Category: Archive

College Roundup Gorman’s Nittany Lions earn top soccer ranking

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

Penn State has earned its first ever No. 1 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches of America Association poll. The Nittany Lions remained unbeaten last week, but just barely. They twice went to overtime to achieve victory in the Golden Panther Classic in Florida. Pesky Bowling Green finally went down, 1-0, in the first contest, then it was Florida International that proved tenacious, before falling, 1-0. Despite the two wins, Penn State was not the tournament champion. That honor went to 13th-ranked Southern Methodist by virtue of goal differential. Barry Gorman, a Belfast native, coaches the 8-0 Nittany Lions.

Another son of Belfast who knows what it is to be No. 1 continues to live the good life at Old Dominion. Alan Dawson was often on the top of the Division III heap when he coached Methodist University. He now has the Div. I Monarchs at 5-2-0 after bumping off American, 3-1.

Gareth Hayden was the man of the week for Winthrop University (2-4). The Dublin sophomore scored his team’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Appalachian State, then came back to notch the winning tally in a 2-0 victory over Georgia State. Hayden later assisted on the insurance goal. Hayden leads the team in scoring with three goals and an assist.

Barry Gibney also contributed a game winner. The sophomore from Swords, Co. Dublin, found the net in overtime to propel Christian Brothers University of Memphis, Tenn., to a 3-2 triumph over cross-city rival Rhodes. Gibney is fifth in the Gulf South Conference scoring race with 11 points (five goals, one assist). CBU, coached by Gareth O’Sullivan of Ballina, Co. Mayo, is 5-2-0 on the season.

Mercyhurst’s Mark Fitzgerald put the Lakers on the board first, but then West Virginia Wesleyan’s Rune Thuestad went to work in the contest’s last 30 minutes. Thuestad answered back with a hat trick, resulting in a 3-1 Wesleyan win. Fitzgerald is a junior from Derry. Mercyhurst also scored a 5-0 triumph over Saginaw Valley last week, pushing the Lakers overall record to 5-3-1. John Melody of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, coaches Mercyhurst.

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Emmet Donnelly of King’s College in Wilkes Barre, Pa., ranks fourth in the Mid Atlantic Conference’s Freedom Division in both save percentage and goals against average. The sophomore keeper from Dublin has allowed nine goals in seven contests, for an average of 1.35 per game. He has also managed 41 saves for an .820 save percentage.

Rhode Island was already up by two goals with three minutes to go on the clock, but that wasn’t stopping Gareth Elliott. The Rams’ sophomore from Belfast added the fourth tally of the match for Rhode Island (4-1-1), to just one for Providence.

Providence had started the week with a 4-1 triumph over Villanova. Then came the Rhode Island loss, followed by a 2-0 setback delivered by West Virginia. Dubliner Brian Ainscough coaches the Friars, which are 3-3-1 overall.

Northeastern’s Ross Hainsworth has had to call it a season. The junior from Swords, Co. Dublin, suffered torn knee ligaments in a 1-0 loss to Manhattan.

It took two overtimes, but Vermont left the pitch victors over Drexel, 2-1. Belfast native Roy Patton’s Catamounts are now 5-1-1.

Séamus McFadden’s San Diego Toreros, ranked 14th in Div. I, got their first taste of defeat last Sunday, courtesy of California, 2-1. San Diego had earlier defeated Notre Dame, 3-0, in the first match of the St. Mary’s Invitational.

Wingate, ranked 20th in Div. II, ran its record to 5-0-0 with a 1-0 win over Carson-Newman. Belfast native Gary Hamill calls the shots at Wingate.

They said it couldn’t be done, but Joe Behan’s doing it. The Dublin-born and raised coach of New York University has the Violets at 5-2-1 after victories over SUNY-New Paltz and Brandeis by identical 2-1 scores.

Clemson beat Charleston Southern, 3-0, last week, then settled for a 2-all tie with North Carolina State. Coached by Belfast native Trevor Adair, Clemson is 3-3-2 overall and 0-1-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference action.

Women’s soccer

South Carolina enjoyed victories over two Southeastern Conference rivals last week. The first to fall was Arkansas, 1-0. Then Louisiana State went down hard, 8-1. South Carolina, coached by Cork’s Sue Kelly, is 6-2-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the SEC.

Keene State rolled to three victories last week. The vanquished were Endicott, 3-2, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 4-1, and Southern Maine, 2-1. Denise Lyons, formerly of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, has Keene at 5-2-0.


Providence’s Keith Kelly was the fourth place finisher in the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota. The senior from Drogheda ran 8,000 meters in 24 minutes, 29 seconds. Coming in behind him were teammates Dermot Galvin, a sophomore from Kilrush, Co. Clare, who was 22nd in 25:07, Paul Reilly, a sophomore from Loughrea, Co. Galway, who was 34th in 25:21, and Limerick junior Ciaran Lynch, who was 123rd man across in 26:24. Oregon’s Steve Fein got to the finish line first with a time of 24:13. Wisconsin won the team trophy. Providence placed sixth.

Providence’s women placed ninth in the team standings. They included sophomore Kathryn Casserly, from Galway, who was 90th in 19:15, and freshman Roisín McGettigan, from Wicklow, who finished 98th in 19:24. Duke freshman Sheela Agrawal was the winner with a clocking of 17:31 for 5,000 meters.

South Alabama’s Wendy Davis posted a ninth-place finish at the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The freshman from Belfast ran 5,000 meters in 18:39.83. Teammate Grainne O’Dea, a Donegal freshman, finished 96th in 21:45.22. Alabama’s Ashley LaBudde was first across in 17:55.80. Florida won the team trophy, with South Alabama garnering enough points for ninth place.

South Alabama junior Brian Murray ran 15th in the men’s division. He covered 8,000 meters in 25:16.10. Southern Mississippi’s Paul Kemie had the winning time of 23:55.69. The Jaguars did not field enough runners to compete as a team in this heat.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Aidan Walsh, a sophomore from Dublin, finished 11th in the Princeton Invitational recently. Teammate Stephen Ondieke broke the tape in 24:26. Walsh’s time was 25:47. FDU finished third of five teams.

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