Three of our very own Hawks have received the prestigious honor of the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District honor, which puts them in consideration for the academic All-American team. Women’s soccer’s Rachel Eisert and Katie Buquicchio and men’s soccer’s Joseph DiPreta are thrilled about their recognition, as this is their first time receiving a praise of this degree.
In order to qualify for the Academic All-District honor, athletes must maintain above a 3.5 GPA while remaining a starter in their position. Our three candidates have each been playing soccer since the age of four, instilling their dedication from a very young age.
Third-year forward and midfielder DiPreta began his soccer career on a recreational team before deciding it was more appropriate to join a club team. Sticking with this passion landed DiPreta the position on the collegiate team, in which he had to balance a heavy course load with a myriad of practices throughout the week, mixing in time for friends and recreational activities where time allows.
“I don’t think I’d be able to say enough about the impact that playing for New Paltz men’s soccer has had on me,” DiPreta shared. “With the help of the coaches and all my teammates over the past three years, my development as a player has been exponential. New Paltz men’s soccer is more than just what happens on the field. I have learned a tremendous amount about the importance of being a good leader, fostering a positive culture and looking out for my teammates.”
The third-year captain helped lead his team towards success at any given moment. This season, he ended with six assists and six goals, gaining 18 points total.
The men’s team has had quite the season this year, with a final score of 9-3-4 overall. The boys gave it their all, even when things seemed grim. One of their biggest accomplishments was their match against Vassar on Sept. 13, in which the Hawks came out on top with a final score of 1-0.
“Our win against Vassar was a great memory [because they are] a tough opponent and one of the best teams in our region,” DiPreta reflected. “My first two seasons [we came] up short, but this year it was sweet to come away with the win.”
The boys traveled all over New York during their regular season. From Oneonta to Buffalo, they got to see a slew of different campuses this semester.
“The victory against Buffalo State in the regular season was a historic one for the program. I believe it was the first time in a number of years that we came away with at least a point after playing at their field. It showed the growth of the program over the years and was a display of the team’s depth this year as we were missing some key guys with injuries and still performed incredibly well,” DiPreta said.
Our women’s team has had quite the season of ups and downs, with a final score of 8-5-5 overall. Their perseverance is apparent in each match they’re faced with and the support between players is what keeps this team connected.
Similarly, these women have to maintain a healthy balance of sports and schoolwork, which isn’t an easy task to accomplish.
“It can definitely be difficult to balance soccer and schoolwork. We have a really understanding coaching staff and teammates that support us in every way possible,” fifth-year defense/midfielder Buquicchio explained. “I had to miss a few games this season because of class conflicts, and I was completely supported with that decision by both my coaches and my teammates. Staying disciplined, making the most out of my time and finding a good balance between school and soccer is really important.”
Buquicchio helped maintain order from the center back position with the Hawks’ defense allowing just 16 goals in 2023. Starting in all 15 games, she played 1,271 minutes with resilience, with one goal on the year.
“One of the most memorable parts of this season for me was receiving the game ball. I broke the program record for goals by one of our alumni. It was such an amazing experience for one of our own [to come] back to see what the program looks like 10 years later,” Eisert shared. “I would love to come back one day and be able to do that with another future player. It is so incredibly rewarding to see how far this program has gone under this staff and it’s even better that I get to do this surrounded by my best friends.”
Eisert became the program’s first ever Offensive Player of the Year after she broke numerous team records. Her accomplishments included 12 single-season goals and 31 points. She was two away from breaking single-season assists as well, finishing with seven.
The three eagerly await the end of December, in which they’ll discover if they’ve been chosen to play on the Academic All-American teams. Congratulations to our Hawks for such a prestigious honor.