December 2009 Archives
Warriors force 26 turnovers with 18 steals in 75-41 non-conference victory
At right: Michelle Spreda (22)
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team responded from an 18-day layoff by collecting a season-high 18 steals and rolling to a 75-41 non-conference victory over Clark University Wednesday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
(Nicholas Noheimer photo)
The win is the tenth straight for Eastern (5-3) over Clark (2-8) in this series and is the fourth consecutive setback for the Cougars this season.The Warriors were playing their seventh home game this season. Clark remains winless (0-5) on its opponent's home court this year.
Junior guards Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) and Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) combed for 29 points, eight rebounds, eight steals and six assists for the Warriors, who scored nearly half of their points off Clark's 26 turnovers. Eastern totaled 36 points after the Cougars gave the ball away. Eastern commited only ten turnovers - 12 less than its season's average - in holding its opponent 16 points under its average points allowed this year.
Moriarty, Eastern's only returning starter from last year's 72-57 road win over Clark, had a career-high seven steals to go along with 12 points, five assists, three rebounds, and a blocked shot. Whiteley scored 17 points in a game for the second time this year - two shy of her career high. Whiteley complemented her game-high scoring total of 17 points (7-for-12 from the floor) with five rebounds.
Six of Moriarty's steals came in the first half and her six steals in the game resulted directly in points -- 12 of them. Three times she took the ball in for uncontested layups, twice she set up teammates for buckets, and once she converted two free throws. Her play in a two-minute stretch late in the first half helped Eastern end the half on an 18-3 run and made the second half a formality. In those minutes, she nailed a three-pointer, then took the ball away on consecutive Clark possessions, turning one into a layup and feeding a teammate for a two-point bucket on the other to push the lead to 20.
Whiteley and Moriarty were joined in double figures by three teammates. Junior post player Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) equaled her season high with 14 points - all coming in 19 first-half minutes when she teammed with freshman guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) to pace the Warriorrs to a 48-20 halftime lead. Blodgett scored ten of her game total of 12 points and freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) scored eight of her game total of ten points in the first half.
Blodgett converted five of 14 field goals in the game (hitting her first two three-pointers of the season) to break out of a season-long slump which found her shooting just 1-for-23 from the floor (0-for-15 from three-point range) and accumulating just three points in 98 minutes.
Freshman forward Madelyn Regan (Narragansett, RI) and freshman guard Jenna Baptista (Falmouth, MA) saw collegiate action for the first time. Regan scored three points with three free throws and grabbed four rebounds in six minutes. Baptista played eight minutes without a point or rebound.
Clark senior forward Jillian Camilleri - one of three returning starters from last year's game against Eastern - led the Cougars with eight points and seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Maggie Croft had eight points.
Eastern faces host Williams College in the opening round of the Williams College Winter Classic Sunday at 3 p.m.
Five three-time winners headline the listing of Eastern Connecticut tate University fall student-athletes who merit a spot on the 2009 Little East Conference All-Academic Team for the fall season.
At right: Sam Buczek
A total of 25 Eastern student-athletes earned spots on the team, which recognizes student-athletes who have attained sophomore academic status or higher and who have compiled an overall grade-point average of at least 3.30 through last spring.
Five seniors representing three fall sports have earned a spot on the fall team in all three years of the award's existence: Sam Buczek (Milford) and David Tignonsini (Vernon) in men's cross country, Kim Church (Farmington) and Sarah Swann (Oxford) in women's soccer, and Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) in men's soccer.
Last year, Eastern led all conference institutions with 81 student-athletes achieving the minimum academic standards for inclusion on the team. This year, the academic standards have been raised from the 3.20 minimum needed in the first two years.
At left: Kim Church
The women's soccer team led all six Eastern fall programs with eight student-athletes attaining the mimimum academic standards for inclusion on the team. Joining Church and Swann from that program are juniors Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Stephanie Norell (Stratford) and sophomores Lauren Greeney (Bethel), Sam Konopka (Hebron), Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) and Katelyn Vaughn (Hamden).
Additional senior members of the All-Academic Team are Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire), Chris Bourdeau (Thompson) and Ashley Tuggle (South Windsor). Cavanaugh participates in women's cross country, Bourdeau in men's soccer and Tuggle in women's volleyball.
In three years, 19 members of the women's soccer program have earned spots on the All-Academic Team, with the men's cross country team following with 13 and the women's cross country team 12.
Eastern's total of 25 All-Academic qualifiers rated second-best among all conference institutions.
Warriors ranked third nationally in ABCA Division III pre-season poll
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team has been ranked No. 3 nationally in the 2010 ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III national pre-season poll, released today.
At right: Melvin Castillo
A winner of 39 of 47 games last year, Eastern returns 20 letterwinners from last year's team, which was ranked No. 1 nationally after a 14-1 start and finished as the No. 1 team in the final New England Division III Coaches' Poll and No. 8 nationally in the final poll released following the NCAA national tournament. The Warriors qualified for their 30th NCAA tournament in 34 years last season after winning the Little East Conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. Eastern is a seven-time NCAA regional champion and four-time national champion.
The Warriors return 11 of the 13 players who saw time in last year's New England Regional Tournament championship game. All three of last year's starting outfielders return, as do three of last year's four starting infielders and six of last year's top eight pitchers.
Top returning pitchers are senior righties Will Musson (Wethersfield) and Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) , junior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and senior lefty Wes Dutton (Waterbury). Musson was 9-1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in his first season last year; Fontaine 6-2-1 with a 3.21 ERA; Schult 4-0-0 with a 2.72 ERA and Dutton 1-1-1 with a 1.91 ERA.
Top position players are junior outfielder Rob Perry (Manchester), All-America senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury), rightfielder Schult and senior middle infielders Travis Bass (West Hartford) and John Parke (Middlefield). Perry batted a team-leading .407 in his first season last year; Castillo .388 with 14 home runs and 138 total bases; Schult .388, Bass .382 with 119 assists, and Parke .364 with a team-leading135 assists.
Castillo, Fontaine, Musson, Schult, Bass and Parke were all named to the NCAA All-New England Region team last spring, with Castillo garnering third-team All-America honors.
Last year, Eastern led the nation in doubles, was rated second nationally in runs, hits, and pitching strikeouts, third in least hits allowed per nine innings, and fourth in walks and won-loss percentage. Key losses from that team are two-time national Player-of-the-Year and three-time first-team All-America pitcher/DH Shawn Gilblair, first baseman Tristan Hobbes and right-handed pitcher James Kukucka.
Eastern opens its 42nd season under head coach Bill Holowaty (1,288-474-6) March 6 against Albertus Magnus College at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, NY.
Fantl is a first-team All-America; Bourdeau honorable mention all-region
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Two members of the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer program have been recognized for their academic accomplishments by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA).
At left: Bourdeau (far left), Fantl
Senior forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) has been selected first-team All-America and senior midfielder Chris Bourdeau (Thompson) honorable mention all-region as part of the 2009 NSCAA/adidas Men's College Scholar All-America program.
A physical education major with an overall 3.62 GPA, Fantl was one of only 22 players chosen to the College Division All-America team and was one of 11 first-team All-East Region selections. a physical education major with an overall 3.69 GPA, Bourdeau was among 106 College Division selections from the East Region, which was comprised of Division II and III institutions located from Maine to Virginia and as far west as Ohio.
Candidates needed to have attained junior academic status, to have at least a cumulative 3.30 GPA, be a starter in more than half of their games and be a significant contributor. First-year transfers were not eligible.
Earlier this month, Fantl was recognized for his academic accomplishments as a second-team selection to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine College Division All-District I Team.
Fantl was one of only 11 first-team All-America selections and one of only three of the 22 All-America honorees from a New England institution and the only recipient from the Little East Conference. Fantl and Bourdeau were among only four of 106 All-East Region picks from the Little East Conference.
