Matawan’s Keller signs with Monmouth University All it took was a trip to Monmouth University to win Chris Keller over. The Matawan High School track and field star will be heading to the West Long Branch campus in the fall on an athletic scholarship. “I love the campus and I felt comfortable there,” said Keller, who has blossomed into one of the best throwers in the state. “Coach [Joe] Compagni and his coaches are all really good.” Keller, who didn’t even start throwing until his sophomore year, came into his own during the winter. He won the Monmouth County shot put championship and threw a personal best 55-7 1/2 in finishing ninth at the indoor national championships. He started his senior year with a personal best of 43 feet in the shot put. “I had no idea I’d reach that [55-7 1/2],” Keller remarked. Keller credits his tremendous improvement to the fundamentals. “It’s dedication in the weight room and dedication in practice,” he said. “I feel I got quicker instead of stronger working in the weight room. I really worked hard on technique.” Keller is a decathlete of throwers. He competes in the shot put, discus and javelin, and looks forward to college, where his throwing will be extended to include the hammer (outdoors) and weight throw (indoors). The Husky has spent the early part of the spring season hauling in the gold medals at relays this year. He was the one constant as Matawan swept all three events at the Huskie and Holmdel Relays. At his home Huskie Relays, Keller was named the most outstanding field performer. Saturday, at the Shore Conference Championships, he extended his personal best to 56-10 3/4 and added the conference crown to his indoor county championship. Not bad for someone who had to be coaxed into track and field by assistant football coach Sam Turner (who is the Huskies’ outdoor track and field head coach). “Coach Turner recruited me, and told me to go out and throw,” recalled Keller. “I did it and did well.” Keller’s goal this spring is to qualify for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in the shot put, discus and javelin. Although time constraints at the single-day meet will keep him from throwing all three, he plans on throwing in the two events he thinks are the best. He’ll begin that quest on Friday and Saturday at the Central Jersey Group II Championships at Monmouth Regional. He’ll need to finish in the top six in each event to move on the State Groups the following weekend in Egg Harbor Township. At the end of last year, Keller had personal best of 43 in the shot put, 173 in the javelin and 126 in the discus. His goals for 2004 are 58 in the shot put, 175-180 for the javelin and 160-plus for the discus. — Tim Morris
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer Holmdel’s Maryana Milchutsky moves down to second singles this year to make room for nationally ranked Jackie Wu, whose addition to the squad makes the Hornets the team to beat in the Shore Conference, and possibly the state. With a talented group of returnees and the addition of nationally ranked Jackie Wu, the Holmdel High School girls tennis team has its sights set on the state championship. With the devastating one-two punch of Wu and Maryana Milchutsky at first and second singles, respectively, the Hornets are off to a 3-0 start, having defeated Wall, Rumson-Fair Haven and Raritan. “We’ve set our goals very high,” coach Chuck Chelednik said. “We have a lot of experience, and two of the toughest first and second singles in the state.” Wu, a sophomore, is a top-notch all-around player who sat out last year to concentrate on U.S. Tennis Association tournaments. She boasts a strong, accurate service, excellent ground strokes and is very quick on the courts. She is 2-0 thus far. Milchutsky, another soph, is already 3-0 after going 17-3 at first singles last fall. Her long reach, persistence and ability to keep the ball in play frustrates opponents. Junior Stephanie Sher, who picked up 14 wins a year ago, holds down the third singles spot and is 2-1 in the early going. An accurate serve and consistent backhand are Sher’s calling cards. Chelednik split up his top doubles pair from last season, seniors Rose Yan and Jessica Liu who won 14 matches, in order to solidify both doubles teams. Yan is paired with senior Renee Lee, and they have combined for a 3-0 mark. Lie and junior Arshia Chattergee are 2-0 in the second slot. In addition, freshmen Jen Lee and Lisa Yan have earned a win at second doubles. Other members of the team include senior Debbie Chung, juniors Amanda Lee and Amanda Liu; sophomores Morgan Chen and Ling Hong; and freshmen Anne Chen and Stephanie Huang. Last year, the Hornets went 18-3 overall and tied Manasquan for the Shore Conference’s A Central crown. Holmdel also reached the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tournament before losing to West Morris. The Hornets were slated to host division-rival Manasquan on Monday and will be home this afternoon against St. John Vianney. While the Hornets are considered the team to beat in the Shore this fall, they will certainly be tested by their Class A Central rivals Manasquan. Manasquan also has several top players back from last year’s 18-3 squad, but may not have the depth to compete with Holmdel. Hornets feature state BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer
BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer It’s been a good couple of weeks for Monmouth University (MU) soccer teams. Just one week after the MU women’s soccer team captured its second Northeast Conference Tournament title in the last three years, the Monmouth men’s team made it a sweep on Sunday, defeating Quinnipiac University (QU), 2-1, to claim its third NEC title. The top-seeded Hawks got goals from Chase Barbieri (of Hillsborough) and Ryan Kinne (of Naugatuck, Conn.) less than two minutes apart from each other to take a 2-0 lead early in the second half, and then held on for the win, and the title. Following the game, head coach Robert Mc- Court reflected on his team’s tremendous play throughout what has been a record-setting 18-1-1 season. “I am so proud of these young men,” said the recently named NEC Coach of the Year. “These guys have remained focused all season and got the just reward today. Their commitment on and off the field has been wonderful. QU is a very talented team and it was a great game for the fans to watch; two teams trying to play the game the right way. It can only be good for college soccer.” With the victory, the Hawks will move on to the 2009 NCAA Men’s College Cup, where they will look to add to their program-record-setting win total. Sunday’s game on the Great Lawn in West Long Branch was befitting of a championship game. After a scoreless first half, Monmouth took the lead in the 51st minute, when Freehold’s Ryan Clark floated a cross from the left side that Barbieri headed into the net for the 1-0 lead. Then, in the 54th minute, Monmouth was awarded a free kick and capitalized. This time it was NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player R.J. Allen (of Old Bridge) doing the table setting, as he lofted a perfect cross into the box, where Kinne was waiting to head the ball past Quinnipiac goaltender Frederick Hill. Kinne’s tally was the team-leading 10th of the season for the 2009 NEC Player of the Year, while Allen’s assist was his eighth, to tie for first in the league. The Bobcats cut the lead to one just over six minutes later, but Monmouth was able to hold on from there to secure the title. Keeper Bryan Meredith (of Scotch Plains) made four saves in the game. Monmouth advanced to the final by knocking off fourth-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday, 2- 0, as freshman Cody Calafiore (of Howell) scored both goals. Fans of Shore Conference soccer are quite familiar with Calafiore’s big-play ability, but his performance on Friday certainly marked his arrival on the collegiate soccer scene. MU’s first goal came just over three minutes into the second half, when Calafiore headed home a cross from sophomore George Caiella (on Pittstown). Then, in the 88th minute, Caiella launched a deep ball out of the Monmouth end of the field that found Calafiore racing down the right side. The freshman then leapt over a defender and beat FDU keeper Maidi Zaineh to the near post. Calafiore’s two goals were his second and third of the season, while Caiella’s two assists were his first of the year. The tandem certainly picked an opportune time to becoming a scoring juggernaut. The Monmouth defense was just as stellar, holding the FDU offense in check to record its program-record 14th save of the year. Meredith made three saves in net to record his 13th shutout. Following the game, McCourt pointed out that Monmouth played well, but didn’t necessarily capitalize on all of its chances. “I was happy with the overall performance again today,” the coach said. “Their keeper made some spectacular saves today to keep them in it, and I thought it was a justified result.” The NEC championship marked the end of a weekend filled with honors for the MU men’s program. This year’s Hawks team received a number of individual honors for its regular-season dominance, led McCourt’s Coach of the Year and Kinne’s Player of the Year honors. Daniel Bostick (of Nottingham, England) was also recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year, while a program-record six MU players were named to the all-league first team. In addition to Kinne and Bostick, Clark, Meredith, Allen and junior midfielder Max Hamilton (of Medford) were all named First Team All NEC. “I could not be more proud of this group of men,” said McCourt, who won his fourth Coach of the Year award in six years. “From the players receiving all conference recognition to the bottom of our roster, the commitment to the team has been outstanding. NEC Men’s Soccer has many quality players. To receive all-conference recognition for six players shows the depth in this year’s squad. Their performance both on the field and in the classroom has been exceptional.” McCourt, who has an overall career record of 71-25-9 and a 36-8-11 leaguemark atMonmouth, has certainly taken the MU program to new national heights. The Kearny native led the Hawks to the highest national ranking for any sport in school history when MU was seventh in the NSCAA/Adidas National Rankings a few weeks ago. In all, the men’s soccer team was ranked for 10 straight weeks, a program high, while also placing in the top 10 for six weeks. Kinne joins Steven Holloway (2006) and Joni Kallioinen (1990, 91) as the only Hawks to ever earn NEC Player of the Year. He earned the distinction by leading Monmouth’s offense with nine goals, six assists and 24 points, which ranked second in the league. The junior Hermann Award Watch List member also added five game-winning markers. Bostock continued a recent Monmouth tradition in claiming the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, as his win marked the fourth time in the last five years that a Hawk took home