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EASTERN'S PETRIZZO BREAKS TWO RECORDS AT NE W-INDOOR TRACK

She breaks her own 400 meter mark and eight-year-old 200 record 

petrizzo1205PC050183.jpgBOSTON -- Eastern Connecticut State University All-New England sprinter Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) broke women's school records in the 200 and 400 meter dash Friday at the New England Open Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Track and Tennis Center at Boston University.

Petrizzo broke her own program record at 400 meters with a time of 59.57 and broke an eight-year-old record at 200 meters with a time of 26.39. At 400 meters, Petrizzo broke 60 seconds for the first time since setting her previous program record of 59.70 at the New England Open as a freshman in 2008. Petrizzo established a personal best at 200 meters for the third consecutive time. She ran a 27.07 at the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championship Feb. 13 and a 27.02 at last Saturday's New England Division III Championship.

Friday, Petrizzo finished 15th at 400 meters and 19th at 200 meters in fields of 27 runners. Among Division III runners, Petrizzo was third in the 200 and sixth in the 400.

As a freshman in 2008, Petrizzo was also a member of the program's current record-setting 4x200 and 4x400 relays.

 

EASTERN BASKETBALL ELIMINATED IN LITTLE EAST SEMIFINAL ROUND

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010

Perennial champ USM edges women, 48-46; Western routs men, 81-67

The Eastern Connecticut State University basketball teams will not contest for a 2010 Little LEClogo-1WEB.jpgEast Conference championship, as both Eastern teams were eliminated in Friday night's semifinal rounds of their respective tournaments.

At Feldman Arena in Danbury, second-seeded Eastern (17-9) and third-seeded University of Southern Maine (20-7) women's teams battled into the final minutes for the umpteenth time, with the Huskies surviving this time, 48-46, to advance to the championship game for the 23rd time in 24 years.

At the Murray Center on the Rhode Island  College campus, second-seeded Western Connecticut State University (19-6) led from start to finish, taking a 22-point halftime lead and breezing to an 81-67 victory over third-seeded Eastern (18-9) in men's competition.Eastern was making its first appearance in the semifinals in ten years.

Southern Maine to face Western in women's final

Southern Maine, which posted its 20th straight 20-win season with the triumph, faces No. 1 seed and host Western Connecticut State University Saturday at 4 p.m. with a automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament on the line. USM is chasing its 20th conference tournament title, having beaten Western  all four times the teams have met in the final. The Colonials have won one championship, that coming 16 years ago over visiting Plymouth State University.  Southern Maine and Western will be meeting in the final for the first time in Danbury. Western eliminated fourth-seeded Keene State College, 63-56, earlier Friday.

Friday, Southern Maine defeated Eastern for the second time in three games this year -- with the three games decided by a total of five points - but the verdict was not secure until the final shot of the game. There were eight ties and 12 lead changes before Southern Maine took the lead for good when it broke a 44-44 tie when freshman forward Curran Leighton scored in the paint with 2:12 left, and junior guard Kaylie DeMillo sank two free throws with 1:37 left after an Eastern turnover. DeMillo had taken just one free throw to that point in the game.

After junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) scored on a baseline drive to the basket on a pass from junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) with 40 seconds left that  cut the USM lead to two, Eastern's tight defense forced a shot clock violation with eight seconds left that gave the Warriors a chance of at least forcing overtime. Eastern called timeout at half court with 5.2 seconds left, then got the ball inside the foul line, but the shot was off target as time expired.

Leighton, the top candidate as the conference Rookie-of-the-Year, was held in check in the first half and was forced into six turnovers, but used a strong second half to finish with a double-double (15 points and 13 rebounds). She was the only Southern Maine player in double figures.

Eastern overcame a ten-point deficit with an 18-2 run that netted it a six-point lead late in the first half, but freshmen forwards Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) both picked up their fourth personal fouls in the second half, when the Warriors shot 21.4 percent from the floor. Eastern's final shooting percentage of 25.0 was its second-lowest of the season.

Pierlioni led Eastern with 14 points - 11 in the second half -- and nine rebounds and junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had a season-high 11 rebounds and added five assists and four steals. Whiteley finished with ten points

Western in men's final for seventh time

Eastern accomplished a number of firsts this season in conference play, but one of them was not the ability to defeat second-seeded Western, which completed a three-game sweep of the Warriors to advance to the tournament title game Saturday at 5 p.m. against top seed and host Rhode Island College. In a re-match of the last two championship games, the Anchormen eliminated fourth-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth, 74-72, earlier Friday. Western is 5-1 in championship games but will be meeting Rhode Island for the first time in the title tilt. Rhode Island is making its fourth straight championship game appearance, looking for its third title.

A winner of nine of its last 11, Western burst to a 17-2 lead in the game's opening minutes and Eastern was never able to dig out. The Colonials pushed the advantage to 33 eight minutes into the second half, finishing with a 59.1 shooting percentage after the break.

Eastern's starters managed a total of only 23 points, but sophomore forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) came off the bench for the second tournament game to provide quality minutes. Levy scored a career-high 19 points (he was the only Eastern player in double figures) and grabbed five rebounds in 19 minutes. In two tournament games, Levy had 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the floor and 9-of-11 free throw shooting, nine rebounds and six steals in 37 minutes.

Top post players Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and Jeremy Thompson (Norwalk) of Eastern combined for only 13 minutes of play due to knee injuries suffered in a first-round win over Keene State College Tuesday.

EASTERN BASKETBALL PREPARING FOR FRIDAY NIGHT'S LIGHTS

Both teams to compete in Little East Conference tournament semifinals

Tournament Central

It will be a case of something new and something old when the Eastern Connecticut State LEClogo-1WEB.jpgUniversity basketball teams compete  in their respective Little East Conference tournament semifinals Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Making their 21st semifinal appearance in the 24-year history of the tournament, the second-seeded Eastern (17-8) women battle familiar tournament foe and third-seeded University of Southern Maine (19-7) at Feldman Arena on the campus of regular-season champion and top-seeded Western Connecticut State University.

Making their first semifinal showing in ten years, the third-seeded Eastern men (18-8) face second-seeded Western Connecticut State University (18-6) at the Murray Center on the campus of regular-season champion and top-seeded Rhode Island College.

Both tournament championship games - which determine the conference's automatic representative to the NCAA tournament - are scheduled for Saturday at the site of the semifinals. The women's final is set for 4 p.m., the men for 5 p.m. Both the tournament semifinals and final can be seen live on Littleeast.tv.

The conference tournament championship games have not featured the Eastern women and men in the same season in 17 years - since both clubs lost in their respective tournament title games in 1993.

Eastern and Southern Maine familiar women's tournament foes

carter72dpi_2364.jpgOnly rarely has the conference tournament not included an Eastern-Southern Maine matchup somewhere along the line. And this year is no exception. The teams have meet in the title game in 19 of 23 season and last met in the semis in 2007, when the host Huskies posted a 77-61 victory on the way to their 18th of what is now 19 conference tournament titles.  Eastern has defeated Southern Maine three times in 19 tournament meetings, each of which have come in the tournament championship game.

In the other Friday semifinal, Western faces fourth-seeded Keene State College at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors split regular-season games with Southern Maine, Western, and Keene this year on the way to a 10-4 regular-season conference record.

Contributions from freshman starters Tanisha Carter (above) and Lauren Kelleher (below) have put the Warriors into position for a Little East Conference championship this weekend.

Despite re-vamping this year's lineup with four new starters, the Warriors barley missed a beat this season, winning 12 of their first 15 games and finishing just one game in the final standings behind Western,which won its first conference regular-season title in ten years. Looking for its second LEC tournament title in three years, Eastern brings a 5-5 record in its last ten into tournament play. Sharing first place in the conference heading into the final weekend, Eastern dropped a 58-57 decision Saturday at Southern Maine, which brings a season-best six-game winning streak into play Friday after eliminating sixth-seeded UMass Dartmouth, 64-54, in a first-round game Tuesday.

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"We've progressed quite a bit since the beginning of the season," observed junior co-captain Brittany Whitely (Windsor Locks) in a recent interview with Eastern webcast play-by-play announcer Matt Fontaine. "We have a lot of young players, but they have contributed some crucial minutes this year," said Whiteley of freshmen post players Tanisha Carter (East Hartford), and Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) and guards Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) and Samantha Riccio (Avon). When they come in (to the game)," added Whiteley, "they've done what we need them to do. Tanisha has really come into her own, and Lauren  has been a key player for us. Lauren came into the season thinking she was going to sitting on the bench, but that changed halfway through the season. She's a great finisher - she's really good around the basket."

This year's two regular-season games with Southern Maine have been virtual dead heats, with one point, two turnovers and three rebounds separating the clubs. In those games, Southern Maine had marginal advantages in field goal and free throw percentage, although Eastern had twice as many three-point field goals and shot .102 better from beyond the arc.In those two games, Whiteley , Carter, and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) have led a balanced Eastern attack by averaging double-figure points. Whiteley and Carter averaged 12.0 points and Pierlioni 11.0, with the 6-foot-1 inch Kelleher averaging 9.0.

Like Eastern, Southern Maine enjoyed balanced offense against the Warriors this season, led by freshman forward Curran Leighton, the odds-on favorite as the LEC Rookie-of-the-Year. Leighton averaged a team-leading 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds against Eastern and shot .458 from the floor and a team-leading .875 from the foul line.Senior forward Haley Johnson and junior guard Kaylie DeMillo (last year's LEC tournament MVP) averaged 12.0 and 11.0 points against Eastern, with Johnson shooting .625 from the floor. Junior guard Nicole Paradis did not play in Eastern's two-point win over Southern Maine five weeks ago in Willimantic and was held to give points and two assists in her team's win over Eastern this past Saturday.

Leighton leads the LEC in scoring and Johnson and Leighton rank 3-4 in rebounding, while sophomore guard Renee Nicholas is the conference leader in steals and DeMillo is second in three-point field goals. Johnson is also rated second in field goal percentage but is followed closely in the LEC rankings in that department by Eastern freshmen Kelleher and Carter. Eastern junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) leads the LEC in minutes and rates fourth in assists and last year's conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year is fifth in steals.

"This will be our third time playing Southern Maine, so they won't be throwing anything new at us, but (Curran) Leighton is very good and gives Southern Maine a real post presence," added Whiteley, who noted that "when you get to tournament play, it's totally different (from the regular season)."

Last year's top tournament seed, Eastern had a program-record 16-game winning streak stopped in a five-point loss to third-seeded Southern Maine in the championship game at Geissler Gym, but received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. In the last 14 years, Eastern is the only team other than USM to win the conference tournament title, the Warriors denying the Huskies in 1996 and 2008. Western has won one title (1994)  while Keene is  searching for its first.

Men's basketball navigating unchartered waters

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No one associated with the men's program had been part of a conference tournament win until this past Tuesday, when the Warriors steamrolled sixth-seeded Keene State College, 99-75, at Geissler Gym. That victory ended a string of first round losses each of the previous nine seasons and vaulted the Warriors into the semifinals for the first time since 2000, when they won three tournament games on the way to their second of two LEC tournament titles.

Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (at right) has been a team catalyst all season long. (Cris Yarborough photo)

Eastern and Western shared second place in the LEC final standings with defending conference tournament champion UMass Dartmouth,  but the Colonials gained the No. 2 seed and drew a first-round bye by virtue of sweeping both Eastern and UMass Dartmouth. Since joining the LEC in 1993/94, Western has lofted five conference tournament titles in the last 14 years - most of any conference team.

Eastern and Western are meeting for the fourth time in LEC tournament play (the Colonials winning two of the previous three), but for only the second time since 1997.

Eastern is the conference's surprise team. Picked for fifth in the coaches' pre-season poll, Eastern won a program-record nine of 14 regular-season conference games en route to its most overall wins in 17 seasons. This year, Eastern swept four conference opponents, split with one and was swept by conference champion Rhode Island (by a total of three points) and by Western. Eastern lost at Western  by five Jan. 26, and with a chance to nail down the No. 2 tournament seed, dropped a seven point decision to the Colonials eight days ago at Geissler Gym.

Friday's first semifinal between defending tourney champion and fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth and regular-season champion and top-seeded Rhode Island College promises to be a shootout between last year's tournament finalists. Rhode Island is the conference's hottest team and will be gunning for its third playoff title in four years.

The Warriors have enjoyed winning streaks of five twice this year and has captured five of its last six heading into Friday's semifinals. The team has lost as many as two in a row only once this year, that coming during a four-game skid that was decided by a total of 11 points.

Eliminated in last year's conference semifinals by UMass Dartmouth, Western won nine of its opening ten games this year and has captured eight of its last ten.