This year, Fantl became the program's first three-time selection to the NSCAA All-New England Team when he repeated as a first-team selection and also repeated as the Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year and was named ECAC New England Offensive Player-of-the-Year for the first time. He led the Warriors in goals and points for the fourth time in his career, repeated as the Little East Conference goals champion and was second this year in the conference in points after topping that category as a junior. He set a personal season mark this year with 17 goals and matched his personal season best from a year ago with 40 points. He concluded his career ranked third all-time in program history in scoring (49-20-118).
A two-time team captain, Fantl has also qualified for an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in both years of eligibility in his career.
Bourdeau started all 44 matches in his two-year Eastern career after transferring from the Division II level in the spring of 2008. A second-team all-conference pick this past fall, Bourdeau led the 2008 team in minutes played. He contributed five goals and three assists in his career, three of his goals proving to be game-winners. Both of his game-winning goal this past season came on the opening weekend of the year against 2008 NCAA qualifiers MIT and Babson College at the Babson College Invitational. Against Babson, his early second-half goal on a corner kick held up as the only goal by either team in the match.
The first-team All-America team consisted of three forwards, two midfielders, five defenders and one goalkeeper and the first-team all-region team was comprised of three forwards, three midfielders, four defenders and one goalkeeper.
All NSCAA All-America and Scholar All-America selections will be honored at the annual All-America Luncheon January 16 in Philadelphia as part of the 2010 NSCAA Convention.
In addition to winning its second conference playoff title in three years and qualifying for post-season play for the third time in as many years under third-year head coach Greg DeVito, Eastern was awarded the inaugural Little East Conference men's soccer Team Sportsmanship Award after being assessed only seven yellow cards and no red cards in 22 matches. The yellow card total was half the number assessed its nearest conference competitor and 34 less than the conference team with the most yellow cards.
This past year, Eastern equaled the 40-year-old program record of 16 wins (16-5-1) and carried an eight-game winning streak into NCAA tournament play. The Warriors won their last 11 matches against New England opponents.
Faceoff specialist was national leader last year in faceoff pct. and GBs
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) has been named to the 2010 Face-Off Yearbook pre-season Division III All-America honorable mention men's lacrosse team.
At right: Eric Vasil prepares for the 2010 season.
The 5-foot-9 inch, 185-pounder was one of eight faceoff specialists named to the 90-man pre-season All-America team. He was one of three faceoff specialists from New England institutions and the only pre-season All-America selection at any position from a Little East Conference institution.
"Eric's hard work and determination have turned him into the player that he is today," noted third-year head coach Justin Axel. "What impresses me the most about Eric is that despite the level of success he achieves, he only gets hungrier as he is relentless in his pursuit to be one of the best players in the country."
As a team, Eastern was tabbed by Face-off Yearbook as the pre-season favorite to defend its 2009 Little East Conference regular season and playoff titles. All three of Eastern's returning all-conference performers -- Vasil, senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) and sophomore long-stick midfielder Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) were among Face-Off Yearbook's 12-player Little East Conference pre-season all-conference team.
As a sophomore last year, Vasil set program season records for faceoff wins (264), faceoff percentage (.714) faceoff attempts (370) and ground balls (221). His faceoff percentage and ground ball total led Division III, giving Eastern two national statistical champions in four categories in the last three years (in 2007, Dave Carpenter topped Division III in points per match and assists per match).
At the faceoff position, Denison University senior Connor Detjen was named first-team pre-season All-America, Salisbury University senior Ryan Finch second team and Roanoke College junior Greg Khanzadian third team. Detjen ranked tenth nationally last year in faceoff percentage (.653) for No. 14 nationally-ranked Denison; Finch was ranked eighth (.661) for No. 2 Salisbury and Khanzadian sixth (.677) for No. 3 Roanoke. In a 15-7 loss to Salisbury last year, Vasil won 11 of 21 faceoffs against Finch and in an 8-4 setback to Wesleyan University in the NCAA tournament, Vasil took nine of 14 against senior Matt Ward, who joined Vasil as one of five faceoff specialists on the pre-season honorable mention team.
Vasil opened last season winning 14 of 15 faceoffs against Babson College and later recorded games of 21-for-25 against Wheaton, 16-for-16 and 17-for-19 against Plymouth State, and 19-for-22 in leading the Warriors to their first-ever NCAA tournament win - a 10-9 overtime decision over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He scooped up a career-high 17 ground balls against Merchant Marine and also against Western Connecticut.
Two seasons into his career, Vasil ranks first all-time at Eastern in ground balls (293), second in faceoff wins (385) and winning percentage (.650) and third in attempts (592).
Under Axel (25-11/.694), the Warriors return 18 letterwinners - seven of last year's nine double-digit scorers -- from last year's 15-4 team which won nine straight matches prior to their season-ending NCAA loss and equaled the program record for victories in a season. Eastern posted its 11th perfect conference regular season in 14 years last season and went on to its ninth conference playoff title and ninth post-season appearance (sixth NCAA).
Additional key returnees beyond Vasil, Fantl and Flynn are senior defenseman Douglas Hackenyos (West Suffield), junior attackmen Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, NY) and Brian Fechtmann (Levittown, NY), and senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich).
"Despite the loss of two All-Americans and five all-conference players, it speaks great volumes on the depth that our program has built to garner the pre-season No. 1 ranking," said Axel. "Our previous success has been founded on the work ethic that our athletes have developed, and if they continue to improve, we are optimistic about the upcoming season."
Eastern opens its 15th intercollegiate season March 3 at 2009 ECAC Metro/South Tournament champion Stevens Tech.
Members of the Eastern
intercollegiate athletic department caught the Christmas spirit by being involved in the 25th Annual Christopher Martins Christmas Run for Children recently in New Haven. Members of the field hockey, women's lacrosse and women's basketball teams coordinated a toy drive during the men's and women's basketball games Dec. 5. A number of student-athletes and faculty also took part in the Run for Children Dec. 13. From left in photo are Lauren Hickey, Sarah Dombrowski, Maureen Cop, Samantha Armitage, Stephanie Carroll,
head women's swimming coach Maureen Fahey
, and Katherine Redman
. Hickey is a member of the soccer and basketball teams and the other are participate in the swimming program.
Warriors represented in sports of w-swimming and w-track & field
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) and freshman Cora
Gingras (East Hampton) have been recognized with weekly honors by the Little East Conference in the sports of women's swimming and women's indoor track and field, respectively.
Above: Curran (left), Gingras
For the week ending yesterday, Curran was named Swimmer-of-the-Week after winning two backstroke events and contributing to a winning relay in Saturday's 142-105 dual meet win over visiting Bridgewater State College. Gingras was selected as Rookie Field Athlete-of-the-Week after collecting 22 points in three field events and contributing to a scoring relay in Saturday's Springfield College Invitational.
The weekly LEC honors were the first in the careers of both athletes. Curran becomes Eastern's first weekly conference honoree since Amy Arisco (Wallingford) was named Swimmer-of-the-Week on Jan. 25, 2009; prior to Gingras, the last Eastern female to be honored in indoor track and field was Sandra Brautigam (Scotland), who was named Female Track Athlete-of-the-Week last Dec. 8.
A third-year member of the program, Curran won the 50 and 100 yard backstroke
against Bridgewater. She broke her own week-old program record in the 100 in a time of 1::04.89, besting her previous record of 1:05:17 set the previous Saturday at the Little East Conference Championship. Curran also swam the opening (backstroke) leg when Eastern opened the meet by winning the 200 yard medley relay.
Gingras totaled nearly one-quarter of Eastern's points in individual events by taking second in the high jump (4-10 ½) and triple jump (32-7) and third in the long jump (15-0 ½) when the Warriors placed third in a five-team field at Springfield with 111 points. She also contributed to the 4x800 meter relay which collected six more points with a third-place finish.
