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The Hofstra Athletics program continued its string of impressive accomplishments in 2007. Four teams — wrestling, softball, women’s lacrosse and women’s soccer — won Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships. In addition, women’s basketball and men’s basketball extended their postseason, as both teams were selected to play in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The wrestling program shined brightly for Hofstra in the winter as the Pride won the CAA title for a sixth consecutive year and was 18-4-2 on the season. The team sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and came away with a school-record four All- Americans – Charles Griffin, James Strouse, Mike Patrovich and Chris Weidman. The Pride also posted the top team finish in school history, placing seventh at the championships. Griffin earned CAA Wrestler of the Year honors, while freshman Lou Ruggirello was the conference’s Rookie of the Year. Another Hofstra Wrestling newcomer – Coach Tom Shifflet – was named the CAA Coach of the Year in his first year at the helm.
The women’s basketball team also played a prominent role in an outstanding winter season. The Pride, under the direction of firstyear Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, compiled a record of 26-8 and made its second WNIT appearance in as many years, advancing to the quarterfinals of the tournament. The team set school Division I-era records for wins, conference wins (13) and road wins (13). The 13 road victories were tied for first in the nation with Coppin State and national champion Tennessee. Seniors Lizanne Murphy, Vanessa Gidden and Cigi McCollin each went on to professional careers overseas, and Murphy (Canada) and Gidden (Jamaica) each represented her country at the 2007 Pan American Games. In addition, Gidden and McCollin were selected to the All-CAA second team, while freshman Sam Brigham was an All-CAA Rookie team pick. The postseason accolades were not limited to the players, as Coach Kilburn- Steveskey received the inaugural Maggie Dixon Award, which is presented to the top first-year head coach in the nation.
The Pride men’s basketball program won more than 20 games for the third consecutive season and was invited to the NIT for the third year in a row. The Pride, led by the high-scoring trio of Loren Stokes, Antoine Agudio and Carlos Rivera, was 22-10 in 2006-07, and the triumvirate of guards averaged a combined 53.9 points per game. Stokes was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and is now playing professionally in Europe, as is Rivera. Stokes, who was joined by Agudio on the All-CAA first team, also earned CAA Player of the Year accolades and finished his career as Hofstra’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,148 points.
The spring season saw the continued excellence of the softball program, which captured its NCAA-record 10th consecutive conference championship and advanced to NCAA Regionals for a fifth straight season. Hofstra served as a host site for the regional for the second year in a row. Sophomore Kayleigh Lotti set a school record for strikeouts in a season with 319, shattering the old mark of 277 set by Erin Phillips in 1996, and was named the CAA Pitcher of the Year. Hofstra went 41-15 in 2007, the fifth time in team history that it has won 40 or more games. The Pride had six players selected to the All-CAA team, and junior Pam Dreslinski was named the CAA Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Hofstra coaching staff – Head Coach Bill Edwards, Associate Head Coach Larissa Anderson and Assistant Coach Ryan Realmuto – was named the NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year for the fourth time in the last five seasons.