POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Head coach Jessica O’Brien has announced that seven members of the Marist class of 2017 will join the women’s lacrosse program. The seven incoming freshmen, hailing from three different states, feature a set of twins as well as three high school teammates from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse.
"I am very excited to welcome the class of 2017 to our Marist family,” O’Brien said. “All seven athletes have the capability to contribute largely to our program and I am eager to see what develops over their first year of play. I know this class will be led by very talented and experienced returners who have one thing in mind. I look forward to working again with a group that is going to continue to work together towards a MAAC Championship."
Natalie Bonaroti – 5-8 - Midfield/Defense – Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel Area
Bonaroti will put on a Marist uniform after playing four years of varsity lacrosse at Fox Chapel Area High School, including serving as the team’s captain for two years. She was an All-Section and All-WPIAL selection in both her sophomore and senior seasons and was an All-American Honorable Mention following her senior campaign. A three-time Western Pennsylvania National Tournament team member, Bonaroti was also the recipient United States Navy Outstanding Athlete Award. She was also a two-year letter winner in cross country and was well-accomplished outside of athletics. An Academic All-America, Bonaroti was also a member of the National Honor Society and was a four year recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award. She was also a Medallion Ball candidate in recognition of completing more than 150 hours of community service.
Hayley Burke – 5-5 – Attack – Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa
Burke comes to Poughkeepsie after starting for all four seasons at Massapequa High School. A captain her senior year, she was an All-County Honorable Mention after scoring 26 goals and adding 21 assists. Academically, Burke was an honor roll student for all four years and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Maddie Calkins – 5-5 – Defense – Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy
Calkins is one of three members of her class to come from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. She was a three year member of the varsity team, helping win three Sectional and Regional Championships and two New York State Championships. As a senior, Calkins was selected to the All-League First Team, All-CNY Team, New York State All-Tournament Team and the Exceptional Senior Team. In the classroom, Calkins is a two-time Academic All-American and was on the High Honor roll all four years and was a member of the National Honor Society. She also received varsity letters in soccer and basketball.
Alyssa R. Pitonzo – 5-4 – Defense – Manlius, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy
Pitonzo joins her twin sister Olivia and teammate Maddie Calkins in joining the Red Foxes from Christian Brothers Academy. A three year starter in high school, Pitonzo helped lead CBA to three Sectional and Regional Championships and two New York State Championships. Individually she was named to the All-CNY and OHSL All-League First Teams as a senior and was also an All-League player in 2012. Pitonzo started for both the US Lacrosse Upstate New York National Team and the Upstate New York Under Armour Team. She was also named to the ESPN High School 2013 Girls’ Lacrosse Watch List. A starter on both the soccer and basketball teams, Pitonzo was also a member of the CBA Academic Honor Roll.
Olivia A. Pitonzo – 5-9 – Midfield – Manlius, N.Y./ Christian Brothers Academy
Pitonzo joins her twin sister Alyssa and teammate Maddie Calkins in joining the Red Foxes from Christian Brothers Academy. A three year starter, Pitonzo helped lead CBA to three Sectional and Regional Championships and two New York State Championships. As a senior she was named to the All-CNY First Team and OHSL All-League First Team. She joined her sister in starting for both the US Lacrosse Upstate New York National Team and the Upstate New York Under Armour Team and was also named to the ESPN High School 2013 Girls’ Lacrosse Watch List. A three-year starter for both the soccer and basketball teams, Pitonzo was also a member of the CBA Academic Honor Roll.
Amanda Sanchez – 5-6 - Midfield/Defense - Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point
Sanchez comes to Marist after a four-year varsity career at Rocky Point High School. After helping lead her team to the 2010 Suffolk County Championship, Sanchez was named All-Tournament in 2010 and All-League in 2012 and 2013. She was also a member of the varsity track and varsity field hockey teams. In the classroom, Sanchez was one of the top students in her class and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was twice named an Academic All-American.
Abby Witczak – 5-2 – Goalie – Mendham, N.Y./West Morris Mendham
A four year starter for West Morris Mendham, Witczak led her high school team to an overall record of 75-16 during her career. A captain in her senior year, Witczak was selected to the All-Conference First Team and the All-County First Team. In her junior campaign she was named Morris County Coaches Association Honorable Mention and All-Conference Honorable Mention. She led West Morris Mendham to the County Tournament Finals all four years and won the Group 3 North Championship four times. Also a member of the field hockey team, Witczak was a High Honor Roll student and was a member of the National Honor Society
Marist finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 9-10 and a 4-2 mark in the MAAC. The Red Foxes advanced to the MAAC Championship finals where they fell 10-9 to the three-time defending MAAC Champion Canisius.