Trio of Northwestern girls recognized at signing
It's not often that athletes have the opportunity to continue their athletic careers into the collegiate ranks, let alone the Division I landscape.
Three Northwestern girls made those visions become a reality.
Angela Motolese (Fairleigh Dickinson University) and Rachele Cerrone (University of Pittsburgh) committed to Division I institutions, while Sunny Greenberg's decision to attend DeSales University rounded out the Lady Tigers' trio of future collegiate athletes who were recognized at a ceremony last week at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
Motolese, a center-midfielder on the Tigers' soccer team, garnered plenty of interest after recording 14 goals and 21 assists in her final season. She was a key piece in Northwestern's run to Colonial League and District 11 crowns in the fall, while also advancing far in the state playoffs.
In fact, Motolese gave a verbal commitment to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) months earlier. But after pondering between NJIT and Fairleigh Dickinson, it became more and more clear which was the right fit for her.
"I felt that academically [NJIT] wasn't as suited as Fairleigh Dickinson," said Motolese, who also had interest from Marist College, St. Francis University and Slippery Rock University. "They had talked to me before NJIT, and I just had to go back to FDU."
Besides the academics and athletics aspects of the school, location was a big factor for the Tiger senior as well.
"I kind of get a little homesick when I'm away from places," Motolese said. "When I was there, I didn't feel anything. I just felt like it was my second home already."
Motolese finished with 39 goals and 79 assists in her career and earned all-state honors. She plans to major in business.
When looking at schools, Cerrone's main focus was finding a solid health care program. Once she had Pitt on her radar, joining the cross country team fell into place.
"I was looking at it more academic-wise," Cerrone said. "They have what I want to do. [Pitt] is a health care school. I really just love the campus and the setting.
"I knew I was going to run wherever I was going to go to college. I fell in love with their campus. They have a lot of great opportunities for me there."
Cerrone also had connections with the Panthers prior to joining the team, which made her decision that much smoother.
"We had a volunteer coach [Kelsey Coates] here, and she ran for them," Cerrone said. "I kind of had connections there. She really loved it and everything. The coach was really nice. I just fell in love with it."
Cerrone placed high in all three postseason races last season, capped by a 36th-place mark at states in a time of 20:47. The four-year runner took 11th in the Colonial League championship meet and finished in 21st place at districts. She was a representative on the Second Team All-League team as a senior.
Her main interest is in physical therapy, an area she plans to major in at Pitt.
Greenberg, who was a First Team All-League selection this past season as an at-large player, helped guide the Lady Tigers' softball team to an appearance in the District 11 Class AA semifinals.
She plans to major in Sport and Exercise Science at DeSales.