Local Stars Make University Champs

Jill Conklin (12), who played for Toms River High School East, competes for Monmouth University. (Photo courtesy of Karlee Sell/Monmouth University)

The Monmouth University women’s soccer team enjoyed a stellar season, receiving contributions from five former local high school players.

The Hawks captured their third straight Metropolitan Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament crown and their sixth consecutive MAAC regular-season championship. The latter is a MAAC record.

On the Hawks’ roster were freshman forward A’Liah Moore (Manchester Township), freshman midfielder Jill Conklin (Toms River East), midfielder-defender Jessica Johnson (a Howell Township resident out of The Hun School), sophomore midfielder Ashley Dellapietro (Central Regional) and goalkeeper Laura Dramis (a graduate student from Farmingdale, St. John Vianney and Seton Hall University).

Moore made the MAAC All-Rookie team after scoring four goals, including one match-winner, and adding one assist for nine points through her first 18 matches of the season.

Moore was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week after erupting for five points on two goals and one assist in 44 minutes in a 9-0 dismantling of St. Peter’s University. They were her first career points for the Hawks. She netted her first goal on a bicycle kick on a bouncing ball in the box in the 41st minute and scored her second goal in the 86th minute on a left-footed blast from outside the penalty area to push the score to 9-0.

Moore assisted on a second-half goal in the win over the Peacocks.

Conklin scored 13 points on four goals including one match-winner, and five assists through her first 20 games. She started in each game. Johnson scored one goal and added four assists for six points, appearing in and starting 20 games.

Dellapietro was scoreless through her first six games as a reserve. Dramis allowed one goal through her first four matches, starting in one outing.

Monmouth fell 2-0 to the 11th-ranked University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesvilla, Va.

With the Hawks down 2-0, Conklin cleared a ball off the line in the 72nd minute of the match in front of 363 fans.

The Hawks finished their season at 16-4-1 overall, their most wins since 2013. They were 9-0-1 in the MAAC during the regular season.

Ex-Lacey Township player Robert Biele helped the Georgian Court University men’s soccer team to a winning season. (Photo courtesy GCU)

Bush among the best: Bush among the best: Junior goalkeeper Emily Bush (Central) earned All-Penn State University Athletic Conference honorable mention honors, starring at Penn State Brandywine in women’s soccer.

She started 15 games as the Lions went 13-5 and completed their third-straight undefeated run to the PSUAC championship. Brandywine’s women’s team, which is in its fourth year of existence, reached the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II women’s championship game. In 2018, Bush allowed 29 goals on the season — just three in PSUAC play — and recorded 80 saves in 1290:09 minutes in net, with a goals-against average of 2.02. She made 64 saves for a .727 save percentage. She put home two of three shots on goal.

Stockton player cited: A Stockton University player from the local area earned All-New Jersey Athletic Conference postseason field hockey honors.

Senior back Victoria Caiazzo (Southern Regional) was cited.

Caiazzo led the Ospreys in points (18), goals (seven), match-winning goals (four) and added three defensive saves. She was fourth in the NJAC in match-winning goals and tied for seventh in defensive saves. She started in each of the team’s 17 matches.

Caiazzo finished her career tied for second all-time in defensive saves (nine), tied for seventh all-time in goals (14), ninth all-time in points (36) and tied for 10th all-time in assists (eight) in the Ospreys’ uniform.

Duo at Felician: Local members of the Felician University women’s soccer team were sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Kazenmayer (Lacey Township) and senior midfielder Sami Lederle (Brick Memorial).

Kazenmayer was named the Central Atlantic College Conference Women’s Soccer Goalkeeper of the Week for her play in a 2-0 win over Dominican College and a 1-0 loss to Georgian Court University. She made 14 saves against Dominican and five stops in 70 minutes against the Lions.

Kazenmayer allowed 29 goals for a 2.03 goals against average. She finished with 113 saves for a .796 save percentage. She appeared in and started 15 games. She played 1284:29 minutes.

Lederle netted one goal, a match-winner, and added one assist for three points. She appeared in 15 games and started 14.

Lions tumble: The top-seeded Georgian Court University women’s soccer team fell 2-1 to Caldwell University in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament semifinals.

