Press Release

Pace Women’s Lacrosse Team Honored at New York State Capitol

January 18, 2024
Members of the Pace University Women's Lacrosse team with the Westchester Delegation in Albany.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: “These young women proudly took Westchester County and New York State into a national arena”

Ring ceremony scheduled for Friday in Westchester

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and members of the Westchester state delegation on Tuesday honored Pace University's women's lacrosse team at the New York State Capitol.

The team was recognized for their extraordinary season that culminated with the 2023 Division II National Championship, which marked the first time a school from Westchester County won a national title. The celebration at the Capitol precedes the upcoming NCAA Championship Ring Ceremony scheduled for Friday, adding to the festivities surrounding the team's historic achievement.

(From left) Volunteer Assistant Coach Robert Molfetta, Co-Captain Delilah Doyle, Co-Captain Kayla Conway, Head Coach Tricia Molfetta, Co-Captain Emma Rafferty, and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins holding Senate Resolution No. 1667.
(From left) Volunteer Assistant Coach Robert Molfetta, Co-Captain Delilah Doyle, Co-Captain Kayla Conway,Head Coach Tricia Molfetta, Co-Captain Emma Rafferty, and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins holding Senate Resolution No. 1667.

“I am so honored to welcome the Pace Women's Lacrosse team who are national champions in their sport,” Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said during remarks on the Senate floor. “Most of them are New Yorkers, most of them have never been to our beautiful capitol, and certainly all of them, were born after the Title IX enactment, which allowed for the government to acknowledge women's ability to place sports, and to be funded the way that men's teams were funded.

“I grew up in a time where girls were expected to be cheerleaders, stay on the sidelines, and not really participate in serious sports,” she added. “It's important to know that government works in many ways to level the playing field and when we level the playing field, we get to see excellence from everyone.”

Watch the Majority Leader’s and other State Senator’s remarks here.

Throughout the day in Albany, Pace’s student athletes received warm greetings and accolades from members of the Westchester delegation, including Assemblywoman MaryJane Shimsky, Assemblyman Matt Slater, Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg, Senator Shelley Mayer, Senator Peter Harckham, Senator Jamaal Bailey, and Senator Nathalia Fernandez, many of whom praised the players during their respective legislative sessions.

Assemblymember Shimsky, who represents the Pleasantville campus, introduced the team during the Assembly session, while Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins introduced them in the Senate session.

“The Pace University women’s lacrosse team are Division II NCAA National Champions, they also have the distinction of being the first NCAA from Westchester County,” said Assemblywoman Shimsky. She continued by individually recognizing each player by announcing their name.

“Today has been an unforgettable experience, it is such an incredible feeling being acknowledged for our hard work and achievements,” said Angelina Porcello, National Player of the Year, of Eastchester. ”The overwhelming support we've received, coupled with the chance to explore the amazing architecture and history of the Capitol building, has been truly remarkable. We have had the opportunity to meet amazing and inspiring people within the Capitol building and we are just so grateful to have been invited to such a beautiful and important place.”

The Setters, who begin their pre-season this week, won the National Championship in Indianapolis in May by defeating previously unbeaten West Chester, 19-9. The 19 goals scored by the Setters were the most-ever scored in a DII Women's Lacrosse championship game.

The Setters, who finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 21-2 record, won a staggering 17 games against ranked opponents during the 2023 season, including a Golden Rams team that came into the National Championship game a perfect 22-0 on the year.

In June, they joined college athletes from across the country representing all three NCAA divisions—national championship winners—that were recognized at the White House as part of the inaugural "College Athlete Day." In September, Pace University honored members of the team at halftime of the Pace football game at Northwell Stadium in Pleasantville where the winning championship banner was unveiled. Additionally, earlier this year the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was illuminated in Pace blue and gold.

“Thank you to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for extending the invitation to the New York State Capitol and recognizing our team’s National Championship victory,” said Emma Rafferty, a midfielder from Bayshore, N.Y. ”Having the opportunity to sit on the Senate chamber floor while the team was acknowledged is one I will truly cherish.”

“It’s incredibly gratifying to be recognized before so many people who have been supportive to us in our exciting national title run,” said Head Coach Tricia Molfetta, who is beginning her seventh season with the team. “This year has been marked by numerous unprecedented milestones for our program, and this conclusion feels like the perfect culmination of our extraordinary season. I am so grateful we were able to end our year in such a monumental way and I know the experience today will be one this team will share with their friends and families for the rest of their lives.”

About Pace University

Since 1906, Pace University has been transforming the lives of its diverse students—academically, professionally, and socioeconomically. With campuses in New York City and Westchester County, Pace offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs to 13,600 students in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Sands College of Performing Arts, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

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