According to head coach Bill Geitner, a productive group of bench players (below) have played a key role in this year's bid for a Little East Conference championship. (Cris Yarborough photo)

bench 72dpi_4963.jpgThe Eastern-Western showdown features the conference's third-ranked offense (Western) against the third-ranked defense and the fifth-ranked offense (Eastern) against the fifth-rated defense. In this year's two-game series, Western has held a significant advantage in field goal and three-point field goal shooting but the Warriors fared better in free-throw shooting and rebounding. A bugaboo last year, free-throw shooting is one of Eastern's claims to fame this year. Ranked last in that department last year, the Warriors are third this season with a mark of .692. The Warriors had twice as many offensive rebounds as Western and used that advantage to outscore their in-state rivals by better than 2-to-1 on second-chance opportunities.

"Western shot the ball very well against us in both games this year," pointed out eighth-year Eastern head coach Bill Geitner. "We have to do a better job defending them (Friday), and I think that we can do that." And although Eastern averaged two less turnovers than its season average in each game against Western, Geitner notes that the athletically-gifted Colonials made the most of those give-aways. "Their athleticism creates problems not only for us, but for everyone they play, and we have to do a better job of countering that pressure and making the appropriate reads against that pressure. Western's defense has forced us into some turnovers which have led to them getting uncontested baskets. They are a very good, active defensive team that has put us back on our heels, offensively, and we haven't reacted very well to their pressure in the quarter-court, which has created turnovers, which has led to breakouts and to layups and open jump shots for very, very good players", admits the head coach. "And if you are going to give them uncontested shots, then they are going to make you pay."

In the first loss to Western, Eastern made things interesting in the final minutes after recovering from a 16-point deficit nine minutes into the second half. In the second loss, Jarrett provided late offense to lead the Colonials.Those games featured a total of five ties and 14 lead changes.

Although the task of knocking off Western will be a significant challenge, Geitner has enjoyed this year's successful ride, and feels that the Warriors can ride their wave of momentum into Saturday night's championship game.

"From Day 1, the players have bought into the fact that we're not going to have one superstar. We're going to have a collection of individuals who, when they play as a group, the whole becomes better than the parts," says Geitner. "On top of that, we've had great chemistry from (players) 1-through-15. I think that guys who have not necessarily gotten the points or gotten the rebounds have been invaluable for us. Our role players have been unbelievable all season long. They've really set the tone in practice and have forced our starters to compete every day, play hard, and get better, because if they (the starters) didn't, they'd be exposed. I think that this is the biggest difference in (this year's) group."

In the season series against Western, sophomore guards Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) of Eastern and DaQuan Brooks of Western both averaged 20.5 points, although Nedwick's shooting percentage of .556 (thanks to countless drives to the basket) bested Brooks's marksmanship. Eastern senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) averaged 16.0 points and collected eight of the team's ten three-point field goals. Sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) averaged 8.5 points against Western and playing in one of the two games, sophomore forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) had eight rebounds. Nedwick was 11-for-14 from the free-throw line and sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) 7-for-10. Junior swingman Will Jarrett and sophomore center Leroy Mayers combined to average 11.5 rebounds for the Colonials against Eastern.

Brooks is second in the LEC in scoring and assists and Mayers is first in field goal percentage. Kohn tops all conference players in rebounding, Nedwick is second in steals, Ortiz second with a program-record 71 three-point field goals and junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) shares second in blocks.

"Brooks is very, very good, an unbelievable talent for this level," says Geitner. "But there are other guys who have stepped up (for Western) and are having very, very good years. It's much more than just containing Brooks, because they have depth and they have quality depth."

Beyond a starting lineup which also includes junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) - a leading rebounder and defensive stalwart -- Eastern will need continued off-the-bench production from sophomores Thompson and Hamilton Levy and freshmen Mike Garrow (Terryville), Joe Ives (Avon) and Chris Robitaille (Canton), all of whom responded with valuable contributions in the first-round landmark win over Keene State.

 

 

 

 

 

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL WINS FIRST LEC TOURNEY GAME IN TEN YEARS

Warriors complete three-game sweep of Keene, move into Friday's semis

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 At left: Coach Bill Geitner

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 WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sophomore forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) and freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) came off the bench to spark a 61-point second half as third-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University won a Little East Conference tournament game for the first time in ten years, 99-75, over  sixth-seeded Keene State College Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right Hamilton Levy

A winner of five of six since a four-game losing streak, Eastern (18-8) faces No. 2 seed Western Connecticut State University (18-6) Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the second of two semifinal games at Rhode Island College. Top-seeded host Rhode Island (18-7) faces No. 4 Massachusetts Dartmouth (18-8) in the first semifinal game at 5:30. Rhode Island and Western drew first-round byes while host UMass Dartmouth erased an early deficit to eliminate No. 5 Plymouth State University, 77-67, Tuesday.

Saturday's final at Rhode Island is scheduled for 5 p.m., with the winner being awarded an NCAA Division III tournament berth.

Eastern frittered away a nine-point first-half lead but jumped from a halftime tie by getting points from five different players in an early 10-2 lead that shot the Warriors into an eight-point, 48-40 lead less than four minutes into the frame. With Eastern leading by nine seven minutes into the second half, Levy and Garrow combined for the game's next ten points to boost the lead to 19, 69-50 with ten minutes left. The lead never dipped below 17 the rest of the way.

In that 10-0 run, Levy had six points (4-of-5 from the foul line) and Garrow added four points on a jumper and inside bucket. The Warriors shot 60.6 percent from the floor in the second half in totaling 61 points. The second-half and game scoring totals represented season-high for Eastern.

In 33 minutes off the bench, Levy and Garrow combined for 26 points (8-of-14 from the floor, 8-of-9 from the foul line) and eight rebounds with only one turnover between them. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) led five double-figure scorers with a team-high 18 points and five steals, with junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) adding 15, Levy a season-high 14 points (one shy of his career best) and four steals, sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds (one more than his conference-leading average) and Garrow 12 points. Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford), the team's season scoring leader, missed nine of 11 shots but handed out a season-high seven assists. Ortiz's three-point field goal on the Warriors' first possession of the second half gave Eastern the lead for good and ignited the 10-2 run which changed the momentum for good. The three-pointer was Ortiz' second of the game and 71st of the season - breaking his program season record of 70 established as a freshman.

Behind Levy and Garrow, Eastern's bench outscored Keene's (13-13) second unit by 23 points.

Conference scoring leader Derek D'Amours of Keene State led all players with 20 points, four shy of his season average. D'Amours scored four of his eight first-half points from the foul line. The sophomore forward managed only two points through the game's first 14 minutes. Sophomore guard Cody Snow scored 13 of his game total of 15 points in the first half. Freshman forward Nicco DeMasco had the only double-double of the game with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

In 2000, Eastern also defeated Keene State three times in a season, sweeping the regular-season series, then hitting a buzzer-beater for an 80-79 conference tournament win at Geissler Gym on the way to its most recent conference tournament title. That was the last conference tournament win for Eastern until Tuesday.

Keene, which features 15 freshmen and sophomores on its 17-player roster, lost for the fifth time in its last six outings. Its win in that stretch came by a 100-95 score at Western Connecticut.

Eastern's win total is its highest since 1992/93, when it won 21 games, reached the championship game of the conference tournament and earned the second of its three NCAA tournament bids. Eastern was swept this year by Western Connecticut, losing 76-69 most recently six days ago at Geissler Gymnasium.


 

EASTERN W-SWIMMING SHINES AT NEISDA CHAMPIONSHIP MEET

Warriors break 15 program records 24 times, earn 35 All-NE accolades

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg swimNEs72dpiDSC02145.jpgHARTFORD, Vt. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimming team broke 15 program records a total of 24 times and eight swimmers accumulated All-New England honors 35 times when the Warriors finished third among 22 teams over the weekend at the 31st Annual New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.

In its most impressive team performance in its 14 years in the championship, Eastern obliterated its former high total with 709 points en route to its program-best third-place finish. Its previous high point total of 468 ½ was set last year during a seventh-place finish  when eight records were broken. The team's previous highest finish was sixth in 2008

.Keene State College won its third straight title with 709 points, with Division II Bentley University - which won six straight titles before Keene's current reign - managed 93 more than Eastern, finishing with 802. The Falcons were able to hold off the Warriors for second place thanks to a diving team which collected 99 of their points in two competitions. Eastern does not offer diving.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At Below: Senior Jessica Wilson (left) and junior Amy Arisco wilson arisco 72_4269.jpgcombined for 125 points in individual events and each swam on four relays which added 168 more points to the team's third-place total

 Junior Amy Arisco (Walliingford) broke her own records in placing second in both the 100 and 200 yard individual medley and she also broke the seven-year-old program record in the 50 butterfly (finishing third); junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) broke her own records in the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke en route to sixth-place finishes in all three; senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) broke her own records in the 50 and 100 breastroke in taking third and fourth place, respectively, and also broke freshman teammate Stephanie O'Kelly's (Westport) program record in finishing fifth in the 200 breaststroke; and senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) broke her program record in the 100 freestyle in a fourth-place finish.

Eastern also broke all five of its program relay records. Arisco, Doheny, and Wilson swam on four of the five relays, Menard and O'Kelly on three and Curran on two.

faheygolas_72dpi_1981.jpgFor the second time in six years, Eastern head coach Maureen Fahey was selected as NEISDA Women's Swimming Coach-of-the-Year for the team's impressive performance in the meet. Fahey is the only coach in the 14-year history of the program and recorded her 100th coaching victory earlier this year. She is assisted this season by sixth-year coach Amy Golas and fifth-year assistant Bill Hassell. Golas was the 2003 recipient of NEISDA's Kay Fromer Award, which is awarded to a senior who has accumulated the most career points in the NEISDA Championships.

Above: Head Coach Maureen Fahey (right) and assistant Amy Golas.

The top six finishers in each individual event and top three relays are accorded All-New England honors.

Wilson and Arisco each earned All-New England recognition in three individual events and on four relays; Doheny in three individual events and three relays; Curran in three individual events and one relay, O'Kelly in two individual events and two relays, junior Maria Altieri (Hamden) in two individual events and senior Sarah Dombrowski (Southington) in one individual event. Four of the five relays gained All-New England recognition with third-place finishes, with the 400 medley relay missing out by one place.

In all, Eastern amassed 501 points in individual events and 208 points in five relays. In individual events, 11 individuals contributed: Arisco totaled a team-leading 65, with Wilson 60, Doheny 59, Curran and O'Kelly 54, Altieri and Menard 48 each, Dombrowski 47, senior Maureen Cop (Southington) 30, sophomores Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) 25 and Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield) 11.

Keene State College won its third straight title with 709 points, with Division II Bentley University - which won six straight titles before Keene's current reign - managed 93 more than Eastern, finishing with 802. The Falcons collected 99 of their points in two diving competitions. Eastern does not offer diving.

The meet was the final one in the careers of Eastern's five seniors: Cop, Doheny, Dombrowski, Carol Ann Smith (Newtown) and Wilson.

The meet was the final one in the careers of Eastern's five seniors: Maureen Cop (Southington), Doheny, Dombrowski, Carol Ann Smith (Newtown) and Wilson.

 

NEW ENGLAND INTERCOLLEGIATE
SWIMMING AND DIVING ASSOCIATION
DIVISION II-III WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS

TEAM SCORES

1. Keene State College 924; 2. Bentley U. 802; 3. EASTERN CONN. 709; 4. Roger Williams U. 570.5; 5. Westfield State College 353; 6. Assumption College 344; 6. Saint Michael's College 344; 8. Simmons College 339; 9. Plymouth State u. 325; 10. U. of New England 322; 10. Western Conn. 322; 12. Massachusetts Dartmouth 280; 13. Elms College 206; 14. Regis College 116; 15. Saint Joseph College (CT) 114; 16. Colby-Sawyer College 95.5; 17. Bridgewater State College 84; 18. Western New England College 84; 19. Norwich U. 68; 20. Saint Joseph's College (ME) 43; 21. Husson U. 42; 22. Gordon College 35.



 

LEC W-SOCCER CHAMPS HONORED

alllecropped72dpi_3203.jpgThe 2009 Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team staged its year-ending team banquet Sunday afternoon at the Betty Tipton Room on the Eastern campus.

At the banquet, the team's regional and conference award-winners were cited.In photo at left are the team's Little East Conference season-ending all-conference awardwinners. Standing, from left: Lauren Hickey, Christine Lemieux, Daniela Marchitto and Sarah Swann. Kneeling in front: Taylor MacDonald and Kim Church. In back is head coach Chris D'Ambrosio. Swann was additonally honored as the conference's Offensive Player-of-the-Year, Hickey the Defensive Player-of-the-Year and Marchitto the Rookie-of-the-Year.

alllecacademic72dpi_3211.jpgIn photo at left, are the team's eight qualifiers  to the Little East Conference Fall All-Academic Team. Standing from left: Lauren Greeney, Lauren Hickey, Sam Konopka, Jo-Ann Merheb, and Sarah Swann. Kneeling in front: Kim Church, Stephanie Norell and Katelyn Vaughan. Church and Swann were members of the all-academic team in each of their three years of eligiblity and Hickey and Norell have qualified in both of their season of eligibility.

