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Sports

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Football Team Joins Big South Conference

Big-SouthThe University has accepted an invitation to become an associate member of the Big South Confer­ence for football beginning in the 2014 season.

“We like the opportunities of the Big South and the challenges that come from this new football confer­ence and these new friends,” Presi­dent Paul G. Gaffney II said.

The Hawks left the Northeast Conference (NEC) in December 2012 to move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The MAAC, however, does not sponsor football.

“Our first inclination was to apply for associate membership [with the NEC], which we did,” head football coach Kevin Callahan said. “But we knew that, going through the pro­cess, that they may not welcome us in as an associate member.”

Twenty-one days after being de­nied associate membership for foot­ball in the NEC, MU announced that they will be joining the Big South Conference.

The University contacted the Big South about a potential partnership last fall. The conference decided to do some research to find out about the University.

“As we looked, and as we studied, and as we evaluated, we just became more and more impressed with the University, and with the leadership,” Big South Conference Commission­er Kyle Kallander said. “Then we came up here last week on our visit, and became very impressed with the commitment to FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) foot­ball. So it was a very easy decision for our presidents.”

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Jesse Steele Sets Career-Highs

JesseSteeleComing off yet another suc­cessful game this past Sunday, senior basketball player Jesse Steele is continuing to stand-out on the court. Hitting two ca­reer highs within the past three games, Steele shows that all of his hard work is truly paying off.

The University’s star picked up his first basketball in the third grade. After trying plenty of other sports he realized what his true calling was. “My Dad just put me into a lot of rec sports like football, basketball, soccer,” explained Steele. “And I just re­ally liked bas­ketball.”

Thankfully, basketball was where Steele felt the most com­fortable. He has worked nonstop to become the player that he is today. After playing for one season at Army he realized that the ‘wake up at 5 am’ lifestyle was not what he wanted. Coming to Monmouth for the young athlete “felt like a great situation at the time.”

Steele, however, wasted no time making his mark on the team. Although he sat out the fall semester of his sophomore year because of his transfer, Steele came back playing the final 18 games stronger than ever. He fin­ished off the year ranked third in scoring and hit the second most three pointers on the team.

“I put in a lot of work dur­ing the off-season before I even came to Monmouth and it felt good that all of my hard work paid off,” described Steele. This type of training and dedication never slowed down either. It was only the beginning.

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Women’s Basketball Completes Sweep Over FDU

WomensBballThe women’s basketball team played just one game this past weekend after Winter Storm Nemo hit the northeast.

MU was able to bounce back from a seven- point deficit at half and score 50 in the second half to top in-state rival Fairleigh Dickinson, 76-71. This keeps the Hawks in fourth place in the Northeast Conference (NEC) with a 7-4 record in conference play and a 10-4 record overall.

The Hawks matchup was moved from Saturday February 9 to Sunday February 10 at 12 pm, where the blue and white would try and bring the Codey Cup back to West Long Branch. The Codey Cup is won by which­ever school is able to win the combined four game series that takes place between these teams on both the men’s and women’s side. Each Hawks’ team won their first matchup against the Knights, so all that was needed was one victory in Sunday’s dou­ble header for MU to retain the cup. This would also be the fi­nal time these two schools would meet as NEC Rivals.

The Hawks started out slow in the first half, trailing the Knights 20-6 at the 11:29 mark and shot just 25.7 percent from the floor while the Knights put up a 42.9 field goal percentage. FDU lead at half by a score of 33-26.

A big part of the Knights lead was thanks to their stand­out guard Stephanie Issacs. In the first half, Issacs dropped 16 points going five of eight with four of her shots from three-point range. Brianna Thomas added seven for the Knights and senior Alysha Womack also totaled sev­en which lead the Hawks in the first half.

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Men’s Basketball Splits Two NEC Games

MensBballThe men’s basketball team lost to Quinnipiac on Thursday, defeated Farleigh Dickinson on Sunday, and are now 9-16 overall and 4-8 in the Northeast Confer­ence (NEC).

The Bobcats (10-13, 6-5) beat the Hawks 79-63 behind 18 points from both Ike Azotam and Shaq Shannon.

Quinnipiac opened the game with an 11-0 run in 3:09. MU scored its first points on a layup by Jesse Steele, but the Bobcats answered immediately with a couple of baskets to take a 15-2 lead.

“They started the game seven for seven from the field and we couldn’t recover from that,” head coach King Rice said. “I feel bad for our kids because they have been working hard, but just haven’t been able to get over the hump. But we are going to con­tinue to work and continue to try to get better.”

