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November 2009 Archives


Men's basketball captures third straight overtime decision in nine days

IMG_9656.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn. - Just nine days into a three-month season, men's basketball has already left its imprint on the program recordbook.

At left: Courtney Simmons is fouled by Conn College's Chris Kehoe while sinking this layup with 12 minutes left in the second half Sunday. Simmons completed the three-point play with a free throw to pull the Warriors to within 44-43 en route to the overtime victory.

Sunday afternoon, the Warriors played - and won - their third consecutive overtime decision by erasing an early 14-point deficit and surging to a  45-minute, 75-74 non-conference decision over in-state neighbor Connecticut College at the Charles Luce Fieldhouse.

Since dispatching Purchase College by  eight points in the regulation 40 minutes in  its season-opener last Friday night, the Warriors have gone overtime to turn away Bowdoin College (71-67) Saturday, Trinity College (77-74) this past Tuesday, and Conn College Sunday.

Just four games into the season, Eastern (4-0) has already played - and won -- three overtime games - the most OT victories in a season under eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner. In Geitner's first seven years, the Warriors played a total of 15 overtime games, winning seven. Until this year, Eastern had never won more than two overtime contests in a season under Geitner, that coming five years ago in a triple-overtime season-opening 116-114 season-opening decision over Westfield State College and an 80-77 Little East Conference road triumph over Massachusetts Boston in mid-January.

Against Conn College (1-3) Sunday, the Warriors sank their final eight free throws, four by sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY)  in the final four minutes of regulation and two each by junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and senior guard Edwin Ortiz  (Hartford) in one-and-one opportunities in the final four minutes of overtime.


 Eastern trailed 16-2 seven minutes into play, but  responded immediately by launching a 12-point run of its own to make it a two-point game midway through the half. Eastern nailed five of six shots and turned the ball over only once in that run, with Ortiz and junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) each scoring five points and junior post player Bill Roveto (South Windsor) grabbing two rebounds.

At left: Nick Nedwick

The Warriors capped its uphill climb by finally pulled even at 57-all with 4:40 left in the game on a jumper by Ortiz, and took its first lead (61-59) on a pair of free throws by Nedwick with 2:32 left. For the first time in three overtime games, the Warriors scored the last points of regulation to extend the game into overtime. Simmons forced the extra session  when he sank a 15-footer at the foul line with 16.9 seconds left to tie the game at 65-65, and Conn missed a potential winning baseline jump shot with 2.4 seconds left, the ball rebounded by Ortiz.

In overtime, Roveto drew the team's fifth charge (disqualifying Conn's Demetrius Porter, who had 14 points and ten rebounds). and Sawyer made Roveto's defense count by hitting both ends of a one-and-one, then sinking a short bank short after a Conn miss to give the lead for good, 69-65, with three minutes.

geitner72dpi_9650.jpgIn the last two minutes of overtime, Ortiz scored four points with a baseline jump shot and two free throws, the latter a one-and-one try that proved to be the deciding points, 75-72, with 8.1 seconds left.  Defending against a potential game-tying three-point shot, Eastern forced an air ball on long turnaround three-point bid by Shavar Bernier (3-for-8 from three-point range to that point) that was grabbed and put in by Brian Mahoney as the final horn sounded.

A former point guard at Hamilton College of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), head coach Bill Geitner (at left) has directed the Warrors to three straight overtime wins over his old conference rivals Bowdoin, Trinity and Conn College.

Ortiz,  Simmons and Nedwick combined for 61 of the team's oints (22 of 41 from the floor).. Simmons scored 20 off the bench and the 5-foot-11 inch playmaker added a team-high seven rebounds. Ortiz led all players in the game with 24 points (17 after the break), with Nedwick chipping in 17. Nedwick swished all seven of his free throws, making him 11-for-12 through four games this year.

Shooting .614 from the foul line through the first three games, Eastern was 14-for17 from the line and turned the ball over only seven times against Conn, which defeated Eastern in overtime in Willimantic last year. The Camels outrebounded Eastern by 11 and outscored the Warriors by three points from the floor, in large part to three-point marksmanship (10-for-22).

Junior guard Dean Lampe of Conn paced the Camels with 20 points, but was limited to just five points after a 15-point first half shooting clinic that sparked his team to a six-point lead at the break. In the game, Lampe converted seven of 11 field goals - including all four of his three-pointers - and also grabbed eight rebounds.

Eastern hosts the University of New England Thursday at 7 p.m.





Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

In the 200 yard breaststroke, freshman swimmer breaks first record of year


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport)  broke the first individual record of the 2009/10 season Saturday in helping the Warriors to a 149-127 victory over Saint Joseph College (CT).

A former four-year swimmer and three-year member of the water polo team at Staples High School, O'Kelly set a program record in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:35.71 in leading the Warriors to a 1-2-3 finish in the event.  The previous record of 2:37.00 was set by current Eastern senior tri-captain Jessica Wilson (Torrington) last January 24 at Western Connecticut State University.

Against Saint Joseph, O'Kelly was a double winner in the breaststroke for the second time in as many weeks, as she also captured the 50 yard breaststroke in a time of 34:05 which was just more than a second shy of Wilson's program record of 32:94 which was established three years ago.

The dual-meet victory over Saint Joseph Saturday was the 99th dual-meet triumph for 14th-year Eastern head coach Maureen Fahey, the only head coach in program history. Twenty three of the wins (22 straight) have come against Saint Joseph.

In a 136-126 win over Smith College in the team's home-opener Nov. 14, O'Kelly claimed the 200 yard breaststroke (2:37.34) and 100 yard breaststroke (1:13.31). Her time in the 100 was just a second off Wilson's program record.

An Early Childhood Education major, O'Kelly made a splash in her collegiate debut October 24 by finishing ninth overall among 53 participants at the Saint Joseph College Pentathlon. In helping the Warriors to a share of the meet title (the 11th straight year they have either won or shared the championship), O'Kelly was Eastern's fourth overall finisher in the pentathlon, totaling a combined time of 5:52:57 in the 100 yard breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, freestyle and individual medley. In the breaststroke, O'Kelly was second only to Wilson with a time of 1:15:37.

O'Kelly has recorded the fastest times on the team this year at all three breaststroke distances. She has also posted the fourth-fastest time in the 100 and 200 yard individual medley and 100 yard backstroke.

O'Kelly is one of 23 swimmers on this year's roster, which is the largest in program history. Other freshmen include Caroline Boutwell (Mendon, VT), Amanda Fromerth (Manchester), Darcy Jensen (Orange), Corri McDonald (North Haven), and Julie Pietrycha (Newington).

After hosting Massachusetts Dartmouth Dec. 2, Eastern competes at UMass Dartmouth  in the Little East Conference Championship, where the registered a program-best second place finish a year ago.



Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009

Saint reserves outscore Warriors 24-1  to hand them second straight loss

Below: Amanda Pierlioni

pierlioni WEB_8458.jpg

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  Women's basketball whittled 11 points off a 19-point deficit in the second half but the bench players from Emmanuel College allowed the Saints to hold on for a 68-58 victory over the Warriors Tuesday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern (1-2) never led after scoring the first four points of the game and trailed by 19 six minutes into the second half before making a run that cut 11 points of the lead and allowed the Warriors to pull to within eight, 61-53, with eight minutes left. At that point, junior Kristen LeBel sank the only two free throws that she was awarded all night to restore the double-digit lead, and the Warriors missed their next six shots.

The visitors were whistled for nine more fouls than Eastern, but survived despite losing two key players to fouls less than a minute apart inside the final five minutes. Led by  senior guard Iman Davis, Emmanuel received 24 points and 19 rebounds from six bench players. Three Eastern subs combined for one point and six rebounds.

Junior Casey Shevlin, LeBel and Davis combined for 45 of their team's point total. Shevlin was perfect from the floor (5-for-5/3-for-3 from "three") and line (3-for-3) en route to a team-high 16 points. Lebel had 15 points, four rebounds and three assists and Davis was 4-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the line in tacking on 14 points.

Emmanuel (4-0) snapped a two-year losing streak to Eastern, which had beaten the Saints four times in the previous six meetings. Both teams had qualified for NCAA tournament play last year, the Saints losing a second-round game to Amherst College, which advanced to the NCAA Final Four.

The Warriors shot under 28 per cent, missing 18 of 19 three-point field goal attempts. Eastern forced Emmanuel into 24 turnovers but the visitors sank 16 of 18 free throws in conquering the Warriors on their home court for the first time since 1992/93 (a string of four straight losses).

Eastern junior post player Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) recorded her third double-double in her 23-game Eastern career. She had 14 points and 12 rebounds as well as three steals. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) led all players in the game with 17 points and freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) added 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) handed out five assists and scored eight points.

For the second straight game, Eastern 16th-year head coach Denise Bierly was denied her 300th career coaching victory (all coming at Eastern).

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College in its Little East Conference opener Dec. 5 at 1 p.m.


Against Trinity, Nedwick banks in three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left

Below: Broderick Sawyer

sawyer raw_slide7529.jpg

  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg    WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sophomore Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) banked in a three-point field goal with 1.5 seconds left in overtime to lift men's basketball to a 77-74 victory over Trinity College Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

The win is the second in overtime  in three days for Eastern (3-0), which downed Bowdoin College, 63-56, in overtime Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament. It is also the second victory in as many years for Eastern over Trinity (1-2), which has lost two in a row after a season-opening triumph.

The Warriors have not opened a season with three wins since 1993/94, when they won their first six under  Eastern Hall of Fame coach Dan Switchenko en route to a  final 14-10 ledger.

Behind junior Brian Ford, Trinity scored the final four points of regulation to force overtime Tuesday, then scored five straight points over the final two minutes of overtime on an inside hoop by junior Luke MacDougall and a three-point field goal at the top of the circle byFord to tie the game at 74-74 with 24 seconds left.

With time running out in overtime, Eastern missed a short jump shot, but junior  Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) tipped the rebound in traffic toward the three-point arc to Nedwick, whose three-point field goal try on the left side drew glass, and caromed in, to give Eastern a 77-74 lead. Following a timeout, Trinity inbounded into the backcourt but Ford stepped out of bounds in front of the Eastern bench trying to corral a bad pass as the final horn sounded.

Sawyer scored 18 of his career-high 25 points after the break to pace five Eastern double-figure scorers. Sawyer, who also swatted five shots, was 8-for-9 from the floor in the second half in scoring 16 of the team's 36 points. Sophomore Jamie Kohn (Columbia) had his second career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, with Nedwick adding 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Junior Bill Roveto (South Windsor) scored eight of his ten points after the break and also led all players with a career-high 13 rebounds. Senior Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) chipped in ten points.

With the score tied with three minutes left in regulation, Sawyer converted a pair of inside baskets to give Eastern a 67-63 lead. The Warriors held that four-point lead with 2:23 left and had possession of the ball after Trinity missed a three-point field goal attempt, but Ford came up with a steal, then sank two free throws while rebounding a missed three-pointer. he then dropped in a baseline layup with seven seconds left to tie the game at 67-all. A drive in the lane by Eastern junior Courtney Simmons (Middletown) wouldn't drop as time expired in regulation.

Trinity, which outscored Eastern by ten points from the foul line, got a team-high 19 points from MacDougall and a team-high ten rebounds from sophomore Chris Applegate. The Bantams fired in seven of their eight three-pointers after the break.

Until Tuesday, the Warriors had not played consecutive overtime games since Jan. 23-24, 1987. Playing Little East Conference games at home, Eastern edged the University of Southern Maine, 72-71, before sustaining an 85-81 loss to Plymouth State University.

Eastern visits Connecticut College Sunday at 3 p.m.



In tip-off tournament final, Warriors battle back from deficit in loss

All-tournament picks Tanisha Carter (second from left) and Jessica Moriarty


Carter LEC Rookie-of-the-Week

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Women's basketball whittled nine points off a 12-point deficit late in the game but Bowdoin College used timely free throw shooting to emerge with a 63-56 win the championship game of the 30th Annual Eastern  Tip-Off Tournament Sunday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern's (1-1) only lead came on the first basket of the game, but the Warriors battled back from a 12-point deficit to cut the gap to four with just under four minutes left. At that point, the Warriors were unable to cut further into the lead on their next six possessions over the next three minutes, missing five shots and turning the ball over once. Freshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) sank one of two free throws on the team's seventh possession with 20 seconds left, but tournament MVP Caitlin Hynes and all-tournament selection Ellery Gould   of Bowdoin (2-0) converted two free throws each around a missed Eastern field goal to cement the win.

Bowdoin has won the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament in each of its two appearances, both triumphs coming over the Warriors.  The championship game appearance ws the 26th for Eastern, which has won 15 times.

