The beginning of the school year is a time with mixed emotions. Students are excited to make new friends and nervous to start new classes. Faculty are thrilled to see what new young minds they can educate. Administrators get giddy seeing campus come back to life again. But, there’s one unique group on campus that has a start to the school year like no other. Student athletes. While the start of the year indicates to most students that it’s time to put their academic cap back on, student athletes that have a sport in the Fall have a different feeling: it’s game time.
As our Fall student athletes start lacing up their cleats and putting ice in their tubs, I want to provide the student body some information on how we can best support our athletes. Pulling information from the QC Athletics page (https://queensknights.com/) and the East Coast Conference (ECC) page (https://www.eccsports.org/), let me guide you into the world of Queens College athletics!
Please note that all statistics are as of Wednesday, September 13th at 5pm.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Fifth out of seven (men’s) and sixth out of eight (women’s)
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: None
Last Year’s ECC Finish: 5th (men’s and women’s)
Last Year’s Honorees: Njehan Phillip, Rachel Mow, Natalia Cuttler, and Destiny Morely all competed in the NCAA D2 East Regional competition
Key Returning Runners: Sophomore Rachel Mow, senior Natalia Cuttler, sophomore Joy Leong, and senior Anthony Lopez
Key New Additions: Sophomore Madelyn McMath, freshman Daniel DeGregori, and junior Abdi Mohamed
Upcoming Meets: MSMC Knight Invite on Sun. Sep. 24th at 11am at Mount Saint Mary College, Queensborough Invitational on Sun. Oct. 1st at 11am at Van Cortlandt Park, SJLI Invitational on Sat. Oct. 14th at 11am at Sunken Meadow State Park
Blurb: Head Coach Greg Welch is entering his second season as the coach of the Cross Country team. While the men’s squad lost all but one runner (Anthony Lopez), they will look to be competitive as they added six new runners. Through the two meets the team has competed in, freshman Daniel DeGregori has set the pace on the men’s side, being the first Knight to cross the finish line in the 8k both meets. The women’s roster is largely the same, with seven returners and two new faces. Sophomore Rachel Mow has set the pace for the women’s side finishing first for the Knights in the 5k in both meets, including a 12th place finish at the Adelphi Panthers XC Invitational.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Second out of nine
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: Received one first place vote, predicted playoff berth
Last Year’s Record: 13-7 (6-2 ECC)
Last Year’s Honorees: Adolfo Martinez Paquet (First-Team All-Conference, All-East Region First Team, All-American Third Team), Head Coach Frank Vertullo (ECC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year), Thomas Esperoe (First-Team All-Conference), Leo Pinto (Second-Team All-Conference), and Dario Giovanni Cruz (Second-Team All-Conference)
Key Returning Players: Senior midfielder Adolfo Martinez Paquet, senior midfielder Leo Pinto, junior defender Jose Mendez, junior defender Nicolas Cifuentes Diaz, and sophomore midfielder Kevin Johnson
Key New Additions: Graduate student defender Leoluca Diefenbach, sophomore goalkeeper Jake Balme, sophomore defender Andreas Charalambous, and sophomore forward Harry Cooke
Upcoming Home Games: Mercy College (ECC) on Sat. Sep. 23rd at 730pm, Dominican University of New York on Wed. Sep. 27th at 7pm, Adelphi University on Wed. Oct. 11th at 730pm, and Roberts Wesleyan University (ECC) on Sat. Oct. 14th at 730pm
Home Game Location: Varsity Soccer Field
Blurb: The men’s soccer team was perhaps the third best team on campus all of last year. While they fell short in their goal of winning an ECC Championship, they had the most wins in program history, hosted their first ECC Playoff game, and earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
With superstar Adolfo Martinez Paquet returning alongside star Leo Pinto, the team has more than enough experience and firepower in their midfield. The Knights also returned a majority of their defensive line with junior Jose Mendez being the most notable. However, the Knights’ main concern is in the net. Who could possibly replace the best goalkeeper in program history Dario Giovanni Cruz who exhausted his eligibility last season? Well, reigning Coach of the Year Frank Vertullo has turned to sophomore transfer Jake Balme through three games.
