His desire to be successful goes beyond my imagination. He is never satisfied with his performance.

Y R T N U O C S CROS 2016 Results SEPTEMBER 1 St. Joseph’s Invitational 10 Fordham Fiasco 17 NYIT INVITATIONAL 25 York College Invitational

M 3/4 M 8/12 W 4/11 M 2/4 W 2/4 M 2/22

OCTOBER 8 Highlander Challenge 16 St. John’s Fall Festival 22 ECC Championships

M 4/21 W 8/20 M 1/4 W 1/3 M 5/8 W 5/9

NOVEMBER 8 NCAA East Regional Champ. M 21/23 W 23/28

“Despite how good and how appreciative I am of his performance, it’s never good enough for Tom. He always wants to do more. He’ll be the first one to show up for practice. He will be the last one to leave. He always has the competitive edge which I’m looking for in athletes.” Then, addressing Ruppel directly, Raffington added: “Tom, from the bottom of my heart, I’m going to miss you. I’m really going to miss you.” Overcome by emotion, Raffington paused. Ruppel then approached him. Ruppel’s leadership extended beyond cross country courses. He served as vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and appeared on the Athletic Director’s academic honor roll.

Also closing out their careers in the Bears uniform: Vichinsky Elien, a one-year member after transferring from Dowling College. He placed 116th. And Tyler Mack, who followed in 128th with a time of 36:59.5. For the women, the highest-finishing Bear was Irene Chepleting. She placed 33rd out of a field of 191 runners. Chepleting, like Ruppel a second-team All-ECC selection, posted a time of 23:08.3, with a 6:12 mile pace. Senior Sarah Jerotich and graduate student Dina Ragab concluded their seasons nearly a second apart, finishing 123rd and 124th, respectively.

SECOND CAREER Ragab proved the biggest surprise for the cross country program in 2016.

Dina Ragab picked up cross country after a distinguished NYIT basketball career.

As a senior, Ruppel was named second-team all-East Coast Conference. He also earned his first career cross-country victory, finished in the top 10 in each race, earned ECC runner of the week honors and had a career-best finish at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on Nov. 5 . The NYIT cross country programs officially concluded the 2016 fall season with an appearance in the regional championships at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds in New Hampshire. The men’s team finished in 21st place out of a total of 23 teams while the women’s team placed 23rd out of 28 schools at the meet.


On the men’s side, the first to cross for the Bears was Ruppel, who completed the 10K event in 34:28.1, good for 72nd out of 169 competitors. Ruppel concluded his career with a final mile pace of 5:32.8.

After four years as a basketball player at NYIT and exhausting her eligibility, Ragab joined the cross country team for one season as a graduate student. She excelled en route to becoming the women’s squad’s No. 2 performer.

“Dina improved in each competition and destroys her own personal best record each time,” Raffington said. As a basketball player, Ragab’s senior season in 2015-16 was one for the record books. She posted the fifth-best scoring average in program history at 16.8 ppg. She ranked eighth in assists in a single season with 90 and seventh in field-goal percentage at .467.

Tom Ruppel earned second-team All-ECC honors.


CYBEAR boot up Elieser Duran loved video games for most of his life, so he fellow officers Sophia Ahmad, Timothy Moses and Richard joined NYIT’s Game Club upon arriving on campus. However, Rostum. he aspired to take his interest to a more competitive level. He found a willing partner in athletics director Duane Bailey. “Game Club is more for socializing and just having fun without pressure,” Duran said. “It’s an escape from classes.” With Bailey’s backing, NYIT launched an eSports team in January 2017. Said Ahmad: “This is a competition.” “I was absolutely thrilled when our students approached me about starting an eSports team,” Bailey said. “I’m a firm believer that there can be a place for eSports and traditional sports in college. ESports opens more possibilities for us, with a whole new audience to engage, and to extend the NYIT brand.”

The team soon will transition to sophisticated facilities in the rec room on the second floor of the athletic complex.

