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Player reaction from 6th Annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Classic (@HEADstrongFND)

Sunday, 28th September 2014

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, HEADstrong  

By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg, Posted 9/28/14

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Villanova senior defender Ali Brandenburg said that Saturday’s 6th Annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Classic was another example of the lacrosse community rallying for a cause.

“I think this tournament shows how the lacrosse community can come together for something bigger than itself and really support a good cause,” she said. “All these people come out from all over to support it.

Villanova's Ali Brandenburg

Villanova’s Ali Brandenburg

“I think it is really awesome to come up here and show support for someone we weren’t directly involved with, but I think that just shows how strong the lacrosse community can be.”

Villanova, along with La Salle, represented Philadelphia in the 15-team Fall Ball tourney at Hofstra University. The event raises money and awareness for the HEADstrong Foundation in its fight against blood cancer in Nick’s honor. The HEADstrong Foundation also will run the Nick Colleluori Classic in two weeks at Ridley and the University City Class in late October.

“You hear the story of what Nick went through and it shows you that you have to take everything that you’re given because it’s a gift and you never know when it is going to be over,” said Brandenbrug, a graduate of Annapolis (MD) who herself missed all of the 2014 with an injury. “It is nice we can be out here on this beautiful day playing again and supporting this cause.”

Other questions/comments from the event:

How does this event prepare you for the Fall season?

Brandenburg: “This is our first fall tournament and we only practiced for two weeks so we were using today to see where we are and we are trying to progress throughout the day. Afterwards we want to reevaluate. I’m sure we will watch plenty of film on it and then pick and choose what we really need to work on. This is a great way to start off fall ball. We are playing better than last year but we have a lot to work on. We look pretty good so far.”

La Salle's Kelly Furman

La Salle’s Kelly Furman

La Salle senior midfielder Kelly Furman (Boyertown)

Why is this event so important?
Furman: “I think this is a really good opportunity to come out and play for HEADstrong. It is a really serious foundation and we love supporting them. It has been a fun day so far.”

How does this event prepare you for the Fall season?
Furman: “We just played the Hofstra alumni and it was really fun to get out there and play against players that used to play. We feel good we are really excited for the year. We have a lot of freshmen that are putting in work and it feels good so far. Goals for the season are to improve from last year and make it to the playoffs again.”

Hofstra senior defender April Iannetta

Hofstra's April Iannetta

Hofstra’s April Iannetta

Why is this event so important?
Iannetta: “As some people might know HEADstrong was started here at Hofstra a few years ago before I got here. So playing in the tournament as a team representing HEADstrong is a really important thing to us. We love coming out here every year and playing a lot of good competition and supporting the HEADstrong Foundation. Everyone here really knows about Nick’s story and gets the low down on what his story was.

“There are quotes all over this building that reference Nick and the foundation that he started. On the boys’ team every year someone is given his number 27 (to wear during the season) as a reminder of him and representing what he was all about. Everyone around Hofstra knows about Nick and the legacy he left here.”

Hofstra senior goalie Kelsey Gregerson

Hofstra's Kelsey Gregerson

Hofstra’s Kelsey Gregerson

Why is this event so important?
Gregerson: “This tournament is in our hearts so much just because of what Nick left here. He made a lot for Hofstra lacrosse. He founded the Relentless work, the hard work, the put-your-all on-the-field because you never know when it is going to end. We strive for that. We cheer relentless. We always make sure we are playing for the name on our shirt. Today we are playing for HEADstrong and Nick and his family. Nick is everywhere on this campus, no matter what time of the year not just during the HEADstrong tournament. There is a locker dedicated to Nick with all his relentless gear in it. This means a lot to us.

“You don’t get the opportunity to do this and be a part of something so great that has meant so much too many people and is trying to find a cure for cancer it just means so much to us. I’m a senior and watching this grow it means more and more to me each year.”

How does this event prepare you for the Fall season?
Gregerson: “The first game definitely got the kinks out. This is the first time most of us are playing together because we have 11 freshman. So this about getting their kinks out and us learning to play together. We are learning what we need to fix and what we need to do. We are going out there and giving it our all. Our goals are to win the CAA and for the team to work together like we always do every year and get that team bond.”

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