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In women's lacrosse match, Lyons break 11th tie with final two goals



Stephen Goomrigian photo

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Eastern  Connecticut State University freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) had a career-high 12 saves and sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) a career-high four goals but Mount Holyoke College broke the 11th and final tie of the match with two goals in the final five minutes in downing the Warriors, 15-13, Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Neither team led by more than two goals in the match. Eastern tied the match for the final time with just under 12 minutes left, but senior midfielder Perry Markell's 19th goal of the season on a free-position shot with 5:18 left pushed Mount Holyoke (5-3) into the lead for good, and senior midfielder Peggy Wefald's 34th goal of the season with 32  seconds left following an Eastern turnover cemented the win for the visitors.

It was the first win for the Lyons over Eastern (2-4) after losing to the Warriors in each of the previous two years. Eastern had beaten Mount Holyoke, 20-11, when the teams met at Eastern in 2008. The Lyons won for the fourth time in five road games.

Perry Markell broke the 11th tie of the match with her free-position shot and after an Eastern turnover, Wefald connected on her sixth goal of the match. Three of Wefald's goals broke ties and one pulled the Lyons even.

Neither team was able to score more than two goals in a row in the second half and neither team led by more than two goals in the match.

In addition to scoring the game-winning goal, Perry Markell took all 30 of the game's faceoffs, winning 20 against three different Eastern faceoff players, gaining her own draw control 13 times.

Three of Prizio's goals in the match forged a tie for Eastern and another gave the Warriors their final lead, 8-7, when she connected on her only free-position attempt of the game with eight seconds left in the first half. Mount Holyoke re-gained the momentum by scoring twice in the final 90 seconds of the second half to re-gain the lead.

Eastern could muster only four six shots in the second half when it won only five faceoffs, turned the ball over 11 times and was successful on only six of 11 clearing attempts.

Prizio found the back of the net on four of her five shots, while senior midfielder Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) was perfect on two shots and freshman defender Daniela Marchitto (Orange) capitalized on two of her three shots. Marchitto won four of the team's ten draws and seven of 15 faceoffs, and picked up three ground balls. Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) each had five ground balls.

Ibrahim, who has played every minute in net, stopped a dozen Mount Holyoke shots, seven in helping Eastern to its 8-7 halftime edge. Sophomore goalie Jeanmarie Petersen needed only four saves - one in the second half - to record her fourth win.

The Warriors continued to excel on free-position shots this year. After managing a success rate of less than 30 percent a year ago, Eastern was 3-for-3 against Mount Holyoke to boast its season percentage to 55.9.

Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday at 1 p.m. at Keene State College. Eastern won last year's LEC regular-season title and Keene defeated Eastern in overtime in the LEC playoff title game. Keene is the No. 1 ranked team in the LEC pre-season poll, Eastern No. 2.





For second year, pair honored by Little East upon return from spring trip

  Rathbun Named ECAC Pitcher-of-the-Week on Wednesday.pdf

National Polls: Softball.pdf     Baseball.pdf   rathbun72bow_3804.jpg

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - By posting near- LEClogo-1WEB.jpgidentical statistics one year apart, Eastern Connecticut State University senior baseball infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) and sophomore softball pitcher Molly Rathbun  (Hebron) have repeated weekly Little East Conference honors upon returning from their respective spring trips.

At left: Molly Rathbun

Last year, Castillo was named the conference Player-of-the-Week after batting .565 during the final five games of the team's spring trip in Arizona. This year, Castillo batted .560 when the Warriors won their final seven games in Arizona last week and repeated as LEC Player-of-the-Week.

During a season-opening 5-3 trip to Clermont, FL last March in her rookie season, Rathbun won four of five decisions and was tabbed as the LEC Rookie-of-the-Week upon the team's return. This year, Rathbun produced an identical 4-1 pitching ledger and was recognized as the LEC Pitcher-of-the-Week.

castillo 300 dpi_6468.jpg

Castllo (at right) was 14-for-25 with seven runs scored and 14 RBI to spark the Warriors to those final seven straight victories after the team dropped its first two games in Arizona. Castillo, a two-time Division III All-America, led the Warriors last week in hits and shared team lead in RBI. He had an .870 slugging percentage and the led team with a .645 on-base pct. Castillo had exactly two hits in all 7 games and drove in two or more runs five times in that stretch. Defensively, the left-side infielder handled 16 chances without an error. Castillo has hit safely in all 13 games this year, collecting two hits 11 times and at least one RBI ten times.

Castillo is currently ranked first all-time at Eastern in home runs (40), tied for first in RBI (195), second in total bases (429), third in slugging (.700), tied for third in triples (16), fifth in runs (190), tied for fifth in doubles (47), and sixth in hits (230).

Ranked third in New England and No. 14 nationally, Eastern (10-3) visits Amherst College Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

In last week's final six games in Florida, Rathbun led the Warriors to five wins by winning two of three decisions without allowing an earned run and batting .533 as a DP and first baseman. In three starts over 22 innings over those three games, she recorded three complete games and two shutouts, giving up only six hits with 25 strikeouts and six walks. 
Against Bowdoin College, Rathbun had perfect game for 6 1/3  innings for the No. 14-ranked Warriors,  finishing a with one-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks. Three days later against Buffalo State, Rathbun carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against. Buffalo State , again tossing a one-hitter for her 20th career win in only 34 career appearances. Rathbun's loss despite a dominant four-hitter against DePauw University in which she was saddled with two unearned runs in the eighth inning in a 2-0 setback. Rathbun now has seven career one-hitters.