Bowdoin all-tournament selection Jill Henrikson connected on all nine of her free throws in the game, helping her team to a 19-for-22 effort from the stripe in the game (9-for-10 iin the second half). Henrikson was 15-for-15 from the foul line in the tournament. As a team, Bowdoin was 40-for-46 from the stripe in the tournament.

Eastern used  a commanding 19-8 advantage on the offensive boards to score 15 second-chance points, but could not match Bowdoin's balance and depth. Led by Gould (ten points, five rebounds), Bowdoin received 24 points from five substitutes, while three Eastern reserves were held scoreless from the floor in 25 minutes off the bench. The Warriors missed 12 of 13 three-point attempts in the game, including 0-for-9 in the second half.

Bowdoin got out of the gate quickly, scoring 13 straight points to build an 11-point, 15-4 lead  that later crested at 12 eight minutes into action. In a 15-1 run en route to the 12-point lead, the visitors got points from four different players and rebounds from four different players. With Eastern trailing by eight at halftime, all-tournament selection Jessica Moriarty (East Haven)scored four of her six second-half points and Brittany Whiteley (South Windsor) added two of her team-high 14 points to spark the Warriors back into the game.

Hynes blocked four Eastern shots in the second half, five in the game. Henrikson led all players in the game with 18 points, Hynes adding 15 and Gould ten. Leah Rubega grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Joining Moriarty on the all-tournament team from Eastern was Carter, who  narrowly missed her second double-double in as many collegiate games against Bowdoin. She followed Whiteley with 12 points and shared team-high rebounding honors with Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) with nine. In the tournament, Carter led Eastern with 23 points and 20 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the floor (9-for-15). Moriarty had 22 points, seven steals and five assists.

Hynes scored 15 points in each of her team's tournament victories and did not turn the ball over in 56 minutes. Bowdoin's three all-tournament picks had only four turnovers in 142 tournament minutes. Gouldl earned a spot on the team despite coming off the bench in both games.

Both Eastern and Bowdoin won over 20 games and qualified for the NCAA tournament a year ago. The Polar Bears were ranked No. 8 nationally in the WBCA/ESPN/USA Today pre-season poll after returning four starters from last year's 24-5 edition. The Warriors were unranked after losing four starters from last year's 25-4 club.

Eastern hosts Emmanuel College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Manhattanville wins third-place game

Manhattanville College (2-1) won the third-place game, keeping Springfield College (0-3) off the board for the first 11 minutes of the second half in a 63-32 victory.The Valiants allowed only 16 points in each half, racing to a 17-point lead 15 minutes into play and preventing an Springfield player from reaching double figures.

All-tournament selection Simona Gordon scored a game-high 14 points for Manhattanville. In two tournament games, Gordon had 29 points (5-for-8 from three-point range) and seven assists.





Warriors overcome height disadvantage for overtime victory




Head oach Bill Geitner (at left)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Paul Sellew of Bowdoin College forced overtime with a desperation three-point field goal with one second left and scored his team's first four points in overtime but the Warriors never trailed in the extra session after tournament MVP Bill Roveto (South Windsor) put the Warriors up by one with a three-pointer in a 71-67 overtime win in the championship game of the Eastern Connecticut State University Tip-Off Tournament Saturday.

Courtney Simmons (Middletown) hit a basket in the lane to break a 65-65 tie in overtime and completed a three-point play with a free throw  as Eastern won its third tip-off title in seven years, but first since 2004.

Bowdoin featured six players standing at least 6-foot-6 inches tall. No Eastern player is taller than 6-foot-5.

The three-point field goal was the only overtime bucket for Roveto, who was limited to just two points in the second half. The Warriors never trailed by more than two points in the game and had moved out to a ten-point first-half lead before the Polar Bears scored seven of the final nine points of the first half to pull to within five points at halftime.

The Warriors led by five points with three minutes left but a three-pointer by Will Hanley on his only three-point attempt of the game got Bowdoin to within a point, 58-57 with 1:44 left. Simmons sank two free throws (he was 5-for-5 from the line after the half) to give the Warriors a three-point lead with 1:13 left, but was called for an offensive foul with 31 seconds left after Sellew missed a three-point attempt that gave Bowdoin a final possession. . Bowdoin missed a three-point attempt with eight seconds left, but Sellew hustled to grab the rebound in traffic and beat the buzzer from the left side of the perimeter with one second left.

In its first tip-off game ever on Friday night, Bowdoin had crushed Fitchburg State College, 81-51, while Eastern held off the challenge of Purchase College, 68-60. Roverto tossed in a career-high 20 points in that game and Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) added 17 as the duo combined for more than half of the team's points.

Hanley led four Bowdoin double-figure scorers in its first-round win with 17 points (7-for-9 from the floor), but managed only eight points against Eastern, none in the first half. Against Eastern, Sellew scored all but four of his points after the break.

Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) and Simmons joined Roveto on the all-tournament team from Eastern, with Sellew and 6-foot- 8 inch Mark Phillips also gaining all-tournament recognition.In addition to tight defense, Nedwick scored a game-high 14 points against Bowdoin and added six rebounds. Roveto finished with 11 points and five rebounds in the title tilt and Simmons followed with 13 points in the final after scoring only four in the first round. Jamie Kohn (Columbia) was Eastern's fourth double-digit scorer against Bowdoin, totalling 12 points and five rebounds. Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk)  had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds in the finale.

Limited to four points and two rebounds in the first half, Sellew led all players with 19 points and ten rebounds (8-for-13 from the floor). Phillips was the other Polar Bear in double figures with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds.

In the third-place game, all-tournament selectioin Corey Orgias of Purchase College led four double-figure scorers with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds in a 75-65 victory over Fitchburg State College.There were nine ties and 13 lead changes in the game before the Panthers finally pulled away with a seven-point run midway through the second half.

Blake Sheldon led  Fitchburg State with 17 points but was the only Falcon in double figures Top returning scorer Timothy Graham was limited to only 19 minutes due to foul trouble and managed only six points.


Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

In tip-off tournament, Carter and Riccio lead Warriors in collegiate debuts

carter_head_8598.JPGWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Freshmen Tanisha Carter (East HartfordWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgand Samantha Riccio (Avon) combined for 27 points on 10-of-15 field goal shooting, and teamed for 15 rebounds to lead women's basketball  to a 65-55 first-round win over Manhattanville College in the opening round of the Eastern Connecticut State University Tip-Off Tournament Saturday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Carter (above), and Riccio

Having qualified for the tournament finale for the 26th time in 30 years, Eastern faces Bowdoin College Sunday at 3 p.m. Bowdoin pulled riccio_head_8595.JPGaway from Springfield College, 88-60, Saturday night to earn a spot in the tournament final for the second time in as many tournament appearances.

Springfield faces Manhattanville Sunday at 1 p.m. in the third-place contest.

Riccio was 3-for-4 from three-point range to total a game-high 16 points in her first collegiate game, while Carter had a double-double in her collegiate debut with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Warriors lost four starters from last year's 25-4 Little East Conference regular-season champion team, returning only junior Jessica Moriarty (East Haven).

The Warriors never trailed after the opening minutes and moved out to a ten-point lead with nine minutes left in the first half, but were unable to fully shake the Valiants until the final four minutes despite building  a lead of as many as 14 points in the opening minutes of the second half.

A nine-point Manhattanville run cut a 13-point Eastern lead to four with 11 minutes left before Moriarty scored on an offensive rebound and Riccio nailed a three-pointer to make it 46-37 a minute later.

Moriarty followed the freshmen duo with 12 points, six steals and six rebounds and Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville, CT) added ten points and five rebounds.

Simona Gordon had a team-high 15 points for Manhattanville, Courtney Turner adding 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds and Nina Johnson 13 points for the Valiants, who competed in last year's ECAC tournament. Gordon scored nearly half of her team's points in the first half when she was the only Valiants with more than one field goal.

The victory was the 299th in 16 seasons for Eastern head coach Denise Bierly, who is averaging just under 20 victories per season.

Both  Eastern and Bowdoin won over 20 games last year, were nationally-ranked,  and competed in the NCAA tournament. Bowdoin routed Eastern, 72-39, in the 2005 Eastern Tip-Off Tournament finale.

Balanced Bowdoin pulls away in second half

Against Bowdoin, Springfield never led but trailed by only seven three minutes into the second half before the Polar Bears began pulling away. Bowdoin outscored the Pride 50-30 in the second half by doubling its opponent's rebounding total and commiting only six turnovers. The winners got scoring from nine different players in the second half, while Kelly Murphy scored 12 of her team's 30 points.

Caitlin Hynes led Bowdoin's balanced effort with 15 points (6-for-11 from the floor), Daitlin Donahoe adding 13 points (6-for-9) , Sabrina Cote 11 and Jill Henrikson ten. Leah Rubega grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in only 22 minutes for the Polar Bears, who forced Springfield into 24 turnovers.



Hosts hold off Purchase, 68-60; Bowdoin routs Fitchburg State, 81-51

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Courtney Simmons (Middletown) made the most of his only field goal of the evening and Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) sank two key free throws soon after as men's basketball held off Purchase College, 68-60, Friday night to advance to the championship game of its own tip-off tournament at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern's (1-0) Simmons hit a bucket in the paint  with just under two minutes left and Thompson followed with two free throws after being fouled after a Purchase (0-2) miss to give the Warriors a 63-57 lead with 90 seconds left. The Warriors had led by seven with four minutes left before Purchase's Tyriq Harrington) converted his only three-pointer of the game and Corey Orgias and Marvin Billups nailed free throws to pull the Panthers to within two, 59-57 with 2:20 left.

The victory vaults Eastern into the tournament final for the 25th time in the tournament's 29-year history. The Warriors will meet Bowdoin College (1-0) Saturday at 3 p.m. in search ots its eighth tournament championship. The Polar Bears built an 18-point halftime lead and Fitchburg State College (0-2) was never able to get any closer than 13 in the second half in Bowdoin's 81-51 decision. in the second of Friday's first-round games.

Eastern and Bowdoin will square off for the first time in 21 years. Bowdoin is making its Eastern Tip-Off Tournament debut.

Simmons, plagued by injuries throughout pre-season, missed all five of his shots in the first half while coming off the bench, but connected on a key basket late in Eastern's victory over Purchase. Eastern's Bill Roveto (South Windsor) led all players in the game with a career-high 20 points and game-high-tying nine rebounds, with Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) adding 17 points. The program's season and career three-point field goal leader, Ortiz swished four three-pointers. Jamie Kohn (Columbia) added nine rebounds for the Warriors.

Michael McNair totaled a team-high 18 points for Purchase, Billups adding 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds and Orgias ten points and six rebounds.

Coming off last year's 17-9 campaign, Bowdoin shot just under 60 percent in the first half Friday night against Fitchburg State and limited the Falcons to 27.6 marksmanship from the floor in amassing its 18-point halftime lead. Will Hanley sparked Bowdoin's quick start with two three-point plays. He sank a long three-pointer in the first three minutes, and converted a conventional three-point play a minute later as the Polar Bears' early lead ballooned to ten, 15-5, in the first five minutes.

The 6-foot-7 inch Hanley dropped in seven of his nine shots in the game and led all players on both teams with 17 points and nine rebounds. Justin Nowell came off the bench to contribute 14, Ryan O'Connell adding 12 and Mark Phillips 11 points and eight rebounds for Bowdoin, which shot 58.8 percent from the floor. Hanley and O'Connell combined for 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting in the first half.

Fitchburg connected on 15 of 21 free throws but shot 28.1 percent from the floor, missing 17 of 21 three-pointers. Timothy Graham and Colin London each had 12 points for the Falcons and combined for 11 rebounds. Blake Sheldon had 11 points and six rebounds.




Women's Poll.pdf         Men's Poll.pdf       

Women's Audio.wav        Women's Pre-Season Prospectus.pdf .pdf

Men's Pre-Season Prospectus.pdf .pdf

moriarty raw_8237.jpg Last year's Little East Conference regular-season champion, the Eastern women's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the 2009/10 LEC Pre-Season Coaches' Poll, while the men's team was tabbed for fifth.

The women lost four starters from last year's team which was 13-1 in the conference and 25-4 overall and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after losing by five points in the conference tournament final. The women graduated two-time LEC Player-of-the-Year Ashley McFetridge and two-time first-team all-conference guard Nicky Morey but return Defensive Player-of-the-Year Jessica Moriarty (at left), a guard. Also back is junior forward Amanda Pierlioni.

ortiz 300dpi_7536.jpg

The men return their top seven players from last year's 12-14 team which was 6-8 in the conference and lost a first-round conference tournament decision to Keene State. Returning senior guard Edwin Ortiz (at right) and junior guard Courtney Simmons both averaged double figures last year, while sophomore guard Jamie Kohn was the top rebounder. Ortiz scored his 1,000th point last year as was a second-team all-conference selection. Returning sophomore guard Nick Nedwick was named to the conference All-Defensive Team.

