With three Regional All-Americans returning, the Monmouth University men’s soccer team is getting notice in the College Soccer News Preseason Poll.This is nothing new for the Hawks, who have been a presence in the national polls the last seven years under head coach Robert Mc- Court. Monmouth reached a high of No. 4 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire National Rankings back in 2010.The returning All-Americans are senior captain Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West), who tied for the team lead with five goals and was second with 13 points, and defenders Matt Jeffery (Freehold Township) and Emmanuel Senyah Agyemang (Kumasi, Ghana/KNUST University), who helped Monmouth post nine shutouts and hold the opposition to a 0.70 goals-against average last season. Monmouth ranked No. 7 nationally in goals against. Both Agyemang and Jeffery scored one goal for the Hawks.The Hawks’ leading scorer from 2012, Francois “Paco” Navarro (Paris, France) returns for his senior season after scoring five goals and dishing out four assists. Edney Derrick (Kumasi, Ghana/KNUST University), Jacob Rubinstein (Ocean Township), Andres Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) and Tomas Penfold (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) also return after scoring two goals each last season.Rubinstein was one of the top freshmen in the Northeast Conference (NEC) last year.Among the Hawks’ 2013 recruits are Long Branch High School graduate Wilson Bonilla, a defender, and Christian Brothers Academy graduate Tim West, a midfielder who lives in Colts Neck and is a transfer from Fairfield (Conn.)The Hawks move into the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) this fall, leaving the NEC that Monmouth dominated in recent years (the Hawks won seven straight regular season titles).Following home scrimmages against Rutgers University (Aug. 20, 2 p.m.) and the University of Delaware (Aug. 24, 7 p.m.) Monmouth opens the 2013 regular season on Aug. 30 at perennial national power University of North Carolina.The Hawks’ home opener in West Long Branch against in-state rival Seton Hall University is on Sept. 6. The match will be played underthelightswitha7p.m.start.OnSept. 11, the Hawks will welcome Villanova University to their home pitch in another contest that is under the lights at 7 p.m.Monmouth’s first MAAC game is against Fairfield University on Oct. 5. Its MAAC home opener is on Oct. 9 against Iona College at 7 p.m.
A s Middletown High School South’s girls soccer team intends to return to the Shore Conference Tournament that it missed last season when it finished 9- 8, there is some juggling of returning players to new positions.“We have a really good work ethic and actually have good size, which we usually do not have. This is a good, close team,” coach Tara Ernst said as her team prepares for its Sept. 5 opener at Manasquan High School.Last season ended with an NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tournament loss in the opening round to Ocean Township High School. Senior captains Alex Raguseo and Tori Despirito at outside midfield and Madison Curtis at forward make up the nucleus of a team that took what Ernst considered a “big loss” when Stephanie Karcz passed up returning to the soccer field to concentrate on basketball, where Middletown South won the state sectional title last season.Curtis, who missed the second half of last season with a concussion when she played fullback, is part of the response to the spotty scoring last season that resulted in some close losses.“So far, she’s doing pretty good there. We hope to get some goals out of her,” Ernst said. “We have to score goals. We don’t really let up a lot of goals and have to find a way to score some.”Center midfielder Deanna Rotella is off to a college career at Montclair State University, and center back Morgan Duve is headed to West Chester University. They are among the five graduated players from last season’s team.Credit the stinginess on defense to goalie Taelor Rivera, who started as a sophomore last season; a strong midfield bolstered by Raguseo and Despirito on the outside; and senior Grace DeSanctis and Nicole Scalzo and junior Amanda Glynn in the middle, which Ernst hopes can set the tempo in the 3-5-2 configuration. DeSanctis uses her good footwork as a strong defensive midfielder, while Scalzo comes to the midfield from the back line, also to help muster more offense.“We want to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Ernst said.Junior Carly Hymanson and sophomore Molly Ryan, both new to the varsity team, give depth to the midfield. The back line will rely largely on senior Macaila Smith, who saw spot action last season; junior Ashley Cozzi, who came up late in the season; and freshman Rachel Hutson in the middle. Junior Taylor Cameron was expected to be a big returnee on defense, where she was a backup last season. However, she is out until mid-September recovering from an illness.Joining Curtis up front are senior Taylor Dreuer, who started some games last season, and sophomore Haley Dalonzo, who played a bit at forward and in the midfield.Two seniors will also look to contribute — midfielder/fullback Emily Winter and newcomer Michaela Atland at fullback.Jody Smith, a former assistant coach at Freehold High School, joins the Middletown South staff as varsity assistant. Bob Lightbody again coaches the junior varsity team, and Lauren Conaty coaches the freshman team. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
