Local athletes make their mark at college level

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Woodland grad Cecelia Dias earned All-Little East Conference First Team honors for Western Connecticut State University this past season. –WCSU

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. If we missed an athlete, please send us an email at editor@mycitizensnews.com and we will include that information in the Dec. 21 edition of the Citizen’s News.

Ruben Berger, Merrimack football: Berger, a freshman defensive back, made an impact in his first season with the Warriors. The former Naugatuck star played in seven games for Merrimack, making 12 tackles and an interception.

Ian Bures, Plymouth State football: Bures, a sophomore tight end, played in eight of nine games for the Panthers. The Prospect native made two catches on the season while also racking up three tackles in limited action.

Tyler Carlos, Babson soccer: Carlos, a freshman midfielder, had a big role in his first year for the Beavers. The former Woodland standout scored the first goal of his collegiate career in the team’s NEWMAC Tournament semifinal game. Carlos also tacked on a pair of assists and started 18 of the team’s 20 games.

Danielle Charette, Post soccer: Charette, one of three former Naugatuck High juniors on Post’s roster, started 15 of 16 games for the Eagles and tallied two assists. She was joined by Kelly Markure, who started all 16 games on defense for the Eagles, and Gabby Verilli, who played in all 16 games and chipped in one assist.

Cecelia Dias, Western Connecticut soccer: Dias, a senior midfielder, finished her collegiate career in splendid fashion by earning All-Little East Conference First Team honors. The former Woodland all-state player helped the Colonials reach the Little East Tournament finals while starting in all 14 games.


Eric Dietz, Keene State soccer: Dietz, a freshman forward, saw plenty of action in his first year with the Owls. The former Woodland All-New England pick played in 15 games and picked up one start, firing four shots in his action.

Jeffrey Dorosh, Bryant cross country: Dorosh, a junior, competed in all six meets for the Bulldogs. The former Naugy standout had his best finish of the season at the Shriner’s Invitational, placing 55th overall. He also placed 69th at the Northeast Conference Championships and competed in the New England Championships.

Sam Edwon, St. Joseph volleyball: Edwon, a freshman middle hitter, played in all 30 matches for the Bluejays. The Beacon Falls native was fifth on the team with 90 kills and led the squad with nearly a half-block per game.

Jen Fredericks, Daniel Webster cross country: Fredericks, a junior three-sport athlete with the Eagles, fared well in her lone scoring meet of the season at the Eagle Invitational in September. The Beacon Falls native finished 20th overall, which was second-best on her team.

Gabriel Goja, Western Connecticut soccer: Goja, a junior forward, played in 15 games and started three for the Colonials. The former Greyhound scored one of the team’s five goals on the season, the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Southern Maine. Also on the Western roster are Naugatuck natives Andres Jimenez-Franck and Victor Lavoura, who saw spot action.

Mohamed Hrezi, Iowa State cross country: Hrezi, a junior transfer, was among the Cyclones’ leaders in his first season with the team. The former All-New England runner at Naugatuck was outstanding, winning the Cyclone Cross Country Classic, finishing ninth at the Roy Griak Invitational, 14th at the Big 12 Championships and 22nd at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Also, younger brother Muad Hrezi was on North Carolina’s roster and former Naugy teammate Rosa Moriello was on Boston University’s roster but neither placed in competition.

Mike Kennedy, Anna Maria football: Kennedy, a sophomore defensive lineman, played in all 10 games for the Amcats. The former Greyhound made 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and batted down two passes on the season, just a few years after what was thought to be career-ending knee surgery.

Matt Luis, Post soccer: Luis, a senior midfielder, played in 21 of 22 games for the Eagles, including seven starts. The former Kaynor Tech star and Naugy native scored one goal and added five assists. Also on Post’s roster were Terrell Whitting, a Naugy native and grad of Avon Old Farms, who tallied five assists in 16 games, and Steve Vaz, a former Woodland all-state player who chipped in a goal in eight games.

Jesse Menzies, Central Connecticut soccer: Menzies, a senior midfielder, was fantastic in his final year with the Blue Devils. He started all 18 games and was the team’s second-leading scorer with five goals and six assists. The former Woodland all-state player earned a spot on the NSCAA All-North Atlantic Second Team and is eligible for January’s MLS SuperDraft.

