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Rodriguez Ends Stellar Career at St. John’s
December 15, 2003

When Indiana scored twice in four minutes to beat St. John’s 2-1 yesterday in the NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship, Jersey Shore Boca youth veteran Angel Rodriguez fell one game short of earning a NCAA championship
Rodriguez Ends Stellar Career at St. John’s

Jersey Shore Boca youth product falls one game short of earning a NCAA championship

COLUMBUS, OH (December 15, 2003) – The Indiana Hoosiers scored twice in four minutes to beat the St. John’s Red Storm, 2-1 yesterday in the NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship.

With the loss, the stellar collegiate career of Jersey Shore Boca veteran Angel Rodriguez came to an end one game shy of winning an NCAA championship.

Rodriguez, a Toms River native, was a long-time member of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club and youth program and was coached throughout his younger years by Al Schwartz, current President of the club.

He helped his Boca club teams gain state, regional and national recognition in various competitions including the world-renowned USA Cup in Blaine, MN.

The Boca veteran and gifted midfielder graduated from Toms River North High School in 2000 with numerous high school soccer accolades.

He continued his academic and soccer career at the Big East powerhouse in the same year, selecting St. John’s over Syracuse, Hofstra and other numerous schools who were recruiting him.

During his 4 years with the Red Storm, Rodriguez played in 81 games, scored 15 goals and handed out 7 assists.

Rodriguez and 6 other graduating St. John’s seniors finished their four-year career with a 61-17-13 overall record, two Big East Championships, one NCAA Championship game appearance and two NCAA Final Four appearances.

“On behalf of all of the Directors, Coaches and Staff of Jersey Shore Boca, I would like to congratulate Angel on a tremendous college soccer career at St. John’s. We are all very proud of him. It’s unfortunate they could not pull this last game out to end his career with a championship” said Schwartz.

In the 2003 championship game that ended in a steady snowfall, Rodriguez and the Red Storm could do nothing but watch as Ned Grabavoy of Indiana scored on a free kick in the 16th minute.

Jacob Peterson made it 2-0 in the 20th minute for the eighth-seeded Hoosiers.

No. 6 St. John’s, in its first NCAA title game since winning it in 1996, scored with 12 minutes left. Tim O’Neill sent a pass across the penalty box to Chris Corcoran, who volleyed the ball toward the goal. Ashley Kozicki knocked it in from 6 yards.

Trying to send the game into OT, St. John’s took a variety of desperation shots in the last 10 minutes on a field covered by an icy, white blanket but came up short.

Rodriguez will graduate from St. John’s in May next year with a Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting.

“I would have to say that Angel is one of the most skilled and gifted players ever to come out of our club. He worked very hard at soccer and also in the classroom while he was with us. That paid off for him in college” Schwartz concluded.

Angel Rodriguez St. John’s Career Highlights:

2003: Has appeared in 23 games this season… Has two goals and two assists for six points… Scored the team’s second goal in a 3-0 win at Notre Dame … Assisted on the team’s first goal in a 3-1 win over Rutgers … Assisted on the final score in a 3-0 win at Adelphi.

2002: Played in 18 games, starting eight…Finished sixth on the team in scoring with three goals and one assist for seven points…Third on the team with 38 shots.

2001: Played in 23 games, starting 22…Tied for second on the team in scoring with eight goals and two assists for 18 points…Second on the team with 43 shots.

2000: Played in 17 games, starting six…Took 17 shots on goal…Scored two goals and had four points.

Personal: Born on September 20, 1981…The Son of Ramiro and Laura Rodriguez.