Division II

Vineland’s Ridolfo, Edison’s Datta Win Elite NCAA Division II Student-Athlete 50th Anniversary Scholarship

With spring sports now complete for local Division II schools, it’s officially awards season, and aside from Conference and Regional accolades, one of the first major ones was announced on Monday during the opening ceremonies at the Division II Festival in Orlando, Florida. Two New Jersey student-athletes representing local colleges are among the winners.

Georgian Court University women’s soccer standout Sophia Ridolfo and Caldwell University men’s cross country and track champion Joey Datta have been named two of 46 student-athletes who will each receive the 50th Anniversary Scholarship, worth over $1,000. The Division II Management Council Identity Subcommittee reviewed nearly 200 submissions from across the country, awarding one male student-athlete and one female student-athlete from each of the 23 Division II conferences, including the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), of which both schools are a member.

Ridolfo, a rising senior from Vineland and Buena Regional High School graduate, is a three-year starter in the midfield for the Lions. She has three career goals and six assists and was a key squad member that advanced to the CACC tournament semifinals. The dual major in exercise science and education with a 3.75 GPA is a member of Georgian Court SAAC and is involved with the soccer team’s outreach with Unified Sports and Special Olympics New Jersey.

Datta, a junior from Edison and Edison High grad, is the two-time CACC cross country champion, winning the 2022 and 2023 conference championship meets. Datta ran the 8K course in 26:43.00, outdistancing the nearest competitor by nearly 30 seconds in the dominant win. This spring, the Health Science major continued that dominance into the track & field season, setting CACC meet records in winning the 5K (15:14.29) and 10K (31:53.17) events.

“Congratulations to these deserving student-athletes who exhibit the core values of Division II,” said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II, in a statement. “It was important while celebrating the history of Division II that we also recognize and celebrate our student-athlete leaders in a meaningful way.”

The NCAA has celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Division II throughout the 2023-24 academic year. Lakewood-based Georgian Court, Caldwell, Felician University (Rutherford), and Bloomfield College of Montclair State University are among the 12 CACC institutions.

About The Author