Eastern qualified for its fourth NCAA tournament last fall by defeating top-seeded and host Keene State College in the conference championship game and finished the season with a record of 12-6-3.

EASTERN SWIMMING STRENGTHENS HOLD ON THIRD AT CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2010


Seven more records fall, 14 more earn All-NE honors at NEISDA Meet

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HARTFORD, Vt. --  Seven more program records fell and  seven individuals earned All-New England honors 14 more times Saturday as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimming team strengthened its hold on third place after the second day of the 31st Annual New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.

At left: Jessica Wilson contributed to four program records Saturday.

With seven events remaining Sunday, Eastern is has already set a team record for points in the championship and is virtually assured of its highest finish in 14 years of championship competition. After scoring 226 points Friday, Eastern tacked on 261 more Saturday for a two-day total of 487 - 20 points more than last year's entire three-day total. The Warriors strengthened their hold on third place, putting 66 more points between themselves and fourth-place Roger Williams University (377). The team's highest finish was sixth, two years ago. The Warriors were seventh last year.

After two days, two-time defending meet champion Keene State College leads second-place Bentley College by 62 points, having totaled 652 points. Division II Bentley, which had won six straight championships prior to 2008, has 590 points.  

The top three relays and top six individuals in each event are accorded All-New England recognition.

In the first two days of the championship, Eastern has broken 16 program records and seven different swimmers have been accorded All-New England laurels a total of 23 times.

Saturday, 12 Eastern swimmers contributed to the team's scoring, 14 earned All-New England recognition and 16 contributed to the establishment of seven program records. The 200 yard medley relay broke the program record in the preliminaries (1;54.30) and again in the final (1:54.27) and the 800 freestyle relay broke the program record in the final (8:14.20), each relay totaling 42 points and gaining All-New England recognition with third-place finishes; junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) broke the seven-year-old program record in the 50  butterfly finals (26.84) in a third-place finish.

In addition to the 200 medley relay, three additional records fell in Saturday morning's preliminaries: senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) broke her own program record in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.92), a record that was also broken by freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) in the same race (1:11.22), and junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) broke her own record in the 50 backstroke (29.35) while swimming the opening leg of the record-setting 200 medley relay.

Joining Arisco as Top 10 finishers in individual events in Saturday's finals were Wilson, Curran, seniors Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) and Sarah Dombrowski (Southington) and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock). Doheny was third in the 200 freestyle, Wilson fourth in the 100 breaststroke, Dombrowski seventh in the 400 individual medley and eighth in the 100 breaststroke, and Menard  ninth in the 400 IM. Three additional swimmers advanced through Saturday morning's preliminaries to qualify for Saturday's finals: senior Maureen Cop (Southington) placed 11th in the 100 breaststroke, sophomore Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) 12th in the 400 IM and sophomore Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield) 18th in the 100 backstroke.

Sunday's schedule includes competition in the 1,650 freestyle, 50 backstoke, 100 freestyle and individual medley, 200 breaststroke and butterfly, and 400 freestyle relay.

 

 

EASTERN RELAYS BREAK RECORDS, EARN ALL-NEW ENGLAND STATUS

For men, Marston also gains All-NE honors by taking 8th at 400 meters

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marston_head_729787.jpg atterbury_head_72dpi9758.jpgTwo Eastern Connecticut State University relay teams and one individual ran to All-New England honors at the New England Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday.

Above: Marston (left), Atterbury

The men's 4x400 meter relay team and the women's 4x200 relay both earned All-New England honors with respective fifth place finishes, the men's 4x800 and women's distance medley relay teams broke their respective program records, and freshman Prince-Michael Marston (Kingston, Jamaica) gained All-New England status with an eighth-place finish in the men's 400 meter dash, as well as as a member of the relay.

At the Walter Sloven Track on the Bates College campus, then men totaled five points to place in a tie for 18th place among 22 teams which scored at least one point. At the Costello Athletic Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus, the Eastern women scored four points to share 21st place among 26 schools which accumulated at least one point.

Competing in his first post-season meet, Marston won his heat of the 400 to reach the final, where he was timed in 51.41 to earn eighth place in an original field of 24. The 4x400 meter relay which also gained All-New England status was time in 3:28.28. Competitors were sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven), freshman Tim Callahan (Portland), junior Mike D'Elia Windham) and Marston.

The men's 4x800 meter relay was clocked in a school-record 8:19.91, placing 15th overall and breaking the previous mark of 8:20.01 set seven years ago. Relay members included one senior and three newcomers: freshmen Colin Whiston (Brooklyn) and Nick Miller (Norwich), senior Dave Hunt (New Milford) and first-year sophomore Casey McGarvey (Bozrah).

The women's 4x200 relay was timed in 1:50.03 in a field of 17, qualifying for next month's ECAC Division III Championships in addition to earning All-New England distinction and falling just .20 shy of the program record.  Members of that relay were juniors Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) and Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe), and senior Monica Mills (East Hartford). 

Members of the women's record-setting DMR which placed tenth overall included senior Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire), juniors Ashlee James (Franklin) and Becky Knapp (Naugatuck) and first-year sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull).  The relay clocked a 13:12.74, more than seven seconds faster than the previous record which was established three years ago.

Additional individuals who qualified and competed in the men's meet were junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica), sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY), and freshmen Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) and Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacons Falls); additional women's qualifiers who competed were senior Erika Barber (Portland), sophomore Sarah Joy (Stratford), and freshmen Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) and Cora Gingras (East Hampton).

Ricketts, Lowe and Edwardsen have all qualified for next weekend's New England Open Championships at Boston University. Ricketts and Lowe are eligible in the 55 and Edwardsen in the 55 hurdles

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL ROUTS SOUTHERN MAINE, EARNS NO. 3 SEED

After winning most LEC regular-season games, Warriors first-round host

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geitner slide_1036.jpgGORHAM, Maine - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team completed its winningest Little East Conference regular season ever by scoring the first 11 points of the game and cruising to an 85-62 victory over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Warren Hill Gymnasium.

At left: Eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner has directed the Warriors to their winningest regular season in the 24-year history of the Little East Conference.

Eastern (17-8, 9-5 little east) entered play in a four-way tie for second place in the conference. Eastern, Western Connecticut State University and Massachusetts Dartmouth all finish with a share of second place in the final conference standings. Western earned the important No. 2 seed by sweeping both Eastern and UMass Dartmouth during the regular season, and Eastern's two regular-season victories over the Corsairs made it the No. 3 seed.

In Tuesday's first-round games at 7 p.m., Eastern will host No. 6 Keene State College (14-11, 7-7 little east) and No. 4 UMass Dartmouth will entertain No. 5 Plymouth State College.

Regular-season champion Rhode Island College will host the semifinals and final Friday and Saturday. The Eastern-Keene winner meets Western Connecticut Friday at 7:30 p.m. after Rhode Island faces the UMass Dartmouth-Plymouth State victor at 5:30 p.m. The tournament final is scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m.

Eastern got out quickly Saturday to ensure a winless conference season for Southern Maine (2-23, 0-14 little east), which was the Warriors' championship game opponent when Eastern won its most recent conference playoff championship in 2000. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), sophomore center Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) and freshman guard Joe Ives (Avon) combined for 26 of Eastern's 41 first-half points and the Warriors nailed 12 of 13 free throws in racing to a 16-point, 41-25 halftime lead. The Huskies turned the ball over only four times in the first half, but shot just 23.5 percent from the floor.

In the second half, Southern Maine had several chances to cut the Eastern lead to single digits, but Eastern began a 13-2 run with eight minutes left as the lead ballooned to 22, 75-53, with four minutes remaining.

levyH slide_1068.jpgAll 14 players saw action for Eastern, with 13 contributing a point or rebound. In his first start in place of senior leading scorer Edwin Ortiz (Hartford), Ives tossed in ten points - eight coming when he played the entire first half. Ives and freshman classmates Tyler Hundley (Cheshire), Mike Garrow (Terryville) and Chris Robitaille (Canton) combined for 10-for-19 marksmanship from the floor.

At left: Hamilton Levy

Nedwick had a team-high 22 points - equaling his highest point total in a game on an opponent's home court this year. Nedwick also shared game-high honors with eight rebounds, helping the visitors to a +14 advantage in that category. Sophomore forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) had seven points and seven rebounds in 11 minutes, giving him 15 rebounds off the bench in his last two games. Levy was perfect on the afternoon (1-for-1 FG, 5-for-5 FT).

As a team, Eastern was 17-for-21 from the free throw line (81.0 percent) to close out the regular season at .690, a year after last year's dismal mark of .590.

For Eastern, the nine regular-season conference wins are its most ever in 24 seasons of LEC play. It has finished as high as second once and shared second place for the third time this year. The 17 overall victories are the most for the Warriors under eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner and, equal the most in a season since a 21-win campgain  in 1992/93. Eastern has won more than 17 games five times in 67 seasons prior to this year

Eastern is 0-9 in LEC tournament play since winning all three of its playoff games during its championship run in 2000..

Eastern swept Keene State during the regular season, winning 91-86 at Geissler Gymnasium Jan. 19 and 86-67 11 days ago at Keene, NH for its first regular-season sweep of the Owls in ten years. Nedwick has averaged 23 points against Keene this year on .607 field goal shooting, while junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) has averaged ten rebounds and sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) nine. The Warriors have outrebounded the Owls by forty in the two victories.

ONE-POINT LOSS COSTS EASTERN BASKETBALL SHARE OF LEC TITLE

But 'rebuilding' Warriors good enough to gain No. 2 seed in LEC tourney

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ecsuwhoop0910300dpi_3183.jpgGORHAM, Maine - The opportunity for a share of a sixth Little East Conference women's basketball regular-season championship was within reach for Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday, but another in a series of back-and-forth games with the University of Southern Maine fell the hosts way this time in a 58-57 loss at the Warren Hill Gymnasium.

 With four new starters this year, the Warriors (above) ended just one win short of a share of another Little East Conference regular-season title.

Knowing that it was a virtual lock for second place and with it a first-round tournament bye, Eastern (17-8, 10-4 little east) fell short in its bid to defend last year's regular-season title when junior guard Jessica Moriarty's (East Haven)  potential game-winning - but difficult -- shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Coupled with Eastern's loss, Western Connecticut State University gained its first regular-season conference title in ten years with a 59-26 home win over winless Massachusetts Boston. Top-seeded Western and second-seeded Eastern both earn a first-round tournament bye and will open conference tournament play with semifinals-round games Friday at Western's Feldman Arena. Third-seeded Southern Maine (18-7, 10-4 little east), which earned a share of second place with Eastern with the victory, hosts No. 6 Massachusetts Dartmouth and No. 4 Keene State College hosts No. 5 Rhode Island College in Tuesday's two first-round games at 7 p.m.

In Friday's semifinals, Eastern faces the Southern Maine-UMass Dartmouth winner at 7:30 p.m. after  Western meets the Keene State-Rhode Island College at 5:30 p.m. The tournament final is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m.

While the Warriors missed out on a piece of the regular-season title after capturing last year's regular-season title outright, Eastern surprised many by winning ten of 14 conference games (its eighth season of at least ten regular-season conference wins in the last ten years) and sharing second place in the final rating. The Warriors were without four of last year's starters and had two freshmen in the starting lineup over the second half of the season.

Eastern's final four regular-season conference games this year were determined by a total of nine points, the Warriors splitting two three-point decisions, winning by a pair over Western Connecticut Tuesday at home in overtime and losing Saturday by one. Despite the loss Saturday, Eastern is 4-3 in its last seven games with Southern Maine after losing 15 in a row in the series. Six of those seven games have been decided by a total of 17 points (Eastern winning twice in overtime).

Looking for its first regular-season sweep of Southern Maine in 19 years Saturday, Eastern withstood  three consecutive turnovers late in the game to move into a one-point lead with four minutes left on a pair of free throws by freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) before Southern Maine rookie Curran Leighton answered with two freebies of her own to give the Huskies the lead for good, 54-53, ten seconds later. Ranked seventh in the eight-team conference in free throw percentage, Southern Maine then got two more clutch free throws from senior Haley Johnson to make it 56-53, eventually hitting 19 of 24 from the stipe in the game.

With Eastern's chances dwindling in the final minutes, junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks)  gave the Warriors life with a defensive rebound on a missed USM shot that would have all but iced the game with less than two minutes left, then scored what would be the Warriors' final four points with two free throws and a basket on a baseline drive that cut the lead to one, 58-57, 37 seconds left.

