Last year for the Manhattan Jaspers was the third season in a row that they failed to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title. The back-to-back championship teams of ’11 and ’12 are moving further and further away, especially now that only one player from the latter year remains: Michael Scarinci.
What made ’14 sting even more is the fact that they didn’t even qualify for the tournament.
On a play most basketball practice constantly, Columbia University’s Grant Mullins passed a bullet into the chest of Peter Barba who quickly threw a sharp lob to the left corner arc where Luke Petrasek awaited a chance to win the game with about seven seconds remaining in regulation.
With his team down two, 71-70, Petrasek hoisted his 6 foot 10 inch frame over Manhattan College’s Zane Waterman — scored a career high 22 points — for an attempted 3-pointer. Swish. He gestures a modest fist-pump to himself and points to his teammates as he runs back on defense.
On the other end, Manhattan’s Tyler Wilson brings it up court frantically as the clock whittles down from five seconds. He shoots a pass down-low to a triple-teamed Rich Williams, who tries to draw the foul at first, but when he doesn’t get the call he tries to bank a layup off the glass to no avail.
When the buzzer went off Columbia found itself back over the .500 mark at 6-5 with the, 72-71, win over the now 1-6 Manhattan.
Manhattan College has been hindered by injuries to start off its ’15-’16 road to a third-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, appearing in the last three and having won two of those championship games. Those bitten by the bug have cut deeply into the staple depth of its roster.
Steve Masiello, head men’s basketball coach, has been able to dress as little as six players to as many as nine out of the potential 14. He has been asked repeatedly, in many different ways, at almost every post-game press conference how much of an impact the lack of a rotation and overuse, in terms of minutes, of players such as Shane Richards has had.
“The game is changed, in the sense that as coaches we got to watch what we do with injuries,” Masiello said after the Nov. 28, 87-64, loss to Bronx rival Fordham University. “How much we push, look into things. … Some seem like they’re going to be some time and others seem more of the nagging type. We haven’t been able to practice in probably, I’d say, 12 days. We only have five or six bodies. We’re bringing in Rhamel Brown to practice. It’s what it is. I’m trying, hoping we can get back. I’m trusting the training staff to do what we need to do to get guys back, but I just go on with what I’m told.”
A player name he has mentioned quite frequently as someone it could use is now former student-athlete Jermaine Lawrence. He’s not a former Jasper because he has transferred or graduated. It’s due to his withdrawal from Manhattan after finding out he’d be suspended for half of the season.
All of this after Lawrence was told in September, when he tested positive for marijuana, that he’d only miss the Nov. 9 exhibition game against Adelphi and that he’d be enrolled in the drug counseling and treatment program at St. John’s Riverside Hospital. Everything just said is the equivalent of a first positive test result.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported in a letter he obtained by him sent to Lawrence on Sept. 4 “it was documented that a second positive test would result in a 50 percent reduction in athletic scholarship aid.”
Now is when the story rewinds to last February. Masiello sat Lawrence out of one game for an undisclosed incident — due to legal ramifications — that occurred off the court. Lawrence and his family understood school penalty and complied. But over the next five games he had yet to check into a game.
This is a column that takes a look at all of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s soccer teams throughout the course of the ’15 season.
In a year when we could safely assume who the MAAC regular season title champions were going to be — Monmouth University — by the end of September, which is about a quarter of the way through. The conference was still unsurprisingly, to at least one coach: Iona College head soccer coach Fernando Barboto, competitive.
At the start of non-conference play, he said “last year the conference had a really good year” and predicted “the league is going to be even stronger this year.” He was half-right. Six teams had winning records, both last season and the one we just had. So the MAAC had another “really good year” but it wasn’t “even stronger.” The last time the conference had less than five teams with winning records was in ’12 when there was four. It has had consistent competitiveness since.
This is a column that takes a look at all of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s men’s soccer teams throughout the course of the ’15 season.
With the MAAC regular season coming to an end, the teams with the best records are Monmouth University — clinched regular season title, Rider, Iona College and Marist. Two takeaways from those four is Monmouth, who are the defending conference champions, and Quinnipiac not seeding at the top.
