From the HCC sports desk:
Muffoletto Named Harford Men’s Soccer Head Coach; Will Continue as Women’s Soccer Head Coach
BEL AIR, Md.—After making his second trip to the NJCAA National Tournament as head coach of the Harford women’s soccer team in 2009, Jason Muffoletto will add the duties of head men’s soccer coach at Harford beginning with the 2010 season, while retaining his position as head coach of the Harford women. Muffoletto replaces Barry Wilson, who recently resigned from the men’s head coaching position, Athletic Director Ken Krsolovic has announced.
“Jason is a full-time soccer coach, handling various camps, clinics and instruction throughout the year. That puts him in a position to be able to be at the helm of both our soccer teams,” Krsolovic said. “He is extremely well connected in the world of soccer recruiting and, as a result, should be able to continue to build on the success that Barry Wilson had as head coach of the men, while maintaining the national level that our women’s team has attained.”
Muffoletto inherits a squad on the rise in the Harford men’s soccer team after Wilson guided the Fighting Owls to two straight regional semifinalist finishes in 2008 and 2009. Over his three years with Harford, Wilson posted a 24-27-4 (.473) record, including an 8-9-2 finish last season, in 2009.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to coach both a men’s and women’s team,” Muffoletto said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m excited for the challenge that it brings.”
On the women’s side in 2009, Muffoletto helped guided Harford to a 19-3-1 finish, including a dramatic Region XX Championship title game against Anne Arundel, which was decided on penalty kicks. The Owls rolled over Cape Fear, 4-0, for their 10th shutout win of the season to claim the District H title and advance to the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Muffoletto’s 2006 squad earned the No. 7 seed and made an early exit from the tournament, falling to the eventual national champion, No. 2 Young Harris, in its opening game before losing to Mesa in the consolation game. The 2009 Harford squad, the No. 8 seeded team, looked to be on the track to repeat history after dropping its opening round game, 4-0 to No. 1 Lewis and Clark.
Muffoletto’s second team to make the trip to nationals made school history, however, as it became the first women’s soccer team to win a game at the national tournament, blanking No. 5 Schoolcraft, 2-0, in the consolation game to advance to the fifth/sixth place game where they earned a fifth-place national tournament finish with a 2-0 win over No. 2 Polk.
Over his six-year career at the helm of the women’s soccer team, Muffoletto has amassed a career record of 61-35-7 (.626) and has had just two seasons below a .500 record, his first two as head coach in 2004 and 2005. Since then, Muffoletto has guided the Owls to the Region XX Championship game for four straight years, capturing the title in 2006 and 2009 as well as a share of the MDJUCO regular-season title in 2006. Muffoletto has also been victorious in both chances at the District H title, claiming the championship in both 2006 and 2009.
The coach has also seen 18 players selected to the annual MDJUCO All-Conference and Region XX All-Region teams, 15 Region XX All-Tournament selections, one NJCAA All-Tournament honoree and four All-Americans. Dominique Newson and Kelly Peck picked up All-America honors in 2006 with Newson being tabbed NJCAA First-Team All-America and Peck earning an NSCAA Second-Team nod. Jessica Stumpf earned an NJCAA Honorable Mention selection in 2008, while this past season saw Beth Lambros named NJCAA First-Team All-America.
Prior to coming to Harford, Muffoletto served as an assistant coach at the McDonogh School and as part of the Baltimore Casa Mia Bays U-17 team. He is a widely-renowned goalkeeper coach and has trained numerous, top-level keepers, including two U.S. Youth National Team members and three adidas Golden Glove winners.
As a player, Muffoletto trained at the professional level with Brazilian clubs Remo and Paysandu and was a four-year member of the Olympic Development Program as an amateur, during which he was an adidas Golden Glove award-winner.
Muffoletto played during his college years for MDJUCO Conference CCBC-Dundalk where he was an MDJUCO All-Conference and Region XX All-Region selection as well as an NSCAA Second-Team All-American. As a high school player, Muffoletto was a standout goalkeeper in the Baltimore area, garnering All-State, All-Metro and All-Baltimore City/Baltimore County honors while at Archbishop Curley.