the hardware. The central defender also added a goal and an assist while helping lead the top defense in the country. MU led the nation in team-goals-against average and shutout percentage, allowing 0.33 tallies per match while shutting out the opposition in 72 percent of its matches. He was also recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II First Team. Another defensive stalwart, Allen made his first all-league team after a stellar sophomore season. The attacking defender, who has started every match since he appeared on campus last season, had two goals and ranked second in the conference with a team-high seven assists, while also supplying solid technical defense along the league’s best back line. Meredith also deserves much of the credit for the Hawks’ defensive prowess, as he enjoyed one of the finest seasons for a keeper in Monmouth men’s soccer history. Meredith led the nation in goals against average, allowing 0.306 goals per game, while also ranking third in the nation in save percentage, stopping 88.9 percent of the shots he has faced this season. Meredith led all NEC keepers in GAA, save percentage, shutouts (12) and shutout percentage (71 percent). Clark enjoyed a banner season, ranking second on the team with six goals and 16 points, while adding four assists. His 16 points ties him for fifth in the league, while his six goals tie him for the sixth-most in the league. Hamilton, who also claimed his first allconference nod this season, has been a steady force in the midfield for the Hawks all year. Hamilton, who is equally adept at defending as he is attacking, added a game-winning goal this season while starting every contest.
The best collegiate hockey teams in the country will skate into Newark’s Prudential Center, as the inaugural Liberty Hockey Invitational launches on Oct. 25-26.The two-day, four-game tournament features an all-Ivy roster, where Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University and Dartmouth College will compete for the Liberty Trophy. Over the next three years, the tournament will feature Princeton and Yale of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, with invitational spots filled by Hockey East programs University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, UMass-Lowell, Merrimack College and University of Vermont.Princeton men’s hockey, the host team of the Liberty Hockey Invitational, will be a staple in the tournament along with the Yale Bulldogs. The Princeton and Yale rivalry dates back to January 19, 1901, when the Tigers defeated Yale, 5-0. The teams have played 246 games, with Yale holding a 132-103-10 edge in the all-time series.The 2013-14 season will mark the 110th season of varsity hockey at Princeton. The first game was played on November 30, 1909, against the Drisler School. Princeton did not compete for three years during World War I and World War II.Over recent years, Princeton has had 10 players move on to professional careers in the National Hockey League. Current players include Jeff Halpern, Darroll Powe of the New York Rangers, George Parros of the Montreal Canadians and Kevin Westgarth of the Carolina Hurricanes. A total of 23 Tigers have been drafted in the NHL since the draft’s inception in 1963.The most notable alum from the program is Hobey Baker, arguably Princeton’s greatest athletic hero. It was at Princeton that Baker distinguished himself as one of the greatest college hockey players of all time. The annual award for the nation’s best collegiate hockey player is named in his memory — the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is housed at Hobey Baker Rink on the Princeton Campus. Hobey Baker is the only member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and Football Hall of Fame.
By Sudipto GangulySachin Tendulkar fell short of a fairytale ton in his farewell Test on Friday but the Indian batsman’s 74-run knock was embellished by a full repertoire of classy shots the ‘Little Master’ was renowned for during a sparkling 24-year career.The packed Wankhede Stadium was jolted from euphoria to deathly silence within a second as West Indies captain Darren Sammy pouched a sharp slip catch off part-time spinner Narsingh Deonarine to bring an end to Tendulkar’s first innings knock.A sense of disappointment and disbelief hung in the air before the crowd came to terms with the magnitude of the moment to give their favourite sporting icon a prolonged standing ovation as he returned to the pavilion at his home stadium.“Thank you for the memories Sachin. We will miss you,” an emotional Sunil Gavaskar, former India captain and Tendulkar’s childhood hero, said from the commentary box as the batsman marched towards the changing rooms for possibly the last time.Before his dismissal, chants of “Sachin, Sachin” reverberated around a stadium packed to its 32,000 capacity every time Tendulkar took his stance at the batting crease in the second morning session of his 200th Test match.Resuming on 38, the most prolific run-scorer in international cricket had looked in fine form when he played a straight drive off paceman Tino Best to bring up his 68th fifty on the anniversary of his debut Test against Pakistan in 1989.He played most of his signature strokes during the 118-ball stay at the crease, which was studded with 12 crisp boundaries, leaving former India team mate Aakash Chopra begging for more.“Straight Drive-Check, Cover Drive-Check, Square Cut-Check, Sweep-Check… can we pl have a pull too 🙂 Greedy,” he said on his twitter feed.