Although not NCAA sanctioned, eSports is taking campuses by storm. Clubs from Big Ten schools now have an eSports league televised by The Big Ten Network. Cal-Irvine christened a 3,500-square-foot gaming arena last fall that includes 80 computers.

“Our team members are mostly viewing this as a hobby or something fun to do on the side,” Duran said. “Time will tell if the freshmen on our team would like to pursue eSports as a career. Me, personally, I would really love to pursue a career in eSports, whether it be from a gaming or a management aspect.”

The athletic department is funding the team’s computers, which members are building themselves to have optimal processing power, graphics, game-loading times and frame rates for competition. Because the powerful machines are being Duran, a senior graphic-design major in 2016-17, hopes to built in-house, they cost roughly $600 apiece in parts. one day have championship banners hanging in Recreation Hall alongside titles for more traditional sports such as bas- Unlike traditional sports, eSports teams compete remotely. ketball and volleyball. “I know I’m probably not going to be So while the CyBears played against college teams — includaround to see it, but I want to put eSports on that wall,” Du- ing from Rochester Institute of Technology and Assumption ran said. “I want to win one.” — they do not face their opponents in the same room.

Drawing from the seven-year-old Gaming Club, NYIT’s eSports team launched with a dozen members, including Duran and


Andrew Kim leading a CyBears training session.



EVENTS ROUNDUP (Clockwise from top): basketball tipoff dinner, fishing trip, first pitch dinner, summer golf outing and lacrosse luncheon.


DISTINGUISHED PANEL OFFERS ADVICE AT SECOND ANNUAL LEADERSHIP FORUM Indera Rampal-Harrod (l to r), Robert Dranoff, Neal Scarbrough and Henry Iervolino speak with student-athletes on April 6 in the Bears Den.

NYIT student-athletes were inspired April 6 at the second annual Student-Athlete Leadership Forum as a distinguished panel offered tips on being best positioned to succeed after graduation. Neal Scarbrough, VP and executive editor of Fox Sports Media Group, advocated having confidence, and told the student-athletes to “package yourself for each opportunity.” He also implored student-athletes to be flexible. “You have to really be confident in yourself, and you have to bring all of yourself to a job search,” Scarbrough said. “You can’t say, ‘I’ve got a degree in mechanical engineering,’ and then say, ‘I’m only a mechanical engineer.’ You might have skills that transfer to other jobs and companies.” Henry Iervolino, president and CEO of Triton Capital Management and an inductee into the inaugural class of the NYIT Athletics Hall of Fame, advocated a tireless work ethic and the importance of networking. He also

recommended to students what to say when asked in an interview where you see yourself in five years. Rather than speak about dreams beyond the current position for which you are being interviewed, Iervolino said, “You have to be willing to say, ‘I want to perfect this job.’” “If you can emit that to the person across the desk, you have a pretty good shot at getting the job,” he said. Dr. Indera Rampal-Harrod cited the importance of vigilance. She noted that you may need to inquire about 100 jobs before drawing interest from one potential hiring contact. Rampal-Harrod underscored the importance of doing research ahead of time on the people with whom you will be interviewing. She advised to always bring extra resumes to pass out. Rampal-Harrod, vice president and chief human resources officer at the Georgia-based Tift Regional Health System, also discussed

being taken seriously as a woman in the workplace. “We’re going into it with an ‘out’ already,” she said. “So we have to be three steps ahead. Bring things you think nobody is going to ask. And if they don’t ask, find a way to weave it in so they know how smart you are. … It’s really about your executive presence, how you carry yourself.” Robert Dranoff, the commissioner of the East Coast Conference, discussed the importance of making wise decisions. “The process you need to go through in your mind all the time is: What’s the impact on me? What’s the impact on my family? What’s the impact on my organization?” Dranoff said. The second annual Student-Athlete Leadership Forum was moderated by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announcer Rich Gainer. 29