Balme is one of just many newcomers seeing serious action thus far. Sophomore defender Andreas Charalambous has played every minute of every game up to the point of writing this. However, I personally believe sophomore forward Harry Cooke is the newcomer to look out for. Cooke has gotten the most shots off for the Knights so far and leads the team with two points at this point. Funnily enough, he transferred to QC from Lincoln Memorial University with Balme. Cooke led their conference with 15 goals, was named to the All-American Second Team, and won both the Offensive and Freshman of the Year Awards for the conference.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Fourth out of seven
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: Predicted playoff berth
Last Year’s Record: 12-13 (6-4 ECC)
Last Year’s Honorees: Ryann Frontera (Libero of the Year and All-Conference First Team), Alexis Deodat (Second-Team All-Conference), and Christina Franco (All-Conference Honorable Mention)
Key Returning Player(s): Senior right-side/middle blocker Alexis Deodat, junior outside hitter Christina Franco, sophomore outside hitter Kendall Conrad, junior right-side opposite Alicia Cervera Sospedra, sophomore middle-blocker Lindsay Osterhoudt, junior setter Despina Boudouris, and sophomore libero Sarah Munn
Key New Additions: Sophomore right-side opposite Isabella Anzalone
Upcoming Home Matches: Daemen University (ECC) on Sat. Sep. 23rd at Noon, D’Youville University (ECC) on Sun. Sep. 24th at Noon, and Mercy College (ECC) on Sat. Sep. 30th at Noon
Home Match Location: Auxiliary Gym
Blurb: Last year’s season was Head Coach’s Stefan Leger’s best with the team, having tallied only six total wins in two years prior compared to 12 wins in 2022. Coach Leger and his squad already reached half of that win total in a week and half. As of writing this on September 13th, the volleyball team is sitting at 6-2, a better record than every team slated above them in the preseason poll excluding Daemen University who has won all four of their matches to this point.
There’s stars across the board for Coach Leger Junior, as setter Despina Boudouris won both Setter of the Week honors in the ECC’s two Weekly Report of the season, while sophomore outside hitter Kendall Conrad and sophomore libero Sarah Munn took home Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week last Monday, respectively.
As of writing this, Knights can be found all over the ECC statistic leaders. Conrad, junior right-side opposite Alicia Cervera Sospedra, and junior outside hitter Christina Franco are top five in kills. Munn and Franco are first and third, respectively, in kills while Boudouris has a clear lead in total assists.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Fifth out of nine
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: None
Last Year’s Record: 2-10-3 (2-4-2 ECC)
Last Year’s Honorees: Marina Pappas (Third-Team All-Conference) and Sarah Anderson (Third-Team All-Conference)
Key Returning Player(s): Junior defender Sarah Anderson, senior defender Gabrielle Christian, junior forward/midfielder Julia Ragone, senior defender Hayley Matthews, and junior midfielder Jacklyn Diel
Key New Additions: Graduate student goalkeeper Erin Kelly, freshman midfielder Anna Tavantzis, freshman defender Ava Angiuli, freshman forward Jenna Rosenberger, and freshman defender Cassidy Pong
Upcoming Home Games: Southern New Hampshire University on Tue. Sep. 19th at 4pm, Mercy College (ECC) on Sat. Sep 23rd at 5pm, Goldey-Beacom College on Tue. Sep 26th at 7pm, and Assumption University on Wed. Oct 11th at 5pm
Home Game Location: Varsity Soccer Field
Blurb: What’s most intriguing about this team is the unknown. Second-year Head Coach Thomas Paris has essentially an entirely new roster from last year. Of the 23 players on Coach Paris’ roster, only six were in Flushing the prior season; an astonishing 14 the newcomers are freshmen. This is the definition of a nothing to lose scenario, as the team has nowhere to go but up from their two-win season last year. By bringing in talented freshmen and transfers, Coach Paris has essentially hit the rebuild button for this program. With the perfect blend of young talent across the entire field with experienced players to guide them, this team may be the one to see the biggest improvement from last year of all the Fall teams.
This can be supported by the fact that their first win of the season came in a stunning 2-1 victory over the regionally-ranked Thomas Jefferson University Rams who have missed their conference’s playoff only one time since the turn of the century; which includes three NCAA Tournament berths and three conference championships since 2019. Not too shabby a program to snatch a win from.
ECC Preseason Poll Ranking: Second out of six
ECC Preseason Poll Notes: Maja Makal named Preseason Co-Player of the Year, received one first place vote, predicted playoff berth
Last Year’s Record: 11-8 (3-2 ECC)
Last Year’s Honorees: Maja Makal (All-Conference First Team), Gabriela Sciarrotta (All-Conference First Team), and Caroline Hany-Fawzy (All-Conference Second Team)
Key Returning Player(s): Graduate student Maja Makal, junior Caroline Hany-Fawzy, and sophomore Apolline Lamy
Key New Additions: Graduate student Kyra Bergmann and junior Saga Berggren
Upcoming Home Matches: Molloy University (ECC) on Sat. Oct. 7th at 5pm, University of New Haven on Sun. Oct. 8th at 7pm, and University of the District of Columbia (ECC) on Fri. Oct. 14th at 1pm
Home Match Location: QC Tennis Bubble
Blurb: If there’s one thing Head Coach Alan Nagel and his team know, it’s how to compete. Since the turn of the century, Coach Nagel and his squad have made the ECC Championship in all but three seasons. Last year was the first time in 21 years that the team did not make the NCAA Tournament. With a winning percentage of well over 75 percent, I’m not going to bet against Coach Nagel and his ability to guide his team back to the dance.They will be spearheaded by graduate student Maja Makal who has taken home ECC Player of the Year honors the past two seasons. Makal will be joined by junior Caroline Hany-Fawzy who went 16-3 overall last season — a drastic improvement from her 7-4 record the year prior, while sophomore Apolline Lamy earned an impressive 11-5 overall record as a freshman. There’s not much else to write about this time than they will be competitive. That’s all they know.