By Iacovos ConstantinouFOUR more rounds to go before the end of the football season and with the exception of the two teams rooted at the bottom of their respective groups, Anorthosis and AEK Kouklion, the remaining sides have something to play for other than their pride.The most interesting tie is from the title-challenging group between third-placed Apollon, and the team five points above them, APOEL, at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol.Apollon know that only a win can keep their hopes alive for a Champions League position finish. They will be without their leading marksman Gaston Sangoy who is out for the rest of the season but coach Christoforou should be able to recall Paboulis to the starting eleven as he has fully recovered from injury.APOEL need to bounce back from their defeat last weekend as they cannot drop further behind leaders AEL with so few remaining games. Greek coach Donis is spoilt for choice as he has all his players available for selection.Leaders AEL travel to Larnaca to face Ermis with a number of selection problems. Dede is suspended while defensive stalwart Ouon and striker Kaluderovic join long term absentee Sachetti on the sidelines. Coach Petev was dealt a further blow on Thursday when midfielder Ohene injured himself in and is doubtful for the game.On the other hand Ermis Aradippou want to lock down fourth place as it leads to a more favourable path in the Europa League and with Omonia just three points behind, know that even a draw will keep them well on course.Anorthosis have not won a game since their new coach Kostenoglou took charge almost three months ago. They face injury-plagued, but thirsty for points Omonia at home, in what should be an open and attacking game.Aris need the win against doomed AEK Kouklion at the Tsirion stadium to make a decisive step in maintaining their first division status. Ton Caanen’s outfit is in excellent form and should have few problems in seeing off the Kouklia team.Ethnikos Achnas play hosts to indifferent AEK Larnaca in a game they have to win. They are still fuming however from some rather dubious, to say the least, refereeing decisions last Sunday and have been calling all week for better and fairer refereeing.In the last game of the weekend group B leaders Nea Salamina take on relegation ‘favourites’ Doxa Katokopias at the Ammochostos stadium. Nea Salamina are strong at home and Doxa will have to be at their very best if they are to get anything out of this game.Saturday, May 3: Group A – Apollon v APOEL, Anorthosis v Omonia (18.00), Ermis v AEL (19.30)Sunday May 4: Group B – Aris v AEK Kouklion, Ethnikos Achnas v AEK Larnaca, Nea Salamina v Doxa (all at 17.00)
By Andreas VouMARCOS Baghdatis is through to the second round of the Australian Open after a grueling five-set victory over Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili.Back at his favourite Grand Slam event, the world No.78 Cypriot had to dig deep to progress in what was a see-saw encounter which he eventually won 6-2, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.2014 was a year of transition for Baghdatis, 29, as he fought hard to get his career back on track following a disappointing previous year.The last 12 months have seen him break back into the top 100 in the world as well as win the Aegon Trophy, his first singles title since 2010.Baghdatis went into his 12th appearance in Melbourne on the back of two straight wins against Mikhail Youzhny and Luke Saville at the World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide last week.It looked like it was going to be another routine victory for the Cypriot after a bright start saw him take the first set 6-2 with relative ease.In the second, he found himself leading 5-4 and serving for the set only for Gabashvili to break. The Russian then mustered the courage to force a tie break from which he levelled the match, something which looked very unlikely based on the respective performances of the two up until that moment. Things would get worse for Baghdatis in the third. Again, he started the brightest and raced to a 3-0 lead but Gabashvili, the world no.67, went on to take the next six games in a row to claim the set.Baghdatis, the former world no.8, will be forever remembered for his heroic run to the Australian Open final in 2006, and he would need similar fighting spirit to progress beyond the first round on this occasion.Before last year’s improvement, Baghdatis was beginning to make a habit of first round exits. His defeat to Denis Istomin in the opening stage of last year’s Australian Open was his 16th in less than a year. This time, he was keen to prove he had turned a corner.A motivated Baghdatis returned to the court for the fourth set, eager to atone for his earlier slip-ups and took the set comfortably. In the deciding set, Baghdatis looked to be coasting at 4-2 but the Russian fought back to 4-4. However, the Cypriot maintained his composure and took the next two games to claim the match.Baghdatis will now face 20th seed David Goffin in the second round after the 24-year-old Belgian defeated Michael Russell in four sets.