The blue and white narrowed the lead to seven at 15-8, but they never got any closer the rest of the night. A dunk by Stephen Spinella, free throws by Marcus Ware and a layup by Ed Waite accounted for their 6-0 run, but they couldn’t put anything to­gether after that.

The Bobcat lead ballooned to 27 points with 11:21 remaining in the game. From there, the Hawks outscored Quinnipiac 24-13, but it was a little too little, a little too late.

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Track & Field Dominates NEC Championships

TrackThe track and field team contin­ued their ongoing success as they competed in the Boston Universi­ty Terrier Classic, Yale’s Giegen­gack Invitational, and the NEC Championships this most recent weekend in Landover, Maryland.

One of the best meets of the season for the Hawks is the Ter­rier Classic. “We had a lot of great performance up there (Boston),” head coach Joe Compagni re­called. “The Terrier Classic is one of our favorite meets that we go to every year.”

One of the stronger perfor­mances was by distance runner senior Ford Palmer as he set a Northeast Conference season re­cord of completing the men’s mile at 4:01.90.

Compagni said, “It was great to see his hard work pay off in his junior year and clearly he is at an­other level this year as a senior.” Palmer’s record time beats his own personal best by about eight seconds.

Senior sprinter Chris Ruther­ford was amazed by Palmer’s Ter­rier Classic performance. “He ran a breathtaking 4:01 mile which is something that I have never seen on this team,” Rutherford said. “He works hard year round and it has paid off.”

Rutherford currently ranks sev­enth in the NEC for the 500 me­ter sprint with his Terrier Classic time of 1:04.87, just .58 behind teammate and second place NEC record holder junior Bayaan Oluyadi.

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Women’s Basketball Prepares for Life Without Seniors

womensrecruitsThe women’s basketball team announced the signing of three players for the 2013-2014 season. Mia Hopkins, Jenny Horvatinovic and Christina Mitchell have signed National Letters of Intent to play at MU for the next four seasons.

“I feel that our incoming freshmen will compliment the people that we have right now really well and be a really good unit that will be able to feed off each other,” said Head Coach Jenny Palmateer.

Freshmen guards Kasey Chambers and Jasmine Walker have both also heard about this new class and how they can help this Hawks squad.  “I have heard about Jenny (Horvatinovic), she is a very nice player and will do a lot of the little things and is willing to work hard, so that is very promising,” said Chambers.

“I heard Mia (Hopkins) scored her 1000 point as a junior and averaged around 21 points and 17 rebounds,”  said Walker.

At season’s end, the Hawks will be losing almost half of their team as six seniors on the squad will be graduating.  Because of this, the freshmen this year and incoming freshmen next season are going to have to take on bigger roles.

“It’s a good position to come into because so many of us are leaving and it is a good opportunity for all of them (freshmen) to get time next year as long as they work hard this year. They can definitely fill our shoes next year,” said Betsy Gadziala, starting senior forward the Hawks.

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Hawks Split NEC Games, Martin Scores 1,000th Point

womensbballThe women’s basketball team played two games this weekend, losing on Saturday and winning on Monday. Their record sits at 9-12, 6-4 in the Northeast Conference (NEC). Senior forward Abby Martin needed two points to reach 1,000 for her career entering Monday’s game against Central Connecticut State.

About two and a half minutes in, she made a shot from point black range to become the 16th woman in MU history to net 1,000 points.

“We’re really happy for (Martin),” said head coach Jenny Palmateer. “She’s such a workhorse for us and to be so undersized and to do what she’s done over the last four years is really a tribute to her. She’s a big piece of what we do.”

In practice last week, Chevannah Paalvast, the leading scorer in conference games this season, sprained her ankle. She missed both games, but Palmateer is hopeful she will be ready for next weekend.

On Saturday, the Hawks fell to Bryant 58-55 as they watched a furious comeback fall short. Down three with 3.8 seconds left, MU was unable to get a shot off as the buzzer sounded.

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NEC Dreams Fading Away

mensbball2The men’s basketball team lost both games this weekend to fall to 8-15 on the season, and more importantly, 3-7 in the Northeast Conference (NEC).

On Thursday, the Hawks lost to Central Connecticut 78-58. Kyle Vinales scored 24 points for the Blue Devils (10-11, 6-4) and Adonis Burbage added 21.

“I take my hat off to Central Connecticut,” head coach King Rice said. “We got totally out-classed tonight. Got out-coached, out-played in every aspect of the game. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The Blue and White fell behind 15-5 in the first five minutes of the game.

“We got dominated right from the beginning when our shots were getting blocked around the rim,” Rice said. “That set the tone for us and we could not guard them at all. We couldn’t guard any of them. And when you can’t guard anybody on the other team then you end up losing by 20.” 