By Nick MulvenneyMANUEL Pellegrini had no sooner brought Manchester City their fourth English league title on Sunday than he was plotting the acquisition of more silverware – and the Chilean wants to do it in style too.The first manager from outside Europe to win England’s most prestigious trophy, Pellegrini was tossed in the air in celebration by his players after their 2-0 win over West Ham Unitedsealed the title.Those same players, described by some as millionaire mercenaries attracted to the Etihad Stadium by Abu Dhabi oilmoney alone, queued up to pay fulsome tribute to their manager.“I’m so happy for the manager because it’s his first title in Europe. He remained calm. It was a pleasure to work for him,” said Samir Nasri, who scored the opening goal.“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s my second league in three years. It was an amazing league all year. Everyone put his ego on the side.”Pellegrini will have to get used to the praise, his steady hand at the tiller credited with seeing City through the last few weeks of the season without the drama that marked their 2011-12 triumph.What might have settled City nerves most, however, was the huge superiority in goal difference they enjoyed over Liverpool, which allowed them the luxury of needing only a draw in their final match of the season.That advantage came from a campaign in which City scored 102 goals, one short of the Premier League record but one more than the much-vaunted Liverpool attack and a whopping 31 more than third-placed Chelsea.The narrative of the Premier League title race was often presented as a battle of footballing philosophies between attack-minded Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho’s more defensive approach at Chelsea.Having beaten them both to the title, however, Pellegrini was quick to remind reporters that City’s record 156 goals in all competitions this season gave them a place in the debate.“It’s not just winning titles that is important, but it’s the way you win them,” he told reporters in the post-match media conference.“It doesn’t matter who you play, maybe it’s easy to score a goal and then go behind the ball.“We have players to play on the counter-attack, they are fast and technical, but again, I’m not criticising the way other teams play, but if it was me, I wouldn’t be happy to win in that way.“The fans enjoyed the whole season – we broke the records for the most goals scored by any team in England. It is the way we must play with the quality of players we have.”Pellegrini admitted that everything in the dressing room had not been perfect when he arrived at City but was also quick to revert to his customary self deprecation.“It’s a great honour to be the first manager from outside of Europe to win the title but I’m not the most important person,” the 60-year-old said.“I think we all enjoyed this season – the players, me, the fans – because the team played very well, this is as important as winning the title.”Claiming the Premier League title in his first year at City was also a step up for Pellegrini, who had failed to win the Spanish title in his one season at Real Madrid in 2009-10.He earned that job on the back of the marvels he worked in taking Villareal into the top two in Spain and to the semi-finals of the Champions League.It was repeating the trick at Malaga, who he took to fourth place in La Liga and the quarter-finals of the Champions League, that earned him his chance at City.As his counterpart for much of the season at Manchester United will attest, however, many coaches have failed to step up from success at a smaller club to challenging at the business end of the season with one of Europe’s big-spending super clubs.Pellegrini will now undoubtedly enjoy Monday’s parade around Manchester city centre but said he would soon be back to work preparing for next season.“Big teams cannot be satisfied with one title. It’s very important,” he said.“Celebrate today, tomorrow and Monday and on Tuesday start working for next season because this club and players deserve more titles.”
Crystal Palace moved into the Premier League’s top six by winning 1-0 away to Watford on Sunday — record signing Yohan Cabaye sealing the points with a calmly-converted a penalty.The French midfielder’s 71st minute spot kick, awarded when Cameroonian fullback Allan Nyom fouled substitute Wilfried Zaha, was the first goal conceded by Watford at Vicarage Road in four games since being promoted from the Championship.Alan Pardew’s Palace team again used their pace on the break in recording a third win in four away games, after earlier victories at Norwich City and Chelsea.Most of the excitement in the first half came in the opening few minutes when Palace’s Yannick Bolasie, who has just signed a new three-and-a-half year contract, raced through straight from the kick-off to shoot over the bar.Watford’s Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes then made a fine instinctive save as Brede Hangeland met Cabaye’s cross.By halftime Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal had barely had a shot to save. He was beaten in the opening two minutes of the second half by a curling 20-metre free kick by Jurado but the ball came back off the crossbar.Palace also hit the goal frame soon afterwards as Watford defender Craig Cathcart hit the ball against Dwight Gayle.Zaha replaced Bakary Sako just after the hour and 10 minutes later he lured Nyom into a clumsy tackle that brought the decisive penalty.
