Abbondandolo, Cherichella Named Papa John’s Scholar-Athletes of the Month

Abbondandolo, Cherichella Named Papa John’s Scholar-Athletes of the Month

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Papa John’s FGCU Athletics Scholar-Athletes of the Month for the month of September have been announced with women’s soccer’s Alyssa Abbondandolo (Cape Coral, Fla./Oaisis HS) and men’s golf’s Austin Cherichella (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona HS) earning the distinction. Abbondandolo is second on the team with nine points (3g, 3a) while Chrerichella competed in two tournaments in September, which included a sixth-place finish at the Graeme McDowell Invitational.
A female and male Eagle are chosen as the Papa John’s FGCU Athletics Scholar-Athlete of the Month throughout the academic year. Factors in the selection for the honor include a combination of significant athletic and overall success.

Abbondandolo has helped lead the Eagles to an ASUN East Division championship and a top-seed in the ASUN Tournament. Her biggest performance of the season so far came at the end of September when she scored both FGCU goals in a 2-1 win at Jacksonville State. She has now tallied 14 goals and seven assists in her standout career, which includes being named All-ASUN Second Team last season and ASUN All-Freshman in 2018.


She holds a 3.80 grade-point-average in Integrated Studies where she’s been honored on the Dean’s List, the ASUN Honor Roll, and the A.D. Honor Roll during her career. In addition to her work in the classroom, Abbondandolo has provided 80 hours of community service, volunteering her time at ID camps, Habitat for Humanity, Read Across America, Night at the Nest, Salvation Army, Lee Health, SoVi Move-In, Golisano Children’s Hospital, and the canned food drive.


“I’m proud of her,” said head coach Jim Blankenship .”Academics is something we put a great emphasis. Alyssa is a great example of our team and their commitment not just on the field, but in the the classroom as well.”

Cherichella entered his sophomore season coming off a spectacular freshman campaign, averaging 72.78 in 18 rounds of golf in his first year in Fort Myers, which included two second-place finishes at the Any Given Tuesday tournament and the Old Corkscrew Invitational. He has continued his strong play this season, averaging 73.11 in nine rounds which includes the aforementioned sixth-place finish at the Grame McDowell Invitational as well as a 16th-place finish out of 82 golfers at the Carolina Collegiate Invite.


In the classroom, Cherichella holds a 3.56 grade-point-average in PGA Golf Management where he has also been a member of the Dean’s List and the ASUN Honor Roll. In the community, he has volunteered his time doing beach clean-up as well as at the CHOICES Grant Filming.


“We are all really proud of Austin and all the hard work he puts in on & off the course,” said head coach Andrew Danna. “This award is a testament to that hard work he’s put in over quite some time. I’m confident Austin will continue with the same effort for the remainder of his career with the Green & Blue.”


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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl. 



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