As she was last year, Rathbun was also dominant with the bat in Florida. She hit safely in the final six games, batting.533 (8-for-15) with five RBI, three doubles and a .733 slugging percentage. In a final game win over Mount Mercy College, she was 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

In five starts and appearances in Florida, Rathbun was 4-1 with a 0.19 ERA for the 8-2 Warriors. She threw three shutouts and five complete games, giving up only one earned run on 14 hits and ten walks and fanned 48. Opponents batted .116.

During last year's five-week LEC weekly award program, Rathbun was named LEC Pitcher-of-the-Week twice and LEC Rookie-of-the-Week twice en route to being named LEC Rookie-of-the-Year and as a first-team all-conference selection and second-team NFCA Division III All-America.

The Warriors visit Trinity College Wednesday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.

Newcomers are second and sixth, respectively, in 110 hurdles and 100


 WESTFIELD, Mass. - Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) and Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) both qualified for the New England Division III Championships Saturday at Westfield State
College's Second Annual Jerry Gravel Classic at the Jerry Gravel Track.

At left: Brian Lowe

 A freshman, Edwardsen was timed in 15.97 in the 110 meter hurdles, while first-year year junior transfer Lowe was clocked in 11.21 at 100 meters. Edwardsen placed second in a field of 17 as the first Division III athlete across the finish line. Lowel was sixth in a field of 54 and was the third Division III competitor at the tape.

Eastern totalled 40 points in the meet, earning a sixth-place finish among 16 competing teams and totaling more points than Little East Conference rivals Keene State, UMass Dartmouth and Rhode Island College. The University of Connecticut ran away with the team title with 197 points, with Westfield State (114) and Division II AIC (101) also accumulating more than 100 points.

Additional individuals recording points as one of the top eight finishers in an event were junior Mike D'Elia (Windham), first-year senior Steve Landry (Groton), freshman Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME), first-year sophomore transfer Casey McGarvey (Bozrah), freshman Zacc Ouellet (Chaplin), and freshman Nick Miller (Norwich). D'Elia was fourth among 15 in the 400 hurdels; Landy sixth among 43 in the javelin, McGarvey sixth among 54 in the 800 and Verrill sixth among 15 in the high jump and Ouellet seventh in a field of 14 in the 400 hurdles. In addition to his New England qualifying performance at 100 meters, Lowe was also sixth in a field of 54 competitors at 200 meters.

The 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams also accumulated points. The 4x100 relay was third and the 4x400 relay was seventh. The 4x100 relay's time of 43.38 fell just a little more than a second shy of the program record. Runners on the 4x100 were sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven), first-semester freshman transfer Corey Simpson (Norwich), sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) and Lowe. Those comprising the 4x400 relay were freshman Tim Callahan (Portland), senior Nicholas Noheimer (Willimantic), D'Elia and freshman Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury).

Finishing second among Division III participants were D'Elia  in the hurdles,  Lowe at 200 meters, and Verrill  in the high jump. Landry's mark in the javelin was third among Division III competitors.

Eastern competes at the U.S. Coast Guard Invitational Saturday at 10:30 a.m.


petrizzo2_72_4591.jpgWESTFIELD, Mass. -- Sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) qualified for the New England Division III Championships in her first try at 10,000 meters Saturday at Westfield State Colleges Second Annual Jerry Gravel Classic at the Jerry Gravel Track.

At lefft: Amber Petrizzo

Quinones, an All-New England Alliance runner on the cross country team last fall, was timed in 40:48.45, taking third place in a field of nine, clocking the sixth-fastest time in New ngland Division III this spring.

Eastern totalled 43 points in the meet, capturing seventh place among 18 competinig teams. The Warriors finished two points out of fifth place and one shy of sixth place.

Others contributuing points for Eastern in individual events were senior Erika Barber (Portland), junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland), freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and junior Melissa Healy (Naugatuck).

Petrizzo excelled at both 200 and 100 meters, claiming third in a field of 53 in the former event and fourth among 46 competitors at 100 meters; Barber won the pole vault outdoors for the tenth time in her career, topping a field of 15; Brautigam was fifth among 21 in the 100 hurdles; Gingras was sixth among 16 in the high jump, and Healty eighth among nine at 10,000 meters

The 4x100 meter relay totalled six points with a third-place finish in a field of eight. Competitors were junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), senior Monica Mills (East Hartford), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and Petrizzo. 

At 400 meters, Charpentier  finished .30 out of eighth place.

Eastern competes at the U.S. Coast Guard Invitational Saturday at 10:30 a.m.



Saturday, March 27, 2010

Warriors average 14 runs in winning final eight games in Arizona


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - For the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team, a fast finish overshadowed a slow start.

At right: Joe Cousineau

Saturday, the Warriors closed out their Arizona spring trip on an eight-game winning streak with a 19-5 thumping of Hamline University at Sagauro High School.

After dropping its first two games in Arizona last week, Eastern (10-3) averaged 14 runs a game in rolling to wins in its final eight games on the spring trip. The Warriors scored at least 13 runs in six of those eight triumphs.

Against Hamline (5-11) No. 8 hitter Joe Cousineau (Newington) and No. 9 hitter Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) combined for seven hits, four RBI and four runs scored, John Parke (Middlefield) had three hits and four RBI. Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) had two hits, two RBI and two runs and Melvin Castillo (Danbury) two hits, three RBI, two walks and three runs. Travis Bass (West Hartford) had two hits, three runs and an RBI.

