Recap of how PDL players performed at college this season
Several Ocean City Barons players repsented the PDL club while at their respective colleges this past Fall. Four players took part in the NCAA tournament, another has been invited to the Major League Soccer Combine and a number of others made their mark in conference play.
|As a freshman, Ryan Finley led Duke in scoring with 11 goals. Photo: Duke Photography|
Duke, Boston College, and Loyola (Md.) all qualified for the NCAA tournament, with four Barons featured on those rosters.
Boston College midfielder Karl Reddick (Pottstown, PA) and goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi (Gwynedd, PA) helped the Eagles reach the Third Round, with Reddick playing a role in all three tournament games. After falling in the ACC Semifinals, the 12-8 Eagles got into the big dance as an at-large selection.
Reddick, who played in 19 games and dished out 2 assists during his senior season, had two goals and an assist in the three tournament games. He assisted on the game-tying goal in the team’s 2-1 win against Dartmouth in the opening round and scored the game-winner in BC’s 1-0 win against St. John’s in Round 2. That last win snapped the Red Storm’s 21-game home unbeaten streak. The tournament run would come to an end in Round 3 when the Eagles were upset by Drake 6-4. Reddick scored the opening goal, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs moved on in a barnburner.
Ogunbiyi, who had a record-breaking season for the Barons last season, spent his junior year as a backup. He played in 3 games and had a 1-1-0 record. Ogunbiyi was a PDL All-Conference selection last year for Ocean City as he broke the single-season club record for shutouts (7) in all competitions.
Ryan Finley (Lumberton, NJ) took a year off from the PDL last summer, but made a splash in his first season in 2008, becoming the youngest Baron (17 years old) to score a goal . The U.S. youth international also made a splash in his first college season at Duke, leading the team in scoring with 11 goals, five assists and 27 points. He was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s All-Rookie Team, the ACC All-Freshman Team and was a NSCAA All-Region 2nd Team selection.
Another former Baron Nick Sih (Horsham, PA) also had an impressive freshman season, starting all 21 games and scoring a goal and dishing out a pair of assists. Sih played in 14 games with a goal and an assist in his PDL debut in 2008 with Ocean City.
Finley scored in the Blue Devil’s 3-2 First Round win over Winthrop and played well in the next round’s narrow 2-1 victory at Michigan State. Finley would get on the scoresheet again, but Duke’s run would end in Round 3 against Wake Forest 4-2. The Demon Deacons would eventually fall a penalty kick shootout away from winning the national title, losing to Virginia. Duke would finish the season ranked 12th nationally. The Lumberton, NJ native also performed well for the US Under-18 National Team last year, including a late equalizer against Germany in the Milk Cup (VIDEO).
|In his freshman year, Kevin Curran started 18 of 19 games for Loyola (Md.), including the team’s NCAA tournament game against Maryland, the defending national champions. Photo: Loyola Athletics|
Another outstanding freshman season came from Kevin Curran (Upper Township, NJ) in his first college season at Loyola (Md.). Curran was a revalation for Ocean City last year, starting right out of the gate, despite the fact that his high school graduation had only recently come and gone. The 18-year old played in five regular season games and the highlight of the year was starting against DC United in the Third Round US Open Cup game. However, his season was cut short due to injury.
Fully recovered, he made his collegiate debut as a starting defender in the first game of the season against Villanova. He started 18 of the 19 games he appeared in and his first and only points in college came on November 8 against Manhattan when he had two assists. Loyola won the Metro Athletic Conference championship game by scoring the game-winner with 23 seconds left to beat Niagara 1-0. With their ticket to the Big Dance, they drew the defending national champions, Maryland, in their first game. Curran started, but the Terps eliminated the Greyhounds 2-1.
Curran began his college career against another Barons’ player as goalkeeper John Fogarty (Marmora, NJ) spent the 2009 season at Villanova. Fogarty only played in four games as he was the backup for fellow sophomore Chris Bresnahan.