Roger Federer recovered from a sloppy start to outclass Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 as he began his 14th consecutive ATP Tour Finals appearance in impressive fashion on Sunday.The Swiss world number three, bidding to win the year-ender for a seventh time, served a two double-faults in his opening service game as he was broken to love, but quickly recovered to leave Berdych floundering.Berdych did lead 4-3 on serve in the opener but 34-year-old Federer then reeled off seven games in a row, treating a full house at the O2 Arena to his usual showreel of winners from all corners of the court.There was little Berdych could do and although the 30-year-old Czech managed to avert a second-set drubbing, Federer wrapped up the win in little more than an hour and now needs just one more win to reach 50 at the tournament.He will face world number one Novak Djokovic, who easily beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori earlier, in his second round-robin match on Tuesday. (
More than 100 medical experts, academia and scientists on Friday have called for the Rio Olympic Games to be postponed or moved because of fears that the event could speed up the spread of the Zika virus around the world.Their assessment counters the view of some leading experts of infectious disease who say that as long as the necessary precautions are taken there is no reason to cancel the Games. On Thursday, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declared there was no public health reason to cancel or delay this summer’s Games.In a public letter posted online, the group of 150 leading public health experts, many of them bioethicists, said the risk of infection from the Zika virus is too high. The letter was sent to Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, and urged that the Games, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, be moved to another location or delayed.“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic,” the letter said. It can be found at http://rioolympicslater.org/Bioethicists study ethical problems arising from biological or medical research. Professor Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine and one of four who authored the letter, said he is skeptical Brazil has the resources to protect the public and is equally skeptical of “general assurances” from public health officials.The letter called on the WHO to convene an independent group to advise it and the International Olympic Committee.“I believe in informed consent,” Caplan said in an interview. “Let’s have an independent set of scientists look at this and let everyone hear the arguments.”Citing the “greater concern for global health”, the letter also said, “The Brazilian strain of Zika virus harms health in ways that science has not observed before.”Speaking at a lunch at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday, Frieden said there was no reason to delay the Olympics.He was responding to a paper by a Canadian professor published earlier this month in the Harvard Public Health Review which called for the Games to be canceled or moved because it could speed the spread of Zika.“The risk is not particularly high other than for pregnant women,” Frieden said.Zika infection in pregnant women has been shown to be a cause of the birth defect microcephaly and other serious brain abnormalities in babies.The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly.Frieden’s view is shared by many infectious disease experts. A recent editorial in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal noted that the Zika outbreak has been concentrated in northeastern Brazil, away from Rio. Moreover, it added, the infection-carrying mosquito is not particularly active in August and athletes and spectators are likely to spend their time in places purged of mosquito breeding sites.“Available evidence indicates that for games participants, risk of exposure to Zika virus and subsequent adverse health outcomes will be low,” it said.
Former European champions Celtic bounced back from last week’s humiliating defeat against Lincoln Red Imps to beat the Gibraltan part-timers 3-0 on Wednesday night and reach the next stage of the Champions League qualifiers.The Scottish champions, astonishingly beaten 1-0 last week, scored three times in a six-minute spell in the first half to stave off the threat of an embarrassing exit in their second qualifying round tie.Mikael Lustig broke through in the 23rd minute, Leigh Griffiths cut inside to fire home the second two minutes later and Patrick Roberts added a third just before the half hour to give Celtic a 3-1 aggregate win.Elsewhere, Hungarian champions Ferencvaros suffered a shock exit on penalties at the hands of Albanian counterparts Partizani after missing three of their four spot kicks.The second leg had ended 1-1 after Oliver Huesing put through his own goal five minutes before halftime to cancel out Zoltan Gera’s early penalty for the hosts.Dinamo Zagreb, Croatian champions for the past 11 seasons, beat Vardar Skopje 3-2 to progress 5-3 on aggregate.Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade, the only other former European champions taking part at this stage of the competition, qualified on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Valletta, running out 4-2 aggregate winners
A bus carrying journalists at the Rio Games was hit by gunfire on a highway between Olympic venues on Tuesday, witnesses said. No one was seriously injured in the incident.The bus was making its way from the Games basketball venue to the main Olympic park when, according to passengers, two shots were heard hitting the vehicle. Windows shattered and flying glass left two people with minor lacerations.“We were shot at. I mean we could hear the report of the gun,” said Sherryl ‘Lee’ Michaelson, a retired U.S. air force captain who is working for a basketball publication in Rio.A spokesman for the Rio organising committee, Mario Andrada, said forensic investigators were trying to determine if the projectile was a bullet or a rock.“We haven’t yet been able to confirm what kind of projectile hit the bus,” he said, adding that the incident occurred in the Curicaca neighbourhood, just a few kilometres (miles) north of the Olympic Park. “We don’t want to speculate.”A Reuters photograph taken in the first moments of the incident showed a small hole, about the width of a finger, in one of the windows.Violent street crime in Rio has left its mark on South America’s first Olympic Games. On Saturday, a bullet hit the equestrian centre, missing journalists there by just a few feet. That bullet was suspected to have been fired by a gang member trying to shoot down a police blimp or drone, officials said.
Olympiakos Piraeus clinched their seventh consecutive Greek league title and 44th in total after enjoying a comfortable 5-0 home win over struggling PAS Giannina in their penultimate match of the Super League season on Sunday.Goals from Marko Marin, Manuel Da Costa, two from Alberto de la Bella and an Alejandro Dominguez late penalty saw Olympiakos romp home easily against a depleted PAS Giannina team lacking six first-team regulars through suspension or injury.The three-point haul means the Piraeus club now have an unassailable six-point lead with one match to go.“It has been a strange season but in the end we’re the champions and that’s what matters,” Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis told reporters.The title is Lemonis’s fifth in his third spell at the helm after the 57-year-old former Olympiakos player was brought in on a short-term contract until the end of the season following the sacking of Portuguese Paulo Bento.Lemonis said the lack of stability and constant changing of coaches had been difficult for the players.“I am the fifth different technician and this is a big problem, especially for the team. I have had little time with them but if I managed to change something maybe it was the atmosphere in the dressing room and we managed to hold on to the title — now we have to try and win the Greek Cup as well.”Despite a late-season dip in form which saw PAOK and Panionios threaten to catch Olympiakos, the Piraeus giants still managed to hold on after having built up a significant lead thanks to their imperious form during the first two-thirds of the campaign.The home side went into the game at the Georgios Karaiskakis needing just a single point to wrap up another title but in the end an eight-minute goal blitz in the first half settled any nerves, with the strikes from Marin (21), Da Costa (24) and De la Bella (29) coming during a period of total dominance from the hosts.De la Bella (71) and Domingeuz (82) from the penalty spot put the icing on the cake with two further goals much to the delight of the jubilant home fans.There could yet be a late twist in the tale of the title race, however, as Olympiakos face a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday which could see them get a six-point deduction following trouble at the end of their Greek Cup semi-final first-leg loss against AEK Athens 11 days ago.
Australia closed the day on 4-169 having lost two wickets in each of the last two sessions to put the South Africans on the brink of victory.Usman Khawaja (58 not out) put up the best resistance to the Proteas’ charge, and will resume tomorrow accompanied by Mitch Marsh (15 not out).A dynamite spell from fast bowler Kagiso Rabada did the bulk of the damage. Bowling in the high 140s and swinging the ball both ways, the quick cleaned up Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith and Adam Voges, finishing the day with figures of 3-49.In the morning, the Proteas continued where they left off on day three, piling on runs to take the game further out of Australia’s reach.The declaration did not come until after lunch, though their total had already passed 500 by that stage for the loss of seven wickets, with Philander (73) and Quinton de Kock (64) posting half-centuries.The post-lunch period resembled Twenty20 cricket, with Philander and Maharaj launching Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith to all parts of the ground before Philander’s dismissal triggering the declaration which finally ended the pain for Australia.A most daunting task faced Australia, with either 539 runs required to win or a somewhat more likely four-and-a-bit sessions to survive.Australia started positively, with David Warner getting on the front foot and Shaun Marsh looking compact, but the wheels fell off before tea had even arrived.Warner perilously took a single the agile Temba Bavuma, who produced one of the great pieces of fielding to leave the Aussie star opener short of his ground on 35.Two balls later, Marsh edged Rabada to Dean Elgar at second slip and the collapse was on again. Usman Khawaja was given out for a golden duck, but reprieved by DRS when it became apparent the ball had hit pad, not bat, en route to the wicketkeeper.Just as Smith (34) and Khawaja were looking comfortable, Rabada’s post-Tea spell tipped over the apple cart again, as Australian audiences were treated to a display of the youngster’s much-talked-about talents.Smith tried to dab a ball through the covers but the delivery was too good for that, and he edged it through to the keeper.Voges looked completely at sea as the quick’s confidence soared, his own edge to Quinton de Kock seemed inevitable, and he was gone for 1.The faintest of faint hopes Australia holds will rely on the fact both Khawaja and Marsh looked solid as they played out the final overs, but with just six wickets in hand, the home team would have to defy history to make it through the day with a draw or win.