Both Eastern teams open the season this weekend at home in the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament. The men face Purchase College Friday at 5:30 p.m. and the women meet Manhattanville College Saturday at 5:30 p.m.




At right: Amanda Quinones

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- First-year sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) paced seven Warriors at the finish line at the 2009 NCAA Division III New England Regional qualifer over 6,000 meters at the Twin Brook Recreation Center.

A Division I transfer, Quinones led all Eastern runners for the fifth straight race in which she has competed, finishing 139th overall in a field of 315 of the most accomplished New England Division III runners. She was timed in 25:11 in a race won by Jacqui Wentz (21:35) of MIT, who helped the Engineers share first place with Middlebury College.

Behind Quinones for Eastern was senior Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire), freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton), juniors Becky Knapp (Naugatuck) and Melissa Healy (Naugatuck), freshman Denica Gagnon (Colchester), and juior Amanda Ericson (Bolton). Cavanaugh was 100th, Gingas 211th, Knapp 252nd, Healy 264th, Gagnon 275th and Ericson 279th.





At right: Dave Hunt

CUMBERLAND, Maine -- Competing against the top Division III cross country runners in New England, senior Dave Hunt (New Milford) finished among the top 17 percent in a field of 323, but fell short in his bid to qualify for the national championship Saturday at the 2009 NCAA Division III New England Regional qualifier at the Twin Brook Recreation Center.

Attempting to become the first Eastern male to qualify for the national meet since 1976, Hunt was among the leading pack of 30 after one mile, but eventually placed 54th over the 8,000 meter layout. He led a group of six runners for Eastern, which checked in with an impressive 26th-place finish in a field of 48.

Hunt, a first-year transfer from Central Connecticut, was timed in 26:39 in a race won by Williams College's Edgar Kosgey (25:16) of Keyna. All five of Williams' scoring runners finished among the top 15 as they eased to a first-place win over runner-up Amherst College.

The top seven finishers in the race from teams that do not qualify on a team basis gain a spot in the national championship field.

Four of Eastern's six runners are in their first year. Freshman Nick Miller (Norwich) was 130th overall, senior Sam Buczek (Milford) 170th, freshman Tim Callahan (Portland) 195th, senior David Tignonsini (Vernon) 221st and freshman Brad Beausoleil (Plainfield) 245th.


Fourteen swimmers contribute points in home-opening win over Smith

Below: Stephanie O'Kelly

okelly_head_727117.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sparked by freshman Stephanie O'Kelly's (Westport) two first- WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgplace finishes, a balanced women's swim team captured its home-opener with a 136-126 victory over Smith College Saturday at the Sports Center pool.

Smith (0-2) swimmers won seven individual events and the Pioneers captured one relay, but Eastern (1-1) received points from 14 different individuals in downing Smith for the second consecutive season.

Led by O'Kelly, who won her first two collegiate races in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke, the Warriors claimed 21 Top Three finishes. Holding a slim lead after 12 events, Eastern totaled 12 points in the 200 yard individual medley to cement the victory. Senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) won the race after placing second to O'Kelly  in the 100 and 200 breast, and O'Kelly added  a third-place finish after her two breaststroke wins.O'Kelly was .34 seconds off the program record in the 200 break and less than a second record in the 100.

Four swimmers collected double-digit point totals. Behind O'Kelly's 21 points, Wilson added 17, junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) 16 and senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) 15. O'Kelly and Doheny also contributed to the winning 200 yard medley relay and Arisco and Willson swam the first and final legs of the 400 yard freestyle relay which was second.

In addition to O'Kelly and Wilson, other Eastern swimmers capturing individual titles were Arisco in the 200 yard butterfly and Doheny in the 50 yard freestyle.

Three Smith swimmers - two of them freshmen - combined for the team's seven individual titles. Junior Lily Seidman won the 100 and 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly, freshman Emma Reim  the 500 and 1,000 yard freestyle and freshman Michelle Mai  the 100 and 200 yard backstroke.  Reim also swam the opening leg of the winning 400 yard freestyle relay.

Eastern visits Saint Joseph College (CT) Saturday at 1 p.m.



Host Engineers score early second-half goal to eliminate No. 20 Warriors

Below: Greg DeVito has led Eastern to three post-season tournaments in as many years


  images.jpgTROY, N.Y. - Senior Jabel Prom  netted the game's lone goal early in the second half as as     the 13th-ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's soccer team topped 20th-ranked men's soccer, 1-0, Saturday afternoon in an opening game of the NCAA Division III tournament at Renwyck Field.

Ranked third in the NCAA East Region, RPI (14-2-2) advances to the regional final Sunday at 1 p.m. against No. 6 nationally-ranked Williams College, which scored all three of its goals in the second half to shut out Husson University.  RPI is advancing to the second round for the first time in 12 years.

Shut out for the first time in over a month, Eastern (16-5-1) had an eight-game winning streak halted and concludes its third season under head coach Greg DeVito having tied the program record for victories in a season. It was the third post-season appearance in as many years for Eastern under DeVito, who led the Warriors to their first NCAA appearance ever in 2007 and to the finals of last year's ECAC New England Division III tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Eastern was ranked ninth in the NCAA New England Region.

 Prom redirected a pass from classmate Lincoln Field  into the right side-netting in the 49th minute, to give the host Engineers all the offense they needed. Fellow senior Sean Fleury sent in the initial ball from the left flank to Field who fed Prom right in front of the net.

 Rensselaer junior goaltender Alex Penny made a number of key saves to preserve the win, including a point-blank shot attempt by Eastern freshman Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury), in the 63rd minute and a header by freshman reserve keeper Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) off a free kick from sophomore Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA)  in the 86th minute. 

 Field nearly made it a 2-0 game in the 79th minute, but his header off a Tom Kelly corner-kick was knocked down by Eastern sophomore goalie Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and cleared. Minutes later, Engineers' junior midfielder Blake Adams got in behind Appel and the Warriors defense, before the ball was tackled off his foot at the last moment.

Eastern senior forward and top scorer Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) was limited to only one shot and was held without a shot on goal for the first time this year. Senior forward Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) was unable to get off a shot for Eastern, which actually put more shots on net (5-to-4) than the hosts.

Nine Eastern players played all 90 minutes, with only Edwardsen and classmate Nick Miller Northborough, MA) spelling the starters as they combined for 45 minutes of action. Freshman Dan Fish (Marlborough), a starting back all season long, missed the contest due to sickness.

Penny, who has allowed only nine goals this season, finished with five saves to earn his tenth shutout of the season. Appel finished with three in having his personal eight-game winning streak snapped.

Rensselaer Sports Information contributed to this report.

Rensselaer 1, Eastern Conn. 0

Eastern Conn. (16-5-1)        0      0 -- 0
Rensselaer (14-2-2)            0      1 -- 1

Scoring: Jabel Prom (Lincoln Field) 48:39.
Shots: E-9, R-11; Saves: E-Carl Appel 3, R-Alex Penny 5.
Corner kicks: E-5, R-8



cutlerncaa72dpiUSE_9353.jpg  Audio.wav  

(Coach Chris D'Ambrosio)

AMHERST, Mass. - Amherst College  scored twice in 59 seconds in the opening minutes of the second images.jpghalf to take command of a scoreless game and went on to a 3-0 victory over women's soccer in an opening game of the NCAA Division III tournament at Hitchcock Field on the Amherst campus Saturday afternoon.

At left: Rachel Cutler battles Amherst's Kathryn Nathan.

Despite being hindered by injuries to key players entering the tournament, Eastern (12-6-3) played Amherst (13-3-1) to a scoreless opening 45 minutes. Amherst came out sharp in the second half, however, getting goals from freshmen Hannah Cooper and Kathryn Nathan less than a minute apart to take control. The Lord Jeffs added an insurance marker midway through the half and went on to its second shutout of Eastern this season in a match played in mild but rainy conditions.

With the win, Amherst advances to Sunday's 1 p.m. regional championship game against The College of New Jersey, which blanked Plattsburgh State, 2-0, in Saturday's second semfinal. The Lions are rated third in the South Atlantic Region.

The Warriors were coming off consecutive Little East Conference shutout wins to qualify for NCAA tournament play for the fourth time in program history. Amherst, which has advanced to the national quarterfinals or farther six times, had a seven-game unbeaten streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to Middlebury in the semifinals of last Saturday's New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament, but was awarded an at-large bid to its tenth NCAA tournament.

Below: Senior Taylor MacDonald outmuscles Meg Murphy of Amherst to win the ball.

macdonald72dpi_9325.jpgThe Warriors were outshot 11-3 by Amherst in the first half Saturday, but Eastern's defense had allowed the Lord Jeffs to penetrate inside the box on only a few occasions over the first 45 minutes. The Warriors did not allow an Amherst corner kick until 20 minutes remained in the first half and the first difficult save by senior keeper Kim Church (Farmington) did not occur until 18 minutes remained in the first half when she dove to the right post to haul in an Amherst bid.

Both teams had their best chances to score in the final minute of the first half. The Warriors nearly broke the scoreless tie when a shot was redirected by an Amherst defender and missed just wide right with one minute to play. The Jeffs responded with a late corner kick and got a nice shot from freshman Bridget Keller, but  Church was there to make the save with seven seconds left.

Amherst snapped the tie less than three minutes into the second half came just 2:57 into when Keller played a nice cross from the right side to the head of Cooper, who sent the ball into the side netting for her sixth score of the season.

Less than a minute later, Amherst's had a shot  blocked by the Eastern defense, but Nathan was there to clean up the rebound and hammer it past Church from the middle of the box.

Trailing 3-0, Eastern broke through  with 17 minutes to play, but Amherst sophomore keeper Allie Horwitz came up with her best save of the afternoon. Sophomore midfielder Sam Konopka (Hebron) lined up for a free kick from 20 yards out and sent a beautiful ball over a wall of Lord Jeff defenders. Her shot was headed straight for the back of the net, but Horwitz leaped up and punched the ball over the goal with her right hand for one of her nicest saves of the season. swannhickey72dpi_9431.jpg

At right: Lauren Hickey (at right) and Sarah Swann embrace following Saturday's loss.

Due to injuries, five key Eastern players saw limited or no time. Senior midfielder Sarah Swann (Oxford) and sophomore forward Lauren Greeney (Bethel) missed the match, while sophomore defender Laura Violette (Wallingford) and top freshmen playmakers Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) and Taylor Buchanan (Enfield) had their play limited. Swann, the 2009 Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year, sustained a concussion in Saturday's conference championship win over Keene State. Greeney had returned to action to see limited minutes in each of the last three games, but was unable to play against Amherst. Violette, Wallace and Buchanan all saw minutes against Amherst, but were limited by various injuries.

Freshman forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange), the LEC Rookie-of-the-Year and the team's third-leading scorer, spent most of the afternoon dueling with Amherst sophomore back Jill Kochanek as the Warriors' principle offensive target. Without her usual supporting cast, however, Marchitto had few options and was limited to one shot by Kochanek, who had had significant height and weight advantages.

Amherst College 3, Eastern Conn. 0

Eastern Conn. (12-6-3)        0 0 -- 0
Amherst (13-3-1)                0 3 -- 3

Scoring: Hannah Cooper (Bridget Keller) 47:57; Kathryn Nathan 48:55; Maureen Griffin (Kyla Woodhouse) 66:43.
Shots: E-9, A-22; Saves: E-Kim Church 7, A-Allie Horwitz 5.
Corner kicks: E-2, A-6.




Senior cross country runner looks to challenge at national qualifying meet

hunt72dpi_7786 SLIDE.jpg



When  senior cross country runner Dave Hunt wakes up on Sunday morning, one of two thoughts will immediately flash across his mind. He will either be planning the coming week's training schedule in anticipation of  the NCAA Division III national cross country championship in Cleveland, or he will be setting his sights upon the start of the indoor track and field season three weeks away.

Obviously, he would prefer the first scenario.

By all accounts, the New Milford native may need to run a near-perfect race at Saturday's NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship to become the first Eastern male runner to advance to national competition since Eastern Hall of Famer Tim Quinn 33 years ago. While the odds of qualifying do not quite rival the chances of, say, winning the lottery, there are many variables weighing against any runner in his quest to reach the national championship meet.

For Hunt, however, all of the ingredients for a high-level performance  may be present when  he toes the starting line at the Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, Maine Saturday morning.

