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COLLEGE SPORTS NOTEBOOK 2/14/13
Posted February 14th, 2013

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. Please send items of interest to marcmaturo@aol.com.

Gutenberger gone, but Jaspers pin hopes on other vets, newcomers

Taylor Wilson and Jen McSharar, Senior Day sendoff at Manhattanville

Last year’s leading scorer Chrissy Gutenberger of Stony Point was lost to graduation and three other seniors are also history, but the Manhattan College women’s lacrosse team feels it has what it takes to make a proper adjustment.

“We’ve been changing up a lot of the way we do things,” second-year head coach Diane Haddeland was quoted as saying. “Whether it comes down to evaluating and testing our players, to the way we practice and our concepts.”

The Jaspers, who dropped their season opener to powerful Rutgers University, 15-5, at the Scarlet Knights’ turf field at the Stadium Complex in Piscataway, N.J., hope to regroup in time for their home opener against Wagner College at Gaelic Park in Riverdale on Feb. 22.

An immediate adjustment for the Jaspers was necessitated by the loss of Gutenberger, the program’s second-leading all-time scorer who this year will serve as an assistant to Coach Stephanie Hopkins at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill.

Silvestri joins incoming class

However, Haddeland has eight starters returning from 2012, and an influx of seven freshmen has the Jaspers primed for a run at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament.

Among the returnees are junior Kelsey Rehain of Suffern, and sophomores Kaleigh Howe of Pearl River and Carly Cappello of New City. Among the newcomers is Casey Silvestri of Pomona, a graduate of Albertus Magnus HS.

Sophomore Donna Jo DiNorcia of Vernona, N.J., and Domenica O’Brey of Loudonville combined for 33 goals last season, but should receive help this season from Cappello, an alumna of Albertus Magnus who is coming off a strong fall season.

Rehain, another Albertus Magnus HS alumna, returns to a speedy midfield after finishing as the team’s third-leading scorer with 18 points. Rehain will be joined by Clare Kerrisk of Keansburg, N.J., a double-digit goal scorer as a sophomore, captain Carly Eskenazi of Kinnelon, N.J., and Lauren Pribetich of Farmingdale.

Shpresa Liharevic controls the ball

Silvestri should provide depth and talent, along with another freshman Megan Yarusso, who was a scholastic all-American at Brewster HS.

Howe about that

Defensively, Manhattan brings back a strong core, with Howe, a Pearl River HS graduate, changing positions as she moves from the attacking end of the field to the back line. Joining her are fellow classmates Caitlin Hynes of Mahopac, who corralled 13 ground balls as a freshman, and Alex Rousseau of Wantagh.

“Kaleigh’s stick work has really improved (in practice) and I think changing her position is really going to work out,” noted Haddeland.

The Jaspers, who have put together a 17-game schedule, will play eight games at Gaelic Park.

After traveling to Brown University in Providence, R.I., on March 3,  and hosting LIU Brooklyn on March 6, Manhattan embark on a three-game road trip with contests at Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia, Pa., on March 9, Albany on March 11, and Howard University in Washington, D.C., on March, 17.

Gaelic Park will host three straight matches in late March. The Jaspers will welcome Central Connecticut State on March 19 before hosting Delaware State, in its inaugural season, on March 23 as well as Fresno State on March 29.

Conference competition is slated to start on April 3 when the Jaspers hop over to New Rochelle for a game against Iona College.

SENIOR DAY SENDOFF: Taylor Wilson of Pearl River and Jen McSharar of Garnerville were honored with flowers and game-worn uniforms by Coach Kate Vlahakis before the Manhattanville College women’s basketball team closed its home season with a 79-58 los to King’s at Kennedy Gymnasium in Purchase. Wilson, the leading scorer in the Freedom Conference with nearly 19 points per game, scored 16 for the Valiants, who close out the season with a contest in Dallas, Pa., on Feb. 16 against Misericordia University at 1 p.m. Wilson, playing most of the year without McSharar, limited to just six games after tearing her ACL, is also second in the conference in free-throw percentage, three-point percentage and three-pointers per game. She is third in steals and ninth in rebounding. McSharar, a graduate of North Rockland HS, was averaging 10 points and 11 rebounds before being injured.

RED DRAGONS ROAR: The SUNY Cortland wrestling team, ranked third nationally in Division III, tied a school record for dual-match wins in a season with a 37-9 victory over visiting Oswego. The Red Dragons are 17-2, matching the win totals of both last year’s squad and the 1995-96 team. Sophomore Paul Fields of Clarkstown dispatched his opponent, 7-1, at 125 pounds to spark the Red Dragons, who will complete its dual-match season at home versus Ithaca on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Cortland freshman Andy Scopino of Mahopac won by forfeit at 285 pounds.

CAPTAIN MOREAU: The Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team, which dropped its season opener to Rutgers University, 15-6, brings back three of its top five scorers from last season, along with other veterans such as Paul Moreau of Pearl River. Moreau, a senior attack, leads the squad as one of its four captains. Multiple freshmen are expected to put pressure on the veterans in the attack, including Mike DiPascali of Martinsville, N.J., Stephen Farrell of Loudonville and John Dugan of Stony Point. Dugan was a two-time team captain at North Rockland HS, where he earned all-County and all-Section accolades. His sister Elizabeth was a four-year player on the Manhattan women’s lacrosse team. Dugan will be playing as the program undergoes a transition in the coaching staff with Nyack College alum Steve Manitta now in charge. The Jaspers entertain Lafayette College of Easton, Pa., at Gaelic Park in Riverdale on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.

