Three Lady Cavs garner top CSAC honor

By Melanie Greenberg
November 10, 2010

Three of Cabrini’s women athletes have been named CSAC Player of the Year. Award winners include soccer’s Dana Nardello, field hockey’s Caitlin Donahue and volleyball’s Stephanie Recklau, a winner two years in a row.

Nardello, a senior special and elementary education major, was shocked at winning the title.

Dana Nardello, a midfielder for the women’s soccer team, has been named CSAC Player of the Year for the 2010 season. She also led the team this season with 10 assists. --Cabrini Athletics

“I didn’t even know I won,” Nardello said. “One of my teammates told me.”

Nardello led the Cavaliers in assists but did not lead the league in statistics. Assistant coach Jess Huda was not surprised at the title win.

“Having watched her play for four years, she deserved it,” Huda said. “I wasn’t surprised but usually the title is given to someone in the league with leading statistics. I don’t think you could find one person who doesn’t think she’d deserve it.”

Teammate Gianna Porretta, elementary and special education major, agrees Nardello deserves the CSAC Player-of-the-Year award.

“She can take on a team by herself,” Poretta said.

Nardello said the chemistry of the team on and off the field led to her success as a soccer player.

“As a team, we’re a family. We’re constantly together, we do everything together. We’re freakishly obsessed with each other,” Nardello said.

Recklau, senior biology and pre-med major, agrees her team helped lead to her success.

Stephanie Recklau, middle hitter for the volleyball team, is a two-time CSAC Player of the Year, and was also named Rookie of the Year in the 2007 season. --Cabrini Athletics

“It’s really my team. They’ve been a vehicle for me,” Recklau said.

Recklau, a former Rookie-of-the-Year award winner as well as a consecutive winner of the CSAC Player-of-the-Year award, said she was more proud of her team winning the championship title for the second year than herself.

“I was focused on winning the championship title. As the only captain, I had to lead the team and worry more about that,” Recklau said.

With 1,000 kills under her belt along with her other numerous awards, Recklau’s family has been supportive the whole way through.

“My mom bought me a bracelet with a volleyball charm and Player of the Year engraved on it. Another charm says 1,000 kills. She got me one last year too,” Recklau said.

She joked that her family enjoys the Things to Remember store too much.

“My grandfather got me a keychain for Rookie of the Year!” Recklau said.

Donahue, senior criminology major, agreed it was nice to be recognized but said it would not have been possible to win the award without her team.

Caitlin Donahue topped 500 saves in the 2010 season, while also achieving CSAC Player of the Year. In 2009, she was named the NCAA statistical leader. --Cabrini Athletics

“My teammates go on the field and put their hearts and soul into the game and especially do what they can to protect me in the net, and they do such an extraordinary job and I am lucky to have them in front of me,” Donahue said.

Donahue did not focus on breaking any statistics during the season.

“I only had 500 saves and to me it wasn’t that big of a deal but everyone kept coming up to me so I just went with it,” Donahue said.

With an injury last season and a few games missed, 500 saves is an accomplishment that crept up on Donahue.

All three lady Cavaliers have earned a great award and received the recognition many players strive for and yet, the focus remained on their teams.

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Melanie Greenberg

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