The College Sports Notebook is compiled by veteran sports writer and columnist Marc Maturo, a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The notebook will be published every Thursday. Please send items of interest to [email protected].

Tara Monaghan, freshman standout
Tara Monaghan, freshman standout

Freshman nugget Monaghan sparkles at SUNY Cortland

The nationally ranked SUNY Cortland women’s lacrosse team continues to roll, and freshman midfielder Tara Monaghan of Stony Point has been making significant contributions in her rookie season.

The North Rockland HS alumna scored twice and had three draw controls as the Red Dragons demolished host New Paltz, 22-10, in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) contest that featured 10 different scorers on the winning side.

The fourth-ranked Red Dragons, once-beaten in 14 games and unbeaten in six conference contests, will prep for the start of the SUNYAC postseason tournament with home games on April 25 against Nazareth College and April 27 against SUNY Fredonia. Both games are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

The SUNYAC playoffs open on April 30 at a site and time to be determined.

On the season, Monaghan ranks seventh on the team with 19 points on 16 goals and three assists.

All hail the Hawks

The postseason honors are understandably rolling in for the highly successful men’s and women’s basketball teams at Rockland Community College.

The women’s team, coached by Rich Jacobson, went 25-7 record, falling one win shy of advancing to their first-ever NJCAA National Tournament appearance.  The season ended with heartbreaking, 80-62, loss to rival Westchester Community College in the Region XV Championship game.

The men, coached by Rockland County Hall of Famer Bill Kurisko, advanced to the Region XV Tournament semifinal before losing to Bronx CC, 91-82. The Hawks had won 12 of their last 14 games to secure the tournament’s No. 2 seed.

Tommie Starkes of the Bronx led Kurisko’s squad, who became the 10th Hawk to score more than 1,000 points and earned Region XV and Mid Hudson Conference “player of the year” accolades. To cap off his outstanding season, Starkes was named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) all-American.

As an all-American, Starkes has been invited to play in the NJCAA National Men’s Basketball All-Star Game on May 11 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Joining Starkes on the all-Region and all-Conference team were guard Jason Quijada of Spring Valley and Justin Guzman of Suffern, who was designed as all-Region XV honorable mention.

For Jacobson’s crew,d  point guard Erika Richards, a Tappan Zee HS graduate, was named to the all-Region first team, while guard Nikki Saponaro of Nanuet was selected to the second team.  Katie Sovak of Tuxedo and Saponaro, along with Melissa Loughnane of Pearl River, were selected to the all-Mid Hudson Conference team.

Spartans pace ECC

The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team got another strong start, with freshman right-hander Rob Naughton of Levittown going eight innings in a 2-1 East Coast Conference win at LIU-Post. The Spartans lifted their mark to a league-leading 13-5 in the East Coast Conference, and 24-11 overall.

STAC, coached by veteran Scott Muscat, meets Queens College in a series of game beginning on the road at 3 p.m. on April 26. The teams meet again on April 27 in a noon doubleheader at Provident Bank Park in Pomona, and travel back to Queens on April 28 for one game at 2:30 p.m.

Among those starring for the Spartans is sophomore infielder Rich Baerga of Pomona, whose .358 batting average tops the club, just one point above that of Stanley Susana of the Bronx. Baerga also has 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts.

Veteran Frank Salerno of New City has stolen 16 bases in 18 tries, and is batting a healthy .283.

Seniors recognized

The Purchase College baseball team, riding high at 12-2 in Skyline Conference competition and bound for postseason play, honored their seniors before sweeping Yeshiva University.

The Panthers, second in the league standings and hoping to earn a No. 2 seed and first-round bye in the tournament, recognized 11 seniors between games of the doubleheaders. Head coach Bill Guerrero had high praise for all his veteran players including utilityman Daniel Stroud of Nyack.

Stroud is batting .319 for the Panthers, with one homer and 23 RBI.


Amanda Babcock of Haverstraw continues to hit well for the Manhattan College softball team, which concludes its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule by hosting doubleheaders against Marist (19-21, 7-3 MAAC) and Siena (13-22, 5-3 MAAC) on April 27 and April 28, respectively. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on April 27, and 10:30 a.m. on April 28. Babcock, a North Rockland HS alumna, is third on the Jaspers in hitting (.297), home runs (four) and RBI (22). … The St. Thomas Aquinas men’s tennis fell to top-ranked University of the  District of Columbia in the opening round of the East Coast Conference tournament. UDC featured six international standouts, while the STAC roster included junior Alex Privalov and sophomore Mike Tasaro, both of Nanuet. … SUNY Cortland junior Kelly Sheehan of Suffern tied for 50th place with a 193 (99-94) as the Red Dragons finished sixth in a field of 12 teams at the two-day Jack Leaman Championship at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass. The Orchards was the site of the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open. Cortland will close its regular-season schedule on April 27-28 at the Williams College Spring Invitational in Williamstown, Mass. … Junior Pocholo Chavez of Stony Point is 6-1 in singles competition, and 2-0 in doubles with Cody Zweier of West Hempstead as the Purchase College men’s tennis tournament goes into the Skyline Conference postseason tournament, scheduled April 25-27. … St. Thomas Aquinas College standouts Mike Galonski of Newton, N.J., and George Erazo of North Babylon turned in victories at the CTC Track & Field Championships in Middletown, Conn. Galonski won the steeplechase in a personal-best 9:50.40 and was named track athlete of the week, while Erazo won the 400 in a time of 48.44.  Mike Abelard of Spring Valley took fifth in the 100 in a time of 11.54, while Keeley Bateman of Pearl River was fourth in the women’s 1,500 in a time of 5:08.18.  The Spartans are busy this weekend, competing in Philadelphia at the Penn Relays, and at the ECC Championships at Farmingdale State and Queens College. … SUNY Cortland senior star Amber Stephens won the triple jump with a distance of 35-feet 1-inch and finished second in the long jump at 17-feet 6-inches at the Cortland Track and Field Classic. Her long jump is an ECAC qualifier.


The Can-Am League, of which the Pomona-based Rockland Boulders are preparing for their third season, is seeing encouragement toward its long-desired team in Montreal, so much that an exhibition is planned at a 1,000-seat stadium between the two Canadian teams, perennial power Quebec and newcomer Trois-Rivieres.  Commissioner MilesWolff cautions that despite progress “funding and site are still not determined.” More, much more on Independent League baseball can be found at, a site developed by former MLB spokesman Bob Wirz.

Tappantown Historical Society, which is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Tappan’s historic heritage, is holding its annual Plant Sale on May 4 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Old Tappan Road opposite the Tappan Post Office. The society, founded in 1965, is also coordinating “Path Through History” weekends, and walking tours through Tappan. For information call 845-507-2412 or email [email protected].

– New Balance Track & Field Armory Foundation executive director Dr. Norbert Sander and his 1963 Fordham University 4-mile relay team have been named to the Penn Relays Wall of Fame. The 119th Penn Relays will take place April 25-27 at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The Fordham quartet of Sander, Matt Cucciaro, Joe McGovern and Tom Kenney is being honored on the 50th anniversary of setting a Relays record with a time of 16:42.7. It marked the first time the 17-minute barrier was broken at the Penn Relays and 29 seconds faster than the previous standard.

– The YES Network is seeking fall interns for its communications department

based in New York. It can be with or without credit. Must have strong verbal, digital and social media skills. Apply at  [email protected].


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