Richard and Riker Mitchell, Albertus Magnus soccer: The Mitchell brothers, both sophomores from Naugatuck, played key roles in the Falcons’ GNAC championship this fall. Richard, started all 22 games and scored three goals, including two game-winners, with two assists. Riker started 20 games on defense and chipped in a goal.

Isabelle Moody, Mount Ida soccer: Moody, a freshman defender, made an immediate impact for the Mustangs. The former Naugatuck standout started all 17 games for Mount Ida, notching two goals on the season. She also helped the Mustangs allow fewer than two goals per game and blasted the game-winning goal Sept. 11 against Anna Maria College.

Manny Nobre, Central Connecticut soccer: Nobre, a junior midfielder, started 16 of 18 games for the Blue Devils. The former Naugy standout tallied one assist on the year and fired 10 shots. Teammate and fellow Greyhound great Tiago Martins played in 10 games for Central, also notching an assist and getting off four shots.

Jess Patrizi, Eastern Connecticut volleyball: Patrizi, a sophomore transfer, saw plenty of action in her first year with the Warriors. The former Woodland all-state player started seven of the 13 matches in which she played, averaging nearly 4 ½ sets per game.

Josh Perry, Southern Connecticut cross country: Perry, a senior, led the Owls runners all season. The former All-New England athlete at Naugy finished eighth at the NCAA Division II East Region Championships and earned All-Region honors for his effort. Perry also finished 10th at the Northeast-10 Conference Championships, earning All-NE-10 Second Team honors.

Donato Piroscafo, Albertus Magnus soccer: Piroscafo, a junior goalkeeper, helped the Falcons to their second GNAC championship this season. The former Naugy standout earned All-GNAC and NCAA Division III All-New England South Division honors for his work between the pipes, allowing just .77 goals a game and posting a 15-4-3 record with eight shutouts.

Tori Pisco, La Salle cross country: Pisco, a junior, competed with the Explorers at their season-opening meet in Philadelphia. The former All-New England athlete at Naugatuck is a standout on La Salle’s track team and finished 18th among the Explorers in her only meet of the season.

Colie Sambrook, Westfield State soccer: Sambrook, a sophomore striker, was the Owls’ third-leading scorer. The former Greyhound scored seven goals in 17 games, including seven starts, and netted four game-winners on the year. Sambrook helped the Owls win the MASCAC championship and reach the NCAA Division III tournament.

Steph Santos, Southern Connecticut soccer: Santos, a sophomore midfielder, played in all 18 of the Owls’ games this fall. The former Naugatuck standout earned one assist and fired 21 shots on the year. Former Woodland star Raven Palmerie was also on Southern’s roster and saw action in one game this season.

Mike Uszakiewicz, Western New England football: Uszakiewicz, a junior tight end, was a viable scoring threat for the Golden Bears. The Prospect native played in all 10 games, catching six passes for 54 yards and three touchdowns.

Chrissy Witham, St. Joseph soccer: Witham, a senior defender, concluded her collegiate career by helping the Bluejays finish as runners-up in the ECAC Tournament. The former Woodland star saw action in eight games, including one start, and helped the team allow fewer than a half-goal per game.

Jim Hart, Carnegie Mellon football: Hart, a junior offensive lineman, saw action in one game for the Tartans. The Woodland grad helped his team beat DePauw, 51-28, on Sept. 22. Carnegie Mellon finished the year with a 6-5 record.

Alyssa Segala, Post equestrian: Segala, a senior captain on Post’s dressage team, enjoyed a successful season with the Eagles. The Prospect native finished in the top eight in all four days of competition. She placed fourth twice, once at the University of Vermont and once at Mount Holyoke College, while also taking fifth-place and eighth-place finishes on other days.

Issy Verrilli, Simmons soccer: Verrilli, a freshman defender, made a major impact in her first year with the Sharks. The former all-state player at Naugatuck earned spots on the All-GNAC First Team and the All-GNAC Tournament team. She started 17 of 21 games and helped Simmons reach the GNAC championship game.