The Lions enter the 2003 season after coming back from a 6-3 record last year, in which the College tied for second place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). With 27 letter winners and 17 starters returning, the Lions football team is hoping to make a run to win the NJAC title.
The team will be led by senior quarterback Bob Schurtz, the College’s single-season passing record holder for most pass attempts, completion and passing yardage.
He is just 85 yards shy of surpassing the career-passing yards mark, which currently stands at 3, 705 yards. Head Coach Eric Hamilton hopes to fill the void left by graduated seniors with talent such as senior receiver Joe Franzone.
The Lions men’s soccer team can expect good things from several of their returning players including seniors Joe Schneck and Dan Muzzillo, and juniors Rich Adams and Shawn Mecchi, a strong pair of junior goalies. Also returning is junior back Brett Hockenjos, who scored his first career goal against Rowan University last year in the NJAC semi-finals.
“In terms of how hopefully things will be better this year, we lost four seniors last year but we gained 10 freshmen,” Head Coach George Nazzario said. “Brian Rostron, our two-time all NJAC First Team, he’s probably our biggest loss.”
“We are looking forward to the opening tournament next weekend,” Nazzario added. “The toughest opponents this year, Kean, Rowan and Richard Stockton, those are the games we build up the most. In the non-conference schedule it”s Elizabethtown and Drew.”
The Lions return on the strength of their Hall of Fame Class of 2003 coach Sharon Pfluger. Pfluger has recently become a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association (NFHCA).
Although the program lost senior co-captain Laura Chowansky, a 2002 STX/NFHCA Division III All-American, it returns with 10 freshmen and eight seniors. Senior forwards Jessica Hamway, Jackie Levy and Christie Shore along with senior midfielder Lauren Wooster led a powerful offense.
Seniors Danielle Bechtel, Katie Flaig, Jackie Scullin and Charlene Winkelspecht dominate the field in the defense as they help sophomore goalkeeper Kristina Beyel in the backfield.
During the fall season, the women’s tennis team will play their tournament and their NJAC schedule while the men’s team will only play tournaments.
“With 95 straight league/conference wins, obviously with five more this year the goal is to get to 100,” Head Coach Scott Dichek said. “We are also trying to get to our 21st straight NJAC championship.”
“It is the three returning tri-captains that should lead the team,” Dicheck said. “We have also added four talented freshmen to the squad.”
The tri-captains are junior Katie D’Amato, and sophomores Jackie Gavornik and Kristen Klepacki. Also returning to the squad are senior Kelli Emery, junior Katie Richards and sophomore Caitlin Reich.
The men’s squad is returning with six players from last year and has added three freshmen.
The squad is led by its captain Bryan Hanley and should also build its program on the strength of juniors Victor Lai and Neeraj Pilly.
On the women’s cross country team, Dolan mentioned the strength of senior All-Americans Lindsay Scarborough and Beth Vesey
“I’m excited about the start of the season,” head coach Steve Dolan said. “A few of our leaders including seniors Brian Brach and Adrian Cline should be strong coming back for us this year.”
“I’m excited to see other folks that will step up from last year as they have been improving over the summer,” Dolan added.
Dolan also highlighted the return of senior Erin Cahill, who was injured last year and junior Sara Spilman, who suffered an injury over the summer.
Dolan said he was looking forward to the Blue/Gold Alumni Run that would take place at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ on Aug. 30.