By John Manley
Ray Treacy’s Providence Friars are the beasts of the east in cross-country on both sides of the gender divide. Keith Kelly, a junior from Drogheda, led the men to victory in the Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx by a 45-59 margin over Dartmouth.
Kelly broke the tape in 30 minutes, 46 seconds after covering 10,000 meters. He won by a comfortable margin over Iona’s Ricardo Santos, who was next along in 31:10. Providence’s Ben Noad grabbed third place in 31:14.
Also registering for Providence were Paul Reilly, a freshman from Loughrea, Co. Galway, who was 11th in 32:00, and Larry Morrissey, a junior from Waterford, who was 21st in 32:25.
Mick Byrne’s Iona Gaels finished third and didn’t automatically qualify for the nationals, but were an at-large selection and will also make the trip to Kansas. Iona’s Vinny Mulvey, a freshman from Ashbourne, Co. Meath, managed an eighth-place finish in 31:54 at Van Cortlandt.
Providence’s women won their race with 70 points. Cornell was the runner-up with 122 points. Stephanie O’Reilly, a sophomore from Wicklow, finished 29th in 18:33.
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.
John McDonnell’s Arkansas Razorbacks look to lug another trophy back to Fayetteville at the NCAAs on Monday. By winning the South Central Regional in Denton, Texas, they earned the privilege to take back the national title they lost to Stanford last year. Arkansas took the first three positions at Denton and accounted for the seventh and eighth spots as well, to score 21 points. Arkansas sophomore Alan Dunleavy, from Dublin, placed 31st in 33:04. Tulane, with 105, was second. The Razorbacks, ranked number one in the country, are seeking their ninth cross-country championship under McDonnell, a native of Crossmolina, Co. Mayo.
When you’re on top, everyone’s gunning for you, but Trevor Adair’s Clemson Tigers got through the Atlantic Coast Conference unscathed to maintain their No. 1 ranking in Division I soccer. Clemson opened with a 2-0 victory over Maryland in the semifinal round. The ACC championship, the school’s first in the sport, was earned with a 1-0 triumph over Duke on Scott Bower’s goal in the 54th minute.
"I’m thrilled with our play in this tournament," said Adair, a Belfast native. "We’ve been very much performance based this year, rather than result oriented. Today we executed our game plan and our defense took a lot away from them today. I think that today was our best defensive effort of the season. In the first 15 minutes of the game I think we played some of the best soccer we’ve played all season. That defensive effort starts on the front line and goes all the way back to the defensive players."
Clemson begins the NCAA tournament at home against Lafayette on Sunday.
Had Penn State won its match with Indiana, Belfast would have had two coaches boasting of conference titles, but Barry Gorman’s squad came up short in double overtime, losing to the Hoosiers, 1-0. Penn State earned the right to play for the Big Ten crown by defeating Ohio State, 3-2, also in overtime. The Nittany Lions bring a record of 13-5-2 into the NCAAs, where their first-round opponent is Connecticut in Storrs, Conn., on Sunday.
Seamus McFadden didn’t have to worry about conference playoffs. His University of San Diego Toreros earned their way into the postseason bracket by winning the West Coast Conference championship with the best league record during the regular season. Actually, they tied with Gonzaga at 5-1-0, but a 2-1 victory over Gonzaga entitled McFadden’s team to the title. After knocking off the Spokane, Wash. school, San Diego needed but one win from two remaining matches to seal the deal. A 2-1 loss to Loyola Marymount then made the St. Mary’s contest a must win, and San Diego pulled through, 2-1, to keep their season alive. They finish the regular season at 11-8 overall.
Fullerton State is their NCAA opponent on Sunday in Fullerton, Calif. McFadden is a Donegal native.
John Melody and the Mercyhurst Lakers are alive and well in the Div. II playoffs. They left the pitch 1-0 victors over East Stroudsburg on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals. In the 49th minute, Mark Fitzgerald delivered a penalty kick from midfield into the penalty box, where teammate Mike Shiels accepted delivery and forwarded the ball into the net for the only goal of the match. Fitzgerald, a sophomore from County Kerry, anchors the Laker defense, which shut down the opposition. Coach Melody, whose Lakers are 16-3-1, is a native of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
David Pedreschi, a sophomore from Dublin, joined the scoring brigade as Ohio Wesleyan won its Great Lakes Regional semifinal contest over Alma, 5-0. The Bishops (15-6) then knocked off Otterbein, 2-1, to move on in the Div. III playoffs. In a late regular season romp over Oberlin, 13-0, Pedreschi tied a school and North Coast Athletic Conference record with four assists.