For starters, money races involving hundreds of competitors are not new to Hunt, who competed in the New England Open and Northeast Conference championships for three seasons as one of the team's top runners at Division I Central Connecticut State University (in the third of his three cross country seasons with the Blue Devils in 2007, he ran to all-conference honors). Hunt's health and fitness level will also provide a boost. He has run virtually injury-free throughout this season and is peaking at just the right time. After finishing ninth overall and earning All-New England Alliance honors in a field of 155 runners two weeks ago, Hunt skipped last Saturday's ECAC Championship at Williamstown, MA as he continues to "taper" for Saturday's showdown.

The considerable  hilly terrain of the Twin Brook Recreation Center also weighs in the favor of Hunt, who relishes the challenge of a difficult 8,000 meter layout that may help provide separation between him and his competitors..

Not to be overlooked is Hunt's positive mindset. After spending three years in a sometimes uncomfortable scholarship setting at Division I Central Connecticut, Hunt has enjoyed the non-scholarship atmosphere at the Division III level since enrolling at Eastern last winter. "I was looking for a fresh start (after Central)," noted Hunt, who had received a partial scholarship at Central after contributing to back-to-back New England championship teams in his final two seasons at New Milford High School. "I didn't want to transfer to a program where (scholarship) money was involved. I just wanted to do my best without any outside influences. I'm much happier here."

This past summer he worked hard in preparation for the upcoming season, logging between 60 and 70 miles per week and running upwards of seven days a week.

Last year, Hunt ran indoor and outdoor track at Eastern. In his first cross country race here Sept..11 after a year away from the sport, he won the Fitchburg State College Invitational, easing to a decisive 18 seconds victory in a field of 35. Encouraging finishes followed in large invitationals at Massachusetts Dartmouth, Connecticut College and Westfield State before he ran virtually unchallenged in a dual meet victory against Rhode Island College in the team's only home appearance Oct. 17 at Mansfield Hollow State Park.

In his final tuneup for Saturday's regional meet, he posted the highest finish ever by an Eastern male when he took ninth place at the alliance meet two weeks ago.

Even in light of all of these plusses, it will nonetheless remain an uphill climb for Hunt Saturday in a field of over 300 runners which includes most all of the accomplished Division III runners in New England. Much of the uncertainty stems from the countless variables involved in the preparation and the actual running of the race - including the all-important weather and course conditions.

Runners can qualify for the national meet at Saturday's regional on either their own individual merits, or on the performance of their team. The top two scoring teams at each of eight regional qualifiers are guaranteed plane reservations  to Cleveland for the national meet. In addition to those two top team finishers, 16 more teams will be chosen from throughout the country on an "at-large" basis. Individually, the top seven finishers not associated with a team qualifier in each regional competition will qualify for the nationals. Thus, the more teams which qualify from New England on an "at-large" basis -- the better chance for Hunt to advance.

It has been 22 years since an Eastern athlete qualified for the national cross country meet and 33 years since an Eastern male was able to earn a spot in the championships. In 1987, Carla Brown placed 23rd in the women's finals at Holland, MI. In 1976,  Quinn qualified for the men's national championship at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland - coincidentally, the site of the 2009 championship


Each program features three major award-winners and six all-LEC picks

Below: Maxim Fantl, repeats as top offensive player

Fantl MSoccer SLIDE.jpg

LEClogo-1WEB.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Little East Conference playoff champion men's and women's soccer teams have dominated the balloting for major award-winners and all-conference selections.

Each Eastern soccer team featured three major awards and six all-conference selections. The women's team, which captured its third playoff title last weekend as the No. 2 seed, had the Offensive, Defensive and Rookie-of-the-Year while the men's squad claimed the Offensive and Rookie-of-the-Year and was also named recipient of the inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award

The Eastern women's volleyball team was also represented with a first-team all-conference selection in sophomore middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton), while the field hockey team matched the men's soccer team by earning the Team Sportsmanship Award.

Each conference coach voted in the selection for the all-conference teams and major award. Balloting is completed prior to the start of the conference tournaments.

 Swann, Hickey and Marchitto major awardees for w-soccer

Below: Sarah Swann

Swann 2SLIDE.jpg

Senior midfielder Sarah Swann (Oxford), junior back Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and freshman forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) were recipients of major awards. The trio was joined on the all-conference first team by senior back Christine Lemieux (South Windsor). Senior goalkeeper Kim Church (Farmington) and senior forward Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) were second-team selections.

Swann becomes the program's second Offensive Player-of-the-Year, while Hickey becomes the program's third Defensive Player-of-the-Year (in four years). Marchitto is the program's third Rookie-of-the-Year. All-conference balloting began with the 1990 season.

A total of 12 players were named to the all-conference first team and 12 to the second team. Prior to the 2002 season, only one player-of-the-year was selected.

Swann and Lemieux repeated first-team all-conference honors while MacDonald was a second-team selection for the third time in four years and Church a second team pick for the second straight season Hickey was a second-team selection last year.

Through the conference tournament, Swann was leading the conference in game-winning goals (6) and was second in points (33). More importantly, Swann scored nine goals and added three assists  in seven conference matches (5-1-1 record). She scored both goals in a 2-1 road win over three-time defending conference champion Western Connecticut.and recorded her first career hat trick Oct. 10 in a 6-1 home win over the University of Southern Maine. Last Saturday, she scored the only goal of the match in a win at top-seeded Keene State College that gave the Warriors the conference championship and bid to the NCAA Division III tournament Swann's goal total this year is the sixth-highest in a season in program history and her point total equals the sixth-highest mark.

A three-year starter, Hickey started 19 of the team's 20 matches this year and is the team-leader in minutes (1,841) and minutes per game (92.1). She also contributed seven points. Behind Hickey, Lemieux, Church, and junior defender Stephanie Norell (Stratford), the Warriors surrendered a conference-low 17 goals in 20 matches (0.85 per game), giving up less than two goals 16 times.

Marchitto, one of only two freshmen among the 24 all-conference and the only first-team first-year player. Marchitto is second on the team in goals (8) game-winning goals (3) and third in points (17). Only seven players in the conference managed more than Marchitto's goal total.

Lemieux was named LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year last year, becoming the first player in program history to win that award outright. This year, she started all 19 matches in which she appeared and added four assists.

A two-year starter in goal, Church started all 20 matches this season. Nine of her starts resulted in shutouts, posting four full-match shutouts in all. In the LEC title game she stopped six shots to preserve the shutout win. Church cuttently leads the conference in goals-against averaged (0.86) and is second in shutouts and among starting keepers, is second with a .789 save percentage.

Along with Swann, and Norell, MacDonald started all 20 matches, averaging over 70 minutes per match and contributing a goal and five assists. She is also a three-time all-conference pick and two-time conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year in lacrosse.

 Both Eastern and regular-season conference champion Keene State had six all-conference selections (four first-teamers each).

Ranked in a tie for tenth in New England, Eastern (12-5-3) visits Amherst College
Saturday at 11 a.m. in its NCAA tournament opener.

Fantl program's first four-time all-conference selection

Senior forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) repeated as the conference's Offensive Player-of-the-Year and his selection to the first team made him the program's first four-time all-conference pick in the 21-year history of all-conference balloting.

The major award was the first of three for Eastern. Freshman back Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) became the program's fourth Rookie-of-the-Year - first since Fantl in 2006. As a team, the Warriors were selected as recipients of the inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award.

Joining Fantl on the all-conference first team was fellow senior co-captain Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and sophomores Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA), a back, and goalkeeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ).

Second-team selections from Eastern included Fletcher and senior midfielder Chris Bourdeau (Thompson).

The all-conference selection was the third in the career of Boretti, who re-gained the first-time recognition that he was awarded as a sophomore. Smiles and Bourdeau moved up from the second-team laurels each received a year ago. Appel was named to the all-conference team for the first time.

Fantl and Boretti are the top scorers this season for Eastern, ranked third in New England and No. 20 nationally. After leading the conference in scoring as a junior, Fantl brings a conference-leading total of  40 points into post-season play, with his 17 goals one behind  Plymouth State senior Semir Mehmedovic, who took over the conference lead in an ECAC tournament season-ending loss to Daniel Webster College Wednesday. In seven regular-season conference matches, Fantl collected six goals (two of them game-winners) and 15 points and added one goal in a 2-0 LEC tournament semifinal-round victory over Rhode Island College.

Fletcher  was one of three freshman starting defenders this year, joining classmates Dan Fish (Marlborough) and Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) and Smiles in front of Appel. The Warriors lead the conference in goals-against average (0.92) and share the conference lead with nine shutouts and in least average goals allowed (0.95).

Fletcher has started all 21 matches to date and leads all players in total minutes (1,769) and minutes per game (104.1). Smiles has started all 20 matches in which he has appeared and leads the conference in assists, with 10. He assist total is the highest at Eastern since Alex Patino recorded 12 in 1992. Appel is the LEC leader in goals-against average (0.94), the co-leader in complete-match shutouts (5) and is second in save percentage (.814). All of Appel's shutouts came in conference competition, the final two coming in the conference tournament, when he made five saves in each.

Boretti has  scored all eight of his goals and registered 18 of his 20 points in the team's last 13 matches. In seven regular-season conference matches, he had four goals (one game-winner) and 11 points, then earned LEC playoff MVP honors by scoring the game-winning goals in victories over Rhode Island College and UMass Dartmouth. His goal against UMass Dartmouth was the only one of the game and provided the Warriors with their second title in three years.

Bourdeau has copped all-conference honors and started every possible match in each of his two seasons at Eastern after transferring from the Division II level. Two of his three goals came on the opening weekend of the season and helped account for victories over top New England tournament contenders MIT and Babson College at the Babson Invitational.

The Warriors' selection for the Team Sportsmanship Award was due in large part to its low foul and yellow card warning totals this season. In 21 games, Eastern had the least number of fouls and yellow cards of any of the conference's eight clubs. The Warriors averaged less than seven fouls per game - five fewer per game than their nearest competitor - and were assessed only six yellow cards. The yellow card total was eight less than their nearest competitior and 35 fewer than the conference leader.

Below: Kristianna Ibsen

ibsen_slide_4009.jpgBoth Eastern and regular-season conference champion Keene State College had six all-conference selections (four first-teamers each) on the squad, which consisted of 12 first-teamers and 12 second-teamers

Having equaled the 40-year program record for wins in a season, Eastern (16-4-1) opens play in its 15th post-season tournament Saturday at Troy, N.Y. against host RPI.

Ibsen volleyball first-teamer

Ibsen was named the program's first first-team selection in three years when she was one of six players named to the first team, which represented five of the conference's eight teams. The second team also consisted of six players. Players received votes regardless of position.

Theh 5-foot-10 inch Ibsen was one of five middle hitters chosen to the first team, which was rounded out by outside hitter Kate McWhorter of regular-season and playoff champion Massachusetts Boston. The second team was comprised of three setters, two outside hitters and a middle hitter.

Through the conference playoffs, Ibsen was ranked fourth in the conference in kills per game (3.44), fifth in points per game (4.04), and sixth in attack percentage (.297). In seven regular-season conference matches, Ibsen attacked at .319 and totaled 12 blocks and 30 digs.

In 12 years of conference volleyball, Eastern has had 33 all-conference selections, four Player-of-the-Year and one Rookie-of-the-Year selections and six conference tournament Most Outstanding Player picks.

A four-time conference regular-season and seven-time LEC tournament champion, Eastern (12-20) finished sixth this season and was eliminated in the opening round of the conference tournament.

Field hockey team recognized

turfceremonyplayers_72dpi8952.jpgDespite losing all 11 of its conference matches and finishing 3-15 overall, the Warriors were the top vote-getter for the inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award.


little east conference

Lauren Hickey   Jr. B First Team
Christine Lemieux  Sr. B First Team
Daniela Marchitto  Fr. F First Team
Sarah Swann   Sr. MF First Team
Kim Church   Sr. GK Second Team
Taylor MacDonald  Sr. F Second Team

Offensive Player-of-the-Year
Sarah Swann
Defensive Player-of-the-Year
Lauren Hickey
Daniela Marchitto

Carl Appel   So. GK First Team
Nicholas Boretti  Sr. MF First Team
Maxim Fantl   Sr. F First Team
Aaron Smiles   So. B First Team
Chris Bourdeau  Sr. MF Second Team
Bradley Fletcher  Fr. B Second Team

Offensive Player-of-the-Year
Maxim Fantl
Bradley Fletcher
Team Sportsmanship Award
Eastern Conn.

Kristianna Ibsen  So. MH First Team


Team Sportsmanship Award
Eastern Conn.








In regionals, women are at Amherst and men travel to RPI

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The women's and men's soccer teams  will open play in their respective  2009 NCAA Division III tournaments Saturday against host institutions.


