Cardinals Comeback Falls Short in CHSFL ‘AAA’ Championship Game

An emotional two weeks for Cardinal Hayes didn’t end with the joy of a title.

Teammate Delano Cowan died after the team’s quarterfinal win and the Cardinals road the emotion to their first CHSFL ‘AAA’ final. The team captains carried Cowan’s No. 90 jersey onto the field one more time and refused to quit after falling behind 17 points at the half.

Costly mistakes and missed opportunities caused the Cardinals’ comeback to fall short in a 20-12 loss to defending champion Archbishop Stepinac at Fordham University last Saturday night.

“We all felt him,” Hayes receiver Shameen Jones said of Cowan. “When we were down at halftime and came back we all felt that drive, that push, that momentum to get back, but we came up short.”

Down 17-0 at halftime, the Cardinals (8-3) received new life when cornerback Zahir Williams returned an interception for 43 yards. Quarterback Christian Anderson (15 of 29, 193 yards) ran seven yards or a touchdown to put Hayes on the board at 17-6 with 4:22 to go in the third quarter.

“We kept chopping away and made plays,” Hayes coach C.J. O’Neil said. “We had a big defensive turnover that helped and we kept working on it. Eventually it broke through.”

After a 26-yard field goal from Liam Butler made it 20-6, Anderson connected with Jones on a 64-yard reception for a first and goal. Running back Justin Covington, who was held to just 20 yards rushing, finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to make it 20-12 with 8:47 left in the game. Jones caught five passes for 97 yards.

Momentum was on the Cardinals’ side until a holding penalty eliminated Covington’s 34-yard pass reception into Stepinac territory in the final minutes. Two more flags caused a promising drive to stall and resulted in Hayes punting with 2:30 remaining in the contest. Stepinac (11-0) did not give Hayes another chance.

“As a team, we had a lot of ups and downs,” Jones said. “We lost one of our teammates but we stepped up together as a family. We came out on a five game streak and made it to the championship. It was all for him.”

Stepinac’s offense fed off quarterback Tyquell Fields, who found the end zone from 4 yards out on the opening drive. Running back Antonio Giannico scored on a 4-yard run with three minutes to go in the first quarter to give Stepinac a 14-0 lead.

Anderson was intercepted twice by T.J. Morrison before halftime. The first came at the Crusaders’ 25-yard line and the second at their 11. A 25-yard field goal by Liam Butler in the final seconds of the second quarter made it 17-0 in favor of Stepinac before the Cardinals held them to just three points over the final two frames.

While Hayes was unable to dig out of the hole, it went a long way in its second season up in the top division. It still can end on a winning note against Mount St. Michael in their annual Thanksgiving Day clash.

“We moved from being the eighth seed last year to the second seed this year in the AAA,” Anderson said. “We got here to the championship with an 8-2 record. Getting to the championship in general was a pretty good accomplishment this year.”

This article originally appeared in the Bronx Times

Campus Master Plan Update

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Manhattan College continues to work out details on expanding the campus in the coming years. The south campus will be developed by either renovating the Leo Building or designing an entirely new building for science, math, technology and engineering south of Leo’s current location.

“The major component of the whole campus master plan is the new STEM building,” Andrew Ryan, vice president of facilities, said. “The next part that we are actually right in the middle of now is STEM study. They are looking at STEM as it exists now on campus.”

Right now, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors are distributed amongst the Research and Learning Center, Hayden Building and  the Leo Building. The STEM study is looking at what is happening in each of the three buildings in regards to the School of Science and School of Engineering.

Looking at those three buildings and the schools, Ryan said that these questions need to be answered: “What needs to be arranged to create more appropriate adjacencies? What needs to be renewed physically? And the big component, what needs to go into the new building? What’s the best to put into the building based on what we have now and where we are looking to go in the future?”

At the Manhattan College Senate meeting in April, three different solutions were discussed.

The first is to create a new 30,000 square foot STEM building with renovations to Leo, costing a total of $55 million.

The second option is to spend $35 million more on Leo Building renovations than the first option, rather than build a new STEM building.

The third and final option would be to demolish and build a new Leo Building. This would give MC 120,000 square feet of new space, but is the costliest option,  with a $125 million price tag.

The master plan formerly included constructing either a quadrangle on south campus along with a new building across from the Leo Building, with talks of MC acquiring the land currently occupied by Karl’s Auto Body. However, these talks have stopped and Ryan said that it “probably won’t happen on that site” and the building could be built either north or south of Leo but will “more than likely” go south.

