Five Neshaminy Seniors Commit to Play Collegiate Sports

(Photos provided) courtesy of Neshaminy girls’ soccer and basketball.)



Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Neshaminy High School girls’ soccer and basketball seniors were not able to have an in-person signing day, instead individual Virtual Signing Day videos have been released on to recognize Mariah McDonald, Melina Prinos, Gina Sexton and Emily Tantala for committing to continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level, and Olivia Scotti for committing to continue her basketball career at the collegiate level.


Mariah McDonald – Juniata College (Soccer)

Major:  Communications and Psychology

Final list of colleges: Juniata, Mulhenberg, Holy Cross

Reasons for choosing Juniata:  “I chose Juniata because of the supportive community, all of the opportunities they have to offer and a chance to create your own major. The soccer team was also very welcoming.”

What was the progression that led you to competing in soccer at the collegiate level? “I knew that I wanted to play soccer in college because it has always been a part of my life. I started thinking about playing in college freshman year, and the recruiting process started junior year because of injury sophomore year.”

Coach Renny Papendick says:  “I could not be happier or more proud of Mariah. She was able to come back from injury and really commit herself to the program. Mariah came in her senior year focused on being a great player and working hard at all times. She led by example from day one and was a positive role model for our younger players. Mariah has great field vision and playmaking ability. She played a key role on defense and was able to contribute in multiple positions though out the season. Mariah’s positive attitude and work ethic will help her flourish at the next level.”

About Mariah:

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite movie: Pitch Perfect

Favorite music: Pop

Link to virtual signing video:



Gina Sexton – Bloomsburg University (Soccer)

Major: Early Childhood Education

Reasons for choosing Bloomsburg:  “Every time I stepped on Bloom’s campus, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I really like the coaching staff and their goals for the team both athletically and academically.”

What was the progression that led you to competing in soccer at the collegiate level? “I’ve played soccer since I was four years old and I’ve always loved the sport. Continuing on in college was something I never questioned. Weeks were full of practices and weekends were full of games and traveling and tournaments. I started out playing soccer for the Langhorne Athletic Association and then the Hulmeville Soccer Club, and finally Yardley Makefield Soccer Club (YMS) in the National League. I also represented Eastern Pennsylvania in their Olympic Development Program for two years, playing in tournaments along the East Coast and attending Regional Camp. With the National League we traveled all over the country playing soccer, participating in college showcases and being evaluated by college coaches, sometimes missing holidays with extended family, and also juggling schoolwork and school days missed due to travel. Recruiting started during my freshman year of high school. It was exciting to visit different colleges and meet with different coaching staffs and learn what the different divisions involve. As the recruiting process went on, I narrowed my list of schools by the things that were important to me such as location, academics and opportunities, the size of the school, and the soccer program, and Bloomsburg was always at the top. Soccer is part of everything I do. I’ve learned life lessons and made lifelong friendships, and I can’t wait to continue that at Bloomsburg.”
Coach Renny Papendick says:  “Gina is a tremendous athlete, extremely coachable, and has next level pace. Her positive smile energized the team, and she led by example, creating opportunities offensively for us. We asked Gina to play a few different spots for us last year, and she did so without question. I know Gina will succeed at the next level, and her tenacity is perfectly suited for the college game. I’m excited to see her play this fall at Bloomsburg University.
About Gina:
Favorite food:
Favorite movie:  A Star is Born
Favorite artist: Luke Combs

Link to virtual signing video:



Melina Prinos – Holy Family University (Soccer)

Major: Nursing/Pre Med 

Final list of colleges: Holy Family, McDaniel College

Reasons for choosing Holy Family:  Holy Family has a good academic and athletic reputation. 

What was the progression that led you to competing in soccer at the collegiate level?  “I started playing soccer when I was seven years old and loved it ever since. I decided then that when I was to go to college I wanted to play. Every elite team I played for since I was 10 years old started to prepare me for soccer at the college level. The more the challenge and the higher level of play was a step in the right direction. I played regardless of winning or losing and I guess played on a few teams including teams that were an age group above me - this helped me grow into the player that I am today. 

“The recruiting process was new for me, and at first, I was not sure what to do. I started sending emails when I was in ninth grade to get my name out there. Every tournament I went to I asked someone to come watch me play. The recruiting process is exciting and stressful all at the same time, but once you find a fit it is all worth it.”

Coach Renny Papendick says:  “Melina was a pleasure to coach these past two years. Mel came in as a transfer junior year and made an immediate impact on the team. She was able to step in and dominate the center mid position, while also taking the majority of our set pieces. Mel has tremendous skill, a high level work ethic and has the knack for making a big play. She is creative on the ball, and her movement off the ball is next level. I know Mel will not only play, but flourish at Holy Family this fall.

About Melina:

Favorite food: Spaghetti 

Favorite movie:  Elf 

Favorite music: Country and Rap

Link to virtual signing video:



Emily Tantala - University of Scranton (Scranton)

Major: Kinesiology/ Physical Therapy

Final list of colleges:  Scranton, Gettysburg, Misericordia

Reasons for choosing Scranton:  “Scranton has an awesome PT program that is direct admit, the soccer team is always very successful and has a great culture, and the dining hall is top ranked!”

What was the progression that led you to competing in soccer at the collegiate level?  “I always knew I wanted to play a sport in college. Whether it was soccer or basketball, I’ve just always loved working hard and being a part of a team. My freshman year I decided to focus on soccer and started going to ID camps and showcases and visiting campuses. During my junior year, I visited and did an overnight at Scranton and just fell in love with it.”

Coach Renny Papendick says:  “Emily was a major contributor her four years at Neshaminy High School. She came in her senior year focused and ready to lead the team. Em was a clear choice as captain from the summer workouts and did a fantastic job keeping the girls motivated and positive throughout the season. She is an exceptional player, has a great attitude, very creative with the ball at her feet, and able to play multiple positions on the field. I’m excited to see her play in college, and I know she’ll flourish at the next level.”
About Emily:
Favorite Food:           
Chicken Parm
Favorite movie: The Last Song
Favorite artist: Justin Bieber
Link to virtual signing video:



Olivia Scotti – DeSales University (Basketball)

Major: Business/ Sports Management with Psychology minor

Final list of colleges:  Scranton, Drexel, and St. Joe’s

Reasons for selecting college:  “I wanted to choose a university that had a great reputation, was close to home, and offered my major.”

What was the progression that led you to competing in basketball at the collegiate level? “The recruiting process started during the spring AAU season of my sophomore and junior year.”

Coach Joe Lally says:  “Olivia has been a varsity basketball player for the past four seasons. In those four seasons, she has developed not only into a great player but a great teammate and an even better person. Olivia’s skills on the basketball court have helped our program reach the highest level of basketball in the school’s history. We will miss Liv and we wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors. The coaches and I can’t wait to see her play in college DeSales got themselves a good one!”

About Olivia:
Favorite food: 
Anything Italian

Favorite movie: Step Brothers

Favorite Music:  I appreciate all types of music

Link to virtual signing video:



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