|Shrewsbury twins Gianna and Nicola D’Errico have added the NCAA Division 2 soccer championship to their list of triumphs.|
D’Erricos share NCAA soccer title
After the College of Saint Rose women’s soccer team knocked off two-time national champion Grand Valley State last weekend for the NCAA Division 2 title, Shrewsbury twins Gianna and Nicola D’Errico shared a moment of celebration and reflection.
“I told Nicola what a wonderful job she did being a team captain, and how she always got me pumped up for every game,’’ said Gianna, who scored the only goal in the squad’s quarterfinal win over California University, and the insurance tally in its 2-0 semifinal dispatching of Armstrong Atlantic State. “And she told me that I was a great sister and teammate.’’
A 5-foot-6 senior forward, Gianna was named to the all-tournament team after the national finals, which were held in Pensacola, Fla. Nicola, a 5-6 senior back, was a shutdown defender for Golden Knights coach Laurie Darling Guthiel down the stretch.
“Gianna and all of us were crying and screaming,’’ said Nicola. “It couldn’t have been a sweeter ending to our college careers.’’
Three previous trips to the national semifinals had ended in defeat for the D’Erricos and Saint Rose, including a 3-2 loss to Grand Valley, the two-time defending champ from Michigan, two years ago.
“The bigger the game or situation, the better Nicola and Gianna played,’’ said Guthiel, whose team finished 24-1-1.
“They’ve been leaders here since day one. Both made sacrifices for the good of the team by filling in at other positions this year. It was so special that they went out together as winners.’’
The D’Erricos have played alongside each other since they were 4 years old, growing up in Worcester. They helped lead Shrewsbury High to the Division 1 Central title and the state final as seniors.
Their parents, Matt and Laurie, were in the stands in Pensacola. Younger sister Mikayla, who attends Northeastern University but is studying in Rome this semester, watched the tourney games online.
“I hope we can still be teammates after college somewhere,’’ said Nicola, a third team All-Northeast-10 Conference pick this fall.
Gianna, a NE-10 second-team pick who overcame a painful quad strain to play in the NCAA tournament, is 10th on the career scoring list, with 29 goals and 76 points, at the Albany, N.Y., school.
Back on the ice
Carlisle’s Johnny Van Siclen, a junior forward on the Amherst College men’s hockey team, is off to a strong start this season after missing significant ice time as a freshman and sophomore because of mononucleosis and a concussion.
Van Siclen, whose father, John, was captain and a two-time team MVP at Princeton (class of 1978), scored his first three career goals Nov. 22 in an 8-1 victory over Westfield State. He was leading the Lord Jeffs (5-1-0, 3-0 NESCAC) through last weekend in scoring with four goals and two assists.
“My first two seasons were obviously disappointing. I almost feel like I’m a freshman starting all over again,’’ said Van Siclen, a California native whose older brother, Jeff, played two seasons at University of Massachusetts Boston and now attends Babson. His younger brother Mikey, who starred at Concord-Carlisle Regional High, plays junior hockey with the Boston Bandits, and his other brother, Stevie, is on the varsity at the Rivers School in Weston.
“Johnny’s a talented, skilled player,’’ said Amherst head coach Jack Arena, “but this is the first time he’s been able to show us what we thought we had two years ago. He did a great job in his offseason conditioning.’’
Van Siclen’s father still plays on the Spirit of ’78 team with his former college teammates; they won the US Pond Hockey Championships title four years ago.
“My wife, Nancy, knew the boys would eventually come East to play hockey,’’ he said, “and she told me either I get her an apartment so she could watch them play or we should move from California to Massachusetts. So we moved here. It’s been a great ride for all of us.’’
Southern Connecticut senior quarterback Kevin Lynch of Medfield directed a team of Division 2 All-Stars to a 29-28 comeback win against their NAIA counterparts in Middletown, N.Y., last weekend. Lynch was 23 of 34 for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and engineered a 96-yard drive capped by a successful two-point conversion with under a minute to play . . . Tufts junior Scott Anderson of Sudbury earned MVP honors last weekend after sparking the Jumbos’ men’s basketball team to the New England Big 4 Challenge title by averaging 17.5 points in wins over Babson and host Salem State . . . Framingham’s Denise Beliveau became the 16th women’s basketball player at the University of New Hampshire to reach 1,000 career points during a 15-point performance Dec. 3 vs. Holy Cross . . . Former Newton South standout Vanessa Gailius, a sophomore volleyball player at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team . . . Newton’s Colby Dunn, a sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week after recording three freestyle wins and swimming on three victorious relay teams at the MIT Winter Invitational . . . The Dean College football squad defeated Glendale Community College in the Valley of the Sun Bowl, 26-25, last weekend, after erasing a 25-6 deficit. It was Dean’s first postseason bowl win in four tries.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.