Tom Cunningham sat a few rows back in the middle of the room as the ceremony was taking place, taking in the entire scene.

In front of him, seated at a table, were five — count ’em, five — of his Fairfield Warde girls soccer team players. Each one was declaring their intent to continue playing soccer at the collegiate level. Two were going to play Division I, two were going to play Division II and one was going to play Division III.

In all, nine Warde student-athletes declared their intent to play sports in college as part of a ceremony recognizing that accomplishment recently at the school.

“I’m very excited for them. It was a very talented group and it says a lot for their commitment to the program,” Cunningham said. “They fought for it, they earned it. I’m proud of all of them for what they’ve accomplished.”

Mollie Kerrigan will attend UConn while Jenn Maldanado will play for Quinnipiac. Taylor Gabrenas will play at Southern Connecticut, Claire Pullen will play at Stonehill and Amelia Andrews will play for Connecticut College.

The other Warde athletes announcing colleges choices were: Kelly Caione who will be on the rowing team at George Washington, Reece Maniscalco (Wofford) and John Natoli (Cornell) who will both play baseball and Roey Mappa who will run track and cross country at Adelphi.

In addition, Victoria Fletcher will swim for Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia.

“It’s awesome,” Maldanado said of the Mustangs’ soccer success. “It’s pretty amazing that all of us have worked so hard the last four years and even before that, a lot of us played together. Mollie and I are on the same (club) team. It’s awesome to see all of us go on and continue playing and I’m sure we’re still going to do very well in our own careers.”

Maldanado originally didn’t have Quinnipiac on her list of schools but after her club soccer coach convinced her to go take a campus visit, everything changed.

“I went and I kept an open mind and I went once and then I went again (a second time) and again ( a third time).” She said. “I met the girls and I think they changed my mind about the school because once I hung out with the team and got the feel, I fell in love. I could not have been more welcomed at the school.”

Likewise for Kerrigan, UConn wasn’t on her short list but after her visit, she was hooked.

“I knew I wanted to stay in the Northeast (Kerrigan looked at Villanova, Fairfield and Quinnipiac),” she said. “My Club coach was the one that said they’d (UConn) been looking at me and he suggested I go for a visit and once I did, I knew that was the school for me.”

Just like Andrews knew that Connecticut College was the school for her.

“I always knew that I wanted to play soccer in college but for me, it was finding a balance with academics,” Andrews said. “I looked at a bunch of schools. Interestingly, Connecticut College was the one school I wasn’t looking at because both my parents went there, so I didn’t want to go there because they went there. But I went to a soccer camp there and I fell in love with the school and the coach and it was like the perfect fit.”

Lastly, Pullen is headed for Stonehill.

“I knew that they had really good academics there and I wanted to aim more Division II, so I looked for a school to balance academics and athletes. It was a good choice,” she said. “I’m looking at education, specifically special education. I know Stonehill has that there, so I was really happy with that.”

Caiore started rowing in eighth grade for an all-girls team with the Connecticut Boat Club in Norwalk and is excited to get to row on the Potomac River the next four years while at George Washington.

“I can row on the Potomac every day and that was a dream for me,” she said. “It goes for miles and miles, like the flattest water ever. My whole experience there was surreal in the sense this if I didn’t go there, I’d be letting myself down. I loved it.”

Caiore played both softball and swimming but when she got involved with rowing, that became her sole focus.

“My parents said that I should try something else, so I did rowing and I fell in love with it,” Caiore said. “It’s definitely the sport for me.”

Just as track is for Mappa, who started running back in middle school and hasn’t stopped since, running cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.

“I think the thing that drew me to Adelphi was the coach. I really enjoy running with (Warde coach Tim) Foster and I loved going to practice every day, listening to his advice and I wanted a coach like that, so I could connect to and Adelphi had that,” Mappa said. “I like the mile (best time, 5:30). I’ve learned a lot about myself as a runner and I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

Both Natoli and Maniscalco are being looked at as pitchers for Cornell and Wofford, respectively. Natoli said that his fastball reached 87 miles per hour over the summer while Maniscalco said that his fastball was right there, speed-wise, too.

“It’s primarily pitching, that’s what I’ll be doing first and I’ll also get some chances at third base,” Natoli said, who has four pitches - fastball, slider, curve and change-up. “It’s a really, really good school. I went up there, really liked the coaches. The new head coach is coming from Clemson, so he brings a big name to the program. It was just a great fit for me.”

A big factor in Maniscalco’s decision was … the weather.

“When I got down there in February of last year and just fell in love with the school. The coaching staff was awesome and obviously, baseball in the South is going to be great. It was 65 degrees when I was there and when I came back here it was below freezing. That was a big deciding factor,” he said. “It was definitely a difficult decision. There were a lot of schools in the Northeast and it ended up coming between Columbia and Wofford. I know I made the right choice.”