Marc Maturo’s official sports column
Lady Spartans moving forward in women’s lacrosse
The St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s lacrosse team, which reeled off four straight decisive victories to open the season before running into nationally second-ranked Adelphi University, is headed for a highly successful season.
This opinion is held by fourth-year associate head coach Rob Malfetta, with good reason.
“We’ve got a veteran club for the most part, with good junior and senior leadership,” offers Malfetta, who played in goal three years at the collegiate level and 10 years at the club level. “They know the system, and respond to adversity. We’re looking forward to the season.”
Adversity didn’t wait too long for the Lady Spartans, coming in the form of undefeated non-conference foe Adlephi, a high-pressure, extremely fast team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four last season, losing to eventual national champion LIU-Post.
The Lady Spartans hung tough in the first 10 minutes, but were then overwhelmed, 19-0, as Adelphi unleashed 42 shots on sophomore goaltender Kaitlyn Lonergan of Stony Point.
The North Rockland HS graduate, who had just been honored as East Coast Conference goalie of the week, had a good game with 13 saves despite the ultimate score, said Molfetta.
“We held off their initial pressure, but we were on defense too much, and just couldn’t handle their fast play,” said Molfetta. “We tried to simulate them in practice, but there’s nothing like facing the real thing.”
Molfetta, who remains very confident, chalks up the lopsided loss as a learning experience.
“There will not be another team we face this season like Adelphi – they’re ranked No. 2 in the nation for a reason,” noted the coach.
The Lady Spartans hope to rebound at home in Sparkill on March 22 against Mercy College of Dobbs Ferry, and its junior midfielder Meg McNally of Hillburn. STAC stays home on March 27 to welcome Chestnut Hill (Pa.) College at 3 p.m.
Lonergan, notes Molfetta, is solid in net.
“She’s doing a great job, just a sophomore and making big saves,” he said. “She handles the ball outside of the area, and becomes like another defender; I like that.”
Other solid performers are senior attack Margaret Sharp of Suffern, leading the team in scoring with 30 points on 19 goals and 11 assists and junior midfielder Samantha Lowney of Valley Cottage, an alumna of Albertus Magnus HS, whose 11 points rank third.
Sharp is a team captain, along with junior attack Jen Stickney of Bayport.
Lowney is complemented by Kelly Kucinski of Roxbury, N.J.
“They break down the defense and have the speed to beat a girl one on one,” adds Molfetta, also mentioning sophomore midfielder/defender Sabrina Prestano of Medford, junior midfielder Alexis Serras of Lindenhurst and junior midfielder Ruth Pluviose of Brooklyn.
Molfetta said the Lady Spartans present a defense by committee, with senior Becky Torres of Nanuet the defensive captain.
The Lady Spartans had lifted their record to 4-0 with a 18-3 victory against Wilmington, as Sharp poured in six goals with three assists. Lowney added four goals while Stickney had three goals and one assist.
ACCOLADES: Dominican College women’s basketball standout KC Jentzen of Pearl River has been named to the all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) first team. A senior forward, Jentzen led the Lady Chargers and ranks seventh in the CACC in scoring this season, averaging 17.2 points per game. She is eighth in the conference in total points and field goals made. Jentzen, one of this year’s team captains, also paced the Chargers with 10.1 rebounds per contest, while ranking third in the conference, and became the 24th player in Lady Chargers history to score 1,000 points. Jentzen earned two CACC Player of the Week honors this season, and one Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Week accolades.
QUICK HITTERS: Junior pitcher Danielle DeStaso of Congers is 2-3 in the early going on the Seton Hall softball team, which is struggling at 4-17. DeStaso, an alumna of Clarkstown North HS, is batting .292 with two homers and nine RBI for the Pirates, who open a three-game series against winless Providence College with a doubleheader at noon on March 22 in South Orange, N.J. The teams meet again on March 23 at noon, and Seton Hall stays home on March 26 for two games against St. Peter’s College, beginning at 3 p.m. Junior Taylor Corretjer of Thiells is a second baseman for the Peacocks, who went 2-8 in their first 10 games. … Nanuet HS alumna Shannon Booth of Pearl River is a freshman attack on the Stonehill College women’s lacrosse team. The Skyhawks, based in Easton, Mass., host the University of New Haven on March 22 at 1 p.m., and stay home on March 25 to meet Franklin Pierce University at 6 p.m. … Freshman Vincent Barbetto of New City started at attack as the Pace University men’s lacrosse team notched its first win of the season with its highest scoring output in more than five years, topping Dominican College, 19-9, at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn. Chargers goalie Matthew Quinones of Nanuet spent 45 minutes in net, making 10 saves, while senior midfielder Thomas Dertinger of Nanuet scored a career-high four goals and Tappan Zee HS grad Conor Reeves, a freshman attack, added one. The Setters challenge Northeast-10 foe Southern New Hampshire in Pleasantville on March 22 at noon. The Chargers, coming off a 11-6 loss to the University of the District of Columbia at Georgetown Field in Washington, D.C., are back in Hillburn on March 22 against Robert Wesleyan College at 7:30 p.m. and against New York Institute of Technology on March 26 at 4 p.m. … Infielder Anthony Simon of Suffern is 4-for-8 with three RBI in four starts on the Cortland baseball team, which hosts New Paltz on March 21 in a 3 p.m. doubleheader, and then visits SUNYIT in Utica on March 25 at 3:30 p.m. Tyler Mitts of Nanuet, who is 1-0, and Matt Lawson of West Nyack are pitching for the New Paltz Hawks. …North Rockland HS graduate Rebecca Sassone of Pomona competed on the Varsity Four “B” team as the University of Delaware women’s rowing team opened the spring season with five top finishes against La Salle, Drexel, and host Saint Joseph’s on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Sassone would switch to Second Varsity Eights in a non-scoring scrimmage against George Washington on the Occoquan Reservoir in Fairfax, Va. The Blue Hens return to the Schuylkill on March March 22 against Lehigh, Temple and Drexel. … The Dominican College baseball team, coached by veteran Rick Giannetti of New City and Chad Duesler of Pomona, visits Nyack College on March 21 at 3 p.m., and then meets Bloomfield (N.J.) College in a doubleheader on March 23 at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. First game is set at noon. … Senior Bryan Greig of New City pitched a complete game, allowing just six hits while striking out nine in a valiant but losing effort as the Mercy College baseball team lost to Stonehill College, 2-1, in eight innings in Fort Pierce, Fla. … Junior Meg McNally of Hillburn had a goal and an assist at the Mercy College women’s lacrosse team handed the Skyhawks of Fort Lewis College their first loss of the season, 10-8, in Denver, Colo. Nicole Augustine of Kingston totaled five points on three goals and two assists for the Mavericks, who visit St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill at 1 p.m. on March 22, and then return to Dobbs Ferry on March 26 to meet Queens at 2 p.m. … Junior right-hander Frank Fantino of Nanuet pitched six innings, giving up three runs, 11 hits and striking out five as the Purchase College baseball team fell to visiting United States Merchant Marine Academy, 5-3. The Panthers are home for back-to-back doubleheaders against Yeshiva University and SUNY-Old Westbury on March 21 and March 22, at 10 a.m. and noon, respectively. … Guard Joe Clinton of Pearl River had a game-high six assists, but the Dominican College men’s basketball team ended its season with a 71-68 loss to Lincoln University in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) semifinals at Alumni Hall on the campus of Fairfield University. The Chargers finish at 18-10. … Junior forward Matt Willows of Congers picked up two assists as New Hampshire (21-17-1) scored twice in the third period and held off a late surge from No. 14 Northeastern (19-14-4) to eliminate the Huskies from the Hockey East tournament, 5-4, at the Whittmore Center in Durham, N.H. In winning the best-of-three quarterfinal series, 2-1, UNH advances to the semifinals at TD Garden in Boston on March 21. … St. Thomas Aquinas College freshman pitcher Anthony Morris of New City was named East Coast Conference rookie of the week, while teammate Rich Baerga of Pomona made the honor roll. … Sophomore Lely DeSimone of Airmont scored a career-best four goals as the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team outlasted previously unbeaten Yale, 11-9, at Reese Stadium in New Haven, Conn. … Sophomore Tara Monaghan of Stony Point scored three goals as the nationally fourth-ranked Cortland women’s lacrosse team overwhelmed Catholic University, 20-3, at Mt. Sinai High School.
THIS & THAT: The Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) is offering a 50 percent discount to county residents to see former college players from every major division compete in one last Scout Bowl Game before the NFL Draft. Click www.cdflbowlgames.com and enter promo code: rockland2014. The game is scheduled April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn.