Friday, December 9, 2022

Hall of Fame inducts four athletes

By Collin Bolebruch

The Plattsburgh State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation and the Office of Alumni Relations welcomed four new members to the Plattsburgh State Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 14. The department elected Lindsey Douglas nee Keyser, class of 2012; Mike Figliola, class of 2007; Stephanie Moberg, class of 2010; and Ellen Turkel, class of 1976 to be the newest alumni bestowed with the honor in the 37th class.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, former students must have graduated from Plattsburgh and be graduated for at least 10 years. Coaches, administrators and other non-player inductees are not required to meet the same qualifications.

The 2022 induction ceremony comes after a delayed 2021 ceremony that was held this past April. The 2022 class was smaller than 2021’s with four to its six. The ceremony featured cocktail hour, a buffet dinner, video resumes produced by Plattsburgh senior Julia Ennis and speeches from each inductee.

Douglas, from Keeseville, New York, was inducted in recognition of her play for the women’s soccer team as a midfielder. She played in all four of her years at Plattsburgh, starting in all 74 of her games. On learning of her induction, Douglas was “thrilled,” “shocked” and “honored.”

She was named to the SUNYAC All-Decade Team for the 2010s, despite playing just two seasons in the decade. Over her career, she notched 17 goals and 12 assists and finished with a 45-19-10 overall record. On her career, Douglas said it goes by so fast “you don’t even realize it’s happening,” but when “it’s over it’s over.”

Douglas played once in the SUNYAC Championship, finishing as runner-up in 2010. The team reached the NCAA Division III Tournament twice in 2009 and 2010. She earned Cardinals women’s soccer’s first All-America honor when she was named to NSCAA Third-Team All-America in 2010. That same year, Douglas was named to the NSCAA First-Team All-Region. Douglas was twice a First-Team All-SUNYAC choice.

She is now a special education teacher at Keeseville Elementary School and head coach of AuSable Valley’s girls’ soccer team. Douglas led the team to two regional finals in 2018 and 2019 and a NYSPHSAA state championship and Section VII title in 2021. The accolades followed her to her coaching career, as she earned Section VII Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year in 2019 and NYS Girls’ Soccer Class C Coach of the Year in 2021.

“I think it’s important to have high energy in my profession,” Douglas said. “Showing up for those students every day is important. Showing up for my teammates every day and my coaches and making sure that I’m giving it my best. I always try and live by that mentality. I don’t have to do this, I get to do this.”

The men’s soccer team was recognized as well. Figliola, a forward, stands atop Plattsburgh men’s soccer all-time goal-scorers with 65 and single-season goal-scorers with 25 in 2003. He also holds the record for career-best points with 145 and single-season points with 56 in 2003.

Figliola ended his career with an overall record of 68-17-3. He was a member of the 22-2 2005 Cardinals, who won the SUNYAC Championship, hosted an NCAA Division III Elite Eight game and played in a Final Four game. He said the induction was something he “wanted for a long time”.

During his career, he earned a NSCAA First-Team All-America nod, two NSCAA First-Team All-Region honors, three All-SUNYAC distinctions and a Plattsburgh State Men’s Athlete of the Year. Figliola said he got “emotional” during his speech.

He now lives back home in Ontario, working as a Catholic elementary school teacher and coaching soccer in Burlington, Ontario. Figliola believes the honor was a long time coming.

“We’re overdue but it is happening,” Figliola said. “It was a nice surprise to come back here and tie a nice little bow on my career.”

He’s used everything he’s learned during his career at Plattsburgh as both a student and athlete in his life since.

“I try to instill into my children and even my students to strive for greatness and do what you can and whatever obstacles are there, face them full force,” Figliola said. “Do your best and love what you do and everything will work out.”

Moberg played forward for Plattsburgh women’s hockey for four years. Her career statistics feature 59 goals, including 17 game-winners, 74 assists and a 97-11-7 overall record. Her best season statistically, 2009-10, was highlighted by 25 goals and 18 assists. Moberg “definitely laughed” when learning of her induction.

“I didn’t realize how much time has passed since I left here. I was definitely humbled, appreciative. There are so many Plattsburgh greats that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and to be a part of that, or even associated with that, was pretty wonderful,” Moberg said.

Highlighting her career are two NCAA Division III national championships in the 2006-07 and 2007-08. The titles were the first in program history, setting a winning precedent. The Cardinals are 5-0 in national championships since her departure.

“I came in as a freshman and may have been a little wide-eyed to the experience altogether,” Moberg said. “I was just happy to be a part of that experience. All the other defenders on the team were older than I was, so playing that kind of role was definitely one that I valued and was happy to contribute in whatever way possible.

During her time at Plattsburgh, the team also won the 2006-07 ECAC West championship following an undefeated season. Moberg was named First-Team All-America twice, ECAC West Player of the Year and Plattsburgh State Female Athlete of the Year.

“I think that if you come to Cardinal Country and experience this for four years, it’s tough to culminate in a handful of minutes what that time meant to you,” Moberg said. “There’s so many wonderful things that happened during my time here.”

After graduating, Moberg immediately began her coaching career. She spent time as an assistant coach at Division III schools Colby College and Connecticut College and Division I schools Merrimack College and Dartmouth College. She also spent two years as the head coach at Division III Castleton University.

“One thing I look back on that’s super unique about Plattsburgh is that out of every other place that I’ve worked, the people and how the mindset of winning and championship culture exists here and everyone is so greatly appreciative of what they receive here on a day-to-day basis and it’s real,” Moberg said.

She now works with the Chicago Windy City Storm, a youth hockey organization, as a college adviser and coach. Moberg also hosts independent skills training programs.

Turkel has been acknowledged as a pioneer for sports at Plattsburgh as the first woman to run cross country and track and field on campus. She came to school in 1972, the same year Title IX, which prohibited sex-based discrimination at schools, was passed.

“I felt that I did something,” Turkel said. “And it’s worth being recognized.”

During her speech, Turkel recounted an experience during a track meet Plattsburgh competed in. She claimed that Head Coach Howard Hammonds alerted her of a note in an opposing team’s locker room. The note, from the opposing team’s coach, said that if any man on their team lost to Turkel, they’d be in trouble. Turkel beat a few men that day.

“I love it here, and this is a special place,” Turkel said. “I became a grown-up here and there were so many challenges and so many wonderful things. This gave me the opportunity to become a person. A real person with confidence, and to know what I wanted to do in life.”

Since Turkel’s graduation, Plattsburgh has introduced a women’s cross country team and both men’s and women’s cross country teams are led by a woman head coach Jordyn Naylon.

“It’s about time. We need to be equal and anything less than that just isn’t fair,” Turkel said.

According to a program at the ceremony, she ran in the 1975 Boston Marathon, finishing 12 out of 52 women. In marathon times, she ranked as high as 16th in the world, recording a time of 2:58:37. She ran in and qualified for the first Olympic women’s marathon trials in 1984, when she ran a 2:47:13 time.

Turkel finished her education as a graduate student at the University of Arizona. She has taught at San Diego City College as a professor of health and exercise science for the last 30 years, volunteer assistant coached its women’s cross country team for the last five and co-coordinated its Fitness Specialist Program. Turkel has also worked as a holiday alpine ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and a USA Track and Field official.

“The five Ds” was a core message taught to Turkel by Hammonds. It stands for “discipline, determination, dedication, desire and distance.” 

The Hall of Fame committee meets over the upcoming winter break to begin the selection process for the 2023 class. Anyone can nominate a SUNY Plattsburgh athlete for consideration as long as the athlete meets the aforementioned criteria. To nominate someone, visit gocardinalsports.com.

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