Cigar Sports MVP’s – Spring 2024

Golf: Bryson Richards

In his final season, fifth-year Bryson Richards is closing out his illustrious career with the University of Rhode Island golf team in a big way. He won the Dragon Match Play Invitational with a score of eight-under on April 8, in his sixth individual win at Rhode Island.

During this win, he had a final round charge when he shot seven-under and made five birdies in his final eight holes. This gave him a score of seven-under for the round – the best round by any Rams player this season – and a two shot victory. Along with the win, he has had top-five finishes in three of the five tournaments during the spring season. He also brought home Atlantic 10 Golfer of the Week honors twice during the spring, an honor he has received eight times during his time at URI.

Most recently, he added another memorable moment to his resume when he made his first hole-in-one in his collegiate career at the Rutherford Intercollegiate on April 13. Bringing both tremendous skill and leadership to this otherwise young team, Richards will look to make one final mark in his five-year career at URI at the Atlantic 10 Championship on April 26-28.

Men’s Track and Field: Matt Santy

In a record-breaking season for the Rhody men’s track and field team, no one has played a larger role in their triumphs than fourth-year Matt Santy. This was exemplified in the two week stretch where URI completed the first indoor season championship sweep in program history. First, Santy helped the team win their fourth-straight Atlantic 10 Championship on Feb. 23-24 as he won the high jump, reaching 6 ‘9 ¼ ”, which was a new personal best.

Santy’s success was just beginning, as he won both the high jump and long jump at the New England championship just a weekend later. Santy leaped 24’ 3.5” during the long jump, the second best mark in program history. His weekend didn’t end with just these two wins, though, as he then helped the team secure their first ever win at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America on March 3 with a third-place finish in the high jump.

Santy has continued to make noise during the outdoor portion of the season, winning Atlantic 10 Field Performer of the Week for his sixth-place finish in the high jump at the Raleigh Relays on March 28-30.

Women’s Track and Field: Virsavia Goretoy

Fourth-year Virsavia Goretoy has been doing it all for the women’s track and field team this season, winning events in hurdles and long jump. Goretoy closed out the indoor portion of the season with a third-place finish at the New England Indoor Championship on March 2 in the 60 meter hurdles, crossing in 8.72 seconds. This finish would be vital for the team in securing a second-place finish at the event, however this would be just the beginning of Goretoy’s success.

At the Black and Gold Invitational on March 30, she finished first in long jump with a distance of 18’ 6.5”, which was two inches further than any other competitor. She followed this up by coming in first in the 100 meter hurdles at the University of Massachusetts Invitational on April 7 with a time of 14 seconds flat.

Along with her individual wins at these events, she also placed fourth in the 4×100 meter relay with her teammates fourth-year Amiyah Santana, fourth-year Sydney Federico and first-year Hileni Mor. In the team’s most recent meet at the Holy Cross Invitational, Goretoy added another second-place finish to her successful outdoor season with a 18’ 6.5” long jump.

Aidan Garvey

Staff Reporter

Baseball: Anthony DePino

Affectionately known as the “Italian Stallion” or “The Don of Dingers,” third-year Anthony DePino’s explosive power has left him recognized as a career record holder at URI.

After capturing the career home runs record back on March 2 against Washington State University, DePino continued on his homer-filled campaign in 2024, launching a team leading 11 blasts so far this season, moving his career tally up to 41.

DePino leads the Rams this season in batting average (.290), hits (36), total bases (78) and slugging percentage (.629). DePino has also excelled in the field this season while manning the “hot corner” on the third base side. While leading the team with 83 fielding assists, DePino also records a fielding percentage of .933.

Softball: Elena Gonzalez

A two-year team captain, a member of the 2023 A-10 Academic Team and a team leader in multiple offensive categories, fifth-year Elena Gonzalez has been a key contributor to the Rams this season.

Gonzalez has blossomed as a hitter in 2024, increasing her stats in several categories from her first season in Rhode Island in 2023. Gonzalez leads the Rams this season with at-bats (129), doubles (9) and stolen bases (16). In addition to those solo leading categories, Gonzalez also shared the team lead in triples (2) and runs batted in (18).

On top of her performance on the field, Gonzalez thrives in the classroom. Her 3.84 grade point average while pursuing her graduate degree in business led to her being one of 10 URI athletes honored at the Rhode Island State House in a ceremony on Monday morning.

Women’s Rowing: Catie Castle

Fifth-year Catie Castle’s resumé at the University of Rhode Island is decorated with conference recognition. A member of the A-10 first team in both 2023 and 2022, Castle has proved herself as one of the top rowers in the Atlantic 10.

A competitor at the U-23 World Championships over the summer of 2023, Castle represented the United States in the women’s quadruple sculls event.

Most recently, Castle has been seated in the stroke seat, a change from her usual seven seat this spring. Castle sat in her new spot in the first Varsity 8+ boat that beat Fordham University by 9.7 seconds in the boat’s second race in the Lake Morey Regatta on Saturday.