RUNNER-UP FINISHES: In preparation for the SUNYAC Championships in Buffalo, Feb. 21-23, freshman Rod Taskindoust of New City turned in a pair of second-place finishes as the SUNY New Paltz swimming and diving team (2-5) lost its final home meet of the season, 126-74, to Oneonta State (3-1) at Elting Pool. Taskindoust, an alum of Clarkstown North HS, placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.75) and the 100 freestyle (50.74). Senior Bryan Farm of New City, a graduate of Clarkstown South HS, was third in the 50 freestyle, and fourth in the 100 backstroke.

MAINTAINING HOPE: The Oneonta State women’s basketball team ends its regular season at New Paltz on Feb. 15 at 6 p.m., hoping to finish at 11-11 and gain a berth in the SUNYAC Tournament that the Red Dragons are to host beginning on Feb. 19. Junior Kelly Mulligan of Pearl River is a starting guard, averaging 19 minutes a game with norms of five points, three rebounds and one assist.

CAMARDELLA IN SPOTLIGHT: Dominican College standout Andrew Camardella of Pelham has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Preseason all-Region team. Camardella, a senior first baseman, was named to the East all-Region second team as a designated hitter.  In 2012, he led the Chargers in hits, batting average, doubles, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, and led the CACC in doubles. The Chargers, who play three games in Florida March 6-8 in Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Lantana, are once again led by veteran skipper Rick Giannetti of New City. Giannetti, who has amassed an outstanding 598-358 mark at Dominican, had led the Chargers to 15 CACC championships, with two NAIA World Series appearances. Giannetti’s staff includes Dominican alum and four-year player Chad Duesler of New City, newcomer Sean Repay of New City as pitching coach, and assistant coach Paul Robledo. Repay, who spent time in the Blue Jays organization, is entrusted with a deep staff that includes sophomore right-hander Matt Lawson of West Nyack, a graduate of Clarkstown South HS. Dominican’s home opener is scheduled March 15 against Wilmington University at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. First pitch is slated at 4 p.m.

Paul Fields, victorious for Red Dragons

CAREER MILESTONE: Shpresa Liharevic of Staten Island recorded her 1,000th career point while posting a game-high 21 points to lead the St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s basketball team to a 58-46 East Coast Conference victory over University of the District of Columbia at Aquinas Hall in Sparkill. The Lady Spartans, winning their fourth straight to improve to 12-11 overall, 8-5 ECC, visit New York Institute of Technology on Feb. 16 at noon, and then visit LIU Post at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20.

QUICK HITTERS: Freshman Brandon Hickey of Pearl River hopes to bolster the midfield for the Oneonta State men’s lacrosse team, which opens its season in Whittier, Calif., on Feb. 22-23. The Red Dragons, who went 5-10 last year, meet host Whittier on Feb. 22, and then take on Southwestern University of Georgetown, Texas, on Feb. 23. … Molly Kauders of Suffern was among the seniors honored at Cortland’s final home swim meet of the season, a 154-141 victory over Fredonia State. The Red Dragons finished their dual-meet campaign with a 9-6 record, and will compete at the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 20-23 at Erie Community College’s Flickinger Center in Buffalo. …. Alaina Walker of Pomona played 27 minutes, scoring seven points with six rebounds, three assists and two steals, but the St. Bonaventure University women’s basketball team continued to struggle, falling to visiting Virginia Commonwealth University, 64-51, at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies, 9-15 overall and 2-7 in the Atlantic 10, travel to Indianapolis, Ind., on Feb. 17 to meet Butler University at 2 p.m., and then host Dayton University on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. … Justin Brown of Uniondale and TJ Jones of Stafford, Va., each had 23 points as the St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak following a 75-68 East Coast Conference victory over University of District of Columbia at Aquinas Hall in Sparkill. The Spartans, who improved to 5-17, 5-8, visit New York Institute of Technology on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m., and on Feb. 20 visit LIU Post for a 7:30 p.m. contest. … SUNY Cortland’s 4×800-meter relay unit of senior Pat Fannon of West Islip, freshman Julio Melendez of Valley Cottage, junior Mike Kelly of Coram and junior Cody Amengual of West Babylon placed third in 7:54.10 at the Cornell University Men’s Indoor Track and Field Kane Invitational in Ithaca. Senior Andrew Greenberg of Suffern, who placed 13th in the 400-meter dash, took sixth in the 4×400-meter relay with sophomore Rob Schenke of Kings Park, sophomore Eric Wong of Massapequa Park, and freshman Sean Swartwood of Waverly. … Mike Tasaro and Alexei Privalov, both of Nanuet, are members of the men’s tennis team at St. Thomas Aquinas College. The Spartans, who went 1-3 in the fall season, resume their schedule on Feb. 16 against NYIT at Tenafly (N.J.) Racquet Club at 7 p.m. … Defensive gem Luke Houston of Pearl River, a sophomore guard, leads the Southern Connecticut State University basketball team with 37 steals. The Owls, who have put together a very-fine 15-6 record, meet American International College in Springfield, Mass., on Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m., and then travel to Syracuse on Feb. 20 to challenge Le Moyne College at 7:30 p.m.

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