In the 63-team women's field, the Warriors will visit Amherst College (12-3-1) and will play the host Lord Jeffs at 11 a.m. at Hitchcock Field. In the 59-team men's field, the Warriors will visit RPI (13-2-2) and take on the host Engineers at 1:30 p.m. at Renwyck Field. In the other regional first-round game at Amherst in the women's tournament, The College of New Jersey faces


Plattsburgh State Saturday at 1:30 p.m.. In the other regional first-round game at RPI in the men's tournament, Williams College faces Husson University at 11 a.m.

Both  regional  tournament finals are scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.

Both Eastern teams qualified automatically for the tournament by winning 1-0 decisions in the Little East Conference finals Saturday. The second-seeded women downed top-seeded host Keene State College and the second-seeded men eliminated visiting fourth seed Massachusetts Dartmouth.

In the women's field, New Jersey was an automatic qualifier out of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, while Amherst and Plattsburgh each received an at-large invitation. Iin the men's field, Williams was an automatic qualifier out of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, while RPI and Husson were selected on an at-large basis.

Women making fourth NCAA appearance

Below: From left: Hickey, MacDonald (background) and Church

church_slide.jpgThe Eastern women (12-5-3) are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament, third as the automatic qualifier from the Little East Conference. The Warriors are looking for their first NCAA victory, having dropped a 2-0 decision to Bates in their last appearance in 2005.

Eastern finished on the short end of a 2-0 home decision to Amherst Oct. 15 and is 3-8-3 all-time against the Lord Jeffs. In this week's NCAA New England Region rankings through Sunday, the Warriors were not ranked among the 12 ranked teams while Amherst is rated third. New Jersey was the third-ranked team in the South Atlantic Region and Plattsburgh was seventh in the East Region.

Amherst is the last New England team to defeat Eastern this season. Since losing to Amherst three weeks ago, Eastern has won six of seven overall, with two of the victories coming in the conference playoffs. In those six wins, the team has given up just one goal.

Under tenth-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio, the Warriors won their third conference playoff  title Saturday and have now won at least ten matches in each of the last nine years.

Behind senior goalie Kim Church (Farmington) and starting senior defender Christine Lemieux (South Windsor), and juniors Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA), and Stephanie Norell (Stratford), Eastern has allowed less than a goal per game and has given up more than one only four times in 20 matches. Senior Sarah Swann (Oxford) and freshmen Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) are the team's top offensive threats, with senior Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) and sophomore Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) two of the top playmakers.

Swann has a conference-leading 14 goals (six game-winners) and 33 points and has recorded at least one point in seven of the last ten matches. She scored the only goal of the match against Keene State Saturday.Wallace has four goals and a freshman-record ten assists and Marchitto has eight goals (three game-winners) and an assist. Church, the MVP of the conference playoffs, has started every match in net, with nine of them resulting in shutouts. She has a 0.86 goals-against average and .789 save percentage.

The Lord Jeffs are making their tenth NCAA appeaerance, having progressed to the national quarters or further six times, including last season.  In 16 matches this year, Amherst allowed only one team to score more than a goal, that coming in a 3-0 home loss Oct. 3 to Williams College, ranked first in the NCAA New England Region through games of Sunday.  All three of their losses are to teams ranked regionally.  Sophomore keeper Allie Horwitz ranks fifth nationally in save percentage (.911) to go along with a 0.48 goals-against average. Senior Meg Murphy, the 2008  conference Player-of-the-Year, leads a balanced aback with a team-high 16 points, junior Jackie Hirsch adding 15.

In addition to playing Amherst, Eastern played one other team which qualified for the NCAA tournament, losing 4-1 at Williams Sept. 13.

A total of ten teams from New England will participate in the tournament. Seven were automatic qualifiers and three received at-large bids.

Men in 15th post-season tournament

celebration_72dpi_9207.jpgEastern (16-4-1) is competing in post-season tournament play for the third time in as many years under third-year head coach Greg DeVito. It is the Warriors' second NCAA showing in the last three years, and 15th tournament appearance in program history. In DeVito's first year in 2007, Eastern won its first conference playoff title and was eliminated in its first-ever NCAA tournament game, 2-0, by Williams. Last year, the Warriors were seeded first in the ECAC New England Division III tournament and won two games before dropping a 1-0 decision to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Eastern is ranked ninth among 11 teams in the NCAA New England Region poll through games of Sunday. RPI  is third in the East, Williams first in New England and Husson is unranked. Eastern and RPI have never met in men's soccer.

The  1-0 win over Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday in the conference championship game allowed the Warriors to tie the program record for victories in a season, set by the 1969 NAIA New England champions. Eastern has won eight straight overall and 11 in a row against New England opponents. In 15 of 21 matches, Eastern's opponent has scored less than two goals, with four Eastern keepers combining on a total of nine shutouts.

Below: Chris Bourdeau

bourdeau_slide6043.jpgSeven freshmen and sophomores have comprised the bulk of the team's starting lineup, which has been anchored by seniors Chris Bourdeau (Thompson), Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and Maxim Fantl (West Hartford). The team's starting forwards, Fantl and Boretti have combined for more than half (25) of the team's 49 goals and have also combined for ten assists. Fantl has accumulated a conference-leading 17 goals (four game-winners) and 40 points, with Boretti adding eight goals (three game-winners) and 20 points. First-year sophomore Matt Furman (Montville) has chipped in seven goals (four game-winners) and five assists and sophomore defender Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) a conference-leading ten assists. For Boretti, the MVP of the conference playoffs, two of his game-winning goals came in the conference tournament.

A returning first-team All-New England Region pick, Fantl ranks third all-time at Eastern in points (49-20-118), with this year's goal total the most in a season since Jason Brasher in 1991 (no player has score more than 17 since All-America Glenn Judge had 22 in 1987). In 19 starts this year, sophomore keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) has posted five full shutouts with a 0.94 goals-against average and .814 save percentage.

As a team, the Warriors have collected better than 100 more shots than their opponents, nearly twice as many corner kicks, and have commited half as many fouls.

Last Wednesday, Liberty League regular-season champion RPI had six-game unbeaten streak halted with a 3-2 overtime loss to Union College in the semifinal round of the league tournament. Union is the only team to have beaten RPI this year, as it also claimed a 1-0 win a month ago at Troy, NY. For the Engineers in net, first-team all-league junior keeper Alex Penny has started 16 of 17 matches with a 0.54 goals-against average and  .871 save percentage - marks which rank him among the national Top Ten. He also has nine full shutouts. Behind Penny, RPI opened its season with seven straight shutouts (6-0-1 record) and until the tournament loss to Union, had never surrendered more than one goal in a match.

The NCAA appearance is the second straight and sixth overall for RPI, which is under the direction of eighth-year head coach Adam Clinton.

While Eastern has featured an extremely young team this year, RPI has succeeded with a veteran unit as all but two of its starters are either seniors or juniors. Eight of the team's players were named to the all-league team last week.

The Warriors won two and lost one against teams which were named to the tournament. They shut out Salem State College, 3-0, at home Sept. 29 and blanked Babson College, 1-0, at Wellesley, MA Sept. 6 and lost at Montclair State University, 2-1 in double overtime, Oct. 4. All three of those teams were automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournament.

Keene State College is the only common opponent this year between Eastern and RPI  Eastern lost at home to Keene, 4-1, Sept. 16, while RPI downed the Owls, 1-0, Oct. 14. at home.

A total of ten teams from New England will participate in the tournament. Seven were automatic qualifiers and three received at-large bids.

NCAA Division III
Women's Soccer Tournament
at Amherst, MA

Saturday, Nov. 14

EASTERN CONN. (12-5-3) vs. Amherst College (12-3-1), 11 a.m.
The College of New Jersey (14-2-1) vs. Plattsburgh State College (10-5-3)

Sunday, Nov. 15

Final, 1 p.m.


NCAA Division III
Men's Soccer Tournament
at Troy, NY

                                                     Saturday, Nov. 14

Williams College (14-2-1) vs. Husson U. (10-8-2), 11 a.m.

EASTERN CONN. (16-4-1) vs. RPI (13-2-2), 1:30 p.m.

                                                 Sunday, Nov. 15

Final, 1 p.m.






 Both teams emerge with 1-0 victories in Little East Conference title games

Audio:  Boretti.wav       Appel.wav  LEClogo-1WEB.jpg


appel_shirt0972dpi_3715.jpg For only the third time in the 11-year history of the Little East Conference soccer championship, the men's and women's teams from the same institution have hoisted playoff championship flags in the same season.

One  Eastern soccer team performed a road upset, while the other fended off the spirited bid of an underdog visiting squad. as both Eastern teams qualified for this coming week's NCAA Division III tournament with 1-0 triumphs in the championship games of their respective 2009 tournaments. dambrosio72dpi_3815.jpg

Audio: Chris D'Ambrosio (at right), women's coach.wav

The women's team captured its third flag in the last seven seasons by upending top-seeded Keene State College, while the men corralled their second LEC playoff championship by withstanding the charge of fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston.

Making the titles sweeter is the fact that neither Eastern team was operating a full efficiency, with a number of important cogs in both team's engines sidelines by either injury or sickness.
It  marks only the third time in the history of the championship that the same institution has won both championships in the same year. Eastern becomes the first institution to win both in the same year without either the men's or women's team being the No. 1 seed.

Men withstand UMass's upset bid

celebration_72dpi_9206.jpgUtilizing only three substitutes -- two of them backup  goalkeepers -- due to sickness and injury, men's soccer persevered to win its second title in three years - both coming at home. In 2007, current assistant coach Jay Barney stopped two penalty kicks when Eastern posted its first-ever title with the shootout win over Keene State College. The teams had played 110 scoreless minutes before the Warriors prevailed in the PK session. Saturday's shutout gives the Eastern defense 200 scoreless minutes in two championship matches.

Saturday, senior co-captain Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) scored his eighth goal of the season midway through the second on assists from freshmen Cory Tobler (Portland) and Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) and sophomore keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) made two standout saves in the second half for the team's second LEC title in as many championship game appearances.

DeCasanova sent a pass to the left flank to Tobler, who sent a low shot through the box to the far post, where Boretti found space and one-timed it home.

Boretti was named the tournament Most Outstanding Player after scoring game-winning goals in each of the team's shutout wins in the playoffs. He scored the first goal Wednesday as the second-seeded Warriors blanked No. 3 seed Rhode Island College, 2-0, at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex

The win is Eastern's (16-4-1) eighth straight this year and tenth in a row against New England competition and ties the 40-year-old program record for wins in a season.The Warriors are ranked fifth in New England.

With a recent spate of injuries and illness, third-year head coach Greg DeVito had only three substitutes at his disposal, two of whom were backup keepers Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) and Jordan Munsell (Waterford), who combined for 51 minutes. The dearth of available reserves necessitated that seven starting field players logged all 90 minutes.

Among those unable to perform were forward/midfielders Sean Capezzone (Colchester) and Matt Furman (Montville). Capezzone re-injured his left knee against Rhode Island College Wednesday, while Furman, the team's second-leading scorer, woke up with the flu Saturday morning. Eight freshmen and sophomores were among the team's starting unit against the Corsairs.

The recent casualties forced DeVito to move sophomore Matt Esposito (East Haven) from midfield to back and inserte sophomore Matt Kalmin (Burlington) at midfield, where he was making his first start of the year.

Two of Appel's saves came early in the second half when he was forced to stretch full out at the left post to stop shots by Ebenezer Vicente and Kyle Lopes.  The Corsairs also had three ideal chances in the final 28 minutes. Alves put one over the crossbar with 28 minutes left, then had a free kick in the box sail wide right. A shot by Jason Couto from the top of the box shot also landed on top of the net with 13 minutes left.

Eastern scoring leader Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) was held scoreless on three shots (all coming in the first half), but was involved in a handful of first-half opportunities that nearly boosted the team into a halftime lead. Fantl, the LEC leader with 17 goals and 40 points, collected a cross from Tobler five minutes into play and hammered a shot of the right post. Ten minutes later, he traded places with Tobler, sending a pass ahead to the freshman, who unloaded a shot over the crossbar. Racing from left to right through the box midway through the stanza, Fantl then uncorked a line drive right at UMass freshman keeper Mike Phelan, who kept the game scoreless by pulling it into his body.. With eight minutes left in the half, Fantl took a pass from freshman midfielder Dan Fish (Marlborough) but volleyed it into the side of the net.

Seniors win first LEC playoff title


lecaward_72dpi 2609.jpg(Liz Cutler photo)

Senior Sarah Swann (Oxford) scored her conference-leading 14th goal of the year on an assist from sophomore Sam Konopka (Hebron) and senior Kim Church (Farmington) made six saves as second-seeded women's soccer won its third Little East Conference championship in seven years with a 1-0 win over top-seeded Keene State College Saturday.

With its fifth shutout victory in its last seven outings, Eastern (12-5-3) qualifies for its fourth NCAA tournament (third under tenth-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio), which gets underway Thursday. Keene (14-6-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost in the tourney final for the seventh time in nine appearances, falling to the Warriors for the third time in four tries in the clinching game.Eastern is 2-1 against Keene in finals played at Keene.

The title is the first for seniors Swann, Chuch, Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA), Christine Lemieux (South Windsor), who had lost in the title game to Western Connecticut the previous two years after being eliminated by Keene in the team's first conference tournament game in 2006.

Church, selected the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, made several game-saving saves among her six, with two coming in the first half and another in the second. In the first half, Church made hand saves on two consecutive Keene bids. First, she deflected a shot by Keene scoring leader Katie Bradford off the crossbar, then re-gained her feet to knock away the rebound.

Konopka, who played 67 minutes off the bench, set up Swann's game-winning goal in the 69th minute with a free kick for her second assist of the season -- both coming in the last three matches.

The Warriors pulled off their second championship game win on Keene's field in three tries despite getting little or not contributions from three injured players:sophomore back Laura Violette (Wallingford), sophomore forward Lauren Greeney (Bethel) and freshman forward/midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), the conference assist leader. Wallace was pulled from the starting lineup after only 23 minutes, while Greeney was limited to 33 minutes off the bench. Violette missed her sixth game of the season after re-injuring her ankle recently.

Since losing 2-1 in overtime at Keene State Sept. 26, Eastern is 8-2-2 in its last 12 matches. The Owls had gone unbeaten (6-0-1) in the conference regular-season in winning third  first LEC regular-season title since 2004

Men's Soccer
Eastern Conn. 1, Massachusetts Dartmouth 0

UMass Dartmouth (10-8-2)        0   0 --  0
Eastern Conn. (16-4-1)             0   1 --  1

Scoring: Nicholas Boretti (Jon DeCasanova, Cory Tobler) 65:21.
Shots: MD-13, E-7; Saves: MD-Mike Phelan 1, E-Carl Appel 5.
Corner kicks: MD-5, E-5.

Women's Soccer
Eastern Conn. 1, Keene State College 0

Eastern Conn. (12-5-3)       0    1 -- 1
Keene State (14-6-2)          0    0 -- 0

Scoring: E-Sarah Swann (Sam Konopka) 68:19.
Shots: E-4, K-15; Saves: E-Kim Church 6, K-Meghan Dempsey 2.
Corner kicks: E-1, K-3.





Senior cuts more than a minute off his time on this course from a year ago

Below: Sam Buczek

buczek_slide4329.jpg   WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg    WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Senior Sam Buczek (Milford) finished among the top 25 percent in a field of 294 runners Saturday at the ECAC Division III Men's Cross Country Championship Meet at Mt. Greylock High School.

Buczek placed 73rd overall in a time of 28:35, which was more than a minute faster than the time he posted on this course last year at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship.

The team's No. 2 runner this year, Buczek was the only one of the team's top seven runner to compete. The others - among them No. 1 runner Dave Hunt (New Milford) --  will await this coming Saturday's regional championship meet  at the Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, ME.

ECAC Division III
Men's Cross Country Championship
Run over 8,000 meters
at Mt. Greylock Regional HS
Williamstown, Mass.

Team Results
Top 10

1. Williams College 85; 2. Saint Vincent College (PA) 89; 3. Bates College 101; 4. Amherst College 111; 5. Vassar College 159; 6. Johnson & Wales U. 217; 7. U. of Southern Maine 221; 8. Tufts U. 282; 9. The College of New Jersey 290; 10. Lyndon State College 336.
25. EASTERN CONN.  749.

Eastern's finishers

73. Sam Buczek 28:35; 157. Casey McGarvey 30:11; 163. 163. Stefan Skolozdra 30:19; 173. Ken Landry 30:30; 209. Alejandro Hernandez 31:28; 213. Ryan Hughes 31:44.



Senior places among top 40 percent in 275-person field


Below: Alexis Cavanaugh cavanaugh_slidePB010021.jpg

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Senior Alexis WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgCavanaugh (Cheshire) continued her comeback from shin splints by finishing among the top 40 percent in a field of 275 runners Saturday at the ECAC Division III Women's Cross Country Championship Meet at Mt. Greylock High School.


Last year's No. 2 runner, Cavanaugh placed 102nd overall in her third race of the season after missing the first half of the year while recovering from shin splints. Cavanaugh was timed in 26:48 over the 6,000 meter race, nearly one minute faster than her time on this course last year at the regional qualifier.


Three of Eastern's other four competitors were freshmen.


Only half of Eastern's runners competed in the race, with many choosing to rest for next Saturday's NCAA Division III New England qualifier at the Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, ME.

ECAC Division III
Women's Cross Country Championship
Run over 6,000 meters
at Mt. Greylock Regional HS
Williamstown, Mass.

Team Results
Top 10


1. Middlebury College 37; 2. Williams College 50; 3. Amherst College 105; 4. Vassar College 133; 5. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 177; 6. Springfield College 201; 7. Colby College 226; 8. Tufts U. 236; 9. Bates College 238; 10. Saint Vincent College (PA) 270.
34. EASTERN CONN. 973.


Eastern's finishers


102. Alexis Cavanaugh 26:48; 181. Melissa Healy 28:25; 235. Brittany Miskell 30:39; 253. Victoria Pemberton 32:18; 255. Megan Frost 32:20













Warriors one win away from second Little East playoff title in three years

By Matt Fontaine, Sports Information staff


Boretti (top),and Fantl

boretti_jacket72dpi_3710.jpgThe men's soccer team will try to capture its second Little East Conference championship in three years when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at noon at the Mansfield Outdoor Athletic Complex.


fantl_jacket0972dpi_3713.jpgSeeded second in the playoffs, Eastern (15-4-1, 6-1-0 little east regular season) was able to defeat defending conference champion Rhode Island College Wednesday, 2-0. Fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth (10-6-2, 3-3-1 little east regular season) upset top-seeded and regular-season champion Keene State College in overtime Wednesday, 2-1, to set up the championship match.

Eastern traveled to UMass Dartmouth two weeks ago and defeated the Corsairs, 3-0. Senior co-captains Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) both picked up a goal and an assist in the contest. Sophomore keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) made four saves in the game and recorded his third complete-match shutout of the season and 10th of his career.

The Warriors and Corsairs will be playing against each other for only the second time ever in the post-season. In a first-round match being played at UMass Dartmouth in 2001, the Corsairs scored a goal with only seven seconds left to defeat Eastern 1-0.

Both teams will be playing in only their second LEC championship game ever. In 2007,  the Warriors won their first championship when they defeated Keene State College  in penalty kicks at Thomas Nevers Field following 110 scoreless minutes (current assistant coach Jay Barney was the team's goalie in that match, stopping two PKs). The Corsairs lost, 1-0,  in three overtimes to Plymouth State in 2000 in their one and only trip to the LEC championship game.

Eastern comes into the championship game riding a season-high seven game winning streak. The Warriors are unbeaten (5-0-1)  in their last six matches against  UMass Dartmouth and have an all-time record of 26-10-6 against the Corsairs.

The winner of the LEC championship game receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which is scheduled to start Thursday.

The Eastern-UMass Dartmouth game can be heard live on WECS beginning at 11:55 a.m. The link can be found on the Eastern men's soccer home page. The match will also be aired on tape delay at


They face Keene in title game for fourth time with NCAA invite on line


Chris D'Ambrosio, head coach


dambrosio72dpi_3815.jpgThe women's soccer team has shut out Keene State College the last two years in order to reach the championship game of the Little East Conference playoffs.

On Saturday, the teams will meet in the LEC playoffs for  the eighth time in nine years. This season, it will be for all the marbles as the clubs meet in the championship game for the fourth time. The winner receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament.

With an unbeaten 6-0-1 conference record this year, top-seeded Keene (14-5-2) claimed its first conference regular-season championship since 2004, when  the top-seeded Owls went on to win their second and last playoff title with a 3-0 home win over second-seeded Eastern.  After sharing last year's regular-season title, second-seeded Eastern (11-5-3) followed up with a 5-1-1 mark this season, sharing second place in the final conference regular-season standings with Massachusetts Boston.

Sandwiched around Keene's 2004 finals win over Eastern were Warrior triumphs over the Owls in the 2003 finale at Keene and in the 2005 title tilt at Thomas Nevers Field. Since the second-seeded Warriors downed Keene on penalty kicks in 2003, the top seed has captured each of the last five championships.

Either Eastern or Keene or both have appeared in all ten previous championship games, with each winning twice. The Warriors have finished second three times in the playoffs and the Owls have lost in the final game six times. In its most recent finals showing in 2006, Keene dropped a 4-2 decision to host Western Connecticut - the first of three straight titles for the Colonials.

The championship game between the two teams is the fourth, but the first since the teams met in those three consecutive seasons between 2003 and 2005. The Warriors have lost 2-1 decisions to Western Connecticut in each of the last two finals.

In Thursday's semifinals at home, Eastern swamped third-seeded UMass Boston, 4-0, and Keene ended the three-year reign of fourth-seeded Western, 2-0. Both of Saturday's finalists drew first-round byes.

Since losing at Keene, 2-1 in overtime Sept. 26, Eastern has posted a 7-2-2 record. The Warriors are 3-4-1 on their opponent's field this year. Ranked in a tie for tenth in New England, Keene is 10-2-3 in its last 15 and is 8-2-1 at home this season. The Owls have yet to give up more than one goal in a match this season. Eastern leads the LEC in least goals allowed this year (17) and in goals-against average (0.85), but is followed closely by Keene.

Keene junior Katie Bradford and Eastern senior Sarah Swann (Oxford) rank 2-3 in the conference in scoring and Eastern freshman Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) tops all conference players with ten assists.

In addition to Swann, Eastern seniors who will be involved in the final conference contests of their careers are goalkeeper Kim Church (Farmington), defender Christine Lemieux (South Windsor) and forward/midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA).

For a live video feed and live stats of the match, click on the Tournament Central link on the Little East Conference website.




LEC Tournament Central

Freshmen combine for three goals and two assists in 4-0 victory

Audio.wav                    marchitto72dpi_9104.jpg

Chris D'Ambrosio, Coach

dambrosio72dpi_3815.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -  In 110 minutes of soccer a little more than a month ago, women's soccer could not solve the defense of the University of Massachusetts Boston when the teams played to a scoreless overtime draw.

At right: Daniela Marchitto

For the Warriors Thursday, there was no mystery as they scored twice in the first 16 minutes and eased to a 4-0 victory in the semifinal round of the Little East Conference tournament at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. For Eastern,  it was its largest margin of victory, largest winning margin by shutout and most goals scored in conference playoff competition.

Three Eastern freshmen combined for three goals and two assists in sparking the second-seeded Warriors over the third-seeded Beacons - a victory that lifts the Warriors into the conference championship game for the sixth time in seven years.

A winner of five straight against New England opponents, Eastern (11-5-3) will meet No. 1 seed Keene State College (14-5-2) at Keene, NH Saturday at 1 p.m. (note time change).The Owls eliminated three-time defending conference playoff champion and fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University, 2-0, Thursday night.

The top-rated team in the conference in both offense and defense, UMass Boston (14-5-1)  gave up two goals in the first 16 minutes against Eastern after giving up a total of only two goals in its last six matches.

 Below: Kelly Wallace

wallace72dpi_9123.jpgAlthough the teams played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer a month ago at Mansfield, the Warriors struck quickly this time by getting goals from freshman Daniela Marchitto (Orange) in the tenth minute and Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) less than seven minutes later. Freshman Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) added the first two-goal game of her brief career later in the half, scoring on similar shots on the right side less than three minutes apart as Eastern sewed up the victory before the half.

Wallace, who broke the freshman season record for assists last Saturday, also contributed her sixth assist in the last four games when she set up Merheb's fourth goal of the season in the 16th minute of play.

Eastern's defense, rated second in the conference, limited the Beacons to only five shots, only two of which forced Eastern senior keeper Kim Church (Farmington) to make saves. UMass was held without a shot until just three minutes remained in the first half and Church was not called upon for her first save until seven minutes had elapsed in the second half. UMass sophomore Kristin Mulry and  junior Tina Gillin  were held in check by the Eastern defense. The conference scoring leader, Mulry did not have a shot, and Gillin was limited to two. Mulry did not return to the game after departing 13 minutes into the second half.

For the fourth time this year, Eastern did not allow its opponent to earn a corner kick.

In all, four Eastern freshmen combined for three goals and two assists. In addition to the contributions of Wallace and Marchitto, freshman Rachel Cutler (Guilford) was credited with her first career point when she set up Wallace's first goal.