Leading 8-5, Eastern scored 11 runs in its final two at-bats on 11 hits to pull away. The Warriors batted around in each of those innings. Turgeon had two RBI singles and scored two runs in those frames; Castillo reached twice on an RBI single and hit-by-pitch and scored twice; Parke and Andrew Dyer (Topsfield, MA) each had  two-run singles, and Cousineau had a single double and two RBI.

The second of five pitchers, Chris Wojick (Uncasville) won his second game in three decisions by pitching four innings, allowing one run and two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Ranked No. 14 nationally, Eastern visits Manhattanville College Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.



 Warriors extend winning streak to seven with sweep of Knights

thomson_jersey_72_0277.jpgMESA, Ariz. - Fourteen different players collected hits and WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg13 drove in a run or scored one as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team rolled over Carleton College, 20-1, 18-2, Friday afternoon at Gene Autry Park.

At left: Chris Thomson

The wins are the sixth and seventh straight for Eastern (9-3), ranked No. 14 nationally. The Warriors have won their last seven in Arizona since dropping their first two.

Sophomore righty Michael Hepple (Newington) went the first five innings to gain his first win of the season in the opener and first-year sophomore transfer Mitch Furber (Montville) pitched the first four innings of the second game to earn his first win at Eastern. Neither allowed an earned run and each gave up four hits. Hepple struck out seven, Furber none.

Senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville)h ad three hits, five RBI and scored three runs; first-year junior transfer Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) had five hits, five RBI and scored four runs; senior infielder Travis Bass (West Hartford) had five hits, scored four runs and drove in three; senior All-America infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) had four hits, scored three runs and drove in two; junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swamscott, MA) had three hits, scored five runs and drove in four;senior infielder John Parke (Middlefield) had three hits, four RBI and scored three runs; and junior outfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) had two hits, scored five runs and drove in one. Schult also walked three times and was hit once.

Eastern was helped by 17 walks from nine Carleton (4-13) pitchers.

Eastern closes out its spring trip Saturday at 3 p.m. ET against Hamline University in Scottsdale.


With first pitching win, Bill Roveto joins father in program recordbooks

roveto_cutout_8667.jpgMESA, Ariz . - Four sets of Eastern Connecticut State WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgUniversity baseball brothers have been credited with pitching wins under 42nd-year head coach Bill Holowaty. Now, a father and son combination are in the recordbooks.

Making his sixth career appearance in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against Marian University, WI (0-4) at Gene Autry Park, junior left lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor) was credited with his first career victory, joining his father, Rob, who won 14 games in two seasons in 1982 and 1983 as a 6-foot-5 inch righty from Rochester, NY.

The second of five Eastern (7-3) pitchers, Roveto recorded four outs in relief of sophomore lefty starter Nathaniel Belke (East Lyme) - making his first career start -- and was credited with the win when Eastern scored twice in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI triple by junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and a run-scoring single by senior All-America third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury). With a 2-1 lead, Roveto pitched a scoreless fourth inning before giving way to junior righty Andrew Morrison (Old Saybrook).

Eastern completed a sweep of the Sabres with the 7-1 triumph in the second game that pushed their winning streak to five.

In an 20-4 opening victory, Castillo, Dewing, junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) all drove in three runs in a 20-hit attack which featured eight extra-base hits.

In the opener, senior lefty Mike Tingley (Rockville) and redshirt freshman righty Mike Buckley (Braintree, MA) combined on a five-hitter, fanning four and walking seven. Tingley (1-1) worked the first five innings of the seven-inning contest.

In the doubleheader, Eastern collected 33 hits, six of them doubles and seven of them triples. Dewing and Bass each had five hits, with Castillo and Schult contributing four each and first-year junior infielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) and junior leftfielder Rob Perry (Manchester) three apiece. Schult and Dewing both doubled once and tripled twice and Bass doubled twice. Turgeon had a double and triple. Schult and Bass both scored four runs.

Eastern faces Carleton College Friday at noon ET at Chandler, AZ.

Akcer, Rathbun each go the distance on the mound on final day

akcer_head_72_2093.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Sophomore Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgher seventh one-hitter in 26 career starts en route to her 20th career win in the first game and freshman Christine Akcer (Milford) pitched her first complete game in the nightcap as the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team wound up its spring trip with 4-0, 9-1 wins over Buffalo State College and Mount Mercy College Thursday at Legends Field.

Above: Christine Akcer

NFCA Top 25 Poll

Ranked No. 14 nationally, Eastern completed the trip with an 8-2 record, losing its second game on Saturday  to the University of Rochester, 4-2, and a 2-0 eight-inning decision to DePauw University Wednesday.

Buffalo (2-1), which had defeated Eastern 9-2 a year ago at Clermont, managed only three baserunners against Rathbun. Rathbun walked   leadoff batter Laken Pogorzelski in the first, surrendered a two-out single to left to Pogorzelsk on a 3-2 pitch in the third, and walked Niki Rieman with two out in the seventh. Only one of the runners advanced into scoring position.  After Pogorzelski's two-out single in the third, Rathbun retired 12 in a row (seven by strikeout) before issuing the two-out walk in the seventh.