Muffoletto owns his own goalkeeper training company, oneVone and also coaches at numerous soccer camps throughout Maryland. He currently resides in Baltimore, Md., with his wife, Raquel and seven-month year-old, Marisa.
Harford Women’s Soccer Inks Nine for 2010 Season
BEL AIR, Md.—The Harford women’s soccer team has had nine players sign a National Letter of Intent or commit to playing for the Fighting Owls beginning with the 2010 season, head coach Jason Muffoletto and assistant coach Dana Casey announced.
“The incoming freshman and sophomores make up the best recruiting class we’ve ever had at Harford,” Muffoletto said. “Every player that is joining the Fighting Owls, whether freshman or sophomore, can, and will make an immediate impact on the team.”
Jenna Quaranta (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll/UMBC), a transfer from UMBC, highlights the incoming sophomores, while Lindsay Malpass (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright/Millersville) and Meredith Grieves (Nottingham, Md./Perry Hall/Davis & Elkins) round out the group.
Quaranta, a three-time All-County and 2007 All-State and All-Metro selection for John Carroll, saw action in 17 games as a freshman for UMBC in 2008, starting one, while Malpass, a 2008 All-County selection and member of state, regional and county championship teams at CMW, played in 18 contests for Millersville in 2009.
Grieves, a 2008 All-County selection and member of the 2007 regional championship team at Perry Hall, was a regular starter for WVIAC champion Davis & Elkins, with 15 starts in 17 games in 2009. She ranked fifth on the team with 17 points on six goals and five assists, her five assists also ranking in a tie for ninth in the conference.
Alexandra Bogris (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright), a 2009 Second-Team All-County selection and the Mustangs’ Defensive Player of the Year, leads the incoming freshman after helping C. Milton to its fourth UCBAC championship in 2009. Bogris struggled with injury during her senior season, missing half of the Mustangs’ games, but managed to make enough of an impact to garner an All-County nod. A four-year starter, the defender also picked up an All-County Honorable Mention during her junior year, was a member of the Baltimore Shakedowns club team which earned a sponsorship to Sweden’s Gothia Cup, and recently earned the Maryland Minds in Motion scholarship.
Audrey Baldwin (Fallston, Md./Fallston) will bring high-level championship experience to Harford as she was the starting goalkeeper for Class 2A State Champion Fallston this past fall. Baldwin, a Cougar captain, tallied four saves during the regulation and overtime periods of the state championship and stopped one more shot than her Winters Mill opponent in the deciding shootout to help capture the title for Fallston.
Brittany Benser (Colora, Md./Perryville) joins Harford after a three-year starting role at Perryville, where she captained the team during her junior year and was part of the 2006 regional championship and state finalist squad. Benser has also competed on the club level with the Upper Chesapeake Soccer Club (UCSC) Pride since 2006, helping the club to numerous championships including four straight Baltimore Beltway Soccer League titles.
Kristina Rivera (Abingdon, Md./Home School) has also had success at the club level, bringing home the Maryland State Cup as part of the Baltimore Soccer Club Bays U-14 team in 2007, while Christine O’Neill (Belcamp, Md./Aberdeen) and Macie Wedra (Street, Md./John Carroll) round out the incoming class.
Harford Rallies in Ninth, But Falls to Frederick, 4-3 in Region XX Tournament; Eliminated by CCBC-Catonsville, 14-6
CATONSVILLE, Md.—Sophomore Joe Harbach (Abingdon, Md./Edgewood) saw his best three innings during his final three frames on the mound, which gave the No. 4 Harford baseball team the opportunity to rally from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the ninth, and force extra innings against No. 1 Frederick in the Region XX Tournament on Friday at CCBC-Catonsville.
The Fighting Owls (33-16) would eventually fall to the Cougars (50-4), 4-3, after a walk-off home run by Tim Leather in the bottom of the 10th, but it was Harbach’s effort coupled with some miraculous Owl breaks that really defined the game.
The lefty did all that he could on the hill, throwing 137 pitches in nine full innings, while surrendering three runs on 10 hits. Harbach, coming off a 15-strikeout, complete-game win over CCBC-Dundalk in the Region XX Opening Round, struggled early, giving up two hits in the first before getting out of the inning thanks to a double-play ball.
