College Sports Notebook 12/13

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.

Army ready to battle Russians on the ice

Bring on the Russians.

The Army hockey team, including freshman forward R.J. Burns of Pearl River, who has already broken into the starting lineup, will play the Russian Junior All-Stars for the second time in three years on Dec. 27 at Tate Rink in West Point.

The first puck is slated to be dropped at 7:05 p.m., with another SRO crown expected, matching the turnout two years ago when Army last met an all-star squad out of the Russian Junior Elite League.

Head coach Brian Riley, in his ninth season at the helm for the Black Knights, was quoted on Army’s website, saying, “Any time you get the opportunity to play against a great team you want to try and take advantage of that. Fans will get the chance to see a host of players with NHL aspirations and we get a chance to play a game before resuming our regular season. We had a great turnout for this game two years ago and we are looking forward to another opportunity to playing in front of our great, loyal fans.”

(Army and the Russian squad played in front of a standing-room only crowd of 2,602 on Dec. 28, 2010.)

The Black Knights continue to flirt with the .500 mark at 5-6-2 following a 2-2 draw in Storrs, Conn., a game in which Burns – one of 13 freshmen on the Army team – had his second assist on the season. A former all-state selection at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., Burns has played in every game, and has one goal. He is also one of seven players on the team out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL).

Tickets to Army games can be purchased at goARMYsports.com, by phone at 1-877-TIX-ARMY on in person at the ticket office.

Following the Russian All-Stars, Army takes to the road for a two-game set in Buffalo on Dec. 29-20 against Canisius College before returning home on Jan. 4-5 to meet Robert Morris University. The game on Jan. 4 is set for 7:30 p.m., with the game on Jan. 5 set for 7:05 p.m.

The Battle of Orangetown: The high-flying Dominican College men’s basketball team (8-2), based in Orangeburg, puts its five-game winning streak on the line on Dec. 15 when it travels crosstown to take on struggling non-conference rival St. Thomas Aquinas College at Aquinas Gym in Sparkill.

The contest is set for 3 p.m., capping a twinbill that opens at 1 p.m. with the Lady Spartans (4-5) meeting their counterparts from Pace University (5-3).

Shpresa Liharevic of Staten Island leads the Lady Spartans with 13 points per game, followed by Biana Cook of Paterson, N.J., with nine points a game.

The STAC men, 1-1 in the East Coast Conference, are 1-5 overall but have three legitimate offensive threats in Justin Brown of Uniondale, who is averaging 20 points per game, Omar Kellman of the Bronx (18 ppg), and T.J. Jones of Stafford, Va. (17 ppg).

The Clippers of veteran Coach Joe Clinton of Pearl River extended their streak with a 62-51 victory over visiting University of the Sciences of Philadelphia as senior Cory Quimby of Otisville recorded his fifth consecutive double-double with 12 points and a game leading 13 rebounds.

Forward Daniel Woods of Upper Marlboro, Md., who is averaging four rebounds a game, added 11 points. Quimby leads the Chargers with 16 points and 11 rebounds per game while Joe Clinton Jr. is averaging 18 minutes a game in his freshman season, netting three points and an assist each time out.

Meanwhile, the Dominican College women’s team improved to 5-4 overall, 3-1 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference following a 72-58 win over the University of the Sciences as K.C. Jentzen of Pearl River led four Lady Chargers in double figures with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Dominican returns to action Dec. 16 when it hosts St. Michael’s College in a non-conference game at 1 p.m. at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg.

Wilson steps to the fore: The Manhattanville College women’s basketball team, coming off a well-earned 64-59 victory over visiting New York University, hits the road to play Jersey City College on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

Competing without injured senior co-captain Jen McSharar of Garnerville, the third-leading scorer on the team, the Valiants turned to the leadership of the team’s other senior co-captain, Taylor Wilson of Pearl River.

The Pearl River HS alumna answered the challenge with a career-high 28 points – 20 in an inspired second-half effort by the Valiants — while pulling down nine rebounds and adding two steals.

Wilson sealed the victory with her free-throw shooting, going 10 of 11 from the line, and Alyson Caiazzo of Brooklyn continued her dominance off the boards with 14 rebounds.