Rathbun equalled her season-high with 12 strikeouts (her 11th career game of at least ten), setting down five different hitters on strikes twice.

Akcer (3-1) took a shutout into the seventh before Mount Mercy (7-4) scored on an RBI triple with two outs by Sheena Canady. Akcer allowed eight hits with two strikeouts and did not walk a batter. The seventh-inning run allowed by Akcer snapped a scoreless streak of 18 innngs, which began after she gave up four runs in her first collegiate inning against Rochester.alicea_72dpi_4109.jpg

 In the two wins, Rathburn had four hits (three doubles) and four RBI. Sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) (above) was 4-for-7 with three runs scored and two RBI, freshman second baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) two hits and two RBI and senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) two hits, two runs and an RBI.

Against Buffalo State, Rathbun had a two-run double in the sixth to give Eastern a 3-0 lead and her pinch runner scored on an RBI single by senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury).

Above: Priscilla Alicea

Against Mount Mercy, Alicea and Rathburn both had three hits and drove in two runs. Alicea scored two. Alicea's two-run triple in the fourth highlighted a four-run inning and gave Eastern a 7-0 lead.

Rathbun completed the trip with a 4-1 record and 0.19 ERA n 36.0 innings, with 48 strikeouts and ten walks. She had two one-hitters, falling two outs shy of recording only the second perfect game in program history against Bowdoin College Monday. Opponents batted .116 against her. Akcer was 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 20.0 innings.

The team's leadoff hitter, Alicea batted .483 (14-for-29) in Florida with a double and two triples and ten RBI and seven runs scored; Sullivan batted .346 (9-for-26) with a double, triple, nine runs and five RBI, and also collected her 100th career hit; Rathbun hit .333 (8-for-24) with three doubles and five RBI. Junior leftfielder Katie Dinihanian (Stratford) - the team's No. 9 hitter -- batted .400 but missed the final four games of the trip after pulling her right hamstring.

Defensively, senior catcher Nikki Mustin (Canterbury) anchored a strong defense which commited only six errors for a .969 fielding average. Mustin started all but one game behind the plate, handling 75 chances without an error, picking off two runners and allowing only one passed ball. Sullivan recorded 17 putouts without an error.

Following a 3-1 win over Washington & Jefferson College Monday, ninth-year head coach Diana Pepin (176-144) became the second-winningest coach in the program's 34-year history. Only program found and Hall of Fame head coach and current assistant Clyde Washburne has won more.

Eastern opens its northern schedule Tuesday at 3 p.m. with a doubleheader at Trinity College.




  Rathbun loses in eight innings after carrying no-hitter into seventh


CLERMONT, Fla. - Sophomore All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) has proven to be virtually unhittable through her first four starts of the season. Wednesday, she carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the second time in as many days. This time, she ended up with nothing to show for it.

Above: Kim Church is tagged out an home by DePauw catcher Amy Hallet in the fifth inning Wednesday.

In Wednesday's second game, DePauw University broke up the no-hit bid with three hits in the seventh, then ended Eastern's (6-2) five-game winning streak by pushing across two runs in the top of the eighth in a 2-0 victory over the Warriors.

Eastern, ranked No. 14 nationally on the heels of its 5-1 start in Tuesday's NFCA Division III rating, pounded the University of Wisconsin-Stout, 10-0, Wednesday morning in a game stopped after five innings due to the eight-run rule.

Rathbun (3-1) and DePauw (12-2) senior righty Megan Soultz were locked in a classic pitching duel throughout the entire game, each finishing with four-hitters and five strikeouts and neither giving up an earned run. Rathbun walked four and Soultz (11-2) walked two.

The Warriors had only a few chances to break the stalemate, but  were erased on the bases each time. In the second, a runner was picked off second by DePauw freshman catcher Amy Hallet for the second out. In the fifth, senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) was tagged out by Hallett at the plate on a throw from leftfielder Rachel MacBeth to complete a double play. Hallett then picked off another Eastern runner - this time at third - to end Eastern's fifth-inning threat.

Utilizing the international tie-breaker rule which puts a runner on second beginning with the eighth inning, DePauw scored twice on two sacrifice bunts, an RBI double and an Eastern error. After the Tigers broke through on  a run-producing sacrifice bunt by All-America third baseman Jen Kosinski, Hallett delivered an insurance run with a two-out double to left to make it 2-0, but a second runner was tagged out at the plate on a relay from sophomore leftfielder Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) to Church to senior catcher Nikki Mustin (Canterbury).

In the bottom of the eighth, Eastern left the tying run on second base when Soultz induced  a game-ending foul popup on a one-strike pitch. With sophomore Christine Yeomans (Durham) on second base to open the eighth, Soultz got a strikeout and fly ball to center for the first two outs of the eighth before sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) advanced Yeomans to third and hustled into scoring position herself when the throw from the outfield went all the way to the plate. Soultz left the tying run at second, however, with the infield popup.

Rathbun lowered her season ERA to 0.24 in four starts.

Against Stout (7-9), the top five hitters in the Eastern lineup had seven hits, drove in nine runs and scored seven. Church had a two-run double in the first and a two-run triple in a seven-run fourth. Freshman righty Christine Akcer (Milford) and first-year sophomore righty Kassondra Silva (Hamden) combined on a three-hit shutout, fanning four and walking three. Since being touched for four earned runs in her first collegiate inning Saturday, Akcer  has tossed 12 scoreless innings, allowing only eight hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

Senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) had two hits, including a triple, scored two runs and drove in run, while junior Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) drove in her fourth and fifth hits of the season on her fifth hit with a pinch single to center in the fourth.

