May 7, 2004

Cornell's Top 25 Seniors of 2004

Print More

They’ve been team leaders and role players; record-setters and league champions. The Class of 2004 has accomplished quite a bit in its four years on the Hill. Now, as these seniors prepare to depart Cornell in two weeks, The Sun looks back on their successes and accomplishments.

Ka’Ron Barnes, Men’s Basketball
Ka’Ron Barnes, a two-year captain for the men’s basketball team, was the leader of one of the programs most exciting teams in recent memory. The consensus All-Ivy performer started the season as the prestigious cover boy for The Sun’s Basketball Pullout special and went on to disappoint no one. Barnes, a slashing scorer with serious range, led the Ivy League in scoring (20.1 ppg) and was the No. 2 man in both assists (4.6 apg) and steals (1.9 spg). Those insane numbers, a triple threat that few players in league history could boast, earned Barnes an all-district nod from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He was the first Cornellian in 17 years to grab the impressive honor. Barnes scoring came consistently, as he touched double figures in 26 of 27 regular season games this season, with 16 of those topping the 20-point mark. He ended his nearly unparalleled career on East Hill as the program’s third-leading scorer and with the fourth-highest season assist total in Cornell history. Barnes has recently been invited to the Heartland Invitational Draft Camp where scouts from the NBA, CBA, and USBL will be able to screen the elite 64-player talent pool.

Marisa Bianchi, Women’s Polo
This past season, Bianchi became the second woman ever to win four straight national championships in polo. This past season, she was very effective in filling the void left by Taylor McLean ’03, who was the first person to accomplish that feat. As the captain of the team, Bianchi was often relied upon to pick up much of the scoring slack.

George Boiardi, Men’s Lacrosse
It seems ironic that it took a tragedy to make Boiardi stand out among the crowd of the elite men’s lacrosse players in the country. The truth is, in the past three years, Boiardi had been among the most effective defensemen in the country. Before his untimely death during the March 17 game against Binghamton, Boiardi had been one of four captains of the men’s lacrosse team, a role in which he was most able to influence the team’s success. Never a very verbose individual, he preferred to lead by example on the field. He was 22.

Andrew Collins, Men’s Lacrosse
One of the most underrated players in all of Division I lacrosse, Collins will play his final regular season game tonight, hoping to extend his assists streak to 17 games. He leads the team in points and assists, and was named a pre-season All-American by Inside Lacrosse magazine. The co-captain was named to the All-Ivy second team last season after leading the team with 39 assists.

Tim DeBlois, Men’s Lacrosse
For the past four seasons, DeBlois has been charged with marking the top scoring threat on just about every opponent the Red has faced. The results? Nothing but success. After being named a preseason All-American last season, he followed up with one of the best campaigns of his career, earning an All-Ivy honorable mention. This season, burdened with taking the place of All-World defenseman Ryan McClay ’03, he picked up another preseason All-America nod.

Karen Force, Women’s Basketball
Most teams struggle to find a consistent leader that can take the reins from the first day of practice to the final game of a season. Cornell women’s basketball has had the unique experience of having just such a performer for almost four seasons. Karen Force entered the program as a highly touted recruit but leaves as one of the school’s most celebrated cagers ever. In her illustrious four-year stay on East Hill, Force become the first Ivy Leaguer ever to record over 1250 points and 400 assists. Arguably the Ancient Eight’s premiere point guard throughout her career, Force took All-Ivy honors all four seasons. Last year she became Cornell’s first-ever junior All-Ivy first team member. As a senior, she was asked to take on even bigger role for her team and stepped up by posting a 12.0 point average and 4.9 assists per game mark. Her career total 1257 points is good for fourth-best at Cornell and the 459 assists she amassed are the most ever by a Cornell basketball player and the fifth-highest mark in Ivy history. A three-time captain, Force is easily one of the great team leaders Cornell has ever seen.

Zach Gallin, Men’s Tennis
After spending four years filling the No. 1 spot on the Red’s lineup, Gallin topped off his stellar career in 2004 by going 7-0 in Ivy League matches. He became just the fourth player int he history of the program to accomplish that feat. He helped Cornell to a 14-8 overall record, the team’s best in recent memory. The Setauket, N.Y. native has also had a very successful doubles career for the Red, reaching the round of 16 in the 2002 ECAC tournament.

Hannah Garrity, Women’s Track
As a sprinter and hurdler, Garrity has been a key component to much of Cornell’s success in winning five straight winter and spring Heps titles. A versatile competitor, she has won races in 60 meters, 100 meters, 400 meters, 400 intermediate hurdles, the 4×100 relay, and the Red’s dominant 4×400 team. As a sophomore, she was named the team MVP, and has served as one of the team’s four captains during her senior year.