Mortarboard musings

  • Lauren Stevens of Sloatsburg is a member of the SUNY Delhi University women’s basketball team, which hosts Hudson Valley CC on Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. in its final game before the holiday break. The Broncos return to action on Jan. 16 at Mohawk Valley CC in Oneida County at 4 p.m.
  • Clarkstown South alum Clayton Roker, a freshman guard at Centenary College of New Jersey, is averaging eight points and three rebounds through eight games for the Cyclones while playing 21 minutes per game. The Cyclones (4-4) meet Rutgers-Camden in Camden, N.J., on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.
  • Manhattan College senior infielder Amanda Babcock of Haverstraw and six of her teammates on the Jaspers’ softball have been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) all-America Scholar-Athlete Team. A total of 140 Division I institutions had at least one student-athlete honored. The Jaspers begin the 2013 season on the weekend of Feb. 22-24, when they participate in the North Carolina A&T Tournament.
  • The Rockland Community College men’s basketball team leads the Mid-Hudson Conference standings with an unbeaten record through four games.
  • Sophomore Kellyanne Bondulich of Tappan is a middle-distance specialist at Loyola (Md.) University. As a freshman, Bondulich placed sixth in the grueling 3,000-meter steeplechase at the MAAC outdoor championships. The Tappan Zee HS alumna also placed 19th in the 800. The Greyhounds return from the holiday break on Jan. 11, 2013 in the New York City Gotham Cup at the New Balance Track & Field Center in upper Manhattan (Fort Washington Ave., between 168th and 169th Streets).
  • Freshman Joe Frullaney of New City, who came up through World Cup Gymnastics in Chappaqua, is a member of the Army gymnastics team. Frullaney hopes to make his collegiate debut when the Cadets open the season at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Penn State in State College, Pa.
  • The Army swim team, including seasoned senior diver Vinny Franchino of Stony Point, will be in Puerto Rico on Jan. 3 to compete at the San Juan Invitational.
  • Tappan Zee HS graduate Jillian Hudson of Sparkill is back for her junior season on the gymnastics team at the University of New Hampshire. Hudson, whose club team is Galaxy Gymnastics in Orangeburg, opens the new year at home on Jan. 6, going against Rutgers University at Lundholm Gymnasium in Durham, N.H.
  • SUNY Cortland senior Andrew Greenberg of Suffern finished third in the 200-meter dash (23.25) and fifth in the 400-meter dash (51.71) as the Red Dragons competed at the non-team-scoring Ithaca College Quad Meet. Freshman Julio Melendez of Valley Cottage placed third in the 800 meters (2:01.26). On the women’s side, senior Amber Stephens of Stony Point placed second in the triple jump with an ECAC distance of 36-feet, 4¾ inches.  Stephens, an alumna of North Rockland HS, had earned SUNYAC (State University of New York Athletic Conference) athlete-of-the-week accolades a week earlier after finishing third out of 23 competitors in the triple jump at the Cornell Relays. Her distance of 38 feet, 5 inches) set a school indoor record, and is currently the best distance nationally in Division III.
  • County track and field standouts are well-represented at Marist College, which competes at the NYC Gotham Cup on Jan. 11 at the New Balance Armory in upper Manhattan. The men’s team includes distance stars Nick Hughes of Stony Point, a junior; sophomore Tom Lappas of Pearl River; and senior Matt Panebianco of Tappan.  Junior Jackie Gamboli and senior Dayna McLaughlin, both of Stony Point, and sophomore Tara Nuccitelli of Suffern compete on the women’s side.
  • Keeley Bateman of Pearl River and Tappan Zee HS graduate Meaghan Jaskot helped the St. Thomas Aquinas College distance medley team set a school record at the CTC Relay Carnival at St. Anthony’s in Huntington. The relay squad clocked 13:05.80, breaking the previous standard by two seconds. Bateman, who also helped the 4×800 relay team set a school record with a time of 10:07.26, followed up her effort with a second-place finish in the 1,000-meter run at the Yale Season Opener in New Haven, CT.  Senior Mike Abelard of Spring Valley ran a personal best, school record and national-qualifying time in the 60 meters, winning the event in 6.86. Abelard, an alum of Ramapo HS, added to a stellar day with a runner-up finish in the 200 (22.23), while junior George Erazo of North Babylon won the 400 with ease in a time of 49.95.  Freshman Joe Capolino of Old Bridge, N.J., won the 5,000 in a time 16:08.56.

This & That

·      North Rockland High School won the Varsity Coed Division at the 64thWestchester County Cheerleading Invitational at the Westchester County Center.

  • The Rockland County Lacrosse Officials Association is holding class for prospective members at Tappan Zee HS on Feb. 19-21 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Former players and coaches are welcome, but no experience is necessary. Attendees will be certified to officiate youth and lower-level high school games in the county. Contact Chuck Cohen at 845-398-1468, 914-490-8446, or by email at chuck@magnifyit.com.
  • Registration is under way for the 2013 Clarkstown Patriots spring lacrosse season, fielding teams for grades 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8. All boys in the county are eligible. The Patriots play a competitive schedule, including tournaments in the tri-state area. For more information visit www.clarkstownlacrosse.com or call 845-705-0293.
  • Patrick Stroupe of Armstrong, Mo., and Maria Michta of Nesconset posted victories at the USA Track and & Field 30-kilometer Racewalk Championships at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers. Stroupe, 28, toured the 18.6-mile layout in 2:18:34, winning by nearly a mile over second-place finisher Nick Christie of San Diego. Olympic trials champion Michta, 26, clocked 2:40:44. The race was once again directed by Rockland County Track and Field Hall of Famer Dave McGovern, a 1983 graduate of Clarkstown North.
  • The Orangetown Mighty Midget Soccer Association, with the help of the Rockland community, raised $15,000 on Casino Night for the benefit of the Chanin family of Pearl River, which suffered a tragic loss of life during Superstorm Sandy. (Jeffery Chanin, 51, was struck by a tree which fell onto his residence, trapping four family members). OMM conducts fall and spring seasons, with teams ranging from U-7 boys and girls (novice) to U-18 boys and girls (elite). The Invaders, who won the U-10 title, were led by head coach Luis Ruelas of Blauvelt and assistant Tim Tarpey of Sparkill. Ruelas said the players not only attended every practice, but practiced at every practice. They are: Brian Acosta, Stephen Chin, Evan Devane, Wolfgang Hadeler, Josephy Henry, Steven Moran, Daniel Pinilla, Louis Ruelas, Richard Ryan, Andrew Tarpey, Daniel Tarpey, and Nicholas Urzi. Registration for the spring season is under way; visit http://www.ommsoccer.org.