Junior leftfielder Katie Dinihanian (Stratford) missed both games after pulling a hamstring in the fifth inning of Monday's 3-0 win over Bowdoin.  She is expected to be out for at least two weeks.

Eastern winds up its ten-game spring trip Thursday against Buffalo State College at 9:30 a.m. and NAIA-affiliate Mount Mercy College at 11:30 a.m.



                    Schult's pitching, hitting spark Warriors over Panthers


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgCHANDLER, Ariz. - Junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) didn't allow an earned run over the first six innings and sparked a 13-hit attack with two hits and two RBI as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team crushed Middlebury College, 14-3, Wednesday afternoon.

At right: John Parke

Ranked No. 14 nationally, Eastern (5-3) has won three in a row and pushes its record in Arizona over the .500 mark to 3-2 after two opening losses. Now 3-2, Middlebury was coming off a 10-6 win over the University of Southern Maine in its Arizona opener.

The Panthers scored two unearned runs off Schult (1-1) in the second but the Warriors bounced back to tie the game by the fifth, then batted around in scoring six runs in both the sixth and eighth innings to pull away. Senior All-America third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) highlighted the sixth with a three-run double that momved him into a tie for third place all-time with 186 runs batted in. He is nine behind Dwight Wildman's program record.

The two unearned runs were all that Schult would allow over the first six innings before junior righty Chris Wojick (Unasville) pitched two scoreless innings and sophomore righty Andrew Petrucci (Branford) was touched for an unearned run in the ninth. Schult fanned eight and dwalked four while Wojick struck out two without a walk as the Warriors improved to 4-0 this year against New England opponents.

Schult had two hits, including a double, and two RBI and senior second baseman John Parke (Middlebury) had two hits, both of them doubles, walked once, and scored three runs. Castillo, junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and senior rightfielder Chris Thomson (Monville) also contributed two hits each.

In addition to serving up 13 hits, seven Middlebury pitchers walked seven, threw three wild pitches and hit two batters. There were also two Middlebury passed balls.

Through eight games, Schult is batting a team-leading .519 with six extra-base hits and 12 RBI; Thomson is at .444, Castillo at .424 with 12 RBI and five extra-base hits and Dewing at .419 with a team-high 20 RBI and seven extra-base hits.

Eastern faces Marian University (WI) Thursday at 5 p.m. ET at Chandler.


In see-saw match, Warriors score twice in final minute to edge Goucher


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgTOWSON, Md. - In the first dozen years of the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse program, the outcome of a match was predictable. The Warriors would usually win in a blowout, or lose in a close one.

All that has changed, at least through the first month of the 2010 season.

At right: Vinny Tornatore

Tuesday night, senior crease attackman Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) scored a goal on his only shot with five seconds left as the Warriors emerged with their fourth victory in as many close decisions this year, 13-12, over Goucher College at Beldon Field.

Unbeaten on its home field in its first four matches this year, Goucher (5-3) took a one-goal lead until the final minute of play before first-year junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) tied the match with 57 seconds left with an unassisted goal, and Tornatore scored his second game-winning goal in 11 days with time running out as Eastern (4-2) bounced back from a disappointing 20-6 loss at No. 3 nationally-ranked Salisbury University Sunday afternoon. Goucher had won five in a row after two opening losses.

Eleven days ago, Tornatore's goal 2:24 into sudden-death overtime gave the Warriors an 11-10 victory over Montclair State University. This year, Eastern's four wins have come by a total of five goals and its two losses have been one-sided affairs to nationally-ranked opponents.

Tornatore's seventh goal of the year was set up on junior attack Brendan Hoppey's (Shoreham, NY) third assist of the match and was the team's third extra-man goal in four tries. In between Albertson's game-tying goal and  Tornatore's game-winner, the Warriors killed off a 30 second penalty which was issued with just 48 seconds left. With the Gophers looking to capitalize on that man-up opportunity, sophomore defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) forced a critical Goucher turnover and picked up the loose ball. With 17 seconds left, Goucher wa called for an unnecessary roughness penalty, and the Warriors made the extra-man try count.

Through its first five games,Eastern was unproductive with the man advantage, scoring only four times on 25 opportunites.

Tuesday's game featured seven ties and five lead changes. The Warriors opened the second half with four goals in a row for a 9-7 lead, but the Gophers answered with four in a row to open the fourth period to pull even at 11-11. Eastern never] trailed by more than two goals and had moved out to a three-goal, 11-8, lead with five minutes left in the third period on a goal by senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich).

Making his fifth straight start, freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) stopped 14 shots for the third straight game in gaining the first road win of his career and improving his personal record to 3-1.

Freshman attack  Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) led Eastern with three goals and an assist, with Hoppey posting a team-high five points with two goals and three assists. Senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) chipped in two goals and an assist and Albertson contributed his team-leading 16th and 17th goals of the season. Junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won 18 of 29 faceoffs and scooped up half (19) of the team's ground balls. Flynn caused three turnovers, including the one which set up the winning goal.

Goucher  team scoring leaders Matt Lynch and Rory Avarett combined for seven goals and ten points, with senior goalie Chris Stricklin making nine saves.

Eastern plays the third of six straight road matches Thursday, April 1 at Mount Ida College at 3 p.m.