Noting relationships with the surrounding community, Ryan said local residents will be given copies of the new campus master plan. There will be a meeting for the community to hear and learn about the upcoming construction.

“They [the local community] find out about it before we fully get a chance to explain it to them,” Ryan said. “They only hear bits and pieces of it. We will meet with them and explain everything we have on the radar screen. But we want our internal community to know about it first.”

There will be a town hall meeting for the college on Dec. 1 to explain the master plan and Ryan said the meeting for the surrounding community will be soon after.

Presently, some aspects of the campus master plan are already underway.

The first phase of the master plan includes renovating the former dining hall, Dante’s Den, in Thomas Hall. Several offices and centers will move into it, including the centers for academic success, graduate advisement and career development, the study abroad office, the writing center, academic support for athletics, the specialized resource center, student financial aid and graduate admissions.

Demolition and construction will begin in about a month and Ryan predicted the offices would be ready by the end of the spring semester.

Women’s Soccer Falls 5-2 to Siena in MAAC Championship

Manhattan made it to the MAAC Championship for the first time in school history. They had a season of broken records and high-ranked players, both in the league and nationally. In a game to represent the league in the NCAA tournament, however, it was the underdog that came out on top.

After earning the second seed and a first-round bye, Manhattan played fourth-seeded Rider on Friday night in the MAAC Semifinals. Lizzy Carlson notched two goals for the Jaspers and Modena sealed the win with a goal to make it a 3-1 final. Skonieczny had a career-high 15 saves in the game.

Going into the MAAC Championship, Manhattan looked for the win in their first appearance to the finals. Sixth-seeded Siena had previously won the championship in 2010. Manhattan had a lot in their favor, but Siena was on a roll after knocking out the 1st and 3rd seeds Monmouth and Marist to get to the finals.

Siena scored in the opening minute of the game on a shot from Allison Clark. Seven minutes later, Siena notched another goal by Kristen Connors and took a surprising 2-0 lead over Manhattan, who has been known for their defense all season.

“They took advantage of opportunities that we gave them,” Brendan Lawler, Manhattan head coach, said in a halftime interview with ESPN3. “We have to score goals. We know what we have to do. The objective is simple.”

Most of the first half was spent with Siena on offense. They followed in the 20th minute with their third goal of the game by Madison Vazquez, making it a 3-0 lead for Siena. Manhattan’s defense struggled early and throughout, as Manhattan’s back line could not control the game and goalkeeper Kristen Skonieczny allowed three goals on three shots.

Erica Modena, who led the game with 5 shots, notched Manhattan’s first goal of the game with help from Lauren Barton in the 29th minute. The offense picked up in the last few minutes of the first half, but the score remained 3-1 into halftime.

Momentum did not last long on Manhattan’s side as Siena found the back of the net once again on a shot from Kensey Waterman about three minutes into the second half. It remained 4-1 until Connors scored again for Siena in the 73rd minute of the game and Manhattan’s Emily Center soon followed with a goal in the 76th minute. There was back and forth play until the clock winded down and Siena took the 5-2 victory to the tournament.

Despite the loss, Manhattan had a season for the record books. Head coach Brendan Lawler was voted the Lids Team Sports MAAC Coach of the Year. Skonieczny was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Jenny Bitzer earned Defensive Player of the Year. Modena and Nicole Copping earned spots on the All-MAAC First Team and Copping also got All-Rookie honors.

Skonieczny notched a program-record 10 wins and nine shutouts this season, which was the best in the MAAC. She holds the school career records for wins and shutouts, 24 and 17. She led the MAAC and ranks fourth nationally with a .920 save percentage. She is fifth in the NCAA with a .43 GAA, with just four goals allowed against MAAC opponents.

Modena was another key player for the Jaspers this season. She notched her team-leading 12th goal of the season in the semifinal matchup against Rider. She ranked second in the MAAC and 41st nationally with her 12 goals, which are the most by a Manhattan player since Laurie Spera scored 14 in her freshman season in 1998. Modena also ranked second in the league and 89th nationally with her 26 assists on the season.

Finishing up this year’s awards, it was announced after the game that Skonieczny, Modena and Taylor Salkowsky were named to the MAAC All-Tournament Team.

Oh Maya: Senior’s Key Goals Sends Bronx Science Back to Final

Maya Greenfield saw her high school career ticking to a close and refused to go down without a fight.

The Bronx Science senior was able distance herself from the Francis Lewis defense in the games final minutes. A wide open Greenfield scored from left field to send the game to overtime before quickly tallying the winner in No. 3-seeded Bronx Science’s improbable 4-3 victory over No. 7 Francis Lewis in the PSAL Class A girls’ soccer semifinals on Randall’s Island Tuesday.

“I was biting my tongue,” Greenfield said as she looked back at scoring her goal. “I was really emotional before because I’m a senior; it would have been my last few minutes. I honestly wanted to take my team there. I looked at my girls and I really wanted to do it for them.”

Greenfield had two goals and two assists and four shots on goal in the game. She has scored six times his post season, but none were bigger than her two against Lewis.

“She came through when we needed her,” Annie Eckstein, Bronx Science head coach, said. “She’s been doing that for us all season. She’s great when she beats people around the corner. She feeds balls in and finishes when we need her to.”

Lewis (14-2-0) opened the scoring on a goal by sophomore Jacklyn Lada. Bronx Science answered when Meleni Rahaman scored off of an assist from Greenfield. Play went back and forth for most of the first half until Rahaman found the back of the net once again to give the Wolverines (14-3-0) a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Samantha Margolis scored in the 58th minute to draw Lewis even at 2-2. Her second goal of the game with a assist from Lada and Melanie Feliz gave the Patriots 3-2 lead in the 68th minute.

“I think we had a little bit of a let down,” Eckstein said. “When they scored to go ahead, it was a great test for us. It wasn’t really one I wanted to have at this point but it was good to see that they stayed with each other.”

It is the second straight year the Wolverines beat Lewis in the semifinals

Bronx Science, which last won the crown in 2012, advances to its four straight championship games to face rival and two-time defending champions Beacon on 3 p.m. Sunday at St. John’s University.

In preparation for the final, the Wolverines are going to look at its last few meeting with the Blue Demons, including two regular season defeats. Greenfield noted how they struggled with finishing. Eckstein said that the team is going to also talk about their last four post season games and focus on key aspects from those.

“I know that we give it our all every practice so we are just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Greenfield said.

This article originally appeared in the Bronx Times

Shepherds of the Manhattan College Brand: MC Partners with Learfield Sports

Courtesy of Learfield Sports

Serve each other. Recognize it as “we” not “I.” Dream big and chase dreams. Celebrate successes that lead to learning and growth. Celebrate mistakes that lead to learning and growth.

These are all values and mission statements on Learfield Sports’ website. It works well with Manhattan College’s mission statement to prepare students for the future and lives of personal development, professional success and civic engagement.

After months of discussions, Manhattan has partnered with the Learfield Sports Multimedia Company. It named Nicholas Williams the general manager of the Jasper Sports Properties team.

“We are very excited,” Nino Vanin, Learfield regional director, said. “We have a nice presence in the New York/ New Jersey area with our Fordham and Seton Hall partnerships. Manhattan’s property and opportunity provides a real win-win. There is a lot of value in brands, faculty, students and fans.”

Vanin noted the size difference between Fordham and Manhattan’s campuses and student bodies but he stated that Manhattan would be treated just the same.

A native of New Jersey, Williams worked with the New York Red Bulls organization for three seasons serving as a sales account executive. He led in most premium seats sold and revenue for three seasons, bringing great corporate and sales experience to Manhattan.

“That experience will help me flourish at Manhattan,” Williams said of his time with the Red Bulls.

As general manager of Jaspers Sports Properties, Williams will lead all aspects of the rights relationship. He will provide corporate partners with both traditional and new media opportunities for Manhattan. This could be through certain inventories such as event sponsorships and promotions, venue signage, corporate hospitality, television and radio, digital engagement and visibility through the Go Jaspers official athletics website.

“Nick has great experience in the New York market,” Vanin said, “so that was attractive to us. He was selling to a corporate community.”

On the official Learfield Sports website, Jasper Sports Properties is described as Learfield’s local and dedicated entity representing Manhattan. It states that with complete collaboration with the college, it is “committed to extending the affinity of the Jaspers’ brand to businesses and corporations of all sizes looking to align with the undeniably loyal and passionate collegiate fan base.”

The partnership gives Learfield exclusive rights to all multimedia aspects of the college athletics. It’s partnered with almost 120 colleges across the country, ones with huge sports programs such as The University of Alabama and Penn State. At Manhattan, it has rights to all athletics and an opportunity to sell to all the 19 varsity teams. Vanin said it was set as a long-term partnership but a year amount was not disclosed.

“Our goals are to drive revenue for athletics through the program,” Vanin said, “and to be shepherds of the Manhattan College brand. Our mission is always the same, to provide a service to the athletic department and provide opportunities for companies.”