Noreen Annunizata burst upon the Rockland County athletic scene in style. She was a six time All County athlete in three different sports: softball, soccer and basketball. On the softball field, Noreen was an outstanding pitcher, with an overall varsity record of 46-15. She led her team to a Section 9 title in 1980 and was named All County in 1982. On the soccer team, Noreen was voted All County twice, in 1981 and 1982, for her aggressive play at halfback for the Lady Pirates. Her soccer and softball coach, Jean Carey described her as follows, “Her quickness and coordination are her greatest assets. She has the ability to cover a lot of ground in both soccer and softball because she can run like the wind.”
Basketball was the sport where Noreen soared to heights that very few have achieved. While at Pearl River High School, Noreen was a 1st team All County selection three times. She led the county in scoring three consecutive years, 1980-81-82. At the conclusion of her high school career, Noreen had scored 1,385 points to place her third at the time on the county’s all time scoring chart. Never one to rest, during the summer of 1981 Noreen competed on the Hudson Valley girls basketball team in the New York State Empire Games.
After high school Noreen enrolled at Mercy College to continue her education and athletic career. As a member of the highly successful basketball team at Mercy, Noreen was called by her coach the “sparkplug of the team”. Noreen beat opponents with pure hustle. A good ball handler, who always seemed to come up with a big steal, she was named to the New York State Division II All State team. She finished a brilliant four year career with 1532 points and the basketball team compiled a 98-34 record Noreen graduated as the college’s third all time leading scorer and was named Mercy’s Female Athlete of the year for the 1985-86 collegiate season. As a testament to her ability, Noreen was the first female basketball player in Rockland County history to score 1,000 points in high school (1,385) and college (1,532).
Noreen continued her education at Mercy College, receiving a master’s degree in Adaptive Physical Education and Psychology. She secured a job teaching special education in Spring Valley, and then took off nine years to raise her family. Noreen and her husband, Steve Apicella, have three sons; Steven, Nickalas, and Christopher and live in Stony Point. Noreen is back at work now, in the North Rockland School District, teaching Physical Education.
She still finds time to coach her sons in C.Y.O. basketball and youth soccer, and manages to play in a women’s softball league.