By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior back Brandon Bond ended his sterling Rutgers-Camden men’s soccer career last week with a fine performance as the Scarlet Raptors advanced to the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship game for the first time in program history. Bond assisted on a goal in a 2-1 semifinal win over Ramapo College Nov. 5 and joined senior teammate Kevin Ridgway in the program’s record books with his 80th career game during a 1-0 loss at The College of New Jersey in the title game. In his 80 career games he made 49 starts including 39 in the last two seasons and collected four goals and four assists for 12 points. The last two years he helped the Raptors post a 30-7-5 record with back-to-back 15-win campaigns, the most single-season victories in the program’s history. During Bond’s career, the Raptors went 47-24-10, the program’s best four-year run ever.
MEN'S SOCCER (15-5-1/6-2-1 NJAC)
Sat., Nov. 5 NJAC Championship
One goal proved to be the difference between a conference championship and a runnerup spot, and between an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament and the end of a banner season.
Sophomore forward Matt Luber collected the only goal of the game 13:59 into the second half as top-seeded The College of New Jersey edged second-seeded Rutgers-Camden, 1-0, Nov. 5 in Ewing to earn the 2005 New Jersey Athletic Conference men’s soccer title.
The Lions, who are ranked No. 8 nationally, also earned the NJAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as they raised their record to 14-2-1. It was TCNJ’s 17th NJAC title since 1959 and its first since 1994.
For Rutgers-Camden, ranked No. 23 nationally, it was a heartbreaking defeat in the first NJAC final in program history. The Raptors, who found out early Monday mornng that they were not selected to the 56-team NCAA tournament field, finish the season at 15-5-1, tied for the school victory record they set last season.
TCNJ scored the only goal it needed with 31:01 remaining when a through ball by junior back Tim Dudek sprung Luber, breaking into the box sandwiched between two defenders. Luber managed to launch a low shot inside the right post for his ninth goal of the season, tying Dudek for the team lead.
Neither team had many chances in the first half, when TCNJ held a 7-4 advantage in shots and Rutgers-Camden had the only corner kick. Both teams had only one shot on goal in the opening half.
Rutgers-Camden had a slight edge in shots in the second half as the two teams finished with 12 shots apiece. The Scarlet Raptors held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks and also were whistled for 26 fouls to the Lions’ eight.
Rutgers-Camden junior goalie David Cunningham (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional) collected three saves in the loss as his record dropped to 10-3-1. Lions sophomore keeper Matt Kasperavicius collected three saves in earning his fifth shutout of the season.
The game was the 80th and final career contest for senior back Brandon Bond (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) and senior forward Kevin Ridgway (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson), as they both extended their Rutgers-Camden program record. Senior back Tom Blumenstein (Audubon, NJ/Paul VI), meanwhile, played in his 79th game to move past another former Cinnaminson High School star, Chad Zimecki (2000-2003) and into third place on the career charts.
The Raptors reached the conference title game with a 2-1 semifinal victory over Ramapo College Nov. 2 in Camden. Rutgers-Camden used goals from midfielders Devin Burgin (Pennsauken, NJ/Bishop Eustace) and Michael Reed (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East).
Rutgers-Camden scored the only goal of the first half when Burgin headed in a long restart from Bond at 8:15. Bond hit his long drive toward the far left post and Burgin rose above a crowd to head home the goal. It was the seventh goal of the season for the senior midfielder.
The Raptors took a 2-0 lead only 1:46 into the second half when Reed scored his second goal of the season. The junior scored off a pass down the left wing by freshman forward Andrew Dorsey (Mt. Laurel, NJ/The King’s Christian School).
Rutgers-Camden, which held a 17-7 advantage in shots and a 5-1 edge in corner kicks, seemed to have control of the game before Ramapo cut the gap to 2-1 with 11:36 remaining. Freshman midfielder Mutlu Duru collected a loose ball at the top of the box following a corner kick and ripped a shot under the crossbar for his sixth goal of the season.
