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Archive for the ‘Scholarship Recipients’ Category


2014 9 /15
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NY Cosmos Honor FF Sergio Villanueva

By Jonathan Kanovsky

We salute the NY Cosmos for honoring Sergio on Heroes Night during a pre-game ceremony on Sept 13, 2014. Sergio’s sister Maricel was presented with a #10 NY Cosmos jersey and Executive Director Joe Brosi was presented with an honorary #10 FDNY jersey as well.




Members of the Hofstra Men’s soccer team including scholarship recipient Maid Memic and Head Coach Rich Nuttall were in attendance as well.

Hofstra pix

2012 2 /2
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Holy Cross HS Golf Outing honoring 16 graduates killed on 9/11

By Jonathan Kanovsky


Sergio’s Alma Mater – Holy Cross High School will be holding their 30th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at Engineers Country Club on Monday June 25th. They will be honoring Sergio and 15 other Holy Cross graduates who lost their lives on Sept. 11th. Breakfast, BBQ Lunch, Cocktail Hour, Dinner, and Live Auction are included in the cost.




To register follow the link:

2011 9 /20
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Battle on the Pitch – FDNY Soccer vs NYPD Soccer

By Jonathan Kanovsky

The 3rd Annual Battle on the Pitch returns this Saturday, Sept. 24th at RED BULLS Arena in Harrison. The Battle will take place immediately following the RedBulls vs Portland Timbers game which starts at 7:30.

The FDNY Club will look for revenge after last year’s 3-1 loss. Both teams are practicing hard and expect both squads to come out fired up.

A portion of each ticket will benefit the FF Sergio Villanueva Soccer Foundation.

Please contact the foundation at or call the RedBulls Ticket Office for more information.

2011 2 /2
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Past Scholarship Winner named Puerto Rico Player of Year

By Jonathan Kanovsky

4 Year Sergio Villanueva Scholarship recepient -Hofstra defender Richard Martinez (Highland, N.Y.) was named the Puerto Rico Men’s Soccer Player of the Year by Primera Hora newspaper for the 2010 calendar year.  

Martinez earned the honor after a terrific season with the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL Conference of the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Pro League. He helped the Islanders defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 4-1 win in Los Angeles, spending much of the game marking United States national team member Landon Donavan. The Islanders finished third in the group stage of the Champions League after its upset win over the Galaxy.

In addition, the Islanders went on to capture the USSF D-2 Pro League with a 3-1 aggregate win over the Carolina RailHawks in the final round. The championship represented another big upset, as Puerto Rico finished fifth in the regular season in the USL Conference
2010 11 /16
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Heads Held High

By Jonathan Kanovsky

It was a busy day for the Hofstra Soccer Program this past Sunday. 


The men were playing in the CAA final vs William and Mary after an incredible win in the Semi’s on Friday.  Playing a man down, Hofstra scored 2 goals in the final five minutes (game winner on PK with 5 seconds left) to vault themselves into the finals.  HU played W & M to a 0-0 first half tie, but once the Tribe scored HU pushed forward allowing a few easy goals to end up with a 4-0 final.  Nevertheless, great applause to Coach Nuttall and the boys for never giving up, demonstrating great work ethic, and their effort would make Sergio proud.


The ladies played on Sunday after a routine win against perinniel power UConn.  A quick goal gave them a 1-0 lead that was never relinquished.  The game against BC in the round of 32 was much closer than the 5-0 opening day loss.  The ladies proved much tougher this time out going down to a 3-1 defeat.  The ladies finished 19-3 and we at the foundation are proud to share in their success as 3 scholarship winners (Tiffany Yovino, Brittany Butts, and Nikki Choeffel) played major roles in the success.


Coach Riddough and Coach Nuttall have been extremely supportive of the foundation and have always been willing to lend an extra hand when necessary.  Well done lads, Cheers on two great season

2010 11 /9
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Seasons Extended

By Jonathan Kanovsky

This weekend is a big one for the Hofstra Soccer Programs.  4 scholarship recipients will have extended playing time this year


The Men’s team play in the CAA tournament this weekend and while their task is not easy, two wins will allow them to qualify for the College Cup.  The boys have played brilliantly down the stretch, going 4-0-2, to move from 11th place to a 3rd place finish in Conference play.  Good luck to Coach Nuttall and the boys.


