Middletown North’s Chris Lancos of Belford has verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Maryland, College Park, in the fall of 2002. The University of Maryland’s NCAA Division I soccer program is a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, considered one of the toughest leagues in the country, and is under the direction of head coach Sasho Cirovski. Lancos is a member of the United States National U-17 Soccer Team, which has been in residence in Bradenton, Fla., for the past 23 months. He represented the United States at the U-17 World Championships in Tobago last September. He has played internationally and against many major league soccer and college teams. He is a 2001 High School Parade All-American and two year USYS Adidas All-American. He will be returning to Middletown North in January to finish his senior year. The Matawan Huskies U14 boys soccer team won the final game of the season against the Watchung Hill Destroyers to place second in their flight. Incredible strategic plays had midfielders Scott Fegler, Adam Garcia, Steve Martinez, Matt Shalhoub, Josh Mooney and Brian Worth using the defense, Jeff Colodin, Dan Conti, Rob Gartner, Tom Howley, to help set up many of the goal attempts throughout the game. Crisp passes and clever ball movements allowed Rob Libraty to score two goals in the first half. In the second half, Adam Garcia scored a quick goal, then headed a second goal into the net off a corner kick by Kenny Pesile. Forwards Colin Cecere and Jon Foster showed great quickness and position awareness, and were unlucky not to figure in the scoring line. Goalie David Goodman stopped the Destroyers’ aggression on all but two plays. It was an impressive team effort that saw all the Huskies step it up a notch and put on an outstanding demonstration of ball control, possession, off-the-ball movement, combination play, and finishing. The Hazlet Wave U14 Premier boys’ travel soccer team is looking for a serious, committed goalie for immediate play with a birthdate on or after Aug. 1, 1987. There is no residency requirement. Contact Gene Lennon at (732) 787-8234, or e-mail Kilkennycats@aol.com. The Hazlet Olympians U12 Division I team which plays in the Monmouth-Ocean Soccer Association, is looking for experienced and dedicated players to round out their roster for the upcoming spring Division I MOSA run at Premier. Contact Spiro at (732) 739-1036. GoodSports at Aberdeen is offering the following tournaments and events: roller hockey tournament, Jan. 19 for U10, U12 and men; Jan. 20 for U14 and U17; youth instructional roller hockey starting Jan. 3 and running for seven weeks; youth roller hockey camp, Dec. 26-28, U10 9 a.m. to noon and U12, 1-4 p.m. each day; indoor flag football league Monday nights; one-day soccer tournaments for U8-U15 boys and girls; youth travel 5-on-5 league starting Jan. 26, 27 for U9-U14 boys and girls; and Richie Williams Elite Training Camp, Dec. 26-28 for boys and girls ages 11 and up. Call (732) 290-0003 for additional information.
Sport Shorts Mater Dei High School will be holding sports camps for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15 at its athletic complex this summer. All camps will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The camp schedule is as follows: Football, June 23-27; boys’ basketball, July 7-11 and 14-18; and girls’ basketball, July 21-25. For a brochure, call Mater Dei at (732) 671-9100. The River Plaza Youth Club is sponsoring week-long, full-day baseball and softball camps this summer. The camp will be run by high school and college coaches. Additionally, college players will help with instruction throughout the day. Most instructors have taught at the Princeton University Baseball Camp for many years and all have professional camp experience. The baseball camp will run July 7-11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The softball camp will run July 21-25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp is open to children ages 10-15 (birthday as of 8/1/03). The cost is $140 per child for the entire week. For families registering more than one child, there is a maximum registration fee of $250 per family. The camp will be held at Nut Swamp Park (Charger Field) in Middletown. The snack bar and bathrooms are open and available during the entire day. Full payment is due by May 31. The River Plaza-Lincroft Chargers will hold open registration for Pop Warner football and cheerleading on May 9 from 7-9 p.m., and May 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Charger Field Clubhouse in Nutswamp Park. Football registration is open to children ages 5-14 as of Aug. 1. Cheerleading is available for children ages 5-14 