Freshman Brandon Matthews has jump-started his career with the Temple men's golf team.
Matthews (Pittston Area) has been named Atlantic-10 Conference Rookie of the Week three straight weeks and was also named the league's Player of the Week along with his second-week selection.
A look at Matthews scoring stats and performance illustrates the reason for the awards.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder kicked off the run by shooting a three-round even-par score of 210 at The McLaughlin Tournament, held on the prestigious Red Course at Bethpage in Long Island. He wrapped up the event with a 6-under 64, which was the lowest round by a Temple golfer since 1973.
But Matthews saved the best for the following week when he took medalist honors in the Hartford Hawks Invitational in South Kent, Conn. He tied with two others with a 214 total (74-68-72) and then captured the sudden death playoff with an eagle on the first hole.
Last weekend, he finished 15th out of 75 golfers at Yale's MacDonald Cup in New Haven, Conn. He posted a 2-over 142 with rounds of 70 and 72.
"Brandon is an incredibly hard-working young man," coach Brian Quinn said. "His talent and work ethic are the best I have seen in a long time."
Quinn said that more importantly that Matthews is a wonderful kid and a true leader.
"Brandon has the utmost respect of his teammates and competitors," the coach said. "I'm excited to watch him grow as a person and develop into the great player I know he is destined to be."
The Owls compete in the Big 5 Invitational Saturday and Sunday at the Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley.
NEWAK FITS RIGHT IN – Freshman Jess Newak (Crestwood) has started all 11 games for the Wake Forest field hockey team.
Newak, a 5-foot-6 midfielder, has a goal and an assist and is a key performer on defense for the Demon Deacons, who are 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference. In the last two games, they lost 3-2 to No. 2 North Carolina and 3-2 in overtime to Ohio University.
"Jess has been one of our most consistent freshmen," coach Jennifer Averill said. "She certainly has an incredible amount of talent and what we are trying to do is harness that talent with what is being expected of her."
Newak picked up her goal and assist in an 8-0 victory over Appalachian State, one of the few non-ranked teams on the schedule.
"Jess needs experience and the more experience that we can give her the hungrier she will be," Averill said.
The coach recruited Newak for just that reason.
"Jess has definitely shown that she wants to be the go-to player; she wants to have the ball in her hands; she wants to be in specialty situations, whether it's on attacking or defending penalty corners," Averill said.
A LAKE-LEHMAN CONNECTION – St. Francis (Pa.) coach Stacey Bean likes recruiting Lake-Lehman field hockey players. She currently has six on her roster.
Red-shirt freshman Selena Adamshick has five goals and four assists for the Red Flashes, who are 7-4 overall and 1-0 in the Northeast Conference. Adamshick was recently named the league's Rookie of the Week.
Junior Lottie Chipego and sophomore Nikki Snyder have started all 11 games for the team and are key performers on defense. The Red Flash has given up 16 goals in 11 games but just four in the second half and overtime. The team has two shutouts.
Junior Erica Johnson and freshmen Michelle Lipski and Tori Frederick are also on the squad -- Johnson and Lipski seeing limited action and Frederick yet to play in a game.
"We are a small, tight-knit campus so I think it feels a lot like home to the Lehman crew," Bean said. "It's a natural fit and all six of our Lake-Lehman grads play a very important role for our team and our program overall, whether they're on the playing field or in the classroom or contributing to the campus community."
Bean lauds the Lake-Lehman program and coaching staff.
"It's no accident that year-after-year Lehman sends multiple players on to play in various college programs across the country," the coach said. "They come out having solid fundamentals, a good grasp of the game and, more importantly, the willingness to go the extra mile for their teammates."
PYROS MAKES GOALS COUNT – Sophomore Christian Pyros (Dallas) is a solid defender for the Gettysburg men's soccer team but he also knows how to put the ball in the net.
The 5-foot-11 back scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Mary Washington and had a goal in a 3-0 triumph over Goucher. And, he had an assist in a 2-1 loss to Ursinus.
"Christian is a very athletic, very talented player," coach Brett Kelly said. "His biggest asset is his versatility. In his short time here, we have used him as a center back, outside back, center midfielder and flank midfielder. He is very good in one-on-one situations from an attacking as well as defensive standpoint."
The coach believes that Pyros, also a standout in the classroom, will continue to improve.
"He has made great progress over the past year in terms of knowing what works and what does not work at the college level," Kelly said. "His technical ability, tactical awareness as well as his athleticism makes him an ideal player for our program."
WYSOCKY DOING THE JOB – The DeSales field hockey team is off to a slow start (3-7) but sophomore Rachel Wysocky is having a solid season playing defense for the Bulldogs.
Wysocky (Hazleton Area) has started all 10 games and according to head coach Sarah Hollander, she's really stepped up her game this season.
"Rachel is extremely talented and we're excited to have her back on defense," the coach said. "She's a very smart defender and exceptionally patient."
The coach switched Wysocky from the forward line to defense at the start of the season.
"I feel that the biggest difference in Rachel's play is her confidence," Hollander said. "And she has stepped into a leadership role on the field by improving her communication skills."
METZGER LEADS THE WAY – Sophomore Lindsay Metzger is having a big season with the Lehigh field hockey team.
Metzger (Crestwood) is tied for first in goals (seven) and second in total points (15) for the Mountain Hawks. She had the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Georgetown. She's one of the top scorers in the Patriot League.
"Lindsay has emerged as one of our strongest offensive threats," assistant coach Susan Ciufo said. "Through hard work and a great attitude, she's found a nice fit on our squad."
Melissa Kuhns (Crestwood) is also on the squad and has played eight games with one start after being sidelined early in the season.
"As a senior, Melissa has helped lead our 12 freshmen as she continues to be a positive influence to everyone around her," Ciufo said. "Her on-field experience and intangibles will be important in leading our young team down the stretch of the regular season."
LIPLES MOVES UP – After playing No. 10 singles for the Bloomsburg women's tennis team in her first year with the team last season, junior Alyssa Liples (Holy Redeemer) has moved into a challenging spot for the top-six spots this season. She's currently 1-1 in singles and 0-2 in doubles.
"Alyssa is one of the hardest working players we have on the team," coach Marty Coyne said. "She's a very strong striker of the ball who is learning to be able to balance her power, with more control in order to stay in points longer and keep away from beating herself."
Coyne said that Liples gets in extra workouts three or four times a week to improve her skills.
"Her footwork has improved tremendously," the coach said. "Given her progressions so far, it is not long before she is racking up W's for the team."
PARKHURST SEEING ACTION – Freshman George Parkhurst of Shavertown (Wyoming Seminary) is playing with the Siena men's tennis team.
"George has been a very pleasant surprise addition to this year's team," coach Jim Serbalik said. "After an extremely competitive series of challenge matches, he earned the No. 5 singles in our starting lineup."
Parkhurst has posted a 2-1 record to date. His loss came in a tough tie-breaker setback to a standout Hofstra player who had a 110-mph serve, according to Serbalik.
"I'm looking forward to getting George some doubles experience along the way in the future," the coach said. "He is off to a great start and has already earned the respect of his teammates."
Bill Arsenault covers local athletes competing at the collegiate level for The Times Leader. Reach him at email@example.com.