Scholastic Spotlight 4/13/17

Tappan Zee looks to build on success in girls lacrosse

Veteran Coach Liscio has put together a nice blend of veterans and youngsters as Dutchmen hold high hopes for season


       Success, for the most part, doesn’t come overnight.

As a case in point, consider the Tappan Zee High School girls lacrosse team, which is coming off a solid season but still needs to work through the sectional tournament into the final to solidify itself – and one day perhaps join the ranks of powerhouse programs such as Class A schools Suffern and North Rockland on this side of the river, and Somers and Yorktown across the river.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” offers sixth-year coach Steve Liscio of Blauvelt, who played football and lacrosse at Clarkstown South HS and later SUNY Cobleskill.

“We’ve had nice success … reached the (Section 1) quarterfinals last season (losing to John Jay-Cross River), but we’ve got to reach the final to make our mark. It takes time. We’ve been building for a number of years and now, we’re seeing the benefit of our youth program with our seniors.”

The senior class, which is buttressed by several underclassmen including a seventh- and ninth-grader, would have been even stronger this season but for a season-ending injury to Kristin Gjelaj, who remains active on the sideline helping Catherine Keane with statistical and other needed chores.

Liscio, thankfully, can turn to a number of seasoned players, including all-league returning senior goalie Jules Kane (sophomore Lizzie Tompkins backs her up, which bodes well for the future).

On defense, the Dutchmen feature Danielle Vergentino and Tri-State Travel Team veteran Laurel Kennedy, who will continue the sport at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

All-section choice Carmella Liscio, who will play at Manhattan College in Riverdale, anchors the midfield with junior Rianna Iobbi, a honorable mention all-section selection.

Another promising youngster is sophomore attack Kayla Liscio, who can look to veterans Haley McCluskey and Jenna Bachert for help at that position.

Other midfielders are the ninth-grader Allie Maloney, who started as an eighth-grader, and the seventh-grader Kellie Linehan.

“We have a nice blend,” concluded Liscio, whose team got off to a fine start, winning fourth of its first five games, and who is assisted by Pearl River alumna Caralyn Cosgrove, a graduate of Manhattan College where she played lacrosse.

The Dutchmen will travel to Bardonia on April 20 to take on Albertus Magnus,



Robert Baggio Kcira, left, with former European pro Tamas Szeles

       Pat Kivlehan, Tommy McNamara and Robert “Baggio” Kcira have something in common.

For one, they are all playing as professionals and all hail from Rockland County.

Kivlehan, of West Nyack, is a former two-sport star at Rutgers University (football and baseball) who this year made the opening day roster with the Cincinnati Reds and soon made his first big league start in the Reds’ 10-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On the soccer pitch Kcira and McNamara, also a West Nyack native, are doing quite well in Major League Soccer (MLS) and in the North American Soccer League (NASL), respectively.

Additonally, McNamara and Kcira both cut their eyeteeth in Clarkstown Soccer.

McNamara, a 26-year-old midfielder, is playing professionally with New York City Football Club while Kcira, a 23-year-old midfielder, is with Miami FC.

Long-time player/coach Joe Moger, a seemingly ageless wonder who still runs an automotive repair business in Nyack, remembers both players well, especially Kcira.

“He (Kcira) was always asking to play with the older guys (in Clarkstown Soccer),” Moger said, with an appreciative smile. “He always wanted to practice.”

Practice might not have made perfect for Kcira, but the Clarkstown South HS alum is also proving that practice pays off, leading Miami FC in total crosses while ranking second in total passes.

Pat Kivlehan, diamond gem

In addition to Clarkstown Soccer, Kcira played for the New York State Olympic Development Program and the New York Red Bulls Academy, his talent catching the eyes of teams in Europe. Right out of high school Baggio, as he is commonly known, signed a pro contract with SC Wiener Neustadt, which won its division.

McNamara, whose late goal coming off the bench lifted NYCFC to a 2-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes in the season opener, joined the pro ranks following a stellar collegiate career at Brown University and then at Clemson, where he did his graduate studies.

McNamara led the Tigers into the NCAA Tournament in 2013 with a team-high seven goals, and eight assists.

NYCFC, coming off a 2-1 loss to D.C. United, looks to rebound on April 14 against Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN/WFAN) and then returns to Yankee Stadium on April 23 to meet Orlando City at 1:30 p.m. (FS1/WFAN).

Miami FC, which whitewashed Cosmos, 3-0, in its home opener, meets North Carolina FC at 7:30 p.m. on April 22 at Riccardo Silva Stadium on the campus of Florida International University.



This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative. Brendan Bisset, junior Jasper

       North Rockland HS alum Joseph Stewart of Thiells is a senior right-hander on the baseball team at Purchase College. The Panthers are scheduled to host John Jay at 1 p.m. on April 14, and cross-town rival Manhattanville on April 18 at 4 p.m. before returning home on April 22 for a noon doubleheader against the College of Mount Saint Vincent.Graduate student Kevin McNally of Hillburn chipped in two goals and two assists as the Mercy College men’s lacrosse team earned its fifth straight win with a 16-6 victory over ECC foe Dominican College at Torne Valley Complex in McNally’s home town. The Mavericks, coached by Jordan Levine of Nyack, a veteran of five professional seasons in MLS, take on another local rival on April 19 when they visit St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill at 3:30 p.m. Mercy closes the regular season with scheduled home games in Dobbs Ferry against Lake Erie on April 23 at noon and NYIT on April 29 at 1. McNally has 15 goals and 12 assists on the season. … North Rockland HS graduate Ryan Siuta of Pomona, a freshman right-hander, and senior utilityman Max Franzone of Nanuet are members of the baseball team at Dominican College in Orangeburg. Siuta has seen limited duty in his first season, as might be expected, while Franzone has appeared in 25 games with 10 RBI and a .239 batting average. The Chargers, led by the longtime skipper Rick Giannetti, meet Caldwell University on April 21 for a noon doubleheader at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona. … The University of Delaware women’s rowing team, including Clarkstown South HS alumna Camryn McGrath, challenges George Mason University on April 23 on the Occoquan River in Fairfax, Va. The Blue Hens then compete against Navy, West Virginia and Temple on April 29 on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. The Varsity 8 crew, including McGrath, finished second in its heat and fourth overall at the 35th Memorial Murphy Cup Regatta on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia, and then finished second at the Knecht Cup at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. … Junior outfielder Brendan Bisset of New City has knocked in a second-best 12 runs on the Manhattan College baseball team. The Jaspers will be in Wappingers Falls on April 18 to meet Hofstra and on April 19 to meet LIU Brooklyn, then visit nearby Iona College in New Rochelle on April 22 for a noon twin-bill. … The Rockland Community College golf team, led by Sean Clohessy, Nick Armstrong, Albert Johansmeyer and John Barna, are ranked second in the Mid Hudson Conference standings.



       Fred Adler of Stony Point will receive the prestigious Joe Holland Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on April 22 at the Pearl River Elks Club in Nanuet, beginning at 6 p.m. … Meals & Wheels, which brings “miles of smiles” to many less fortunate in the county, is staging a fund-raising Golf Challenge on May 8 at Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern. Register by calling Stephan Papas at 845-624-6325 or email … The 17th Golf Classic for United Hospice of Rockland is schedule June 12 at Paramount Country Club in New City. Contact Sarah Henry at 845-634-4974 or email

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