By Joe Pantorno
Hofstra University will host the third annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic Saturday at James Shuart Stadium.
Thirteen teams, including Long Island Univ., Adelphi, C.W. Post and Team HEADstrong (Hofstra alumni), will compete in the HEADstrong fundraising event that honors former Ridley High School graduate and Hofstra University men’s lacrosse player Nick Colleluori, who passed away after a fight with blood cancer in 2006.
Along with the games that are being played, a bone marrow drive will be held.
For Hofstra head coach Abby Morgan, a native of the Philly suburbs, close to the home of Nick Colleluori, the event is special in many ways.
“It’s a great honor to represent HEADstrong,” said Morgan. “It’s an honor to incorporate so many other teams that have now learned about the HEADstrong foundation and of Nick Colleluori and spreading the word about a great cause and what it can do for everyone involved.”
The field at James M. Shuart Stadium will be divided into three playing areas where games will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 5:00 p.m., with a short intermission for Colleluori’s mother, Cheryl, to address the crowd and participants.
Also participating in the tournament will be: Central Connecticut State, Connecticut, Iona, Johns Hopkins, La Salle, Monmouth, Vermont and New York Athletic Club.
“I can’t get through hearing any of the family members talk without shedding a tear,” said Morgan. “Thinking back to knowing Nick when he was here – because I’ve been here for a long time – he means so much to his family. They are now kind of carrying the stick for him. They are just people who you can’t help but love and support.”
This event but also means a lot to Morgan’s coaching staff and players.
“I think when the players sign up to be a part of the Pride, they realize the first week they get here that this is a big piece of us,” said assistant coach Tanya Kotowicz. “HEADstrong is not only a big part of our program but also to the men’s program and athletics in general.
“I think they adopt right away that this is big time and they have to take it seriously. We’re going to be the leaders of this fight.”
HEADstrong’s signature lime green laces and gear will be sold throughout the day with all proceeds going to the foundation.
“Lime green becomes an accent color for us throughout the year,” said Morgan. “And this is just a day to celebrate all of that and all that Nick has done.”
To learn more about the HEADstrong Foundation, please visit their website at: www.HEADstrongfoundation.org.
3rd annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Classic at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, Saturday, Sept. 24
Johns Hopkins vs. Adelphi, Field 1 (turf)
Vermont vs. Hofstra, Field 2
C.W. Post vs. Central Conn. State Univ.
La Salle vs. LIU
Monmouth vs Iona
Hofstra. vs. Team HeadSTRONG
UConn vs. Hopkins
Adelphi vs. NYAC
Vermont vs La Salle
CCSU vs. Iona
NYAC vs. LIU
Monmouth vs. Hopkins
Iona vs Adelphi
C.W. Post vs. UConn
Speech by HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori (Field 1)
Hopkins vs Hofstra
Team HeadSTRONG vs. UConn
NYAC vs.La Salle
CCSU vs. LIU
Vermont vs.C.W. Post
NYAC vs. Team HeadSTRONG
Vermont vs. UConn
Adelphi vs. Monmouth
LIU vs. Iona
La Salle vs. CCSU
UConn vs. Hofstra
C.W. Post vs. Team HeadSTRONG
Vermont vs. Monmouth