The hosts had the ball and its one-point lead in the final seconds, but Eastern re-gained possession on a missed shot that went out of bounds with eight seconds left. After calling a time out with 3.4 seconds left, the Warriors inbounded on the sideline to Moriarty, who took a couple dribbles to her left before firing a 17-footer in traffice that bounced off the room as the horn sounded. Southern Maine ended the regular season with five straight conference wins.

The game featured the top two conference Rookie-of-the-Year candidates in the 5-foot-9 inch Leighton of Southern Maine - the conference scoring leader-- and Carter of Eastern. Leighton, limited to eight points in Eastern's two-point victory over the Huskies Jan. 16, led all players with 21 points and nine rebounds Saturday. She hit half of her game-high 14 field goal attempts and seven of eight free throws.

Whiteley was 7-for-10 from the floor en route to a team-high 18 points for Eastern, with Carter adding 15 points and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) ten. Carter was 6-for-7 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Pierlioni, who connected on a three-pointer with seven minutes left that gave Eastern its first lead since the midway point of the half,  shared team-high rebounding honors with freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA), with seven. Whiteley also handed out five assists.

Eastern shot over 50 percent from the floor in the first half and led the entire half with the exception of the first basket of the game and last basket of the half. Pierlioni and Carter combined to score 15 of Eastern's points in one stretch that vaulted the visitors to an eight-point, 17-9 lead just six minutes into play. Both players finished with ten points in the half, but Southern Maine seized the halftime lead and momentum by scoring the final six points of the frame, all by junior guard Kaylie DeMillo. Without a point to that point, DeMillo sank two free throws with 67 seconds left in the half, converted a three-point field goal on her own offensive rebound, then beat the buzzer on a drive to the basket off a rebound from Johnson on a missed Eastern three-pointer.


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EASTERN SWIMMING A SOLID THIRD AFTER FIRST DAY OF CHAMPIONSHIP

Friday, Feb. 18, 2010

Behind Curran at NEISDA meet, Warriors establish nine records Friday

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HARTFORD, Vt. --  Many on the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimming team believed that this might be one of the most prepared clubs in program history. After one day of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving  (NEISDA) Championships, they are making believers out of everyone.

Led by junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA), six swimmers have combined to program records a total of nine times in leading the Warriors to their best start ever after the first day of the the 31st annual NEISDA Championsihps at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center

At right: Katie Curran.

Among 22 teams which have scored at least one point, Eastern is solidly entrenched in third place behind defending champion Keene State College and Division II Bentley College. Eastern has 226 points - 44 more than fourth place Roger Williams University. Keene  has 337 points, Bently 305.

In Friday morning's preliminaries, Eastern swimmers broke six program records, then came back later that evening to smash three more in the finals. Curran broke her own records in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke Friday morning, senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) broke her own records in both the preliminaries and final of the 50 breaststroke;  and junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) did the same in the preliminaries and final of the 200 individual medley; the 400 medley relay set a new program record in the preliminaries, then broke that mark later in the day in the final; and the 200 freestle relay established a new best in the preliminaries.

Swimming the 400 medley were Curran, freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport), sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock), and senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven); Participants in the 200 freestyle relay were Doheny, O'Kelly, Wilson, and Arisco.

Nine different swimmers have contributed to the team's point total thus far. The 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays have combined for 82 points with their finishes of third and fourth, respectively; Arisco collected 22 points with a second-place finish in the 200 IM, Wilson 21 by taking third in the 50 breaststroke, Menard, Curran and Doheny 18 each by placing third  in the 100 fly, 200 backstroke and 50 freestyle, respectively; O'Kelly has chipped in 16 points by coming in seventh in the 50 breaststroke, and junior Maria Altieri (Hamden) and senior Maureen Cop (Southington) 11 each in the 500 freestyle and 50 breaststroke (tenth place), respectively. Sophomoe Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) added nine points by claiming 12th place in the 100 butterfly.

In the 50 breaststroke final, Wilson edged sister Meghan by .03 for third place. Meghan is a sophomore at Keene State.

The top six finishers in each individual event and top three relays are awarded All-New England honors.

Competition continues all weekend, concluding Sunday evening with the finals of the 400 freestyle relay.

FOR EASTERN SWIMMING, EMOTIONS WILL RUN DEEP AT NEISDA MEET

Program's most accomplished seniors certain to make splash in finale 

Below: Jessica Wilson

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wilson_head_72dpi727101.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimming team will be looking for a return on a long-term investment this weekend when the Warriors compete in the 31st Annual New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving (NEISDA) Championships at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in Hartford, Vt.

Roughly two-thirds of the team members have qualified for the annual three-day championship which runs Friday through Sunday, but the meet will be a special one for this year's largest senior class in the program's 14-year history. Five of this year's six seniors have qualified, which marks the final time in their careers that they will compete as teammates. Seniors competing this weekend are tri-captains Maureen Cop (Southington), Sarah Dombrowski (Southington) and Jessica Wilson (Torrington), Kelsy Doheny (West Haven), and Carol Ann Smith (Newtown). All are four-year members of the program with the exception of Doheny, a three-year letterwinner who swam on the club level at Assumption College as a freshman.

doheny 72dpi_5090.jpg"We're excited about this weekend, because all of the hard work that we've put in to prepare," says Wilson. "We didn't graduate anyone from last year's New England meet, so we're coming in with the whole team from last year... and then some. Individually, we really want to get a lot of best times. We have people seeded in the Top 10 (in many events), and if some of us lower (our times) and people ahead of us scratch, we'll be getting major points for the team."

Above: Kelsy Doheny

This year's senior class -- which includes Katherine Redman (Wallingford) who did not qualify for the championships -- has helped the Warriors attain their highest team finishes the last two years in the meet, the Warriors claiming a program-best sixth in 2008 and seventh last year. While it is somewhat difficult to project where the team will finish this season, Wilson  feels that the team can at least reach - if not exceed - that sixth-place finish.

All eight of Eastern's swimmers which contributed points in last year's NEISDA will return to the championship. Those returning swimmers, in addition to four senior point-winners, are juniors Marie Altieri (Hamden), Amy Arisco (Wallingford), Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock).  Additional qualifiers this year are sophomores Samantha Armitage (Bristol) and Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield), Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) and freshmen Darcy Jensen (Orange) and Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport).

In individual events last year, Arisco topped the club with 70 points (winning the 400 IM title), with additional primary scorers being Altieri with 50, Doheny 46, Menard 33, Wilson 31, and Dombrowski 30. Arisco complemented her 400 IM title with second-place finishes in the 100 and 200 IM. Altieri was third in the 400 IM and Doheny was sixth in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. A total of eight program records were set in last year's championships, three coming in the relays. Arisco set  records in all three individual medley races, Doheny in the 100 freestyle, and Wilson in the 100 breaststroke.

Lending credence to the claim that this year's team is the most talented in both quality and quantity is the fact that current swimmers are current program record-holders in ten of 18 events and have contributed to all five relay marks. Curran holds all three backstroke marks and Arisco all three individual medley records, Doheny the 100 freestyle record, Wilson the 50 and 100 breaststroke, and O'Kelly the 200 breaststroke records.

"Hands-down, this is the best team in my four years," emphasizes Wilson. "All of the seniors are going out the fastest any of us have ever been. Plus, everyone in the other classes are going out the fastest they've ever been."

The Warriors began their pre-season workouts nearly five months ago. After three-plus weeks of conditioning, they opened their season by sharing the title at the Saint Joseph College (CT) Pentathlon with Division II Assumption College. In early December,  they placed second only to Keene State College (last year's NEISDA champion) in t

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he Little East Conference Championships. In early January, they spent nine days training five hours a day in Florida - swimming double sessions and incorporating weight-training and running into the sessions..

Upon returning from Florida, the team members continued with double sessions, cardio and weight-lifting during the two weeks prior to the start of classes.

Above: Amy Arisco

While this year's in-season conditioning program did not vary all that much from recent years, Wilson feels that everyone - especially the seniors - was intent upon fulfilling what they believed was unlimited potential.

"We noticed that we had the most potential that we've ever had and as seniors going out, we wanted to go out as a really, really good team," said Wilson. "We knew that we had a lot of potential and if we just put in everything that we had, we could leave with a really, really good team - and we're going to. It's tough, because your days are long because you're going to go to practice, go to class, some of us go to work, then you go back to practice. You just have to know that it's going to pay off in the end."

Since the conclusion of the regular season two weeks ago, the team members began the "tapering" process, which consists of sprint work, extended warm-ups and warm-downs, and significant rest. The goal is to be at their optimal performance level for this weekend's grand finale.

"At the end of the dual meet season," says Wilson, "our bodies are sore and tired and we're not performing at our best. But we don't' want to be performing at our best. We want to save that for the championships. This week, we're starting to feel really good, and some really good times have been coming out in practice."

For Wilson, there will be an added ingredient to what will be an emotion-charged weekend as she will compete for the second and final season against younger sister Meghan, a sophomore  at Little East Conference champion Keene State College. The two will likely square off in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke events. Jessica is seeded seventh and Meghan 12th in the 200 and Meghan sixth and Jessica eighth in the 100. In this past December's conference meet, Jessica and Meghan finished 5-6 in the 200 breaststroke, separated by four seconds; in the 100 breaststroke, Jessica set her current program record of 1:12.26 but was overtaken by Meghan in the final 25 yards for fourth place, losing by just over a second to her sister.

"I tell myself that it is something that we can look back on in 20 years and it will be cool to talk about, but right now, it's nerve-wracking," says the elder Wilson. "I want to beat her, but we're very close, and I'm happy when she does well, too."

Historically, the top 18 finishers in the morning preliminaries in each event advance to the afternoon finals, where all 18 competitors score points. Eastern feels that it can accumulate a large number of points in the relays, where a top five finish nets at least 38 points and the winner is credited with 52. The Warriors are seeded fourth or higher in four of the five relays, and eighth in the other.

Regardless of the number of events an individual qualifies for, she can only participate in a maximum three individual events and four relays. Thus, a good amount of last-minute jockeying and strategizing occurs in the hours leading up to each day's competition. . Swimmers will usually be officially entered in the events where they are seeded the highest, which ultimately serves the team best.

seniors_72dpi_1908.jpgIn individual events, six Eastern swimmers have earned a total of 17 Top Ten seeds in their respective events. In the individual medley and breaststroke events, Wilson is seeded seventh in three and eighth in one. Arisco is seeded third, fifth and seventh in the individual medley events and Doheny has earned seeds of seventh or better in three freestyle events and Arisco seventh or better in three individual medley events. Curran is seeded no worse than ninth in three backstroke events. In the 200 breaststroke, O'Kelly is sixth and ninth.

Above: With head coach Maureen Fahey are seniors (from left): Jessica Wilson, Carol Ann Smith, Katherine Redman, Sarah Dombrowski, Maureen Cop, and Kelsy Doheny.

"For the seniors, we've been swimming our whole lives," points out Wilson. "So, it's not just our last meet together, but it's our last competitive meet as a team. I saw the potential that the team had this year and I got excited. I wanted to be swimming my best going out as a senior. I'll never get to do anything like this again. No matter where I train (after graduation), it won't ever be the same. I think," she predicts, "that on Sunday it will hit us."

GILBLAIR PRESENTED GOLD BAT

gilblair72dpi_3194.jpgAt halftime of Wednesday's men's basketball game against Western Connecticut State University, three-time baseball All-America pitcher and designated hitter Shawn Gilblair of Eastern Connecticut State University was presented with the Rawlings Gold Bat Award for the second time in three years by Eastern head coach Bill Holowaty. The bat is given each year by the American Baseeball Coaches' Association to the Most Outstanding collegiate baseball player in Division III.  Shawn's accomplishments as both a pitcher and hitter have been unrivaled in the 61-year history of the program. Last spring, Shawn bounced back from an injury-plagued junior season to bat over .400 for the second straight season. He totaled career-highs in hits, doubles, total bases, RBI, and runs and also hit nine home runs. As a left-handed pitcher, he was 8 and 1  with a 2 point 71 ERA. He  struck out 99 batters and walked only 12. Giblair was also selected New England Player-of-the-Year last year, was selected MVP of the Little East Conference tournament and to the all-tournament at the New England Regional Tournament.

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL LOSS CREATES TANGLE IN LITTLE EAST

Western's 76-69 victory over Warriors makes for four-way tie for second

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ortiz72dpi_3192.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior forward Will Jarrett scored key five points in 30 seconds to give the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team the momentum for good as the Colonials handed Eastern Connecticut State University a 76-69 loss Wednesday evening in a key Little East Conference game at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Senior Edwin Ortiz and his family were honored on Senior's Night prior to the final regular-season home game of his career.

With an opportunity to solidify sole possession of second place in the conference with a victory with just one regular-season game remaining, Eastern (16-8, 8-5 little east) instead drops into a four-way tangle for second place in the conference with Western (17-6, 8-5 little east), UMass Dartmouth and Plymouth State. Eastern is 2-0 against UMass, 0-2 against Western and 1-1 against Plymouth.