Competing in her second collegiate track meet, Gingras was one of five Eastern individuals to qualify for the New England Division III Championships. She qualified for post-season competition in the triple jump and also helped the 4x800 meter relay (11:18.39) qualify for the New England Division III Championships.
First-team repeater Fantl becomes first three-time selection for men
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) has become the first player in men's soccer history to earn a spot on the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) Division III all-region team as many as three times.
Above: Fantl, Boretti, Smiles
Fantl was one of three Eastern men's players honored as an All-New England West team selection by the NSCAA. Fantl was joined on the men's elite team by fellow senior co-captain Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and by sophomore teammate Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA). Both were first-time picks. Boretti was named second team midfield
and Smiles second-team defense
On the women's side, senior midfielder Sarah Swann (Oxford) was a third-team All-New England selection and junior defender Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) was voted to the fourth team. Swann, the Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year, and Hickey, the LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, were both honored by the NSCAA for the first time.
Fantl headlines men's team
Fantl repeated as a first-team pick after gaining third-team honors as a sophomore in 2007. He was the only first-team selection from a public university and one of only two on the West's first or second team. Fantl repeated as the Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year this season and become the program's first four-time all-conference honoree. He was additionally recognized as the ECAC New England Division III Offensive Player-of-the-Year and a first-team All-ECAC selection.
Fantl led the Warriors in goals and points for the fourth time in his career, repeated as the Little East Conference goals champion and was second this year in the conference in points after topping that category as a junior. He set a personal season mark this year with 17 goals and matched his personal season best from a year ago with 40 points. He concluded his career ranked third all-time in program history in scoring (49-20-118).
A three-time all-conference selection, Boretti started all 22 matches this year and was second to Fantl with 20 points and eight goals. He averaged just over 80 minutes per match - the most among midfielders and fourth-most on the team. Three of his goals were game-winners - two coming in each of the team's conference tournament victories over Rhode Island College (2-0) and UMass Dartmouth (1-0).
An all-conference in both of his seasons, Smiles started all 21 matches in which he appeared this year - missing one - and led the conference this year with ten assists. Averaging just under 82 minutes per game, Smiles was the only starting returning defender this season and helped the Warriors post the lowest goals-against average (0.92) in the conference. In 43 career games, Smiles has 18 assists.
It marks the first time that as many as three Eastern players have been named to the all-region men's team in one season. First and second All-New England East and All-New England West teams were named this season, the first time that the New England region was divided into two sections. Twenty-two players were named in the West and 22 in the East.
Eastern qualified for post-season play for the third time in three years under third-year head coach Greg DeVito. The Warriors equaled the 40-year-old season record for victories with a 16-5-1 overall mark.
Swann, Hickey led offense and defense, respectively
Below: Swann, Hickey
The selections of Swann and Hickey give the Warriors ten all-region selections in as many years under head coach Chris D'Ambrosio. In addition to all-region accolades, Swann was previously named first-team All-New England by the ECAC. Both Swann and Hickey repeated as all-conference picks this year, both earning first-team honors to go along with their major awards as offensive and defensive players-of-the-year.
Swann becomes only the third all-region midfielder under D'Ambrosio, following Pam Neff in 2000 and Jen Ferrari in 2002. This year, she led
the conference in game-winning goals (6) and was third in points (33) and goals (14) this season. During the year, 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. 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.
The 5-foot-2 inch 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. She ranks in a tie for third all-time with 32 goals and 11 game-winning goals, and fifth all-time with 79 points.
A three-year starter, Hickey appeared in all 21 matches this year - starting 20 - and leading the club by averaging over 90 minutes per game. From her position in the middle of the field, Hickey directed Eastern to nine shutouts in 21 starts, five of them coming in one seven-game stretch in the second half of the season. With Hickey, the Warriors shared the conference lead in least goals allowed (20) and was second in goals-against average (0.91)
A total of 44 players were named to the all-region team: 11 players on each of the first, second, third and fourth teams.
The Eastern women finished with a 12-6-3 record and qualified for their 11th post-season tournament. They captured the conference tournament for the third time in seven years and won double-digit games for the ninth straight time under D'Ambrosio.
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
At women's track and field invitational, freshman collects 22 points
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) compiled 22 points in three field events and also contributed to a scoring relay as the Warriors claimed third place in a five-team field Thursday in women's track and field at the Springfield College Invitational at the SC Field House.
At right: Cora Gingras
The No. 2 runner on the cross country team this past fall, Gingras totaled nearly one-quarter of Eastern's points in individual events by taking second in the high jump (4-10 ½) and triple jump (32-7) and third in the long jump (15-0 ½) Thursday. She also contributed to the 4x800 meter relay which collected six more points with a third-place finish.
Eastern scored 111 points, four behind second-place finisher Connecticut College. Host Springfield easily won the team title with 228 points. Westfield State College was fourth with 68 points and Mount Holyoke College fifth with 22.
Competing in her second collegiate track meet, Gingras was one of five Eastern individuals to qualify for the New England Division III Championships and one of 11 performers to score points in individual events. In addition to the individuals, both the 4xx800 and 4x200 meter relays qualified for the New England meet in mid-February.
Gingras qualified for post-season competition in the triple jump, as did event record-holder Monica Mills (East Hartford), senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) and sophomore Sarah Joy (Stratford) in the 55 meter hurdles, and junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) at 200 meters. A senior, Mills qualified with a winning mark of 32-7 ¾, while Joy and Brautigam qualified in the preliminaries of the hurdles with times of 9.57 and 9.61, respectively. Brautigam was clocked in 9.46 in a second-place finish among 15 competitors in the 55 hurdles final and Joy was timed in 9.61 in running to a fifth-place finish.
In qualifying for the New England meet in the 200 with a winning time of 27.37 in a field of 22, Petrizzo was less than a second off the record of 26.55 which was established nearly eight years ago.
Joining Mills and Petrizzo as individual winners was senior Erika Barber (Portland), who won the pole vault (10-0) for the eighth time in her four-year career.
Freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe) also chipped in double-figure points by finishing third in a field of 17 at 400 meters and fourth in the 22-person field at 200 meters for ten points.Brautigam's fifth-place finish at 200 meters gave her ten points in two individual events.
At 200 meters, Eastern performers captured seven of the top 14 places and comprised nine spots in the 22-person field.
Comprising the New England-qualfying relays were Mills, freshman Amanda Cobb (Wethersfield), Charpentier and Petrizzo (4x200) and senior Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire), junior Ashlee James (Franklin), freshman Denica Gagnon (Colchester) and Gingras (4x800).
Eastern is idle until returning to Springfield College Jan. 23 for an 11 a.m. invitational.
With 77-61 victory, Warriors secure most first-semester wins in 16 years
PLYMOUTH, NH - Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) scored a career-high 22 points Saturday afternoon to lead men's basketball past Plymouth State University, 77-61, in a Little East Conference contest at Foley Gymnasium.
At right: Nick Nedwick
After giving away a two-point loss in its conference opener last Saturday, Eastern (7-1, 1-1 little east) has responded with two road victories in five days and remains unbeaten away from Geissler Gymnasium in three games this season.. Since losing nine straight games against the Panthers at Plymouth (6-3, 0-2 little east) in a span of seven years, Eastern has defeated its hosts the last three times the teams have met at Foley Gymnasium.
Eastern's victory total is its highest prior to January 1 since the 1993/94 team won eight of its first nine prior to New Year's Day on the way to a final record of 14-10. The team's previous best start in seven seasons under current head coach Bill Geitner came three years ago with a 6-2 start which produced a 15-10 campaign.
Plymouth was playing its sixth straight home game, having won four of its first five on its home court.
