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College Cross Country:
Raptor of the Week: Travis Stewart & Jonathan Salamon

Monday, October 30, 2006

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Travis Stewart and Jonathan Salamon

Sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) and freshman Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) became the first Rutgers-Camden men to ever earn All-New Jersey Athletic Conference cross country honors as they made the All-NJAC Second Team at the conference meet Oct. 28. Stewart finished eighth and Salamon was 14th with times of 26:31.10 and 26:59.18, respectively. They helped Rutgers-Camden finish fifth in the men’s race. It is the second Raptor of the Week honor this fall for Stewart, who also earned recognition Oct. 16.

MEN’S SOCCER (10-4-5 overall/5-2-2 NJAC)

Wed. 25 Rutgers-Camden 3, New Jersey City University 2

NJAC Championships

Sat. 28 First Round
New Jersey City University 2, Rowan University 0
Kean University 2, Richard Stockton College 1

Upcoming games

NJAC Championships

Tues. 31 Semifinals
New Jersey City at Rutgers-Camden 7 p.m.
Kean at Montclair State 7:30 p.m.

Fri. 3 NJAC Championship TBA

With a first-round bye for the New Jersey Athletic Conference men’s soccer championships on the line, the regular-season conference finale between Rutgers-Camden and New Jersey City University had all the electricity of a playoff game Oct. 25 in Jersey City.

The Scarlet Raptors grabbed a three-goal lead and weathered a furious Gothic Knight comeback as Rutgers-Camden hung on for a 3-2 road victory over NJCU, which was ranked No. 22 nationally in the Top 25 released Oct. 24.

With the victory, the Scarlet Raptors leapfrogged over the Gothic Knights and clinched second place in the NJAC regular season for the second consecutive year. That victory gave the Raptors a first-round bye when the conference tournament started Oct. 28. NJCU bounced back from that defeat to topple Rowan University, 2-0, in a first-round game and will face the Scarlet Raptors again Tuesday in a NJAC semifinal battle. The game will be played in Camden at 7 p.m.

In their loss to the Raptors at Jersey City, the Gothic Knights saw their 13-game home field winning streak snapped by Rutgers-Camden. It marked the first time the Knights had lost consecutive games since Oct. 20 and 23, 2004, a span of 50 games.

The Knights out-shot the Raptors, 13-7, in the opening half, but Rutgers-Camden struck for a pair of goals only 1:28 apart. Both were assisted by junior midfielder Pat Baldiserra (Milmay, NJ/Buena Regional).

Baldiserra sent a cross into the box from the right wing. It landed at the feet of senior forward Evan Graves (Somerdale, NJ/Triton Regional), who buried a two-yard shot at 35:13. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Moments later, a defender slipped and Baldiserra played a through ball, which led to the third goal of the season by junior midfielder Rob Gambino (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) at 36:41. Gambino beat NJCU junior goalie Bruce Neves in a one-on-one.

Gambino’s cross early in the second half produced the eventual game-winning goal. He sent a cross from the right wing into the box, where junior midfielder Rodney Guishard (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) one-timed a shot into the goal at 53:05. It was the fifth goal of the season and the third game-winning goal for Guishard.

That goal came on the Raptors’ lone second-half shot. It proved to be the decisive tally as NJCU stormed back with a goal by sophomore forward Jamel Carson at 58:34. He scored off a leaping header inside the left post. It was assisted by sophomore midfielder Cristhian Acuna, who notched his own goal at 66:17 on a penalty kick after the Raptors were called for a handball in the box.

NJCU out-shot the Raptors, 24-8, including 11-1 in the second half, but Rutgers-Camden senior keeper David Cunningham (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional) made nine saves for the win. Neves made two saves for NJCU.

