Depasquale kicks Essex CC into show Knights women back in NCJAAs

November 18, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

A decade after fielding the state's first intercollegiate women's soccer team, Essex Community College is again leading the way.

The Knights were regulars in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament from 1982 to 1987, winning the title in 1983. They'll make their first quarterfinal appearance in five years tomorrow, when they play tournament host Mercer County (N.J.).

Anne Arundel replaced Essex as the state leader from 1988 to 1990, and the Knights were upset in last year's Region XX final by Catonsville. Coach Scott Wittman then brought in seven new starters.

"In the eight years I've been here, this is the best team I've ever had," Wittman said. "I realized I had to pick up the recruiting after last year. It seems like when you get that one prominent player, others follow her. Robyn was the cornerstone."

Robyn Depasquale, a first-team All-Metro player for Mercy High in 1991, is one of the nation's top offensive midfielders. Freshman forwards Stacey Schott (Franklin) and Jill Fennekohl (Perry Hall) have combined for 20 goals. Led by goalie Sue Blanco and outside back Nicole Reabe (Kenwood), Essex has allowed just four goals.

The lone blemish on Essex's 14-0-1 record was a 2-2 tie against Mercer County in a game played less than 24 hours after the Knights had beaten Catonsville.

Despite three losses to Essex, Catonsville (12-6) earned an at-large bid, and plays SUNY-Farmingdale in tomorrow's quarterfinals. Sophomores Angela Farace (North County) and Amy Leishear (Laurel) have combined for 41 goals.

Navy stands alone

Barring some unforeseen developments with Towson State and the Division I-AA football selection committee, Navy cross country and water polo will be the only state men's teams to advance to NCAA championships this season.

Al Cantello's cross country team was fourth in the IC4As, but it grabbed the third and last qualifying spot for District II. Qualifying as a team for the first time since it was host to the championships in 1989, the Mids will race in the Division I meet at Indiana next Monday. Kerry O'Neill, 16th in the ECAC women's championship, received an at-large bid to the NCAAs.

Mike Schofield's water polo team, 20-9 on the season, goes to the NCAA championships Nov. 27-29 in Long Beach, Calif.

Frostburg State's Chris Lesser will be the state's lone representative at the NCAA Division III cross country championships at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., Saturday. was second in the Mid-East Regional qualifier.

UMBC's Scott Elwood, a senior from Edgewood, was ninth in the IC4A University Division race, earning All-East honors for the third straight year.

Move over, Neon

Frostburg State knew it was getting a good outfielder when Jordan Steller finished up at McDonogh School, but the Bobcats didn't know they were also going to get a football kicker.

Steller was a soccer player at McDonogh, where he didn't join the football team until October of his senior year. He surfaced as the Frostburg State kicker in August and ended up as the Bobcats' second-leading scorer with 40 points. He made 25 of 29 conversion kicks and made half of his 10 field goal attempts, four of six from 30 to 39 yards.

Last spring, Steller hit .418 for McDonogh, where he was an MSA A Conference all-star.

Big South baseball bid

Regardless of how fall ball went, it was a good autumn for the Towson State and UMBC baseball teams.

Next spring, they'll spend their first season in the Big South Conference, which is close to getting one of the 24 automatic bids to the 48-team NCAA tournament. The Division I Baseball Committee has recommended to the NCAA Executive Committee an automatic bid for the Big South, and the Tigers and Retrievers' histories deserve some of the credit.

Towson State won the East Coast Conference tournament in 1988 and 1991, and won an NCAA Regional game each year. UMBC lost in the ECC final last spring, but received an at-large bid because of 37 victories and its strength of schedule.

UMBC swimmers peaking

When the UMBC swimming teams swept Maryland on Sunday, it marked the Retrievers' first victories over the Terps in seven tries. Including an earlier victory over Duke, it marked the first time a UMBC program had beaten two ACC opponents in the same season since lacrosse stopped Duke and North Carolina en route to the NCAA Division II title in 1980.

Mike Gibeau, a freshman from Hammond High, won the 200 butterfly and swam on two winning relays, as the UMBC men beat Maryland, 159-82. The women's score was 123-114.

Briefly noted

The ACC volleyball tournament will be at Cole Field House from Friday to Saturday. . . . Wrestling teams from Morgan State, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Clemson, George Mason and James Madison will be at Halsey Field House on Saturday (9 a.m.) for the Navy Classic. . . . Sophomore Jarrod Cronin (Calvert Hall) swept the 50 and 100 freestyles in Goucher's swimming loss to Loyola.

Area players on all-conference teams

Field hockey

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