HC Women's Soccer Team Ready For New Challenges

Release Date:
September 2, 2004
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

September 2, 2004

Fresh off back-to-back North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Tournament Championships, the Hilbert College women’s soccer team is excited about the move to the prestigious Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) this fall. Jamie Ruggiero enters his sixth season as the Hawks head coach and his 43 wins are the most in the program’s history since becoming an NCAA Division III member back in 1992.

Three seniors will be looking to close out their collegiate careers this year, and Ruggiero will be counting on all of them to step-up to the challenges that await the team. Led by midfielder Jessica Macri (Lewiston, NY/Niagara Falls), the program’s all-time leader in assists (45), and forward Shannon Bieniek (Orchard Park, NY/West Seneca West), the program’s second all-time leader in points (90), the team looks to continue their recent success.

“Jessica and Shannon came into the program together and both have contributed since their very first game together three years ago,”said Ruggiero. “They both lead by example by excelling in the classroom and competing on the field."  

Both players are well decorated with Macri, the team’s 2003 MVP, earning All-NEAC and All-NEAC Academic honors the past three years. Bieniek has garnered two All-Conference selections and was named the team’s Offensive MVP during the 2003 season.

Fellow senior and Hawk net-minder Wendy Brusso (Marion/Walworth, NY) will anchor the defense.“Wendy finished really strong last fall, with two shutouts during the championship weekend,” said Ruggiero. Brusso also earned the NEAC tournament MVP, ECAC Keeper-of-the-Week, and All-Conference honors to help the Hawks to a 12-9 overall record.

Juniors Jeanmarie Brady (Derby, NY/Lakeshore), Karen Kalwicki (Sloan, NY/JFK), Jeannette Testa (Forestville, NY/Forestville) and Samantha Dexter (Cheektowaga, NY/JFK) all return this fall.

“Jeanie is one of our hardest working players.  She is ready to go every game and I expect nothing to change this season,” said Ruggiero. “Karen and Sam both are strong role players for us and they work extremely hard. I’m hoping both will have strong seasons again this year."

Testa is a three-sport athlete at the college, also excelling as a softball player and a member of the Hawks women’s basketball program.

2004 NEAC Newcomer-of- the-Year Michelle Greco (Jamestown, NY/Southwestern) leads a solid core of sophomores returning this fall. Rosanne Gawronski (West Seneca, NY/ West Seneca West), Kaitlyn Miller (Depew, NY/Depew) and Kristen MacNeil (Lakeview, NY/ Immaculata Academy) round out the class of 2007. MacNeil is credited with scoring the winning goal in last fall’s NEAC Tourney Championship against Keuka College.

The Hawks also boast Erie Community College transfer Sandra Brown (Hamburg, NY/Freedom Academy), as well as incoming freshmen Kasi Smith (Springville, NY/ North Collins), Cristina DiSano (Spencerport, NY/Spencerport), Katrina Galofaro (Dunkirk, NY/Silver Creek), Amber Justice (Arcade, NY/Pioneer), Jill Kegler (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster), Betsy Hoffman (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) and Jaclyn Seifert (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island)

Hilbert opens the 2004 season Sept. 11 at Hiram College. The Hawks will play their first home game at 4 p.m. Sept. 14 against Alfred University.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.