WOMEN'S SOCCER (10-8-1 overall/3-6 NJAC)


Mon. 23 Richard Stockton College 1, Rutgers-Camden 0
Wed. 25 Rutgers-Camden 7, New Jersey City University 0
Sun. 29 St. Joseph’s College-Patchogue, cancelled (field conditions)

Upcoming games

ECAC Championships


On a night when Rutgers-Camden celebrated Senior Night, a pair of seniors stole the show.

Senior forward Aubree McDermott (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) collected three goals and two assists to tie her own single-game program point record of eight, and senior forward Katie O’Connor (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) added seven points on two goals and three assists to power Rutgers-Camden over New Jersey City University, 7-0. The game, held Oct. 25 in Camden, was the final New Jersey Athletic Conference game of the season for both teams.

McDermott notched her second hat trick of the season in the first half and also had one assist as the Raptors took a 5-0 halftime lead. She completed her big night with a second-half assist to tie her own mark of eight points (three goals and two assists) set against the College of St. Elizabeth on Oct. 7. Her hat trick marked her second of the season and the ninth in program history.

O’Connor, McDermott, Kelley Murphy (Haddon Heights, NJ/Haddon Heights), Deanna Richardson (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) and Josephine Stansbury (Deptford, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) were celebrating Senior Night.

O’Connor had seven points at halftime. She collected assists on all three of McDermott’s goals and added a pair of her own tallies. Her three-assist game was the 11th time that has happened in program history and the first since McDermott did it against Cabrini College on Sept. 6. It was one assist shy of the program mark shared by two players.

Rutgers-Camden, which held a 33-7 advantage in shots, also received a goal and an assist from freshman midfielder Tina Mascia (Deptford, NJ/Washington Township), one goal from freshman forward Kate Campbell (Mt. Ephraim, NJ/Audubon), two assists from Richardson and one assist from freshman back Kristen Borton (Maple Shade, NJ/Maple Shade) for her first collegiate point.

It was the Lady Raptors’ biggest win since a 7-0 victory over St. Elizabeth Oct. 7.

Junior goalie Kristen Cargen (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) made two saves for the Raptors to notch her second shutout of the season. The team has seven shutouts overall.

Gothic Knights junior goalie Alexis Chisari played a fine game under pressure, making 13 saves and stopping numerous other threats.

In their first game of the week on Oct. 23, the Lady Raptors watched freshman forward Samantha Bean score the only goal of the contest off a scramble at the goal mouth to lift Richard Stockton College to a 1-0 victory in a conference makeup game in Camden. The game was rescheduled from Oct. 11, when the two teams played a scoreless first half in the pouring rain before the field became unplayable.

Bean notched the only goal at 69:34 after a restart was played into the box at the near left post. Following a scramble, she scored her fourth goal of the season from a crowd near the goal line.

The two teams battled through a scoreless first half with Stockton holding a slim 7-5 edge in shots. The Ospreys picked it up in the second half in a 12-1 flurry of shots to finish the night out-shooting the Raptors, 19-6. Stockton also held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Stockton sophomore goalie Alex Rogers made five saves as Rutgers-Camden put its limited shots on goal. The Raptors’ goalie duo of Cargen and sophomore Jayme Gatti (Delran, NJ/Delran) made one and two saves, respectively. Cargen played the first 77:11 in the net, allowing the one goal.

VOLLEYBALL (6-17 overall/1-7 NJAC)

Tues. 24 DeSales University 30-31-30, Rutgers-Camden 17-29-24
Fri. 27 at King’s College cancelled

Rutgers-Camden concluded the best volleyball season in program history Oct. 24 when it was swept by DeSales University, 30-17, 31-29 and 30-24, in a non-conference home match.

Freshman outside hitter Jen Mellon collected 11 kills, 12 assists, three service aces and seven digs to lead the DeSales as the Bulldogs improved to 10-19, snapping a three-match losing streak.

DeSales also received 15 assists, two aces and five digs from junior Gia Zimmerman, while sophomore Rachel Koury notched 10 digs. Juniors Molly Motley and Allie Boyer collected seven and six kills, respectively.

