Lijit Ad Wijit

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poll Open Thread: Coach under most pressure?

This post is to be used as an open thread for the most recent poll in the upper-right portion of the page. There are three choices, and they should be assessed in a vacuum. In other words, don't hold the fact that basketball is the top sport at the school against Burke, but analyze the other elements that directly affect the pressure on his tenure in specific. Same for Munday and Nagro.

Again, which of the Mount's three new coaches is under the most pressure to perform in their first seasons?

Robert Burke - Men's Basketball. Highest-paid coach in school history, strong resume as an assistant as a member of the staff at offensive juggernaut Siena, Big East power Georgetown, and most recently, respected Patriot League contender American. Burke is replacing the man, Milan Brown, who, by all accounts, was the most liked as well as the most successful at the Mount in the last five years. No sport won multiple NEC (or MAAC) titles in the last half-decade, but Brown was fortunate enough to win one. He is the only sport to notch an NCAA victory in that same window, albeit in a play-in game. As big-shoes-to-fill goes, Burke takes the cake.

Anna Nagro - Softball. She's only 24 years old (turning 25 in September). There's not much more to say there. Coming from D'Youville College in New York, Nagro has not been involved with an NCAA Division I program since her playing days at St. Bonaventure. While she may be a great coach, and we should all hope that she is, she replaces men's golf coach Kevin Farrell as the youngest at the school, is probably the youngest coach of any sport in the conference, and I bet she's one of the 25 youngest head coaches in any Division I sport in the country. Oh, and some of the softball players from last years team (returning and graduated players alike) ran the last coach, Larry Alvis, out in a revolt of sorts. This after they didn't sniff the playoffs (they've only made it once in the last five years.) Meet your team, Anna!

Lindsey Munday - Women's Lacrosse. See yesterday's post for my overblown rant on the main idea here - she comes to us from Northwestern. Not only was she the top assistant at arguably the greatest NCAA program in any sport of the last decade (she wasn't a coach for the entire decade) but she also played there. Twice she was a Tewaarton (think Heisman for lacrosse) semifinalist as a player. After Sonia LaMonica snagged the Towson job, which Munday also vied for, the Mount snagged Munday. Even with the third coach in as many seasons taking over the program, we may be better off with Munday than we ever could have been with LaMonica. I'm also hearing that she is well-compensated with an intricate, multi-year contract to boot. None of that, though, equals the pressure placed on her by President Thomas H. Powell, who laid this quotation down in the press release: "I am confident this dynamic coach will take us to the next level and bring home a national championship." If Munday does that, I'll be the first to buy her dinner and a drink at Ott's. Look at the bright side: At least Powell didn't say how soon he expects that national title. (Again, I like the ambition in the quotation, it's just a real pressure-cooker.)

Without further ado, please, comment to your heart's content.

Monday, August 30, 2010 launching

For anyone who is from or cares about Bel Air, Md., I have good news. The site for which I'm the editor will be launching next week between Sept. 7 - 10. When the final date is set I'll let you know.  If you have no association with Bel Air, or don't care what I do for a living, then I'm sorry you wasted your time reading this post.

For a semi-preview, check out one of our other 115+ sites at

Also check out my extreme fried food experience at the state fair on the site.

You can follow Bel Air Patch on Twitter @BelAirPatch and Like on Facebook at

Schedule update - Savannah State game moved to Emmitsburg

Savannah State has confirmed what a poster asked recently - the Nov. 20 game will now be played in Emmitsburg. This is a nice break so that we don't play our first four, and eight of the first 10, on the road. Here is the updated schedule:

Nov. 13 @ Dayton*
Nov. 15 @ Cincinnati*
Nov. 20 Savanannah State*

Nov. 22 @ Niagara
Nov. 27 Florida A&M*
Nov. 29 Navy
Dec. 2 @ Sacred Heart
Dec. 4 @ Quinnipiac

Dec. 7 @ Penn St.
Dec. 11 @ Loyola (Md.)

Dec. 18 @ Albany
Dec. 20 American
Dec. 29 @ Vermont

Jan. 2 @ Virginia Tech
Jan. 6 St. Francis (Pa.)
Jan. 8 Robert Morris
Jan. 13 @ St. Francis (N.Y.)
Jan. 15 @ Long Island
Jan. 20 Sacred Heart
Jan. 22 Quinnipiac
Jan. 27 @ Central Connecticut State
Jan. 29 @ Bryant
Feb. 3 Monmouth
Feb. 5 Fairleigh Dickinson
Feb. 9 @ Wagner
Feb. 12 Wagner
Feb. 17 Long Island
Feb. 19 St. Francis (N.Y.)
Feb. 24 @ St. Francis (Pa.)
Feb. 26 @ Robert Morris

*Unnamed tournament

Unrelated sidenote: If you go to Jameer Nelson's Twitter page, you'll see that there is a Mount logo under the people he follows, thanks to Mount assistant coach Mike Farelly, who played with Nelson at St. Jospeh's.

Cleveland's official arrival confirms James not playing for Mount

I do not have any confirmed specifics for the reasoning, but Jeff James will not be coming to the Mount to join the men's basketball team this year. I suspected as much with the arrival of Evan Cleveland, (which was reported her first on Aug. 22) but could not say so for sure.

With the men's basketball roster updated at, sans James, it is official. This means that none of the recruits signed by Milan Brown remained with the program after Brown left for Holy Cross. Donte Morales is headed to UNC-Wilmington, Justin Burrell is headed to prep school, then Holy Cross, and James is headed God knows where.

This is actually kind of cool because now Burke will have to wait one less year to say that he has all of his own players. Excluding redshirt freshman David Golladay, everyone in the class of 2014 on will have been recruited by Burke for as long as he remains with the team.

Cleveland joins Julian Norfleet and Josh Castellanos as the other two members of Burke's inaugural recruiting class.

Powell predicts national championship for women's lacrosse? Fine with me

I should have read the the entire press release (below in full) before I wrote the last post, because I would have seen what President Thomas H. Powell said about the women's lacrosse program's future under Lindsey Munday:

"We're excited to welcome Coach Lindsey Munday to the Mount," said President Dr. Thomas Powell.  "She brings a national presence along with great talent and experience and exemplifies the formation of character we try and instill in our athletes. I am confident this dynamic coach will take us to the next level and bring home a national championship."

My first reaction to this was, "A national championship at the Mount? Powell is one crazy son of a gun, and has no idea what he's talking about."

Then I thought, you know what? I have been complaining all this time about us setting our standards too low and hiring people for cheap. I don't know what we hired Lindsey Munday for, but damn, it has to be worth it.

So I have zero criticism for Powell's quote. Props to the president for dreaming big. Who cares if our only team national championship came in the 60's in basketball's "College Division"?

It's a Munday Monday! Mount's best hire - ever??

(New YouTube link of Munday courtesy of Mount Athletics at bottom.)

I don't know anything about Lindsey Munday. I'll be the first to admit I've never even heard of her. But the announcement of her hiring as the next women's lacrosse coach is arguably the best hire by prior credentials in Mount St. Mary's history, which is incredible considering Munday has never been a head coach.

Munday was the first assistant at Northwestern, which has been the NCAA dynasty of the last decade. Their dominance can be compared to that of the UCLA men's basketball team under John Wooden.

The Mount just hired the top assistant from the unquestionably most dominant team of the last decade, not just in women's lacrosse, but any NCAA sport (if you can think of a better one, please share.) This would have been like getting the top assistant from Duke or North Carolina's basketball team to replace Milan Brown - if Duke or North Carolina had advanced to SIX CONSECUTIVE FINAL FOURS!

This post is a little all-over-the-place/over the top, because A. I don't have a lot of time to write and B. I can't believe we hired Lindsey Munday, whoever she is.

She may only be here for two years, especially if the Mount women win an NEC title soon (I know, long way to get there), but to have her at all is a privilege we should not take for granted. I don't take back what I have said in the past about the Mount's head coach hiring practices, but I will say that I was WAY WRONG in this case. Have you ever seen so many ALL CAPS words in my posts? NEVER. She's young sure, but she was the FIRST ASSISTANT AT NORTHWESTERN. And we hired her just 24 days after Sonia LaMonica rightfully ditched us for Towson (You really can't blame her.) This is the best shocking news since Chappy Meninger (probably spelled his name wrong, don't care) left the Mount earlier than expected due to retirement.

I feel bad for anyone whose first visit to my blog involves this post, because I'm not usually this psychotic, but wow, a big welcome to the woman of whom I've never heard, but is surely going to be an asset for our women's lacrosse program. I can't wait to see what kind of recruiting classes she brings in.

This is a feather in Lynne Robinson's cap for sure. I'm talking NBC peacock feather. I have nothing else to say. I'm sorry, but I also have no time to proofread this. Plus I'm way too shocked to edit anything.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Evan Cleveland to join men's team, via anonymous poster

An anonymous poster wrote this earlier tonight on the Bri Gauthier story:

"Any idea as to who Evan Cleveland (6'6", Fort Wayne, Indiana) is? Looks like he is enrolled at the Mount. Walk on?"

I had no clue who the kid was until A. I saw the post and B. I did a little research. Here's what I can gather:

-He's a 6-foot-6 self-proclaimed point forward, though third parties describe him as more of a wing. (Wouldn't every 6-foot-6 player like to be considered a point forward?)

-He is the most annoying interviewee I've ever watched in my life. Seriously, if I were the reporter in this video (embedded below) I would've knocked the kid out. It's nothing personal, but STAND STILL, Evan. Jeez.

-Apparently he committed to play at the Mount less than a week ago - Aug. 17.

-He threw up in workouts Friday. It's odd that he was on campus that early, but maybe it is something new Burke is doing with the freshmen because I don't know of any upperclassmen that will arrive before tomorrow.

-He's not on the roster yet, but neither are any other incoming freshmen.

Welcome to the Mount, Evan. I'm looking forward to your contributions.


In conference news, the Monmouth Hawks open their season Nov. 16 at 6 a.m. hosting Stony Brook, while Robert Morris plays at 8 a.m. at Kent State. The Mount was offered the lone NEC slot in last year's 24 hours of basketball circus on ESPN, but turned it down because of the ridiculous tipoff time. As a manager, I appreciated that very much. Not sure how useful I would have been at 4:30 a.m. warmups.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gauthier to join women's staff

Brianna Gauthier, a four-year starter who graduated in 2009, will return to the women's basketball program this season to be an assistant coach.

The departure of first assistant Jada Pierce to Army allowed Denise King and Lisa Steele to move into the first and second assistant positions, respectively. Gauthier will move into the third spot, which is a graduate assistant stipend position, after spending a year as a full-time assistant to former Mount assistant Mark Zacher at Norwich (Vt.) College.

In her playing career Gauthier set a school record for 3-pointers by a freshman with 33. The guard from St. Mary's High School in Annapolis was also named to the Northeast Conference All-Rookie team. She is the schools all-time leader in career games played with 116 (109 starts), ranks second in 3-pointers made (116) and attempted (490) and ninth in assists with 335. Her 1,128 points put her 18th on the all-time list, and also make her one of just eight players in program history with 1,000 points and 300 assists.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mount not in top 610 colleges?

I gave the Forbes list of top colleges a run through this morning and am disappointed to report that I could not find the Mount anywhere. Maybe I scrolled too fast, which I hope is the case, but if not, our school is not held in very high regards.

Among the Maryland institutions that did make the list: UM-College Park, UMBC, Loyola, Hood, Towson and Goucher. I mean we couldn't get ahead of Hood? Jeez.

Gettysburg ranks respectably high on the list, but not as high as top 100 selection St. Mary's (Md.), alma mater of Kevin Robinson Jr. and Dan Engelstad.

Northeast Conference schools I noticed making the cut? Quinnipiac, St. Francis (N.Y.) (?????????) and Fairleigh Dickinson (???????????????????????????).

The worst part of all, though? We're not even the top Mount St. Mary's in the nation, according to the list. That would be Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles at 266.

The top 10 are as follows:

1. Williams College (Mass.)
2. Princeton University (N.J.)
3. Amherst College (Mass.)
4. Army (N.Y.)
5. MIT (Mass.)
6. Stanford University (Calif.)
7. Swarthmore College (Pa.)
8. Harvard University (Mass.)
9. Claremont McKenna College (Calif.)
10. Yale University (Conn.)

In summary, Massachusetts is a really good place to go to school, and apparently, though I strongly disagree, the Mount is not.

Criteria: Our list of more than 600 undergraduate institutions is based on the quality of the education they provide, the experiences of the students and how much they achieve

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St. Benedict's ESPNRISE story

This is a story I did for ESPNRISE before getting hired with St. Benedict's (N.J.) is one of the most, if not the most, accomplished schools in high school soccer history and they lost their coach of 25 years to the MLS this year.

Here is the link:

And a tease:

Perfection is the only standard by which the boys’ soccer program at St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) measures its success.

“Anything less than that is just a misstep,” former coach Rick Jacobs said.

Jacobs spent more than two decades annually setting the bar higher than most programs could ever hope. But when offered an administrative position with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, he accepted. Now Jim Wandling, a former player under Jacobs, looks to carry the torch – or burden, depending on your perspective.


Two more stories I did should be posted on Seton Hall Prep, the No. 3 ranked team in the nation, should be up in the near future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Campaign for Jane: Part II of II

Read "Campaign for Jane: Part I of II" here.

The most telling move of all by the athletic department is the hiring of Anna Nagro as the softball coach, which has yet to be announced officially. (There must be a haggling over the terms of her contract – perhaps whether she’s allowed to park in the front row at the ARCC, or if she would be relegated to the lesser lot adjacent to the baseball field instead – because this blog reported her impending hire July 21.)

Regardless of whatever trivial matters are postponing her introduction as the next softball coach, her selection offers a myriad of reasons why Karger, by equal hiring standards, would be more qualified for the women’s lacrosse position than Nagro is for the softball position 10 times over.

This is not to say, again, that I do not support Nagro; I support Mount softball as much as any other sport at my alma mater. With respect to the new coach, though, let the comparisons begin.

Karger, I presume, turns 24, or perhaps even 25, this year, as she was one year ahead of me and I turned 23 last May. Nagro, I am sure, turns 25 next month. The age factor is a wash.

So, too, is their playing experience as both were prominent players in their respective sports at their own programs – Nagro being a former catcher at St. Bonaventure.

The differences, though, lie in coaching experience and relations to the Mount.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Campaign for Jane: Part I of II

To deny Jane Karger (class of 2008) the opportunity to coach the women’s lacrosse team would be hypocritical.

Is it not obvious that the strategy the Mount’s athletic administration is emphasizing more than ever for finding coaches is to buy low and sell high? Being bought low is not necessarily an insult to commodities like Robert Burke – especially since he wasn’t bought low at all by Mount standards – whose background speaks for itself; Siena, Georgetown, American. And for Anna Nagro, it is not so much an insult, as it is a measure of caution, to say that she was bought cheap. (Very cheap, I’m sure.)

Many a penny stock has elevated to wealthy levels known best by giants like, or in our case, Jim Phelan and Phelan and Brown both call Emmitsburg the backseat-of-the-car portion of their careers, where they first found love at the top of the coaching ranks. For Phelan, the Mount was the only partner he ever needed. And Brown may have been able to say the same if the Mount was more competitive financially, which it understandably cannot be.

I’ve known Karger since my freshman and her sophomore year, but not so much that I would be biased in my opinion of her qualifications. I do not have her phone number, I haven’t spoken more than a hello to her in months, if not years, and hell, I don’t even know if we’re friends on Facebook.

Social connections aside, one dogged fact remains as a result of the path the school has so clearly cut through the mountainside: Jane Karger is the top choice to become the next head coach of the Mount St. Mary’s women’s lacrosse program.

As a goalie for the team in her playing days, she not only earned a number of victories and the second undefeated Northeast Conference regular season in school history* (2007), but also the respect of her teammates.

The soft-spoken, but well-mannered young woman from Pittsburgh has been an assistant coach at the program for the past two seasons. That makes six seasons in total that Karger has contributed to the team. As I imagine that most, if not all, of her graduate studies have been completed in her two years as an assistant, she probably has little reason to remain in the cozy confines of isolated Emmitsburg for another year at the benefit of a lowly stipend. The only way to keep her, and perhaps some semblance of the program’s winning tradition, which, quite frankly, is hanging by a thread, is to make her the head coach.

When I was a freshman in 2005 – 2006, the women’s lacrosse team was coming off back-to-back NEC tournament titles and was favored to run through the conference a third consecutive season. The only teams that mattered were the Mount and Monmouth. Now, Quinnipiac, Long Island, Sacred Heart and Robert Morris have closed the gap. The Mountaineers grabbed the fourth and final seed in last season’s conference tournament by a single game, and it was not a disappointment when compared to preseason expectations.

By most measures, a repeat performance of last season’s first round exit in the conference tournament would be an accomplishment. What with the departure of graduated offensive juggernaut Ashley Johnson and defensive labyrinth and team MVP Jackie Kearney coupled with the departure of their highly-touted head coach of one season, Sonia LaMonica, expectations should be low in the spring of 2011.

So low in fact, that you or me could be named head coach, win two games in the conference, and if it were not for the public record of our name being listed as such, the critics would be none the wiser to the reason for the team’s shortcomings.

Jane Karger might as well be Jane Doe in terms of the choices the program will attract for the price the school is willing to pay. In fact, forming a search committee to fill this position is not even necessary.

Part II of Campaign for Jane will appear tomorrow, Aug. 10.

*The original post noted that 2007 was the only undefeated NEC regular season (8-0) in school history. In fact the team also went undefeated (7-0) in 2004, when it ended up winning the NEC tournament and made its first NCAA tournament appearance. My apologies for the error.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Buck Showalter: The exorcist

I'm beginning this post before the conclusion of tonight's White Sox @ Orioles game because the result is irrelevant. That is, the positive shift in attitude and ability we have witnessed since Buck Showalter became manager cannot be negated in the remainder of this game.

This good fortune began, in my mind, the day reliever Will Ohman was traded to the Florida Marlins. The laboring, southpaw middle reliever was as effective of a pitcher as Joslyn James is at keeping secrets.

So it came as no surprise, in fact I chuckled heartily, when I watched the SportsCenter highlight of Ohman blowing a save opportunity against the Phillies in a game the Fins would lose in 10 innings.

In return for mediocre Ohman we received Triple-A pitcher Rick Vanden Hurk, who, if nothing else, has a badass name. Assuming his first name is Richard, I'm definitely calling him Dick Vanden Hurk from the moment he makes it to the majors. The not-so-incredible Hurk has an ERA of 4.68 this season. I won't complain though; the Marlins could have traded Baltimore Jim Abbott with no left hand and it would have been a net gain.

Add to that the fact that we dropped Miguel Tejada, opening the door for Josh Bell to prove himself at third, and Brian Roberts is back from the DL, and I think we have a legitimate shot to win more than 50 games.

Towson wastes little time, officially announces LaMonica as new coach

Sonia LaMonica has officially been named the head coach for the Towson women's lacrosse team. Mount U broke the news of her departure here.

Sonia LaMonica has been named the
10th women's lacrosse coach at Towson.

Here is the press release straight from Tiger U:


TOWSON, Md.  Sonia LaMonica has been named as the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Towson University.  A native of Darlington, South Australia, LaMonica succeeds Missy Doherty.
“Sonia is a perfect fit for Towson University,” Interim Director of Athletics Ted Zaleski said. “She has the experience to be a firm leader and is young enough to relate to the young women she will coach.
“She also provides Towson with continuity for our women’s lacrosse program,” Zaleski added. “She helped recruit many of the players on this year’s squad. She will hit the field running.”
As Mount St Mary’s head coach, LaMonica led her team to an 8-9 record last year and a berth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) semi-finals.
“Returning to the Tiger Family is a dream come true for me and my family,” LaMonica said. “I would like to thank Interim Director of Athletics Ted Zaleski and Senior Associate Athletic Director Nance Reed for this wonderful opportunity.
“I would also like to thank Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Director Lynne Robinson and University President Dr. Thomas H. Powell for the time I had to work with them and their student-athletes and for their support through this process,” LaMonica added.
Prior to becoming the Mountaineers’ head coach, LaMonica spent two seasons as Towson’s assistant coach and helped the Tigers win a pair of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championships. She coached Hillary Fratzke, who was named as the 2008 CAA Player of the Year and earned first team All-America honors, and Julie Ondrako, who was named as the 2009 CAA Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, five players earned first team All-CAA notice while two players earned second team accolades. In addition to Fratzke, the Tigers had three players earn IWLCA all-region honors during her tenure at Towson.
Before joining the Tigers’ staff, LaMonica was an assistant coach at the University of Denver, helping the Pioneers to a 15-5 record. She coached the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Player and Rookie of the Year along with three all-conference selections and the program’s first-ever IWLCA All-West/Midwest honoree.
In addition to her success as a coach, LaMonica was a member of the Australian National Team. She helped Australia win the gold medal at the 2005 World Cup Championship and a silver medal at the 2009 World Cup Championship. Named to the 2005 IFWLA All-World Team, she was also a member of the U-19 Australian National Team that won the silver medal at the 1999 World Championships and was the recipient of the U21 South Australian Sportswoman of the Year award.
A 2003 graduate of the University of Maryland, LaMonica was a three-year starter for the Terrapins. She earned first team All-America honors and was a candidate for the Tewaaraton Trophy during her senior season as a team captain she helped lead Maryland to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. She was a member of three ACC championship teams and helped the Terrapins win the 2000 and 2001 national titles.
She scored 111 goals in her college career, including 49 goals as a senior, along with 55 assists.
“I am charged with excitement and energy for this next chapter in my coaching career and look so very forward to reuniting with the student-athletes and staff at this outstanding institution and continuing the growth this program has experienced over the last few years.”
The former Sonia Judd, LaMonica is married to former University of Maryland men’s lacrosse standout Michael LaMonica. The couple resides in Parkton, Md. with their newborn son, Luca James.
Coach LaMonica will assume her duties as the Tigers’ new women’s lacrosse coach on August 16.

Transactions:          Sonia LaMonica named head women’s lacrosse coach at Towson University.

Sonia LaMonica’s Coaching Record

Mount St. Mary’s University (2010) – Head Coach
2010         8-9                 Reached Northeast Conference semi-finals

Towson University (2008-09) – Assistant Coach
2009         13-6               CAA champions; NCAA Tournament
2008         13-6               CAA champions; NCAA Tournament

University of Denver (2006) – Assistant Coach
2006         15-5               Pioneers set record for most wins in school history

Chronology of Towson University Women’s Lacrosse Coaches

Coach                               Years                                    Record          No. of Seasons
Maggie Faulkner             1977-1981, 1983-1985      71-62-4          8 seasons
Linda DiColo                   1982                                      10-7                1 season
Lisa Pierce                       1986                                      3-12                1 season
Sandy Hoody                   1987-1990                            27-32             4 seasons
Alison Williams               1991-1992                            19-12             2 seasons
Charlotte Hennan           1993-1994                            9-18                2 seasons
Ashley Duncan               1995-1998                            31-33             4 seasons
Linda Ohrin                      1999-2003                            30-38             5 seasons
Missy Doherty                  2004-2010                            79-46             7 seasons
Sonia LaMonica              2011-                                     0-0                  1st season

Scholarship offered to Manny Thomas of Xaverian (N.Y.)

According to this story from the New York Post, men's basketball coach Robert Burke has offered Xaverian (N.Y.) High School senior wing Manny Thomas a scholarship.

Thomas is listed at 6-feet-5-inches and has also received offers from Fairfield (MAAC) as well as Northeast Conference foes Long Island and Robert Morris. The same story notes that he is receiving strong interest from Quinnipiac, Wagner, Princeton (Ivy League), Fordham (A10), Hofstra (CAA) and Drexel (CAA). had this to say about him on Dec. 14, 2009:

"A long player who runs the floor like a guard and can finish in the paint with ease. His long-range jumper is great. Plays defensive with fantastic intensity."


BREAKING: LaMonica leaves Mount after one season

Sonia LaMonica, who was announced on Nov. 17, 2009 to become the sixth women's lacrosse head coach in school history, has resigned, according to a source. She reportedly informed the players of her decision earlier today.

In her only season in Emmitsburg, LaMonica, who had a baby this summer, led the team to an 8-10 record including 6-3 in Northeast Conference regular season play. The fourth-seeded Mountaineers fell in the first round of the conference tournament to top-seeded Sacred Heart, who won all 11 of its NEC matches en route to the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore Jordan Corteza says that although the transition will be difficult, the team can draw on its experience from last season to get through this year.

"Having dealt with it last year gives us a clue as to how things are going to go but we are still in the dark with the future," Corteza said. "The upperclassmen have done a lot of 'coaching' us and helped out with not only lacrosse but our fears that we had coming back to school. We are a very close team and like last year we will just have to depend on each other to help out with lacrosse, school, social and anything else we may need."

In her first season at the Mount, Corteza was selected to the conference's All-Rookie team. The attacker was second on the team with 20 goals and 23 assists, earning her NEC Rookie of the Week honors on two separate occasions under the first-year head coach.

LaMonica will presumably pursue the vacant position at Towson University, where Missy Doherty left after seven years to become the head coach at Penn State University. LaMonica served as a head coach under Doherty for two years at Towson, and still resides in nearby Parkton.

This marks the second time in as many seasons that the athletic department will be seeking a new coach for one of its most successful programs in the NCAA Division I era. Denise Wescott left the Mount to be named the head coach at top rival Monmouth University on Sept. 12, 2009 after four years at the Mount. Women's lacrosse will join the men's golf program (2007 - 2010) in having a different coach in three consecutive seasons.

"I know that I can depend on every single one of my teammates to help me with anything I need and that is nice to know that I have them there. So no matter what happens we will all be together and able to help each other out," Corteza stated.

This also marks the third head coaching search the athletic department will undergo since late spring when Milan Brown resigned as men's basketball head coach, followed by the firing of former softball coach Larry Alvis.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A good teammate? 'Favre' from it

Don't be relieved by the rumors that Brett Favre has decided to retire for good. Forget the fact that we've been through this selfish circus multiple times before, and instead consider the damage he has done to his supposedly-former Minnesota Vikings teammates.

Viewing the 2009 NFL preseason through the rearview mirror, it is clear that Favre planned all along to play last season despite his announced retirement and relentless waffling. Head coach Brad Childress was making trips to Hattiesburg, Miss., with a pretty strong inclination that Favre would be joining the team after sidestepping training camp. So the fact that they didn't pursue another legitimate quarterback to push Tavaris Jackson turned out to be a sensible non-move.

This season, however, Childress has had little reason to believe that Favre's antics would lead to anything less than a late preseason return to get him ready for Week 1 in the nick of time. He had a surgery this year, just like last year; he was throwing with high schoolers this year, just like last year - and the list goes on.

So for Favre to apparently be retiring for real this year (and I'm still not sold that it's final) puts the Vikings in a precarious position. Behind Favre on the depth chart is Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, neither of which has proven capable of taking a team deep into the playoffs. I don't care how well Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Visanthe Shiancoe play; without a top 10, or even a top 20 quarterback, the Vikings are going nowhere. This doesn't bother me from a fan perspective because it will clearly benefit my favorite team, the Eagles (since they're both in the NFC), but from a character perspective, what Favre has done this year is worse than any past offseason shunning.

The Packers had Aaron Rodgers, the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez and the Vikings have, well, not much. They would almost be better off running a wildcat all season with Peterson and Chester Taylor than trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. The biggest positive that will come from this is that we didn't find out via a one-hour special on ESPN.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What could be bumping my top six?

With the men's basketball team's Robert Morris comeback at No. 7, Megan Kinsella's second place finish in NECs at No. 6, and Lizz Christiansen's record-breaking game/season at No. 5, I can't figure out what moment has knocked half of my top six choices down a slot. While I'm positive that Andrew Scalley's game-winning goal at the buzzer to give the men's lacrosse team the MAAC championship is the top moment, I have no idea whether Tom FitzSimon's double decathlon victories and Kent Worthington's no-hitter will end up at No. 2, 3 or 4, respectively. And I certainly have no clue what moment will join them in the top four.

I must also acknowledge my grave mistake in attempting to compile the countdown. In some ways I was correct, but my list turned out to be very wrong until we reached the top seven. My instincts told me that some of the events I selected would not make the countdown, but I included them anyway on the whim that each sport might have its own moment. The countdown does not - and rightfully so - have a moment for each sport. If I hadn't been preoccupied with this notion I may have been more likely to remember Chad Brown's being named the most outstanding performer at the outdoor NEC meet. Or women's lacrosse's six-goal comeback against George Washington.

That being said, I don't agree with all the picks so far, but as I said before, what good would the countdown be if everyone agreed with it?


Although the sample size is very small, quite a few people have selected the matchup in American in the poll (at the top right of the page )as the one to which they are most looking forward. This is impressive because I assume most of these people made that selection knowing that head coach Robert Burke comes to us from American. Although this was a well-publicized fact when he was hired, I'm glad that so many people realized it, and look forward to that game more than Robert Morris or Loyola (Md.).