COLLEGE SPORTS NOTEBOOK 5/23

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.


MONAGHAN ALREADY LOOKS TO NEXT SEASON

Tara Monaghan of Stony Point just can’t get lacrosse out of her system.

The North Rockland HS alumna, who recently completed an outstanding freshman season with the Red Dragons of SUNY Cortland, is already looking ahead to next season. In preparation, Monaghan will play summer league lacrosse with two former scholastic teammates, Taylor Moore and Katie Lonergan.

“It was a good season, even though it didn’t end the way we wanted. We all improved so much, on and off the field,” Monaghan observed.

Labeling it a “good” season is a bit of an understatement, as the formidable Red Dragons went 21-2, closing with a tough 8-6 loss to nationally top-ranked and defending champion Trinity College in the NCAA Division III semifinals at Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills, Md.

The undefeated Bantams (21-0), based in Hartford, Conn., had their hands full against the fourth-ranked Red Dragons, who led 6-5 before allowing the game’s final three goals.

“We could have won, for sure, but either we were nervous or whatever, but made too many late mistakes,” noted Monaghan, who finished fourth in scoring for the Red Dragons this season with 32 goals and five assists. The draw control ace also led the team in that category, winning 93.

Monaghan, who feels she needs to improve her shooting and hopes to stay in top condition with the help of summer league games, said her competitive instinct helps explain her ability to win draw controls.

“I love the sport, and I’m pretty competitive,” Monaghan said. “Maybe next year we can win it all. I can’t wait for next season to start.”

RECORD SEASON ENDS WITH DEFEAT

The season concluded with a loss at the NCAA East Regional in Manchester, N.H., but the St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team still posted a school-record 39 victories that earned the Spartans’ program its first-ever national ranking.

The Spartans finished with a 39-14 mark following an 8-1 loss to Wilmington University, the top seed in the region.

In addition to an East Coast Conference (ECC) championship and NCAA appearance, STAC captured major conference awards as catcher Mike Russo of Boca Raton, Fla., was named ECC Player-of-the-Year, pitcher Robert Naughton of Levittown earned rookie honors, and veteran skipper Scott Muscat of West Haverstraw was tabbed Coach-of-the-Year.

Senior right-hander Joe DePool of New City, a Clarkstown South alum, led the staff in wins, going 7-1 with a 4.76 ERA.

Sophomore Rich Baerga of Pomona batted a solid .338 while senior Frank Salerno of New City hit .294.

HAWKS PACK AWAY THEIR CLUBS

Californian Benedict Tagle of Rockland Community College finished eighth at the Region XV Golf Championship, a two-day event staged at Phillip J. Rotella Memorail Golf Course in Haverstraw.

Tagle fired 80-87—167 in a field dominated by team champion Nassau CC, which placed four golfers in the top-10. Richard Elliott of Sullivan CC earned medalist honors with 74-76—150.

Suffolk CC finished second in the team standings, with Ulster CC third and Rockland CC fourth, followed by Sullivan CC and Westchester CC.

Other finishers for the Suffern-based Hawks: Francis Kelly of Stony Point, 16th, 87-91—178; Brian McGarvey of Pearl River, 17th, 88-92—180; team captain Mike Cavanagh of Haverstraw, 24th, 102-85—187; Jimmy McEntee, 29th, 115-115—230.

KENNEDY HONORED AT ONEONTA STATE

Standout cross country runner and track and field star Danielle Kennedy of Stony Point, who had a breakout season at Oneonta State, was among those honored as Athlete of the Year by the athletics department as its annual awards ceremony in the Hunt Union Ballroom on campus.

Kennedy, a junior out of Albertus Magnus HS, finished third at the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) cross country championship meet, which tied the best finish ever for an Oneonta female.  It was the second straight year she finished in the top-5 at the championship meet.

During the indoor track & field season Kennedy captured the 3,000-meter SUNYAC crown, and also set school records in the 3,000 and 5,000 indoors and the 5,000 and 10,000m outdoors.