 Saturday, March 20, 2010

In women's outdoor opener, four qualify for post-season championships

ibsen_slidew_2764.jpgDEDHAM, Mass. - Competing  in her first collegiate outdoor track and field meet, Eastern  Connecticut State University sophomore Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) qualified on a provisional basis for the NCAA Division III national meet in winning the javelin event Saturday when the team kicked off its outdoor season at the Northeastern University Spring Open at Solomon Track.

At left: Kristianna Ibsen

In a meet dominated by Division I and Division II athletes, Ibsen unloaded a winning throw of 132-10 to out-distance a field of 30. Ibsen's throw was nearly nine feet farther than runner-up Heather Crocker of Northeastern. The Eastern record in the javelin is 140-0, set by Patty Graham 33 years ago.

A three-sport athlete at Eastern, Ibsen was one of four Eastern athletes to qualify for post-season competition. She was joined by seniors Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) and Erika Barber (Portland), and junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), who all qualified for the New England Division III Championships at the end of April.

The indoor recordholder at both 200 and 400 meters, Petrizzo qualified for post-season action in both events Saturday, while Brautigam qualified in the 100 hurdles and Barber in the pole vault. 

Petrizzo was seventh in a field of 29 in the 400 and 11th among 54 in the 200 in times of 1:00.25 and 27.20, respectively. She was the first Division III finishers in both events. Brautigam placed eighth in a field of 22 in the 100 hurdles in a time of 16.97 and Barber captured third place among seven with a jump of 10-3 - just ¼ inches off her program record.

Among other top performances, junior Sarah Joy (Stratford) came in 13th in a field of 22 with a time of 17.71 in the 100 hurdles and the 4x100 relay claimed third in a race involving eight teams in a time of 51.73. Competitors included junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), senior Monica Mills (East Hartford), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and Petrizzo.

Prior to Saturday, Ibsen collegiate track and field experience was limited to throwing the shot put and weight twice during indoor competition.

Ibsen exceeded the national provisional mark of 127-11 with her throw Saturday. The automatic-qualifying standard is 145-0. Through March 20, Ibsen's throw ranked fourth this season in Division III - first among New England performers. A distance of 134-4 was the final one to qualify for last year's national championship, where only 11 competitors threw the javelin farther than 132-10.

Eastern competes in the Westfield State College Invitational Saturday at 11 a.m.







Saturday, March 20, 2010

In Eastern men's track & field outdoor opener at Northeastern Open

lowe_72dpi_2943.jpg WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgDEDHAM, Mass. - Junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) and senior Steve Landry  (Groton) and the 4x100 meter relay team at Eastern Connecticut State University all qualified for post-season men's competition this coming May when the program opened its outdoor season at the Northeastern University Husky Spring Open Saturday at Solomon Track.

At left: Brian Lowe

In a competive meet which featured numerous Division I, II and unattached competitors, Lowe ran to a fourth-place finish in a field of 46 at 100 meters with a time of 11.27, while Landry threw the javelin 172-10 to take tenth in a field of 56 as they qualified for the New England Division III Championship. The 4x100 meter relay team of sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven), first-semester freshman transfer Corey Simpson (Norwich), sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) and Lowe qualified for the ECAC Division III Championship with a winning time of  43.19 which was just 0.63 shy of the program record set four years ago.

Other top finishers in the non-scoring meet were Simpson in the 100, Pates in the 200, D'Elia, freshmen Dylan Markowycz (Chaplin) and Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) in the 400 hurdles, freshman Tim Callahan (Portland) in the 400, freshman Brad Beausoleil (Plainfield) in the 3,000 steeplechase, and freshman Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) in the long jump and triple jump. Simpson was 11th in the 100 (11.62), Pates tenth in the 200 (23.48), D'Elia (1:00.15), Markowycz (1:03.51) and Franklin (1:04.16) seventh, 11th and 13th, respectively, in the 400 hurdles, Callahan (52.08) 11th in the 400, Beausoleil (11:14.79) second among five in the steeplechase, and Verrill 11th in both the long jump (19-2) and triple jump (37-8 ½).

Eastern competes in the Westfield State College Invitational Saturday at 11 a.m.








NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --Eastern Connecticut State University senior midfielder Taylor WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) have been cited for weekly honors by the Little East Conference in the sports of women's lacrosse and baseball for their play for the week ending March 20.

The conference's two-time Defensive Player-of-the-Year, MacDonald repeated as the weekly macdonald_head_72dpi_2039.jpgDefensive Player-of-the-Week while Dewing was selected as his sport's Player-of-the-Week. The weekly honor is the eighth in the four-year career of MacDonald, previously honored as Defensive Player-of-the-Week  four times, top offensive player twice and Rookie-of-the-Week once. Dewing was honored for the first time.

In a 1-1 week, MacDonald collected 12 ground balls, won ten draws, and caused five turnovers while also chipping in three goals and two assists. In a 15-11 win over visiting Roger Williams University Saturday, MacDonald picked up seven ground balls, caused five turnovers and won three draws. In that game, MacDonald became the program's all-time leader with 191 draw controls.

MacDonald is the leader in most every individual statistical category this year for the 2-3 Warriors. She tops the club in ground balls (21), draw controls (25), faceoffs (19-for-40/.475 percent), goals (11), assists (9) and points (20) and free-position goals (6-for-8/.750).

