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Mark Gidjunis
Pat Baldiserra
College Soccer:
Co-Raptors of the Week: Pat Baldiserra & Mark Gidjunis

Monday, November 13, 2006

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Pat Baldiserra and Mark Gidjunis

Midfielders Pat Baldiserra (Milmay, NJ/Buena Regional) and Mark Gidjunis (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) were instrumental in leading Rutgers-Camden to the 2006 ECAC Division III Men’s Metro Soccer Championship title. Baldiserra earned tournament MVP honors by collecting a goal and three assists, including an assist on Rodney Guishard’s winning goal in the title game against New Jersey City University Nov. 12. The three assists gave Baldiserra 13 for the year, setting a single-season program record. Gidjunis, meanwhile, notched his first two career goals, including the game-winning tally in a semifinal victory over Richard Stockton College Nov. 11.

MEN’S SOCCER (12-4-6)


ECAC Division III Men’s Metro Soccer Championship

Quarterfinals, Wednesday, Nov. 8
Game 1: #1 New Jersey City University 2, #8 Centenary College 0
Game 2: #7 City College of New York at #2 Rutgers University-Camden, ppd. to Nov. 9
Game 3: #6 Ramapo College at #3 Richard Stockton College, ppd. to Nov. 9
Game 4: #4 Kean University 2, #5 Drew University 1

Quarterfinals, Thursday, Nov. 9
Game 2: #2 Rutgers University-Camden 5, #7 City College of New York 0
Game 3: #3 Richard Stockton College 3, #6 Ramapo College 1

Semifinals, Saturday, Nov. 11
Game #5: #1 New Jersey City University 2, #4 Kean University 1
Game #6: #2 Rutgers University-Camden 2, #3 Richard Stockton College 1

Championship, Sunday, Nov. 12
Game #7: #2 Rutgers University-Camden 1, #1 New Jersey City University 0

Neither rain, or winds or sloppy field conditions could keep Rutgers-Camden from the 2006 ECAC Division III Men’s Metro Soccer Championship.

Junior midfielder Pat Baldiserra (Milmay, NJ/Buena Regional), the tournament MVP, assisted on the game-winning goal by junior midfielder Rodney Guishard (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) with only 8:55 remaining to lead the second-seeded Scarlet Raptors past top-seeded New Jersey City University, 1-0, Nov. 12 in Jersey City. The game at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field was played under heavy rain and winds in the second half.

The Scarlet Raptors’ victory, their third in four days, gave Rutgers-Camden its first ECAC men’s soccer championship. The Raptors, who had been 0-3 in three previous ECAC tournaments before this season (1988, 2000 and 2001), outscored opponents, 8-1, on their way to the 2006 title.

The game’s lone goal came at 81:05 after a pair of Gothic Knights collided in NJCU’s own third of the slippery field. That gave Rutgers-Camden a two-on-one breakaway and Baldiserra fed a pass onto the right wing. Before NJCU junior goalie Bruce Neves could cut off the play, Guishard hit a shot into the right side of the net. It was his sixth goal of the season and fourth game-winner, including two against NJCU.

The assist was the 13th of the year for Baldiserra, setting a single-season Rutgers-Camden record. He had been tied at 12 assists with Ruthven Williams (1976) and Mike Zeno (1995). Baldiserra, who had an assist in each of the Raptors’ three ECAC tournament wins and also added a goal against City College of New York Thursday, also raised his career total to 24 assists. He will enter his senior season next fall only four assists shy of Zeno’s Rutgers-Camden career record, set from 1992-95.

Baldiserra’s assist also allowed him to tie NJCU sophomore midfielder Cristhian Acuna for the New Jersey Athletic Conference lead in assists.

Rutgers-Camden closed its season with a 13-4-6 record, including a 4-0-3 mark in its last seven games. The Raptors were 8-1-4 in their last 13 games, including 2-0-1 against the powerful Gothic Knights, who were one of eight opponents on the schedule to be ranked nationally during the season in one, or both, of the and the NSCAA/adidas Division III Top 25 polls. In 11 games against those eight teams, the Raptors went 5-2-4.

NJCU finished the season with a school-record 17 victories for the third consecutive year and fourth time in six seasons. The Gothic Knights closed at 17-6-2.

The shutout marked the first time NJCU has been blanked at home since a 1-0 loss to Montclair State University on October 30, 2002 -- a span of 46 games. NJCU was shutout for only the second time this season and second time in its last 43 contests. The shutout was the 10th of the season for the Scarlet Raptors.

