NYIT Lacrosse Honors 2003 National Championship Team

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They were undefeated: 14-0. They were National Champions; beating Limestone College 9-4 in the NCAA Championship. Six members of the team were First-Team All-Americans; one of them being selected as the nation’s best player that year; the coach is in their sports’ Hall of Fame. That was the legacy of the 2003 NYIT Lacrosse Team probably one of the best teams NYIT has produced in half a century of competitive college athletics.

On March 30th, the 2003 team returned to NYIT for an “Alumni Day” game in which the current Bears took on Chestnut Hill.  This year marked the 10th anniversary for the 2003 National Championship team, and what better way to honor the team then by having a special day set aside for them at President’s Stadium.

During halftime of the game, all players and coaches in attendance from the 2003 team were recognized at midfield by Director of Athletics, Clyde Doughty, not only for their accomplishments but for how important and memorable each of them is to NYIT Athletics.  In attendance from the notable team were Hall of Fame Head Coach Jack Kaley, Graduate Assistant Coach Frank Santodonato, three-time All-American Brian Boyle, three-time All-American and Midfield of the Year Tom Zummo, three-time All-American Matt Hunter, and three-time All-American Matt Miller.

After being introduced one by one to the crowd, the ceremony came to a close with the players and coaches taking a photo with Clyde Doughty. “It means a lot to me.”, says Coach Kaley, “We started the program from scratch in 93′ and finished the first season 8-3 with just 14 players. 03′ was by far the best year, being the only undefeated team at NYIT, and for me the highlight of NYIT Lacrosse.” Similar to this year’s NYIT Lacrosse Team, the 2003 team was led by a phenomenal defensive unit which included Defensive Player of the Year Chris Vertucci, Frank D’Agostino, Jared Cullin, and Matt Hunter who was the National Player of the Year as a goalie. To add to the thundering defense was Attackman of the Year Brian Boyle, who is the all-time assists leader at NYIT.

After the game, a cocktail hour was set up in the Hall of Fame Lobby for the 2003 team and other alumni who wanted to continue the celebration. “It’s a great thing to come back and see everyone and talk to everyone”, said Hunter. He also added, in regard to the reunion, “I’m glad they did it.”Although only a handful of the guys from the team were there to celebrate the anniversary, every single player on that team remembers that season and how special it was to be a part of perhaps the greatest team of athletes that NYIT has ever had.

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