The top two teams in the final conference standings earn first-round tournament byes, while the next four seeds play first-round games Tuesday at the site of the higher seed. Rhode Island College has clinched its second straight regular-season title and will host the semifinals and final Feb. 26-27.

With eight minutes left in a tight game, Jarrett nailed a three-point field goal soon after Eastern missed two potential game-tying free throws. Jarrett then grabbed the rebound of an Eastern miss and buried a jumper to give the Colonials a seven-point, 63-56 lead with just over seven minutes After Eastern cut the Western lead to three with 48 seconds left on two free throws by sophomore forward Jeremy Thompson (Berlin), Western sophomore guard DaQuan Brooks answered with two of his own to ice the victory for the Colonials.

The conference's second-leading scorer, the 5-foot-10 inch Brooks shared game-high scoring honors with Eastern sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) with 22 points. Nedwick's point total equaled the second-highest this year and the most since tossing in 36 eight games ago.

Ranked seventh in the eight-team conference in three-point field goal percentage, Western found its touch against Eastern, nailing nine of 18. Brooks was 4-for-8 from behind the arch, Jarrett 2-for-2 and freshman forward Ryan Pellietier 2-for-3.

The Warriors received quality minutes off the bench from Thompson and sophomore forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury). Thompson had 17 points and no turnovers in 22 minutes and Levy chipped in seven points and three steals in 15 minutes.

Playing in the final regular-season home game of his career, senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) totaled 11 points - four shy of his team-leading average. Guarded mostly by Brooks, Ortiz was just 4-for-12 from the floor, but did collected three three-point field goals to extend his career-leading total to 255.Ortiz entered play leading the LEC in free throw percentage but did not make an appearance at the stripe in the game.

Sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) of Eastern was held without a field goal but he grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to help the Warriors to a slim +4 edge in that department.

Eastern closes out the regular season Saturday at the University of Southern Maine at 3 p.m. with a chance to record its highest regular-season conference finish since it placed second in a six-team conference in 1993.  The Huskies would avoid a winless conference record with a victory. Eastern was a 77-69 victor over USM  in the first meeting this year a month ago at Geissler Gymnasium.


 

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL RE-GROUPS FOR OVERTIME VICTORY

Warriors rebound from Colonials' game-tying three-pointer in 61-59 win

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srs72dpi_3190.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) both had four points in overtime as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team gained a share of first place in the Little East Conference with Wednesday night's 61-59 overtime win over Western Connecticut State University at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Seniors Amanda Cavanaugh (fourth from right) and Michelle Spreda (third from right) were honored on Seniors' Night following the 61-59 overtime win over Western Connecticut in the final regular-season home games of their careers. Cavanaugh has served as a team manager for four years while Spreda is a two-year member of the program.

With its tenth home win in 13 games this year, Eastern (17-7, 10-3 little east) pulls even with Western (13-5, 10-3 little east) atop the conference standings. The Warriors close out the regular season Saturday at defending conference playoff champion University of Southern Maine, while Western hosts UMass Boston Saturday. The Beacons are winless in conference play this year.

If Eastern can complete a regular-season sweep of Southern Maine, the defending regular-season conference champion Warriors can do no worse share the regular-season title. A Western win Saturday will assure the Colonials of at least share of their first regular-season conference title in ten years.

Wednesday, Eastern scored the first six points of the second half to amass a 17-point lead before the Colonials rallied back. Eastern shot just 28.6 percent in the second half as the Colonials chipped away. An 11-1 run carried the visitors back from a nine-point deficit with ten minutes left, and Western took its first lead of the second half on a three-point field goal by freshman guard Nicole Eanniello with just over four minutes left. Pierlioni sank two free throws go give Eastern a three-point lead with three second left, but Western forced overtime when junior guard Heather Lee nailed a 25-foot three-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime.

With Western leading 59-58 in overtime, Pierlioni put back a missed shot to give the Warriors the lead for good, 60-59.With less than ten sconds left, Western missed two inside baskets in traffic and freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA)  was fouled while pulling down the rebound of the second one. She hit the second free throw to make it 61-59 and the Colonials stepped out of bounds on the sideline after inbounding with two seconds left as time ran out.

Lee, Western's leading scorer this year, was just 2-for-14 from  the floor until delivering the game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation. Junior guard Karli Spera  inbounded the ball following Pierlioni's free throw, sending a one-handed pass over half court to junior center Melissa Teel. When the Eastern defense collapsed on Teel, she dished the ball to Lee in front of the Western bench. Lee's heave - her only basket of the second half -- ripped cleanly through the net as time expired.

Eastern shot 60 percent in the first half in building an 11-point halftime lead, but went cold after erecting its 17-point lead. Half of Western's second-half baskets came from three-point range, with Eanniello and sophomore guard Stephanie Slonski contributing two each.

The conference rebonding leader, the 6-foot-2 inch Teel equaled her average with a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with a game-high 18 points.  She was the only Western player in double figures..

Eastern's balanced attack was sparked by freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford), who found double figures for the sixth time in the last seven games, posting her third-highest point total of the season, with a team-high 16. Pierlioni added 13 points, sinking seven of eight free throws and grabbing nine rebounds. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had 12 points and Whiteley ten. Early foul troubled limited the 6-foot-1 inch Kelleher to one rebound in six first-half minutes, but she grabbed ten of her 11 rebounds after the break en route to a team-high total.

2010 ZIMMERMAN AWARD RECIPIENTS

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Juniors Stephanie Norell (Stamford) and Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) were named recipients of the 2010 Holly E. Zimmerman Memorial Award and were honored following  the Eastern Connecticut State University-Massachusetts Dartmouth women's basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13.

In photo above are Kathleen and Richard Norell (parents of Stephanie Norell), Stephanie Norell, Brittany Whiteley, Committee Chairman Dr. David Yeo, Charles Whiteley, and Debbie Gifford (parents of Brittany Whiteley).

This year's recipients became the 27th and 28th individuals to receive the award, which is named in honor of the late Holly Zimmerman, who was  a Physical Education major and student athletic trainer who passed away in 1993. Candidates must junior or senior student-athletes or student athletic trainers with minimum 2.70 grade-point averages and be majoring in Physical Education or Sport and Leisure Management.

Norell is a three-year member of the soccer team and Whiteley a three-year basketball letterwinner.

Candidates must possess Holly Zimmerman's qualities of loyalty, thoughtfulness and academic determination.

"Stephanie and Brittany are very deserving recipients of this award," noted committee chairman Dr. David G. Yeo. "They are respected by the entire Eastern community for their commitment to their academics and their unselfishness and loyalty to their teammates. There were many qualified candidates for this award, and the task of choosing the winners was difficult, but the committee felt that these two student-athletes stood apart."

EASTERN W-LAX CLINIC MARCH 13

Application.pdf             Letter to Coaches.pdf

team after lec72dpi_1498.jpg

Eastern Connecticut State University will conduct its annual Lacrosse Skills Clinic  for high school girls Saturday, March 13 frm 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The clinic is scheduled to be conducted on the synthetic turf field at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, but in the event of inclement weather, will be held at Geissler Gymnasium in the Sports Center.

The clinic is under the direction of Eastern fourth-year head coach Christine Hutchison - a two-time Little East Conference Coach-of-the-Year -- and assistant coach Nicole Flores. Current team members will serve as clinicians.

The clinic is for girls of all skill levels and is dedicated to helping the girls improve their skills and knowledge of the game in preparation for their upcoming seasons. Points of emphasis will be skill work, advanced offensive and defensive skill work and game competition.

Participants  will receive one-on-one attention from the Eastern players and coaching staff.

Cost of the clinic is $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

 

 

GINGRAS EXCELS AT LEC TRACK

Warriors fourth in Little East scoring, sixth in alliance at championships

gingras_head0972dpi_3903.jpgGORHAM, Maine --  Freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) was second in the high jump LEClogo-1WEB.jpgand fourth in the triple jump for the Eastern Connecticut State University women at the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Indoor Track and Field Championship Saturday at the Costello Complex on the campus of the University of Southern Maine.

At left: Cora Gingras

As a team, the women finished fourth in a field of six in the LEC scoring and sixth among 11 teams in the alliance scoring. The University of SouthernMaine won both titles, capturing the LEC crown for the tenth straight season and 11th time in the 12-year history of the championship and the alliance crown for the tenth straight time and tenth in the 13-year history of the championship.

In LEC competition, Gingras equaled the height of the champion (5-0 ½), but placed second on jumps. She was third in the alliance scoring in that event. In the triple jump, Gingras as sixth in the alliance scoring with a mark of  34-2 ¼.

Other top performers for the Warriors were senior Erika Barber (Portland), junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), and first-year sophomores Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) and Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton). After placing second in the pole vault each of the past two years, Barber was third in the LEC and alliance scoring this time with a jump of 8-11 ¾; Petrizzo, the program record-holder at 400 meters, ran to finishes of third and fourth in the LEC and alliance, respectively, in a time of 100.68; Quinones was fifth and sixth in the LEC and alliance scoring, respectively, at 3,000 meters; and Ibsen was fourth and sixth in the LEC and alliance, respectively in the shot put (34-11 ¼).

The 4x200 meter relay also placed second in both the LEC and alliance with a time of 1:50.47.

Eastern qualifiers compete in this weekend's New England Division III Championship at Bates College.

RICKETTS, LOWE LEC CHAMPIONS

In men's track, Warriors fifth in New England Alliance, third in Little East

ricketts raw_7963.jpgGORHAM, Maine - Sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY)  and first-year junior LEClogo-1WEB.jpgtransfer Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) won individual title for the Eastern Connecticut State University men at the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Indoor Track and Field Championship Saturday at the Costello Complex on the campus of the University of Southern Maine.

At left: Andrew Ricketts

As a team, the men finished third in a field of six in the LEC scoring and fifth among 11 teams in the alliance scoring. The University of SouthernMaine won both titles, capturing the LEC crown for the second straight season and for the seventh time in the last 11 years and annexing the alliance title for the second straight season and fifth time in the last ten season.

lowe_raw_3028.jpgRicketts, who has already qualified provisionally for the  for national competition, became the fifth Eastern male in seven years to win the Little East Conference 55 meter championship, outrunning a field of 25 in a time of 6.55. The time equaled the LEC record, which was shared by Jose Rodriguez of Eastern in 2007.  Ricketts also won the New England Alliance 55 meter title in a field of 42.

At left: Brian Lowe

Lowe became the eighth Eastern male to win the 200 meter Little East Conference title in 12 years, outrunning a field of 55 in a time of 23.01 and qualifying for next week's New England Division III Championship in the process. At 200 meters, Lowe was second in the New England Alliance in a field of 55. Lowe was also second to Ricketts in the Little East 55 (6.59) and third in the New England Alliance.

Other top performances were turned in by sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven) and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls),  Pates raced to a third-place alliance finish and second-place LEC finish behind Lowe at 200 meters, clocking a time of 23.14. Fitzpatrick, the program record-holder in the triple jump, took second in the LEC and third in the alliance in that event with a mark of 44-6 14.

The 4x400 meter relay team captured second place in both the alliance and LEC in a time of 3:28.48.

Eastern qualifiers compete in this weekend's New England Division III Championship at Bates College.

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL HANGS ON FOR 66-63 LITTLE EAST VICTORY

Behind nine second-half points from Moriarty, Warriors fend off Corsairs

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) scored nine of her 11 points in the second half as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team survived a late bid by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to post a 66-63 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Tanisha Carter

By remaining undefeated against conference opponents at home this year (6-0), Eastern (16-7, 9-3 little east) keeps pace in the conference race, staying one game behind conference leader Western Connecticut and one game ahead of the University of Southerne Maine, with two LEC regular-season games left. In games featuring the upper echelon in the conference today,  Western dumped Keene State College, 53-44, and Southern Maine stopped Rhode Island College, 76-62.

Eastern's win, coupled with the losses by Keene State and Rhode Island, assures Eastern of at least a first-round conference tournament home game Feb. 23. If they finish either first or second in the final standings, the Warriors will be awarded a bye into the tournament semifinals Feb. 26.

UMass (9-14, 4-8 little east), which owns a win over Western Connecticut this year, lost its ninth game in 11 road games this season and drops from a two-way tie for sixth place into seventh place in the conference. The seventh and eighth-place teams in the final standings do not qualify for the conference tournament.

Saturday, Eastern held on for its 32nd straight win over UMass after the Corsairs had whittled a 15-point deficit with nine minutes left to one, 64-63 with 80 seconds remaining. Still trailing by one, UMass had a chance to go ahead but turned the ball over with 31 seconds left, and Eastern junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) sank two free throws with 21 seconds left for the deciding points. Whiteley had missed all three of her previous free throws in the game. Hoping to force overtime, UMass failed on two three-point field goals inside the final ten seconds, with Eastern freshman guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) grabbing the rebound of the second miss as time expired.

