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Summer Break Sports Recap: New Coaches, Alumni Success and More

by JOHN JACKSON, Sports Editor

A lot has happened around Manhattan College athletics since the Jaspers finished their finals to conclude the spring 2018 semester. Over the past few months, there have been teams that finished their 2018 seasons, teams that welcomed incoming student-athletes and coaches, former Jaspers continuing on their playing careers, preseason honors and polls released and a few sports with seasons that are already underway. 

Baseball

The Manhattan College baseball team stayed in the race for a MAAC Tournament berth until May 19 when Niagara ended their season on the final day of the regular season.

The team would get some positive news a few days later as Fabian Pena, Richie Barrella and T.J. Stuart were all named to the All-MAAC Second Team.

The biggest news from the team over the summer break however, was at the beginning of June when both Pena and Joe Jacques were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft. Pena was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 25th round (736th overall) while Jacques was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round (984th overall).

Softball

As Jaspers were focused on the end of semester and finals, the college’s softball team was in the midst of an amazing stretch of softball. The team won 10 of its last 12 games to qualify for the MAAC Tournament.

While in the double-elimination tournament, the Jaspers beat Iona 6-2 in the first round. On the second day of competition, they fell to top-seeded Monmouth by a score of 3-1, but advanced as they beat Siena 8-7 in the elimination bracket. However, the Jaspers’ season came to an end on May 19 as they fell to Marist 2-1.

Manhattan softball had its ups and downs in 2018, but they finished strong and had a few student-athletes earn honors. Briana Matazinsky was named First Team All-MACC, Lauren Pitney and Shannon Puthe were named to the All-MAAC Second Team and Daniela Chiorazzi was named to the MAAC’s All-Rookie Team. Matazinsky and Adriana Gambino were also named to the MAAC All-Tournament Team for their performances in the MAAC Tournament.

Basketball

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Kayla Grimme signed a contract with Boa Viagem which is a club in Liga Feminina. The league is part of the FIBA Eurocup. GOJASPERS /COURTESY

On the men’s side, Zane Waterman announced that he will begin his professional basketball career in Finland.

On the women’s side, Kayla Grimme signed a contract with Boa Viagem, a club in Liga Feminina. The league is part of the FIBA Eurocup and is Portugal’s top women’s basketball league.

Volleyball

The team placed ninth of 10 in the MAAC coaches’ preseason poll. 

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Manhattan College Volleyball played their first three games of the season at the Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic this past weekend. GOJASPERS /COURTESY

The team has a slightly different look as it lost one player to graduation in Zoe Lindsey, while it gained five new incoming freshmen in Shruti Mangipudi, Erin Prevo, Abby Wilde, Julia Menocal and Vivian Donovan. The team also welcomed Matt Cochenour who was named as the team’s new assistant coach.

In regards to the student-athletes who played last year, Olyvia Chaltas stayed active all summer long as she played for the Albanian women’s national team over the summer.

The team is already back in action as they played in their first three games over the weekend at the Jack Kaiser Volleyball Classic.

Golf

At the end of July, Phil Wildermuth was named head coach of the Manhattan College golf team. He was most recently an Assistant Golf Professional at Pelham Country Club.

Soccer

Similarly to volleyball, both soccer teams have begun their seasons and have already played two games.

However, over the summer before the season began, the Lady Jaspers saw Emma Saul and Arianna Montefusco earn Preseason All-MAAC Honors and their team finish fourth of 11 in the coaches’ preseason poll.

The men’s soccer team saw its goalkeeper Marcellin Gohier be named to the Preseason All-MAAC team. Also, the 11 head coaches in the MAAC voted Manhattan to finish fifth in the preseason poll.

Rowing

The women’s rowing team finished in ninth place at the MAAC Championship on May 13. Shannon Forty ended up being the first rower in the program’s three years to earn All-MAAC Honors as she was named to the All-MAAC Second Team.

Track and Field/Cross Country

There was a lot of news buzzing around track and field/cross country since classes concluded in the spring. Ire Bozovicar and Brenton Foster led the Jaspers at the ECAC/IC4A Championships as Bozovicar won the discus championship with a mark of 52.88 meters and Foster won the high jump with a 2.18-meter jump. The men’s team tied for ninth overall while the women’s team placed 35th at the championships on May 13

Later in the month, Bozovicar, Foster, Ryan Addlesberger, Love Litzell and Eduard Winner all competed at the 2018 NCAA East Region preliminaries which was held from May 24-26 in Tampa, FL. Bozovicar was the only one of the five to advance to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He was one of only 24 discus throwers in the country to participate and he finished 22nd overall.

Recent Manhattan graduate, Madison Arndt, was one of a record 581 nominees for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Head Track and Field Coach Dan Mecca spent some of his summer in Tampere, Finland as he was the assistant coach of the USA Track and Field (USATF) National Team for the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships, which was held from July 10-15.

During Mecca’s time in Finland, the Jasper community experienced a loss as Lindy Remigino, a 1953 Manhattan graduate and two-time Olympic gold medalist at the 1952 Olympic Games, passed away at the age of 87 on July 12.

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Marianne Reilly, former Olympian Matt Centrowitz and President Brennan O’Donnell at the Armory on Aug.22. GOJASPERS /COURTESY

Another Olympian, Matt Centrowitz, returned to Manhattan and began serving as director of Manhattan’s cross country and track and field teams on Aug. 1. He was officially welcomed by Manhattan College President Brennan O’Donnell and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Marianne Reilly at The Armory on Aug. 22.

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