By Mike Rudin -- SPORTS EDITOR
Between Ashunae Durant’s superb rookie campaign and Kelly Loftus taking the cake as the Pride’s leading scorer in 2014-15, the Pride had a wealthy amount of talent at the helm of the women’s basketball team.
Nonetheless, Elo Edeferioka played a key role that Hofstra cannot afford to lose and was the most valuable player on the team last year.
Edeferioka was the foundation of the team as the Pride’s main center and led them in total rebounds with 286 on the year. She primarily thrived defensively, leading the rest of the roster by at least 72 defensive rebounds. She was the third-best scorer on the team, averaging 9.2 points per game.
She was a key component on both sides of the court, and after Edeferioka there wasn’t as much depth to take her spot.
Every game she’s played this year she’s started and provided multiple crucial performances to provide wins for her team.
One of Edeferioka’s best performances was during the season opener against Central Connecticut State University. She scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the overtime loss.
Dee Thomas-Palmer may have been her backup and added strength at center, but Edeferioka was the most physical player on the team.
During the 2015 CAA tournament, she stepped up and set the stage for a win against Delaware and punched their way into the championship round. She put up a double-double with 16 rebounds and 12 points. She also managed four blocks and three steals in the CAA semi-finals.
Her performance against Delaware was critical for a team that has the longest drought of wins, dating back since 2009 with 13 straight losses.
Her presence on the court adds stability and provides a different dynamic to bolster the team’s overall performance.
By Kyle Kandetzki -- SPORTS EDITOR
Sam Scolarici, a Hofstra women’s soccer forward, will be sorely missed in the upcoming season.
Her electric play was unmatched throughout Pride athletics and she formed a perfect tag team with Leah Galton.
Scolarici’s second season ended with the goal that won the Pride a CAA Championship, and in her final season she was the overall leader of points in the CAA, with 17 goals and 3 assists in 21 games.
Sam seemed to always drive the team towards victory as she scored in all but two of Hofstra’s regular season wins.
Her 88 shots led the team, showed her relentless pressure on opposing goalies and allowed for her and her teammates to wear out the net-minder and eventually hit the back of the net.
Where Galton is known for her incredible speed, Scolarici thrives with fancy footwork to tear down CAA defenses.
Her play is so good, it even led her typically humble head coach Simon Riddiough to say, “She’s the best” time and time again.
By Anders Jorstad -- STAFF WRITER
My Hofstra Pride Player of the Year pick for this year is volleyball senior outside hitter Kelsie Wills. A native of Matamata, New Zealand, Wills earned her spot in the Pride history books, collecting 1,934 kills over the course of her career, the most ever by any Hofstra player.
Wills capped off her tremendous senior season with CAA Player of the Year honors by leading the Pride to a 28-5 record overall and an NCAA tournament berth. The Pride eventually fell at the hands of a very talented Nebraska team that made it to the national quarterfinals.
It’s also important to remember that Nebraska’s home court is known as being one of the toughest places to play for visiting players and the score (25-27, 23-25, 16-25) was extremely close, despite what the box score might say.
Wills’ success is a large part of the reason for Hofstra becoming a conference powerhouse in the sport, and her legacy will continue to live on here for years to come.
By Gio Annatelli -- STAFF WRITER
Brittain Altomare is the MVP for this year in Hofstra athletics. Altomare had an absolutely stellar year. She posted 78 points on 39 goals and 39 assists while also totaling 90 draw controls.
She led the Pride in each of those four categories and set single-season records in points, assists and draw controls. Not only that, Altomare is the program’s all-time leader in points (244), assists (126) and draw controls (197).
Not only was she named to the All-CAA First Team, Altomare was a unanimous decision as CAA Player of the Year.
Altomare becomes the first-ever player from Hofstra to earn CAA Player of the Year honors since the Pride joined the league in 2002, and first player to win the award of conference player of the year since 1996.
After the big win against top 20 ranked James Madison University, she was added to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, which is given annually to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player.
Even better, she ranks in the top five in the nation for assists, assists per game, points and points per game. Altomare cemented herself as not only one of the greatest women’s lacrosse players in program history, but as one of the greatest athletes in Hofstra athletics history.
By Jeffrey Werner -- STAFF WRITER
Sam Llinares lived up to his pre-season CAA Player of the Year hype this season. In addition, he was named to the All-CAA Preseason Team. Llinares led the CAA in goals with 34, and in points with 54. Llinares has a streak of 29 games in which he tallied a point going into next season.
Along with the CAA Player of the Year award, Llinares was mentioned to the All-CAA first team. Llinares academic achievements were also recognized. He won the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award and was named to the Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll.
Hofstra men’s lacrosse fans are looking to next to see if Llinares can repeat his perfor-mance as CAA Player of the Year and lead the Pride to the CAA championship they were absent from this season.
After winning CAA rookie of the year, Llinares has continued his stellar play, with still one season to go. In an offense including many freshman, Llinares anchored the team with leadership and a big personality for newer players to take after.
Llinares is known for his physical play on the field, fighting his way inside to the net, while also taking hits as a price for his play style. But nonetheless, despite the bumps and bruises he earns from opposing defenses, he pushes on. Many times, Pride fans could see Llinares taking a few seconds to get up from a check or a hit, but he always continued to not only play, but produce.
Many of Hofstra’s top players are on their way out, but coach Tierney and his staff can look forward to having him for one more season.