Three times in the second half, Moriarty countered with points for Eastern to restore double-digit leads. After UMass cut the Eastern lead to single digits early in the second half, Moriarty sank two free throws to restore an 11-point lead. Two minutes later, she completed a three-point play with a free throw on a pass from junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) to make it a ten-point margin. With eight minutes left she hit a driving layup to make it an 11-point margin, and with four minutes left, she sank a jumper after the Corsairs had pulled to within five.

Eastern shot 54.2 percent from the floor (69.4 percent inside the arc), giving the Warriors their two highest field goal percentages this year against the Corsairs. (The Warriors shot 56.3 percent in a 91-72 win over the Corsairs a month ago.) The field goal shooting came despite 1-for-12 shooting from three-point range. The Warriors also overcame 19 turnovers.

Eastern freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) scored ten or more points for the seventh time in the last ten games before fouling out with 1:38 left and Eastern leading, 64-61.  The 6-foot-1 inch Kelleher had 13 points (5-for-6 FG) and a game-high nine rebounds. Freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) had a team-high 14 points (6-for-8 FG) and Pierlioni had 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Whitely compiled a career-high seven assists, setting up her teammates for inside baskets on numerous occasions.

Junior wing Tashauna Ashmeade of UMass led all players with 17 points.

Eastern hosts Western Connecticut Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. An Eastern victory pulled the Warriors into a two-way tie for first place. A Western win gives the Colonials their first regular-season title in ten years and No. 1 tournament seed.

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL RACES PAST UMASS DARTMOUTH, 85-66

Warriors gain share of second place with Corsairs in Little East

roveto72dpi_4053.jpg  WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) and sophomore guaLEClogo-1WEB.jpgrd Jamie Kohn (Columbia) combined to sink 18 of 24 field goals to help the  Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team complete its first Little East Conference regular-season sweep of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in six years, 85-66, Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At left: Bill Roveto (Cris Yarborough photo)

With its ninth home win in 11 games (both losses by two points), Eastern (16-7, 8-4 little east) moves from a two-way tie for third place to a two-way tie for second with UMass Dartmouth (16-7, 8-4 little east)  in the Little East Conference standings. Two regular-season conference games remain for Eastern, which has equaled its most regular-season conference wins in the 24-year history of conference basketball. The overall wins are the most in a season for the Warriors under eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner.
 
UMass Dartmouth, last year's LEC playoff champion, had a three-game winning streak snapped with only its second loss in ten games on its opponents' court.

Eastern shot 56.5 percent from the floor - most coming on drives to the basket when it solved the Corsairs' full-court press -- giving it a 57.4 field goal percentage in two wins this year over UMass Dartmouth. 

The LEC men's and women's sweep is the fifth straight at home since an opening split.

In his highest scoring game this year since the season-opener, Roveto was 9-for-10 from the floor en route to 18 points. Kohn had a season-high 21 points (one shy of his career high) also had a game-high ten rebounds to give him his LEC-leading seventh double-double of the year (third in four games).

Eastern nearly doubled UMass' rebounding total and scored 18 points off 15 offensive rebounds, outscoring UMass by 12 on second-chance points.

The Warriors used long scoring runs in each half to first build, then maintain, a double-digit lead. Eastern trailed by eight points early but seized the momentum for good when it chalked up 11 straight points later in the half on the way to a seven-point, 40-33 halftime lead. While UMass was missing five shots and turning the ball over twice in that four-minute span, Eastern got four points from Kohn and junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and a three-point field goal by senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) to amass a 12-point, 34-22  lead.

Eastern limited UMass to one field goal and four points over the first five minutes of the second half, outscoring the visitors 17-4 to roar to a 20-point, 57-37 lead. Roveto dropped in four inside baskets in that decisive run, Kohn added another hoop in the paint, and Ortiz swished a three-pointer to fuel that surge.

In the second half alone, Roveto and Kohn combined to score five baskets directly as the result of put-backs, with the first of two by Kohn capping the 17-4 streak. After a modest UMass run had the visitors back to within 14 points with nine minutes left, Roveto and Kohn recorded put-back baskets less than two minutes apart to push the lead back to 19 with just under seven minutes left in the game.

Ortiz finished with 16 points, nine coming on three-point field goals. Sawyer added 13 points for Eastern - his second double-figure game in three games.

UMass' Lance Greene, a 6-foot-7 inch sophomore,  led all players with 26 points and added a team-high six rebounds. In the second half, Greene was 6-or-8 and had 18 points. Coming off a team-high 22-point effort earlier this year against Eastern, junior forward Brandon Stephens had ten points this time.

Prior to sweeping UMass for the first time in six years and for only the third time ever, the Warriors were coming off an 86-67 victory over Keene State Tuesday which was their first sweep of the Owls in ten years. 

Eastern hosts Western Connecticut State University Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.. The Colonials are one game behind Eastern in the conference standings.


 

ALUMNI HOOP PHOTOS AVAILABLE

Women's Alumni Game Video

Men's Alumni Game Video

 

mhoopalumi091072dpi_2107.JPGHigh resolution images of the group photos from the 2009/10 Eastern men's and women's Alumni Day are available free of charge by contacting Sports Information Director Bob Molta  at molta@easternct.edu. WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg

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EASTERN M-BASKETBALL SLAMS KEENE, 86-67; SWEEPS SERIES

 

Behind Kohn, Warriors shake off sluggish first half to gain Little East win

kohn_roveto_72dpi_yarborough3806.jpgKEENE, NH - Sophomore guard Jamie Kohn LEClogo-1WEB.jpg(Columbia) had a season-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team shook off a sluggish first half to pull away from Keene State College, 86-67, Tuesday night in a Little East Conference game at Spaulding Gymnasium.

The key conference win for Eastern (15-7, 7-4 little east)  is the Warriors second straight conference road win after an overall four-game losing streak and completes the Warriors' first conference regular-season sweep of Keene (12-10, 5-6 little east) in ten years (Eastern defeated the Owls three times in 1999/00 en route to its most recent LEC tournament championship and NCAA berth).

Above Jamie Kohn and Bill Roveto (24). (Cris Yarborough photo)

After a lethargic first half, the Warriors turned it around after the break. Over the final 20 minutes, Eastern shot 65.5 percent from the floor and gave the ball away only five times, outscoring the Owls 24-9 over the final seven minutes to record the win and move up a spot and into a tie for third place with Western Connecticut in the conference standings. The Colonials dropped a 96-70 decision at conference leader Rhode Island College, which remains a game up in the standings.

In the second half Tuesday, Kohn was 5-for-5 from the floor, sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) 4-for-6 and freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) 3-for-3 as the Warriors totaled 54 second-half points after shooting 39.5 percent and turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and trailing 33-32 at halftime.

The conference's leading rebounder, the 6-foot-5 inch Kohn also had a game-high 12 rebounds en route to his sixth double-double of the season. Half of Kohn's rebounds came on the offensive boards and helped the Warriors outscore the hosts by 14 on second tries.

Garrow and sophomore post players Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) and Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) provided a lift off the bench. The trio combined for 24 points (9-of-15 from the floor) and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes.

Although there were seven lead changes in the game, the momentum shifted for good in a three-minute stretch late in the game, when the Warriors ripped off a 13-3 scoring spurt that extended a three-point lead to 13, 71-58, with 5:35 left. Hamilton Levy jump-started the streak by scoring two inside baskets around a rebound from Thompson, who then followed with a pair of free throws. With the lead at seven, 64-57, Kohn scored the team's next seven points with an inside hoop, three-pointer off a rebound and pass from senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) and a jumper to push the advantage to 13 points.

While Nedwick managed only ten points Tuesday after wrecking Keene with a career-high 36 point effort Jan. 19, Kohn responded with his double-double after managing only two points in 16 minutes in the first meeting against Keene.

Ortiz followed Kohn with 17 points - his 16th game of double figures this year - with junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) adding eight points, six rebounds and five assists without a turnover in 28 minutes. Kohn also had four assists. With his point total, Ortiz moved ahead of Eastern Hall of Famer Ron Pires into fifth place all-time with 1,358 points, 235 behind program scoring leader Rich Vega.

Conference scoring leader Derek D'Amours of Keene led all players with 28 points but his four starting teammates combined for only 18 points.

With three regular-season conference games remaining, Eastern is guaranteed no worse than a .500 record in conference regular-season play. One win will equal the program record for regular-season conference victories in a season and two would be the most in 24 seasons of conference play.

Eastern hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at 3 p.m.

KEENE TURNS TABLES ON EASTERN W-BASKETBALL IN 59-56 VICTORY

Warriors foiled in bid to sweep LEC rival Keene for third straight season

chapman72dpi_2474.jpgKEENE, N.H. -- Keene State College scored ten LEClogo-1WEB.jpgconsecutive points to take an early 13-point lead and Eastern Connecticut State University never fully recovered as the Owls 
avoided being swept by the Warriors for the third straight season in a 59-56 Little East Conference women's basketball victory Tuesday night at Spaulding Gymnasium.

At left: Piper Chapman equalled her season high with nine rebounds Tuesday against Keene State.

With the win, Keene (14-7, 6-5 little east) snapped a six-game losing streak at the hands of Eastern and gained a split of the regular-season Little East Conference series for the first time in three years with Eastern (15-7, 8-3 little east), avenging a 68-52 loss Jan. 19 at Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern limited Keene top scorer Kristin Degou to one three-point field goal in the game - holding her scoreless for the final 37 minutes -- but senior forward Nicole Simmler picked up the slack by scoring a game-high 21 points and grabbing ten rebounds for Keene, which improved to 8-1 at Spaulding Gymnasium this season.

Eastern, a loser of four of its last seven, commited a season-low eight turnovers for the second straight game, but couldn't overcome 3-for-21 shooting from three-point range as the Warriors squandered an opportunity to pull even with Western Connecticut atop the LEC standings. The Colonials dropped a 72-65 road decision to Rhode Island College - their second loss in three games following a program-record 14-game win streak.

With the University of Southern Maine, Rhode Island and Keene State all winning Tuesday, only three games now separate the top five teams in the conference. Six of eight teams will qualify for the conference tournament later this month, with the top two receiving a first-round bye and the No. 1 seed hosting the semifinals and final.

After shooting under 30 percent in its earlier loss to Eastern, Keene sank 45 percent of its field goals this time around and converted 13 of 18 free throws. While Eastern managed only one hoop on its first 13 possessions Tuesday, the Owls connected on four of their first five shots and six of their first nine as they moved out to a 13-point, 16-3 lead nine minutes into action. 

Trailing by ten at halftime, Eastern got back into the game quickly after the break by scoring seven consecutive points from three different players but could not close the gap any further, and ultimately, fell one possession shy of a chance to tie the game. Trailing by eight points with less than ten seconds left, Eastern cut the margin to three on baskets by junior guards Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) and Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks), with Whiteley's three-pointer beating the buzzer.

Playing all 40 minutes, Moriarty had ten points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Whiteley led the Warriors with 15 points and also had four assists and freshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) added 14 points - eight coming on 11 free throw attempts. Carter, whose point total was her highest in nine games, also grabbed eight rebounds and sophomore center Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) had nine rebounds in 24 minutes in a starting role -- equalling her season-high for rebounds and falling just one short of her career best. Eastern played without freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA), who was averaging 10.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and shooting 55 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the foul line since taking over a starting position eight games ago.

Senior forward Jen Cleaveland and senior guard Alysssa Sapp combined to shoot 10 of 12 from the floor for Keene, totaling a combined 22 points. Each had seven points on 6-for-8 shooting in the first half. Cleaveland led all players in the game with 11 rebounds.

Eastern hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.

 

BARBER, EDWARDSEN OF EASTERN TRACK HONORED BY LITTLE EAST

Named weekly field athlete and weekly rookie track athlete, respectively.

barberapproach_slide_2643.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Senior pole vaulter Erika Barber (Portland) and freshman hurdler and high-jumper Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) from the Eastern Connecticut State University indoor track and field programs have been recognized with weekly individual honors by the Little East Conference for their performances for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 7.

At left: Erika Barber

Barber  was named Little East  female Athlete-of-the-Week for field events for the first time in her four-year career while Edwardsen was recognized as the LEC's male Rookie Athlete-of-the-Week in track events for the first time this season. Barber helped the women to second place in Saturday's Springfield College Invitational while Edwardsen led the men to third place.