Nedwick had thrown down a then-career-high of 21 points in Saturday's loss to Rhode Island College, but was coming off a 1-for-7 performance in Tuesday's four-point non-conference win at Endicott College. Against Plymouth, Nedwick was good on 8-of-12 field goal attempts, including 2-of-4 from three-point range.
Nedwick led a balanced scoring attack as five Warriors scored in double figures, two of them coming off the bench. In all, Eastern's bench players outscored their Plymouth counterparts by 19. Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) dumped in 11 points off the bench, and sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) scored a season-high 12 points in a reserve role on perfect shooting from the floor (3-for-3) and foul line (6-for-6). He also shared game-high rebounding honors with junior Bill Roveto (South Windsor) and sophomore Jamie Kohn (Columbia), with eight. Kohn's ten points gave the Warriors five double-digit scorers.
In his first start of the year, junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) scored 13 points (5-for-10 FG) and was among four Eastern players to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor. As a team, the Warriors shot 51.9 percent - their second 50 percent shooting afternoon in as many conference games this season.
Senior guard Mike Chergey led the Panthers with 16 points, and classmate Eric Hondal added 14; but they were the only two Panthers to reach double figures in scoring. Plymouth shot just 38 percent from the floor and was out-rebounded by eight.
The Warriors led most of the first half, with Plymouth 's only advantage a 12-11 score five minutes into the game. Eastern outscored the Panthers 12-2 over the next five minutes to take a nine-point lead at the midway point, and it was also a nine-point margin at halftime, 36-27.
Eastern never trailed after the opening minutes -- and was never behind by more than a point - and maintained the lead throughout the second half. The Panthers remained within striking distance until a 10-1 Eastern scoring run over seven minutes pushed the lead to 13, 68-55, with two minutes left. The Warriors held the home team without a field goal during that stretch in the second half to seal the win, which was their largest margin of victory this season. In those seven minutes, Simmons scored four points, Roveto, Ortiz and Nedwick two each and Roveto and Nedwick each grabbed two rebounds. On 11 possessions in that span, Plymouth missed six shots and two free throws and turned the ball over three times.
Eastern is idle until competing in the Christopher Newport University Captains Shootout Jan. 2, facing York College of New York in its tournament opener at 2 p.m.
Plymouth State sports information contributed to this game account.
With 58-52 verdict, Warriors are first team to defeat Panthers this year
PLYMOUTH, NH - Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) and freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) combined to score 28 points and grab 13 rebounds Saturday afternoon as women's basketball handed Plymouth State University its first loss after eight opening wins with a 58-52 victory in Little East Conference action at Foley Gymnasium.
Plymouth (8-1, 1-1 little east) had opened the campaign with a school-record eight straight wins. In its first road game after six season-opening games at Geissler Gymnasnium, Eastern (4-3, 2-0 little east) defeated the Panthers for the 14th straight time, but the margin was the closest since a 100-94 victory Jan. 8, 2005 at Foley Gym.
Eastern is the defending conference regular-season champion but lost four starters from last year's club which captured 13 of 14 regular-season conference games and was picked to finish third in this year's pre-season coaches' poll.
Scoring in double figures for the third time this year, Whiteley finished with a team-high 15 points and a career-high eight rebounds while Kelleher contributed a career-high 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor in 14 minutes off the bench. Freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) added ten points and seven boards, and junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) chipped in with eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals to complement her strong defensive game. Whiteley sank seven of ten free throws and is now 20-for-28 from the stripe this year (71.4 percent).
The Warriors struggled throughout in their field goal and free throw shooting, but dominated the glass with a 54-32 advantage (amassing a 21-9 advantage on the offensive glass), and forcing the hosts into 28.6 percent shooting from the floor. Among the conference's top three-point field goal shooting teams, Plymouth missed 15 of 16 from behind the arc.
Plymouth senior forward Laura Kent led all players with 24 points, making six of eight goal attempts from the low post and 12-of-13 from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Alicia Doucet added 11 points, but the Panthers shot just 28 percent as a team, including 18 percent in the first half. Conference scoring leader Amanda Kania, a junior forward, managed only five points - 14 below her season average - on 1-for-9 shootng from the floor. Kania did lead all players in the game with ten rebounds.
Eastern led the entire first half, by seven at the break and by nine early in the second half before the Panthers used a 15-2 run to move into a four-point, 38-34 lead midway though the second half. Kent scored 11 of Plymouth's points in the span, including a traditional three-point play with 11:33 remaining to give the Panthers their four-point lead. Eastern responded with a 15-6 spurt to regain the momentum and a five-point lead, capped by Whiteley's second three-pointer of the game (she was 1-for-10 from "three" entering the game) with 4:20 left. Carter and Moriarty late tossed in key back-to-back baskets for the Warriors to preserve the lead in the final minutes.
Eastern is idle until hosting Clark University Dec. 30 at 5 p.m.
Plymouth State Sports Information contributed to this game account
Katie Curran and Jessica Wilson lead Warriors past Bridgewater State
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) and senior Jessica Wilson
(Torrington) led women's swimming to a 142-105 victory over Bridgewater State College Saturday afternoon at the Sports Center pool in the final meet of the first semester.
Above: Sarah Dombrowski en route to winning the 1,000 yard freestyle Saturday.
Eastern (4-1) swimmers posted the fastest times in nine of 14 events in besting Bridgewater State (3-5) for the second straight time after losing the first three dual meets in this series.
Curran and Wilson each had the fastest times in two events. Curran won the 50 and 100 yard backstroke and Wilson had the fastest time in the 50 and 100 yard breaststroke. Curran broke her own week-old program record in the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 1::04.89 besting her previous record of 1:05:17 set at last Saturday's Little East Conference Championship.
Others who had the fastest times for Eastern were seniors Sarah Dombrowski (Southington) in the 1,000 yard freestyle, Amy Arisco (Wallingford) in the 100 yard butterfly, and Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) in the 50 yard freestyle, and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock) in the 50 yard butterfly. Eastern opened the meet by winning the 200 yard medley relay behind Curran, freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport), Arisco, and Doheny.Dombrowski won the 1000 for the fourth time in the last two years.
Eastern swimmers posted at least two of the fastest three times in all but one event, and swept the top three places in the 1,000 yard freestyle, 50 and 100 yard breaststroke and 100 yard backstroke. In addition to winning the 50 yard freestyle, Doheny was second in the 200 yard freestyle and had the second-fastest time in the 500 yard freestyle. Arisco was second in the 100 yard freestyle and swam the second-fastest time in the 400 yard individual medley, and O'Kelly was second in the 50 yard breaststroke and recorded the second-fastest time in the 100 yard breaststroke.
Lauren Phinney and Bryn Morwick each won two events for Bridgewater and also contributed to the winning 200 yard freestyle relay. Phinney, a freshman, captured the 200 and 500 yard freestyle events and Morwick the 100 yard freestyle and 400 yard individual medley.
Eastern returns to action Jan. 16 at Keene State College at 1 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
Five individuals and two relays qualify for post-season competition at SC
Edwardsen (top) and Lowe
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - With men's indoor track and field competing for
the second time in the first six days of the season, five individuals - all newcomers to the program -- and two relays qualified for post-season competition Thursday evening at the Springfield College Invitational at the Springfield Field House.
Junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica), a first-year transfer from Division I Central Connecticut State University, qualified for the New England Division III and Open and ECAC championships with a time of 6.58 in the final of the 55 meters, and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacons Falls) attained the standards for competing in the New
England Division III and ECAC meet with a program record mark of 44-4 ¾ in the triple jump. Qualifying for the New England Division III meet were freshman Tim Callahan (Portland) at 600 meters (1:25.53), first-year sophomore transfer Casey McGarvey (Bozrah) at 1,000 meters (2:37.22), and freshman James White (Middletown) in the preliminaries of the 55 meters (6.70).