MIAMI, Feb 12 (Reuters) – FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino’s plan for an expanded 40-team World Cup came under fire from two of his rivals as the campaign to secure the top job at the corruption-hit organisation heated up on Thursday.Four of the five candidates to replace Sepp Blatter in the Feb. 26 election in Zurich gave presentations to members of the CONCACAF confederation, which governs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean, at an airport hotel in Miami.Normally such meetings take place behind closed doors but CONCACAF officials allowed the media into the room for a rare taste of how the FIFA candidates make their pitch to the electorate — the heads of national football federations.The protocol in such occasions is usually for candidates to avoid public criticism of each other.UEFA general secretary Infantino’s plan to create eight new spots in the World Cup was attacked by both Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne, however.Salman gave a powerpoint presentation of his manifesto and when he discussed FIFA’s biggest tournament, the words on the screen read “Promises of more World Cup spots during an election period are unprofessional”.The Bahraini said any changes should be well explained and gain broad support before being introduced.Champagne was sharper in his condemnation of Infantino’s proposal.“My programme is not smoke and mirrors,” the Frenchman said. “They are facts and not the kind of projects that are being thrown around like organising a World Cup with 40 teams when we know that is not the central issue for 150 federations around the world.“We know that organising a World Cup with 32 teams is already so costly and so difficult. We know also that the international calendar is so complicated,” he added.Infantino defended his plan.“Eight more countries would be in World Cup fever,” he said. “It would boost the competition and commercially it means more teams, more matches, more revenue”.The Swiss’s proposal to massively increase the money FIFA gives to individual federations for development and other projects was also criticised by Salman.Infantino says he will ensure that half of FIFA’s entire revenue will be distributed to federations with five million dollars over four years for each member association as well as $40 million over the same period for the regional confederations.“Whenever there is an election we hear a lot of promises … we have to be realistic in what we can achieve and what we can do,” said Salman, who said cash should be targeted at those who needed it most.“Does Japan, China or Saudi Arabia need financial support? I don’t think so. When we look at countries around the world, you can look at countries like Germany, the U.K. or even the United States, I think they don’t need it as much as the smaller countries do.”Infantino also hit back at those who suggested his plan to distribute more resources was simply an election tactic.“I was criticised when I made these proposals, they said ‘Ah, you are trying to buy votes’,” he said.“I am not buying anything. It is not my money, it is your money. FIFA’s money is your money, the national associations’ money.”TRADITIONAL POLITICKINGWhile the candidates mostly stuck to explaining their manifesto plans, they did engage in some more traditional politicking, tailoring their appeal to the CONCACAF audience.Jordanian FA president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said scandal-plagued CONCACAF, which has seen its last three presidents indicted as part of the U.S. Department of Justice investigation, should not feel it was to blame for FIFA’s crisis.“Your confederation is not the cause of FIFA’s problems it is a victim of FIFA’s problems. The failure of leadership at the top of FIFA set the tone for the entire organisation,” he said.Ali said that FIFA’s recent decision to suspend payments to CONCACAF was a “collective punishment” and said he was “outraged” when he heard of the move.Infantino told the delegates that “the media treats your region unfairly”, while Salman said “Asia and CONCACAF have so many similarities between us”.There was no debate as the candidates each spoke without their opponents in the room.South African businessman and politician Tokyo Sexwale, the fifth candidate, did not attend the meeting.
The grand finals for the Cup, Plate and Bowl were scheduled for yesterday (Sunday) but due to a late finish in the preliminary playoff, the finals were moved to today.The Cup grand final will see Freeway Bumpers take on Garden Hills Naqia. The Cup winner will take home K10, 000 and the runner up will get K5, 000.In the Plate final, 2CT Rabbitohs will battle with 5Mile Chiefs. The Plate winner will grab K5, 000 while the runner up gets K3, 500.For the Bowl, Muddy Walkers will take on Harbour City Tornados. The winner walks away with K3, 500 and the runner up will take home K2, 500.
Team PNG finished first with the highest ever place on the medal tally at the last Pacific Mini-Games and the recent Pacific Games.However, with success comes expectations … and now the expectation for Team PNG is to continue to bring the country success in sports.For this reason, the PNG Olympic Committee hosted a Games Information Session primarily to share important games-related information regarding selection policies and funding with National Federations along with final Transforming of Team PNG’s Performance Strategy.President of PNGOC Sir John Dawanicura said it is time to focus on the future and think forward about strategic plans to produce Games success.Team PNG will be taking part in more Games in the coming years than ever before with new sporting events being introduced in the calendar.National Federations were reminded on the need to be committed, prudent, efficient with resources, coordinated and relentless in efforts to produce Games success.To guide these efforts, PNGOC developed a strategy with the help of an international team.