NJCU outshot Rutgers-Camden, 21-9, including 9-3 in the second half. There were few solid scoring chances, however, as the Gothic Knights only held a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. They also held a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks in the game which featured 36 fouls, and was marred by an ugly altercation in the Camden goalmouth with 5:41 remaining in regulation.

Camden senior keeper David Cunningham (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional) made five saves to record his fourth shutout of the season. His best stop came at 84:19, when he blocked a shot by NJCU senior midfielder Chris Palumbo. Neves made three saves for NJCU.

In the ECAC Metro semifinals, freshman midfielder Mark Gidjunis (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) scored the game-winning goal with 12:52 remaining, assisted by senior forward Evan Graves (Somerdale, NJ/Triton Regional), to power Rutgers-Camden over Richard Stockton College, 2-1, Nov. 11 in Camden.

With a potential overtime approaching, the Raptors notched the winning goal when Graves sent a cross to the top of the box from the left side. Gidjunis, who had notched his first collegiate goal in a 4-1 ECAC quarterfinal win over City College of New York Thursday night, settled the ball, spun and hit a shot into the left side of the net for his second goal and first collegiate game-winning tally.

That goal proved to be enough to help the Scarlet Raptors eliminate the defending ECAC Metro tournament champions. Stockton closes its season at 14-6-2, while Rutgers-Camden heads to the finals with a 12-4-6 record.

The Raptors notched the game’s first goal at 20:46 when sophomore forward Andrew Dorsey (Mt. Laurel, NJ/The King’s Christian School) scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season. He slipped a shot inside the right post after taking a short through ball in the box from Baldiserra. The assist was the 12th of the year for Baldiserra, tying the program’s single-season mark which he broke the next day.

Stockton tied the game 3:24 into the second half when senior midfielder Brad Wescott scored his third goal of the year off of a loose ball in the box.

Rutgers-Camden held a slim 14-13 advantage in shots and a 6-4 margin in corner kicks. Cunningham and Ospreys sophomore keeper Matt Hart each made five saves.

In their ECAC opener November 9, the Raptors scored four first-half goals on their way to a 5-0 victory over City College of New York during a quarterfinal game in Camden.

The win was the first ECAC tournament victory for Rutgers-Camden, which lost its previous three ECAC games in 1988, 2000 and 2001.

Baldiserra collected a goal and an assist in the contest. He scored the game’s first goal at 4:43, picking up a loose ball in the box after CCNY keeper Neil Khalid Salim made a save against the Raptors’ Guishard. It was Baldiserra’s fourth goal of the season.

Baldiserra added a second-half assist on a goal by freshman back Pat Morris (Bellmawr, NJ/Paul VI). The assist, a cross from the left side for a tap-in by Morris, was the 11th of the year for Baldiserra.

Rutgers-Camden, which held a 19-9 advantage in shots, added a second goal at 12:04. Gidjunis notched his first career goal off an assist from junior midfielder Rob Gambino (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee).

A takedown in the box gave the Raptors a penalty kick at 29:02, and Cunningham took the shot to score his first career goal. Moments later, Dorsey tallied at 33:21, assisted by freshman midfielder Dom Crocetti (Marlton, NJ/Holy Cross).

Cunningham collected three saves while playing 34:03 in goal to earn the victory. He split the shutout with junior Brent Grunow (Estell Manor, NJ/Buena Regional) and freshman Corey McDonough (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast Catholic). Grunow played 21:18 without needing to make a save, while McDonough made one save in the final 34:39. It was the Raptors’ ninth team shutout of the year.

For the Beavers, who end their season at 10-7, Salim made five saves.

WOMEN’S SOCCER (10-9-1 overall/3-6 NJAC)


ECAC Division III Men’s Metro Soccer Championship

Semifinals, Saturday, Nov. 11
Game #1: #1 Manhattanville 2, #4 St. Joseph’s-Patchogue 0
Game #2: #2 Farmingdale State 2, #3 Rutgers University-Camden 1.

Championship, Sunday, Nov. 12
Game #3: #1 Manhattanville vs. #2 Farmingdale State

Freshman forward Renee Schondebare scored off the rebound of a saved shot with 1:12 remaining to lift second-seeded Farmingdale State University to a 2-1 victory over #3 seed Rutgers University-Camden in the ECAC Division III Women’s Metro Soccer Championship semifinals Nov. 11 in Farmingdale, N.Y.

With time winding down in regulation, the Rams’ freshman midfielder Christina Cascio took a shot from the top of the box that was blocked by Raptor junior goalie Kristen Cargen (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East). Schondebare knocked in the rebound to break the 1-1 tie, giving the Rams their fifth win in six games.