In addition to the individuals, the 4x200 meter relay qualified for the ECAC meet in a winning time of 1:32.86, and the 4x800 meter relay qualified for New England Division III competition. with a time of 9:01.08. Running the 4x200 were White, Lowe, sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) and sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven). Participants on the 4x800 relay were freshman Prince-Michael Marston (Kingston, Jamaica), Callahan, senior Ken Landry (East Hampton) and McGarvey.
In a field of 17, Ricketts and Lowe finished 2-3 behind defending national champion Steve Headley of Springfield College. Ricketts broke the program record at 55 meters last Saturday and was clocked in 6.51 in Thursday's final, just shy of his record of 6.46. Lowe qualified for the New England Division III meet with a time of 6.68 in the preliminaries and qualified for the Open and ECAC meets in the final.
Fitzpatrick was second in a field of ten in the triple jump, Callahan second among 11 in the 600, McGarvey first in the 1,000 (less than two seconds off the program record), and White eighth in the 55.
Freshman Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) was the team's other performer to win an individual event, taking first in a field of six with a time of 8.15 in the 55 meter hurdles. The program record is 7.99.
Fitzpatrick needed only two meets to break the program triple jump record of 43-3 which was set just less than four years ago by David Pavia. In his first collegiate meet last Saturday at Springfield, Fitzpatrick was marked at 42-6 3/4. He made an improvement of nearly two feet Thursday in breaking the record.
A total of 12 individuals contributed points in individual events. Accumulating double-digit points in individual events for Eastern were Edwardsen, Fitzpatrick and McGarvey. Edwardsen totaled 16 points by winning the 55 hurdles and taking third in the high jump (5-9 ¼); Fitzpatrick was credited with 12 points by placing second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump (20-5 ¼); and McGarvey was awarded ten points by copping the 1,000 meters. Callahan netted second place in the 600 with his qualifying time of 1:25.43, which was less than two seconds shy of the program record.
With 99 points, the Warriors placed third in a field of four. Springfield (239) topped the field, with Westfield State College second (151), and Connecticut College was fourth (44).
Eastern is idle until returning to Springfield College Jan. 23 for an 11 a.m. invitational.
Teams shoot 26 percent from floor and score 25 points below averages
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The name of the game was defense when women's basketball hosted
No. 3 nationally-ranked Amherst College Thursday night in the first meeting between the teams in 15 years.
The Warriors were good, the Lord Jeffs were better.
At left: Lauren Kelleher (14) defends Amherst's Bridget Crowley in a matchup of 6-foot-1 inch freshmen. (Courtney Bedocs photo)
In a battle of two of last year's NCAA qualifiers, Amherst (8-0) came away with a 53-34 victory at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. It was only the Lord Jeffs' second game away from home this year. Eastern (3-3) finishes with a split as it opened the season playing its first six games at Geissler Gymnasium.
Eastern held Amherst 25 points below its season average and 14 percentage points under its season field goal percentage. Amherst limited Eastern to 27 points shy of its season average and 19 percentage points lower than its season field goal percentage. The teams combined to miss 21 of 25 three-point attempts but flourished at the foul line, where they combined on a 23-for-33 performance.
Amherst lost four seniors from last year's record-setting 29-4 season and Final Four berth, while the Warriors lost four starters from last season's 25-4 which concluded with a first-round NCAA tournament loss. It was the first meeting between the programs since 16th-year Eastern head coach Denise Bierly posted a one-point victory over the Lord Jeffs in the 1994 season-opener which proved to be the first of her current total of 301 victories.
Above: Olivia, Eastern's youngest cheerleader, exhorts the crowd Thursday. (Courtney Bedocs photo)
Thursday, Eastern remained within striking distance throughout most of the game, cutting an 11-point gap to six when freshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) sank two free throws with 12 minutes left. At that point, Amherst scored seven straight points over the next two minutes to take a 13-point lead. The lead never fell below 11 the rest of the way. Held in check throughout most of the game, Amherst junior All-America forward Jaci Daigneault sparked that run by converting two free throws, grabbing two rebounds and contributing a block and steal.
Six-foot-one inch freshman Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) of Eastern led the Warriors to a 49-41 advantage on the boards by pulling down 13 rebounds in 17 minutes before fouling out with Eastern on the short end of a 46-33 score with 5:47 left. Kelleher entered the game with only four rebounds in 17 minutes this season. Carter added nine rebounds for Eastern and junior Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) and Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) grabbed six each. Junior Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) was the only Eastern player in double figures. She had 12 points, but five came on six free throws as she missed ten of 13 field goals.
Amherst sixth man six-foot sophomore ackie Renner came off the bench for a team-high 12 points and was one of three players with seven rebounds. Sophomore Kim Fiorentino had ten points, seven rebounds and five assists. Daigneault and six-foot sophomore Lem Atanga McCormick each had three of Amherst's nine blocked shots.
The final point total was Eastern's lowest since it managed only 29 points on 21.3 percent shooting from the field in a 43-point loss at New York University Nov. 28, 1995.
Amherst is off to another strong start. Last year, it won its first 18 and two years ago captured its first 17. Last year, it lost two games prior to NCAA tournament play, the setbacks coming against Bowdoin College by a total of five points.
Eastern visits Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference game Saturday at 1 p.m. in the final game prior to an 18-day layoff.
Warriors extend winning streak against Westfield to 17 straight
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Four starters
finished in double figures and women's basketball shot
over 50 percent from the floor in posting its 17th consecutive victory over Westfield State College, 69-52, Tuesday evening in a non-conference victory at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
At left: Brittany Whiteley
The win is the 18th for Eastern (3-2) in 19 meetings in this series with Westfield State (5-4), the teams meeting for the first time in seven years.
Eastern junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) had an inside basket to kick off a 9-2 run and grabbed four of her game-high nine rebounds in a decisive three-minute stretch early in the second half. Freshman guard Samantha Riccio (Avon) came off the bench to toss in a three-pointer and junior point guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) and freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) each hit jumpers to fuel the run that shot the Warriors into a 13-point, 49-36 lead with 12 minutes left in the game. Westfield missed five of six shots and both of its free-throw attempts in that Eastern spurt.
Before Tuesday's game, head coach Denise Bierly was presented a commemorative ball after winning her 300th career game Saturday against Rhode IslandCollege.Pictured with Bierly (from left) are assistant coach Tiffany Kelver, co-captains Jessica Moriarty and Brittany Whiteley and associate head coach Stan Harris.
The Warriors outscored Westfield by 21 points from three-point range, Eastern hitting seven of 16 and Westfield missing all 12 of its tries. Eastern's seven three-point field goals represented a season high, as was its 53.6 field goal percentage and +21 rebounding margin.
Whiteley led all players with 17 points - two shy of her career best - with Carter adding 15 points and six rebounds. Carter was perfect on her first six shots from the floor before missing her seventh attempt in the final seconds of the first half. The duo combined to connect on 15 of 23 attempts from the floor. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) broke an 0-for-14 slump from three-point range with her first trey of the season five minutes into actiin and went on to score 12 points (5-for-11 from the floor). Pierlioni had 11 points (3-for-5 from three-point range) and a game-high nine rebounds and also handed out three assists. Six-foot-one inch freshman Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) and the 5-foot-6 inch Riccio each hit both of their field goals and had five points each and combined for ten rebounds. Riccio grabbed a career-high six rebounds and Kelleher had the first four rebounds of her young career.
Ashley Finnegan of Westfield scored all ten of her points in the first half when the Owls trailed by only two with four minutes left before the break.
Both Eastern and Westfield won 20 games last year and competed in the NCAA tournament. Eastern won the Little East Conference regular season and Westfield the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference post-season tournament.
Eastern hosts its third nationally-ranked opponent this year when No. 3 Amherst College visits Geissler Gymasium at 7 p.m.