The womon's lacrosse team hosts Mount Holyoke College Wednesday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m.

In the team's first six games through Sunday, Dewing was batting .435 (10-for-23) with 15 RBI and nine runs scored, five doubles and a home run and a .783 slugging percentage and perfect fielding percentage on 38 chances. Dewing hit safely in the first five games of the season, opening the campaign by going 4-for-4 with seven RBI against Albertus Magnus College. Although he had his hitting streak stopped in Sunday's win over MIT in Chandler, Arizona, he reached safely three times with a walk and two hit-by-pitch, drove in a run and scored a run.

One of six players on the team batting at least .400, Dewing is currently batting .407 (11-for-27)  in seven games for the 4-3 Warriors with team-leading totals of 18 RBI and six doubles. In the field, he has handled 50 chances without an error.

The baseball team faces Middlebury College Wednesday at noon EDT at Chandler, AZ.





Freshman Church allows only one (unearned) run through five in 13-5 win

schult 72_1197.jpgCHANDLER, Ariz. -- Freshman righty Benjamin Church (Rochester,MA) pitched five strong innings for his first collegiate win in his first collegiate start and senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) and Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) combined for seven hits, seven runs and four RBI as the No. 6 Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team routed Williams College, 13-5, Monday afternoon.

At left: Jim Schult

Eastern (4-3) evened its record in Arizona at 2-2 in defeating Williams College (1-2) for the third time in two years in Arizona. Williams had split a doubleheader Sunday against No. 11 University of Southern Maine, like Eastern a member of the Little East Conference.

The Warriors collected 15 hits off six Williams pitchers, scoring runs in seven of nine innings. Eastern totaled ten of its runs in its final five at-bats.

Church (1-0) allowed only one unearned run through the first five innings before being lifted after walking and hitting the first two batters he faced in the sixth. Church departed with a 7-1 lead and was ultimately  charged with three runs, one of which was unearned. In his third career appearance, the 6-foot-2 inch righty  fanned one and walked five.
Schult, now batting .500, contributed to runs in the first five innings when Eastern scored. He hit a two-run home run in the first -- his third of the season and 14th of his career -- singled when Eastern added a run in the third, moved a runner to third with a fly ball when the Warriors scored a run in the fifth, singled and scored in a three-run sixth, and drove in two runs with a double in the seventh. Schult was 4-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored - his fourth game with at least two hits this season. Bass, who came on to pitch a scoreless ninth, was 3-for-5 and scored five runs -- one shy of the program game record. He singled and scored ahead of Schult's homer in the first, doubled and scored in the third and fifth, walked and scored in the sixth, and scored in the ninth after striking out and reaching on a pass ball.
Junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA)  -- the Little East Conference Player-of-the-Week last week -- drove in his team-leading 17th and 18th runs of the season with a ground ball in the third, double in the fifth and bases loaded walk in the sixth. He is now batting  .407. Senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) also had two hits and two RBI. He drove in two runs in the sixth that gave Eastern a 7-1 lead.

After Williams chased Church with a four-run sixth inning that sliced Eastern's lead to 7-5, the Warriors responded with four runs of their own in the top of the seven to all but seal the win.Senior leftfielder Chris Thomson (Montville), sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and Schult all drove in runs with doubles - three of the team's six -- in the frame. Eastern batters drew seven walks over the final four innings, with four of them scoring.
Senior righty Paul Burgdoff (0-1) started for the second straight game against Eastern. Burgdoff did not receive a decision in last year's 6-4 loss to Eastern when he did not allow an earned run in five innings. Monday, he was lifted after allowing three hits in the fifth. He gave up eight hits in all and was charged with four runs, all earned.

Eastern faces Middlebury College Wednesday at noon EDT at Chandler.



 Rathbun two outs shy of program's first perfect game in 25 years

rathbun72bow_3804.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. - Sophomore righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) settled for her sixth career WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgone-hitter after falling two outs shy of pitching the program's first perfect game in 25 years to spark the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to two wins Monday at Legends Field at the National Training Center.

At left: Molly Rathbun

In the first meetings ever against Washington & Jefferson College and Bowdoin College, Eastern (5-1) commited only one error on 62 fielding chances and three pitchers surrendered only four hits as the Warriors won their third and fourth straight games.

Against Bowdoin (8-4) in the second game, Rathbun (3-0) retired the first 19 batters in order before sophomore leftfielder Caroline Dewar outran a slash/bunted ball to the left side of the infield to foil Rathbun's attempt at the second perfect game and 30th no-hitter in the program's 34-year history. The Warriors broke open a tight pitchers' duel with an uneared run in the sixth and two pad runs in the seventh in a 3-0 victory.

At right: Ashley Sullivansullivan72_3852.jpg

In the opening win Monday morning against Washington & Jefferson (3-4), sophomore righties Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) and Kassondra Silva (Hamden) combined on a three-hitter and senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) lashed her 100th career hit in a 3-1 victory. In her first appearance of the year, Manzo (1-0) evened her career record at 3-3 by stopping the Presidents on one fifth-inning hit over the first five innings before Silva was summoned to protect a 3-0 lead and record her first career save in an Eastern uniform.

