Today’s news:

College Round-up: Red Storm’s Wingert playing with U-23 National soccer team

It was a very busy Friday, even by Chris Wingert’s standards.

The sophomore defender on the St. John’s men’s soccer team was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for Belson Soccer Stadium, a 3,000-seat, soccer-specific on-campus stadium, in the morning.

Hours later he hopped a flight to Portugal where he joined the United States U-23 National Team for a two-week tour of Europe, where the squad will play in the Madeira International Tournament in Portugal, in addition to a friendly in Italy.

Wingert was selected to the 18-man roster by head coach Glenn Myernick last week. The team, comprised entirely of players under the age of 21, will attempt to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Tournament.

“I’m really very excited. These are the beginning steps, making the team,” Wingert said. “It’s a couple years prior to the Olympics, but this is a big accomplishment for me. I’m real excited and I can’t wait to go.”

Wingert, a second-team All-Big East selection, helped lead ST. John’s to a 17-3-3 mark, including the program’s second appearance in the NCAA Final Four. He anchored a Red Storm defense that posted 12 shutouts.

The U-23 National Team features six players with MLS experience, including DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Kyle Beckerman (Colorado), D.J. Countless (MetroStars), Devin Barclay (San Jose) and Jose Burciaga (Kansas City).

Wingert, who trained with the team in Pomona, Calif. last month, isn’t just satisfied with being on the 18-man roster.

“I’m just going to work hard, fight my way in for some playing time, hopefully for a starting position,” he said. “For a personal accomplishment, this is probably the best accomplishment of my career.”

All-SJU coaching staff for local soccer team

Former St. John’s soccer standout David Price, who played for the Red Storm in 1992 and 1993, has been named head coach of the New York Freedoms, a D3 Pro League team in the United Soccer Leagues, the club announced last week.

Price replaced Tony Noto, who was 31-19-3 in his three years at the helm.

Price is no stranger to the coaching ranks, having served as Noto’s assistant last year. He is also head of the Red Storm Soccer Academy, along with St. John’s head coach Dave Masur.

Price, who earned All-Big East honors in his junior and senior years at St. John’s, went on to captain the Long Island Rough Riders and the Freedoms.

Joining Price will be St. John’s volunteer assistant coach John Diffley, who will serve as an assistant coach. Diffley, who coached at St. John’s for six years, was a member of the U.S. National Team and played professionally for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Kansas City Wizards in MLS.

Rounding out the staff is former Red Storm goalkeeper Jon Urbom, who was a standout in net from 1990-93. Urbom will serve as goalkeepers coach for the Freedoms, who were recently promoted from the Premier Development League to the D3 Pro League.

Droesch named Big East Rookie of the Week

Former Christ the King star Clare Droesch, a freshman at Boston College, was named Big East Rookie of the Week for a second time this year, the league announced Monday.

The Belle Harbor native averaged 21 points and three assists and hit 10 three-pointers in the Eagles 2-0 week. In a 75-62 win over Georgetown, Droesch netted a career-high 25 points after scoring 17 points, including a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc four days earlier in a 76-51 win over West Virginia.

Droesch is the second leading scorer on BC, averaging 12 points per game and is one of four players averaging double figures.

Bird reaches milestone

Another former Christ the King girls’ basketball standout, Sue Bird, became just the second player in University of Connecticut history to reach the 1,000-point, 500-assist and 200-steals plateau Sunday when the senior point guard had 13 points and three assists in the Huskies 85-61 win at Providence.

Men’s Basketball

Queensborough CC 109, Dutchess CC 71. Jeffrey Boone had 31 points and Terone Simpson added 17 points and 10 assists for Queensborough (8-15, 5-6 Region XV).

Medgar Evers 54, York 52. Alexander Colon scored his only points of the game with 10 seconds left as his three-pointer lifted Medgar Evers 13-6, 5-3 CUNYAC) to victory last Thursday. Dwayne Uriri had 16 points and Roberto Tapia added 13 points for the Cardinals (10-12, 5-6).

Women’s Basketball

York 57, Medgar Evers 36. Angela Mells netted 15 points and Tashana Watson added 13 points and six rebounds to lead York (5-11, 2-7 CUNYAC). Rannie Miles led Medgar Evers (6-15, 3-8 CUNYAC) with 13 points.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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