Ortiz torches Endicott with eight three-pointers as Warriors improve to 6-1
BEVERLY, Mass. - Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) extended his program record for
three-point field goals by burying all eight of his team's makes and lifting men's basketball to a 78-74 victory over Endicott College Tuesday night at MacDonald Gymnasium.
At right: Edwin Ortiz
Coming off its only loss of the season, Eastern (6-1) took the lead for good late in the first half and carried a 12-point lead -- its largest of the game - into the final four minutes. Endicott (3-4) sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final four-point margin.
Ortiz collected all eight of Eastern's three-point field goals - tying his career high and leaving him one shy of the game record held by current assistant coach Kris Johnson - to extend his program record for three-pointers to 212. Ortiz, ranked 15th all-time in scoring at Eastern, has hit at least one three-pointer in all seven games this year and in 19 of his last 20 games dating back to last January 13.
Below: Chris Robitaille
Ortiz led all players with 28 points - equaling the third-highest point total of his career. Ortiz was 8-for-15 from three-point range, 10-for-18 overall from the floor. Although Eastern's other four starters combined for only 25 points, the Warriors got strong off-the-bench performances from junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) and freshman post player Chris Robitaille (Canton).
Held without a point in Saturday's two-point loss to Rhode Island College, Simmons was second to Ortiz with 13 points Tuesday and also chipped in four assists and three steals in 26 minutes. In his second collegiate appearance, the 6-for-5 inch Robitaille recorded his first collegiate stats (other than minutes). He had ten points and five rebounds in 24 minutes, scoring eight points and pulling down four rebounds in 13 first-half minutes. In a six-minute stretch after replacing junior Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) six minutes into the game, Robitaille followed a missed attempt with hit two consecutive baskets, and grabbed two rebounds. He later returned to drop in two more short jumpers in the final minutes of the first half to help the Warriors take a seven-point halftime lead.
In snapping a three-game losing streak at the hands of Endicott, the Warriors took the lead for good with five minutes left in the first half when Robitaille and first-year junior forward Jordan Levy (Woodbury) grabbed offensive rebounds to set up a hoop by Simmons. Eastern scored the final six points of the first half when Robitaille connected on two buckets and sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) hitting a layup on a pass from Simmons in the closing seconds of the first half.
Junior post player Bill Roveto (South Windsor) of Eastern led all players in the game with 11 rebounds and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) handed out a career-high eight assists.
Endicott was paced by freshman guard Danquah Rawlins and junior guard Mike Rhodes, who had 17 points and five assists apiece. Six-foot-eight inch sophomore post player Erik Callo notched a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
Eastern, which has won four of its six games by 12 total points this season, travels to Plymouth State Saturday for a Little East Conference game at 3 p.m. in its final outing prior to exams.
Curran breaks three backstroke records; Warriors second at championship
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) broke all three backstroke records and seniors Jessica Wilson (Torrington) and Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) broke one record each as women's swimming equaled its best finish ever by claiming second place at the Ninth Annual Little East Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championship at the Francis Tripp Athletic Center Pool Saturday..
Above: Eastern's seniors accept the second-place award: Carol Ann Smith, Sarah Dombrowski, Maureen Cop, Katherine Redman, and Jessica Wilson (Jennifer Costa photo)
Keene State College won its fourth straight title, rolling up 535 points to ease past Eastern (303) in the five-team competition. The Owls padded their win with 58 points in two diving events (Eastern does not sponsor diving).
Curran broke records which stood for almost four years with times of 30.16 at 50 yards, 1:05.17 at 100 yards and 2:20.50 at 200 yards. She broke the 50 record by .65, the 100 record by .09 and the 200 mark by just over two seconds, all three marks previously set by Maggie Bannell at the 2006 New England Championship.Curran bettered the 50 record in the meet-opening 200 yard medley relay.
Wilson broke her own record by .12 in the 100 yard breaststroke in a time of 1:12.26 and Doheny eclipsed her own mark by .06 in the 100 yard freestyle with a mark of 55.92.
Junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) posted the best finishes of any Eastern swimmer by taking second in the 200 yard individual medley (personal best of (2:18.33) and second in the 200 yard butterfly.Doheny claimed third place with her record-setting time in the 100 yard freestyle and was also third in the 50 yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 25.79.
Sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock) followed Arisco in the 200 yard butterfly in taking third place. The 400 yard freestyle relay was second in collecting 26 points. Participants included Doheny, Wilson, freshman Caroline Boutwell (Mendon, VT) and Arisco.
This season, the top two individuals and top two relays are accorded all-conference honors. Thus, Arisco earned the honor this year in the 200 yard individual medley and 200 yard butterfly and as part of the 400 yard freestyle relay. She was joined on the all-conference team by relay teammates Doheny, Wilson and Boutwell. Menard missed out on all-conference honors in the 200 yard butterfly when she was edged by Arisco by .33 for second place.
Last year, Arisco was also second in the 200 yard butterfly and placed second in the 100 yard freestyle and helped the 200 yard medley to a third-place finish. Last year's all-conference team was selected by a swimmer's performance in the New England Division II-III Championship, however, where Arisco gained all-conference honors seven times in the individual medley and relays. She missed the 2008 championship as a freshman due to illness.
Based on last year's New England Championship, Doheny was a six-team all-conference performer in thefreestyle and relays. She also earned all-conference recognition as a first-year sophomore when she was a member of the 400 yare freestyle relay which took second place in the conference meet.
Wilson concludes her career as a 12-time all-conference selection in the breaststroke, freestyle and relays
Led by Curran, Eastern swimmers established a remarkable total of 26 person bests in the meet. In addition to her three records, Curran set a new personal standard in the 200 yard individual medley. Four additional swimmers established three personal bests each. In addition to the 100 yard freestyle, Doheny set personal bests in the 50 and 200 yard freestyle, while sophomore Samantha Armitage (Bristol) swam her fastest career times in the 50 and 200 yard freestyle and 200 yard backstroke; sophomore Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly and 200 yard individual medley, and freshman Darcy Jensen (Orange) in the 100 yard freestyle and 100 and 200 yard backstroke.
Keene captured first place in all 12 individual events, both relays and both diving competitions.
Eastern hosts Bridgewater State College Saturday at 1 p.m.
little east conference
Ninth Annual Women's Swimming and Diving Championship
at North Dartmouth, Mass.
1. Keene State College 535; 2. EASTERN CONN. 303; 3. Massachusetts Dartmouth 259; 4. Western Conn. 221; 5. Plymouth State U. 153.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
In LEC opener, head coach Denise Bierly corrals 300th career victory
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The defending Little East Conference regular-season champion women's basketball team survived 32 turnovers to deny Rhode Island College by a score of 59-55 in the conference opener for both teams and present 16th-year head coach Denise Bierly with her 300th career coaching victory.
At right: Denise Bierly
Playing its first game in 11 days, Eastern (2-2, 1-0 little east) led by 12 points with four minutes left before Rhode Island (6-1, 0-1 little east) went on an 11-1 run to cut the gap to two, 55-53, on a steal and bucket by senior guard Denise Scott with 20 seconds left. Eastern freshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) then made the potential game-saving play when she rebounded a missed Eastern free throw with 14 seconds left, and sank two free throws after being fouled on the put-back to give Eastern a critical 57-53 lead. After Scott sank two free throws with nine seconds left, Eastern junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) answered with two of her own with seven seconds left to seal the Warriors' 28th victory in 16 seasons under Bierly.
Bierly becomes the 12th active Division III coach in New England to achieve 300 victories. The Lafayette, Ohio native has lost only 121 games for a winning percentage of .713. Of the other 11 active coaches in New England with as many as 300 victories, only four have averaged more than Bierly's 19.9 victories per season.