For the Lady Raptors, freshman Marci Polite (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) collected 16 kills, one ace, 12 digs and five solo blocks, while junior Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) notched 21 digs, two blocks, 18 assists and five kills. Freshmen Heather Pohorely (Lebanon, NJ/Hunterdon Central), Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Deanne Linen (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) each had three kills. Powell added seven assists and 19 digs, while Pohorely had four aces, 15 digs and one assist. Linen added two digs.

Sophomore Nikki Cosico (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) had 28 digs, two aces and one kill and sophomore Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) added three solo blocks. Cosico’s 28 digs tied the program’s three-game match record set by Erin Kelley against William Paterson University on Sept. 17, 2002.

Rutgers-Camden closes its season with a 6-17 record, setting numerous program records under first-year Head Coach Carl Taylor. The six wins were two more than the previous mark set during a 4-18 campaign in 2003. The Lady Raptors reached .500 on two occasions, at 2-2 and 5-5, for the first time the program had ever been at .500 since it started in 2000. Rutgers-Camden also had a program-record three-match winning streak from Sept. 26-30, including its first New Jersey Athletic Conference victory ever (26-30, 23-30, 33-31, 30-25, 15-12 at William Paterson University Sept. 26).

The team set numerous single-match records and also set club single-season marks for kills (749), kills/game (9.36), service aces (266), aces/game (3.33), assists (677), assists/game (8.46), solo blocks (218), total blocks (230), blocks/game (2.88) and hitting percentage (.147).

Individually, the Lady Raptors also set numerous single-match records or placed on the charts among many program match records. For the season, several Lady Raptors climbed onto the program charts in every category, with Grochowski and Polite posting the two best single-season hitting percentages in program history at .210 and .197, respectively. Polite’s 110 blocks also were the second-highest single-season mark in program history behind Joy Silver’s 146 in 2002.

Grochowski set the program career records for matches played (69) and games played (235), while adding to her own records for kills (746), blocks (185), digs (989) and total attempts (2,517). She also holds the program career marks for kills/game (3.17) and digs/game (4.21), while Polite moved into the career lead for the top hitting percentage of any player with over 50 kills (.197).



Fri. 27 RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Fall Invitational
(at Town & Country Golf Links, Woodstown, NJ)

1. Rutgers-Camden, 350; 2. Swarthmore, 353; 3. Haverford, 361; 4. Richard Stockton, 381; 5. Gwynedd-Mercy, 417.

Individual Medalist: Dave Taraschi (Rutgers-Camden), 78.

Rutgers-Camden Scores: Taraschi 78, Matt Tomasic 86, Joe Midili 92, Rob Burgess 94, Mike Nauss 98.

Rutgers-Camden golfer Dave Taraschi (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) finally had the chance to make his collegiate debut, and the Scarlet Raptors’ freshman made it a memorable one.

Taraschi, who has been sidelined by an injury all season, shot a 6-over par 78 to earn medalist honors and power Rutgers-Camden to the team title at the RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Fall Invitational here Friday. The invitational was held at the Par 72 Town & Country Golf Links in Woodstown.

Taraschi’s performance sparked the Raptors to a 350 team score, as they finished three strokes ahead of runnerup Swarthmore College. Haverford College was third (361), followed by Richard Stockton College (381) and Gwynedd-Mercy College (417).

Swarthmore sophomore David Lau finished second with a round of 83. Haverford’s Kevin McGravey and Rutgers-Camden senior Matt Tomasic (Berlin, NJ/St. Augustine Prep) each shot an 86, with McGravey taking third on a match of cards.

Making his collegiate golf debut and finishing third on the Scarlet Raptors was junior Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), who is a member of the Rutgers-Camden baseball team. Midili shot a 92. Rounding out the Raptors’ squad were senior Rob Burgess (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) and sophomore Michael Nauss (Blackwood, NJ/Paul VI), who recorded rounds of 94 and 98, respectively.