Junior forward Meghan Grundhauser, the daughter of former Toms River South baseball standout Tony Grundhauser and the niece of ex-South football and baseball star Ed Grundhauser, netted the winning goal with 57:23 gone by. The former Easton Area High School, Easton, Pa., player was a first-team All-CACC selection.

Grundhauser led the Cougars in goals (14) and points (32) while handing out four assists through her first 19 games. She started in each game. Grundhauser put home a team-high six match-winning goals.

The Lions bested eighth-seeded Dominican College 10-0 in the quarterfinals. Senior forward Heather Arbachesky (Wall Township, Brookdale Community College) netted three goals. Junior midfielder Anissia Fucci (Manchester Township) added two goals. Freshman forward Krystal Hund (Toms River North) added one goal and three assists.

Scoring one goal apiece for the CACC regular-season champion Lions were junior midfielder Michaella Paradiso (Triton Regional), junior defender Kristen Lister (Toms River East), sophomore midfielder Nora Stapleton (Donovan Catholic) and freshman midfielder-forward Emma Carney (Brick Memorial).

Junior keeper Natalie Axelsson (Absegami) made one save for the Lions.

Hund led the club in points (40) and assists (12) and was second in goals (14). Hund, who played in 16 games and started 14, netted two match-winning goals.

Arbachesky was second on the Lions in points (39) and first in goals (16). She added seven assists and was second on the team in match-winning goals with four. She appeared in 17 games and started 16.

Fucci was third on the team in points (25), scoring 11 goals and handing out three assists. She paced the club in match-winning goals with five. She appeared in 17 games and started 11.

Junior midfielder Kaitlin Lister (East) scored 15 points on four goals and seven assists. She played in 17 matches and started four.

The Lions ended their season at 13-4-1 overall, including 11-0-1 in the CACC.

Ex-Central Regional High School player Emily Bush booms the ball for Penn State Brandywine. (Photo courtesy of Penn State Brandywine)

More about Caldwell: With Grundhauser scoring one goal, the Cougars bested third-seeded Holy Family University 2-0 in the CACC Tournament championship match and qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Grundhauser, named the Most Valuable Player of the CACC Tournament, scored unassisted at 63:05 for a 2-0 lead.

Caldwell sophomore midfielder Teaghan Darling (Lacey Township) made the All-CACC second team. She scored two goals and added four assists for eight points, appearing in and starting 18 matches.

Other local players on the Cougars’ roster are junior defender Emily Osborn (Central) and senior defender Haley Kopf (Jackson Liberty). Kopf has appeared in and started 11 matches, going scoreless. Osborn has appeared in and started three games, going scoreless.

Jacoby sparkles: Former Jackson Memorial player Emily Jacoby was an All-Centennial Conference honorable mention selection in women’s soccer, starring at Washington College.

The freshman forward led Washington in points (20) and assists (eight) and tied for second in goals (six). She set the program’s single-season assists record. She scored two match-winning goals and appeared in 15 games, starting 14.

Washington’s head coach was former Brick Township High School and University of South Carolina standout Tom Reilly, who guided the club to an 8-6-1 record, including 4-6 in conference play.

DiElmo, Reszkowski honored: Sophomore outside back Dasey DiElmo (Pinelands Regional) and sophomore Kiersten Reszkowski (Freehold Township) earned All-New Jersey Athletic Conference women’s soccer honors at Stockton University.

DiElmo made the first team. Reszkowski was an honorable mention selection.

DiElmo helped the Ospreys to 10 shutouts. She tied for 10th in the NJAC in assists with four. She appeared in and started 19 matches.

Reszkowski scored one goal and added two assists, appearing in 21 matches and starting 19.

Senior teammate Nicole Pallante (Brick Township) was 13-3-4 as a goalkeeper, allowing 16 goals for a 0.76 goals against average. She made 54 saves en route to a .771 save percentage. She faced 120 shots. She appeared in 20 matches and started 19.

Stadelberger explosive: Freshman Kendall Stadelberger (Brick Township) paced the Ocean County College women’s soccer team in points (26) on 12 goals and two assists.

Sophomore midfielder Kristyn Adams, an Island Heights resident out of Bordentown Regional, added 20 points on 10 goals and five assists, appearing in and starting 14 matches. Freshman forward Megan Covert (Brick Memorial) added six goals and five assists for 17 points, appearing in and starting 14 matches.

