LIU-Brooklyn Captures Third Straight NEC Title
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A dynasty grows in Brooklyn.
Spearheaded by sophomore Marisol Doglioli’s record-setting performance, the LIU-Brooklyn women’s golf team made it three straight Northeast Conference championships Sunday afternoon in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Doglioli, who finished with a three-day tournament record of six-under par 210, grabbed the individual title and helped the Blackbirds qualify for their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals, based on the conference’s automatic bid to the national championships.
LIU, seeded 23rd, will now square off against the likes of UCLA, Arkansas, Arizona, LSU, Harvard and Siena in the Central Regional at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., beginning May 8.
Eight teams and two individual golfers will advance from each regional field to the NCAA final from May 20-23 at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
For Blackbirds head coach Natalie Desjardins, who won the same title Doglioli captured in 2010 during her not-so-long ago playing days at LIU, Title III held a special significance for a program that is emerging as one of the best in the state, if not the entire region.
“The NEC is something that we look forward to and work hard toward all year,” the third-year coach told the Eagle via e-mail Wednesday morning as she continued to prepare her team for next week’s event.
“It's always an exciting weekend, but this year it was particularly exciting, we had a great opportunity in front of us, going for a three-peat. We felt confident going into the weekend, but we knew that we would have to play our best golf of the season and the girls did just that.”
Especially Doglioli, who has a chance to surpass her coach as arguably the greatest women’s golfer the Downtown Brooklyn school has ever produced.
A native of Aosta, Italy, the second-year standout and reigning NEC Rookie of the Year posted a 71 and 73, respectively during the first two days of competition.
She clinched the crown with an NEC single-round record of 66 on Sunday, displaying the poise and will of a champion by saving her best for last.
Doglioli’s final-round performance gave her a whopping 13-stroke victory over Robert Morris’ Haley Morell, the only other player under par for the three-day tourney.
It also propelled LIU to a 26-stroke overall triumph, with Saint Francis (Pa.) finishing a distant second.
“The dominant performance from Marisol was impressive to watch,” said Desjardins. “She really rose to the occasion and never looked back. She should be feeling really good going into the NCAA Regionals next week.”
As should the rest of Desjardins’ three-time championship squad, three of whom finished in the top 10 behind Doglioli.
Junior Brianna Maynard took third overall, sophomore Victoria Fagan was eighth and junior Cristina Felip finished ninth while junior Alice Boothroyd rounded out LIU’s title-winning effort by finishing 26th.
“Victoria really came into her own last week,” Desjardins noted. “I've been waiting for her to have a breakthrough tournament and no better time than to do it at the NEC's. No better deserving player.
“There's no better feeling than seeing the girls achieve a goal that they set as a team back in September,” she added. “There was definitely pressure on us to win, the girls handled themselves with poise going into the championship and continued to rise to the opportunity that was in front of them.”
And the Blackbirds aren’t done just yet.
LIU was invited to the East Regional during Desjardins first year at the helm, was sent out West last year and will now head to the Central Region.
Having been in major competition for three years running, Desjardins believes the Blackbirds are poised to make “some noise” in the NCAAs this time around.
“I'm really looking for the team to continue to play their best golf,” Desjardins said. “Everyone has had experience at the regional level. We know what to expect and we know what we have to do. Sticking to the process will be key for us next week. One shot at a time.
“They have already left their mark as a Blackbird, but they haven't left their legacy just yet,” the proud coach added.
The Brooklyn College women’s softball team geared up for this weekend’s CUNYAC Championships by capping its regular season with a dominating doubleheader sweep (20-2 and 16-2) of borough rival St. Joseph’s (Brooklyn) last Thursday afternoon in Bellerose, Queens.
Sophomore Stephanie Caravello, a product of Brooklyn’s Leon Goldstein High School, went 4-for-5 with three doubles and seven RBIs in the opener before adding two hits, four RBIs and four runs scored in the nightcap.
Senior Marie Oneto (James Madison High School) picked up the win in the opener by tossing three solid innings and junior Kayla Hill, also a JMHS alum, posted her 10th win of the season in the second game by yielding an unearned run on three hits over three frames.
At 24-12, the Lady Bulldogs have already established a new program-record for victories, eclipsing the mark of 23 set just last season.
But BC would like nothing better than to cap its brilliant season with a CUNYAC crown, something it fell short of last year after a 3-0 loss to Hunter College in the second and final day of the tournament.
Junior Chris Cutrone continued to rack up the honors for the St. Joseph’s (Brooklyn) baseball squad this past week.
The third-year right-hander was named the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week and the Association of Division III Independents Player of the Week after tossing a pair of complete games on the mound and pacing the Bears with a team-best nine RBIs during the week.
Last Monday, Cutrone went the distance against William Paterson, surrendering one earned run in nine innings while fanning a career-high 10 batters to pick up his sixth straight win.
The two-time USCAA Pitcher of the Week fired another gem against Lehman, yielding two on only three hits in a narrow complete-game loss to the Lightning.
Cutrone ended the week with a sparkling 1.69 ERA over 16 innings, striking out 14 while walking only two. He has a 6-2 record this season.
At the plate, the three-time AD3I Player of the Week batted .278 (5-for-18) with four triples and two runs scored. Against Yeshiva in the second game of a doubleheader, the part-time second baseman went 3-for-4 with a career-high seven RBIs.
Cutrone reached base safely in a school-record 29 consecutive games before the streak was finally snapped in the opener against Lehman on Sunday.
St. Joe’s will be back on the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader at Drew University.
Also at St. Joe’s, former Bishop Kearney High School softball standout Samantha Simon was named the Association of Division III Independents and Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week.
The freshman sensation batted a sizzling .647 (11-for-17) on the week with nine runs scored and eight RBIs along with her first career homer.
Fellow Lady Bears freshmen Jamilynn McGowan and Samantha Rossi received HVIAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Week awards, respectively.