Although their season came to an end last week, the men’s soccer team had five members earn All-East Region Honors by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Three members were named to the first team, including senior midfielder Per Forgaard, junior forward Jason Lampkin, and sophomore back David Arvidsson. Junior goalkeeper Jesper Malmstrom got a second team nod and senior midfielder Matias Ruiz earned third team recognition. In addition to this honor, Forgaard and Arvidsson were also named All-Americans by the same committee.
On the women’s side, four student-athletes were named to the All-East Region roster, including senior forward Susanne Vistnes, (who landed on the first team), junior back Kristin Brandman, (who earned a second team nod), and senior back Katie LaManna and junior midfielder Julia Backman, who both earned third team praise. And no surprise here, but Vistnes landed on the All-America team for the fourth straight season.
Competing in the Dragon Open in Minnesota, the LIU Post wrestling team had 11 top-5 finishes, led by sophomore Joe Calderone and junior Vinny Turano. Both gentlemen had respective second-place turnouts at 133 and 141 lbs. Calderon advanced to the final in his weight class after pinning his opponent in the semi-final in just over two minutes. He later fell to Blake Bosch, who is ranked no. 2 in the nation, by a score of 8-2. Turano won back-to-back decisions against North Dakota State en route to his second place finish.
Sophomores Ronnie King and Matt Langan each had third place showings at the 149 and 184 lb. marker respectively. The Pioneers will hit the mat again on Saturday, Dec. 12, when they wrestle at the Mariners Duals, hosted by the United States Merchant Marine Academy. First bout is scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Lady Pioneers stepped on their home court for the first time this season on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when they welcomed Mercy College to the Pratt Recreation Center. The Pioneers came out strong, shooting at a 50 percent clip for the first half, which set the tone for the game. Senior guard Quanisha Ratley scored 12 of her season-high 18 in the first half, as the Pioneers took a 36-19 lead into intermission. In the second half, the Pioneers let their foot off the gas slightly, but kept the damage under control and ended up winning by a score of 63-55. Freshman guard Shannon Doyle finished with 12 points while senior forward Nyasia Davis and senior guard Jalyn Brown had 10 points each. The Lady Pioneers returned to the hardwood on Saturday, Dec. 5, when they traveled to face St. Thomas Aquinas College. In that battle, the Pioneers scored just six points in the opening ten minutes and that was a microcosm of the afternoon as points were hard to come by and the Pioneers fell 48-41. Junior forward Janaysia James led LIU with 14 points on 12 shots in her 30 minutes of action while sophomore guard Khea Gibbs also played well, scoring nine points with two assists and a couple steals. On the other side of the ball, sophomore guard Jenna Erickson led in the scoring department for St. Thomas with 14 points while they played stifling defense against the Pioneers, limiting them to just 23 percent shooting from the field. The LIU Post women’s basketball team will get back at it on Wednesday, Dec. 9, when they host the University of Bridgeport. Opening tip is set for 5 p.m.
On Thursday, Dec. 3, the fifth-seeded Pioneers got an incredible performance from sophomore outside-hitter Danielle Valenza, who totaled a match-high 19 kills, but it wasn’t enough to get passed fourth-seeded NYIT in the NCAA Division II Championship East Region quarterfinal. NYIT ultimately won the hard fought match 3-2. The Pioneers claimed the first set rather easily thanks to a 12-2 run late, but lost their groove; dropping the next two sets. With their backs against the wall, the Pioneers responded and it was Valenza who provided the impetus. During an 8-1 run in the fourth set, she slammed down two kills and also had a block. In the deciding fifth and final set, the Pioneers were again led by Valenza, who had four kills, but NYIT weathered the storm and came out on top in the final set, 15-13. In addition to Valenza’s fantastic game, freshman outside-hitter Rachel Londot totaled 14 kills and 11 digs while junior outside-hitter Analise Austin chipped in with six kills and seven digs of her own. Head LIU Post women’s volleyball coach Shellane Ogoshi and her team finished the season with 23 wins and 11 losses. The ladies will look to build on their successful campaign next fall.
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.