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Jamie Kissel Jamie Kissel
Inducted: 2010 - Graduated: 1996

Jamie (Kissel) Silver

Soccer & Lacrosse

Class of 1996

Whether maneuvering the soccer ball for a rocket shot on goal or streaking end-to-end with a ball cradled in her lacrosse stick, Jamie Kissel’s role was never in doubt: Deposit the ball in the back of the net. Be a finisher. Put the Golden Knights ahead and keep them there.

“Jamie’s role was to get the ball up front and shoot. She was our main scorer,” says Dave Powers, Jamie’s varsity soccer coach at Nanuet. “She could fire the ball from 15-20 yards out or use her speed and skill to get by people and create opportunities. Technically she was great with the ball; she had a great foot.”

Ditto for lacrosse, her secondary sport. “Her greatest assets were her speed and competitive nature,” says Karen Leitner, Jamie’s varsity lacrosse coach. “She was a catalyst in our program that ‘raised the bar.’ Her impact/talent was the driving force behind the Nanuet girls’ lacrosse program’s quick growth and success. We entered the playoffs for the first time in many years behind her success.”

By the time Jamie reached the soccer varsity as a freshman, she was already a polished and accomplished player. She started with the Orangetown Mighty Midgets (OMM) at age 9 and began playing year-round at age 11. She joined a select group of OMM teammates in establishing the first girls’ travel team for the Clarkstown Sports Club, for which she starred from ages 11 to 17. Those longtime soccer mates formed the nucleus of Nanuet’s winning teams from 1992 to ’95 – Jamie Kissel, Liz Bogart, Kelly Meyfarth, Jamie Allen and Karen Yee. The two Jamies and Yee grew up together on Gatto Lane, in the Nanuet school district section of Pearl River (in back of Lederle Labs).

As a four-year starting forward, Jamie scored 71 goals and 20 assists for 91 points, fourth-best on Nanuet soccer’s all-time list. She was an All-County, All-Section and All-State player her last three years, and her senior year was named a Regional All-American, Section 1 Small School Player of the Year, League B Player of the Year, Rockland Journal News Scholar-Athlete of the Week and team captain. She also was team MVP in 1994 and ’95. Jamie’s scoring prowess was a pivotal factor in Nanuet’s 1992 and 1993 Section 1 Class B championships and 1994 and 1995 Sectional runner-up finishes.

“Jamie had a tremendous work ethic and was always in great shape,” says Powers, who coached Nanuet’s soccer team to six Section 1 titles and four runner-up finishes from 1987 to ’96. “She was a smart kid and also a student of the game. She had the whole package [of skills] before other girls. She was ahead of her time.”

Among Jamie’s most vivid soccer memories was defeating perennial state power North Rockland her freshman year – “that was a big deal, especially for the seniors,” she says – and bowing twice to Yorktown, including in the Section 1 final, her senior year, when Nanuet went 15-3. She also recalls her outside participation on the Eastern New York Olympic Development squad during her junior year – “it was like a farm team for the National team.”

While Jamie had experience galore in soccer, lacrosse was a more novel pursuit. She wanted to try a spring scholastic sport as a freshman and thought lacrosse looked like fun, so she went out for the team and played junior varsity that year. The following year she moved up to varsity – the same year that Leitner took over the varsity. Although Nanuet endured a rough 1-11-1 season, the seeds were planted for imminent success. The Knights improved to 10-5-1 in 1995 and 11-7 in ’96, advancing to the Section 1 semifinals that year before losing to Nyack, 8-7. Jamie was supported by a core group of players on the 1995 and ’96 teams that included Jamie Allen, Tara Lahm, Michelle Matulac, Barbara Carbonaro and Jessica Spadafora.

“We went from being ranked last in our league and section to fourth overall in two years’ time,” says Leitner, who steered Nanuet to a 212-103-14 record during her 16-season tenure (1994-2009), including four trips to the State final four between 2003 and 2008. “Jamie was a key player in turning around the program during her three years and Nanuet girls’ lacrosse did not have a losing season since 1994. She truly played women’s lacrosse the way it was meant to be played – with speed and finesse – combined with her will to win. It was an honor to coach her.”

As a center midfielder, Jamie was nearly unstoppable. She led the team in goals in 1995 with 52 and in 1996 with 72. She scored a school-record nine goals – including six of the first seven and the game-winner – in a 14-12 victory over Mamaroneck in 1996. (Her record was equaled in 2002 by Michelle Eide.) Jamie finished her career with 147 goals, currently seventh on Nanuet’s all-time list, along with 24 assists for 171 points, which ranks 13th on the school’s career list. She was a two-time All-Section and All-County first-team honoree, three-time All-League recipient and three-time team MVP.

“I remember going from that 1-11-1 season to a winning record, the feeling of accomplishment doing it with virtually the same group of girls,” says Jamie, who received strong support throughout her career from her parents, Vincent and Lana. “In lacrosse you get the same feeling [as in soccer] that you contributed and it’s exciting, but it’s different in that goals are harder to come by in soccer. You don’t get 1-0 or 2-1 games in lacrosse. And percentage-wise, I was more accurate in soccer.”

Jamie continued to excel in soccer at Binghamton University, which was transitioning from Div. III to Div. II at the time. Just as in high school, she was a four-year starting forward who had a nose for the net. She still holds the school record for goals, 63 (in 78 career games), and points, 157. Jamie was an All-Region selection twice each in Div. II and Div. III, the New York State tournament MVP in 1997, team captain in 1998 and ’99, and a GTE Academic All-American in 1999.

Jamie helped lead the Bearcats to a combined 54-19-5 record over four years and a string of team honors: advancement to the second round of the NCAA Div. III tournament and the SUNY conference championship in ’96; the New York State Div. III tournament title in 1997; the ECAC Div. II crown in 1998; and a berth in the ECAC championship game in 1999. For her outstanding efforts on the soccer field, Jamie was inducted into the Binghamton Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010.

Although Jamie graduated from Binghamton in 2000 with a B.S. in biology, she did not follow her original intention to become a biology teacher like her father. In the summer before her senior year, she interned on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs and performed well enough to be offered a full-time position, which she accepted and began working for the company in July 2000. She got married in 2003 to Scott Silver, whom she met at Binghamton, and their daughter Jenna was born in February 2008. After almost nine years with Goldman Sachs, Jamie left the company in February 2009 and is now a stay-at-home mom, residing in Orangeburg. She is expecting her second child in March 2011.

Jamie, who turned 32 on Nov. 15, has never really gotten soccer out of her blood. From 2001 to 2009 she played for the Central Park Rangers of the New York Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League, a competitive league for adult women. She hopes to return to playing in a non-competitive Orangetown women’s league at Veterans Memorial Park, sometime after the birth of her second child.