Former Molloy star suspended for half of season

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The Hofstra men’s basketball team opens its season Nov. 22, but the Pride will do so without starters Wendell Gibson, a former Archbishop Molloy standout, and Rick Apodaca, who were suspended for the first half of the season for violating university policy.

The duo will miss 14 games, including five Colonial Athletic Association games and road contests against Gonzaga and St. John’s. Gibson and Apodaca will be eligible to return Jan. 18 when Hofstra hosts Old Dominion University.

“My staff and I are teachers first and it is our job to help young men grow as people both on and off the court,” said Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora through a press release. “Rick and Wendell have taken full responsibility for their actions. Their mature, loyal response to this suspension is commendable. I stand by their side and support them 100 percent.”

The violation was “non violent” and did not involve any other students, according to a source close to the program. The specifics of the violation were not disclosed by the university.

Neither Gibson nor Apodaca, who will be able to practice and travel with the team during the suspension, could be reached for comment but expressed regret through a statement released by the university.

“I understand my responsibility as a basketball player at Hofstra,” Gibson said. “I will serve my suspension and keep working hard in hopes of having a good year. I apologize to everyone involved with our program.”

Gibson, a 6-foot-7 center, averaged 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a freshman last year. Apodaca led the CAA in scoring last year, averaging 17.7 points per game.

“I accept full responsibility for my actions,” Apodaca said. “As a Hofstra student-athlete, we are held to high standards. I apologize to the administration, coaching staff and most of all, my teammates. I look to move forward and have a great senior season.”

Christ the King graduate Mike Radziejewski (4.4 points) may see increased time at shooting guard in Apodaca’s absence.

On top of the world, ma

St. John’s junior middle linebacker Bobby Rosenberg leads the nation in tackles among all Division I-AA schools, averaging 16 per game. The junior co-captain has 674 tackles in four games for the Red Storm, which is 1-3. His 31 solo tackles ranks fifth nationally, with an average of 7.75 per game.

“Bobby is the consummate captain,” said St. John’s coach Bob Ricca. “He’s done a great job for us this season and we’re proud to see him among Division I-AA tacklers. It’s a great honor and he deserves the national recognition because of his work ethic.”

After a bye week, St. John’s returns to action at Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Marist Saturday in Poughkeepsie.

SJU women’s soccer falls to Miami

The St. John’s women’s soccer team dropped a tough decision Sunday at Belson Stadium, losing to Big East rival Miami, 3-2 in overtime. Gitana Gotay netted the game-winner in the 101st minute for the Hurricanes, who improve to 8-4-1, 4-1-1 in the conference.

Miami jumped ahead in the 13th minute when Allison McWhinney put the ball past Red Storm keeper Tina Fogg, but St. John’s (6-3-3, 2-3) tied the game in the 65th minute when freshman Kaitlin Schmidt netted her ninth goal of the year on an assist from Theresa Bulman.

The Red Storm then took a 2-1 lead 2:40 later on freshman Erin Henderson’s first career goal on assists from Dominica Reina and Schmidt.

With just one minute left in regulation, Miami tied the game as Jenna Johnson slotted the ball through traffic and into the net to send the game into overtime.

Red Storm men’s cross country places fifth at Met Championships

The St. John’s men’s cross country team placed fifth at the Metropolitan Championships at Van Cortlandt Park Saturday. The Red Storm finished with 171 points, behind Columbia, Manhattan, Iona and Marist. The St. John’s women’s team finished 13th.

Brendan Sullivan was the top Red Storm finisher, placing 16th in 26:11. Marc Crosswell took 20th in 26:20.

En Fuego

St. John’s senior golfer Andrew Svoboda continued his hot play this fall, carding a four-under par 209 to capture the individual title at the Wolverine Invitational held at the University of Michigan Golf Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Svoboda also has captured the individual title at the MacDonald Cup and the McLaughlin. The Red Storm returns to action Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 when it hosts the Tillnghast at the Quaker Ridge Golf Course in Scarsdale.

Women’s volleyball

Queens College 30-30-30, Southampton 8-11-13. Noelia Castillo had 14 kills for Queens College (10-3, 4-0 New York Collegiate Athletic Conference).

St. John’s 30-30-30, West Virginia 23-23-28. Jackie Ahlers had 16 kills and 11 digs, Sarah McCrary added 13 kills and 13 digs, and Robyn Kurasaki dished out 38 assists for St. John’s (13-9, 2-2 Big East) Sunday at Alumni Hall.

Pittsburgh 30-30-30, St. John’s 22-26-23. Kurasaki had 39 assists and 11 digs, Ahlers and Yana Ruban added nine kills apiece while Shannon Engle recorded 10 digs.

Queensborough 30-30-28-27-15, College of Technology 22-12-30-30-5.

Jen O’Connor had 15 kills to lead QCC, which also defeated BMCC 30-21, 30-27, 30-23.

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

Posted 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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