as of Aug. 1. Original birth certificate and a copy, plus a wallet-size photo are required. Call (732) 842-0007 for more information. The Cheer Elite All-Stars tryouts for the 2003-04 season will be held May 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at Aerials Gymnastics in Eatontown. To register for tryouts, call Allyson at (732) 492-7613 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The East Coast Diamonds cheerleading Team Platinum will be holding tryouts for girls in 12th grade and under on May 1 at Head Over Heels Gymnastics in Middletown. Cheerleading experience is preferred, and tumbling skills are required. For more information, contact Robin at (732) 747-9265 or (732) 768-7759. Aberdeen-Matawan Soccer League will be holding registration for the recreation fall season for players ages 5-16 at Aberdeen Town Hall, Church Street, on the following dates: April 26 and May 3 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; May 5, May 19 and June 9 from 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m. If this is your child’s first season bring a copy of their birth certificate. For more info call the AMSL Hotline at 732-583-5213 or e-mail email@example.com
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer It’s been a difficult fall for the Raritan High School field hockey team; the Rockets have played reasonably well but have just one win to show for their efforts. “The girls find ways to hang in there but we just can’t seem to get the break we need,” Coach Janet Citro said. “Our offense is struggling, but defensively the team has played well.” Of Raritan’s eight losses, four have been by one goal, Manasquan (2-1), Holmdel (2-1), Freehold Township (1-0) and Middletown South (2-1). Junior goaltender Julie Wood has played particularly well, making 145 saves over Raritan’s nine games. The often acrobatic Wood made 25 saves on Saturday in the loss to Middletown South and 32 saves earlier this season in a loss to Red Bank Catholic. “Julie has been phenomenal,” Citro said. “She keeps us in games.” Wood is aided by a defense that includes Jessica Boehm and junior Rachel Flanagan; as well as senior midfielders Charleigh Dufford, Adrienne Pannullo; juniors Brittany Rogan and Jessica Sanchez; and sophomore Kerri Laudaty. The forwards include Allison Darakjy, Jaclyn Gerhardt Lauren Madorma and Lyndsey Schork; junior Maria Cruz, and three sophomores who are showing much promise Veronica Jost, Megan Meyers and Monica Vilacha. Raritan entered the campaign having just five players who played on the varsity last fall and the inexperience has cost the Rockets at times, although Citro said her players are making the adjustment. Meanwhile, the future looks bright. The Hazlet middle school field hockey program is entering its second year and the Rockets freshman team got off to a 5-0 start and has continued to play well. “Having a place where players can learn the game is really going to help our program,” the coach said. “But right now we’re looking to finish strong. This is a hard-working group and they want to get some wins.” Notes…Middletown North continues to make a claim as one of the Shore’s elite teams. The Lions (7-1) were hoping to cement that status on Monday, when they were scheduled to take on top-ranked Ocean Township (6-0-2) in an A North battle which could decide the division title. North entered that contest playing very well, having posted wins over Middletown South (2-1), Manalapan (4-1) and St. John Vianney (1-0) last week. North has been led by senior forward Kelly Crist, who has either scored or assisted on every goal the Lions have scored this year. After scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals in the win over South, she then scored all four goals in the win over the Braves, before assisting on Danielle Tarallo’s game-winning score on Saturday against the Lancers. The Lions are rolling along, and having played such a difficult A North schedule will make them a dangerous team in the upcoming state playoffs. St. John Vianney has also played well, despite falling to 5-3-1 with Saturday’s loss to the Lions. Vianney’s Maura Acox made 19 saves in that one and has helped solidify a good defensive unit for SJV. Meanwhile, Middletown South is officially on the bubble with the state playoff deadline looming in the near future. The Eagles improved to 3-4-1 with a 2-1 win over Raritan on Saturday, but need to play above the .500 mark the next two weeks to reach the postseason.
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Brendan Barry, left, finds his path to the basket blocked by Middletown High School North’s Colin Frawley during their varsity league game at the Hoop Group in Neptune.
