Higher learning


Catching up with local athletes at college

Dozens of local athletes saw action at colleges and universities throughout the state, region and country this fall. We’ve done our best to round up all the action here, but if we’ve missed an athlete then please send us an email at editor@mycitizensnews.com and we will include that information in next week’s section. Winter athletes (basketball, swimming and diving, indoor track) will be included in our winter wrap-up later this season.

Steph Santos (2), a junior midfielder at the University of Hartford, was the Hawks’ third leading scorer and earned a host of postseason honors. STEVE MCLAUGHLIN/UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD ATHLETICS
Steph Santos (2), a junior midfielder at the University of Hartford, was the Hawks’ third leading scorer and earned a host of postseason honors. STEVE MCLAUGHLIN/UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD ATHLETICS

Adriana Ambari, Rhode Island College volleyball: Ambari, a sophomore hitter, was among the Anchorwomen’s leading hitters this fall. The former Woodland All-NVL star appeared in all but one match and was fourth on the squad with 69 kills.

Ian Bures, Plymouth State football: Bures, a junior tight end, played in nine of 10 games for the Panthers and tallied his first career touchdown catch Oct. 19 against Bridgewater State. The Prospect native caught three passes for 49 yards in the game, including a 38-yard score. He finished the season with 13 catches for 138 yards.

Tyler Carlos, Babson soccer: Carlos, a sophomore midfielder, earned a spot on the All-NEWMAC Second Team for his great season with the Beavers. The former Woodland standout appeared in all 20 games and scored 11 points, which were fourth most on the squad.

Danielle Charette, Post soccer: Charette, one of four former Naugatuck seniors on Post’s roster, started all 16 games for the Eagles and tallied an assists. She was joined by Shannon Bahme (played in all 16 games), Kelly Markure (defensive standout who tallied one goal) and Gabby Verilli (appeared in 12 games), as well as freshman Steph Lima (played in 14 games).

Keri DeBiase, Southern Connecticut soccer: DeBiase, a freshman, made an immediate impact for the Owls as she played in all 18 games. The former Woodland All-State pick registered a goal and an assist on the season. Raven Palmerie, another former Hawks star, was also on Southern’s roster.

Eric Dietz, Keene State soccer: Dietz, a sophomore forward, picked up his first two career goals while appearing in 16 of 18 games for the Owls. The former Woodland All-State speedster scored against Brandeis in the season opener and late in the year against Southern Maine.

Jeffrey Dorosh, Bryant cross country: Dorosh, a senior, competed in three of six races in his final season for the Bulldogs. The former Naugatuck star’s best finishes of the season came at the Ted Owen Invitational and the Father Bede Invitational, both of which saw Dorosh place 30th.

Nick Gambacini, Post football: Gambacini, a freshman fullback who played at Holy Cross, took 11 handoffs for 30 yards in his first season for the Eagles. He was one of three Naugatuck natives on Post’s roster, being joined by freshmen Matt Harris (11.5 tackles) and Richard Silva (four tackles).

Mohamed Hrezi, Iowa State cross country: Hrezi, a senior, earned All-America status thanks to his 24th-place finish at the NCAA championships in November. The former Naugatuck All-New England runner placement’s was the highest of any Cyclone in nearly 20 years and the first Iowa State All-American since 2008. Hrezi’s younger brother, Muad Hrezi, was on North Carolina’s roster but did not compete in a meet.

Mike Kennedy, Anna Maria football: Kennedy, a junior defensive lineman, played in all 10 games for the Amcats. The former Greyhound made 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and recovered a fumble just a few years after what was thought to be career-ending knee surgery.

Isabelle Moody, Mount Ida soccer: Moody, a sophomore defender, enjoyed another solid season for the Mustangs. The former Naugatuck standout started all 17 games and tallied six points, including two goals.

Rosa Moriello, Boston University cross country: Moriello, a junior, became the Patriot League women’s champion in November. The former Naugatuck star blasted the field, finishing nearly 40 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor as the Terriers won the women’s team title. Moriello also earned NCAA All-Northeast honors thanks to her 25th-place finish at the regional meet.

Manny Nobre, Central Connecticut soccer: Nobre, a senior midfielder, started 17 games in his final season for the Blue Devils. The former Naugatuck standout registered six points, including two goals, for Central.

Vigan Pacuku, Western Connecticut soccer: Pacuku, a freshman midfielder, enjoyed a breakout first season with the Colonials. The former Woodland standout played in 15 games and scored three goals (tied for second on the team), and he earned the Little East Rookie of the Week honor for his game-winning goal in October against Southern Maine. Naugatuck native Andres Jimenez-Franck, a junior, also scored a goal in 12 appearances.

Jess Patrizi, Eastern Connecticut volleyball: Patrizi, a junior setter, was the Warriors’ leading setter in her second season with the team. The former Woodland All-State pick played in all but one match and averaged nearly five assists per set. Her .211 hitting percentage was also good for third on the squad.

Mick Pernell, Taft football: Pernell decided to spend a post-grad year at Taft in Watertown and enjoyed a solid season on both sides of the ball. The former Naugatuck standout rushed for 314 yards and two touchdowns while making two interceptions on the other side of the ball.

Donato Piroscafo, Albertus Magnus soccer: Piroscafo, a senior goaltender, earned All-GNAC Third Team honors as he concluded a terrific career with the Falcons. The Naugatuck native received conference recognition in all four seasons, and as a senior he pitched six shutouts. Piroscafo was joined by fellow Naugy natives Riker and Richard Mitchell. Riker earned All-GNAC Second Team honors as a defenseman who helped the Falcons to six shutouts, while Richard tallied one assist in 17 starts.

Alma Rizvani, Bay Path soccer: Rizvani, a freshman, did it all in her first season with the Wildcats. The former Woodland standout was terrific in goal, starting 15 games and pitching four shutouts while racking up a .852 save percentage. She also played in the field, racking up nine points on three goals and three assists.

Colie Sambrook, Westfield State soccer: Sambrook, a junior forward, played in 17 games for the Owls. The former Naugatuck star tallied two assists and averaged about a shot per game.

Steph Santos, Hartford soccer: Santos, a junior midfielder who transferred from Southern Connecticut, was the Hawks’ third leading scorer and racked up all sorts of postseason honors. The former Naugatuck star was named America East Co-Midfielder of the Year, All-America East First Team, All-America East Tournament Team and NCAA All-Northeast Team.

Mike Uszakiewicz, Western New England football: Uszakiewicz, a senior tight end, concluded his career with the Golden Bears this fall. The Prospect native caught five passes for 62 yards on the season.

Terrell Whitting, Post soccer: Whitting, a junior forward, started 17 games for the Eagles and was one of the team’s leading scorers. The Avon Old Farms product tallied 16 points, including five goals, as Post won its conference regular-season title. Whitting was among Post’s three Naugatuck natives, including freshman Jason Goja (four games, one assist) and Branden Fornseca (three games). Steve Vaz, a former Woodland All-State player, scored one goal in his senior season.