By Peter Briguglio
The Fall athletic season came to a close with many of Region XV’s programs achieving national success. Let’s take a look at how each sport’s postseason ended up.
ASA had a once in a lifetime opportunity heading into the Division I women’s soccer National Tournament. The #6 ranked Avengers entered the main event a perfect 11-0 on the season after marching through the Region and District tournaments. The team had no issues whatsoever in pool play, defeating Moraine Valley 5-0 and Laramie County 7-3, setting up a semifinal match against Phoenix. The Avengers earned the 2-1 victory, setting up the chance to end their year 15-0 with a national title to their credit. The title match was set against Tyler Junior College. After withstanding 85 minutes of defensive, scoreless play, it took a perfectly executed free kick by Tyler to open and ultimately conclude the scoring as the Avengers were denied their storybook ending. Kaylane Araujo, Sara Suarez Quevedo and Tamara Queiroz all earned All-Tournament honors for their performances.
In the Division III tournament, Nassau finished sixth overall after entering as the tournament’s 8th seed. They fell into the consolation bracket after losing 4-2 to top seed and eventual runner-up Herkimer. Then, they earned a tournament victory by defeating 5th ranked Madison 2-1. In the 5th place game, Erie Community college edged the Lions 2-1, ending their season with a 16-8-1 overall record in 2017.
Suffolk advanced to the Division III national tournament while Monroe won the District Tournament to earn a berth into the Division I dance. Neither team found much success though, failing to advance into their respective tournaments’ semifinal rounds. Monroe placed second out of their three team pool while Suffolk lost to Camden in the quarterfinals by a score of 2-1.
After winning the Regional title and returning to the NJCAA DIII Women’s Volleyball tournament for the second straight season, the Queensborough Tigers didn’t have their best performance. The Tigers pulled the tournament’s #8 seed, earning them a first-round matchup against top seed and eventual runner-up Harper. After being swept by the tournament’s top seed 3-0, Queensborough fell to #5 St. Cloud Tech and #7 Jamestown in the consolation rounds to finish 8th overall in the tournament.
Monroe’s women also had a quick exit at the DI national tournament. The Mustangs earned the #12 seed in the 16 team event and got beaten 3-0 by #5 ranked Hill. #4 ranked Western Nebraska then edged Monroe 3-2 in the first round of the consolation bracket. They ended their season with a 20-11 overall record.
Suffolk and Kingsborough both made appearances at the DIII Women’s Tennis national tournament in Peachtree City, Georgia last month. The Sharks placed 4th overall with 14.5 points while Kingsborough earned an 8th place finish with 3 points in the 10 team field. Suffolk’s Joan Dabalski earned Second-Team All-American honors after finishing runner up in the 6th flight singles event. She was the only Region XV performer to earn a berth in a Championship match as Oxford Emory swept all matches en route to winning the tournament by a 16.5 point margin,
Women’s Cross Country
Kingsborough and FIT placed 3rd and 4th respectively in this year’s Division III Women’s Cross Country national tournament. The Wave’s Tyesha James finished 4th individually in the women’s 5k race with a time of 19:22.0, earning herself First Team All-American honors. Nassau’s Catherine Matteo, who ran as an individual, finished 14th overall, which earned her All-American Honorable Mention status. On the Division I side, Monroe’s women finished 14th out of the 44 team National event.
Men’s Cross Country
It was a similar result on the men’s side as two of the Region’s teams placed in the top 4 at the Division III Tournament. Suffolk finished second with 100 points, narrowly missing out on a National Championship by 16 points to Harper, who swept both the men’s and women’s competitions. Kingsborough had a strong showing on the men’s side as well, placing 4th with 177 points.
Individually, Kingsborough’s Humberto Wallace finished 3rd overall with a time of 26:26.7 in the 8K race. The Wave’s D’Andre Mighty (7th), Nassau’s Gabriel Dasilva (10th), and Suffolk’s Ilya Wilson (13th) and Steven Beyer (15th) also placed in the top 15 at the national race to earn All-American recognition.
ASA football posted an 8-1 record this fall and has earned a bowl bid for the second straight year. The nation’s #16 ranked program will travel to Mesa, AZ to take on Mesa in the Valley of the Sun Bowl.
Earlier this season, Nassau announced the formation of the Region’s first ever women’s wrestling program. The team features two wrestlers this season and expects to grow their roster to 8-12 participants next year. Kristen Walsh, one of the team’s two inaugural members, competed in Nassau’s first ever tournament back on November 18th in Missouri. While Walsh left the event with a losing record, she did record the first victory in program history at the tournament.
“I wanted to win,” Walsh said. “It’s the first female team from New York.”
The duo will continue to compete in tournaments nation-wide as they continue to grow Nassau’s recognition both on Long Island and nationally.