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Marc Maturo’s official sports column

N. Rockland grad Monaghan savors life in lacrosse

Tara Monaghan, standout at Cortland
Tara Monaghan, standout at Cortland

 

Tara Monaghan
Tara Monaghan

Tara Monaghan of Stony Point — whose enthusiasm, energy and confidence comes across even in a telephone conversation — has a love affair with lacrosse.

Monaghan, a North Rockland HS alumna now playing at SUNY Cortland, is a sophomore midfielder with apparently a natural bent for the sport.

“I love to run up and down the field,” bubbled Monaghan, a team captain who used to play softball and for two years also played field hockey for the Raiders. “Softball is too boring for me, too much standing around, too slow. I played field hockey as a junior and senior, but I like lacrosse a lot better; it’s more fast moving. I like to run around.”

Last year, Monaghan enjoyed a fine rookie season, scoring 37 points on 32 goals and five assists as the Red Dragons won the SUNYAC championship and peeled off 18 straight victories until being upended by eventual titlist Trinity College of Hartford, Conn., 8-6, in the NCAA Division III semifinals.

“We don’t meet them in the regular season, but we would like to get back at them and win the national championship,” offered Monaghan, not lacking an ounce of confidence.

Monaghan posted seven points as Cortland rolled to victory in its first two games, capped by a career-high five-goal performance and a team-best eight draw controls in a 22-6 rout of William Smith.

“It’s going great, I love it,” added Monaghan, who was introduced to the sport by her older brother Jimmy and who picked up pointers from an older cousin Jen Carreceris, who played at Brown University when Tara got started.

Monaghan was recruited to Cortland through her performances with the Hudson Valley Renegades, a travel team that competed in Maryland, Long Island and Massachusetts, among other locales.

“My first year (in college) was a lot tougher than high school because everyone is a lot stronger,” she recalls. “When I got into it, I got the hang of it. This year we’re looking for the national championship. We’re working hard – this year might be the year.”

The year continues at Mount Sinai HS on March 15 at 1 p.m. when the Red Dragons meet Catholic University. Cortland then hosts rival Ithaca College at 4 p.m. on March 19.

Catholic University, based in Washington, D.C., features junior attack Madeline Wilson of Pearl River, who scored five points as the Cardinals split their first two contests. Following the Cortland game, the Cardinals host the University of Mary Washington on March 19 at 4 p.m.

Bryan Greig, solid start
Bryan Greig, solid start

GOOD START: Junior Bryan Greig of New City, an alum of Clarkstown South HS, pitched six no-hit innings, striking out six, and junior Vinny Luppino of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., picked up the save in the first game, sparking the Mercy College baseball team to a sweep of Chestnut Hill College, 4-1, 11-3, in Fort Pierce, Fla. Senior outfielder Brendan Siegriest of Nanuet went 0-for-1 in his only official plate appearance. Also playing for the Mavericks, under fifth-year head coach Bob Greiner and longtime assistant Jason Guadagnino of Stony Point, is Rockland CC transfer Kevin Rocco, a junior pitcher. In a 7-0 loss to American International, Rocco was superb, pitching two innings, striking out three and allowing just one hit. Mercy, following a doubleheader loss to Nyack College, concludes its sunny South Florida trip with twinbills against Stonehill and Southern Connecticut State on March 14 and March 15, respectively. Nyack swept the Mavericks, 1-0, 4-1, behind junior right-hander Cole Tobin of Dover, N.H., in the opener and junior righty Craig Jacobs of Hawthorne, N.J., in the second game. The Mavericks return to New York for a visit to Queens College at 3 p.m. on March 21. Following their recent play, Mercy junior Anthony McQuade of Lindenhurst was named the East Coast Conference player of the week, while Greig and Michael Grudzinski of Islip made the honor roll.

ROWERS RECOGNIZED: The boys and girls teams at the Nyack-based River Rowing Association (RRA) have been recognized by the State Scholastic Rowing Association. Led by head coach Oksana Tsimbalova, the following members earned

Scholar/Athlete Team status for Fall 2013: Sophia Carroll, Zoe Friedberg, Arianna Injeian, Hannah Perry-Zeik, Tyler

Carroll, and Tyler Jenss, Nyack High School; Elizabeth Ginsberg, Ellie Kitman, Lucy Tasker, Dylan Kelly, Chris Lovrin, Lukas Michaels, and John Waffenschmidt, Tappan Zee; Nikita Lakhani, Kayla Rubinstein, Katie Wiebicke, and Ethan Jaynes, Clarkstown North;  Tomi Peterson, Northern Valley, Demarest, N.J; Paige Vignone, Academy of the Holy Angels; Frank Cox, Bergen Catholic; Dylan Markowitz, Pearl River. The RRA’s annual “Pull for Purpose” event to raise money for the Nyack Center and its programs will be held March 15 at the Nyack Center (58 Depot Place – corner of Depot and Broadway). The event is free, but all participants are urged to raise funds. Visit the RRA website at www.riverrowing.org.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END: Sophomore forward Devona Paul of Blauvelt scored 14 points, pulled down eight rebounds and had a game-high three blocked shots, but Plattsburgh State was upended by Castleton State, 76-70, in the second round of the Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Plattsburgh State wraps up a storybook season with a 25-6 overall record. Paul, an alumna of Tappan Zee HS, finished the season averaging 11 points and a team second-best 5.7 rebounds, and her 50 blocked shots easily led the Cardinals in that category.

Lely DeSimone
Lely DeSimone

QUICK HITTERS: Sophomore Lely DeSimone of Airmont is a midfielder/defenseman on the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Pennsylvania. The Quakers travel to New Haven, Conn., on March 15 to meet Yale at 1 p.m., and then host Maryland on March 19 at 7 p.m. at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. … Pitching for the Catholic University baseball team are freshman Chris Hutton of Stony Point and junior Colin Kelly of West Nyack. Kelly, an alum of Nanuet HS, posted a 3.72 ERA last season, starting seven games and picking up five victories. … Freshman outfielder John Kukura of New City walked and scored in a pinch-hitting role as the Pace University baseball team dropped its season opener to New Haven, 12-6, in Yaphank. … Junior attack Meg McNally of Hillburn, a Suffern HS graduate, scored her first career goal for the Mercy College women’s lacrosse team as it fell to host Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, 14-6.  The Mavericks, who are in Denver, Colo., to face Regis University, stay in Denver on March 15 to meet Fort Lewis and return east on March 19 to visit LIU-Post at 4 p.m.  … Samantha Lowney of Valley Cottage, a women’s lacrosse player at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, made the weekly East Coast Conference honor roll. Other Spartans to be recognized are baseball standout Stanley Susana, a Cardinal Hayes graduate, and tennis standouts Inigo Aldekoa and Javier Munoz-Laguna, both of Spain. …Junior guard Luke Houston of Pearl River scored 17 points, with seven rebounds, one assist

Meg McNally, nets first career goal at Mercy
Meg McNally, nets first career goal at Mercy

and one steal as the top-seeded Southern Connecticut State University basketball team held off Le Moyne College, 62-55, in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship semifinals at Moore Field House in New Haven, Conn. The Owls then beat New Haven, 73-71, to claim the title as Houston scored 13 points. The Owls (27-2) earned the top seed in the NCAA Division II East Regional and will play host on March 15, facing eighth seed Bridgeport (18-10) at 6 p.m.  The quadruple header kicks off at noon with No. 3 St. Anselm (20-7) against No. 6 LeMoyne (17-11). New Haven (21-8), the No. 2 seed, plays No. 7 Bloomfield (20-8) at 2:30 p.m. The final game of the day pits No. 4 Franklin Pierce (20-7) against No. 5 Philadelphia (25-6) at 8:30 p.m.

THIS & THAT: Registration is open and county teams are eligible for the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) 18U Metal Bat World Series scheduled July 7-12 in Struthers, Ohio. Access http://www.leaguetime.com/Affiliation/Details/2 or contact Ken Quinn at 330 719-0581.