Men's Sports Sports Women's Sports

Athletes of the Week for 10/13/11 through 10/19/11

Nick Lovett

Staff Writer

Sophomore Vicky DiNatale of the women’s soccer team and senior James Kikel of the football team have earned the Springfield Student Newspaper Players of the Week award for 10/13/11 through 10/19/11.

Athletes of the Week for 10/13/11–10/19/11

Vicky DiNatale

Vicky DiNatale is a sophomore defender for the Springfield women’s soccer team. She has helped the Pride to a 9-3-1 record with a 5-0-1 conference record.  Eight of the nine Pride victories have been shutouts. DiNatale scored on a penalty kick against UMass Dartmouth as well as doing her defensive duties to the best of her ability. The women’s soccer team has four games remaining and hopes to win out so they have the best seed they can get for the playoffs. Springfield has a road contest against NEWMAC foe Babson on Saturday. Next Tuesday the Pride are back home to host in-city rival Western New England University.

Q. The team has a great record right now. Are you looking for a high seed in the playoffs?

A. I think everyone on the team would love to see us get a high seed in the playoffs, however, we still want to keep our focus on what games are ahead of us, and make sure we perform at our best now and then worry about what seed we have.

 Q. As a defender, how does it feel to have many of the team’s wins be shutouts?

A. It feels really rewarding to know that many of our wins were shutouts. Winning games definitely takes a team effort but knowing that many were shutouts reassures me that we as defenders are working together. 

Q. You scored on a penalty kick against UMass Dartmouth. How does it feel to score on a penalty?

A. It felt great knowing my coach had confidence in me to take the shot and give me the opportunity.

Q. How does it feel, as a sophomore, to be a key part of a very successful team?

A. It’s definitely a confidence booster knowing that I’m only a sophomore and seeing how successful this team has been.  It just shows me that my hard work is paying off.

James Kikel

James Kikel is a senior free safety for the Springfield football team, and had nine unassisted tackles in the Pride’s 38-33 win over Ithaca on Saturday. He is a leader on defense, and is currently tops on the team in total tackles with 65. The senior captain also has a pair of interceptions on the season, which leads the team. His play on defense has helped the Pride to a 4-2 overall record with a conference record of 2-2. The Pride’s next game is their senior game against St. John Fisher at 2 p.m. on Saturday. After that, the Pride finish the season on the road. Springfield wraps up its career in the Empire 8 with games against Hartwick and Utica. The 2011 regular season comes to an end with a game against Union.

Q. What does it feel like beating Ithaca on Homecoming?

A. It feels great beating Ithaca on Homecoming.  As a program we haven’t had much success against them so it means a lot to go out on top.

Q. In your opinion, how is the season going so far?

A.  I feel this was a statement win in our season.  So far we are 4-2 we can still have a special season. 

Q. What is your outlook on the rest of the season?

A.  My outlook on the rest of the season is to win out.  We have four games left on our schedule, three of which are league games.  We need to dig in as a team and do everything we can to finish 8-2.

Q. How does it feel leading the team in tackles so far in the season?

A.  It feels good to lead team in tackles, but I am more concerned with how the team is doing.  Being my last year of football all I want to do is win and be the best defense we can be.  As a defense I felt we played one of our better games vs Ithaca.  People hustled to the ball and played with great intensity.  I’m hoping we can build off that win and take it into St. John Fisher this Saturday on Senior Day.

Nick Lovett may be reached at

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