The College Sports Notebook is compiled by veteran sports writer and columnist Marc Maturo, a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The notebook will be published every Thursday, and also can be visited at www.rocklandcountytimes.com. Please send items of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mustangs riding high
The rings have already been won and sized, but not fitted just yet.
“Maybe I’ll have mine by Christmas. It’ll be a nice present,” offers Matt Bonomolo of Pearl River, who earned a championship ring along with his Mount Ida College teammates following a 52-28 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victory over host Castleton State (Vt.) College.
“We really came together as a team this year, a real brotherhood,” said Bonomolo, the Mustangs’ veteran senior center. “We came out of the gate and approached every game with a 1 and 0 motto; that’s how we attacked each game. We wound up with a lot of program firsts.”
The conference title, of course, is the biggest first, achieved under the direction of fifth-year coach Michael Landers.
Bonomolo, who graduates on December 12, is joined on the Mustangs by three promising freshmen in Ramapo HS graduates Kervina Ferdiulu of Pomona and Roosevens Cineus of Spring Valley, both on the offensive line, and tight end Axel Joseph of Spring Valley.
The Mustangs, making another first, gained an automatic bid into the 32-team NCAA postseason tournament against powerhouse Wesley University, with their 8-2 record representing the highest yearly total in program history.
The fifth-ranked Wesley College team (8-1) has been selected to compete in the NCAA Division III Football Championships for the eighth consecutive year and will host Mount Ida College at Scott D. Miller Stadium on Saturday at noon.
Wesley and Mount Ida have faced off just one time, with the Wolverine coming out on top, 43-6, on Sept. 18, 1999.
Wesley’s 18 NCAA postseason wins over the past six years are the third-most in Division III, trailing only Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater over that timeframe. The winner of the Wesley/Mount Ida contest will face the winner of the SUNY Cortland/Framingham State matchup. On the other side of the bracket, Mary Hardin-Baylor hosts Louisiana College and Franklin travels to Adrian.
The Cortland Red Dragons’ defense is anchored by junior sacks leader Gabe Ostrow of Nanuet, with the help of backs Kenta Umezaki of Pearl River and Clarkstown South HS alum Frank Tucek of New City.
The winner of the bracket will face the winner of a bracket headlined by Mount Union in the national semifinals on December 8; the semifinal winners compete in the Stagg Bowl for the Division III National Championship in Salem, Va., on December 14.
“This will be a tough game, no doubt,” understated Bonomolo. “Wesley uses a spread offense, and a 4-3 defense. We faced the 4-3 a majority of the weeks — it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but this is a different team. We’ll have to play our “A” game if we expect to win.”
Bonomolo, putting on his coach’s cap, says the Mustangs are a well-balanced outfit.
“We have a good rushing attack, and a quarterback with a top-three efficiency rating. We have a 1,000-yard receiver. We have a lot of weapons. We have a chance to go deeper (in the tournament).”
Chargers remember Sullivan
The Dominican College women’s and men’s basketball teams will host the inaugural Daniel Sullivan Memorial Tournament November 16-18 on Coach Baxter Court at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. The women’s portion of the tournament is set on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, while the men will be in action Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Daniel Sullivan, a 1976 graduate of Dominican College, was a four-year member of the men’s basketball team. He ranks eighth in the Chargers’ 1,000-point club with 1,492 career points and was inducted into the Dominican College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. He was a life-long county resident who tragically passed away on Oct. 31, 2011.
A key member of the women’s team is junior forward K.C. Jentzen of Pearl River, an alumna of Nanuet High School, while the men’s squad includes a pair of incoming all-county freshmen guards, Joe Clinton of Pearl River and John Brezovsky of Nanuet, who was also named all-county in football.
Memorial Tournament schedule:
Dec. 16: N.Y. Institute of Technology vs. Nyack College, 6 p.m.; Merrimack College vs. Dominican College, 8 p.m.; Dec. 17: Nyack vs. Merrimack, noon; NYIT vs. Dominican, 2 p.m.
