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Connecticut Soccer Hall Of Fame

Connecticut Soccer Hall Of Fame

Class of 2016
Steve Baumann, Laura Valade Collins, Paul DiTommaso, Sr., Gil Hokayama, Kenneth Murphy, Sal Rizza

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Steve Baumann began his outstanding soccer career in Westport, Connecticut. He led Staples High School to 3 straight Class LL appearances, winning titles in 1967 and ’69, and runner up in 1968, compiling a 43-3-3 record in that time. Baumann attended UPenn and led them to their only two Ivy League titles and 3 NCAA appearances. He was a two-time Ivy League and Mid Atlantic Conference honoree and earned All-America recognition in 1973. He finished with 30 goals and 39 assists at Penn, establishing the career assist and points records that still stand. Baumann became the first round pick of the Miami Toros in the 1974 NASL draft.  He was recognized as Toros Player of the Year and played for three years until 1977. Steve is a member of the Staples HS and UPenn Halls of Fame. He was named to the UPenn Athletic All Century Team.


Laura played youth soccer for Trumbull United, Wilton Comets, and Connecticut Olympic Development Program teams. She became a 4-year starter for Yale University (1988-’91), led the Ivy League in scoring (‘90) and finished as the second leading scorer all time. In 1991 Collins was the team captain, team MVP, became the first Yale woman to earn Ivy League Player of the Year, and earned MVP in the New England Senior All Star game. In 1991 Laura was recognized as one of the top 30 senior female NCAA soccer players in the country by the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America. After college Collins joined Opus County Soccer Club (1993-2014) and the Boston Renegades (1996-’99) of the W-League. She reached the W-League title game in 1998, was named to the All-Tournament Team, and played in the All-Star Classic Game. For Opus County, Collins reached the semifinal and final game of the National Amateur Cup in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

Paul DiTommaso, Sr., played in the Connecticut Soccer League from 1955–1961 for the Italian-American Stars and Balnea USA, both Hartford teams. Since then, he has had tremendous influence in Connecticut through his work with Farmington Soccer Club and creation of the Farmington Sports Arena (FSA). DiTommaso was on the original coaching staff for Farmington SC in 1973 and has been an active member since. His Farmington youth teams won State Cup titles in 1975, ’77, ’79, ’83, and ’84. DiTommaso built Farmington Sports Arena in 2001. The indoor soccer facility has since grown into a multi-use facility that now hosts FSA FC and includes a state of the art outdoor soccer compound. FSA is one of the premier soccer centers in the state where hundreds of youth, senior, and adult soccer teams throughout Connecticut compete each year.

At SCSU (1992-1995), Gil Hokayma led the ‘Owls’ to four consecutive final four appearances, earning two NCAA National Championships (1992, 1995). He earned All-NECC honors (4 years), NCAA All-American recognition, Final Four Offensive MVP, a Senior Bowl selection. To cap his collegiate career in 1995, Gil was named the NCAA National Player of the Year. After college, Hokayma played for the Connecticut Wolves of USISL (1998-1999), the Bridgeport Italians in theConnecticut Soccer League (3 state championships) and Fas Athenian in the New Haven League(5 league titles). He currently plays for New Haven American in the Shoreline Adult Soccer League.


Kenny Murphy helped Staples HS win 3 FCIAC titles (1973-75) and a state championship in 1973. He was all conference (1974-75), All State (1974-75), All New England and team captain (1975). At UConn (1976-1979) he was part of powerful teams that reached the NCAA tournament 3 times and earned two Yankee Conference titles (1976 & ’78). Murphy was honored as All Yankee Conference (1977-79), All NEISL and All New-England (1978 & 79), team captain (1979) and played in the 1980 Senior Bowl. Murphy was drafted by the Hartford Hellions (MISL) & (NASL) (1979). He signed with Detroit Express and then the Washington Diplomats(1980-81). He is an inductee in the UConn and Fairfield County Sports Halls of Fame. 

Salvatore Rizza was an outstanding player in the Connecticut Soccer League in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. He was a playmaker and leader of the powerful Italian-American Stars, beginning his career with them at age 15, and later became their player-coach. Rizza help the I-A Stars capture six State Open Cup titles in 1956, ’57, ’58, ’64, ’68 & ’69, and multiple CSL championships during that time. In 1961, he helped the Stars reach the title game of the U.S. National Amateur Cup. Six years later in 1967, he led the Stars as their player-coach and won the United States Amateur Cup championship – the first team in Connecticut soccer history to do so. He was a mainstay in the midfield of one of the most consistent, successful clubs teams in the state during this time.


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