The Scarlet Raptors completed their injury-riddled fall season competing in four invitationals and posting a 17-42 record. Of the golfers who competed in more than one match, Tomasic had the lowest average (81.8), followed by Nauss (87.4) and Burgess (90.0).



Sat. 28 New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships
(at Richard Stockton College)

MEN (8K): 1. The College of New Jersey, 17; 2. Rowan University, 65; 3. Ramapo College, 100; 4. Richard Stockton College, 101; 5. Rutgers-Camden, 107; 6. New Jersey City University, 180; 7. Kean University, 188.

Leading runner: Christopher Guerriero (The College of New Jersey), 25:30.76

Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Travis Stewart, 26:31.10

WOMEN (5K): 1. The College of New Jersey, 15; 2. Richard Stockton College, 67; 3. Ramapo College, 73; 4. Rowan University, 89; 5. New Jersey City University, 152. Inc. Team: Rutgers-Camden

Leading runner: Megan O’Leary (The College of New Jersey), 23:11.12

Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Rachel McCormick, 32:13.55

Upcoming meets


Sat. 4 ECAC Championships
(at Williams College)

Sat. 18 NCAA Atlantic Regionals
(at SUNY-Geneseo)

Sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) and freshman Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) became the first Rutgers University-Camden men’s cross country runners to earn All-New Jersey Athletic Conference honors and Head Coach Joe Puleo was named the NJAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year at the NJAC Cross Country Championships Oct. 28 at Richard Stockton College.

Stewart and Salamon, who each earned All-NJAC Second Team honors by finishing eighth and 14th, respectively, led the Rutgers-Camden men to a fifth-place finish in the conference meet with 107 points. It was the best finish ever for the Raptors since they started competing in the NJAC meet in 1992.

Puleo’s award was his second major NJAC coaching honor. In 2005, he was named the NJAC Women’s Co-Coach of the Year for track and field.

The College of New Jersey won both the men’s race (17 points) and the women’s race (15), led by individual winners Christopher Guerriero (25:30.76 over 8K) and Megan O’Leary (23:11.12 over 6K).

The Rutgers-Camden women had only three runners and didn’t field a complete team. Senior Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township) was the top runner for the Lady Raptors, finishing 49th in the 60-runner field in a time of 32:13.55.

Stewart and Salamon each posted their best 8K times of the season. Stewart ran a 26:31.10 and Salamon posted a 26:59.18 clocking. Stewart’s time is the third-best 8K time in program history, while Salamon’s time is the eight best, just behind the 26:58 Stewart ran at the Paul Short Run Sept. 29. The program record is Warren Walker’s 25:22 run on Nov. 6, 1972 at the Delaware Valley Conference Championships.

Stewart and Salamon were two of eight runners the Raptors ran in the 65-man field. Finishing third on the team, and 34th overall, was sophomore G. Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township), who posted a time of 28:33.01. He was followed by freshmen Frank Iwanicki (Edgewater Park, NJ/Holy Cross) and Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City), who were 37th and 44th, respectively, with times of 28:41.28 and 29:16.61.

The Raptors’ sophomore Darryl Mendillo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) finished 56th (32:04.04), followed by sophomore Stefon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove), who was 57th (32:17.20). Freshman Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace) rounded out the Raptors’ team effort by finishing 65th (40:57.88).

On the women’s side, the Raptors other two runners, in addition to McCormick, included junior Jessica Hull (Sicklerville, NJ/Fairton Christian Center and Academy) and freshman Rebecca Taylor (Haddon Heights, NJ/Haddon Heights). Hull finished 54th (34:20.52) and Taylor was 60th (40:24.51).


Sat. 28 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

(Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA)


Inclement weather washed out the final regatta of the season for the Rutgers-Camden women’s crew team as the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta was rained out Oct. 28.