Brooklyn schools return to pitch with title hopes as new season begins
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There won't be any "sophomore jinx" for the Brooklyn College women's soccer team. At least there wasn't any sign of one Tuesday night at BC Field.
Reigning City University of New York Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year Shani Abrahams scored two goals and added an assist as the second-year program got off to a dominant start with a 7-0 rout of visiting Sarah Lawrence on its home pitch.
Freshman Jordan Kerwin also had two goals and an assist and sophomore Sayla Flores of Telecommunications High School tallied twice as the Bulldogs (1-0) looked ready to improve on their inaugural 6-7-1 campaign under coach Patrick Horne.
"We are going in the right direction, building a solid foundation for a successful program," said Horne, who lost seven seniors from the 2012 squad following a season-ending 8-0 victory over Medgar Evers last October.
"The new recruits will make immediate contributions, which make us a much improved team from last year and a strong challenger for the CUNYAC championship," added Horne.
Freshman netminder Kimberly Chacko played the first 73:58 before senior Karolina Gorna finished up the Bulldogs' convincing shutout win between the posts.
BC will be at Randall's Island Saturday morning for a matchup with CUNYAC rival CCCNY.
The BC men (1-1) kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win over New Jersey City University last Friday in Staten Island, but suffered a 4-1 loss to MIT on Sunday.
Junior goalkeeper Kamil Ostrowski, a Warsaw native who attended Park Slope's Bishop Ford High School, made six saves against NJCU to earn CUNYAC Men's Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Freshman forward Kenny Benitez from Leon M. Goldstein High School scored what proved to be the game-winner, as well as his first career goal, in the win over NJCU. He was named the conference's Rookie of the Week.
"Kamil and Kenny have worked very hard from the first day of pre-season and it certainly showed in thier efforts against NJCU and MIT," said BC coach Rawle Hensford, who guided the Bulldogs to a 13-5-3 mark a season ago before BC fell to top-seeded Baruch in the CUNYAC Championship Game at Randall's Island in November.
"[Ostrowski and Benitez] were both critical players in the success we had."
The Bulldogs will be back at it Friday afternoon when they host NYU in their home opener.
The two-time defending Northeast Conference women's champions from LIU-Brooklyn are off to a 1-3 start following consecutive losses to New Mexico State and Nevada-Las Vegas at last weekend's UNLV Invitational in Las Vegas.
Freshmen Jenn Peters and Madison Gomez each scored goals in a 3-2 loss to the host school on Sunday afternoon.
Peters, who racked up a goal, an assist and three shots on goal during the two matches, was named the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week for her performance, becoming the first Blackbird to earn that honor since current LIU senior Jessica Sexton achieved the feat on Oct. 11, 2010.
Picked to finish second in the preseason coaches' poll last month, the Blackbirds will head to Marist on Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The LIU-Brooklyn men are still looking for win No. 1 of the new campaign after Sunday's 2-0 loss to Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif.
Junior forward David Nuernberg registered three of the Blackbirds' five shots in the defeat, which dropped LIU to 0-2.
The Blackbirds return to LIU Field for their home opener against George Washington Friday at 6 p.m.
Still a week away from their historic opener at brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park, the St. Francis Brooklyn men's team gave a national powerhouse all it could handle last Friday night in Storrs, Conn., before succumbing in a 1-0 loss to the fifth-ranked Huskies of UConn.
Junior goalkeeper Jack Binks was able to ward off all but one of Connecticut's 14 shots, a header from Cyle Larin in the 25th minute, which held up as the winning tally despite several solid chances by the upset-minded Terriers (0-1).
The Terriers will be back in action Thursday night in Annapolis, Md., against Navy, and will visit UMBC on Saturday evening before returning to Brooklyn for their long-anticipated opening match against St. Peter's on Sept. 10.
“We can’t wait to play our first game at Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Terriers’ head coach Tom Giovatto, whose squad went 7-10-1 in 2012
“The field has to be one of the most unique settings in all of college sports, but most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to finally have a real home field advantage,” Giovatto added. “Our students and the St. Francis Brooklyn community can now walk just a few blocks from campus to watch us play.”
“I can’t think of a better way to kick-off a new year of Terrier Athletics,” St. Francis Brooklyn Athletic Director Irma Garcia stated. “Brooklyn Bridge Park is a huge step for our men’s soccer program and I’m looking forward to watching our team compete at such a beautiful facility. I hope our students and the Brooklyn Heights community will come out and support our team beginning on September 10.”
Over at NYU-Poly, the men's soccer squad dropped its season opener, 5-1, to NYU at Brooklyn's Aviator Field on Sunday.
Newly hired first-year coach Anthony Ferraro, formerly an assistant for the Manhattanville College women's program, is hoping to take the Blue Jays (0-1) to the Skyline Conference title after they went 9-11-1 a season ago before losing to top-seeded St. Joseph's in the tournament semifinals.
"We're heavily relying on strength and conditioning and injury prevention along with a comprehensive focus on technique and tactics" said Ferarro, who was officially given the job last month. "I want the players to always keep focused on the themes of team togetherness and family" he added.
NYU-Poly traveled to Hoboken, NJ to take on Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.
In other Blue Jays news, Tommy Guerin became the new head men's basketball coach at the Brooklyn school after serving as an assistant coach for two years at NYU-Poly.
Before joining the Jays, Guerin played four years of basketball at Brooklyn College. During Guerin's 2006-2007 season, he was named CUNYAC Rookie of the Year.
Guerin was a three-year captain for the Bulldogs, scoring 1,037 points and ranks second all-time in assists at BC. In Guerin's 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, he led the Bulldogs to two conference championships as well as two NCAA D-III Tournament appearances.
"With this being the last year of Poly Athletics, I plan on motivating my players by telling them that they are not only representing themselves, but every player that played at Poly before them," Guerin noted.