QUICK HITTERS

The Northeastern University men’s soccer team, anchored on defense by Conner Alexander of Blauvelt, will get the new season under way with exhibition games at Boston College (August 18) and against New Hampshire (August 24). The Huskies open the regular campaign in Durham, N.C., for the Duke Nike Classic. NU will battle Elon on August 30 before meeting the host Blue Devils for the first time since 2001 on Sept. 1. The Huskies are coming off their best season in program history, going 14-3-4 en route to their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship and first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002. Although a defenseman, Alexander scored four goals last season, tied for third-best on the team. … Senior Amber Stephens of Stony Point, a North Rockland HS alumna, placed 10th in the long jump as the SUNY Cortland women’s track and field team finished fifth at the ECAC Division III Championships at Springfield (Mass.) College. Rowan won the team title with 63 points, followed by Wheaton (Mass.) with 57, Tufts with 52, Ithaca and MIT with 51 each, and the Red Dragons with 39. .… St. Thomas Aquinas College softball standout Samantha McDonald of New City, a Clarkstown South alumna, was named East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and first team all-conference.  McDonald led the Lady Spartans with a batting average of .416 in her rookie campaign. McDonald, who also scored 21 runs and had 12 RBI, hit a team-high 13 doubles to go along with one triple and one home run.  She was 4-for-4 in stolen bases and had an on-base percentage of .455.  McDonald excelled in the outfield as well with a fielding percentage of .941 and 46 putouts.

THIS & THAT

RIVER ROWING ASSOCIATION (RRA) junior members Veronica Czarnik of Clarkstown and Brenna Henry Cox, a Tappan Zee HS student, were on the winning women’s JV Four at the Cooper Cup in Pennsauken, N.J.

The gold-winning crew, representing the Nyack-based RRA, also included Catherine Rizzo and Paige Vignone, both of the Academy of the Holy Angels.

The men’s Novice Quad had a winning time of 7 minutes, 32.12 seconds, nearly 45 seconds ahead of the runner-up boat. The RRA boat was comprised of Adam Tantawi of Northern Valley Regional in Demarest, N.J., Tyler Jenns and Milo Fradianni, both of Nyack, and Ryan Sullivan of Pleasantville.

RRA’s Junior Competitive Team was one of 62 teams from the Mid-Atlantic and New England states to compete in 36 events in the annual event organized by the South Jersey Rowing Club.

The RRA had another cause to celebrate as alumna Anna Gackowski, and her Ohio State University team took the Big Ten Rowing Championship from defending champion Michigan State, in a finals-only event held in Indianapolis, Ind. Anna’s Novice Eight took gold with a time of 7:06.90. Anna completed her freshman year at Ohio State, after rowing all four years of high school with the Nyack-based RRA.

“We are so proud of Anna,” said RRA President Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky via email. “To see one of our rowers achieve such success at the collegiate level inspires our current rowers to try that much harder and aim that much higher.”

During her summer break Anna will be teaching RRA Learn-to-Row classes together with a number of other RRA alum who are rowing on college teams. Some of those will be on hand May 25 when RRA hosts its annual Directors Cup Regatta on Rockland Lake at Lot 6. Free Learn-to-Row lessons for ages 12 and up will be offered from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The races begin at 8 a.m.

For more information and to register for RRA youth and

adult competitive programs, adult recreational programs and adaptive rowing, visit the RRA website at www.riverrowing.org.

VOLLEYBALL POWER: The Do It Garden State (DIGS) volleyball club, including Albertus Magnus HS player Mallary McFadden, was victorious at the Garden Empire Volleyball Association (GEVA) regional championship. The team earned a berth at the USA Junior Nationals in Dallas, Texas, June 28-July 5.  McFadden participated on the DIGS 17 Red team, which also included Nia Diaz of Nanuet, Hannah Giegerich and Shannon Hubert, both of Ramapo, and twin sisters Barbara and Nastasia Kapustin of Clarkstown South.

JOIN SPORTS MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE June 29-30 in Manhattan and Newark, N.J., for the NHL Draft Hockey Career Conference, which is part of the NHL Draft LIVE experience.  Registration includes the NHL Draft

in the lower bowl of Prudential Center Arena. On hand will be general managers, scouts, sports agents, player personnel, broadcasters and well-known Sports Media working in hockey.

College Credit is available. Call 503-445-7105 or visit:

http://www.sportsmanagementworldwide.com/conferences/nhl-draft-sports-career-conference.

THE ORANGEBURG VOLUNTEER FIRE ASSOCIATION is holding its annual carnival June 5-9 at Dominican College off Western Highway. Fireworks Night is set for June 8. For information and discounted advance tickets email tickets@orangeburgfd.org, or cal 845-570-9315.

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