Hall of Fame Focus: Honoring A Storied Career

Hall of Fame Focus: Honoring A Storied Career

When Jonelle Filigno-Hopkins hung up her cleats in 2015, she completed the final chapter of a storied career. A journey that took her from youth soccer to the world’s highest stage. However, she hadn’t realized there were more chapters of the story that would continue to be filled.

Filigno-Hopkins knew she carried away with her numerous distinctions and awards from NCAA All-America honors to an Olympic medal. What she hadn’t thought of was the recognition that would follow years later. A ceremony to honor her retirement, an induction into the Canada Hall of Fame, and now an induction into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame with the Class of 2020. The recognitions reopen the book of her career, bringing memories that spanned her entire journey to mind.

“[Getting the news] made me reminisce on my career. My journey and all the ups and downs. Everything that I went through and all the support I had along the way to get me to where I was within my career. That’s what these recognitions are making me realize, that it was a special career. It’s something that I’m personally very proud of and I’m very grateful to have been recognized in different ways. It makes me think about how I didn’t get there on my own. There are so many other people to thank with these recognitions,” said Filigno-Hopkins.

As a Scarlet Knight, Filigno-Hopkins graduated as one of the most accomplished players in school history. Her 17 game-winning goals remain atop the Rutgers’ career record list. She also stands at fifth with 33 goals and 79 points, as well as sixth with 187 shots. On the single-season charts, she is tied for first with 15 goals in a single year. Additionally, she flourished in one-on-one matchups with goalkeepers, going 8-of-9 in penalty kicks during her career.

Overall, the 2014 recipient of the Rutgers Headley Singer Award was a two-time NSCAA All-Region, three-time all-conference, and three-time all-academic honoree. She claimed Second Team All-America and First Team All-Big East status in 2012 after posting 15 goals, five assists, seven game-winners and a flawless 3-for-3 mark in penalty kicks. In 2013, Filigno-Hopkins was named a candidate for the MAC Herman Trophy, the most prestigious honor in collegiate soccer, and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Additionally, she went on to play professionally in the National Women’s Soccer League for Sky Blue FC, now known as Gotham FC, following graduation.


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