College Corner: Georgian Court Soccer, Other Local Sports

The Georgian Court University women's soccer team won the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament. (Photo courtesy Georgian Court University Athletics Communications Department)

The top-seeded Georgian Court University women’s soccer team lived up to its billing, winning the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament with a 4-1 victory over second-ranked Wilmington University in the championship game.

The host Lions received contributions from former local high school players in front of 500 fans.

Dana Fontana, a Brick Memorial graduate, helped Georgian Court win the tournament. (Photo courtesy Georgian Court University Athletics Communications Department)

Sophomore forward Dana Fontana, a Brick Memorial graduate, staked the winners to a 3-0 lead with a goal from 20 yards out 77:20 into the match off a feed from sophomore midfielder Kaitlin Lister (Toms River East). Fontana pushed the lead to 4-0 at 80:48 with her sixth goal of the year off an initial save by the keeper.

Lister and sophomore midfielder Anissa Fucci (Manchester) made the all-tournament team.

It was the Lions’ third CACC Tournament crowd under coach Jim Moore, whose team also took the title in 2008 and 2010.

GCU’s season ended at 16-4-2 with a first-round loss to Southern New Hampshire University in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Anissa Fucci, from Manchester, helped Georgian Court win the tournament. (Photo courtesy Georgian Court University Athletics Communications Department)

The Lions’ Lizzy Kroon, a senior forward from Central Regional; Lister and Fucci made the 2017 Division II Conference Commissioners Association Women’s Soccer All-Region team.

Fucci was a first-team selection. Kroon and Lister were second-team honorees.

Fucci finished in a tie for third place in the CACC in goals with 13. She added five assists. She was third in the CACC in points with 31 in 22 games. She established career highs in goals, assists and points. The Lions were 8-1-1 when she found the back of the net.

Lister led the CACC in assists with 13 and tied for third in Division II in helpers. She added eight goals. She handed out assists in 10 of the Lions’ 22 matches, including a season-high three in a 4-2 road win over Caldwell University.

Kroon was fifth in the CACC in goals with 12 and added seven assists for 31 points. She ended her career with 48 goals, 21 assists and 117 points. She paced the Lions to the fifth-best scoring offense (3.09 goals per game) in Division II this season.

Kroon and the Lions’ Morgan LaDuca, a Point Pleasant Beach graduate and a Toms River resident, made the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District women’s soccer team.

LaDuca, a senior midfielder-defender, captained a defense that posted a CACC-best 1.11 goals against average. The Lions allowed 24 goals on the season. LaDuca netted a career-high four goals.

Vikings among the elite: The Ocean County College men’s soccer team placed fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Tournament with a 3-2 win over Bunker Hill Community College.

OCC freshman keeper Robert Andrade, from Toms River South, was named to the all-tournament team after making five saves in the fifth-place game.

The Vikings were 10-9-2, winning the Region XIX Tournament to qualify for the nationals

Lederle cited: Felician University junior midfielder Sami Lederle, a former Brick Memorial player, made the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference 2017 Fall All-Academic team in women’s soccer for the first time.

The accounting major compiled a 3.82 grade point average. She scored eight points in 2017 on two goals and a club-high four assists. She started all 17 matches.

Sara Ridgway, right, of Barnegat, plays volleyball for Kean University (Photo courtesy Larry Levanti/Kean University Athletics Communications Department)

Setting, spiking: Former Barnegat player Sara Ridgway, a Kean University senior, made the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America team as an honorable mention selection.

She’s the first All-American selection in program history.

The former Bengals standout was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Year and helped the Cougars capture their first NJAC title since 2001. She finished the season with 380 kills, 141 total blocks, 128 block assists and 13 solo blocks in 38 matches. She averaged 2.86 kills per set with a .372 hitting percentage and 1.06 blocks per set.

For the second time in her career, Ridgway made the 2017 CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District first team.

She compiled a 3.95 grade point average for her second honor, majoring in Media & Film Communication. She also was named to the AVCA New York All-Region team.

Veltre among the swiftest: Former Brick Memorial distance king Kevin Veltre, a Rowan University senior, won Cross Country All-America honors from the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

He was 13th among 279 runners in 24:39.62 at the NCAA Division III Championships at the Principia College North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Il. The top 40 finishers earned All-America status.

The former Mustang was third in 24:32.6 at the NCAA Atlantic Regional for his second career All-Region honor. He won the New Jersey Athletic Conference title in 24:38.06. He was the NJAC Runner of the Year and made the All-Conference first team. He helped the Profs win the NJAC team crown, ending The College of New Jersey’s 23-year reign as the conference champion. It was Rowan’s 23rd title and it’s first since 1993.

Hailee Porricelli, a Howell graduate and a Freehold Township resident, plays for Stockton. (Photo courtesy Stockton University Athletics Communications Department)

Meanwhile, Joe D’Amico, a Central graduate and a Stockton University runner, earned NJAC second-team honors after placing 10th in 26:07 at the NJAC championship meet.

It was the fastest eight-kilometer time of his career.

Records established: Rowan senior center April Szymczyk, a former Jackson Liberty and Ocean County College player, set career highs in points (21) and rebounds (11) for the Profs in their 70-64 loss to Stockton.

She put home nine of 20 shots from the field and netted five of six free throws. She added two assists, two steals and one block. She picked off seven offensive rebounds.

Stockton freshman guard Hailee Porricelli, a Howell graduate and a Freehold Township resident, scored 10 points and added four rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Stockton junior guard Kashaun Barnes, formerly from Toms River North, reached a career high score against Wesley College. (Photo courtesy Stockton University Athletics Communications Department)

Barnes erupts: Stockton junior guard Kashaun Barnes, a former Toms River North player, exploded for a career-high 30 points for Stockton, which opened its regular season with an 87-82 overtime conquest of Wesley College.

Barnes netted seven of 19 shots from the field, including three of 10 from downtown, and bucketed 13 of 15 free throws in 43 minutes as a starter. He added six rebounds and one steal and scored 19 second-half points. He’s a Manchester resident.

In the swim: On the Rowan women’s team are Polina Dineva, a senior from Central, and former North swimmer Amanda Burke, a senior.

In a 142-55 win over Kean, Dineva swam the fourth leg on the Profs’ first-place 200-yard medley relay team (1:56.83) and was second in the 100 butterfly in 1:06.31.

Burke was second in the 50 freestyle in 27.30. In a 209-52 victory over Ramapo College, Burke was second in the 200 backstroke (1:02.56) and the 200 backstroke (2:13.91).

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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.