Larkin Field. (Image courtesy: Maggie Breton)

Following its most prolific year in school history, the SNHU athletics program is looking to maintain its momentum across all sports. All teams collectively did well enough to earn SNHU’s first-ever NE-10 Presidents’ Cup in 2021-2022.

The NE-10 Presidents’ Cup is an award given to a school that exemplifies athletic excellence performed by its entire athletic program. Despite lacking multiple sports that most NE-10 schools have in their program and coming off a year without organized practice due to COVID, SNHU managed to pull away with the most prestigious award given in the conference.

With the start of the 2022-2023 school year underway, the following teams have begun their fall season: men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s tennis.

SNHU Director of Athletics, Anthony Fallacaro, discussed what winning the Presidents’ Cup meant for the program and how last season’s success can carry into the 2022-2023 school year.

“It’s amazing because I think it was one of those things that…I almost always reserved myself to think, ‘maybe that’s something we can’t achieve because we don’t have football; we don’t have men’s track and field; we don’t have swimming; we don’t have diving,” said Fallacaro. “For us to really win this thing meant we had to be that much better.”

Fallacaro touched upon select sports with promising seasons ahead, taking the statistics of recent years into consideration.

“Our soccer programs look strong again. We were nationally ranked last year. We’re off to a good start in our conference,” said Fallacaro. “Track winning the championship [last season] after being a new program a few years ago is just an incredible achievement.”

Prior to the season, the NE-10 conducted a coaches’ poll for pre-season power rankings. Men’s soccer was voted at third; women’s soccer at second; women’s volleyball at seventh; field hockey at seventh; and women’s tennis at third, according to SNHU Penmen.

Fallacaro continued to discuss how the university’s recent addition of an E-Sports team has impacted campus.

“With COVID…we had to postpone the opening of the arena, but that’s been just a huge thing for us, it’s grown unbelievably…. The arena is just packed. It’s constantly filled with people using it,” said Fallacaro. “We were really good right away; we recruited some really good players.”

On top of what looks to be a promising future for the E-Sports program, fall sports have been off to a great start at SNHU. Men’s soccer has begun their season 2-0; women’s soccer has started 2-0; women’s volleyball has begun 6-2; and both men’s and women’s cross country opened their season by placing first at the Shacklette Invitational, according to SNHU Penmen.

With last year serving as a refresher course on how to move forward, athletes at SNHU have some adjustments to make. Now that the school has a year under its belt since COVID broke out, campus life is starting to feel normal again.

“[I’m] super happy to be back and to see everybody on campus,” said Fallacaro. “It’s so rewarding seeing all the athletes come back, seeing all the fans at games…. It’s like college again.”