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Women’s, Men’s Soccer Teams Pay Tribute to Graduating Seniors

Prior to their respective Sunday matches against Penn State Abington, the Penn College soccer teams honored their graduating seniors. Each of the student-athletes – one on the women’s squad and six on the men’s – was presented with a framed team photo while being acknowledged by coaches, family and other supporters during the pregame ceremonies.

Valeria Passalacqua (5) is joined on-field by (from left) Scott Kennell, director of athletics; coach John McNichol; her mother; assistant coach Kristen Gedon; and college President Davie Jane Gilmour.
Valeria Passalacqua (5) is joined on-field by (from left) Scott Kennell, director of athletics; coach John McNichol; her mother; assistant coach Kristen Gedon; and college President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Valeria Passalacqua, an occupational therapy assistant major from McAlisterville, has been a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Lady Wildcat team and a big part of its success during her time at Penn College. She has scored 27 goals and recorded four assists over her career, totaling 58 points, as well as being named a United States Collegiate Athletic Association Second Team All-American during her sophomore season.

Coach John McNichol and the rest of the women’s soccer team thanked Passlacqua for four great years.

Honored on the men’s team were Blayne Allen, Adrian Bukur, Evan Coyne, Christian Dressler, Jacob Tuck and Tristan Smith.

A native of Trumbull, Connecticut, Allen has been with Penn College soccer since 2011. So far in his career, he has amassed 11 goals and five assists for a total of 27 points. His efforts helped the team to conference championships in 2011 and 2012. This season, Allen has seen action in 10 games and scored the double-overtime winner against SUNY-ESF. Allen will graduate with a degree in information technology: network specialist concentration.

Bukur, from West Hazleton, has been a member of the team since 2012 and was a member of that year’s championship squad. As a defender, he has totaled a goal and three assists in his collegiate career. Bukur helped the team to 1.28 goals against average last season, ranking the team eighth nationally and first in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. He has seen action in 14 games this season, helping the team to four shutout wins. As an automotive technology management major, Bukur has also excelled in the classroom, earning PSUAC All-Academic Team honors.

A native of East Greenbush, New York, Coyne has been a member of Wildcat soccer since 2012. In his career, he has seen action in 39 games – including 10 this season. He was also a member of the 2012 conference championship squad. Like Bukur, Coyne’s defensive efforts contributed to the noteworthy 1.28 goals-against-average ranking. Coyne will graduate with a degree in building automation technology.

The blue-clad seniors on this year's Wildcat men's soccer team join their families and others. From left are Adrian Bukur, Blayne Allen, Evan Coyne, Christian Dressler, Jacob Tuck and Tristan Smith. Also pictured (from right) are team manager Jason Van Gent, coach Rafael Morais, President Gilmour and Kennell.
The blue-clad seniors on this year’s Wildcat men’s soccer team join their families and others. From left are Adrian Bukur, Blayne Allen, Evan Coyne, Christian Dressler, Jacob Tuck and Tristan Smith. Also pictured (from right) are team manager Jason Van Gent, coach Rafael Morais, President Gilmour and Kennell.

A native of McAlisterville, Dressler has been a member of the team since 2012, when the team was conference champion. In three years, he has totaled 10 goals and five assists – including three game-winners. He has been a strong leader, captaining the team for the past two years. This season, Dressler has seen action in 13 games, scoring a goal against Penn State Berks. He has shone in the classroom as a building automation technology major, as well, earning national and conference All-Academic honors.

Tuck, of Hollsopple, has been a four-year Penn College soccer member, starting in all 71 games he has played. He has recorded three goals and 10 assists in his collegiate career so far. A team captain since his sophomore year, Tuck was also a part of the 2011 and 2012 conference championship squads. In 2012, his play in the midfield earned him Second-Team All-Conference honors. An aviation technology major, Tuck has also been a standout in the classroom earning PSUAC All-Academic honors in 2013.

Teammates hold larger-than-life "head shots" of this year's seniors (from left): Smith, Tuck, Dressler, Coyne, Bukur and Allen.
Teammates hold larger-than-life “head shots” of this year’s seniors (from left): Smith, Tuck, Dressler, Coyne, Bukur and Allen.

A native of Sandys, Bermuda, Smith has been a member of the team since 2010, earning two conference championships in the process. Smith has been a top performer for the Wildcats throughout his career, scoring 25 goals and seven assists for a total of 57 points in his three seasons. In his rookie year, he played in all 20 games in his rookie year, with 14 goals and six assists. He attained First-Team All-Conference status, as well as being named a USCAA All-American Honorable mention. This season, Smith has a team-leading six goals including two in the team’s conference win against Lancaster Bible. He will graduate with a degree in welding technology.

Coach Rafael Morais and the rest of Penn College men’s soccer wished the 2014 senior class all the best and thanked them for their time and dedication to Wildcat soccer.

Men’s photos by Jami Hughes, assistant director of athletics/sports information director

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