By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/28/13
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Since she is from Philly and also plays lacrosse at Hofstra University, senior Emily Corzel has grown to appreciate the impact of the HEADstrong Foundation’s Women’s Nick Colleluori Classic in many ways.
“This is my fifth year here at Hofstra, I’ve met the Colleluori (family) and I am familiar with the HEADstrong Foundation,” said Corzel, a Merion Mercy graduate. “It’s really great to just be a part of it, being able to give back to Colleluori family and to spread awareness about blood cancer.”
Corzel and her Hofstra squad hosted the Fifth annual Women’s Nicholas Colleluori Lacrosse Classic today, celebrating the life of the Ridley High graduate who died seven years ago after fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a lacrosse player at Hofstra. The event was started to help raise awareness of blood cancer and make people aware of the HEADstrong Foundation, which two years earlier had launched the Nick Colleluori Classic back in Ridley.
Nick Colleluori created the HEADstrong Foundation while battling the disease and his family has helped grow the foundation into a staple for fundraising throughout the lacrosse community and beyond. Here at Hofstra, the men’s and women’s teams have continued to support awareness.
“This is a very close thing to Hofstra University and the Colleluori family,” said Hofstra women’s head lacrosse coach Shannon Smith. “This is very close to the girls here and we are just happy to be able to carry the tradition on and share Nick’s life with everybody else.”
“As a team we are really proud to host this event here at Hofstra,” added Corzel. “Over the past five years this event has grown tremendously, people have become more aware of the foundation and there has been growth in the support.”
This year’s event featured 10 teams besides Hofstra: Stony Brook University, Villanova University, Adelphi University, Catholic University, LIU Brooklyn, LIU Post, Iona College, Long Island University, Manhattan College and the NYAC.
“As a team we are always looking to find a cause that is meaningful and I think HEADstrong is a great foundation,” said Villanova women’s head lacrosse coach Julie Young. “We want to support the research and the cause of the foundation.
“This is great bringing a lot of teams together and having this time to bond with other teams. With the ceremony in the middle you really feel connected to each other and I think that’s an amazing thing. That’s why we are all here; to play and support HEADstrong.”
Each team played four games spanning from 9 a.m. with the last game starting at 2:40 p.m. Sometimes they played back to back games or had a break in between. They were given the break to go and watch other teams or go off by themselves until their next game.
In each game the scores were kept and there were two 20 minute halves with a running clock. In the parking lot there were tents set up providing food and beverages and a trailer selling items in support of the HEADstrong foundation. All proceeds from the day went in support of the foundation.
“I think it is really awesome for us to have a chance to do something for others, play the sport that we love and have it go to charity,” said Villanova senior attack Meredith Mangiarotti. “We are a great group of girls and think it’s nice that we can all rally together and fight a terrible disease.
“It’s a long day, but it is rewarding and nice to play together as a team. We did this event last year and it was a really great experience. Since we were here last year this event means more to our team this time around because now we know how important this foundation is and how great it is to be a part of. We took greater pride in selling the t-shirts this year and wearing the HEADstrong t-shirts around campus.”
The teams came out and played hard cheering their team mates on. They attacked the games like a real game giving the spectators a show. Each team took pride in raising awareness for the foundation and its cause. This event is important to Hofstra University and the players look forward to doing it again next year.
“This is a very fun day and it just reminds you that you are lucky to be doing what you are in life,” said Smith. “As a team we are definitely going to put our work in here to help and make this an even bigger event in the fall for women’s lacrosse by getting more teams involved.”