The sophomore settled down some in the second, allowing just one Frederick runner, on a base hit. He looked to be getting into a groove as he retired the first two Cougar batters in the third, but a double by Alex Buccilli just over the centerfielder’s head put a runner into scoring position and a second, ground-rule, double from Brett Moreland plated Buccilli to put Frederick on the board.
Harbach served up two solid innings in the fourth and the fifth, holding the Cougars hitless, and keeping it a one-run game. The Harford offense was struggling, however, as the Owls stranded nine runners after five innings.
Moreland would tally his third straight hit off Harbach in the sixth, a lead-off single and would advance into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by Tim Leather. Joey Murphy would follow with a single and after a groundout put runners on second and third, Tyler Shover would belt a two-out, two-run RBI double to right field to give Frederick a 3-0 advantage.
After six innings, Harbach had yet to record a strikeout, until he fanned Moreland to end the seventh. After a lead-off walk in the eighth, he would notch two more and a groundout as the teams headed into the ninth.
With the Cougars just three outs away from advancing, Harford needed to come up big in the ninth. With one out on the board after a lead-off pop-out, freshman Eric Quinn (Pylesville, Md./Harford Christian) squeaked a ball through the left side and sophomore Drew Burton (Kingsville, Md./Calvert Hall) drew a walk to put the tying run at the plate.
After a Frederick pitching change, freshman Alex Riley (Newark, Del./A.I. Dupont/Wesley) loaded the bases by reaching on a Cougar error. All runners advanced and Quinn broke up the shutout by scoring on a wild pitch before Harbach plated a run with a groundout RBI. With two outs on the board, sophomore Woody Wlodarczyk (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) kept Harford’s hopes alive with a line drive single through the left side that plated Riley and knotted the score at three.
Harbach started the bottom of the ninth with a strikeout, his fourth of the game, but put the winning run on base as he grazed Mike Hnatuck, the next Frederick batter. Brock McCallister’s double to right looked to be the game-ender, but Hnatuck underestimated Burton’s cannon, as the right-fielder fired to Quinn, the cutoff, who relayed the ball to Wlodarczyk in time to catch Hnatuck at the plate and prevent the game-winning run. A groundout from Buccilli recorded the third out and sent the game to extra innings.
The Harford lineup went down in order in the top of the 10th and sophomore Mike Rappazzo (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) took the mound for the Owls in the bottom of the inning. Moreland looked to have belted the game-winning walk-off home run over the centerfield fence, but a miraculous leap over the wall by Riley robbed Frederick of the celebration, at least until Leather followed with the game-winning, walk-off homer over the right field fence.
Quinn led Harford, going 3-for-4 with a run scored on the day, while Wlodarczyk had the only extra-base hit, a double. Rappazzo (3-4) suffered the loss after giving up one run on one hit in one third of an inning.
On the Cougar side, Moreland led the way, going 3-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI, while Shover was 2-for-4 with two RBI, including the game-winning homer. Jon Patino (3-1) earned the win after coming into the game in relief and allowing just one run on one hit and striking out one in 1.2 innings.
With the loss, Harford entered the loser’s bracket of the Region XX Tournament, where they met No. 2 CCBC-Catonsville, who fell to No. 3 Allegany, 8-3 earlier in the day. The teams met in an elimination game immediately following Harford’s loss to Frederick and the Fighting Owls saw their season come to an end with a 14-6, seven-inning, run-rule loss.
The Cardinals (37-18) tallied four runs each in the first and second innings, before Harford got on the board with three in the third. The Owls would add another two in the fourth to make it a three-run game, but a single Cardinal run in the fourth and four in the fifth would give Catonsville a 13-5 lead. Harford tallied its sixth run to keep the game below the eight-run threshold, but Catonsville added a single run in the seventh to earn the truncated win.
With the win over Harford, Frederick continued in the winner’s bracket where it faced Allegany on Saturday, downing the Trojans (41-12), 8-2, to move onto the championship. Allegany faced Catonsville for the second time during the weekend in the loser’s bracket on Saturday, defeating the Cardinals, 12-8, to set up Sunday’s championship game against Frederick. The Cougars claimed the Region XX title with a 9-4 victory over Allegany.