Brooklyn Boro

St. Francis soccer secures NEC tourney bid

Downtown’s Defending Soccer Champs Top FDU, 1-0

November 5, 2014 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Junior John Makaya’s goal last Friday night at Brooklyn Bridge Park sent defending champion St. Francis back to the NEC Tournament. Photo courtesy of SFC Athletics

The defending Northeast Conference men’s soccer champions from St. Francis Brooklyn celebrated Halloween by punching their ticket to the 2014 NEC Tournament via a 1-0 victory over visiting Fairleigh Dickinson at Brooklyn Bridge Park last Friday night

The Terriers (8-5-4, 3-1-2 NEC) were mired in a scoreless deadlock with FDU until the 62nd minute, when sophomore defender Paul Galimi of Sydney, Australia fed junior Frenchman John Makaya for what proved to be the game’s lone tally. 

Makaya, who earned Big Apple Player of the Week honors for his playoff spot-clinching goal, has scored eight times this season, helping the Terriers’ offense withstand the losses of last year’s sensational forward duo, Gabriel Bagot and Kevin Correa.

Junior goaltender Jack Binks made five saves for St. Francis, which improved to 2-0-2 in its last four contests, keeping its hopes for a second straight title alive.

St. Francis will meet LIU-Brooklyn Sunday afternoon at Brooklyn Bridge Park in its regular-season finale before heading off to the NEC Tournament, which will be hosted by the team with the highest seed. 

Currently, the resurgent Blackbirds (5-10, 4-2 NEC) hold the No. 3 seed while SFC is in the coveted fourth and final position. 

A win Sunday would elevate the Terriers over LIU, but St. Francis (Pa.) (5-1 NEC) and Bryant (4-0-2) appear to have the top-two seeds locked up heading into the season’s final weekend. 

LIU nailed down its trip to the NEC tourney with last Friday’s night 3-1 triumph over Sacred Heart in Downtown Brooklyn.

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Reigning NEC Player of the Week Brice Merwine scored twice, giving him 12 goals on the season, and fellow senior David Nuernberg added a tally as the Blackbirds earned the right to compete for the league championship for the first time since 2004. 

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The Brooklyn College men’s soccer club is one win away from capturing the CUNYAC Tournament title after dispensing with Hunter, 2-0, in the semifinals Saturday at BC Field.

“I am really happy with the win,” Bulldogs head coach Rawle Hensford said. “This is the mental toughness you need in these games. We are looking forward to being back in the final and we’re going to have a good week of practice.”

Gabriel Isaksen put BC ahead to stay with a goal in the 13th minute and fellow senior Igor Pacca gave the Bulldogs a two-goal advantage in the 61st.

Sophomore goalie Ilya Keygen of James Madison High School made four saves for BC, which will host the championship tilt here Saturday night against Baruch.

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Winners of eight of the last 10 NEC volleyball championships, LIU-Brooklyn appears primed for a third title in as many years after stomping Sacred Heart out in three sets (25-14, 25-18 and 25-17) Sunday afternoon in Fairfield, Conn. 

Senior Vera Djuric led the Blackbirds (19-6, 10-0 NEC) with 34 digs, seven digs and seven blocks and reigning two-time NEC Player of the Year Annika Foit and junior Tamara Ignjic added 13 kills apiece for LIU, which will visit Bryant on Saturday and Central Connecticut State on Sunday. 

The dynastic Blackbirds have won 40 consecutive NEC matches since suffering a stunning three-sets-to-one defeat to Sacred Heart in the 2011 championship at the Steinberg Center.

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Brooklyn College’s bid for a CUNYAC volleyball crown ended Tuesday night as the fifth-seeded Lady Bulldogs suffered a straight-set defeat to No. 4 CCNY in the tournament quarterfinals. 

Sophomore Francesca LoCascio had a team-high eight kills and Brooklyn native Daniza Pina added six as BC finished the year with a 12-21 record. 

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The LIU Brooklyn women’s bowling team won all three of its matches on the final day of competition at the fairleigh Dickinson Jamboree Sunday afternoon.

The No. 14 Blackbirds finished in 13th place overall after bracket play, which included three baker matches.   

They went 7-7 overall for the tournament. Host and No. 7 seed Fairleigh Dickinson won the team title, followed by No. 3 Sam Houston State and No. 9 Stephen F. Austin. 

The Blackbirds knocked down a total of 13,361 pins through 14 matches, and averaged 184.6 per game. 

LIU competes in the first NEC meet of the season this weekend in Wallingford, Conn.

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St. Francis Brooklyn announced that Brian Guidera would be the Downtown school’s head women’s swimming and diving coach after the resignation of Chris Driscoll from that post last week.

“We would like to thank Chris for his hard work and wish him all the best,” said Garcia.  “We are fortunate to have coach Guidera already in place and look forward to his future accomplishments with our men’s program.”

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