Cunningham made three saves in goal for the Raptors. Ramapo freshman keeper Michael Kull had eight saves.
The game marked a milestone for Bond and Ridgway as they both played in their 79th contest at Rutgers-Camden to break the career mark of 78 they shared with Zimecki.
MEN (8K): 1. Williams, 46; 2. Bates, 71; 3. College of New Jersey, 149; 4. Vassar, 172; 5. Middlebury, 224; 6. Oneonta, 226; 7. Wesleyan, 231; 8. Amherst, 256; 9. Tufts, 267; 10. Coast Guard, 315; 11. UMass-Dartmouth, 316; 12. Keene State, 320; 13. USMMA, 370; 14. Babson, 392; 15. Conn College, 394; 16. Springfield, 415; 17. Plattsburgh, 417; 18. RIC, 487; 19. Colby College, 544; 20. Ramapo College, 560; 21. Stevens Tech, 617; 22. Westfield State, 619; 23. Maritime NY, 679; 24. SUNY-Institute of Technology, 683; 25 St. Joseph’s College, 690; 26. St. Joseph’s-Maine, 718; 27. Kean University, 730; 28. Keystone College, 761; 29. Johnson and Wales, 792; 30. Bard College, 808; 31. Emmanuel College, 910; 32. Rutgers-Camden, 944; 33. Salem State, 950; 34. Mass Maritime, 952; 35. Cazenovia College, 956; 36. Roger Williams, 959; 37. Eastern Nazarene, 977; 38. York College, 1030.
Leading runner: Steve Monsulick (Bates), 25:19.
Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Travis Stewart, 27:57.
WOMEN (6K): 1. Amherst, 71; 2. Tufts, 73; 3. Williams, 111; 4. Middlebury, 130; 5. Coast Guard, 177; 6. Colby College, 180; 7. College of New Jersey, 220; 8. Conn College, 222; 9. Springfield, 235; 10. Vassar, 240; 11. Oneonta, 329; 12. Bates, 392; 13. Southern Maine, 400; 14. Clark University, 444; 15. SUNY-New Paltz, 493; 16. Plattsburgh, 512; 17. York College, 513; 18. William Smith College, 523; 19. Emmanuel College, 567; 20. Keystone College, 620; 21. St. Joseph’s College, 630; 22. Salve Regina, 663; 23. Johnson and Wales, 668; 24. Westfield State, 680; 25. Baruch College, 687; 26. Bard College, 691; 27. St. Joseph’s Maine, 715; 28. Kean University, 722; 29. Framingham State, 736. Incomplete: Rutgers-Camden
Leading runner: Meg Young (Springfield College), 21:46..
Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Joelle Diener, 26:37.
Rutgers University-Camden freshman Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) finished 109th out of 265 runners at the ECAC Division III Cross Country Championships Nov. 5. Stewart ran the 8K distance in 27:57 as the Scarlet Raptors collected 944 points to finish 32nd among 38 teams in the event held at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut.
Williams College won the race with 46 points, while Bates College junior Steve Monsulick was the individual champion with a 25:19 clocking.
Rutgers-Camden ran only three runners in the women’s race as it failed to field a team. Amherst College outran 28 other teams to win that race with 71 points. Springfield College senior Meg Young was the individual champion in the 227-woman 6K race, posting a time of 21:46.
In the men’s race, Raptors senior Chris McGowan (Barrington, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) finished 160th overall (28:56), while freshman Darryl Mendillo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) was 231st (32:20), junior Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) finished 255th ((36:18), freshman Nick Eric (Port St. Lucie, FL/Fort Pierce Central) finished 263rd (38:25) and senior Taiwan Lamb (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) was 265th (51:34).
On the women’s side, senior Joelle Diener (Rickenbach, Switzerland/Kantonsschule, Olten) paced the Lady Raptors with a 26:37 clocking to finish 131st. Junior Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township) finished 174th (28:44) and senior Tanishia Greene (Georgetown, SC/Georgetown) was 220th (32:50).
Rutgers-Camden returns to action Nov. 12 for the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regionals in Rochester, NY.