The women travel to Boston College on Friday to play in the NCAA Women’s College Cup.  First round play opens up at 7 pm vs Connecticut at Boston College. A win versus the Lady Huskies will allow the women to avenge their opening day loss as their probable opponent will be Boston College.  The ladies have had a remarkable season finishing at 18-2.  This team is comprised of some special young women who have shown incredible heart all year.  I welcome all our fans in the Massachussets area to come out root for the women.  Good Luck to Coach Riddiough and the Ladies

2010 11 /5
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Paying Dividends

By Jonathan Kanovsky

When we first endowed the Sergio Villanueva Scholarship at Hofstra University, we knew that we would have an impact on the lives of many young men and women. We hoped that these young men and women would exhibit the work ethic and dedication that was a hallmark of Sergio’s life.  2008 scholarship recipient Tiffany Yovino, as well as the whole Hofstra Women’s Soccer team, has exceeded our expectations this year.  17 straight wins, a regular season conference championship, and a national ranking of 17th in the country only tell part of the story.  This group of young women, most from our area, have heard me talk the past 4 years on a variety of subjects including this years theme of overcoming hardships. 


The 2010 Womens Team has not faced many obstacles in 2010  but when challenged, they have stepped up.  Tiffany, while only 5 ft tall, has stood tall, and was named CAA player of the year for her outstanding play.  Coach Riddiough was honored with CAA coach of the year.


The ladies know their season will not be complete without an NCAA tourney bid and hopefully a long run in the tournament.  While a bid is not guaranteed, it would be hard to deny the women a bid this year.  A conference championship this weekend might give them the opportunity to even host first and second round games.


An article in today’s New York Times highlights their accomplishments:


CAA tournament play starts today at 4;30 with JMU vs George Mason, followed by Hofstra playing Georgia State at 7.


Winners will meet Sunday at noon.  All games played at Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.


All of us at the foundation are extremely proud of the entire Hofstra University Women’s Soccer program and wish you luck the next few weekends

2010 11 /1
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By Jonathan Kanovsky


While the Hofstra University Women’s Soccer Team has enjoyed unparalled success this year (more about that in a post later this week), The Men’s Team has struggled at times to find an identity. With Coach Nuttall trying to blend youth and experience the Pride had remained down in the lower depths of the CAA Conference standings. While their back line remained solid, goals were hard to come by for Hofstra. With half the conference season over, the Hofstra Pride found themselves in 11th place. It would have been very easy for this young team to have thrown in the towel, gone through the motions and gotten ready for next year. Coach Nuttall would not allow this to happen.


That is how I found myself standing in front of approximately 20 young men in the visiting locker room at George Mason Stadium. The boys had forged a 3 game unbeaten streak that had vaulted them from 11th place to a 5th Place tie with 3 games left and only the top 4 teams qualifying for the conference tournament. Over the past 8 years, Coach Nuttall has allowed me to address the team during pre-season. These talks focus on Sergio and his dedication as well as a life lesson. While I had addressed the women’s team earlier in the year, scheduling troubles had delayed my talk to the men’s team until last Wednesday night.


This year’s talk focused on trust and how Sergio and his fellow firefighters had trusted each other on 9/11 and throughout the years. Being part of a team must include trusting your brothers and giving maximum effort even when things look bleak. Trust was an important element as the members of the New York City Fire Department entered the WTC on 9/11. Trust was the calming factor as these brave men and women climbed countless stairs to thier untimely death.


I hoped that the team would understand a little bit of what I tried to teach that night and it was soon evident that they did. A George Mason goal mid way through the first half would give the Hofstra team an opportunity to question their trust, but that was not the case. Their second half effort was relentless and an equalizer would come in the latter stages. Their hard work was further rewarded with a goal in the second overtime vaulting the Hofstra Pride to a 2-1 win and into 2nd Place in the CAA.


A home 0-0 draw with the 17th ranked Tribe of William and Mary College allows the Pride to control their own CAA playoff hopes with a win next Saturday at James Madison. I am confident that if the boys continue to trust each other and play with maximum effort, that they will secure a playoff spot.

2010 2 /14
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Scholarship Recipient Signs Pro Contract

By Jonathan Kanovsky

I was very pleased to find out that Richard Martinez,  the Men’s recipient of the Sergio Villanueva Endowed Soccer Scholarship at Hofstra University, has signed a professional Contract with the Puerto Rican Islanders of the USL.  Rich had a great career at Hofstra and was the CAA Defensive Player of the year in 2009.  He had six caps for the Puerto Rico National Team in World Cup qualifying and shares the qualities that made Sergio such an incredible individual. Rich’s dad is a NYS Trooper and Rich has expressed his gratitude for the opportunity given to him and has shown his own willingness to help us fulfill our mission of promoting goodwill through the world’s game. 


 We wish him well and will continue to follow his career.  We hope to have an interview with him shortly.


We hope to have an update on all our scholarship winners soon.  You will be impressed with their accomplishments both on and off the pitch.