"I grew up with St. John's all my life," Acquista said. "It's more of a professional atmosphere and it's an easier way to play in the NCAA tournament."
Acquista, one of the top players in the city last year, had St. John's, Hofstra, Fordham and Oneonta on his short list, but the decision ultimately came down to either the Red Storm or the Pride. While he spoke with his brother Carlo about the pros and cons of St. John's, Alessandro said he didn't let his older brother influence his choice.
"He talked to me about it, but I wanted to make my own decision, and that's what I did," Acquista said.
Acquista is the ninth player in the pipeline from Holy Cross High School to St. John's since Dave Masur became the head coach in 1991. Dennis McGowan, Vinny Maimone, Joey Navarino, Jimmy Buscemi, Giancarlo Petruccelli, Carlo Acquista, Dennis James and Bryan O'Neil have all made the trip from Francis Lewis Boulevard down Utopia Parkway. He also hopes he can duplicate what his brother accomplished at St. John's, winning the national championship.
"I'm not just going to play college soccer for fun," Acquista said. "I'm really serious about it and I want to play soccer on the highest level. I want to win an NCAA championship."
Acquista, who had 13 goals and eight assists to help lead the Knights to the city and state championships this year, is the third in the Acquista clan to play Division I soccer, joining oldest brother Joe (Oneonta State) and Carlo. Fraternal twin Paolo, who helped anchor the stingy Holy Cross defense, has Fordham, Oneonta State and Division III powerhouses Western New England College and Cortland State on his list.
"That's a big part of our program, getting so many of our players to go on and play in college. They're using soccer to further their education," said Holy Cross head coach Paul Gilvary. "He has a chance to be a very good player at St. John's."
Division I standouts
David Hilton, a 5-foot-11 freshman guard who went to John Bowne High School in Flushing, had seven points and five rebounds in 30 minutes as the University of Hawaii defeated Texas Pan American, 86-73, Saturday night in Honolulu.
Cardozo grad Charles Cranford had 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes of Northeastern's 80-67 loss to Rhode Island Saturday in Rhode Island. The 6-foot-4 junior guard is second on the Huskies in points (13.4) and third in rebounds (4.3).
Another former Judges standout, Royal Ivey, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard, had three points and six assists in 35 minutes as the starting point guard for the Longhorns, as Texas defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 79-71, Saturday afternoon in Austin, Tex.
Long Island City native Jave Meade, a 6-foot-1 freshman guard out of Christ the King, was one of four Crusaders in double figures, scoring with 11 points (3-of-5 from three point range) in 23 minutes as Holy Cross defeated the University of Vermont, 87-73 Sunday.
Another former Royal standout, Zack Williams, had 12 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes as Ohio State easily got by Morehead State, 93-62 Saturday night in Columbus. It was the Buckeyes fifth straight win, as St. Francis Prep grad Jim O'Brien's team improves to 7-1.
LeFrak City resident Dawan Gary scored of eight of his 12 points in the first half, but it wasn't enough as Long Island University fell to James Madison, 69-66, Saturday in Brooklyn. The 6-foot-6 sophomore forward also had seven rebounds and shot 4-of-6 from the field, 4-4 from the free throw line. Gary is second on LIU in rebounds with 4.5 per game.
Former Forest Hills High School teammate JaJa Bey added eight points for the Blackbirds. The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from LeFrak City leads LIU in scoring, averaging 10.1 points per game.
Queens native Alywn Curtis, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, had eight points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line in 21 minutes in Rider's 72-57 loss at the University of Delaware Saturday.
Queens Village native Uka Agbai had seven points, two rebounds and four blocked shots in Boston College's 74-65 win at UMass Sunday. The former Molloy standout is third on the Eagles in scoring, averaging 10.1 points per game.
Taylor earns CUNY honors
York College junior Tamara Taylor, who leads CUNY in scoring, averaging 26 points per game, averaged 25 points, 10.5 boards, 4.5 assists and 4.5 steals in the Lady Cardinals 2-0 week.
Borough of Manhattan Community College 95, Queensborough 69. Shane Smith had 27 points and seven assists and Adam Rios added 16 points to lead BMCC (8-2, 5-0 Region XV).
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
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