Seton Hall WSOC ties CCSU in preseason action

Date: August 15, 2014

By John Fanta, Assistant Sports Director

Seton Hall freshman Katie Landes scored in the second of three thirty-minute periods as the Pirates opened exhibition play with a 1-1 tie at Central Connecticut State on Thursday.

Under new head coach Rick Stainton, The Hall's goal heading into the first of two exhibition matches was to control possession. The blue and white did just that throughout much of the match.

With the ball rolling just shy of the Central Connecticut State box, Landes took advantage of the opportunity. Reeling in the ball and striking it off her left foot, Landes found the back of the net after the ball banged off the left post.

The Blue Devils, who went 7-12 in 2013 and advanced to the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals, delivered the equalizer with just three minutes remaining in the match.

Very pleased w/ tonight's @SetonHallsoccer performance. Worked hard-both sides of ball. Created many opportunities. Great possession.Scored!

The Pirates will return to preseason action on Sunday against Wagner when they take Owen T. Carroll Field for the first time in game action. The regular season opens Friday, Aug. 22, at Marist.

Some Blue and White Nuggets

·Men's Soccer began preseason practice officially on Wednesday. Coming off a 7-9-2 season, head coach Gerson Echeverry told me in June that one of the team's top priorities would be to cut out mental mistakes. Offensively, the Pirates return their leading scorer from a season ago, Sam Geiler. The 2013 Big East All-Rookie Team honoree started all 18 matches at outside mid, scoring eight goals. Julian Spindler returns in goal looking for better results. The Pirates allowed 2.22 goals per game last season, more than any other team in the stacked Big East, which sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Hall hosts Rider on Tuesday in preseason play. Match time is set for 7 p.m. SHU will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 29, at Rhode Island.

·One thing to look forward to is the amount of volleyball that will be played in Walsh Gym this fall. A veteran-laden Seton Hall team returns senior twins Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe, most notably. Shelbey led the nation with ten triple-doubles last season while Stacey emerged as the squad's leader in kills with 326 (2.67 kills per set). The Pirates will open the season on Friday, Aug. 29, at the Hurricane Invitational against Miami (FL). They will follow their opening weekend with the Seton Hall Invitational, the first of two tournaments to be played in South Orange. The American Volleyball Coaches Association awarded Seton Hall with a 2013-14 Team Academic Award this week. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that maintained at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

·On Sunday, Seton Hall Women's Basketball will host its Elite Camp inside Walsh Gym from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The camp will welcome over 70 high school basketball players from around the New Jersey area. Pirate players will be on hand as well to guide the campers throughout the day. Head strength and conditioning coach Ryan Carr will also be on hand to give info on becoming a healthier athlete. The program also includes a Q and A with Bozzella and his staff. In his first season at Seton Hall, Bozzella delivered the program's first 20-win season since 1995 while SHU advanced to the Big East Quartefinals for the first time since 2003.

For info on the 2014 – 15 non-conference slates for both men's and women's basketball, go to The Lady Pirates open the season on Friday, November 14, against Rider in the WNIT. Nine of The Hall's 12 non-conference games will come inside Walsh Gym. Some of the marquee match-ups include the Seton Hall Thanksgiving Classic, which will pit the Pirates up against St. Peter's and either St. Francis (N.Y.) or St. Joseph's. A December 5 road game in The Bronx against reigning Atlantic 10 champion Fordham is expected to be a really good match-up. The Pirates will also host Illinois, Fairfield, and Georgia, among others. All-Big East First Team player Ka-Deidre Simmons will be back for The Hall after averaging 16.7 points and tallying a program record of 174 assists last season. With Tabatha Richardson-Smith (17.1 points per game) back at wing, the Pirates' backcourt has the scoring, but will be looking for contributions from the bench with guard Ace Brown's departure from the program. Down low, Janee Johnson was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Johnson averaged 7.2 points and 5.1 boards per game. The forward was delivering significantly before nursing some soreness near the end of the season. Arguably the best defender for The Hall, Bra'Shey Ali will also be back. One of the best frontcourt performances of the season for the Pirates came on March 20, when Ali scored 18 points while reeling in a career-high 20 boards for the blue and white. The addition of Tiffany Jones has Bozzella extremely excited. A 6-foot-3 versatile player, Jones has two years of eligibility left and will be available immediately. At ASA College, Jones averaged a double-double with 12.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. For a team that shot just under 40 percent last season, a mark that stood 9th in the Big East, Bozzella sees Jones as a big step toward improving the blue and white's execution near the rim.

To contact this reporter, e-mail or tweet @John_Fanta and @WSOUSports.

Posted in: Men's Soccer, Sports