At Springfield, Barber broke the program's indoor pole vault record for the sixth time in her career with a record-setting vault of 10-feet-6 inches that qualified her for the ECAC Division III Championships in early March. It was four inches higher than her previous record set last January 24 at Springfield, when she reached the 10-foot plateau for the first time. Barber  is undefeated in five meets this season. The win Saturday at Springfield was the 11th in her career. As a junior, she captured first place four times after winning twice as a sophomore.
After transferring to Eastern in January of her freshman year, Barber broke the program's pole vault record with a mark of 8-4 ¼ in her first meet on Jan. 20, 2007 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

edwardsen_72dpi_2760.jpgSaturday, Edwardsen won the 55 meter hurdles for the second time at Springfield this year. He was clocked in personal-best time of 8.14 in the preliminaries in winning his heat, then was timed in a program-record 7.91 in capturing the final by .09 over Victor Servito of Stevens Tech. Servito's time in the preliminaries was .07 faster than Edwardsen. Edwardsen, who also qualified for the ECAC Championships with his finals time, broke the two-year-old program record of 7.99.

Above: Tyler Edwardsen

Barber becomes the third Eastern female to gain weekly LEC recognition in track this winter, while Edwardsen is the sixth male to be cited for his performance.
Eastern competes in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Saturday at the Costello Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus.

 

FROSH EXCEL FOR MEN'S TRACK

edwardsen_72DPI_2760.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University freshman Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) broke the program record in the 55 meter hurdles and freshman Tim Callahan (Portland) qualified for post-season competition  at 400 meters  at the six-way Springfield College Invitational  at the SC Field House Saturd

At lefft: Tyler Edwardsen

Eastern, competing in its final meet prior to next Saturday's Little East Conference/New England Championships,  placed third in the invitational which was won by host Springfield College. The Pride totaled 204  points, with Trinity College scoring 112 and Eastern 71.
Edwardsen broke 8.0 in the 55 meter hurdles for the first time, clocking a program record 7.91 in the finals after winning his heat in a time of 8.14. Edwarsen's winning time in a field of 13 was .08 faster than the previous Eastern record, set two years ago.

Callahan knocked two seconds off his previous best time in the 400 with a time of 51.62, bettered the standard of qualifying for the New England Division III Championships by .38. Callahn was third in the event in a field of 20, just 1.13 seconds behind the winner.

Other  winners for Eastern were sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven) and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls), as well as the 4x400 meter relay team. The program record-holder in the triple jump, Fitzpatrick won the event with a jump of 42-11 1/2 ; Pates bettered 23 other competitors with a time of 23.28 in the 200 meters; Pates, Callahan, first-year sophomore Casey McGarvey (Bozrah) and junior Mike D'Elia (Windham) paced the relay to a first-place time of 3:31.54.

First-year junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) totaled a team-high 14 points in the meet. He was second in a field of 15 at 55 meters and third among 24 in the 200.

EASTERN W-TRACK TUNES UP AT SC

Warriors win four events, set two records at Springfield  Invitational

cavanaugh_72dpi USE_2912.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- In the final tune-up for next Saturday's Little East Conference/New England Championships, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's track and field team won four events, set two individual records and placed a solid second at  the six-team Springfield College Invitational  at the SC Field House Saturday.

At left: Alexis Cavanaugh

Seniors Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire) and Erika Barber (Portland) broke program records and Barber, junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and the 4x200 meter relay recorded first-place finishes as Eastern accumulated 106 points, second only to host Springfield College (240) and 57 more than Stevens Tech.

Cavanaugh broke the six-year-old 600 meter record in her first try at that distance. She was clocked in 1:43.69 - just under two seconds faster than the previous record - en route to a second-place finish. Barber broker her own record in the pole vault with a mark of 10-feet-6 inches - four inches higher than her previous standard set last year. Barber remained undefeated in the pole vault in five meets this year and won for the 11th time in her four-year career. She is 6-0 lifetime at the Springfield College Field House. The 4x200 meter relay team collected the fourth first-place finish. Running that relay in a time of 1:52.78 were Petrizzo, junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe), and senior Monica Mills (East Hartford).

barber_closeup_raw_2744.jpgPetrizzo won the 400 meter dash in a field of 12 for the second straight meet. She was timed in a season-best time of 1:00.93 in outrunning a field of 12. After winning the high jump last Saturday with a program-record jump of 5-foot-3, Gingras won again with a mark of 4-11. She also took second in the long jump and second in the triple jump to amass 26 of the team's points.

Above: Erika Barber

In addition to winning the 400, Petrizzo was also third among 13 competitors at 200 meters - coming in less than a second behind freshman Laurie Jenkins of Springfield to total 16 of the team's points.

First-year sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) totaled 12 points by posting a second-place finish at 3,000 meters and logging a fourth-place finish at 800 meters.

WITH OT WIN, M-BASKETBALL CLINCHES LEC PLAYOFF BERTH

Warriors continue to experience success at free throw line and in overtime

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgBOSTON, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball continues to excel this season at the foul line, and because of that, continues to win overtime game Saturday, the Warriors sank 27 of 36 free throws - ten of 12 in overtime  -- and clinched a berth in the upcoming Little East Conference tournament with a 74-65 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston at the Clark Athletic Center

Above: Joe Ives (Cris Yarborough photo)

The win snaps a four-game losing skid for Eastern (14-7, 6-4 little east) and assures the Warriors of a spot in the six-team conference tournament. With four regular-season conference games remaining, Eastern is in fourth place, four games ahead of seventh-place UMass Boston (4-17, 2-8 little east). By sweeping UMass in this year's home-and-home series, Eastern would be given the No. 6 and final seed in the LEC tournament in the event of a tie with the Beacons in the final standings.

Saturday, Eastern outscored UMass 14-5 in overtime to improve to 4-1 in overtime games this year. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) had six overtime points, hitting all four of his free throws. Freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) was 3-for-4 from the line in overtime. UMass missed all six of its overtime shots and missed three of eight overtime free throws.

Led by Garrow and freshman guard Joe Ives (Avon), Eastern's bench scored 31 points in the game. Ives brought 15 career points into the game but scored a season-high 13 and handed out four assists. Garrow had eight points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Nedwick had  a game-high18 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists. The performances by Garrow and Ives made up for the loss of junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) and the sub-par game of senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford), the team's top scorer. Simmons is out indefinitely with a finger injury.

Eastern tied its season-high by sinking 27 free throws. The Warriors were 27-for-36 (75.0 percent). UMass was 23-for-31 (74.2 percent). In two games this year, the teams combined to take122 free throws, sinking 91.

After downing UMass 67-63 a month ago at Geissler Gymnasium, Eastern led by 14 points early in the second half this time, but trailed by three with 73 seconds left. At that point, Nedwick hit two free throws, and Garrow stole the ball and fed Nedwick to give Eastern a 59-58 lead in the final minute of regulation. UMass' Pat Joseph scored an inside basket with five seconds left after Eastern missed one of two free throws with 17 seconds left to tie the game 60-all and force overtime.

Joseph led UMass with 15 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

The Warriors never trailed in the five-minute extra session. Nedwick got things going by sinking two free throws and Garrow stuck a jump off a steal by junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk). Nedwick later rebounded a missed UMass shot and took it in himself. A steal by Nedwick moments later set up Ives to convert one of two free throws, and the Warriors cemented the victory by connecting on seven of their final eight free throws in the final minute.

Eastern looks for a season sweep of Keene State College when the teams meet Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Keene, NH. Keene is tied for fifth place in the conference, a game behind Eastern. The top two teams in the final tournament standings are awarded first-round tournament byes, and theNo. 3 and No. 4 seeds host first-round tournament games.

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL CLINCHES LITTLE EAST TOURNAMENT BERTH

Warriors remain one game off the pace in the race for the No. 1 seed

LEClogo-1WEB.jpgkellehrprofilecloseup_2423.jpgBOSTON, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team commited a season-low eight turnovers in rolling to a 78-42 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center that clinched a berth in the 2010 Little East Conference tournament.

Above: Lauren Kelleher

 Eastern's (15-6, 8-2 little east) victory, coupled with a UMass Dartmouth's 63-56 setback at the University of Southern Maine, guarantees the Warriors one of six berths in the tournament, which gets underway later this month. With its 51st win in 56 tries all-time in this series with UMass (3-16, 0-10 little east), the defending regular-season conference champions also remain one game off the pace for the conference's regular-season title and No. 1 tournament seed. Western Connecticut improved to 9-1 in the conference with a 68-46 home win over Plymouth State University Saturday.

 Freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) had 11 points and tied her career-high with 13 rebounds in 22 minutes for Eastern, which turned the ball over a season-low eight times and shot 50 percent from the floor. The Warriors also shot 70 percent from the foul line and outscored UMass 34-2 in the paint and 18-2 off turnovers.

All 15 players saw action for Eastern, with junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) adding 12 points and junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) contributing 11 points, four assists, three rebounds and three blocked shots.

With four games remaining in the regular season, Eastern visits pre-season conference favorite Keene State College Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Owls share fourth place in the conference with a 5-5 record. The top two teams in the final regular-season conference standings draw first-round tournament byes, with the sixth seed hosting the third seed and the fifth seed entertaining the fourth seed in first-round games.

EASTERN BASEBALL-SOFTBALL 1-2 IN LITTLE EAST PRE-SEASON POLLS

Baseball top selection for sixth time; softball eyes 2nd title in three years

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NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball and softball programs are rated 1-2 in their respective 2010 Little East Conference pre-season coaches' polls, released Thursday. The conference's eight head coaches vote in each poll.

For the sixth time in the ten-year history of the conference baseball pre-season poll,  Eastern is the coaches' choice to capture the conference championship. Last year's pre-season favorite, the Eastern softball program was awarded two of a possible eight first-place votes this year and was rated a solid second behind four-time defending conference tournament champion Rhode Island College.

castillo_slide_1102.jpgBaseball in familiar position

The most successful team in the 13-year history of Little East Conference baseball - in terms of conference regular-season and tournament titles, wins, and winning percentage -- Eastern received seven of eight first-place votes and 63 points. Keene State College received the remaining first-place votes and a total of 54.

At left: Melvin Castillo 

Eastern was second in last year's final regular-season conference standings before winning its record seventh conference tournament championship. Keene shared third place in last year's final standings, and as the defending tournament champion, lost by a score of 14-5 to Eastern in the first game of the championship round of the tournament. Defending regular-season conference champion University of Southern Maine was third in this year's pre-season poll with 48 points.

As the No. 1 pre-season pick in both 2003 and 2004, Eastern fulfilled expectations by winning both the conference regular season and tournament championships. As the pre-season favorite in 2002, Eastern shared first place in the regular season and went on to its fourth - and most recent - NCAA Division III national championship. The Warriors won the LEC regular-season crown as the 2005 pre-season favorite. In 2008, when it was last selected No. 1, the Warriors shared second place in the LEC regular season and was eliminated by eventual champion Keene State in the conference tournament semifinals.

A winner of 39 of 47 games last year, Eastern returns 20 letterwinners from that 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.

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 9-1-1with 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 for the second time in three years.

Eastern was ranked No. 3 nationally in the 2010 ABCA Division III national pre-season poll and Castillo was selected as a first-team pre-season All-America at third base by D3baseball.com.

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 Old Westbury, NY. The team's first game of the season will be the 2,000th game played in the program's 62-year history. The Warriors host Western Connecticut in their conference opener April 2.

The Little East sponsors a 14-game conference schedule with each team squaring off twice. This year, the top-six teams in the final standings advance to the four-day, double-elimination championship tournament May 12-15 at the site of the No. 1 seed. The champion will earn the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.
 
rathbun slides9820.JPGSoftball looks to maintain success

The Warriors have finished first or second in the final conference standings in three of the last four years but are still pursuing their first conference tournament title in the 12-year history of the tournament.

At left: Molly Rathbun

Rhode Island  penned six first-place tallies and 62 total points to top the 10th annual preseason rankings, four points ahead of Eastern  and 15 more than Keene State.  In addition to four consecutive LEC tournament titles, Rhode Island has won outright four and shared one of the last five regular-season titles.

In 2006, the Anchorwomen edged Eastern by ½ game in the final standings after a game against UMass Dartmouth was declared a tie. In 2008, Eastern swept Rhode Island on the final day of the regular season to claim a share of the regular-season crown. Eastern was awarded the No. 1 tournament seed but Rhode Island won the championship at Howard Spector Field.

Eastern is under the direction of ninth-year head coach Diana Pepin (169-142), who has directed the Warriors to a cumulative regular-season conference record of 41-15 (.732) and overall 20-win seasons the last four years. Pepin, named the LEC Coach-of-the-Year twice in that four-year span, has led Eastern to a .667 winning percerntage and NCAA tournament al-large berths each of the last two years. She ranks second all-time in program history in games and years coached. She will become the second-winningest coach in program history early in 2010.

Among Eastern's ten returning letterwinners are top pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron), a sophomore righty, and five additional fulltime position players in outfielders Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and Katie Dinihanian (Stratford), shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) and catcher Nikki Mustin (Canterbury). Church, Sullivan and Mustin are seniors, Dinihanian a junior and Alicea a sophomore.

