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October 01, 2010
Vol. 52 No. 4

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In the Limelight

In the Limelight
Jim Robertiello

If there's one thing that Jim Robertiello has taught opposing teams over the last four years, its that he's just as hard to defend as it is to pronounce his last name.

The senior forward from Chester, N.J. burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2007 and took the conference by storm when he blasted 12 goals past opposing goalkeepers. His 19 total points in that rookie campaign earned him the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year award, an award that is voted on by the coaches of the conference.

Before that explosive season, Robertiello came in as just another quality recruit. A solid, talented player from New Jersey who was going to compete for a starter's role. Twenty-nine goals later, Robertiello is the second highest goal scorer in conference history, and is just four goals away from owning a share of the record.

"He's just a phenomenal athlete," said Head Coach Jim Findlay, who has coached Robertiello for each of the last four seasons.

Of course, the athletic ability i evident. Even the casual fan can't help but notice the exciting runs, long strikes and precise crosses that #21 seems to produce in almost every game.

What sets Robertiello apart from other athletes, Findlay says, is his drive to excel.
"He wants to win every game, and he believes we can," Findlay said. "He never, ever lets up during games, and that picks up the rest of the guys," he said, adding that, "he's one of those guys that leads by example."

Leadership is a quality that led the team to name him co-captain this year, along with senior defender Andrew Brill, of Westfield, New Jersey.

"Andrew is our real vocal leader, he does a lot of the 'ra-ra' work to get the guys riled up, while Jim's energy and overall performance on the field gets the guys jacked up too," Findlay said.

It's a quality that only the best competitors possess- the ability to put everything aside and focus every ounce of energy into winning. That is the quality that Findlay most attributes Robertiello's success to.

"Off the field, he's never mad, he constantly has a smile on his face," Findlay said. "I try to get him mad sometimes, but he's very even-keeled."

It must be alarming for goalkeepers to hear something like that, because it seems like Robertiello has been taking out his anger on them for four years.
If he ever does get angry, don't be surprised if the goalies start to call in sick.

As explosive as Robertiello was in his freshman season, Findlay said that Robertiello is constantly improving.

"He has an incredible work ethic, and he really has improved as a player since he's been here," Findlay said.

In 2007, Robertiello scored nine goals and one assist in 18 games. The next season, he exploded for 12 goals, but it wasn't just his scoring that increased.

From being primarily a goal scorer in freshman year, Robertiello demonstrated his ability to set up his teammates in addition to scoring in his sophomore season, as he tallied six assists and posted a whopping 30 points.

His performance in 2008 was a crucial part of the Crusaders' championship season.
In 2009, Robertiello was an example of a balanced player, scoring five goals and assisting on four, collecting 14 points and taking 35 shots.

As it stands this season, Robertiello has been about what you'd expect him to be.
His production has been steady and consistent, and he has scored three goals.

So far he has 29 goals in his career, he has been named to the All-Conference team three years in a row, and is making a run for the Landmark Conference record for most goals scored in a career.

This next stretch will be critical for the Crusaders, as six of their final eight games will be against conference rivals.

Currently, Susquehanna is 6-3, and they face a tough end to the schedule.
Susquehanna will face rivals Scranton and Goucher in back to back home games, and will finish the season against Drew.

Earlier in the season, the Susquehanna coaching staff stated that their goal for this season was to "get back to championship form."

Robertiello has already been through a championship run, and his leadership and experience will be valuable to the team.

Findlay said that, despite having a very talented group of underclassmen, it will be hard to replace Robertiello.

"Jim is just great to work with," Findlay said.

"He's a great teammate, a great worker, a great athlete and has a great knowledge of the game," he added.

The Crusaders may be losing both captains this year, but if they continue to strive to meet that standard that has been set by their leaders this year, they'll be in good shape.



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