Behind 59-58 with 1:16 left in last season’s NJCAA, Division III Finals, the Monroe College Lady Mustangs were just one small step away from the grand prize of a national championship. Though they fell a few points short in that game, in 2005-06, the goal is to take that small step that would mean the giant leap of a national championship.
As the pre-season number one-ranked team in the NJCAA, the 2005-06 Lady Mustangs just might be ready to take that next step into immortality. "The last two years we made the national tournament and fell short," head coach Seth Goodman said. "With all that experience behind us, we’re hoping this year to put it all together and finish as the best team in the nation. Evan though we’ve added some great talent, talk is cheap. Now the real work begins."
Monroe will once again be led by the fantastic Fantasia Goodwin. Last year the 6’0" sophomore forward was a First-team All American who led the nation in points (26.26 ppg), rebounds (17.0 rpg), and steals (6.19 spg). Featured in Sports Illustrated’s "Faces in the Crowd", Fantasia was a two-time NJCAA Player of the Week, Region XV Player of the Year, First-team All-tournament in the Region and National Tournaments and the recipient of the NY/NJ Met Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year award.
Coming back to the Lady Mustangs after a one-year hiatus, is 6’2" sophomore forward Sha-kia Hart who was an integral part of Monroe’s first-ever 2003-04 Region championship team. "Shaq" averaged 7.3 ppg and 4.7 rpg in her first go-‘round with Monroe. Monique Jenkins, a plucky 5’4" sophomore guard, can come off the bench and change the momentum and result of a big game. In her freshman year at Monroe, she averaged 4.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, and 2.3 apg.
Also returning is 5’5" sophomore guard Sherolyn Campbell, a fierce, competitive defender who improved her offense during the off season.
At the top of the list of newcomers is 5’8" lightning-quick Angela Pace, a First-team All-county and Third-team All-state player at Woodlands HS in Westchester. Her 443 points scored as a senior placed her second in the county. Coach Goodman expects her to be a vital cog in the backcourt. Two freshmen from Baltimore’s Southside H.S. will be mainstays for Monroe this year. The all-time rebound leader in her high school’s history, Angela Speight, a 6’0" freshman forward, is a ferocious rebounder who averaged a double-double in her junior and senior high school years. Patrice Griffin, a 5’5" freshman, is a prototype point guard who was a First-team All-Division player in Baltimore County.
At 5’5", freshman forward Georgia Anderson may just be the most athletic player on the team. She averaged 13.6 ppg as the captain of her high school team. Like Speight and Griffin, freshmen Shari Cordero and Naimah Ahmed played together in high school. A forward at Lehman HS in the Bronx, the 5’10" Cordero is a big-time player. She hit a game-winning shot in the PSAL quarterfinals to help her team advance. The 5’6" Ahmed is as tough-minded a defensive player as you will find. She also can play well on the perimeter.