En route to second-team NFCA Division III All-America honors as a freshman, Rathbun was 16-7 with three saves and a 0.79 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 159 1/3 innings last year.  Her  pitching wins equaled the tenth-most in a season in program history and equaled the freshman record, originally set by Christia Mohan in 1987. Rathbun became only the second pitcher in program history with as many as 200 strikeouts in a season, following Kim Durocher (245) in 1986. After only one season, Rathbun already ranks  fifth all-time in career strikeouts and tied for fifth in saves.

The 2009 Little East Conference and Eastern Connecticut State University Rookie-of-the-Year, Rathbun led the conference in strikeouts, lowest opponent batting average (.151), was  tied for first in wins, was second in appearances (29), ERA, and innings, tied for second in saves, and fourth in starts (21). Nationally, she ranked fifth in ERA and sixth in least hits allowed per seven innings (3.56). As a team, Eastern led the conference in fielding percentage (a program-record .972) and was second in ERA (1.78).

Alicea finished fourth in the conference with a team-leading .448 batting average and was first in on-base percentage (.530) en route to second-team all-region accolades. The 2008 conference batting champion, Sullivan batted .339 last year and joined Rathbun and Alicea as first-team all-conference picks. Dinihanian (.320) led the LEC with 15 sacrifice bunts in 2009. Sullivan and Church were both All-New England selections as sophomores.

Eastern opens its 34th intercollegiate season with ten games March 20-25 at Clermont, FL and begins conference play April 3 with a doubleheader at Massachusetts Boston.

The Little East sponsors a 14-game, double round-robin conference schedule. The top six teams in the final standings qualify for the four-day, double-elimination conference tournament May 6-8 at the site of the No. 1 seed. The champion earns the automatic qualifier into the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament.

2010 Little East Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank  Institution (2009 Record)  First Place  Total Points

 
1  EASTERN CONN.  (39-8, 11-3)  7  63
2  Keene State College (25-16, 8-6)  1  54
3  U. of Southern Maine (36-9, 12-2)     48
4  Massachusetts Boston (19-22, 8-6)     40
5  Rhode Island College (24-15, 6-8)     32
6  Western Connecticut  (12-25, 4-10)     22
7  Massachusetts Dartmouth (12-26, 6-8)     15
     8   Plymouth State U. (17-25, 1-13)       14

2010 Little East Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank  Institution (2009 Record)  First Place  Total Points

 
1  Rhode Island College (42-7, 13-1)  6  62
2  EASTERN CONN. (26-13, 10-4)  2  58
3  Keene State College (30-14, 10-4)     47
4  Western Connecticut  (23-19, 8-6)     41
5  Plymouth State  U. (24-18, 6-8)     30
6  U. of Southern Maine (6-36, 4-10)     21
7  Massachusetts Boston (11-21, 3-11)     18
8  Massachusetts Dartmouth (7-23, 2-12)     11



    
     

 

SALEM DUMPS W-BASKETBALL, 71-59

chapman_ssc_2376.JPGSALEM, Mass. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team missed 15 consecutive shots early in the game and needed a 12-point run in the final minutes to make it respectable in a 71-59 non-conference loss to Salem State College Thursday night at James Twohig Gymnasium.

At left: Piper Chapman fights for inside position against 6-foot-3 inch Whitney Wilson of Salem in the first half Thursday night.

The loss in its final non-conference game is Eastern's (14-6) third in its last four outings. Salem (14-6) has won 11 of 13 since starting the season with a 3-4 record. The Vikings have not lost at home since December 10 - a streak of eight straight home victories.

The Warriors scored their first five points in the first 77 seconds of the game before missing 15 in a row before junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) ended the drought when she scored from the left side on a pass from junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) to make it 16-7 with nine minutes left in the half.Eastern missed 25 of 28 shots in the first half and trailed by 21, 33-12 at the break.

Freshmen led Eastern in scoring, with forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) scoring 12 points, and center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) adding ten points and a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore center Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) matched Kelleher with seven rebounds.  Carter scored all of her points in the second half, finally getting on the board three minutes into the second half with the Warriors behind by 21. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven), the team's leading scorer, was also scoreless in the first half before swishing a three-point field goal four minutes into the second half and the Warriors down by 24.

It took Eastern only five minutes in the second half to exceed ts first-half  total of 12 points but that early second-half run knocked only two points off a 21-point halftime deficit.

Down by 22 points with 5:30 left,  the Warriors played their most inspired basketball of the game. Eastern actually had a chance to pull to within seven with nearly two minutes left, but turned the ball over immediately after rebounding a Salem miss, and Brianna Wilson converted a short jumper off the miscue  to restore a 12-point Salem lead.

Salem featured a balanced attack, with all five starters contributing double figures, and Whitney Wilson coming off the bench to add 11 points and seven rebounds. Wilson twin sisters Brianna and Whitney both stand 6-foot-3 inches tall. Briaana Wilson had ten points and ten rebounds and guard Jakoya Wilkins 11 points and nine assists. Salem senior scoring leader Danielle Jenkins, a 5-11 forard, had a game-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Eastern had beaten Salem three of the last four times the teams had met, including a 15-point verdict last year at Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern closes out the regular season with five Little East Conference games beginning Saturday at Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m. Eastern is in second place in the conference with a 7-2 record, one game behind Western Connecticut State University, which hosts Plymouth State University. UMass Boston is winless in nine conference games this year. The Warriors posted a 54-34 victory at Geissler Gym when the teams met January 9.

SLUMPING EASTERN M-BASKETBALL DROPS FOURTH STRAIGHT, 67-64

Warriors commit 22 turnovers, shoot 22 pct. from 3-point range in setback

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  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMIDDLETOWN, Conn. - A lethal combination of 22 turnovers and 22 percent shooting from three-point range was the recipe for defeat Tuesday night for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team in a 67-64 non-conference loss to Wesleyan University at Silloway Gymnasium.

At right: Jamie Kohn (Cris Yarborough photo)

In a game which featured eight ties and nine lead changes, Wesleyan (9-12) freshman Mike Callaghan converted two free throws with 17 seconds left and Eastern (13-7) missed two shots in the closing seconds as the Cardinals escaped with their first win over the Warriors after three consecutive losses.

The game was the 11th straight this year decided by eight or less points for Eastern, which has lost four in a row by a total of 11 points after winning five straight. All but three of the Warriors'games this year have been determined by single figures, with the deciding margin having been six or less points 13 times.

Behind a career-high 17 rebounds by sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia), Eastern finished with a +16 advantage on the boards against Wesleyan, whose 15-person roster includes nine freshmen (three of whom start). The Warriors' 22 turnovers equaled their highest number this year, however, and their three-point percentage of .222  represented their second-worst of the season. In mid-January, Eastern survived .167 three-point shooting to defeat the University of Southern Maine. The Warriors were not as fortunate against Wesleyan.

Starting guards Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) and Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) - the team's top scorers this season -- combined to shoot 6-for-25 from the floor and were 3-for-14 from long range. Ortiz and Kohn led Eastern with 15 points each. The double-double was the fifth this season for Kohn.

Wesleyan ran off nine straight points after the Warriors had taken a three-point, 55-52 lead with four-and-a-half minutes left to carry a six-point, 61-55 advantage into the final  two minutes. With Eastern trailing by six with 1:17 left, junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) and Ortiz sandwiched baskets around a Wesleyan turnover to cut the gap to one, 63-62 with 39 seconds left, but Callaghan matched two free throws by Nedwick in the final seconds to preserve his team's lead.

Eastern played without junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) - the team's third double-figure scorer this season -- for the second straight game. Simmons is expected to miss another week with a finger injury.

Eastern plays its final five regular-season games in the Little East Conference, beginning Saturday at Massachusetts Boston at 3 p.m.

 

MORIARTY'S OFFENSE SPARKS EASTERN W-BASKETBALL, 70-55

In non-conference win, she has 17 points, eight rebounds  and nine assists

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg moriarty raw_8238.jpgPOUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball junior co-captain Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) has proven herself to be the top defensive player in the Little East Conference over the last two years. Tuesday night in a non-conference game against Vassar College, the 5-foot-7 inch guard was the spark behind the offense.

At left: Jessica Moriarty

In the first meeting ever between the programs, Eastern (14-5) team scored 11 straight points  midway through the first half to wipe out an early seven-point deficit and went on to a 70-55 non-conference victory at the Athletics & Fitness Center.

Eastern has won two straight after losing two in a row. The 15-point margin was the third-worst loss this year for Vassar (7-10), which had not lost by ten or more points since a 26-point drubbing at Little East Conference leader Western Connecticut Dec. 8

In that early but decisive run which erased a seven-point deficit and gave the Warriors a ten-point, 24-14 lead, Moriarty had four points and also contributed a rebound, assist and steal which led directly to six more Eastern points. In that stretch, Vassar missed three shots and turned the ball over four times in going scoreless for just under five minutes. The lead never dipped below seven after that.

Moriarty shared game-high scoring honors with 17 points (her highest point total since the fourth game of the year) and just missed a triple double by adding a career-high nine assists and also eight rebounds. Moriarty also had five of Eastern's 13 steals and was 7-for-8 from the foul line. Freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) followed with 12 points each as the Warriors posted their fifth game of at least 70 points this season. Freshman guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) came off the bench to contribute nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range. Blodgett, who equaled her highest point total in the last nine games, outscored Vassar's bench by three points.

Three starters played 35 or more minutes for Vassar, which got 17 points and a game-high ten rebounds from senior forward Emily Haeuser, whose inside baskets served as bookends during Eastern's 11-point first-half run. While the six-foot Haeuser grabbed a third-of her team's rebounds, she was kept off the offensive boards by Eastern and was also forced into eight turnovers.

The meeting was the first between the programs. Vassar is coming off a 4-21 season, having surpassed last year's win total a month ago under first-year head coach Candice Brown.  Eastern was 25-4 a year ago.

Eastern visits Salem State College in its final non-conference game of the year Thursday at 7 p.m.


 

FOUR ATHLETES FROM EASTERN GAIN LITTLE EAST WEEKLY HONORS

Three track and one basketball athlete recognized by LEC for recent play

ortiz_72dpi3952.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Four Eastern Connecticut State University athletes in the sports of LEClogo-1WEB.jpgindoor track & field and men's basketball have been cited by the Little East Conference with weekly recognition for the week ending January 31.

At left: Edwin Ortiz honored for seventh time in his career.

First-year junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) from the men's track and field program, freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) from the women's track and field program, and senior Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) from the men's basketball program were recognized for exceptional performances last week.

Lowe was named Track Athlete-of-the-Week, and Gingras and Fitzpatrick their respective Rookie Field Athlete-of-the-Week, and Ortiz Player-of-the-Week. It was the first weekly honor for Lowe, and second this year for Gingras, Fitzpatrick and Ortiz. It was the seventh weekly conference honor in the career of Ortiz, who has been recognized twice as Player-of-the-Week, three times as Rookie-of-the-Week, and twice as a member of the weekly LEC honor roll.

The Eastern track and field teams competed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational this past Saturday while the men's basketball team lost two conference games last week.

A first-year transfer from Central Connecticut State University, Lowe won at 200 meters (23.63) for the first time at Eastern, out-sprinting a field of 17. He was also second among 16 at 55 meters on the way to his team-high 18 ½ point total.  After setting, then improving upon the program record in the triple jump each of the previous two weeks, Fitzpatrick won his first collegiate event with a mark of 42-11 in the triple jump at Coast Guard.  His program record is 44-10 ¾.Fitzpatrick was also third in the long jump in a field of 15, totaling 16 points in three events as the Warriors registered 87 ½ points in a fourth-place finish in a field of four.

Gingras broke a 14-year-old women's program standard by two inches with a jump of 5-feet-3 inches in the high jump en route to winning the event for the first time in four meets this season. Gingras qualified for both New England Division III  and ECAC Division III competitions with her jump, which bested the previous mark by two inches set by Kim Jemmott in February of 1996. She helped the Warriors place second in a field of five teams (two points behind the winning team) at Coast Guard.

In men's basketball, Ortiz paced the Eastern offensive attack last week, averaging 24 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. A combination guard, Ortiz became just the ninth player in Warriors' program history to score 1,300 points in his career, accomplishing the feat last Tuesday against Western Connecticut. Ortiz registered 21 points, including five three-pointers Four days later, he scored a season-best 27 points, including five triples, and matched his career-high with seven boards as the Warriors fell to Plymouth State in overtime. Ortiz had given Eastern a two-point lead with 4.8 seconds left in regulation by sinking two free throws.

For the week, Ortiz knocked down 46.7 percent (14-for-30) of his attempts from the field, including 50 percent (10-for-20) from long range, and was 10-for-11 from the foul line. Ortiz currently leads the conference in free throw percentage (.906) and total three-point field goals (56) made (Ortiz set the program season record of 70 three-pointers as a freshman).He is currently rated eighth nationally in Division III in free throw percentage.