Rachel Goldberg, Gymanstics
Perhaps known best for her work off the mat, Goldberg anchored a record-setting gymnastics team as well this past season. She is a three-time All-American on the vault. In addition, she has been named to the Verizon Academic All-America team. For the past two years, she’s served as president of Cornell’s chapter of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Red Key Honorary Society.

Matt Greenberg, Wrestling
Cornell wrestling has certainly risen to supreme status in the world of Cornell athletics. Their success has been thanks, in large part, to the efforts of its star at 197-pounds, Matt Greenberg. Greenberg placed seventh at this year’s NCAA Championships, winning his first EIWA final in three tries along the way. At the NCAAs, Greenberg suffered an unfortunate injury that limited his potential finish to the No. 7 spot in his weight class. Before that unlucky ending, however, Greenberg used more than luck to barrel his way through the Ivies, finishing Cornell’s outstanding team season with a 5-0 personal mark. For his league efforts, Greenberg easily captured unanimous All-Ivy first team honors along with junior Travis Lee.

Greg Hornby, Men’s Hockey
Arguably the campus’s most popular athlete, Hornby made his mark throughout his four-year romp with the men’s hockey team. Widely admired as the bruiser of the Red, Hornby has roused many crowds with his hard hits and antagonistic antics. Hornby was unfortunately sidelined for much of his freshman season but quickly made up for lost time in his sophomore and junior years. At the Frozen Four, a season ago, Hornby was called “college hockey’s most underrated player” by a nationally recognized college hockey source. The “AHA” line as The Sun has called it, consisting of Hornby and the Abbott Twins, didn’t allow a single goal the entire regular season last year. Hornby has also been an integral part of The Sun’s hockey coverage, giving his weekly “Thoughts on the Weekend” for the past two years. Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 frequently referred to Hornby as his most reliable performer and few of the Faithful would second-guess his analysis. Hornby is a coach’s dream and an opponent’s nightmare; he also happens to be one of The Sun’s all-time favorite guys.

Senter Johnson, Men’s Polo
Johnson has proven time and again that he is one of the most powerful forces in all of polo. He began his career having never played the game before. Since then, he has proven his ability to completely take over a game. He consistently scores in double digits, and is one of the best penalty shooters in the nation. Over his
four years, he has helped lead the Red to the national tournament four times, garnering All-America honors in each of the last three years.

Emily Knight, Women’s Soccer
After a sparkling three-year career with the women’s soccer team, Emily Knight elevated her game to another level as a senior. The tri-captain led the team with 11 goals and four assists. The 26 points she totaled placed her second in the Red record books for a single season. The 11 goals place her at the very top of the single season charts at Cornell. Knight picked some good times for her goals, as well, tallying three game-winners. Over her career, Knight also made her mark on the Cornell record books. Her 24 career goals place her fifth in school history and her 55 points are sixth-best. The All-Ivy honorable mention was twice chosen as the Cornell Athlete of the Week over the course of her remarkable season.

John Lipiros, Men’s Heavyweight Crew
Liparos, a member of the first varsity boat, has helped the Red to several top finishes in his four-year career. The Ventnor, N.J. native will hope to help Cornell to a better finish in the upcoming IRA championships than last year’s sixth place finish. He is also a contender for a spot on the U.S. national rowing team.

Carissa Mirasol, Field Hockey
Though the field hockey team struggled last season, after its finest campaign in program history the year prior, one veteran remained a particular highlight. Carissa Mirasol tallied three points in her final season and leaves Cornell with some even more impressive composite numbers. Last year, Mirasol became the second player in school history to be named to the Regional All-America first-team. Mirasol tallied 17 points in that standout year while also earning First-team All-Ivy honors. She leaves East Hill ranked seventh in points and third in career assists.

Neil Morrissey, Football
Neil Morrissey was unquestionably the leader of the Red’s defensive unit in the oftentimes hectic 2003 season. For his efforts, the well-rounded and well-respected veteran received the Pop Warner Most Valuable Player Award from his teammates at their annual awards banquet in January. An All-Ivy honorable mention at defensive back, Morrissey ranked fifth in the Ivy League with 94 total tackles. His 52 solo efforts were also near the top of the league’s elite. He actually lead the Ivies with 14 pass break-ups and was assigned the opposing team’s featured receiver on a very consistent basis throughout the year. Anchored by Morrissey’s secondary prowess, the Red’s pass defense hovered near the top of the national rankings almost the entire season. Morrissey’s highlight game came against National runner-up Colgate, when he racked up a mind-boggling 24 tackles in one game. The mark was just three off the school record.

