A quarterback merry-go-round may have kept the Lions from having a better record than 4-6 on the season. Sophomore Kevin Veillard, junior Jeff Struble, senior Chris Bell and freshman Chris James all spent time under center at some point in the season. All was not lost as three Lions made the All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) first and second teams.
Selected to the All-NJAC first team defense, junior defensive lineman Joe King led the conference with 11.5 sacks.
Senior running back Cory Schoonover and senior linebacker Derek Tranchina were named to the All-NJAC second team. Schoonover rushed for 579 yards and three touchdowns. Tranchina registered 69 tackles, with 11 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.
Senior captain Ryan Ross collected 501 all-purpose yards and finished with 13 catches for 228 yards. Ross tied a single-game school record with a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. Ross has career totals of 1,036 receiving yards on 63 catches and 1,484 all-purpose yards.
The College’s men’s soccer team finished the season with an overall record of 7-8-1 and went 4-5 in the NJAC. They just missed the NJAC tournament, finishing with 12 points in the standings.
Senior forward Matt Luber was named to the 2006 NJAC All-Star First Team at the end of the season. His team-leading eight goals and 18 points in the 2006 season helped him earn this distinction. Five of those goals were game-winners for the Lions.
Junior goalkeeper Matt Kasperavicius played in all 16 games for the Lions while earning a 1.36 goals against average.
The women’s soccer team made it all the way back to the NCAA Division III National Championship Game during the 2006 season before falling to Wheaton College (Ill.) by a score of 2-0. It was the second time in as many years the Lions reached the Division III National Championship Game. Finishing with a record of 18-2-3, Wheaton was the only team able to defeat the Lions all season. The team also collected its fourth New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship in the last five years.
Early in the season head coach Joe Russo earned his 300th win against Montclair State University. Also, junior defender Courtney Krol and junior forward Dana DiBruno were tagged with All-America honors. DiBruno became only the fourth Lion to achieve the distinction twice in her career.
After shutting out Elizabethtown College at home 5-0 in the NCAA Division III regionals, the College’s field hockey team fell to visiting Messiah College 2-1 in the second round. Despite falling short in the playoffs, the Lions had a successful season, finishing 17-3 overall.
Senior forward Jess Berkowitz, senior defender Meg Hess and senior forward Allison Greene were named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America Team. Berkowitz and Hess are three-time NJAC selections. Berkowitz was named NJAC Midfielder of the Year, collecting 36 points, 14 goals and eight assists. Hess was named NJAC Defensive Player of the Year. Freshman Jessica Falcone won NJAC Rookie of the Year honors with nine goals and three assists for the season.
With the opening-round playoff win over Elizabethtown, head coach Sharon Pfluger earned her 400th career win. Pfluger has coached 22 seasons at the College with a career record of 400-69-9.
The College’s cross country team enjoyed another winning season with successful appearances in the NCAA Championships and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships (ECAC) and received several NJAC honors.
The men took eighth and the women finished 22nd at the NCAA Division III Championships.
At the ECAC Championships, the men finished second while the women took home fifth place. Juniors Anthony Arnold and Steve Kinney contributed to the men’s top placing, while seniors Christine Nystrom and Allyson Krayl and freshman Valeria Bonczek helped the College women to their high finish.
Sophomores Chris Guerriero and Megan O’Leary earned 2006 NJAC Runners of the Year awards. In addition, the College took the top spot in the NJAC Championships, edging out Richard Stockton College, Rowan University and Ramapo College.
The wrestling team capped one of its most successful seasons in recent history with a fifth-place finish in the Division III national tournament. The College also captured the Metropolitan Conference Championship as well, finishing with a dual-meet record of 19-1.
The fifth-place finish nationally was the Lions’ highest finish since 2001, when they also placed fifth.
Seniors Joe Galante and Mike Guenther each fell one win short of individual national championships, but did place second in the country and captured All-America honors.
Galante, 157 pounds, won the Metropolitan Conference title, while Guenther, 165 pounds, placed second.
Freshman Tyler Branham, 141 pounds, also captured All-America honors with an eighth-place national finish.
Sophomore Greg Osgoodby, 174 pounds, won a conference championship and finished with a 33-7 record. Junior Ray Sarinelli, 133 pounds, finished with a 31-8 mark and placed second at the conference championships to the eventual national champion.
Head coach David Icenhower was named the Metropolitan Conference Coach of the Year for the 14th time in his career. Assistant coach Joe Pollard was honored as the 2007 National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year.
The College’s swimming and diving teams collected several All-America honors and record-breaking finishes.
Senior diver Lee Swanson had a 15th-place finish in the NCAA Division III Championships and was a three-time All-American.
Junior Ava Kiss placed ninth in the butterfly for her third All-America honor. At the 2007 NCAA Division III Championship the 800-meter freestyle relay team of junior tri-captain Liam Gallagher, senior Kyle King, junior Josh Forsman and sophomore Tom Nawrot placed 15th and received All-America honors.
Sophomore Greg Lloyd finished the season with a sixth-place finish at the championship and finished 18th place overall.
The men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team picked up All-America honorable mentions after a 12th place finish. The combined efforts included Nawrot, Gallagher, Forsman and King.
After returning no starters from the previous season the men’s basketball team surpassed expectations by reaching the semifinals of the NJAC playoffs, finishing the season with a 12-14 overall record and 5-8 in the NJAC.
In a rebuilding year, the Lions will only graduate two seniors – guards Brian Halligan and Drew Rosenfeld. Halligan started all 26 games in the 2006-2007 season while finishing in second on the team in both scoring (11.3) and rebounding (6.0) per game. Rosenfeld also played in all 26 games for the Lions and was second on the team in assists with 2.0 per game. Next season, the Lions will be returning their leading point-scorer, junior forward Mark Aziz, who had 14.9 points per game this past season.
A year after winning the NJAC Championship, the women’s basketball team experienced a rebuilding year.
The Lions finished at 13-14 overall and 7-6 in the NJAC. Sophomore Hillary Klimowicz led the team in points (12.4 ppg) and rebounds (7.4 rpg). Junior guard/forward Sara Best was second on the team in shooting with 8.4 points per game.
The young team went on a hot streak near the end of the season and made it to the NJAC Tournament semifinals after shocking Montclair State University 60-38 at Montclair. The season ended with a fourth loss to Kean University, an eventual NCAA Final Four participant.
– Brandon Lee, Justin Jez, Michael O’Donnell, Matt Chando, Kaitlin Hamilton, Michelle Martin