The season had an unhappy ending for Alan Dawson’s Old Dominion Monarchs. ODU was knocked out of the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs in the first round by William & Mary, 3-1. ODU finished at 8-8-1 overall and 3-6 against CAA rivals.
Mary Reid was named to the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference first team. The St. Joseph’s (Ind.) junior forward from Belfast scored 16 goals this season and assisted on 16 others for a team high of 46 points. Reid was 12th nationally in scoring (2.67 points per game) and second in assists (0.89 per game). With one year to go in her collegiate career, Reid is St. Joe’s all-time leading scorer with 135 points (51 goals and 33 assists).
California’s Claire Curran and Anita Kurimay advanced to the doubles finals in the Rolex/ITA Regionals at Palo Alto, Calif., but were defeated, 6-1, 6-1, by their teammates Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen. Curran, a junior from Dublin, and Kurimay enjoyed victories over Stanford’s duo of Pestieau and Sherbakov, 8-3, Washington’s Svanfeldt and Wagner, 8-0, and Cal’s La’O and Mayes, 8-1, to reach the championship round.
Curran was less successful as a solo act. Seeded 12th among 98 players, she received a first-round bye, then defeated Pacific’s Diana D’Audney, 6-3, 6-3, and Washington State’s Monick van deVan, 6-1, 6-0. Stanford’s unseeded Keiko Tokuda then bounced Curran out in the fourth round, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
The South Regionals proved to be short-lived for Mississippi State’s Eimear Sloan. She and Amelie Detriviere were knocked out of the doubles competition early by Florida’s tandem of Hazlett and Laiho, 8-2.
The men’s East Regionals found Harvard’s John Doran and Joe Green plowing through both singles and doubles brackets until they were laid low in the late rounds. Doran, seeded eighth, reached the quarterfinals with wins over Central Connecticut State’s Eric Stone, 7-5, 6-2, West Virginia’s Mike Detkas, 6-3, 6-1, and Temple’s Pero Pivicevic, 6-0, 6-4. Princeton’s Kyle Kleigerman ousted Doran, 3-6, 6-2, 6-7(5).
Green defeated Brown’s Chris Wolfe, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3, and Cornell’s Allen Zapadinsky, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the Round of 16, where he lost to Virginia Tech’s Aaron Marchetti, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
The two juniors from Dublin teamed in the doubles bracket and were off to the races with an 8-6 victory over Columbia’s Kaplan and Farbman. The race ended soon thereafter, thanks to Temple’s Pivicevic and Pillay, 8-6 victors over the Harvard duo.
Chris Devlin of Alabama-Birmingham tied for sixth place in the Precept Peach State Intercollegiate at the Cherokee Run Golf Club in Conyers, Ga. Devlin, a junior from County Antrim, finished at 215 (74-73-68), five strokes in back of the medalist, Columbus State’s Jaco Rall. UAB placed seventh among teams, 18 strokes behind the champion, Columbus State.
Clemson lost the championship round of the Rolex Match Play Championship at the Indian River Club in Vero Beach, Fla., to Georgia, 3-2. Clemson freshman Michael Hoey lost to North Carolina’s Brad Hyler in the first round, 3 and 2, but rebounded with a 1-up victory over Houston’s Victor Schwamkrug in the second round. Hoey, who hails from Belfast, was pitted against Georgia’s Mark Northey in the championship round, where he was a 3 and 2 loser.
Angela Platt’s season ended with Maryland’s 5-1 loss to Virginia in a second round NCAA tournament game. Maryland received a first-round bye. Platt, a sophomore from Coleraine, Co. Derry, was under siege throughout the game as the Cavaliers got off 12 shots to Maryland’s four. Platt had seven saves. The Terrapins ended the season 16-6.