Senior defender Christine Lemieux (South Windsor) doubled her season assist total by collecting two, and sophomore forward Lauren Greeney (Bethel) came off the bench to register her first point of the season with an assist on Wallaces' second goal. Greeney was appearing in only her sixth match of the year due to injury.

The conference championship game appearance will be the third straight and sixth in the last seven years under tenth-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio. A winner of two conference championships in 2003 and 2005, Eastern has dropped 2-1 decision to Western Connecticut each of the last two years.

Keene edged Eastern, 2-1 in overtime when the teams met Sept. 26 at Keene, NH. Eastern and Keene State are meeting for the fourth time in the playoff title match, with the Warriors having won twice. The Owls are making their ninth appearance in the championship game in 11 years. The 2002 and 2004 conference champion, Keene qualified for the finals in each of the first eight years of the event before missing out the previous two season.

Eastern and Keene have met three times in the final, each year between 2003 and 2005. Eastern won on penalty kicks in 2003 at Keene, NH and 2-0 at Thomas Nevers Field in 2005. The Owls won, 3-0, at Keene in 2004. The Warriors are one of only two teams to ever win the championship as the No. 2 seed, that coming over top-seeded Keene in 2003.

Eastern Conn. 4, Massachusetts Boston 0

UMass Boston (14-5-1)       0   0   -- 0
Eastern Conn. (11-5-3)       4    0   -- 4

Scoring: Daniela Marchitto 9:14; Jo-Ann Merheb (Kelly Wallace) 15:51; Wallace (Christine Lemieux, Rachel Cutler) 38:14; Wallace (Lemieux, Lauren Greeney) 41:08.
Shots: MB-5, E-15; Saves: MB-Jessica Penta 5, E-Kim Church 2 (80:30 min.), Theresa Pagnozzi 0 (9:30).
Corner kicks: E-3, MB-0.




Warriors must continue dominanc to advance in Little East playoffs

Below: The Warriors practice penalty kicks on the eve of Thursday's semifinals



by Matt Fontaine / Sports Information


Women's soccer (10-5-3) has earned the second seed in the Little East Conference playoffs  for the third season in a row and will host No. 3 seed Massachusetts Boston (14-4-1) Thursday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex at 3 p.m.

The Beacons defeated sixth-seeded UMass Dartmouth Tuesday by a score of 4-0 in a quarter-final playoff  match for the right to play the Warriors. Eastern and UMass Boston shared identical (5-1-1) LEC records but due to the tiebreaker Eastern was awarded the second seed over the Beacons when it came down to goals allowed in conference play. Eastern only gave up five while UMass Boston gave up seven.

Spectators who saw the match between Eastern and UMass Boston a month ago at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex  were treated to the top two defenses in the conferences.In that game, Eastern and UMass Boston battled to a double-overtime 0-0 tie in which both teams combined for a total of only nine shots and three saves. The tie did extend Eastern's all-time unbeaten record against the Beacons to 14 games, but did allow UMass to snap its 13 game losing streak against the Warriors, most of them by lopsided scores.

This season Eastern has turned to their veterans to lead the way. Senior Sarah Swann (Oxford) ranks at the top in many of the offensive categories in the conference. She is fourth in shots (62), second  in points (31), tied for second  in goals (13), and is first in game winning goals (5). Senior goalkeeper Kim Church (Farmington) has been in the net for all four years. Each season she has kept her goals against average below 1.00 per game. This season she has a 0.96 goals against average (third in the LEC),k and has recorded three shutouts.  Fellow seniors Taylor MacDonald (Oaks Bluff, MA) and Christine Lemieux (South Windsor) have had great seasons as well. MacDonald has a total of seven points while Lemieux has contributed two  assists from her defensive position. Lemieux, the 2008 LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, along with juniors Stephanie Norell (Stratford), and Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) have been the mainstays in a defensive front that shares the top spot in the conference in least goals allowed (17). 

Rotating in on defense throughout the season have been sophomore Laura Violette (Wallingford) and freshman Rachel Cutler (Guiford). Violette is still recovering from an ankle injury and her status for Thursday is uncertain.

In addition to Violette and Cutler, Eastern's other young players have been exceptional as well. Freshman Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), this past week's conference Rookie-of-the-Week,  leads the conference witih nine assists, while sophomore Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) is tied for fourth with seven. With seven goals and an assist, freshmen Daniela Marchitto (Orange) is second on the team with 15 points.

The Warriors will not have the services of freshmen Taylor Buchanan (Enfield) for the playoffs however. Buchanan was injured in practice leading up to the match versus the Beacons. Buchanan was third on the team with 14 points by scoring seven goals and assisting once. While losing Buchanan hurts, Eastern will see sophomore Lauren Greeney (Bethel) return to action. Greeney has only played in five games this season due to injury. In those five games she has started 3 of them and has taken nine shots. In 2008 she recorded 10 points.

After a year's absence, junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) has returned to start 13 games this season, and provides speed and quickness to the midfield. Other players who have contributed throughout the season have been junior Megan Pavia (Stamford), sophomores Sam Konopka (Hebron) and Katelyn Vaughan (Hamden), and  freshman Christine DeFilippo (Ronkonkoma, NY).

Long-time the conference doomat with a 6-73-4 conference record and no playoff appearances through last year), UMass Boston has  put up explosive numbers on offense. As a team,  the Beacons easily lead the conference in points (162) and goals (59). Kristin Mulry who has played in all 19 games has only started in 4 of those game, ranks first in both points (35) and goals (16) in the LEC. Eastern as a team ranks third in points (122) and fourth in goals (39). Both the Warriors and Beacons are tied for first in the LEC in assists with 44.

UMass keepers Jessica Penta and Michelle Cain have split time throughout the season but rank 1-2  in goalkeeper statistics. They both have combined for nine  shutouts which ranks first in the LEC while Eastern ranks third with a total of seven shutouts. Cain was the goalkeeper in the matchup against  the Warriors earlier in the season.

Eastern has made it to the conference championship game the past two seasons but in both years they have been defeated by Western Connecticut, which  is the fourth seed this year and will travel to No. 1 Keene State on Thursday in the other semifinal match at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Western defeated Southern Maine, 2-0 in the other quarterfinal match.

The conference championship game will be played Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed. The winner is awarded the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The match between the Warriors and the Beacons can be heard live on WECS beginning at 5:55 p.m. The match will be videotaped and archived on Thursday night.


LEC Tournament Central

Keene State's semifinal loss gives No. 2-seeded Warriors home field

Below: Nicholas Boretti


LEClogo-1WEB.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- The second-seeded Warriors will host the Little East Conference  men's soccer playoff championship game for the second time in three years. The Warriors' 2-0 semifinal-round win over No.3 seed and 2008 champion Rhode Island College Wednesday night, coupled with top-seeded Keene State College's 2-1 overtime home loss to No. 4 seed Massachusetts Dartmouth, brings the final game to the Mansfield Outdoor Complex Saturday at noon.

Against Rhode Island College (9-8-2) Wednesday, senior co-captains Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) scored goals on assists from sophomore Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) to spark Eastern (15-4-1) to its seventh straight win - tenth in a row against New England competition.

At Keene, NH Wednesday night, UMass Dartmouth (10-6-2) defeated Keene State College for the second times this year at Keene, eliminating the Owls, 2-1, in overtime to qualify for the championship game for the first time since losing a 1-0 decision at Plymouth State University in 2000. The losses were the only ones in conference play this year for Keene, which has won five of ten LEC playoff titles. Dartmouth had squeezed into the fourth and final playoff spot Saturday when Plymouth State was beaten by visiting Eastern in overtime. Plymouth needed only a tie to quality and eliminate UMass Dartmouth from contention.

Against Rhode Island, Boretti's seventh goal of the season came on a head ball on a free kick with 1:22 left in the first half and Fantl's conference-leading 17th goal of the season 15 minutes into the second half made it 2-0. Fantl scored on the rebound of a corner kick by Smiles that was saved by Rhode Island junior keeper Helder Faustino for his eighth goal during the current seven-game winning streak.  Fantl's goal was his 49th in 81 career games. Boretti's goal was the 20th of his career and the assists give Smiles a conference-leading ten this year and 18 in less than two seasons.

Eastern had beaten Rhode Island, 3-1, less than three weeks ago at Mansfield to kick off the current seven-game winning streak, with Boretti scoring twice and assisting on the other goal, Fantl scoring once and Smiles assisting on one.

It was the third straight season  that Eastern and Rhode Island were meeting in the semifinals of the tournament. The Anchormen had eliminated Eastern from the 2008 playoffs on the way to their first conference championship after the Warriors had eliminated RIC in 2007 en route to its first LEC crown. Eastern won the 2007 championship at home, defeating Keene State College on penalty kicks.

Against Rhode Island, Eastern sophomore Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) made three diving saves on low shots headed inside the post to preserve his fourth full shutout of the season. He was credited with five saves in all.

Eastern had two prime scoring chances go by the board in the first half, one of them prior to Boretti scoring the game-winning goal. The first came when freshman Cory Tobler (Portland) one-timed a crossing pass from Fantl over the crossbar with 17 minutes left in the first half. With three minutes left in the first half and Eastern leading 1-0, freshman Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) headed a free kick from Smiles off the right post.

In this year's two games, Eastern did not allow Rhode Island to score a goal. In the regular-season win, the Anchormen were credited with an "own" goal after an Eastern defender inadvertently scored into the Eastern net on a clearing attempt. In two wins, Eastern allowed RIC top scorer Bruno Costa just one shot, that coming midway through the second half Wednesday.

The win for Eastern is its 15th and equals its total of a year ago, which is the second-most wins in a season. Saturday, the Warriors will attempt to tie the season record of 16, set in 1969.  Now 8-1-1 at home, Eastern shut out UMass Dartmouth, 3-0, 11 days ago at North Dartmouth, MA.

Eastern senior starting forward Sean Capezzone (Colchester) left the match 11 minutes into action with a left knee injury. His status for Saturday's game is uncertain.

Eastern Conn. 2, Rhode Island College 0

Rhode Island (9-8-2)          0    0   --  0
Eastern Conn. (15-4-1)      1    1   --  2

Scoring: Nicholas Boretti (Aaron Smiles) 42:36; Maxim Fantl (Smiles) 59:26.
Shots: R-10, E-12; Saves: R-Helder Fastino 3, E-Carl Appel 5.
Corner kicks: R-7, E-7.


By Matt Fontaine
Sports Information staff


For the third season in a row, men's soccer (14-4-1, 6-1-0 little east) will take on Rhode Island  College (9-7-2, 5-2-0 little east) in a Little East Conference semi-final matchup Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Senior co-captains Maxim Fantl, Nicholas Boretti and head coach Greg DeVito.

This season, Eastern comes into the matchup with Rhode Island as regular season co-champion with Keene State. Eastern was given the No. 2, however, due to the loss at home to Keene State earlier in the season. Rhode Island took the No. 3 seed for having the third-best record. Eastern is no stranger to playing Rhode Island in the playoffs.

Last season, Rhode Island beat Eastern by a score of 2-1 in Providence to make it to the LEC championship game where they beat Plymouth State to capture the conference title. In 2007, Eastern hosted Rhode Island and defeated the Anchormen 1-0 which lead to Eastern capturing their first conference hampionship by downing Keene State on penalty kicks at Thomas Nevers Field.

Led by seniors Maxim Fantl (West Harford), Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA), Chris Bourdeau (Thompson), and Sean Capezzone (Colchester), Eastern comes into this playoff match on a hot streak. Eastern has won its last six games by outscoring its opponents by a margin of 18-5.

Ranked  11th in New England,  Eastern beat Rhode Island on October 18 by a score of 3-1. In that game, Fantl recorded his 100th career point on a goal assisted by Boretti and Matt Esposito (East Haven). Boretti totaled a career high five points by picking up two goals and one assist. Also in the game, Bourdeau tallied an assist by winning a ball in the middle of the field and sent a pass up to Esposito who found Boretti in front of the net unguarded to pick up the goal. Eastern sophomore Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) gained his 23rd career win that day, stopping two Rhode Island shots.

Eastern  tops the conference in most offensive categories, but is followed by Rhode Island in most of them The Warriors are first in points (134), shots (311), assists (42), and tied for first in goals (46). Rhode Island is second in all of those categories, except in goals,  in which they are tied with Eastern. Individually for Eastern, Fantl leads the LEC in points (38), tied for first in the goals  (16), tied for second in assists (6), and second in shots (85). Eastern's Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) leads the LEC in assists (8) and Esposito has six. First-year sophomore Matt Furman (Montville) has a total of 19 points (7 goals, 5 assists) and Boretti has 16 points (6 goals, 4 assists), which is good for sixth and eighth, respectively,  in the LEC.

