Categories: College Sports
Northeast Conference runner-up University at Albany placed 10 players, including six first-team selections, on the All-NEC all-star football team.
LaSalle Institute graduate Dave McCarty (second team) and Shenendehowa product Kevin Richards each earned their third appearance on the All-NEC squad.
McCarty, a senior tailback, was plagued by injuries throughout the season, but he still ranked 26th among NCAA Division I FCS rushing leaders at 84.9 yards per game. He finished his career as the program’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,287), all-purpose yards (4,976) and 100-yard rushing games (24).
Richards, a first-team choice at center after being voted to the second unit the last two seasons, appeared in 40 career games and blocked for an offensive unit that was balanced in rushing (159.6 ypg) and passing (187 ypg).
Inside linebacker Justin Brancaccio, free safety Dave Casale (Troy) and wide receiver Tim Bush (Saratoga Springs) each made a second consecutive appearance on the first team.
Brancaccio led the Great Danes with 94 tackles, including 38 unassisted, and finished eighth on the school’s a all-time tackle chart with 261.
Bush became the first Great Dane to catch 60 or more passes in back-to-back seasons, finishing with 63 receptions for 861 yards and three scores in 2009. He shattered the program’s career standard with 147 receptions and is third all-time with 1,880 receiving yards.
Casale accounted for 77 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and six pass break-ups. He completed his career tied for sixth in interceptions (11) and 18th in tackles (224).
Senior outside linebacker Dave Nicomini earned first-team honors for the second time. He missed the 2008 season with a major knee injury but after receiving a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA due to medical hardship, he returned to form with 73 tackles and six break-ups. He led the Great Danes in tackles for a loss (12) and quarterback sacks (four). He finished 12th on the team’s all-time tackles list with 242.
Senior tailback Justin Gannon made the All-NEC second team for the second year in a row as a return specialist. He led the team in all-purpose yards at 100.9 per game and was 12th nationally in punt returns with a 12.8 average. He was second on the team in rushing with 471 yards and scored five touchdowns. He is sixth on the team’s all-time all-purpose yards list with 2,859.
Trevor Anderson (Cobleskill-Richmondville), Tony Sparano and kicker Herb Glass received honorable mention.
PETERS AMONG BEST
Union College senior linebacker John Peters of Clarks Summit, Pa., has been selected as one of 10 national finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy. The Gagliardi Trophy was first presented in 1993, and is widely recognized as the premier individual award in Division III football, honoring excellence in athletics, academics and community service.
The other 2009 finalists are Gerry Dick (Sr., QB) of DePauw, Judd Lutz (Sr., LB) of Mount Union, Dave Paveletz (Sr., RB) of Susquehanna, Jeff Schebler (Sr., K) of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Adam Shaffer (Sr., QB) of Mississippi College, Alex Tanney (Jr., QB) of Monmouth (Ill.), Blaine Westemeyer (Sr., OT) of Augustana (Ill.), Dan Whalen (Sr., QB) of Case Western Reserve, and David Zachary (Sr., RB) of Central (Iowa).
The last Union player to be selected as a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy was running back Tom Arcidiacono, who is now the running backs coach with Union. Arcidiacono was one of four players who were regional finalists in December 2006.
Peters joins Lutz as the only defensive players to be included in the list of 2009 finalists. Peters was named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American and a Liberty League First Team All Star. He had 121 tackles and 6.5 tackles for losses in the 2009 season.
The winner of the Gagliardi Trophy is selected by a national selection committee that includes coaches, sportswriters, community leaders and former Division III student-athletes enshrined in the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame.
This will be the third year fans will be able to cast an electronic ballot that collectively will be added to the 35 votes of the national selection committee. The trophy is named for Saint John’s University head coach John Gagliardi, the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006) and the winningest coach in college football history with a record of 471-126-11 (.784).
The 17th annual Gagliardi award will be presented Dec. 17, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities leading up to the Division III National Championship game played on Dec. 19. Fans can cast a vote for Peters at www.UnionAthletics.com. Voting will conclude Monday at 1 p.m.
— Three members of the Union College football team have been selected to play in the Division III Senior Football Classic today. The game, featuring North and South squads, will take place at 2 p.m. at Salem (Va.) Stadium, the home of the NCAA Div. III national championship game. Seniors Colin Berry of Latham and Tim Furcillo will join Peters. The game features 90 players who represent 238 Division III football programs from around the nation.
— Stephanie McBride (Catholic Central) led Wagner’s women’s basketball team over American, 73-72, by hitting a three-pointer with 28.4 seconds left. She finished with four treys and 18 points.
— Inside Lacrosse named Siena College the team to beat in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Saints won the league crown last year and finished 12-6 overall. Sophomore Bryan Neufeld, seniors Shaun Dunn and Faus Bernabo and Brent Herbst were selected to the 13-team preseason all-star team.
— UAlbany’s men’s and women’s indoor track teams were selected first and second, respectively, in the America East Conference preseason polls. The men’s team has won four straight league titles and six of the past seven championships. All-American senior pole vaulter Luke Schoen is looking for a national championship in his specialty. The women’s team has won three conference outdoor track titles, but is searching for its first indoor championship after finishing second four times.
Freshman Gabe Sturges was selected the Liberty League cross country Co-Rookie of the Year. He was the first Union athlete to win the award. He finished a career-high fifth place at the Mt. St. Mary’s Invitational and was named New York State Male Rookie of the Year at the NYSCTC Championship.
Freshman forward Sebastian Jansen was named to the All-ECAC men’s soccer Rookie of the Year, and was chosen to the Upstate All-Star team, along with senior midfielder Ryan Banagan (Bethlehem), who was picked on the second team. Jansen had six goals and six assists for 18 points and produced at least one point in eight games.
Senior Allison Cuozzo was selected as a first-team midfielder, while junior Katie McLean received second-team forward honors on the ECAC Division III Upstate all-star team. Cuozzo was the Liberty League Player of the Year and a first team selection. She also was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team. She had seven goals and three assists for 17 points.
Freshman Shayla Madden (Colonie) was named the Liberty League Rookie of the Week in women’s basketball after scoring 17 points and adding two steals at Hartwick. She averaged 12.0 points and 3.0 steals in a pair of games.
Junior Lindsay Schmitt was selected as an ECAC Division III Upstate women’s soccer second-team all-star. She had goal and two assists.
Christine Kemp and Elise Britt (Saratoga Springs) were named to the first and second teams, respectively, on the ECAC Division III Mid-Atlantic Region all-star team. Kemp, the Liberty League Player of the Year, North Atlantic Regional Player of the Year and a NFHCA first-team All-American, posted 19 goals and 17 assists. Britt, the Liberty League Tournament MVP, a first-team regional choice and a second-team NFHCA All-American, scored a team-best 22 goals.
Defender Kelly Guerin, a mainstay on the Golden Knights’ women’s soccer team that advanced to the NCAA Division II final four, was named to the Daktronics All-American team.
Freshman Marie Ferro was named the Liberty League Rookie of the Year in cross country. She finished 18th or better in eight meets, including six top-10 finishes. She was 80th at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Amy Scheffer (Schalmont) and Rachael Palladino (Lansingburgh) were named to the ECAC Upstate New York all-star team in women’s soccer and were selected the Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively. Scheffer, also the Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Year and a third-team All-American, posted 16 goals and three assists. Palladino had 12 goals and seven assists.
Brian Caufield was named to the 2010 Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America lacrosse team. The junior attackman was picked on the third unit. He was seventh among NCAA Division I scorers a year ago with 24 goals and 27 assists.