Sophomore midfielder Alexis Novotny (Jackson Liberty) added five goals and three assists for 13 points. She appeared in and started 14 games. Freshman offensive player Grace Guthorn (Brick Memorial) contributed five goals and two assists for 12 points, appearing in and starting 14 matches.

Former Point Pleasant Boro coach Jennifer Ritter piloted the Vikings to a 4-11 overall record.

Ex-Jackson Memorial High School player Emily Jacoby controls the ball for Washington College. (- Photo courtesy of Sara Dockham/Washington College)

Branz on target: Freshman midfielder-forward Cory Branz (Barnegat) paced the OCC men’s soccer team in points (26), goals (nine) and assists (eight).

He appeared in 18 games and started 16. Freshman midfielder-forward Justin Alves (Donovan Catholic) added seven goals for 14 points, appearing in 18 games and starting seven. Freshman defender-midfielder Nick Moreno (Toms River North) scored four goals, including one match-winner, and added four assists for 12 points, appearing in and starting 18 games.

Coach Sal Colino (North) guided the Vikings to an 8-10-1 overall record.

Maltese cited: Junior back Michael Maltese (Freehold Township) earned All-NJAC honorable mention honors for The College of New Jersey Lions in men’s soccer.

Maltese netted one goal, a match-winner, and handed out six assists for eight points. He was second on the Lions in assists. He appeared in and started 17 matches, playing 1,397 minutes.

The team allowed 25 goals, an average of 1.39 scores per match

Lions ousted: The third-seeded Georgian Court men’s soccer team fell to second-seeded Post University 3-1 in the CACC Tournament semifinals.

Senior midfielder Vinicius Monteiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) staked the Lions (13-5, 8-3) to a 1-0 lead with a goal.

GCU downed sixth-seeded Holy Family 2-1 with 44 seconds expired in the second overtime on a goal by freshman defender-midfielder Francisco Corral (St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark).

A local player on the Lions’ roster was junior midfielder Robert Biele (Lacey). He netted one goal and added two assists for four points, appearing in 16 games and starting one.

OCC captures title: The OCC men’s cross country team sped to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Region 19 championship at White Clay Creek State Park in Newark, Del.

The Vikings placed four runners among the top 14 finishers in the eight-kilometer race.

Freshman Paul Spence (East), led the pack, placing fourth in 29:29.89. Following were freshmen Kevin Knoetig (Toms River South, sixth, 29:44.56), Thomas Dalessio (East, 13th, 30:50.85) and Joseph Bombardiere (East, 14th, 31:11.13).

Spence and Knoetig raced to all-region honors in the eight-team meet. OCC coach Jennifer Nelson-Siciliano, the former Barnegat and Monmouth distance standout, earned all-region Coach of the Year honors.

In the women’s Region XIX championship race at White Clay, the Vikings placed fourth.

Sophomore Jessica Reis (Toms River North) led OCC, placing sixth in 23:32 for all-region honors.

She was followed by freshmen Gabriella Alexander (South, 20th, 27:01), Maria Rojas (Jackson Memorial, 24th, 28:56) and Amy Galasso (South, 28th, 32:00).

Delaware Tech Community College hosted both races.

Former Manchester Township High School player A’Liah Moore (9) displays her offensive ability for Monmouth University. (Photo courtesy of Karlee Sell/Monmouth University)

Steinberg leads Vikings: Former North player Megan Steinberg coached the OCC women’s tennis team to a 5-5 overall record in her first season at the helm.

Novak a winner: Rowan University junior goalie Morgan Novak (Jackson Memorial) made seven saves for the Profs in their 2-0 win over The College of New Jersey in the championship game of the NJAC Tournament in field hockey.

It was her sixth shutout of the season. In the semifinals, Novak turned back one shot in a 3-0 win over Stockton.

Novak, through her first 20 games, all starts, made 70 saves and allowed 14 goals for a 0.73 goals against average. She posted an .833 save percentage and a 20-0 record. She faced 121 shots.

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Chris Christopher covers sports for Micromedia Publications Inc. with knowledge, pride and passion. His beats are the high school, college, professional, youth and recreational scenes. A three-time New Jersey Press Association award winner for sports writing, Christopher was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame in 2015 for his work in the media. The Lakewood resident enjoys taking walks in Ocean County Park and on the boardwalks in Ocean and Monmouth counties and rooting for the New York Mets.