Bierly has collected all of her victories at Eastern, having been hired for her first head coaching assignment in 1994 after serving as an assistant coach at Capital University on a national championship team. She becomes the second Eastern women's basketball coach to win 300 games, following former head coach Bob Miller, who won 332 games in 19 seasons before retiring in 1993.
Bierly's first, 100th, 200th and 300th victories have all come at Geissler Gymnasium. She needed 155 games to record her 100th victory on Dec. 28, 2000 against Ramapo College, only 124 additional tries to net No. 200 against Roger Williams University exactly four years later; and 142 more to post win No. 300 against Rhode Island College. Her first victory came in her first game against Amherst College on Nov. 19, 1994 in the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament.
"The players are the ones who win games, the coaches just kind of guide them along," said Bierly. "I think my relationship with my players has been very key to our success, because I think that they know that it's not just about basketball. I've always tried to make clear to my players that we're all in this together. I'm in this with them, and I hope that I've conveyed that message to them. If we win or we lose, it's not one person's win or loss. It's all of ours. And I think a combination of all of that has helped the program remain successful. For me," added Bierly, " it's just trying to continue a tradition that was set before I got here, and that has really been important to me. I think that we've represented what coach Miller did in his 19 years to the best of our ability."
Saturday, Eastern and Rhode Island combined to convert 40 of 50 free throws. Scott was 7-for-8 for RIC and Carter, sophomore post player Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) combined to shoot 16 of 18 from the stripe for Eastern.
Last year's conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Moriarty shadowed sophomore Stephanie Coro, Rhode Island's top threat, throughout most of the game. Cora was limited to 3-for-12 shooting from the floor and just three rebounds in 33 minutes and was forced into four turnovers.
In addition to her defense, Moriarty led the Warriors offensively with a season-high 18 points (8-for-12 FT) and also grabbed five rebounds. Chapman scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds and Carter pulled down a collegiate-high 12 rebounds, missing by one point a double-double for the second time this year. The Warriors dominated the boards, 42-27.
Scott led Rhode Island with a game-high 20 points and sophomore forward Rachel Riley had 16 points and ten rebounds and Coro ten points. Two other RIC starters, however, managed only one total field goal, four points and one rebound.
Eastern hosts Westfield State College Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hosting No. 3 nationally-ranked Amherst College Thursday at 7 p.m.
In stunning turn of events, men give ball away seven times over final 2:46
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Rhode Island
College outscored men's basketball 14-2 over the final three minutes, forcing the Warriors into seven turnovers in that span to post a stunning 89-87 triumph in the Little East Conference opener for both schools Saturday at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
At left: Nick Nedwick
In control of a ten-point lead with three minutes left, Eastern (5-1, 0-1 little east) couldn't contend with the pressure applied by Rhode Island College (4-3, 1-0 little east) over the final minutes. The defending conference regular-season champions forced the Warriors into seven turnovers over the final 2:46 by coming up with five steals, converting five of six free throws and sinking half of their field goal attempts.
Rhode Island, rebuilding after losing four starters from last year's NCAA tournament qualifier, led only once in the second half - when it counted -- when junior guard Antone Gray turned a steal and relay from sophomore forward Mason Choice into the go-ahead bucket, 88-87, with 64 seconds left. With 14 seconds left, Gray missed a three-point field goal after RIC had re-gained possession on Eastern's 15th turnover of the half, but Choice snared the offensive rebound and Gray followed by sinking one of two free throws seconds later.
Unable to find any operating room against RIC's suffocating pressure on their final possession of the game, the Warriors finally lofted a runner in the lane as time wound down, but the ball drew iron and bounced away as the final horn sounded. If it had dropped, Eastern would have been involved in its fourth overtime in six outings this year. The Warriors are 3-0 when the game has extended into an extra session.
Leading by six points at halftime, Eastern used a three-point barrage in the opening six minutes of the second half in storming to a 17-point, 68-51 lead. At one stretch in that run, all four of the team's field goals came from behind the arc. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) sandwiched a pair of threes around three-pointers from senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) and sophomore swingman Jamie Kohn (Columbia).
Rhode Island cured an early-season case of free throw blues by draining an uncharacteristic 25 of 28 tries from the stripe in the game after entering play with a mark just over 50 percent.
Gray hit his first 12 free throws before missing the first of his two freebies with 14 seconds left, and finished at 13-for-14 from the stripe.
In the second half, Rhode Island gave the ball up only four times, sank 17 of 20 free throws (outscoring Eastern by 12 in that department) and outmaneuvered Eastern in the paint to drop in half of its 18 two-point field goal tries.
The late collapse spoiled a balanced offensive and effective defensive effort by Eastern. Offensively, the Warriors converted more than half of their field goals (8-for-19 from three-point range) and outrebounded RIC by eight. Nedwick finished with a career-high 21 points and dished out seven assists before fouling out with 14.3 seconds left, while Kohn contributed his second double-double in four games with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds and also handed out seven assists. Sophomore post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) dominated the paint with 20 points (9-for-20 FG) and added six rebounds, while junior post player Bill Roveto (South Windsor) added 12 points (8-for-9 FT) and six rebounds. Roveto left the game with his third foul with Eastern leading by ten a minute into the second half and returned six minutes later with the Warriors in command of a 13-point lead.
Eastern's starters all played more than 30 minutes, with four reserves turning the ball over nine times in 34 minutes.
Gray and senior guard Jake Grimes engineered Rhode Island's second-half surge, combining for 33 of their team's 44 second-half points. Half of Gray's 18 second-half points came from the foul line, while Grimes totaled 15 points off the bench.
Eastern was foiled in its attempt to open the season with six straight wins for the first time since 1993. RIC has beaten Eastern ten of the last 11 times the teams have met.
Eastern visits Endicott College Tuesday at 7 p.m.
At Springfield Invitational, she qualifies for post-season competition
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Senior Erika Barber (Portland) won the pole vault for the seventh
time in her four-year career when women's track and field opened its indoor season at the Springfield College Invitational Saturday at the Springfield College Field House.
At left: Erika Barber
Barber out-jumped a field of 15 competitors with a mark of 10-0, qualifying for the New England Division III Championship in mid-February for the third straight season. The program indoor recordholder with a mark of 10-2, Barber barely missed setting a new standard with a near-miss at 10-6 Saturday.
Other top performances were turned in by junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), who ran to a second-place finish at 600 meters (1:49.82) in her first attempt ever in that event.
In her first collegiate meet, freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) placed third in the high jump, with her mark of 4-9 just four inches off the program record. Gingras was also fourth in the long jump (14-6 ½)
1. Springfield College 194.5; 2. WPI 130; 3. Westfield State College 88.5;
4. Rhode Island College 61; 5. EASTERN CONN. 60
Ricketts provisional NCAA qualifier in 55; Hunt breaks mile record
Ricketts LEC Athlete-of-Week.pdf
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) broke the men's indoor track and field program record at 55 meters and qualified provisionally for the NCAA national meet in the process, and senior Dave Hunt (New Milford) broke the program record in the mile at the Springfield College Invitational Saturday at the Springfield College Field House.
At left: Andrew Ricketts
Ricketts was clocked at 6.46 in eclipsing the previous program record of 6.53 set by Jose Rodriguez Dec. 2, 2006 and meeting the provisional NCAA time of 6.47. His previous personal best in the event had been 6.62, set in his first collegiate meet last Dec. 6 at Springfield.
Hunt was timed in 4:31.72 Saturday, breaking the mark of 4:37.72 set Feb. 16, 2008 by Nicholas Noheimer. In his only other attempt in the event, Hunt was timed in 4:37.98 last Jan. 31 at Wheaton College.
Both Hunt and Ricketts placed second in their respective events, Hunt by .12 in a photo-finish with Springfield's Zach Peitras, and Ricketts by .13 against Springfield's Steve Headley, last year's NCAA national champion who qualified automatically with a winning time of 6.33. Ricketts won his heat at 55 meters in a time of 6.58 before cutting .12 seconds off that time in the final.
Other top performances: first-year sophomore Casey McGarvey (Bozrah) at 1,000 meters and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) in the triple and long jump. McGarvey was second in a time of 2:38.68; Fitzpatrick was second in the triple jump (42-6 ¾) and fourth in the long jump (20-10 ½).
1. Springfield College 170.5; 2. WPI 130.50; 3. Westfield State College 126;
4. EASTERN CONN. 73; 5. Rhode Island College 53.
For second straight game, opponent can't contain backcourt trio
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The defense set season-bests in a number of categories, and for the
second straight game, men's basketball was sparked by the offense of its backcourt in a 65-51 non-conference victory over the University of New England Thursday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Above: The defense of Bill Roveto and the Warriors set the tone for Thursday's 14-point win over visiting University of New England. (Courtney Bedocs photo)
En route to its fifth straight win to open the season, Eastern held New England (2-5) 13 points below its season average. Against an aggressive Eastern defense, the Nor'easters managed only five three-point field goals on 32 attempts. The visitors were averaging over ten three-pointers per game entering play as it lost its fourth in a row. New England defeated Eastern by six points a year ago on the way to an NCAA tournament berth and final 24-5 record.
In the game, Eastern's defense established season team bests for opposing field goal percentage (26.2), three-point field goal percentage (15.6), least three-pointers, least rebounds (29) and least points.
The Warriors never trailed by more than a bucket and took the lead for good on a three-point field goal by junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) with 12 minutes left in the first half. Eastern took command for good at the outset of the second half. Leading by five at the break, the Warriors scored seven of the first eight points of the second half and held the visitors without a bucket through the first four minutes of the half in moving out to a 12-point lead The lead fell below ten points only once the rest of the game.The Warriors led by as many as 21 points with six minutes left n the game on a three-point field goal by senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford).
After combining for 61 of the team's 75 points in Sunday's overtime victory over Conn College, the backcourt trio of Simmons, Ortiz and sophomore Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) totaled 41 of 65 points against the Nor'easters.
Simmons came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 free throw shooting Simmons also contributed five rebounds and four assists. Scoreless on five first-half shots, Ortz scored 12 over the final 20 minutes and added four assists in the game. Nedwick added 11 points (5-for-11 from the floor) and four rebounds.
Sophomore Jamie Kohn (Columbia) helped Eastern to a 46-29 advantage on the boards with nine, junior Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) adding seven rebounds in 14 minutes. Sawyer picked up his third foul 64 seconds into the second half and did not return.
Eastern's top six players in the game shot 54.2 per cent from the floor, many coming on odd-man rushes to the basket ahead of the UNE defense.
Quentin Thompson led UNE with a game-high 23 points, 14 points above his average. Thompson, who scored nearly half of his team's points, was 8-for-13 from the floor and also shared game-high rebounding honors with nine. Top scorer Anthony Johnson (14.0 ppg.) did not see time, and second-leading scorer Victor Oruonyehu (10.5 ppg.) was held scoreless in 23 minutes. The Nor'easters were held 17 points below their season average.
Looking for its first 6-0 start since 1993, Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Saturday at 3 p.m. in its Little East Conference opener. RIC won last year's LEC regular-season title.
Fantl selected as New England Offensive Player-of-the-Year
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's two Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year recipients in men's and women's soccer have been honored by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) with season-ending awards.
At right: Maxim Fantl
Senior forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) headlined the ECAC New England Division III All-Star Team as its men's Offensive Player-of-the-Year and as a first-team all-star, while senior midfielder Sarah Swann (Oxford) was named as a first-team all-star to the women's ECAC New England Division III All-Star Team. Each was earlier named as their respective Little East Conference's men's and women's Offensive Player-of-the-Year.
It marks the first time that an Eastern soccer player has been selected for ECAC all-star honors.
Both Eastern soccer teams qualified for the NCAA tournament by winning their respective conference tournaments by 1-0 scores as the No. 2 seeds. The men downed fourth-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth at Mansfield and the women avenged a regular-season loss to top-seeded Keene State College in the title tilt at Keene, NH..
A total of 22 players -- 11 to the first team and 11 to the second team -- were voted to the ECAC men's and women's all-star teams. Each team was comprised of four forwards, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalkeeper. Swann was the only Little East Conference player to be named to the women's first team, while Fantl was one of only two conference players named to the men's first team.
Swann led the conference in game-winning goals (6) and was third in points (33) and goals (14), and 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. 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
At left: Sarah Swann
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. She ranks in a tie for third all-time with 32 goals and 11 game-winning goals, and fifth all-time with 79 points.
The Eastern women finished with a 12-6-3 record and qualified for their 11th post-season tournament. They captured the conference tournament for the third time in seven years and won double-digit games for the ninth straight time in ten years under head coach Chris D'Ambrosio.
Fantl repeated as the conference's Offensive Player-of-the-Year this 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.
Fantl led the Warriors in goals and points for the fourth time in his career, repeated as the Little East Conference goals champion and was second this year in the conference in points after topping that category as a junior. He set a personal season mark this year with 17 goals and matched his personal season best from a year ago with 40 points. He concluded his career ranked third all-time in program history in scoring (49-20-118).
Eastern qualified for post-season play for the third time in three years under third-year head coach Greg DeVito. The Warriors equaled the 40-year-old season record for victories with a 16-5-1 overall mark.
As program's only coach, Maureen Fahey reaches 100-victory plateau
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Five different swimmers captured one event to help lift the Warriors to a 107-90 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday evening at the Sports Center pool.
Above: Team members applaud head coach Maureen Fahey following her 100th career dual-meet coaching victory Wednesday.
The win dual meet win is the 100th in the 14-year coaching career of Eastern head coach Maureen Fahey, the only head coach in program history. Fahey, who has led the Warriors to ten consecutive winning seasons, has lost 65 and tied two for a winning percentage of .605.
Against UMass Dartmouth (1-4), Eastern (3-1) swimmers swam two of the three fastest times in all 11 races, including the two fastest times in the 50 yard freestyle and two fastest times of the 100 yard breaststroke. The dual meet win is the third straight for Eastern, which also shared the title of the Saint Joseph College (CT) Pentathlon in its season-opener.
Senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) won the 50 yard freestyle and swam the fourth leg of the winning meet-opening 200 yard medley relay. On an exhibition basis, she also posted the fastest time in the 100 yard breaststroke, where her time of 1:13.04 was just a quarter-second off her program record.
Junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) claimed the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 1:06.09 which was just less than a second shy of the program record set four years ago and also swam the lead on the winning 200 yard medley relay.
Additional first-place performances were turned in by senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven), junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock). Doheny outswam the field in the 100 yard freestyle, Arisco won the 200 yard individual medley and Menard the 100 yard butterfly and swam the third leg of the victorious 200 yard medley relay.. Doheny also placed second in the 200 yard freestyle, while Arisco was third in the 100 yard butterfly, Menard third in the 500 yard freestyle and Curran third in the 200 yard freestyle.
Providing valuable additional points in the freestyle events were junior Maria Altieri (Hamden) and freshman Caroline Boutwell (Mendon, VT). Altieri was second in 500 and third in the 1,000 and Boutwell was second in the 50 and third in the 100. Freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) swam the second leg of the winning 200 yard medley relay, took third in the 200 yard individual medley and had the second-fastest time in the 100 yard breaststroke while swimming that event on an exhibition basis.
For the Corsairs, sophomore Kimberly Moore led all swimmers in both distance freestyle events and freshman Morgan Cooper won the 200 yard freestyle.
Eastern competes at the Little East Conference Championship Saturday at 11 a.m. at UMass Dartmouth.