Ian Pilarksi, Men’s Soccer
Ian Pilarski, who was recently drafted and signed by Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, is one of Cornell athletics’ true crowning jewels in 2003-04. The All-Ivy first teamer has been juggling his schoolwork and pre-professional training ever since and is sure to gain Cornell recognition on the national soccer scene. In his travels with the Fire, Pilarski has already tallied a goal and two assists in four exhibitions overseas. Pilarski also wracked up some impressive numbers while playing for Cornell. The standout’s career was characterized by 23 total points, including 15 assists — fourth-best in school history — and one All-Ivy Honorable Mention and a second-team selection. The veterans career was capped by this season first-team honors. In 2001, Pilarski was only the sixth player in Cornell history to record seven assists in a single campaign. Look for Ian in an MLS stadium near you.

Danny Royce, Men’s Swimming
Royce was named the MVP of the men’s swimming and diving team this past season after helping the Red to a record-breaking season. He was a member of the 400 medley team, which set a record of 3:20.68. In his career, he has proven to be versatile and consistent, earning the respect of his coaches and teammates.

Amelia Siani, Women’s Crew
Siani, the co-captain of the women’s crew has helped lead the squad to great success over the past four years. As a freshman, she stroked the novice eight to an undefeated season. She moved up to the varsity eight by her junior year, when the crew placed fifth in the grand finals of the Eastern Sprints. Siani, a biology and society major, was named a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association scholar-athlete. This season, she has helped the team to two first-place and two second-place finishes.

Sarah Sterman, Softball
As a sophomore, Sterman compiled a remarkable streak of 39 1/3 scoreless innings. Her career’s stock continued to rise following that performance. Last season, she further established herself as among the best pitchers in the Ivy League, compiling a 1.43 ERA with 85 strikeouts and 15 walks. She was named an All-Ivy honorable mention. This season, she has been instrumental in helping the Red to a 15-game winning streak and a share of the Ivy League title, winning 20 games.

Ashely Stover, Volleyball
Stover posted a stellar senior year, as she was named to the All-Ivy first team after helping the Red to its best season since 1989. A top performer, she led the Ivy League in hitting percentage and ranked second in stops. She was part of a senior class that went 72-34 over their four years on the Hill.

Drew Tennant, Men’s Lightweight Crew
Tennant has helped lead the lightweight crew to its best season ever. With last weekend’s victory in the Baggaley Cup, the Red won its ninth regatta of the season, becoming the winningest lightweight crew in program history. Tennant has been a member of the squad for the past four years, during which time he has been instrumental in the crew’s consistent improvement.

Debbie Quibbel, Volleyball
Lists are usually an annoyance and take away from the prestige which you are trying to display. However, with women’s volleyball senior Debbie Quibbel, things are a bit different. Allow us, if you will, to list out her accomplishments this one time. Quibbel is the program’s all-time leader in kills (1212), kills per game (3.52), attack attempts (3393) and digs per game (3.25). She is second in digs (1118), third in service aces (127) and sixth in aces per game (.37). Impressed yet? Well, consider this: she has been an All-Ivy selection three times, twice a first-teamer, and also a second-team Academic All District honoree. Still, anyone who knows Quibbel would probably tell you that her off-the-floor performance is even more impressive than her astronomical numbers between the lines. With a 3.38 average and two-time Academic All-Ivy selections, Quibbel also dazzles in the classroom. Next year this consummate student-athlete will head to South Africa to work at an AIDS orphanage.

Ryan Vesce, Men’s Hockey
Ryan Vesce leaves East Hill with a bittersweet taste in his mouth. After being a pivotal part of the men’s hockey team’s run to the Frozen Four a year ago, he could only watch as this year’s team fell short. Unfortunately for the Red, during the final two games of its season-ending series with Clarkson, Vesce was sidelined with a head injury. Still, the crafty forward will have much to be remembered for and much to be proud of as he packs his bags here. The team’s unchallenged MVP in 2003-04, ended his career with 128 points (46 goals and 82 assists), good for 22nd on the all-time program chart. He was a second-team All-Ivy selection and an All-ECAC honorable mention, though he spent five games on the bench with various injuries throughout the season. Still, the offensive juggernaut was able to rack up 10 goals and 16 assists this season — which are sub-standard marks according to the impossible standard he set for himself prior to this year. A glimpse of all that Vesce was capable of came early in the season in an uncommon performance against Princeton. In the 7-0 Cornell victory, Vesce played a role in all seven goals — scoring a hat trick and adding four assists in one inconceivable night o
f hockey. The Lynah Faithful will miss Vesce for his exciting style of play and dazzling stickhandling, while his teammates will miss his spirited leadership and invaluable input. Surely one of the largest holes Cornell hockey will have to fill in 2004-05 is at the first-line center position.

Rahim Wooley, Men’s Track
As the top sprinter on the men’s squad, Wooley has had a remarkable career. He holds Cornell records in the 60 meters and 200 meters indoors. He has also scored in several events in just the indoor and outdoor Heps championships. As a senior, Wooley has served as a co-captain for both the indoor and outdoor squads. At this weekend’s outdoor Heps at Brown, Wooley is a favorite in events such as the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints.

Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor
and Scott Jones
Sun Senior Writer