Sports

Tracking the grads

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Decatur High School grad Zach Norwood and the rest of his Stony Brook University soccer team captured the first America East Men’s Soccer Championship in school history last weekend. The Seawolves beat Binghamton, 4-2, on penalty kicks last Saturday in front of 1,053 fans at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The win also gave Stony Brook the program’s first berth into the NCAA College Cup.

“That win was the culmination of a dream,” said second-year head coach Cesar Markovic. “I’m so proud of our team. We didn’t play our best game and Binghamton took our rhythm away, but we kept fighting. Binghamton was incredible defensively, but it was just in the cards for us.”

The Seawolves (12-4-4) took on Yale University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last night (after press time). The winner will play No. 8-ranked Connecticut in the second round Tuesday. The Yale squad featured Norwood’s former Decatur teammate, James Craig. The Bulldogs (10-3-4) shared the Ivy League championship.

Norwood started seven matches for the Seawolves as a defender and had one goal, a game-winner against Boston University.

Chelsea Hunt — For the second year in a row, TJ grad Chelsea Hunt was named to the All-West Coast Conference Second Team after an impressive year at the University of San Francisco. Hunt started in all 20 of USF’s games this season and led the team in scoring for the second straight year. The junior scored 10 goals, good for a share of third place among WCC leaders, while her 20 points ranked sixth.

Hunt was credited with three game winners, including her two-goal night against then No. 26 Utah and a last-minute goal against then No. 18 Pepperdine. Hunt’s 10 goals are a career high and the best individual tally since 1997 when Jennifer Morenci also scored 10.

With her stats from this season, Hunt is steadily climbing the Dons’ career leader board. Hunt jumped to third place all time in goals with 24 and is second with 10 game-winners. Her 54 points put her into a fifth-place tie with Pam Riggs, who was a Don from 1989-1992.

“I thought Chelsea did a tremendous job considering that she had two or three players marking her every game,” said head coach Pamela Kalinoski. “She was the go-to player. She absorbed a lot of the offensive responsibility and handled it incredibly well. To have a conference with four teams ranked in the top 20 and be one of the top-22 players in that conference is incredible.”

Nicole Collins — The Decatur graduate was named the National Christian College Athletic Association’s West Region Player of the Year for the Hope International University soccer team in Fullerton, Calif.

As co-captain of the Royals, Collins nearly doubled her scoring output from a season ago with 42 points. She led the conference with 18 goals.

Hope International made its first-ever NCCAA National Soccer Tournament appearance yesterday with a first-round game against Spring Arbor (Mich.) in Kissimmee, Fla.

Collins has also been hired as the junior varsity head coach of the La Mirada High School girls soccer team during the winter.

Kyle Bressler — The Decatur graduate has earned a starting spot as the 184-pound wrestler at Oregon State University. He won a best-of-three challenge over Chase Locke, 14-3 and 7-2. Bressler was a two-time state champion while at Decatur and the Beavers will be participating in a tournament at Cornell University Sunday against several top-10 Division I schools.

Aaron Gilbert — The Thomas Jefferson grad was recently named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s first team as an offensive tackle on the football team at Central Washington University. The Wildcats finished the season with an 8-2 record and won the GNAC championship.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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