Jason Dunne, left, is one of the top players returning to the Matawan Regional High School boys basketball team that had a record-setting season in 2013-14. STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR Jason Dunne will embark on a college career next fall at the University of Hartford, but he is already getting a sense of the college game on Matawan Regional High School’s boys basketball team.With three starters graduated from a cohesive group that put together a season for the ages, coach Tom Stead and his players are adapting the Princeton University style into this season’s schemes. That process started when practices began on Nov. 24.“The coach was doing research in the summer and fall on that, and I think it will help us if we get a college offense down,” Dunne said.Dunne can benefit from an offense that can get him better opportunities for higherpercentage shots and will prepare him for the more sophisticated NCAA Division I level of offense he’ll play in the future.Stead became a disciple of the Princeton approach — masterminded by Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril — that patiently works the ball for high-percentage open looks and shots close to the basket. He believes his team will need to work the ball more to the inside with opponents moving their defenses out to cover Dunne and backcourt partner Joe Piscopo, who has drawn the interest of NCAA Division III programs that include Drew University and Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Park.“With the first good look, we’ll take [the shot], but we’re going to run some different things,” Stead said. “We expect teams to come out on the perimeter and try to deny us on the wing, so we’ve worked on backdoor cuts like Princeton does. We learned from the time we spent at the Princeton camp over the summer. We know teams won’t give us open jumpers.”The Huskies need to take even better care of the basketball than they did last season, when they achieved their winningest record in program history at 24-5, their first section championship since 1958 in NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III and their first division title since 1964 in Shore Conference B North. Colts Neck High School and Red Bank Catholic High School join an already solid B North for this season that already includes Neptune High School, Long Branch High School, Wall High School and Ocean Township High School.“It’s got to be one of the toughest divisions in the Shore now,” Stead said.Matawan’s dream season ended last March in a state semifinals loss to Camden High School. The Huskies also lost in their farthest advance in the Shore Conference Tournament, falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Point Pleasant Beach High School, which suited up three NCAA Division I prospects.“If we continue to work hard, anything’s possible,” said Dunne, who dropped in 15.6 points a game, while Piscopo scored 13 points per game.“The biggest challenge now is to fill the shoes of the kids who graduated,” Stead said. “If they buy into it and do their job, it will help if they realize they’re playing with two of the best guards in the Shore.”Gone to graduation are forwards Dritin Gyrigi; Nick Tomkins, who is off to a college football career at Dartmouth College as a defensive lineman; and Austin Planes, who collectively averaged 25 points and 25 rebounds a game. Starting guard Chris Tawiah, who knocked down a dozen points a game, also graduated.Gyrigi’s younger brother, Mergin, a 6- foot-2 junior, is looking to step into the vacated guard spot. Three seniors who had limited roles last season played well during the summer, including 6-foot-7 Sampson Onitolo and power forward Matt Esposito, who Stead said “will have a bigger role this year,” as well as point guard Nick Smith.“After last season, we graduated five seniors, four who played and had a heavy impact. And we have a lot of people with some varsity experience and that will help,” Dunne saidThere also are some promising prospects on the football team that just won the Central Jersey Group III championship game on Dec. 5, so they are just exchanging cleats for sneakers this week. It gets tough right from the start with the opener on Dec. 19 at Neptune, which has a new head coach in Joe Fagan, who comes off three straight 20-win seasons and Shore Conference A South Division championships at Jackson Memorial High School. The Huskies host Long Branch on Dec. 22 before hosting their Huskies Holiday Classic starting on Dec. 26. Teams still have to be bracketed, but they include Manalapan High School, Edison High School, Carteret High School and Mater Dei Prep. Tottenville High School and Mc- Cown High School from Staten Island, N.Y., are also slated to participate. By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
By Iacovos ConstantinouTHE second legs of the Cyprus Cup semi-finals will take place on Wednesday with Apollon defending a slender 2-1 lead when they travel to Larnaca to face Ermis Aradippou, while the winner of the other semi is all but official as favourites APOEL thumped four goals past Doxa Katokopias in the first leg.Ermis Aradippou, the surprise team of the year, will be hoping to make it to the Cup final for the first time in their history. Their coach Nicos Panayiotou has been resting most of his key players during league games and hopes that this will give him the edge as the game progresses. The only absentee will be the injured Paulinhio.Last season’s Cup winners Apollon, were impressive in their last league game against AEL last Saturday, and if they can reproduce such a performance they will be favourites to make it to the final. Experienced defender Karipidis and the versatile Goullon are back in the reckoning giving coach Christophorou a full squad to choose from.APOEL’s coach is expected to field an almost second string team as the 4-1 win secured in the first leg leaves little hope for Doxa to stage any kind of comeback. Doxa, with concerns now over their first division survival may decide to follow suit and rest some players as well.The Ermis v Apollon game kicks off at 18.00 while the Doxa v APOEL clash beginning at 16.00.
By Michael HannManchester City kept their slim title hopes alive thanks to a 3-0 win against 10-man West Bromwich Albion but Arsenal remain hot on their heels after a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.Much-maligned after their Champions League exit in Barcelona on Wednesday and a league defeat by Burnley last week, City were helped by a bizarre refereeing decision in the second minute in which West Brom’s Gareth McAuley was sent off instead of Craig Dawson in a case of mistaken identity.Wilfried Bony, who had been hauled down by Dawson, later scored his first goal for City for whom Fernando and David Silva were also on target to give Manuel Pellegrini victory in his 100th game in charge of the club.Second-placed City have 61 points from 30 matches, three behind leaders Chelsea, who have a two games in hand over their title rivals and play Hull City on Sunday.“I think it was a very good performance,” Pellegrini told BT Sport. “Today we were very concentrated defensively to not allow them to score and after that we created a lot of chances.“I think that the only thing we must do is try and win the next game.”IN-FORM ARSENALArsenal, knocked out of the Champions League by AS Monaco on Tuesday, remain one-point behind City, however, after victory against Newcastle at St James’ Park means the Gunners have now won their last six league matches.Olivier Giroud struck twice in four minutes in the first half but they spent much of the second half on the backfoot after Moussa Sissoko pulled a goal back for Newcastle.“We started well, on the front foot, we put the pace we wanted to into the game,” Giroud told BBC Sport. “The problem in the second half was we didn’t play, I don’t know why.“It was a tough game but it is a really important win. Even though we are disappointed with the Champions League exit, we want to fight on until the end of the season.”KANE TREBLETottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane celebrated his first senior England call up with a hat-trick as Spurs beat bottom side Leicester City 4-3 in a thrilling match at White Hart Lane.Kane scored twice in the opening 13 minutes to give Spurs a two-goal advantage but goals from Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan drew the visitors level.Leicester striker David Nugent conceded a penalty that Kane converted before Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal. Nugent set up a nervy finish with a late consolation.Sixth-placed Southampton stay above Spurs on goal difference after their 2-0 win at St Mary’s against struggling Burnley who remain in the bottom three.Crystal Palace came from a goal down to beat Stoke City 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium, while Aston Villa’s recent resurgence came to end with a 1-0 home defeat against Swansea City.New Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat takes his struggling side to West Ham United later on Saturday.
World number ones Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams completed a clean sweep for tennis as they won the Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards on Monday night.In a glitzy ceremony in the German capital, hosted by US actor Bill Murray, Serbia’s Djokovic beat Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, sprinter Usain Bolt and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton among others for the top men’s award at the annual ceremony.Djokovic and American Williams, who fought off competition from footballer Carli Lloyd and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce among others, were rewarded for dominating their sport last year, with each winning three of the four grand slams.Both athletes picked up the top prize for the third time, with Williams having previously won it in 2003 and 2010 while Djokovic was also victorious in 2012 and 2015.Golfer Jordan Spieth won the Breakthrough of the Year award after capturing his first two majors at the 2015 US Masters and US Open, while New Zealand’s All Blacks won Team of the Year award following their World Cup victory.There was some joy for the host nation as well with triathlete Jan Frodeno grabbing the Action Sportsperson of the Year prize.Dutch footballer and coach Johan Cruyff, who died of cancer in March, was posthumously awarded the Spirit of Sport award. His son Jordi received the award.
Propelled by an impressive European Championship campaign, Wales climbed 15 places to move into 11th, two places ahead of England, in the FIFA world rankings released on Thursday.Chris Coleman’s charges reached the last four in France in Wales’ first major tournament since 1958 and lost to eventual winners Portugal.England, the 1966 World Cup winners, exited in the round of 16 after a humiliating defeat to Iceland which saw them drop two places to 13th.Iceland, the smallest nation ever to have qualified for the European Championship, with a population of 330,000, saw their fairytale run end in the quarter-finals but saw their ranking jump 12 places to 22.There were no changes in the top five rankings with Copa America finalists Argentina retaining top spot, followed by Belgium, Colombia, Germany and Chile.Five-time World champions Brazil, who failed to progress past the group stages of the Copa America for the first time since 1987, are on the brink of dropping out of the top 10, ranked at ninth, ahead of Italy.European Championship finalists France jumped 10 places to move to 7th, one place behind winners Portugal.Top 10 (last month’s positions in brackets)1. Argentina (1)2. Belgium (2)3. Colombia (3)4. Germany (4)5. Chile (5)6. Portugal (8)7. France (17)8. Spain (6)9. Brazil (7)10. Italy (12)
Tigers mauled Lions 20-10 and are leading the Digicel Cup race with 21 points to Lion’s 20.Tigers proved too strong for the Lions by holding a 16-0 lead at the break and continued dominating the match until the last 20 minutes when their defence appeared to relax.Lions scooped two tries in the dying stages which at least made their fans a little satisfied.Tigers registered an unconverted try through winger Robert Vuia and extended the lead after 20 minutes through replacement forward Mogi Wei Jr scoring under the uprights.Five eight Mafu Kales converted and his team lead by 10 points to nothing.Lions kept wandering into the Tigers den but could not burst through.Second rower Radly Brawa, skipper and forward Otto Sam and Andrew Sipil kept returning the ball for the visitors.But the hosts were too good to be true in front of the home crowd and crossed the line for the third time through half back Noel Joel.Kales converted for a comfortable 16- 0 into the break.The visitors threw everything they had into the battle and tried to cross the opponents line but all efforts were in vain.However, Lion’s Brawa and speedster Geray Mongo collected the consolation points for the visitors to trail by 10 points.This was a classic revenge. In their first encounter in Kundiawa, Lions gave them a 20 nil scoreline.