They arrived on East Hill wide-eyed and full of dreams, and for some in this year’s freshman class those visions were realized. After two semesters, countless grueling hours of practice, and season full of blood, sweat and tears, these individuals have distinguished themselves on the local, regional and national scene. They are the Cornell Daily Sun’s Top 10 Freshman Athletes.
Stefano Caprara, Men’s Swimming and Diving
One of the top rookies in the Ivy League, Caprara quickly became one of the swimming team’s top contributors. Besides earning six top-10 finishes at the EISL meet, he also set a school record in the 200-yard backstroke. It wasn’t the only time he’d crack into the books, however, as Caprara assisted on two relay records and earned one more individual before the season’s end.
Lenny Collins, Men’s Basketball
While most freshman forwards don’t see much of the hardwood, Collins was not the typical rookie. He averaged 8.2 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals to lead all Ivy freshman. At the same time, Collins hit 80 percent of his free throws, nearly half of his shots from the field, and over a third of the 3-pointers. The freshman also started 20 of 27 contests, becoming an integral part of the offense. After a phenomenal freshman season and seven Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards, Collins was crowned the league’s Rookie of the Year — the first Cornellian to earn the award in 10 years.
Shannon Fraser, Women’s Soccer
It took just 75 minutes for Fraser to establish herself as an offensive power at Cornell. The freshman assisted on junior Emily Knight’s game winner in the team’s first game of 2002, and never looked back. Fraser continued to play the role of assist maker, recording five on the season, as she and the team made an ECAC post-season run. The freshman also netted three goals, to finish as the team’s second leading scorer.
Andrew George, Men’s Soccer
When everything else seemed to go wrong during the men’s soccer season, George always seemed to stand out, often providing the vital offense spark. George played in each of the team’s 16 matches, leading the team in scoring with three goals and seven points. George was also second on the team in shot percentage.
Dustin Manotti, Wrestling
While there may be some who believe that sophomore Travis Lee is the pinnacle of Ivy wrestling, they probably haven’t had the chance to watch Manotti on the mat. The 149-pound grappler was consistently in the national rankings during his rookie season, and for good reason. Manotti went 33-10 in a season that saw Cornell rise to the top of the Ivies. Powered by Manotti and his key individual wins, the Red won its 24th Ivy title, and first since 1995. The freshman went on to earn All-American status at the NCAA wrestling championships and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year for his efforts.
Matt Moulson, Men’s Hockey
Despite missing the first four games of the season, Moulson broke into the top line of the men’s hockey team and produced some incredible results, including a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Freshest in the minds of most fans, the rookie almost single-handedly ended the Dartmouth jinx, recording the Red’s first hat trick in five years in the process. Moulson picked up several accolades including ECAC Rookie of the Week, and USCHO.com’s Division I Offensive Player of the Week honors for his weekend efforts.
Jen Munhofen, Women’s Hockey
If scoring was a question mark heading into the 2002-03 women’s hockey season, Munhofen was easily the answer. Despite her age, the rookie led the team in scoring with five goals, and had seven assists to finish with 12 points. With her effort, Munhofen easily broke into the lineup, playing in all 27 of her team’s games.
Meghan Phair, Fencing
Phair didn’t let anything stop her this season … not even the snow. After overcoming a mid-western blizzard, the freshman arrived at the NCAA fencing championships and the national scene. When the weekend was over, Phair had finished sixth in the epee division and was recognized as an All-American. Sweeter still, Phair’s win came over long-time Princeton rival Kira Hohensee. The ending was just icing on the cake, however, as Phair spent the regular season as the best epee fencer on the team and in the league.
Matt Serediak, Men’s Squash
A consistent performer, Serediak propelled the men’s squash team into the national rankings. The freshman also knocked off several top players including Yale’s Julian Illingworth, then the No. 3 squasher in the nation. After ending his season as the nation’s 12th best, Serediak was named first team All-Ivy and second team All-America. The 12th-place ranking was also the highest any Cornellian had ever been in the polls.
Allison Schindler, Women’s Lacrosse
Breaking into the lineup early, Schindler hasn’t wasted any time in becoming one of Cornell’s most potent offensive threats. She recently broke the team’s freshman assist record and is quickly approaching the all-time mark. After yesterday’s win over Stanford, she needs just three more assists to make the record books for the second time this season.
Archived article by Matt Janiga