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The fall season began with Hofstra announcing that the jersey numbers of 20 former student-athletes would be retired during the 2008-09 academic year, with 10 retirement ceremonies taking place in fall 2008.
The wrestling team heated up the winter months by winning its seventh consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship. The Pride crowned three conference champions -- Lou Ruggirello, Jonny Bonilla-Bowman and Alton Lucas -- and sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. The team placed 15th at the NCAA Championships, and had two wrestlers earn All-America honors as CAA Wrestler of the Year Charles Griffin placed third and Alton Lucas finished eighth. The All-America accolades were not the only awards the Pride captured, as Ruggirello earned the prestigious Gorrarian Award, which is presented to the wrestler with the most pins in the least time at the NCAA Championships. Ruggirello recorded three pins in 4:54 to claim the award.
The men's basketball team did not reach postseason for the first time since 2005, but the season was highlighted by Antoine Agudio's pursuit of the school scoring record. Agudio broke the 43-year record of 2,222 points, which was held by Steve Nisenson, on February 27 at Delaware and finished his career with 2,276 points. Another highlight of the season was the emergence of red-shirt freshman guard Charles Jenkins, who was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and looks to continue the lineage of great guards at Hofstra. Women's basketball also saw a two-year run of postseason play end, though the Pride fielded a young team that can only get better with experience.
The spring season saw men's lacrosse and softball carry the Hofstra banner into NCAA Championship competition. The men's lacrosse team captured the CAA title in a thrilling overtime win over top-seeded Drexel to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in two years. Anthony Muscarella earned All-America honors, while Kevin Unterstein was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year, and Jay Card was named CAA Rookie of the Year.
Softball continued its dominance in CAA competition, winning its seventh straight CAA title and its 11th consecutive conference crown, counting four in the America East Conference. The team hosted an NCAA Regional for the third year in a row and advanced to the regional finals for the third time in five years. The team set a record for wins in a season with 45 and, individually, Kayleigh Lotti was named CAA Pitcher of the Year, and Bill Edwards was voted CAA Coach of the Year.
The women's tennis team also enjoyed a successful 2008, winning a program-best 14 matches, with two players -- Lauren Clifton and Christie Gattelaro -- earning All-CAA honors. Clifton won 25 matches, while Gattelaro had 20 wins on the season.
The fall season began with Hofstra announcing that the jersey numbers of20 former student-athletes would be retired during the 2008-09 academic year, with 10 retirement ceremonies taking place in fall 2008.
On the field, four teams -- women's soccer, men's soccer, field hockey and volleyball -- qualified for CAA Championship play. The women's soccer team lost a heartbreaking 1-0 contest in double overtime at the CAA Championship finals, while the men's soccer team fell in the first round of the CAA Championship. Volleyball advanced to the CAA semifinals, while the field hockey team was eliminated in the CAA quarterfinals.
Jess Crankshaw of the women's soccer team continued Hofstra's run of strong defensive players as she was named CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year. The award marked the fifth time in the last six years that a Hofstra player has had at least a share of the honor.
Hofstra student-athletes also excelled in the classroom, as many players earned academic recognition. Among the standouts were: Lauren Engle, who was named CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in volleyball; Sue Weber, a member of the women's soccer team who graduated in May and was named CAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as well as the ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year; and wrestling's Lou Ruggirello, who was named to the NWCA Academic All-America team.
The Pride also had several student-athletes named to CoSIDA Academic All-District teams, including Nick Altomare (football), Lauren Engle (volleyball), Harmonie Calinda (volleyball), Luka Djordjevic (men's tennis), Joanna Kralowetz (softball), Pam Dreslinski (softball), Carolann Lubach (softball) and Kris Root (softball).
Other highlights from 2008 included the third Hofstra Athletics Hall of Induction Ceremony that took place in February and the Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet in May. It was announced at the banquet that the Hofstra Unsung Hero Award would be renamed in honor of Nick Colleluori, a member of the Pride lacrosse team who lost his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in November 2006.