Barons college recap

By Paul O'Donnell

By Paul O’Donnell

The Ocean City Barons organization has a lot to be proud of as the college soccer season draws to a close. A number of players from the club enjoyed a great deal of success as a team, as well as individually. Baker and York College (PA) finished their regular season undefeated and ranked second in the nation while winning the Capital Athletic Conference for the third time and second year in a row. York ran their season mark to 19-0-2 behind Mike’s two goals in second round action in the Div III NCAA Tournament with a fine 3-0 win over Hobart. York added a 2-0 win over NC Wesleyan before their season came to an end in the round of eight with a scoreless draw with Wheaton (Ill) who won the shootout 3-2. York’s fantastic season ended with a mark of 21-0-3. Congratulations to Mike and the York Spartans on a terrific run in 2006.

Mike’s younger brother Rich led his Monmouth team to the NCAA Division I tournament where their fine season (15-4-3) came to an end in a 1-0 loss to #9 St. John’s. Rich and Monmouth proved a tough team to beat in several encounters with nationally ranked sides all season long. Well done Rich.

Barons defender Anthony Talarico’s senior year at the University of Delaware ended with a victory over Drexel in a frustrating season for the Blue Hens where they posted a 6-8-2 mark. Talarico scored three goals and added one assist in 12 games for the Hens.

Adam Sternberger and his Scarlet Knights of Rutgers made a fine recovery and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they faced Rhode Island in first round action. After two overtime periods, the hard fought match ended 1-1 and moved to the penalty kick round where Rutgers was eliminated 4-2. Rutgers finished their season with an undefeated run in their last eight games winning six of them. Two of those wins were over teams ranked in the top 15 nationally (St John’s and Notre Dame) and a scoreless draw with #5-ranked West Virginia. Adam led the Knights in goals with five along with one assist to also post the team lead in points and was named National Player of the Week for his brace leading Rutgers to a victory over then #8 ranked Notre Dame in the Big East Quarterfinals. Congratulations to Adam for another fine season at Rutgers.

Scott Hawkins and his Lafayette squad saw their challenge for the Patriot League title (11-4-2) come to an end at the hands of highly regarded Lehigh (15-1-1), the #16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They lost the regular season finale 2-1 in overtime. In the league tournament, Lafayette was eliminated in the championship game by Bucknell on penalty kicks. Scott was the team leader for the Leopards with eight goals and two assists. His terrific season had his team on the verge of the regular season and conference tournament titles. Congratulations to Scott for a great season.
Baron defender Andy Tait and his Mercyhurst College mates marched to a 17-4-0 season mark and Andy was named Defender of the Year in the conference for his contributions to the team’s success. Hats off to Andy for a job well done.

Barons attacking midfielder Ryan Heins led his Temple side thru a very difficult campaign that saw Ryan earn second team all-conference honors capping his senior year. Heins was the sole Owl named to Conference honors this time around. Teammate and Baron stalwart Matt Maher also ended his senior year at Temple this season making significant contributions with three goals and one assist.

Anthony ’AJ’ Coulbiale and his Richard Stockton team also had a fine season with a mark of 14-6-2. AJ notched five goals and three assists placing him among the team leaders in points. (Stockton had 7 players with double digit points totals on the season).
Dave McCall and Danny McGarry’s season at Liberty came to a close in the semifinals of the Big South Conference tournament in an overtime loss to #1 seed Winthrop. After a shaky first half of the season (4-5 in their first nine matches), Liberty won four straight to close out the regular season and earn a #4 seed in the conference tournament.

Last season’s MVP for the Barons Jeremy Ortiz continued the high quality play we saw from him last summer for his LaSalle side (six goals, four assists) leading the Explorers and earning First Team All Atlantic 10 honors. Ortiz made the second team all conference squad last year, so his performance at a high level is nothing new. Congratulations Jeremy on another fine run for your college side and we look forward to seeing you scoring goals again in ’07 for the Barons.

The Barons Billy Pinto and Hofstra rode the wave of goals from former Baron Michael Todd (13 goals in 18 starts) and captured their third straight conference championship. In the NCAA tournament, they opened with a 2-0 win over Providence, but found themselves matched up with #1 Wake Forest in the second round. Wake also has a former Baron of their own on the wing, Jamie Franks. The Demon Deacons ended Hofstra’s run with a 5-1 drubbing. Todd scored the lone goal for Hofstra, the 40th of his career in his final game for the Pride. Todd was recently named Player of the Year in the CAA conference.

Ocean City keeper Issey Maholo and his Boston College mates faced top ranked teams in five of their final six games of the season defeating #7 Maryland 3-1 and ending their season in the ACC Tournament losing in the rematch against the Terps 1-0. College soccer doesn’t get any tougher than the ACC, the top conference in the nation.

Another NCAA Tournament team from the area, Lehigh, also advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history by defeating Rhode Island 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Baron fans will recall that a fan favorite and Ocean City High grad (now with the New England Revolution of MLS) Adam Williamson played his college soccer at Lehigh.

Good luck to all and thanks for the memories too! Looking forward to seeing many of you back on the pitch for the Barons in 2007.