“We let them get their heads up,” Marcus Ware said. “They got that confidence and they were just making every shot. We weren’t guarding hard enough. They were getting open shots. We weren’t putting our will on them.”

The Hawks clawed back and trailed 24-21 after an Ed Waite layup with 8:27 remaining in the first half. That’s the closest they would be for the rest of the game. Central Connecticut went on an 8-0 run to take a 32-21 lead, finished with a layup and foul by Vinales.

Vinales, who averages more than 22 points a game, was 10 of 21 from the field. He played the entire game and tallied five assists and four rebounds to go with his game-high 24 points.

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Red Bulls Give Clark’s Career Wings

soccerIt has been a roller coaster ride for MU alum Ryan Clark. After a stellar career for the Hawks that included four All-NEC nominations, three Regional All-American selections and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Clark was drafted with the first overall pick of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft by the New York Red Bulls.

“I’m very excited to get drafted by my home town team, the New York Red Bulls,” Clark said. “They were my absolute first choice of teams I wanted to go to.”

He was initially named an alternate to participate in the MLS Combine, just missing out on the 54 invitees. However, soon before Christmas Clark received a phone call from a representative of the MLS and was formally invited to the combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He immediately made an impact and began turning some heads while his draft stock skyrocketed.

“Once I found out I got invited, I worked out twice a day, probably around four hours a day, trying to get my fitness back because I knew it was a great opportunity for me and I wanted to make sure I took full advantage of it,” Clark said.

There were three matches at the combine, where Clark was on the pitch with some of the nation’s top prospects. Graduating from a small school, many of the scouts, coaches, and general managers hadn’t seen Clark play in person. This was his chance to show everyone the type of player he was.

Coming off the bench in the first match, he nearly scored the game winner by curling a left-footed ball off the crossbar and over the net. He would go on to play the full 90 minutes in the next two matches.

Clark learned to play quicker and realized there wasn’t much time to relax when on the field. The games were played at such a fast pace, Clark said he had to step up his game but didn’t feel any pressure that would normally come from being in that situation.

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Hawks Fly to the MAAC Starting 2013-2014

The University will leave the Northeast Conference (NEC) and become a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) on July 1, 2013. The MAAC Council of Presidents invited MU to join the league after a meeting on Friday, December 14, 2013.

“Monmouth is flattered by the invitation to join the MAAC,” President Paul Gaffney said. “I thank the Council of Presidents for having confidence in us. While we have enjoyed our relationships with the Northeast Conference member institutions and our successes on the field, Monmouth is pleased with the opportunity to aim for new goals.”

The MAAC, founded in 1980, has the strongest television coverage of any mid-major conference in the country after partnering with ESPN to develop a league-wide national broadcast package for the next four and a half seasons. The MAAC broadcasts over 40 events annually, with a majority airing on ESPN3 as well as two regular season basketball games on ESPN or ESPN2. Eight regular season basketball games air on ESPNU. The Men’s Basketball Championship Final airs on ESPN2 and the Women’s Basketball Championship Final airs on ESPNU.

“In evaluating potential new member schools, the MAAC membership has sought to maintain a brand that stresses excellence in academics and athletics, and Monmouth University fully meets that criteria,” Richard J. Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC, said. “The MAAC will be a great home for the Monmouth athletic program and the conference looks forward to its participation with the start of the 2013-14 academic year.”

The other schools in the MAAC are Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University (also joining in 2013), Rider University, Saint Peter’s University and Siena College.

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Men’s Basketball Rolls FDU, Ninth in NEC

mensbasketballThe men’s basketball team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 73-54 Thursday night due to excellent play from their starting guards. Dion Nesmith, Christian White and Jesse Steele combined for 51 points and 11 assists.

“When you have Dion and Jesse and now you add Christian to the mix, that’s a lot of guys that can put points on the board in a lot of different ways,” head coach King Rice said. “So I like that rotation.”

Coming into the game, both teams were tied for eighth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) with 2-4 records against conference opponents.

“Every game is important,” White said. “It’s conference play. Every home game, every away game, everything means something. To win this one was important.”

The Hawks (8-13, 3-5) led 38-34 at halftime and took over from there.

MU went on a 17-5 run in the opening 7:04 of the second half. Steele led the run with seven points, followed by White who scored six on two three-pointers.

White, a freshman, set career highs for both points and assists against the Knights, scoring 18 and dishing out four assists. He also set career highs in field goals made and three-pointers made. He was six of 11 from the floor and four of six from beyond the arc. His high-arcing three-point shot seemed to be falling all night.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu