Homecoming 2006 was a smashing success on and off the field. Almost 3,000 Fordham alumni returned to Rose Hill to see the Rams come from behind to beat the Marist Red Foxes, 13-9, thanks to a game-saving fumble recovery in the endzone by senior linebacker Marcus Taylor and a strong fourth quarter from junior running back Jonte Coven.
Marist was threatening to score late in the fourth quarter with the Rams up 13-9 as the Red Foxes drove from their own 36 to the Fordham one. On third and goal from the one, Marist quarterback Steven McGrath tried to jump over the line for a touchdown but he fumbled on the way up and the ball was recovered by Taylor in the endzone.
That’s when Coven went to work, gaining 44 yards on six carries to move the ball to the Marist 36, where the Rams were able to kneel on the ball to preserve the win.
Coven led all rushers on the day with 85 yards on 13 carries while freshman quarterback John Skelton completed nine of 16 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Sylvester Clarke led all Fordham receivers with five receptions for 75 yards and the score.
Defensively, Taylor recorded a game-high 15 tackles (six solo) including one for a loss and he recovered a fumble. Earl Hudnell added seven tackles (five solo) including two sacks while Allen finished with six solo stops, including one for a loss.
The game was also successful off the field, as over 60 former players returned to Jack Coffey Field for Football Alumni Day. The list stretched the decades from the 1940s, represented by Nick Baldino, to the 2000s, represented by members of the 2002 Patriot League champions.
Former football Ram Rick Mina, Fordham College class of 1979, president and CEO of FootLocker, was honored during the halftime ceremony, when he was presented with a jersey and a trophy, signifying his loyalty and commitment to further Fordham University athletics.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball 2006–07 Season Preview
With the Fall sports season winding down, it’s time to turn attention to the Winter season, and at Fordham, that means basketball. Here is a brief preview of the 2006-07 men’s and women’s squads:
For the past three seasons, head coach Dereck Whittenburg and the Fordham basketball Rams have been busy laying a solid foundation for success. In 2006-07, the Rams hope to take the next step and rise to the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
After finishing at 13-16 in 2004-05 (8-8 in the Atlantic 10), the Rams improved on both marks last winter, hitting the .500 mark exactly with a 16-16 overall record (9-7 in the conference). The nine conference wins were the most for Fordham since the Rams joined the Atlantic 10 in 1995-96, and the 16 overall wins were the most since the 1991-92 team won 18 games.
The Rams also made noise at the last season’s Atlantic 10 Championships, advancing to the semifinals of the tournament for the first time. Fordham opened the championships with a 45-37 win over Richmond and then defeated La Salle, 64-62, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals the Rams fell to the Musketeers of Xavier, eventual tournament winners, 79-59.
The Rose Hill Gym was rocking again last year as the Rams sold out back-to-back games against Charlotte (Fordham’s first-ever appearance on ESPN) and nationally-ranked George Washington. The back-to-back full houses were the first for a Fordham team since 2002.
The good news for the Rams is that they return four starters, led by junior forwardBryant Dunston, a First Team All-Conference selection in 2006 and First Team Preseason All-Conference pick in 2006-07. Last year, he averaged 16.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg, both team highs, while recording 76 blocks and 26 steals. Dunston led the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, hitting 53.5% (174-325) of his shots, while also ranking among the league leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
Junior Marcus Stout also returns after enjoying a successful sophomore campaign in 2005-06, averaging 13.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg while dishing out 91 assists and recording 36 steals.
Junior forward Michael Binns, who moved into the starting lineup last year, finished the year averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.2 rpg, second best on the squad, while junior forward Sebastian Greene returns after averaging 4.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and blocking 23 shots in 2005-06.
Junior Kevin Anderson displayed his defensive skills again in 2005-06, leading the team with 40 steals, while averaging 3.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg and dishing out 71 assists.
The Rams will also need significant contributions from three sophomores in 2006-07. Forwards Chris Bethel andDemetrius Phillips both contributed last year after joining the team in December, while Luke Devine, who missed time with an injury, saw action in nine games as a freshman.
Fordham will also welcome four freshmen to the 2006-07 roster, guards Brenton Butler and David Boykin, and forward Dan Landisch along with walk-on forward Ryan Munson. Others who look to step in this year include senior forward Dominic Osei, who appeared in 12 games last year, along with senior walk-on Dan Blaine.
Fordham Women’s Basketball opens the 2006-07 season with a clean slate: a new head coach, a number of roster changes, and a new vision.
The Lady Rams are now under the guidance of Head Coach Cathy Andruzzi, who served as an assistant coach at Seton Hall last season. She brings more than 30 years of basketball knowledge to Rose Hill—she has served as both a head and assistant coach at the college level, and was also involved in the professional game as a general manager of the ABL’s Philadelphia Rage. Prior to her tenure at Seton Hall, she was a head coach at both Wagner College and East Carolina University, and an assistant coach at Rutgers University (2003-04). At East Carolina, she led the Pirates to the school’s only top-20 national ranking, with an 18-11 record, and in her fourth year as coach, Andruzzi led the team to its first and only NCAA Tournament appearance.
Andruzzi takes over a team that went through a massive roster change over the summer, losing four starters, including all three frontcourt players. On the bright side, the Rams do have an experienced backcourt, led by senior Lisa Carrol, who was one of the squad’s two Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selections last year, and was also selected to the Atlantic 10’s Preseason All-Conference Third Team. Carrol finished as the team leader in scoring (15.0 ppg), assists (81), steals (39), and free throw percentage (.858). In the conference, she ranked seventh in the league in scoring, second in free throw percentage, 11th in three-pointers made, and 15th in assists.
Alongside Carrol, the Rams also return senior LaToya Chalmers, junior Heather Westrol, and sophomores Daniela Roarkand Annie Zopf.
Chalmers is the lone returnee in the Rams’ frontcourt. She came back from injury last season, appearing in 22 games, averaging just over 10 minutes a contest. While Chalmers was able to come back from injury in 2005-2006, Westrol saw her season cut short. Prior to the injury, Westrol served as the Rams’ first player off the bench, giving the Rams a quick burst of energy, as she was able to hit the long range shot (.333 3-point FG %), and was also effective at drawing fouls and hitting from the free throw line (.767 FT%).
Roark was the Rams’ top long-range threat, connecting on 58 three-pointers last season, (.406 percentage), and was one of four players to have over 50 assists. In the league, she ranked third in three-point field goal percentage, and fifth in three-pointers made. Zopf served a reliable role player as a freshman, appearing in 26 games and even making six starts.
Fordham will rely heavily on newcomers, including junior transfer Beth Troutt, and freshmen Gina Giambanco, Erin Gray, Lindsey Kingsland, and Gina Mule.
Troutt, a transfer from Dodge City Community College, should become an impact player immediately. An outstanding shooter, she registered over 80% from the free throw line (60-74) and close to 40% from three-point range (68-172), while averaging 13.9 points and 3.3 rebounds at Dodge City during the 2005-06 season. Giambanco, a native of Massapequa, New York, comes to Fordham after an excellent senior campaign at Massapequa High School. An All-State performer, she averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists during her final season.
For ticket information, please contact the Fordham University Athletic ticket office at 718-817-4759.
By Joe DiBari