By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – For the past six years, Allison Brookes' name has adorned the top of the list as the best water polo scorer in CSUN's record book.
Brookes, arguably the greatest player in Matador women's water polo history, tallied 222 goals from 2005-08.
Brookes is a regular participant in the annual Alumni game to show her support of the CSUN program. In addition to helping lead the Alumni with two goals in an 11-6 victory over the varsity earlier this month, she also checks the school record book to see if her name is still at the top of the career scoring list. Her record is still safe for another year, but she knows junior Marisa Young has 176 career goals, only 46 goals short of tying Brookes. Young has never scored less than 51 goals in a single season at Cal State Northridge.
"Records are made to be broken," said Brookes. "The record has meant a lot. But I really hope she (Marisa Young) breaks the record. It shows success in the program. It has been so good to see all the success the team has enjoyed the past couple years."
Brookes was a three-time All-American in water polo. She was also an All-American in the classroom. Her academic goals were just as important as helping produce wins and solidifying the foundation for the CSUN program. After graduating from CSUN with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, Brookes later obtained her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in San Diego.
Brookes is working diligently on becoming licensed as a marriage and family therapist. Brookes also is involved in trauma focused therapy with kids age 4-23. A tough schedule, indeed, but Brookes has joined a long line of successful women who played water polo at Cal State Northridge.
This year, 16 former players formed the roster of the Alumni. This group included a lawyer, teachers, law enforcement officers, and people in the health and medical profession. Every alumni player is now a successful member of the community.
Dr. Marcelo Leonardi, CSUN's head coach, has noticed the numerous success stories.
"When former athletes and alumni come back to CSUN, they witness the culture they directly had a hand in building," said Dr. Leonardi, who has enjoyed three 20-plus win seasons in four years as head coach along with a #7 ranking earlier this year. "I am a believer in creating a winning culture. At this point, we now strive to consistently perform at a high level each year in the pool and in the classroom."
The 2014 CSUN Alumni Roster
Brianna Battles (2006-08)
Played three seasons at CSUN (2006-08) … Holds a bachelors degree in in Kinesiology from CSUN … Also obtained her Masters degree in coaching and Athletic Administration … An assistant water polo coach at CSUN … She also works in corporate wellness as a wellness coordinator, designing exercise and nutrition programs.
Erica Bonetti (2003-06)
Scored 131 career goals (tenth-best in school history) along with 187 career steals (fourth-best in school history) and 101 career assists … Scored a seasons-best 50 goals in 2003 … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Kinesiology … A nurse practitioner at UCLA.
Allison Brookes (2005-08)
Arguably the greatest player in school history … A three-time All-American … The school record holder in career goals (222) … Scored a career-high 72 goals during her sophomore season in 2006, fourth-best for a single season at CSUN … Almost among the career leaders in steals (168, #6 all-time) and assists (106, #10 all-time) … A two-time All-American Academic selection … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Sociology … Also obtained her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in San Diego … Now serves as marriage and family therapist in San Diego.
Nicole Concialdi (2008-11)
A standout goalkeeper in four seasons at CSUN … Tallied 268 career saves (sixth-best in school history) including a season-best 141 saves during her senior season in 2011 … A Liberal Studies graduate from CSUN … Now serves as a special education teacher.
Jessica Coy (2006-09)
An Honorable Mention All-American in 2009 … Scored 162 career goals at CSUN, seventh-best in school history … Tallied a personal-best 55 goals along with a shooting percentage of .524 (fourth-best for a single season in school history) during her senior season in 2009 … Also tallied 176 career steals (third-best in school history) and 105 steals … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Sociology … Obtained her Masters degree in Marriage & Family Therapy.
Chelsea Curran (2007-11)
An Honorable Mention All-American in 2008 … Scored 95 goals in four seasons at CSUN … Scored a season-best 36 goals with a shooting percentage of .632 in 2008 … Graduated with a degree in Psychology … Obtained her Masters degree in Gerontology … The assistant women's water polo coach at Cal Baptist in Riverside.
Renee Gargiulo (2007-10)
Scored 80 goals in four seasons at CSUN … Had her best season as a senior in 2010 with 28 goals, a shooting percentage of .467 along with 30 assists and 25 steals … A two-time Academic All-American selection … Also a three-time All-Big West Conference academic selection … Obtained her degree from CSUN in Psychology … Serves as a school psychologist in Whittier.
Jessica Herr (Goforth) (2009-12)
Played four seasons (2009-12) at CSUN … Had her best season in 20011 with 25 goals, 36 steals and 22 assists … A three-time Academic All-American selection … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Kinesiology … Obtained her teaching credential, and now teaches at Birmingham High School.
Leah Janke (2010-13)
Scored 75 goals in four seasons at CSUN (2010-13) … Added 125 career assists … A two-time All-American Academic selection … A three-time All-Big West Conference Academic choice … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Speech Pathology.
Kirra Kylander (2007-10)
A four year letter winner (2007-10) at CSUN … Scored 88 career goals along with 150 career assists (fourth-best in school history) and 195 career steals (third-best in school history) … Tallied a personal-best .694 shooting percentage in 2009 … A three-time All-American Academic selection … Also a three-time All-Big West Conference Academic choice … A Kinesiology major graduate at CSUN … Now works with at-risk youth.
Kristin McLaughlin (2007-10)
Among the school history leaders in assists (129, sixth-best in school history) and steals (129) … Scored 79 career goals … Gained numerous All-American Academic honors and All-League Academics as well as Big West Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2010 … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish … Graduated from Loyola Law School in 2013 … Passed the Bar on her first try in 2014 … Now serves as an attorney in civil litigation in the Los Angeles area.
Heidi Pettinger (2009-12)
Scored 132 goals in four seasons at CSUN, ninth-best in school history … Also among the school career leaders in steals (143, eighth-best in school history) and assists (116, eighth-best in school history) … A two-time all-league selection … A three-time All-American Academic and All-Big West Conference Academic selection … Holds a degree in Liberal Studies … Serves in law enforcement in Los Angeles.
Bethany Scamara (2007-11)
Had a personal-best shooting percentages of .652 in 2010 and .625 during the 2008 season … A graduate of CSUN with a degree in Kinesiology … A three-time Academic All-American selection … The head swim coach and teacher at Corona High School.
Jillian Stapf (2007-10)
The greatest goalkeeper in CSUN history … A three-time All-American and All-Big West Conference selection … Also gained Academic All-American honors three times … Chalked up 1,305 career saves, a school record that may never be broken … The Big West Player of the Year in 2010 … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Kinesiology … Obtained her Masters degree in athletic training from Florida International University … A certified athletic trainer in the state of Florida.
Dayna Van Gorder (2007-08)
Scored 84 goals in two seasons (2007-08) including 52 goals during the 2007 campaign … Shot .444 during the 2008 season, eighth-best in school history … Graduated with a degree in Sociology … Serves in law enforcement in Riverside.
Heather Van Hemert (2005-06)
Played two seasons at CSUN … Scored five goals against Cal State San Bernardino in 2006 … Serves in law enforcement in the Los Angeles area … Graduated from CSUN with a degree in Cinema, Television & Visual Arts.