By John Manley
New York University’s men’s soccer team won the ECAC Div. III Metro Championship on Sunday by defeating New Jersey City University, 2-0. Dublin native Joe Behan coaches NYU. The Violets reached the championship contest by defeating the Merchant Marine Academy in the semifinals, 2-0. Prior to that, NYU was a 1-0 winner over Rutgers-Camden in an opening-round tilt. NYU finished the season 14-6. The 14 victories represent a school record.
“It’s taken a little while, but I always knew that we could have a winning program here at NYU,” said Behan, who writes the Echo’s “Soccer Scene” column and played for the Violets as an undergrad. “I’m just elated.”
Rio Grande captured the American Mideast Conference Tournament by shutting out Houghton, 2-0, thereby advancing to the NAIA national tournament. Belfast junior Kevin McCloskey helped set up the winning goal in the 12th minute. Rio Grande, which is 21-0-1, is ranked fourth nationally among NAIA schools.
King’s College posted a 2-1 victory over Delaware Valley in a MAC Freedom Conference semifinal contest. Senior goalie Emmet Donnelly, of Dublin, made eight saves. Donnelly then stopped six shots in the championship outing against Drew, but he let an equal number get by him, as Drew won, 6-0. King’s finished 9-9-1 for the 2001 season.
One Melody that won’t be lingering on is Mercyhurst coach John Melody. His squad was upset by Ashland, 2-1, in the NCAA Div. II Great Lakes Region Men’s Championship. The Lakers close the book on a 16-2-0 season. Melody is a native of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
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Penn State began the Big Ten Conference tournament with a 2-0 victory over Northwestern, but was then ousted by Michigan State, 2-1. Coach Barry Gorman and the Nittany Lions will await word from the NCAA selection committee as to their participation in postseason play. Gorman hails from Belfast.
Christian Brothers lost to Central Arkansas, 1-0, in a Gulf South Conference semifinal match. CBU, coached by Gareth O’Sullivan, of Ballina, Co. Mayo, ended the season 13-4-1.
Gareth O’Sullivan’s season isn’t finished, however. The CBU women’s team, which he also coaches, is on its way to the NCAA Div. II tournament after a 3-1 win over Barry on Saturday. CBU is undefeated and untied through 20 contests this fall.
CBU won the Gulf South crown the previous weekend, with a victory over West Florida, 4-1. Dublin junior Margaret Saurin scored one goal and assisted on two others. CBU reached the championship match by taking out Montevallo, 5-0, in the semifinals. Saurin scored twice and had one assist. Junior Tracey Mulligan, also from Dublin, earned credit for one assist.
Troy State completed its season on an up note with a 7-0 triumph over South Carolina State. Dublin sophomore Emma Kilduff had a goal for Troy, which finished 11-8-0.
Keene State brought the curtain down on a 19-6-0 season with a 3-2 overtime loss to Wellesley in the championship match of the ECAC Division III New England Championship. The winning goal was scored at 9:38 of the extra period. Keene preceded this outing with victories by identical 3-0 scores over MIT in the semifinals and Anna Maria in the opening round. Denise Lyons, a native of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, coaches Keene.
Western Kentucky’s Enda Grandfield finished third in the Sun Belt Conference championship at Bowling Green, Ky. Grandfield, a sophomore from Killorglin, Co. Kerry, completed the 8,000-meter course in 25 minutes, 23.32 seconds. Middle Tennessee State’s Geoffrey Lagat was first home in 25:14.23. Arkansas-Little Rock won the team title with 56 points. Western Kentucky was third, with 91.
Western Kentucky placed two Irish runners among the top 20 finishers in the women’s race. Freshman Jill Shannon, from Jordanstown, Co. Antrim, was fourth to finish, completing 6,000 meters in 22:42.25. Teammate Terri Hennessy, a senior from Cork, was 20th in 24:03.72. South Alabama’s Wendy Davis, a Belfast senior, finished 14th, in 23:38.97. North Texas’ Debbie Thornhill won the race in 22:00.70. Arkansas-Little Rock won the team trophy. Their 54 points held up against second place Western Kentucky, with 65. South Alabama placed fifth with 167 points.
Providence senior Dermot Galvin ran 10th in the Big East Conference championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The Kilrush, Co. Clare, resident finished in 25:02. Teammate Patrick Guidera was 16th across, in 25:23. Guidera is a freshman from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Connecticut’s Dan Wilson ran the winning time of 24:22. Notre Dame narrowly won the championship. They had 49 points to Villanova’s 52, with Providence right behind with 54 points. Villanova is coached by illustrious alum Marcus O’Sullivan.
The Friars’ Roisin McGettigan, a junior from Wicklow, was ninth in the women’s race. She was timed in 20:58. She was followed by teammates Kathryn Casserly, a Galway senior, who was 17th, in 21:16, Deidre Byrne, a freshman from Avoca, Co. Wicklow, who was 19th, in 21:27, Emer O’Shea, a Limerick junior, who was 22nd, in 21:36, and Roisin Quinn, a Waterford freshman, who was 41st, in 22:28. Boston College’s Catherine Guiney won the race in 20:04.
Georgetown, with 36 points, was the women’s champion. Providence, with 73 points, was third. O’Sullivan’s Villanova Wildcats were fifth with 112 points.