Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: Terriers’ former leader is now a Jasper

September 15, 2023 Andy Furman
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St. Francis College, Brooklyn and its trustees approved a plan to eliminate its entire athletic program in March —but that didn’t prevent its leader to continue to lead.
Irma Garcia, who served as the assistant vice president and director of athletics for the Terriers’ 21 NCAA teams since 2007, including men’s and women’s basketball, has been appointed the interim director of athletics at Manhattan College (which, interestingly, is in the Bronx).
She is widely recognized as the first Latina to ever lead an NCAZA Division I athletics program. Garcia received the 2015-16 Division I-AAA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award and was named NACWAA D1 (FCS) Administrator of the Year for the 2014-15 academic year.
She became the first former women’s player/coach to ever be inducted into the Basketball Old-Timers of America Hall of Fame and was also honored with the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Distinguished Service Award.
Garcia played basketball at St. Francis College and later served as head coach for 11 seasons. She was honored as the 1998 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year.

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Glenn Thomas, FDR High School’s basketball coach, chimes in with his take on major college football and conference realignment.
“Ridiculous,” was his social media post.
“They (NCAA) should let the football programs across the country form super-conferences. These schools will still make their big revenue. Then,” he added, “they can let all of the other sports such as men’s and women’s basketball, along with the other minor sports, remain in their regional conferences such as the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12 PAC-12, etc.
“Rick Pitino spoke about this a couple of weeks ago. I agree with him. Football greed is destroying the college landscape,” Thomas said.

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For all of LIU standout Elyas Ayyoub’s accomplishments, he had never won a collegiate cross-country race — until Saturday.
At the Sharks-hosted LIU Fall Festival, Ayyoub won the men’s 8K race in a time of 25:24.9, nearly eight full seconds ahead of runner-up Samuel Whittaker of Central Connecticut State.
John Schwab finished next among LIU entrants, taking 53rd with a time of 22:40.29. The Sharks overall finished eighth among 16 teams competing.
In the women’s 5K race, Josephine Critchley (19:54.05), Lexi Smith (19:57.26) and Emily Ginty (20:11.84) finished 21st, 22nd and 29the respectively among the 141 entrants.
The LIU women had fewer than five runners and did not score as a team.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

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The Brooklyn College women’s tennis team was picked third in the 2023 Coaches’ Poll, according to the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC).
Baruch was voted to win the conference. In addition, Brooklyn junior Veronika Tsika was selected as a Player to Watch in 2023.
The women’s cross-country team was picked fifth in the 2023 Preseason Coaches Poll. Last year’s conference champion, Hunter, was picked to three-peat as champs. And Brooklyn sophomore Nana Kiziriva, was selcxted as Runner to Watch in 2023.
The Brooklyn men’s cross-country team was tied for fourth in the Preseason Coaches Poll. Azizjon Sharifov, a junior, was selected as Runner to Watch.
Entering his third year with the Bulldogs, Sharifov finished first for the Bulldogs and 19th overall at last year’s CUNYAC Championships.

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The Pratt Institute women’s tennis team rolled to a 7-2 victory over Farmingdale State College Saturday to open its 2023-24 campaign.
First-years Pallavui Verghese and Beatrice Crespo both contributed a pair of points in leading the lineup. They teamed up for an 8-4 win in the lead doubles match, and both didn’t surrender a game in singles with Verghese winning at No. 1 singles (5-0, retired) and Crespo prevailing in No. 2 singles and love (6-0, 6-0).
Fifth-year senior Nastazja Cancellaro and junior Julia Ognibene also chipped in with a pair of points. The duo took their No. 3 doubles match in a tied break, 8-7 (1) before Cancellaro won at No. 5 singles (6-4, 6-2) and Ognibene at No. 6 singles (6-2, 6-4).
Sophomore Ariana Castro dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 triumph at No. 4 singles.
The Pratt Institute women’s volleyball team remained undefeated (2-0) by defeating SUNY at Old Westbury, 3-1 (25-9, 25-9, 22-25, 25-15) Friday at the Activities Resource Center (ARC).
Junior Olivia Julich landed a match-high 11 kills against just one error for a .714 hitting night while also stuffing four blocks. Classmate Josie Johnson served seven aces and put away as many kills to go along with a team-high tying 10 digs. Sophomore Emily Sontag had 10 kills and as many digs to record the lone double-double of the evening.
Seniors Hannah Leitten and Gabby Genduso directed the team to a .278 hitting effort combining for 34 assists, Leitten finishing with 18. Behind Johnson’s seven aces, seven different Cannoneers combined to serve up 20 aces.

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It doesn’t get any easier for the (0-2) LIU football team. After a 21-10 loss to Bryant University Saturday night, the Sharks next head to Waco, Texas, Thursday to face a Baylor team also hungry for its first win.
Chris Howell, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound freshman took over at quarterback when starter Luca Stanzani was forced to depart after suffering an apparent shoulder injury at the end of a 19-yard second-quarter scamper in Bryant territory.
Howell completed nine of 19 passes for 139 yards and he ran for a 26-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

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A national television audience viewed a special moment shared by LIU football tight end Reese Dykstra with his teammates.
Dykstra was surprised during a team meeting by being awarded a full scholarship, easing a significant financial burden. He was featured during a segment on NBC Nightly News during Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. newscast.
Dykstra had arrived at LIU on a partial scholarship, and with a financial obligation the family could manage. Tuition annually crept upward, and his football scholarship remained a fixed amount.
Then, Dykstra’s brother Louis turned 24 years old and was no longer considered a dependent for federal financial-aid purposes. Dykstra and his family unexpectedly learned mid-summer that the family’s annual financial obligation had nearly tripled, to more than $20,000 a year.

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Kiki Bruning’s first collegiate goal lifted the LIU field hockey team to its first win of the season: a 3-2 decision at the rainy Wagner College Field Hockey Complex on Sunday.
Earlier, Juana Laskowski also tallied her first collegiate goal, while Sarah Olton tallied her third of the season for the Sharks. Goalie Fleur Hofman recorded her first collegiate win and the victory was the first for Mike Pallister’s tenure as head coach.

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LIU’s women’s soccer team heads into NEC play riding high.
Freshman Noa Bartelsa van Bosbeek scored in the 87th minute off an assist from Gina Proviano, and the Sharks defeated host VMI, 2-1 at Drill Field, Sunday. LIU improved to 3-2-1 as the conference home opener was set for this week with Stonehill.
Camelia Melendez was named to the Iona Invitational all-tournament team. The LIU junior from Caguas, P.R.— a transfer from St. Francis, Brooklyn — was the most prolific Shark on offense. She recorded a team-high 14 kills while also tallying nine digs.
The Brooklyn College women’s volleyball team lost a four-set thriller in their home opener Thursday against St. Joseph’s, Long Island.

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In its first event since the Salem NCAA Regional, back in May, the LIU men’s golf team showed it will be a force in 2023-24.
The Sharks finished among the elite teams at the season-opening Doc Gimmler Tournament at Bethpage Red on Sunday. LIU was fourth among the 15 teams, with Lewis Wright and Taimur Malik tied for eighth with three-round totals of four-under 206.
Marcelo Mexsen, the reigning NEC Rookie of the Year, who had earned a spot on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s 2023 Jalisco Open Guadalajara in June, shot a one-under 209 to finish tied for 18th overall. Freshman Arjun Singh Bhatia, making his LIU debut like Malik, tied for 22nd with an even-par 21`0.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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