Dec. 17: Assumption College vs. Caldwell College, 6 p.m.; University of Bridgeport vs. Dominican, 8 p.m.; Dec. 18: Bridgeport vs. Caldwell, 2 p.m.; Assumption vs. Dominican, 4 p.m.
- Senior guard Leon Porter of Dominican College was honored as Player of the Week by the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). Porter, of Laurel, Md., posted 20 points and four assists while shooting 50 percent from the field as the Chargers split two games. In a victory over Bentley College, Porter poured in 24 points while connecting on seven of 11 shots from the floor.
- The Wentworth College hockey team, including reserve defenseman Andrew Moscardelli of Pearl River, meets Suffolk University at Steriti Rink in Boston, Mass., at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. The Leopards (2-1-1) then welcome Plymouth State to Matthews Arena in Boston on Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m.
- Forward Joseph Connolly of Nanuet, midfielder Dan Davren of Pearl River and goalkeeper Andrew Tartara of Bardonia were among seven seniors honored as the St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s soccer team concluded its season at 5-5-5 following a 2-2 draw against Mercy College. Also honored were Brendan Flynn of Monroe, Ramapo HS alum Jorge Mera of Spring Valley, James Earl of New Paltz and Ethan Evans of Darien, Conn. Davren led the team in scoring with 23 points on nine goals and five assists while Connolly had one goal and two assists.
- Alushula Odongo of Suffern, a sophomore forward, and Flynn McFadden of West Nyack, a senior guard out of Albertus Magnus HS, are members of the men’s basketball team at St. Thomas Aquinas College. The Spartans hope to break a three-game losing streak when they visit Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29. The home opener is scheduled Dec. 1 against Dowling at 3 p.m. at the STAC campus in Sparkill.
- Longtime (31 years) Rockland Community College men’s soccer coach Loren Green, who himself enjoyed a two-year career for a highly successful Nyack HS team before the era of state-championship opportunities, mentored two all-Mid Hudson Conference first-team selections this season. Midfielder Christian Dominquez of Suffern and defender Premyslaw Szeliga of Orangeburg and Tappan Zee HS, were the top selections from the Hawks. Honored as second-team choices were Anthony Barbetto and Kurt Diffley, both of New City, Jordan Ferreira of Warwick, and Chung Tran of West Nyack.
- Guard Luke Houston of Pearl River is set for his sophomore season on the Southern Connecticut State University men’s basketball team, which meets Assumption College in New Haven, Conn., at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20. The men’s contest caps a doubleheader that opens with a women’s game at 5:30 p.m. Freshman Nicole Grossbard, also of Pearl River, is a guard on the Owls’ women’s team.
- Clarkstown North alumna Meghan King of New City, a sophomore outside hitter on The College of New Rochelle women’s volleyball team, was named to the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference (HVWAC) all-Conference team. Also named was teammate Dalila Rosado of Vega Baja, PR, a senior middle. King, a two-time HVWAC Player of the Week, was CNR’s offensive leader this season. She ranked in the top-10 in the conference in kills per set, total kills, service aces and total digs. King led the Blue Angels in kills, digs and aces, and is among the national leaders in service aces per set. She tallied four double-doubles this year, highlighted by a 17 kill, 17 dig, eight-ace outing in a win over Yeshiva University. King served up a career-best 12 aces against Cooper Union and averaged 2.18 digs, 1.99 kills and 0.76 aces per set on the year. The College of New Rochelle completed its season with an 11-14 record, and advanced to the HVWAC semifinals for the fifth straight season before falling to eventual champion Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville.
- Senior guard Alaina Walker of Pomona went 0-for-5 from the field, but pulled down four rebounds and had three assists as the St. Bonaventure University women’s basketball team opened its season with a 61-34 trouncing of visiting Binghamton at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies are home again on Nov. 16 to meet Colgate at 7 p.m., and then visit Fairfield (Conn.) University at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20.