Sports DIVISION III • WOMEN’ S FIELD HOCKEY Inspired by a Cause Coach Jenn Noon & Noelle Shirey (Photo: Deborah Feingold) Last May, the Devils women’s field hockey team received a call that would not only change the upcoming fall season, but also their lives. Jenn Noon, three-time Middle Atlantic Conference-Freedom Coach of the Year, informed the team that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Kim Davis, senior forward and MAC-Freedom Offensive Player of the Year, adopted the hashtag #NOONefightsalone and spread the news instantly via social media. “We made a pact to come together, come into the season on fire and be there for her. We wanted to make sure that she didn’t have to worry about anything,” says senior midfielder Noelle Shirey. “I think we did a good job of that. Entering the preseason, everyone came out strong.” The team vowed to support Noon both on and off the field. Shirey designed a T-shirt featuring Noon’s favorite icon (an anchor), a pink ribbon and the hashtag #NOONefightsalone. The teammates sold the shirts online, raising more than $3,000. The team also hosted a breast cancer awareness game on October 12, with admission fees going to support Noon. “I have to say, I owe all of the efforts to Noelle and the rest of the team because of what they have done,” says Noon. The president of Division III field hockey also reached out to Noon wanting to organize something for her. “At that point,” Noon recalls, “I said I don’t want this year to be about Jenn Noon and Jenn Noon’s breast cancer. I told them I was in the process of trying to find someone that I could donate the money to and connected with Lexi, a 6-year-old girl from Hopatcong, N.J., who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.” Donations for Lexi can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/fdufhloveforlexi. T-shirts were sold in support of Noon, raising more than $3,000. Team members, family, friends and other Florham Campus organizations participated in Lavawalk, a breast cancer walk in Lavallette, N.J., and donated $500 to Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove, N.J., an organization that assists women battling cancer. The team also hosted games this season to raise funds to support patients with Hunter syndrome, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. “We pick illnesses that are close to our hearts,” says Shirey. “If anyone on the team has a family member or friend who is suffering, we dedicate a game to that cause.” Noon’s goal is to spread cancer awareness. “Once that awareness is out there it allows people to talk about what they have gone through; there are so many people who have gone through breast cancer or a different type of cancer and the process of chemotherapy, radiation and recovery. When I hear those success stories from people confident enough to talk about it, that is what I am looking for. Sometimes people keep it in and they don’t want to share their stories, but I feel the more knowledge there is, the more power there is to find a cure.” When it comes to her players, Noon wants to make them the best “I am also going to prepare them and teach them about real-world experiences. They get it done on the field, and off the field they really take into account how to be a good citizen.” Noon annouced in December that she is “cancer free.” — S.C. Color of the Season: Pink! This basketball was given to Noon at a King's College "Pink Out" field hockey match by the college's women's basketball team. (Photo courtesy of King's College Athletics) The Rutgers University field hockey team hosted a breast cancer awareness game in honor of Coach Noon, who is a 2004 Rutgers alumna, and named her honorary captain for the game. Several Devils athletics teams raised funds in honor of Noon as well. In addition to the field hockey team, the women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, volleyball and football teams held Pink Games during the season, as did Rowan University. The Devils softball team also raised funds, selling bracelets at their fall tournament against County College of Morris and New York University. Altogether, more than $2,112 has been raised. DIVISION I • MEN’S BASKETBALL Community MVP Basketball Forward Tyrone O’Garro (Photo: Larry Levanti) Knights men’s basketball forward Tyrone O’Garro doesn’t just give his all on the court — he gives it to his community as well. Of his hometown, Newark, N.J., he says,“The media covers all the bad, but there are a lot of good people.” The graduate student studying public administration notes, “From an early age, people started helping my mother and me.” So, he has committed himself to helping people and paying it forward. O’Garro volunteers his time at Next Level Education Through Sports. “I go back to John F. Kennedy Recreation Center to run practices,” he says. “The kids have seen me go from playing in middle school and high school to playing for Monmouth University on television and transferring to FDU,” he says. “They are inspired, and they are asking what to expect in college.” O’Garro remembers being a child enamored by star athletes, too. “It is cool, but it’s also a little scary now that people are watching me, and if I mess up everyone will see it,” says O’Garro. But being in the spotlight has changed his perspective. “I take my time, and I think before I act because it isn’t just about me at this point. I am the eldest of my brothers and sisters, and they look up to me. And my community is behind me, so it is bigger than me.” SUSTAINABLE CHANGE “ I take my time, and I think before I act because it isn’t just about me at this point. I am the eldest of my brothers and sisters, and they look up to me.” Inspired by his sister, who is visually impaired, he has also worked for the New Jersey Commission of the Blind and Visually Impaired. He finds the work gratifying. “I always say that even though they are the ones who are visually impaired, they really see. They care about who you are as a person, not what you wear.” O’Garro has also done internships with the Essex County Democratic Committee canvassing for votes, and with the Bergen County NAACP. “Everything is geared toward putting myself in a position to make change, change for my community and my family, sustainable change. I owe it to humanity to help out my community, because if my mentors hadn’t helped me out, I don’t know where I would be.” — S.C. NEC Brings Season’s Best Mae Thompson, junior, Knights track and field, placed 5th overall in the NEC tournament, finishing with her season’s best, 20:01.9 (6:26.5 avg. mile) in the 5k and receiving All-NEC honors. (Photo: Larry Levanti) Distinctions and Highlights Top Performers Earn Honors All-MAC Freedom 1st Team MEN’S SOCCER Sophomore Forward: Jose Guardado Senior Midfielder: A. J. Carnevale WOMEN ’S SOCCER Senior Midfielder: Brittini Calleo FIELD HOCKEY Senior Forward: Kim Davis Senior Defender: Erin O’Connell, Defensive Player of the Year. Leading the team with seven saves, she broke the school’s career record, with 17 in four years. Sophomore Defender: Makayla Pak All-NEC 1st Team WOMEN ’S SOCCER Sophomore Forward/Midfielder: Elma Kolenovic Sophomore Midfielder: Jessi Reinhardt NEC All-Rookie Team MEN ’S SOCCER Freshman Midfielder/Defender: David Bokumabi Freshman Midfielder: Daniel Lasarte For complete fall season news, visit www.fdudevils.com and www.fduknights.com.
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