Ten of Episcopal Academy’s finest athletes signed with Division I programs Tuesday.
• Jane Crager, University of Michigan (women’s lacrosse)
• Lily Crager, University of Michigan (women’s lacrosse)
• Chris Friedman, University of Hartford (men’s lacrosse)
• Maria Kilcullen, Loyola (Md.) (women’s basketball)
• Genevieve McCormick, Army (women’s tennis)
• Josh Owsiany, Duke University (men’s diving)
• Christy Palazzese, Duke University (field hockey)
• Colin Reder, University of North Carolina (men’s lacrosse)
• Ali Rushton, University of North Carolina (field hockey)
• Curtis Zappala, University of Maryland (men’s lacrosse)
Palazzese and Rushton are co-captains of the Episcopal Academy field hockey team that capped an undefeated Inter-Ac season with a 2-1 victory over Agnes Irwin and is the top seed in 2014 PAISAA tournament. They will play against each other in one of the fiercest collegiate rivalries in the nation: Duke (Palazzese) vs. North Carolina (Rushton).
“It’s going to weird, but fun to be rivals,” Rushton said.
Palazzese added, “We’ll be 10 minutes away from each other, so we can hang out more even though we’ll be at different schools.”
Josh Owsiany, Episcopal’s record-setting diver who has won Easterns four years in a row, will also be a Duke Blue Devil in the fall. His 573 points set a La Salle University pool record and an Easterns meet record last year.
“I just felt that Duke was the best combination of academics and athletics,” says Owsiany. “It’s a great school and I am so excited to be going there. And it’s awesome that I’ll already someone down there with Christy (Palazzese) going to Duke too.”
Sisters Lily and Jane Crager both signed to play lacrosse at the University of Michigan, while EA’s top female singles player Genevieve McCormick has committed to Army, where her older brother Harrison is one of the Cadets’ top male players.
“It’ll be nice to have a year together with my brother at West Point,” McCormick said. “My grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, so the military life is common in my family. I’m really excited to be going to West Point.”
The Cragers, both first-team All-Inter-Ac performers last year who will serve as captains for EA’s lacrosse program in the spring, are both headed to Michigan. Jane is a midfielder and defender, while Lily is an attackerfor an EA team that went 16-3 overall last season and tied with Agnes Irwin for the Inter-Ac crown, the 10th consecutive year that EA has either shared or outright won the league title.
“I am very excited for both Lily and Jane to be headed to a big-time school like Michigan,” said Episcopal lacrosse coach Josie Ferri. “They are both extremely aggressive, strong and relentless players, and I know they will have an immediate impact in the Big 10. I am so proud of them both for all they’ve achieved here at Episcopal, and I know they will lead our program to another successful season this spring as the 2015 captains.”
Andy Hayes’ Episcopal boys lacrosse team continues to produce Division I lacrosse players as three more Churchmen inked with Division I schoos: The high-scoring Zappala, rock-solid goaltender Reder, and talented midfielder Friedman.
“Today is a very special day for Curtis, Colin, and Chris and their families. I am extremely proud of these young men for all of their hard work and sacrifice to reach their goals of playing Division I lacrosse,” Hayes said. “Maryland, North Carolina, and Hartford are getting exceptional student-athletes who will make an impact on their respective programs.”
For Loyola-bound Maria Kilcullen, her chosen college offers a mix of proximity, athletics, and academics.
“Loyola is a really good school, plays in the Patriot League, and is only two hours from home so my parents can come to all of my games,” said Kilcullen, a first-team All-Inter-Ac wing who averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 assists per game and played tremendous defense for the Churchwomen.