MVP Monaghan, Red Dragons earn NCAA playoff berth

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Tara Monaghan, set for playoff opener
Tara Monaghan, set for NCAA

The nationally second-ranked Cortland women’s lacrosse team looks to keep going with home cooking.

Led by tournament MVP Tara Monaghan of Stony Point, the Red Dragons defeated 17th-ranked Fredonia, 15-6, in the championship game of the SUNYAC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament at the Stadium Complex.

The Red Dragons improved to 17-1 on the season and won their 17th consecutive conference tournament title and earned their 17th straight NCAA Division III playoff berth.

Cortland will play either Castleton State College or Morrisville State College in an NCAA Division III tournament second-round game on May 10, at the Cortland Stadium Complex.

The first-round game between Castleton and Morrisville will be held at Cortland on May 9, with the winner remaining in Cortland to face the Red Dragons the following day. In recent seasons, the first-round game was held mid-week at one of the competing schools.

Castleton (16-2) won the North Atlantic Conference title last weekend and is making its fourth straight NCAA appearance. The Spartans lost at Cortland in the first round in 2012.

Morrisville (11-7) won the North Eastern Athletic Conference crown and will be making its first NCAA showing.        The winner of Cortland’s game Sunday will play in a four-team regional on May 16-17, at a site to be announced. The Division III national semifinals and finals will be held May 23-24 at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa.

Joining Monaghan on the all-tournament team is teammate Colleen Wright, a junior defender from Huntington Station.

On the season, Monaghan, a junior captain, finished third on the team with 73 points, behind runner-up senior captain Emma Hayes-Hurley of Huntington, with 74, and junior Ashley Gentile of Baldwinsville, with 77. Monaghan’s 61 goals ranked second.

Last season, Cortland advanced to the Division III “final four” for the fourth straight year with wins over Mount Union (20-5), Redlands (19-3) and Colby (16-7) before losing to Trinity College (Conn.) in the semifinals, 8-7. Cortland also lost to Trinity in the national semifinals in 2013 and 2012 and fell to Gettysburg in the 2011 semifinals, all by two-goal margins.

Cortland is 5-1 this season against teams ranked in the top 20 nationally at the time of the game. The Red Dragons beat then top-ranked Gettysburg on the road, 14-10, in mid-March. Cortland’s lone loss was a 13-11 decision at defending national champion Salisbury.

Cortland has won 64 straight home games dating to an 8-7 loss to Hamilton College on March 23, 2010.

GREIG GREAT IN FINALE: Bryan Greig of New City closed out his career on the Mercy College baseball team with another big effort as the Mavericks ended their campaign, too, with an 8-5 victory over Queens College at Mercy Field in Dobbs Ferry.

Greig, an alum of Clarkstown South High School, went 3-for-4 with three RBI and collected his first save of the season and junior Scott Hagan of Mamaroneck also went 3-for-4 for the Mavericks, who finish a disappointing season at 13-28 overall and 7-17 in the East Coast Conference.

Greig, primarily a starting pitcher with a club-high 10 starts in 13 appearances, capped off his stellar senior day by making a rare relief appearance.

Before the game, Coach Jason Lamando and his coaching staff honored Greig, who posted a team-leading 2.26 ERA and 5-4 record on a club that struggled for most of the season.

Also honored were Joseph Gismondi of East Meadow, Vincent Luppino of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Blake Hasbrouck of Middletown, Sal Palumbo of Medford, and Nick Caruso of Yorktown Heights

SETTERS SWEEP INTO POSTSEASON: The Pace University baseball team claimed the Northeast-10 Southwest top seed for the upcoming championships with a 4-1, 8-6 sweep of Le Moyne College. John Kukura of New City went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the first game for the Setters, who concluded the regular season with a record of 21-17, 12-6 NE-10 Southwest. Kukura enjoyed a very fine sophomore season with a team second-best batting average of .315, one point less than the .316 produced by senior Tom Midolo of Brooklyn. Kukura finished third in RBI with 17.

QUICK HITTERS: Sophomore Alexandra Aber of New City, an alumna of Clarkstown North HS, is a member of the rowing team at the University of Delaware. The Blue Hens take part in the Dad Vail Regatta at the Schuykill River in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 8-9, and then compete at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships on May 17 at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. … North Rockland HS graduate Taylor Corretjer of Thiells completed her softball career at St. Peter’s College. Corretjer, a second baseman, batted .218 with one homer and eight RBI in her senior season. … Sophomore Mike Cruz of West Haverstraw, a North Rockland HS graduate, placed fourth in the long jump at 21 feet 9 inches as Cortland finished third at the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Brockport. The Red Dragons won six individual titles and one relay crown. … The Pace University men’s lacrosse team, including sophomore attack Peter Sharp of Airmont, received the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Tournament and will visit top seed and nationally 12th-ranked Mercy College in the title game on May 9 at noon in Dobbs Ferry. … Anthony Simon of Suffern and the Cortland baseball team are headed to the NCAA Tournament after the Red Dragons, powered by tournament MVP Mark DeMilio of Valhalla, beat Oswego, 10-3, in the SUNYAC championship game. Cortland (36-3), top-ranked nationally in Division III, earned an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament and will make its 23rd consecutive NCAA appearance – the longest active streak nationally in Division III. NCAA pairings will be announced May 11, and Cortland will serve as the host school at a regional scheduled May 13-17 at Falcon Park in Auburn. … The Dominican College softball team, ranked No. 2, fell to top-rated Caldwell (N.J.) University, 5-2, in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Softball Championship game played on the campus of Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J. Junior catcher Shannon Haukap of Edmonds, Wash., sophomore pitcher Emily Larsen of Midlothian, Ill., and sophomore center fielder Alyssa Schwed of Kinnelon, N.J., were named to the all-CACC tournament team. Dominican, 33-19 on the season under veteran coach Joe Burbridge, awaits a possible at-large berth in the NCAA East Regional Tournament. … The Nyack College baseball team closed its season with a 6-5 non-conference victory over Dominican College at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. … St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s tennis players Javier Munoz-Laguna of Sevilla, Spain, and Aaron Stahl of Duesseldorf, Germany, were named second-team all-East Coast Conference (ECC).

THIS & THAT:  Women in Sports and Events (WISE) host its 21st Women of the Year awards luncheon on June 16 at the New York Marriott Marquis. 

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