By By Chris Vaccaro & Ed Morrone
While the Pride had many outstanding accomplishments throughout 2005, here are lists of the most important highlights:
Top 10 Pride Athletes
1. Michael Todd: Todd lead the Pride men's soccer team in scoring in 2005 as the Pride made it to their second straight NCAA Tournament. He was named to the Academic-All-American team and was also a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-New York Region team.
2. Devale Ellis: While the Pride didn't have any spectacular team accolades, Ellis had a phenomenal year, leading in receptions (73), yards (906) and was tied for the lead with 5 TDs. Ellis was also named to the All-Atlantic 10 second team. 3. Jon Masa: Masa was honored as the Colonial Athletic Association Wrestler of the Year last season. He won All-American honors after placing third at the NCAA Championships in the 149-lb. weight class and finished the season with a 26-10 overall record.
4. Brett Moyer: After being the main force in the Pride's defensive front, Moyer collected a handful of honors during his junior season. He was named to the 2005 NCAA Division I All-America second team, and was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being named to the All-CAA first team.
5. Shellane Ogoshi: Ogoshi was just a freshman on a talented Pride volleyball team last season, but she contributed in a big way. She led the team in several offensive categories en route to being named CAA Rookie of the Year. She built on that this fall, having another outstanding season for the Pride in winning CAA Player of the Year.
6. Antoine Agudio: Agudio was just one cog in the success of the men's basketball team last season. He was the CAA Rookie of the year and started all 30 games as rookie, averaging 15.1 points. As a sophomore, he is currently the Pride's leading scorer at 15.2 points per game through the first six games.
7. Doni-Melissa Jantzen: Jantzen transformed her game to a defensive orientated style of play this season and earned was named a STX/NFHCA Division I Third-Team All-American for the second consecutive season. She had 4 goals, 4 assists and 12 points this season.
8. Callie Osborne: In her senior season as a pitcher on the softball team, Osborne went 25-7, which left her one win shy of the school record. This successful season came a year after she set the school record with an 0.79 earned run average.
9. Ricky Caputo: Caputo was named to the 2005 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-East Region Second Team after leading the Pride with 12 homeruns and 52 runs batted in.
10. Lizanne Murphy: The women's basketball team junior forward is coming off a season where she was a third-team All-CAA selection. She averaged a double double (11.8 points, 10.4 rebounds per game) and is one of the leaders on a promising Pride team.
Top 5 Pride Teams
1. Softball: In 2005, the always-successful softball team had its best season yet, compiling a record of 43-16-1, which eclipsed the previous standard of 42 wins set by the 2000 team. Softball picked up two NCAA Tournament wins for the third year in a row.
2. Men's Soccer: After a 2004 season when it improbably won the CAA, the 2005 men's soccer team outdid itself. It reached the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, and although it lost in the first round, the Pride won 14 games and was ranked 13th in the country by season's end.
3. Women's Soccer: In coach JoAnne Russell's final season, the women's soccer team made its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Pride fell to West Virginia in the first round, but the loss couldn't take away from the team's 14-4-3 season that brought a CAA Championship back to Hempstead.
4. Men's Basketball: After years of struggle, the men's basketball team made a name for itself in 2005. It finished the season 21-9 and earned a berth in the NIT, its first postseason tournament appearance since 2001. Tom Pecora's bunch is trying to build on that success this season, and a CAA Championship may not be far on the horizon.
5. Volleyball: For volleyball, 2005 was highlighted by head coach Fran Kalafer earning her 600th career victory on Sept. 23. Senior Tessa Sphar also had a milestone year, becoming the fifth player to join the 1,000 kill/1,000 dig club. The Pride won the regular CAA title and went 19-8 before being ousted in the CAA Tournament by VCU.
Top 5 Individual Pride Plays
1. Adrian Papaluca's Goal: Men's soccer sophomore Adrian Papaluca scored on a half-volley from 20 yards out with just eight seconds remaining in regulation to give the Pride a dramatic 1-0 victory over top-seeded Old Dominion in the CAA Championship game.
2. Kareem Huggins' Fumble: The Pride was perhaps two yards away from a possible I-AA playoff berth against New Hampshire on Nov. 5 when RB Kareem Huggins fumbled the ball in front of the goal line. The Wildcats recovered the fumble and won the game, ending the Pride's postseason hopes.
3. Tessa Sphar joins 1,000 dig/1,000 kill club: Sphar reached the 1,000 kill/1,000 dig mark on Oct. 21 in the second game of a thrilling five-game victory over Georgia State. Sphar joined Jen Furlow (1990-93), Lena Malinowski (1994-98), Christine Moore (1983-87) and Stefanie Rewitz (1999-2002) in the club, adding another accolate to her phenomenal career.
4. Edel Malone's Goal: Women's soccer freshman midfielder Edel Malone scored 9:27 into the CAA Championship game, which was good enough to give the Pride its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in JoAnne Russell's final season as coach.
5. Stephanie VanBrakle's home run: Alabama junior pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle allowed one hit over six innings and added a crushing two-run home run at the plate as Alabama's softball team defeated the Pride, 6-0, on May 22. The heartbreaking loss ended softball's most successful season ever.
Top 5 Pride Moments
1. Coach Gardi Retires: Joe Gardi spent 16 seasons with the Pride, and will retire as one of the most successful and well-liked coaches at the University. He has coached a handful of NFL players and retires with a 118-62-3 record.
2. Coach Russell Retires: Pride women's soccer coach JoAnne Russell retired in the Fall of 2005 after being the only head coach in the program's 14-year history. Russell took the team from club status and reached the D-I level.
3. Fran Kalafer reaches 600th career win: Coach Kalafer reached a personal and school milestone by gaining her 600th career victory against Virginia Commonwealth in three games on Sept. 23. She is the 12th active NCAA D-I coach to reach the milestone.
4. New Logo added for University: After many years of being called the "Flying Dutchmen," the University decided to change its image by adding a new athletic shield depicting a true "Pride." Also, all athletic teams will be called the Pride, without any confusion with the old Dutchman moniker.
5. Dave Cohen announced as new Football head coach: Cohen, 39, a Long Island native and former University of Delaware defensive coordinator was announced as the seventh head coach in Pride history on Dec. 13. He brings a keen sense of defense to a team that has a core of defensive players returning next season.