Defensively, Eastern has only given up 20 goals which put them second in the conference. Appel who has recorded three shutouts this season, leads the LEC in goals against average (1.06) and his save percentage ranks third (.789). With the loss of three starting defensemen from last year - including All-America Kyle Bedini -- Eastern's young defensive collection of sophomore Smiles and freshmen Dan Fish (Marlborough), Bradley Fletcher (Middletown), and Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) have all played exceptional in having to replace the starters from last year's squad that was seeded first in the ECAC New England Division III Tournament. The defense will have to keep an eye of Rhode Island's Bruno Costa, who has 32 total points with 15 goals and 2 assists.

Also playing a big role for Eastern - most notably in the last several weeks --  is  freshman Cory Tobler (Portland), who has tallied four goals to go along with four assists. He was named last week's LEC Rookie-of-the-Week, while Furman was selected last week's LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Week for the game-winning goal Saturday at Plymouth State.

Coach Greg DeVito in his third season at Eastern, and has qualified for the LEC playoffs in each campaign. The 2007 LEC Coach of the Year, DeVito has an overall record of 40-15-7 and a LEC regular-season record of 15-3-3.

Also on Wednesday, top-seeded Keene State (6-1-0 LEC) hosts  No. 4 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the other semi-final matchup at Keene, NH at 6 p.m. The Corsairs (3-3-1 LEC) were the only conference team to defeat Keene this year, posting a 1-0 win.

The LEC championship game will be played Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

The Eastern-Rhode Island College game can be heard live on WECS beginning at 5:55 p.m. The link can be found on the Eastern men's soccer home page.



Sixth-seeded Warriors swept out of LECs by No. 3 Western Conn.


LEClogo-1WEB.jpgDANBURY, Conn. --  For only the second time ever, the end of the road for women's volleyball came in the opening round of the Little East Conference tournament Tuesday night in a three-game loss to Western Connecticut State University at Feldman Arena. Game scores were 25-16, 25-15, 25-22.

At right: Ashley Tuggle (4)

Eastern (12-18) had qualified for the six-team tournament as the final seed Saturday with wins over Massachusettts Dartmouth and the University of Southern Maine, but was unable to advance beyond the first round of the tournament for only the second time.

Third-seeded Western (26-7) advances to the conference semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. against No. 2 seed Plymouth State University at the Clark Athletic Center on the Massachusetts Boston campus.

 Eastern led only twice in the match -- in early going of the first and third games -- but stayed withIN striking distance throughout all three games. Hoping to stave off elimination in Game 3, Eastern scored three straight points to tie the game at 18 on two Western attack errors and a kill by sophomore Samantha Slonski (Griswold). At that point, the hosts responded with four straight points on two kills and two Eastern attack errors to re-gain the momentum and move on to clinch the victory, thus ending Eastern's season.

The teams were meeting in the LEC tournament for the second time in three years. In 2007, the fifth-seeded Warriors upended the second-seeded Colonials to claim their third straight LEC playoff title.

Tuesday, Eastern had a negative attack percentage iin the match.

Sophomore Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) led the way with 11 digs, with Slonski adding nine and handling 19 receptions without an error. Sophomore Britt Carrier (Southington) had 16 assists. Slonski and sophomore Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) each had seven kills

Ashley Tuggle (South Wiindsor), the only senior on the team, had five digs, received nine serves with only one error and served nine balls with only one error

Western's Paxton Thornton, Becca Stein and Natalie Crosby combined for 23 kills. Setter Sammie Hathaway had 28 assists and nine digs, and Kelley Collins 15 digs. When Western had swept Eastern in the regular season Oct. 6 at Geissler Gym, Thornton and Stein each had ten kills

Western Conn. 3, Eastern Conn. 0

.Eastern Conn. (12-18)         16      15      22

Western Conn. (26-7)           25      25      25




Senior men's soccer player now all-region academically and athletically

fantl_jacket0972dpi_3713.jpgWILLIMANTIC,, Conn. - After scoring 16 goals and leading men's soccer to the ECAC WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgplayoffs last year, senior forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) was named to the 2008 NSCAA Division III All-New England Region team.

This year, Fantl's excellence in the classroom was rewarded when he was named to the second team of the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team on the strength of having achieved a 3.64 overall grade-point average as a Physical Education major.

The program's third all-time leading scorer, Fantl was one of only two selections from the Little East Conference. A total of 22 student-athletes were named to the team, 11 to the first team and 11 to the second team. Candidates came from Division II and Division III institutions located in New England and New York. Fantl was one of 12 selections from a Division III institution located in New England.

"As far as hard-working, that's pretty much the word which describes Max," noted third-year head coach Greg DeVito, who helped recruit Fantl to Eastern as an assistant under former head coach Frantz Innocent. "Whether it's sports or school, Max works his hardest because his standards are very, very high, and they seem to get higher and higher, as far as what he wants to accomplish. He's just driven to be successful."

The academic honor is one in a series in the career of Fantl, who is the recipient of an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in both years of eligibility and a member of the Little East Conference Academic Honor Roll in all three years of eligibility.

Athletically, Fantl has led or shared the  team lead  in scoring in each of his three full seasons, having totaled 48 goals and 116 points in 80 career matches. Heading into the  conference playoffs, Fantl leads the conference in points (38), is tied for first in goals (16) and tied for second in assists (6) and game-winning goals (4).

Last year, Fantl was named first-team All-New England Region by the National Soccer Coaches' Association (NSCAA) and Offensive Player-of-the-Year by the Little East Conference after scoring 16 goals and totaling eight assists for a career-high 40 points.  He is a three-time all-conference selection and 2006 conference Rookie-of-the-Year.

In addition to his soccer accomplishments, Fantl is a four-year member of the lacrosse program, helping the Warriors to last year's conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

"Max gives his best to whatever he does," added DeVito. "And it's worth noting that he wasn't always excellent in lacrosse, and wasn't always excellent in the classroom and wasn't always excellent  in soccer, but he's made himself into those things. He's gotten vastly better in all three of those areas over four years. He recognizes what it takes. He's always ready for a new challenge, and he surrounds himself with other people who want to work hard."
Fantl becomes the sixth student-athlete in program history to be recognized academically on either a regional or national basis. As a junior and senior in 1986 and 1987 Eastern Hall of Famer Glenn Judge was named to the adidas Academic All-America team. Previous Eastern CoSIDA academic all-region picks (formerly sponsored by Verizon) include seniors Carl Segura in 2005, Ryan Smith in 2002 and Michael Murphy in 2000.

Eastern begins its quest for a second conference playoff championship in three years Wednesday when the second-seeded Warriors host third-seeded defending champion  Rhode Island College at 6 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.



 Abelli, Furman, Tobler and Wallace cited for play last week

Below: Taylor Abelli


NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Four thletes in three fall sports have been recognized by the Little East Conference as part of its weekly awards program for the week ending Nov. 1 Three of the four honored athletes are first-year players at Eastern.

In volleyball, sophomore libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) was named the conference's Defensive Player-of-the-Week for sparking the Warriors to two conference victories which boosted the team into the LEC playoffs for the 15th straight season. The weekly honor was the third for an Eastern volleyball this season and the first this year and third in the career of Abelli, a second-team all-conference selection as a freshman last year at the defensive specialist position.

Below: Matt Furman

Furman MSoccer SLIDE.jpgIn Saturday's wins over Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University of Southern Maine, Abelli averaged 4.83 digs and had a .941 reception percentage on a team-high 34 receptions. In the key four-game victory over UMass Dartmouth, Abelli contributed a team-high 22 digs and handled 25 receptions with only one error.

Abelli ranks second in the conference in digs per game (4.51), having recorded the 1,000th dig of her two-year career Oct. 22 against Emerson College. She has has 1,053 digs in her 209-game career for an average of 5.04 per game.

The No. 6 and last seed in the LEC playoffs, the Eastern women's volleyball team (12-17) visits third-seeded Western Connecticut State University in a first-round playoff match Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Below: Kelly Wallace (Liz Cutler photo)

wallace 72dpi2.jpgIn men's soccer first-year sophomore forward Matt Furman (Montville) and freshman forward/midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland) were cited as the LEC's Offensive and Rookie-of-the-Week, respectively. The duo contributed to five of the team's six goals in a 2-0 week when the Warriors gained a share of the regular-season conference title. Each player had a goal in wins over Fitchburg State (3-0) and Plymouth State (3-2 in overtime). Tobler added two assists in the sudden-death victory at Plymouth, setting up Furman's game-ending goal 13 minutes into overtime. Tobler's goal with 14 minutes left in regulation forced the overtime session and set the stage for Furman's second game-ending overtime goal this year.

The honor is the second this year for Furman, who was named LEC Rookie-of-the-Week Sept. 20 after scoring game-winning goals against Tufts University and Western Connecticut State University. Tober was recognized for the first time. Furman is second on the team  in scoring (7-5-19) and Tobler shares fourth place with four goals and 12 points.

Below: Cory Tobler

Tobler MSoccer SLIDE.jpgEastern has now had seven different individuals receive weekly honorees a total of eight times in men's soccer, including three different Rookie-of-the-Week selections.

The second-seeded Eastern men's soccer team (14-4-1) hosts third-seeded and defending playoff champion Rhode Island College Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the LEC semifinals.

In women's soccer, freshman midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) was honored as the conference's Rookie-of-the-Week for the second time this year. Wallace had two assists in a 5-1 win over Plymouth State University Saturday which sewed up the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming LEC playoffs. Wallace is the conference leader with nine assists, a total which sets an Eastern freshman record. Wallace has five assists in the last three matches, having tied the program record with three in a 4-0 win over UMass Dartmouth Oct. 24. Wallace shares fourth place on the team in points (13).

Eastern women's soccer has now been honored five times this season by the conference. Four different individuals have earned the distinction.

The second-seeded Eastern women's soccer team (10-5-3) hosts a semifinal-round playoff game Thursday at 6 p.m. The Warriors face the winner of a Tuesday first-round match between third-seeded Massachusetts Boston and sixth-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth.





 First-year sophomore 17th overall in NEA scoring at cross country meet

Below: Amanda Quinones

quinones_head0972dpi_3907.jpgKEENE, N.H. - First-year sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull)  became the 12 LEClogo-1WEB.jpgmember of the program to earn All-New England Alliance honors Saturday at the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championship run over 5,000 meters at Keene State College.

A first-year transfer from Division I Rider University, Quinones was 17th overall in a field of 126 in alliance scoring as the Warriors' top scorer. She was also 11th overall in a field of 61 in conference scoring.

The top seven runners in the LEC scoring are named All-LEC and the top 20 in alliance scoring merit All-NEA honors. The LEC is comprised of six institutions which sponsor cross country and the New England Alliance is comprised of six LEC institutions and seven  members of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference.

Keene State College won its tenth straight titles in both the alliance and conference competitions. The ows out-pointed the University of Southern Maine for both titles, winning by 34 points in alliance scoring and by 13 in conference scoring.

Eastern was seventh among 13  teams in the alliance and fifth among six scoring teams in the Little East Conference.

Eastern competes in the ECAC Championship Saturday at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, MA.

little east conference
2009 Cross Country Championship
at Keene, NH
Run over 5,000 meters

                                                Eastern's Top 7 Finishers

11. Amanda Quinones 20:49; 20. Cora Gingras 21:40; 25. Alexis Cavanaugh 22:24; 33. Becky Knapp 23:22; 35. Eileen Benway 23:25; 37. Melissa Healy 23:58; 38. Amanda Ericson 24:16.

Team Results

1. Keene State College 20; 2. U. of Southern Maine 33; 3. Massachusetts Dartmouth
94; 4. Rhode Island College 105; 5. EASTERN CONN. 124; 6. Massachusetts Boston 164.

New England Alliance
2009 Cross Country Championship
at Keene, NH
Run over 5,000 meters

                                               Eastern's Top 7 Finishers

17. Amanda Quinones 20:49; 34. Cora Gingras 21:40; 47. Alexis Cavanaugh 22:24; 60. Becky Knapp 23:22; 63. Eileen Benway 23:25; 69. Melissa Healy 23:58; 73. Amanda Ericson 24:16.

                                                        Team Results

1. Keene State College 25; 2. U. of Southern Maine 59; 3. Westfield State College
81; 4. Bridgewater State College 98; 5. Massachusetts Dartmouth 162; 6. Rhode Island College 183; 7. EASTERN CONN. 221; 8. Worcester State College 223; 9. Salem State College 248; 10. Fitchburg State College 257; 11. Massachusetts Boston 310; 12. Massachusetts Maritime Academy 340; 13. Mass College 374.