Rutgers-Camden, playing its first game since Oct. 25, scored its lone goal at 18:40. Freshman midfielder Tina Mascia (Deptford, NJ/Washington Township) made a run up the middle and deflected a shot off the post for her third goal of the season.

Farmingdale State tied the game at 62:59 when freshman midfielder Tricia Pickford hit a shot from the right side that produced the equalizer.

The Rams held a 13-12 edge in shots and the Raptors had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Cargen made five saves for Rutgers-Camden, while freshman Kimberly Sontag had four saves for Farmingdale.

Rutgers-Camden closed its season at 10-9-1.



Sat. 18 at NCAA Atlantic Regionals (men’s team only)
(at Letchworth State Park, Mt. Morris, NY)

MEN (8K): 1. New York University, 67; 2. SUNY-Cortland, 73; 3. Rochester Institute of Technology, 102; 4. The College of New Jersey, 105; 5. SUNY-Geneseo, 113; 6. University of Rochester, 208; 7. Ithaca, 240; 8. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 271; 9. SUNY-Plattsburgh, 287; 10. SUNY-Brockport, 300; 11. St. Lawrence, 318; 12. Rowan University, 361; 13. Vassar, 393; 14. Nazareth, 412; 15. SUNY-Oswego, 421; 16. Hamilton, 440; 17. Alfred, 474; 18. Oneonta, 492; 19. Fredonia, 499; 20. United States Merchant Marine Academy, 576; 21. Rutgers-Camden, 584; 22. Ramapo, 676; 23. Richard Stockton, 679; 24. Utica, 723; 25. Hartwick, 744; 26. Stevens Institute of Technology, 750; 27. SUNY-IT, 788; 28. Hobart, 829; 29. Clarkson, 831; 30. New Paltz, 863; 31. Cazenovia, 911; 32. Kean, 914; 33. Union, 969; 34. Potsdam, 979.

Leading runner: Matt DeShane (SUNY-Plattsburgh), 25:10.0
Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Travis Stewart, 27:13.5

Rutgers-Camden sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) posted an 8K time of 27:13.5 to finish 59th overall out of 230 runners at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships Nov. 11 in Mt. Morris, New York.

The event, which was held at Letchworth State Park and was hosted by SUNY-Geneseo, was won by Matt DeShane of SUNY-Plattsburgh with a 25:10.0 clocking. New York University (67 points) finished first out of 34 teams in the men’s competition, while Rutgers-Camden placed 21st with 584 points.

The Lady Raptors did not compete in the 30-team women’s event, which was won by host Geneseo with 46 points. The individual female champion was Geneseo’s Liz Montgomery, who ran a 21:17.4 over the 6K course.

Freshman Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) finished second for the Scarlet Raptors and 82nd overall with a time of 27:44.0, followed by freshman Frank Iwanicki (Edgewater Park, NJ/Holy Cross), who ran a 29:18.8 to finish 142nd overall.

Finishing fourth for the Raptors and 145th overall was freshman Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City), who ran a 29:27.6. Sophomore G. Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) was fifth on the team and 162nd overall (29:54.7), while sophomore Stefon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove) was 218th (33:27.6).


Upcoming Games


(At Alvernia University, Reading, PA)

Fri. 17 Curry College vs. Baldwin-Wallace College 6 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. Alvernia College 8 p.m.

Sat. 18 Consolation 1 p.m.
Championship 3 p.m.

Tues. 21 at Valley Forge Christian College 8 p.m.


(at Keystone College, La Plume, PA)

Sat. 2 Keystone College vs. Williamson Trade 6 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. Albany College of Pharmacy 8 p.m.

Sun. 3 Consolation 1 p.m.
Championship 3 p.m.

Wed. 6* Richard Stockton College 8 p.m.
Sat. 9* William Paterson University 3 p.m.
Tues. 12 Baptist Bible College 6 p.m.
Thurs. 14* at Montclair State University 7 p.m.
Sat. 16 Elizabethtown College 3 p.m.


Upcoming Games


(At Lincoln University, PA)

Fri. 17 Rutgers-Camden vs. Washington (MD) College 5 p.m.
Rosemont College vs. Lincoln University 7 p.m.

Sat. 18 Consolation 1 p.m.
Championship 3 p.m.

Tues. 21 at Valley Forge Christian College 6 p.m.
Tues. 28 Eastern University 6 p.m.

Sat. 2* at Montclair State University 1 p.m.
Mon. 4 at Elizabethtown College 7:30 p.m.
Wed. 6* Richard Stockton College 6 p.m.
Sat. 9* William Paterson University 1 p.m.
Tues. 12 at College of Staten Island 7 p.m.

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