Rocket League Team Takes Second in World Championship
Stockton University’s Rocket League esports team is now second in the world following its impressive showing at the Collegiate Rocket League World Championship Tournament in Dallas, Texas, on June 3-5.
The team of captain Brian Busse of Hazlet, Trey Batson of Manahawkin and John Merendino of Hauppauge, New York, were one of 16 teams that qualified for the international competition. The event, the first collegiate international finals, was part of the DreamHack gaming festival and attracted more than a million viewers in person and online over the weekend.
“I’m happy we got second, but then I’m also unhappy we didn’t get first,” Busse said. “But we did what we came to do.”
The team also won the national Eastern College Athletic Conference Hudson Valley Gamer Con in March and took first place in the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Rocket League online qualifier in April. They got some coaching in Dallas from Stockton alumnus Vincent Nelson, who was part of a winning Rocket League team in 2020 when he played on the team with Busse. Busse transferred to Stockton to play with Nelson.
Men's Basketball Magical Season ends in NCAA Sectionals
Stockton University (26-5) saw one of the best men's basketball seasons in school history come to an end with a 93-54 defeat to #4 Christopher Newport (27-2) in the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament this past March. The Ospreys were playing in the sectionals for the first time since 2014.
The outcome ceased a magical season in which Stockton tied the second-highest win total (26) in the program's 50 seasons, finished first in the NJAC regular season standings, won the NJAC championship for the first time since 2016 and won two NCAA Tournament games.
DJ Campbell scored a team-high 12 points and finished the season with 618 markers, the second-highest season total in school history (Carl Cochran, 671 points, 1995-96).
Kyion Flanders also hit double figures with 11 points. Rynell Lawrence contributed eight markers and a team-high eight rebounds, while Alan Glover finished with seven points.
Highlights & Accolades
The Ospreys began their NCAA Tournament journey with home-court advantage as Stockton was selected to host first and second round games on March 4-5. Stockton defeated Wilson College 87-52 following Johns Hopkins’ win over Yeshiva. The Ospreys advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 70-63 victory over Johns Hopkins.
Head Coach Scott Bittner
- New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Coach of the Year
- National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 4 Coach of the Year
- NJAC Player of the Year
NJAC First Team
NABC Division III First Team All-American
NABC District 4 Player of the Year
NABC District 4 First Team
Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Year
All-ECAC First Team
D3hoops.com All-Region 4 First Team
- NABC District 4 Second Team
NJAC Defensive Player of the Year
NJAC First Team
All-ECAC Second Team
- NJAC Honorable Mention
Six Ospreys Receive Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Honors
Stockton University collected three all-conference honors and qualified for three academic accolades from the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference. All six rowers received MARC postseason accolades for the first time in their careers.
Senior Emily Culmone was selected All-MARC First Team, and junior Carrie Alpin was chosen All-MARC Second Team. Freshman Nicole Iatarola was an All-MARC Novice selection. Novice honors are reserved for rowers in their first year of competition at the collegiate level.
Emily Latshaw, Kelley Mason and Madelynn Schina qualified for the MARC Academic All-Conference Team. The requirement is a grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
Santiago Solari Returns to Visit Stockton
Santiago Solari was 17 years old and just out of high school when he arrived at then Stockton College in Fall 1994. He only spent one semester at Stockton before returning to his native Argentina, where he began a professional soccer career that included playing for River Plate in Argentina as well as Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan. But Stockton remained an important inspiration in his life.
"I was very young, and there are moments in your life when things get ahold of your heart," Solari said. "I needed to figure out what I was going to do. Being here opened my mind to living in a different country with different points of view. It was a perfect moment for me."
Now the head coach for Club America in Mexico, Solari returned to Stockton on Sept. 14, 2021, with his family to tour the campus and marvel at how it had changed.
"I do recognize the trees," he said, standing at the current soccer field and viewing the area where he played. "I am thrilled to be here. It grew so much."
Solari was in the area to play against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 15. His soccer coach at Stockton, Tim Lenahan, now retired as head soccer coach at Northwestern University, took advantage of the opportunity to schedule a trip to Stockton.
Women's Soccer Wins ECAC Championship
Stockton University scored twice in the last 28 minutes and defeated William Paterson 2-0 to win the 2021 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship. The Ospreys won the ECAC title for the sixth time in program history (2021, 04, 03, 02, 99, 93).
Stockton freshman Emily Hauck was chosen MVP of the ECAC Tournament and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Jessica Heitmann, Sydney Williams and Susan Porambo.
The match was scoreless into the 63rd minute when Maddie Klein broke through for her fifth goal of the season with an assist by Erica Dietz for the eventual game-winner.
Wan Earns All-American Status & Sets School Record
Stockton University seniors Darren Wan and Keith Holland competed on day three of the 2022 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at SPIRE Institute on May 28. Wan earned All-American status by finishing sixth out of 20 in the hammer throw.
Wan unleashed a throw of 58.25 meters on the fourth of his six attempts. The distance broke his own school record of 58.17 meters from last year and resulted in a sixth-place finish that made Wan an All-American (top eight) for the first time.
Wan became Stockton's first men's outdoor All-American in a throwing event since Stockton Athletics Hall of Famer Mike Mielke won the NCAA title in the discus in 1986. He earned the 39th men's outdoor All-American honor in school history overall.
The event was the final competition in an outstanding career for Wan, who graduated from Stockton with his master's degree in business administration on May 13. He added the All-American accolade to a list of recognition that includes five-time NJAC Second Team and three-time USTFCCCA All-Region while competing in indoor and outdoor track & field.