The former is self-explanatory, as for the latter, the simple reason is that Cesar Markovic, Siena head soccer coach, told “The ‘J’ Effect” this a few weeks ago:
“The MAAC is up for grabs. You have your usual suspects but you also have some teams that can surprise people from the bottom. The preseason poll is worthless, it doesn’t mean anything. The first or second conference games don’t exactly decide everything. If you check back around game five or six, that’s when you really start to see who’s shaping up and what’s happening.”
This is a column that takes a look at all of the MAAC men’s soccer teams throughout the course of the season and off-season.
As the ‘14 regular season came to a close, Quinnipiac University had to have felt pretty good about itself heading into the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the MAAC conference. Its goal, as is every other teams’, is to win the MAAC final for the championship title. It lost to Fairfield on penalty kicks, 3-1, before it could even think of a rematch with Monmouth.
Monmouth won its match against Iona College, 2-1, to advance and face-off with Fairfield in the championship. On a Dave Nigro golden goal in the 104th minute, Monmouth won 2-1. For its stay in the NCAA tournament, that didn’t last long because it lost in double overtime to No. 14 nationally ranked Xavier in the first round 2-1. Talk about irony to win or lose by the same exact score.
Finalist at the ’15 “The Quadrangle” staff awards.
In July ’11, Trevor Glassman’s aunt, Ivy Siegle, died of breast cancer.
At the time of her funeral, he was at AAU nationals with his team Bishop Elite. When he realized he would miss out on his aunt’s ceremony, he cried before and after games but knew she would want him to play and perform well, Trevor says.
“Listen, you’re at AAU nationals you don’t need to come to the funeral,” his father Stuart recalled telling Trevor, “because you were there when she was alive. But win a game for her with your team.”
Three months ago, it was announced that the Manhattan Jaspers baseball program would no longer be calling Van Cortlandt Park home.
The park that is in constant need of field work done by the Jaspers themselves, uneven dirt in the infield and on the pitcher’s mound, pocketed grass in the outfield and an aging scoreboard. That’s all without mentioning the singular set of bleachers for fans and students to sit on that creak and rattle when climbed and walked on, making the trespasser fear that the seats are about to cave in and collapse.
This is the same park that housed the 2012 Jasper team to post an 18-0 undefeated home record. From its cons to its pros, they’re exchanging Van Cortlandt for Dutchess Stadium, a 4,494 seat AstroTurf minor league stadium home to the Tampa Bay Rays class-A affiliate the Hudson Valley Renegades, in Wappingers Fall, N.Y.
Entering the 2014-15 season, the Manhattan College men’s golf team should feel good about themselves. They came within just a few strokes short of capturing its first ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title last season, and hope to carry the momentum to this season.
That’s not to say this team is a lock to win or even compete for this year’s MAAC. Something that cannot be overlooked is the loss of three seniors from last season’s team, three of its best players: Chris Calabro, Jonathan Feuer and Paul Toohey.
It’s been a long and disappointing season for the Jaspers for a second straight year. Last year, they finished 24-28 (11-13 MAAC), which ranked them sixth in the MAAC.
This was after winning back-to-back MAAC championships in 2011 (20-2 MAAC, 34-19) and 2012 (18-6 MAAC, 33-27). Head Coach Jim Duffy said the team is still learning and is already looking toward the future.
“It certainly is a rebuilding season,” said Duffy. “We’re retooling for the immediate future.”
If the Manhattan golf team needs an edge this week at MAAC championships, they know exactly where to look.
It’ll yet again look toward one of their sophomore golfers, James Edgeworth, who last year showcased his abilities on the golf course at the tournament. He does his thing on the green without ever considering himself amongst the best players on the team, and couldn’t care less if he was.
But his even keel can’t keep him away from the mental game golf plays on the player.
“His temperament is pretty consistent, but he can be down on himself at times,” Manhattan golf head coach Jerry Wood said. “He can play either really well or just nothing. He’s definitely a little bipolar as far as his ability to stay in or get lost in the rounds. It’s improving. In the past he got pretty negative of himself in a game he couldn’t find his swing. He’s progressing in that category in a pretty good way.”
Manhattan College golf will look to their three senior captains Chris Calabro, Jonathan Feuer and Paul Toohey to right the fall part of their season’s inconsistencies.
“A key theme I think is the three seniors who should carry a little of their experience over their four years of playing through college golf,” Head Coach Jerry Wood said. “That will help the team at the right time with it. And show some leadership both in scoring and just basically around the golf course with course management.”