YEAR-END BANQUET HIGHLIGHTS ACHIEVEMENTS NYIT athletics honored its seniors and top performers at its annual banquet on May 8 in Recreation Hall. Men’s basketball’s Jon Feiler and volleyball’s Rachel Guida were crowned athletes of the year. Men’s lacrosse’s Joe Morhardt and women’s lacrosse’s Trisha Serras were honored as the Ryan T. Caufield Male and Patty Burnside Female student-athletes of the year for combined academic and athletic achievement. The top athletic performers in each class also were recognized. For the freshman, men’s tennis’ Francisco Caldas and women’s basketball’s Meg Knollmeyer were honored. For the sophomores, men’s lacrosse’s Nick Deluca and volleyball’s Tiffany Verni were honored. For the juniors, men’s lacrosse’s Matt Chanenchuk earned the male award, while volleyball’s Allison Fowler and women’s lacrosse’s Alyssa Milano shared the women’s honor. For the seniors, baseball’s Louis Mele and men’s lacrosse’s Will Kistinger shared the men’s honor, while women’s lacrosse’s Katie Meinecke and softball’s Laura McLaughlin shared the women’s honor. The ceremony included the seniors from each team receiving sashes reading “STUDENT ATHLETE” to wear at graduation. Each senior also was awarded a framed jersey. A pair of players from the men’s lacrosse team — whose season abruptly ended when they did not receive an NCAA Tournament invitation — were individually recognized. All-time saves leader Alex Seltzer was awarded a plaque commemorating setting a new program career record (645 saves). And Tom Hughes was awarded a plaque for scoring his 100th goal (photo, lower right). The milestone goal came late in regulation on May 6 to force overtime against Mercy. Hughes then scored the overtime winner, his 101th career goal, to give NYIT its first-ever East Coast Conference postseason championship. The ECC champion volleyball team received rings commemorating its achievement (photo, upper right). The team captured NYIT’s first league volleyball title in 26 years. Two university employees also were recognized — Cecile King for her “great smile” and the interest she takes in each of the student-athletes as well as alumni relations assistant director Sabrina Polidoro, who received the BEAR Mentor Award. 31

2016-17 All-East Coast Conference honorees FIRST TEAM Melanie Benyadi women’s tennis Matt Chanenchuk men’s lacrosse Rafal Charkiewicz men’s tennis Taylor Davide women’s lacrosse Lena Dimmer women’s tennis Allison Fowler volleyball Rachel Guida volleyball Will Kistinger men’s lacrosse Tiffany McCracken softball Laura McLaughlin softball Katie Meinecke women’s lacrosse Alyssa Milano women’s lacrosse Karolina Moderova volleyball Joe Morhardt men’s lacrosse Karolina Pondusova women’s tennis Ian Prate men’s lacrosse George Schultz men’s lacrosse Gabriela Siembab women’s tennis Erin Smith women’s lacrosse Tiffany Verdi volleyball Nina Vukosavljevic women’s basketball Ben Wilson men’s soccer Karie Znaniecki women’s lacrosse


Dan Babar men’s soccer Brooke Basso women’s lacrosse Irene Chepleting cross country Nick Deluca men’s lacrosse Jon Feiler men’s basketball LeRoy Halftown men’s lacrosse Tom Hughes men’s lacrosse Rares Ispas men’s tennis Kaitlyn Lanksbury softball Kelly McQuail women’s lacrosse Tom Ruppel cross country Trisha Serras women’s lacrosse Madison Smith softball Martin Sundell men’s soccer Lauren Young women’s lacrosse THIRD TEAM Shanice Allen women’s basketball Shlomo Amar men’s lacrosse Austin Fitzpatrick men’s lacrosse Meg Knollmeyer women’s basketball Krishen Patel men’s soccer Jonathan Rico men’s soccer Alex Seltzer men’s lacrosse

NYIT Athletics Annual Report 2016-17  

A year-in-review of the NYIT Bears

NYIT Athletics Annual Report 2016-17  

A year-in-review of the NYIT Bears