JT Noone (Harrisburg, PA) followed up his All-American season in 2008 with another great campaign at Temple University in 2009. He racked up a number of academic awards, but was also named to the All-Conference and All-Region First Team, as well as appearing on PhillySoccerNews.com’s College Best XI list. He led the Owls in assists (7) for the third year in a row and shattered former Baron Tony Donatelli’s school record for career assists (20), finishing with 26 helpers. He scored three goals as well, including a penalty kick in a 2-1 win against #15 Charlotte on Senior Day. The Owls finished with a 9-7-2 record, 4-4-1 in the Atlantic-10.
Another outstanding individual senior performance came from St. Bonaventure’s Tyler Bellamy (Hammonton, NJ). Bellamy was an NSCAA All-Region First Team selection and an All-Conference pick as he helped his team earn five shutouts. It was a historic season for the Bonnies who won 10 games (10-9), marking the first time they have won double digit games in a season since 1999. They also won their first-ever post-season game, by beating Fordham in the opening round of the conference tournament 1-0.
Defender Sal Pistone (Blackwood, NJ) turned in a solid season at Stockton College of New Jersey. The sophomore started 19 of 22 games, scored three goals and added an assist and was an All-Conference Honorable Mention pick.
William Swetra (Egg Harbor, NJ) wrapped up his senior season at James Madison as one of the team’s captains and led the Dukes to a 10-5-3 record. Swetra scored a pair of goals and had five assists as he started all 18 games he played in.
Neal Melchionni (Marmora, NJ) started 17 games for Lehigh, who lost in the conference semifinals to American University in a shootout. In his sophomore season for the Mountain Hawks, Melchionni scored a goal and had three assists as they finished with a 9-5-4 record.
The Patriot League Rookie of the Year two years ago, Kyle Miller (Woodbury, NJ) had a solid junior season for Holy Cross. While the team only managed a 6-10 overall record (4-3 in conference), he had a strong individual season by leading the team in scoring (3 goals, 1 assist - the assist came against Boston College) for the third year in a row. He was also named to the All-Patriot League team for the second straight season.
A pair of teams featured a number of Barons on their roster. Hofstra with five and LaSalle with four.
All of the Hofstra boys were all seniors, with the exeption of Giancarlo Granese (Ocean City, NJ) who redshirted in his first year as a member of the Pride. Jamal Neptune (East Windsor, NJ) and Rob Youhill (who played for Ocean City in 2007) were both named to the NSCAA All-Region Third Team. Neptune started all 17 games he played in and was one of the team’s best defenders, while Youhill led the team in scoring with five goals, six assists in 17 games. Ocean City’s MVP from the 2009 season, Rory McCrea (Leeds, England) continued the momentum from the PDL season into college play, as he was fourth on the team in scoring (two goals, three assists) in 17 games played. Long-time Baron Billy Pinto (Audubon, NJ) played in 16 games and dished out one assist.
|Ryan Richter (23) was named the Philadelphia Soccer Six Player of the Year after leading LaSalle University and the Soccer Six in scoring with seven goals and seven assists. Photo: LaSalle Athletics|
While the Explorers of LaSalle struggled this year with a 6-10-3 record, the Barons on the team gave fans some reason for optimism for next season and beyond. Junior forward Ryan Richter (Southampton, PA) not only led the team in scoring with seven goals and seven assists, but he also was the top scorer among all the Philadelphia Soccer Six schools. In addition to a number of scholar athlete awards, Richter was named the Soccer Six Player of the Year and was put on the PhillySoccerNews.com College Best XI team.
A pair of freshman make an impact as Austin Johnson (Middle Township, NJ) and Junior Chapman (Winslow, NJ) both played in 19 games. Chapman was second on the team in scoring with four goals and one assist and was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team. Johnson scored three goals, two of them in a 4-0 win over Navy and the third was a game-winner with 2:31 left in the second overtime to beat JT Noone and Temple 1-0.
For the second year in a row, sophmore defender Dan Korenyi (Cinneminson, NJ) started all 19 games for the Explorers and was 11 minutes short of the team lead in minutes played with 1,775. And just like last year, he also scored one goal (10/3/09 in 4-1 win vs. Marist).
And after finishing second on the team in scoring in each of the last two seasons, Steve Miller (Ivyland, PA) unfortunately missed his junior season at Colgate due to injury. The team finished with a 9-6-2 record (4-2-1 in the league).