EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 16, 2014

College Stars: Windham's Morgan one of Hockey East's most promising freshmen

College Stars
Michael Muldoon

---- — An impressive number of area hockey players are faring well in the Division 1 ranks. Those numbers should only swell in the next year or two with a ton of locals starring in prep schools and junior hockey having made commitments.

One of the most impressive is Maine freshman forward Brian Morgan of Windham. He has five goals and seven assists for the 16-14-4 Black Bears. Junior forward Andrew Cerretani of Pelham has contributed a goal and an assist in 16 games.

Senior blue-liner Brice O’Connor of Londonderry, Maine’s lone captain, has two goals, five assists and 28 penalty minutes. O’Connor is a three-time Hockey East All-Academic teamer and Morgan was honored by the athletic department for having a GPA of at least 3.0.

Windham’s Connor MacPhee, a 6-3, 200-pound freshman forward, has three goals and three assists in 26 games for 11th-ranked Providence.

Junior Steve Mastalerz of North Andover was again the No. 1 keeper for UMass. He stopped 788 shots in 31 games with two shutouts, a .907 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average. He had 40 saves in one game. Mastalerz had a memorable game against Northeastern, blanking the No. 11 Huskies and picking up his third career assist.

St. Lawrence sophomore forward Brian Ward of Haverhill notched eight goals and eight assists in 36 games.

North Reading’s Ryan Fitzgerald, a 5-9, 166-pound freshman forward for No. 2 BC, has made an immediate impact with 11 goals and 16 assists.

Sophomore Jimmy Vesey of North Reading notched a team-high 13 goals and nine assists for Harvard. He was named second-team All-Ivy.

Harvard junior Colin Blackwell of North Andover sat out the year due to lingering symptoms from post-concussion syndrome.

Connor Costello (1 assist in 15 games) is a freshman defenseman for Army who hails from Londonderry.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Among the newcomers slated for Division 1 hockey play next season or the year after from the area are Tyler Bird of Andover, Brown; Bobo Carpenter of North Reading, BU; J.D. Dudek from Pinkerton, (BC); Teddy McCarran of Pinkerton, Merrimack; Chris Miller of Windham, UNH; Brian Pinho of North Andover, Providence; Zach Sanford from Pinkerton, BC; Tyler Sifferlen of North Andover, UMass Lowell; Nolan Vesey of North Reading, Maine; and Casey Fitzgerald of North Reading, who will enroll at BC in the fall of 2016.

O’DONNELL’S BEST

UConn freshman Mike O’Donnell placed eighth at the prestigious IC4A championships. The former four-time Eagle-Tribune MVP at Methuen High ran a 4:08.56 in the prelims. That lopped 4.56 seconds off his career best in the mile, which he set just the week before.

Junior Alexis Kitsakos of Merrimac ran on the UMass Lowell 4x400 team, which beat the school record by nearly two seconds with a 3:42.14 clocking. UML sophomore Cam Kelley of Methuen was on the 4x800 quartet which ran a speedy 7:39.09.

REPEAT EFFORT

BC sophomore Nicole Boudreau of Andover was one of 18 players on the ACC All-Academic team for women’s basketball. She made is as a freshman, too.

BY GEORGES

The Big 12 was widely hailed as the nation’s top conference this year. So it was quite an honor when Iowa State sophomore Georges Niang of Methuen made All-Big 12 third team. You certainly could have made a strong case for second team as he proved with his dominating performance against Kansas Friday night in the Big 12 Tourney semifinals.

FOURTH YEAR

BU senior Rashidat Agboola of Methuen capped off her stellar career by being named third-team All-Patriot League. It is the fourth straight year the ex-Ranger great earned all-league honors. The two-year captain ranks among the Terrier all-time leaders in rebounds (2nd, 870), points (12th, 1,196), blocks (3rd, 147) and minutes played (8th, 3,446).

She also was named to the five-player Patriot League All-Academic team. Agboola has a 3.65 GPA as a business administration and management major.

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE

Junior forward Stephen Balsamo of Atkinson had four goals and four assists in 16 games at Stonehill. The Central Catholic grad has made the Athletic Director’s honor roll every term.

NO JOSH-ING

Haverhill High grad Josh Danner-Hicks triple jumped 48-6 to place second at the ECAC Division 3 Championships. That broke his own school record by over six inches. The 5-7, 140-pound senior at Bridgewater State competed in the triple jump yesterday at the Division 3 NCAAs in Lincoln, Neb.

Another ex-Hillie running for the Bears, junior Josh Goehring, ran a 1:53.43 at New Englands to break his own school indoor 800 mark.

OH, MERCY!

Gwynedd-Mercy (Pa.) University junior Chris Selke of Derry placed fifth in the ECAC heptathlon with a school record 4,502 points. His former Pinkerton classmate, Keene State freshman Patrick Chabot, ran a personal best 4:22.26 in the mile.

TOP FRESHMAN

Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh was named Big 10 Freshman of the year. The Indiana forward was named third-team All-Big 10 by the coaches and second by the Big 10 Network. He’s the runaway leader in rebounding in the conference with 9.0 a game and is third in shooting at .523.

FINN FAN

Former Andover High football star Pat Finn of Methuen is a big Bentley women’s hoops fan. That’s because his step-sister is Falcon Courtney Finn of Winthop. Finn, a two-year captain, is averaging 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. She scored a game-high 23 points as the Falcons improved to 30-0 with a first-round NCAA tourney win.

ON THE ATTACK

Washington and Lee senior attacker Margaret Klein of North Andover and Brooks has started all six games and scored 14 goals with two assists. She’s been named one of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference lacrosse players of the week in back to back weeks.

STINGY BABSON

Senior defenseman Ryan Heavey of Andover, a graduate of Choate, has helped lead Babson hockey to a 22-4-2 record heading into the NCAA Division 3 quarterfinals. The assistant captain was named all-conference this winter after making second team the previous two seasons. He has one goal and 11 assists this winter and anchors a squad which is the third hardest to score on nationally in Division 3.

RUSSELL RESPECT

Freshman hockey forward Paul Russell of Andover (10-3-13) has been a mainstay for third-ranked Norwich, which is 20-6-3 on the year.

Senior forward Eric Ward of Haverhill (13-7-20) and sophomore forward Ricky O’Connor of North Andover (5-2-7) had strong seasons for Framingham State.

Junior forward Dan Loughlin of Methuen contributed four goals and five assists this winter at Westfield State.

UMASS SCHOLARS

Junior Heather Pekarovich of Andover (rowing), senior Kayla Baldwin of Andover (track), senior Katrina Martyn of North Andover (track) and freshman Deirdre Martyn of North Andover (track) are local UMass athletes who made the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll. Athletes needed at least a 3.5 GPA for the semester to make the team.

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E-mail information on local college athletes to Michael Muldoon at mmuldoon@eagletribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MullyET.