Bowdoin put only three balls out of the infield against Rathbun, now 19-7 in 32 career appearances. Senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) and senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) came up with running catches on pop-ups in the second and sixth, respectively, to preserve Rathbun's perfect game through six innings. Rathbun dismissed leadoff hitter Kara Nilan on three pitches to open the seventh. The left-handed hitting Dewar, who had grounded to Rathbun in each of her previous at-bats - attempting a bunt in the fourth - fell behind 0-2 to Rathbun before pushing the third pitch to the left side of the infield. The charging Church fielded the ball and threw cleanly from her shortstop position but Dewar beat the threw by two steps to spoil Rathbun's bid for a perfect game. Dewar moved to second on a wild pitch, but Rathbun completed the one-hitter by fanning both pinch hitter Molly Nestor and clean-up hitter Clare Ronan on 3-2 pitches.

Rathbun threw only 70 pitches - 53 for strikes - in disposing of the Polar Bears in a scant one hour and 23 minutes.The shutout was her second of the season and ninth in 24 career starts. It was her sixth one-hitter.  In 21 innings this year, Rathbun has fanned 31 and walked only four with a 0.33 ERA. Opponents are batting .127.

Bowdoin senior righty Julia Jacobs (4-1) matched Rathbun pitch-for-pitch into the late innings before the Warriors broke through for an unearned run in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Sullivan reached on an outfield error with one out in the sixth and  came home with the first run when Church dumped a two-out single into shallow center field.With one out in the seventh, O'Toole singled to center and Manzo - who had replaced injured junior leftfielder Katie Dinihanian (Stratford)  in left two innings earlier - legged out a bunt. A wild pitch move both runners into scoring position for sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), who delivered her sixth and seventh RBIs of the young season with an opposite-field double to left.

The only perfect game in program history was authored by righty Julie Bacher in a 3-0 win over Rowan University on the team's spring trip March 18, 1985 at Columbia, SC. She did not strike out a batter in that game. Righty Lindsay Savelle owns the program's 29th and most recent no-hitter, that coming on April 9, 2005 in a 1-0 Little East Conference victory at Plymouth State University. She faced only two batters over the minimum - both walks - in that game.

Against Washington & Jefferson, the Warriors scored single runs in the first three innings in support of Manzo,  with junior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) driving in two of the runs. With two out and none on in the first, Sullivan singled to left, stole second, and Soychak stroked an opposite-field single to right to make it 1-0. Eastern added an unearned run in the second when freshman second baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) scored from second on an infield error with one out. Freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) opened the third with a double to the base of the left field fence and Soychak sent her in with a single through the left side.

Sullivan collected the 100th hit of her four-year career with a one-out triple through the left side of the infield. She was left stranded when losing pitcher Georgia Schumacher  retired the side on two infield ground balls.

In six games this year,  leadoff  hitter Alicea and No. 9 hitter Dinihanian  are batting a combined .444 (11-for-25) with six runs scored and eight RBI. They have struck out only once. Four pitchers have a 1.33 ERA, with 45 strikeouts and 16 walks. Twenty four of the 27 hits allowed are singles.  Led by O'Toole (24 chances in her first season at first base with no errors), the Warriors are fielding at .983 with only three errors.

Eastern returns to action Wednesday at Clermont, facing UW-Stout at 1:30 p.m. and DePauw University at 3:30 p.m.




Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rathbun wins All-America duel against No. 12 UW-Whitewater



CLERMONT, Fla. - Sophomore righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) outdueled University of Wisconsin-Whitewater junior lefty Jessica Stang in a matchup of All-America pitchers and the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team went on to two victories Sunday at the National Training Center.

In a game which began at 11:30 a.m. and ended close to 8 p.m., Rathbun struck out 11 and walked two and spaced five singles and sophomore rightfelder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) delivered a bases-clearing triple in the top of the sixth following a six-hour rain delay as the Warriors dumped No. 12 nationally-ranked Whitewater (3-3), 7-1.

rathbun72dpi_3807.jpgFacing Allegheny College (2-1) in a game which began 13 minutes after the completion of the Whitewater game, Alicea had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two and freshman righty Christine Akcer (Milford) recorded her first collegiate win with four solid relief innings in an 8-2 victory.

Whitewater, 38-7 a year ago, handed Eastern (3-1) six unearned runs by commiting six infield errors. Eastern led 4-1 and had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth before heavy rain halted the contest. When it resumed six hours and 19 minutes later, Alicea stroked a 2-2 pitch for a bases-clearing triple that upped the lead to 7-1.

Given the six-run cushion, Rathbun made quick work of he Warhawks over the final two innings, fanning four, including the side in the seventh. The win over Whitewater was the second in as many career starts for Rathbun, who pitched a three-hit, complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts in last year's 4-0 win here.

Rathbun was a second-team All-America as a freshman and  Stang  a first-teamer as a sophomore when she was 21-3. The left-handed Stang fanned 12 and matched Rathbun's five-hitter and allowed only one earned run, but was the victim of her own fielding inadequacies when she commited three errors.

 In her second career appearance, Akcer picked up her first win in relief of first-year sophomore righty Kassondra Silva (Hamden). Akcer pitched the final four innings without allowing a run. She gave up only one hit while fanning three without a walk.

Eastern scored the final six runs against Allegheny to break a 2-2 tie. Leading 3-2 on senior Ashley Sullivan's (Trumbull) third-inning sacrifice fly, the Warriors batted around in the fourth by scoring five runs on four hits. In her second career at-bat, freshman Jamie Vallarelli (Vernon) drove in two runs with a pinch double in the five-run fourth, Alicea plated two wth a singled and freshman Arielle Cooper (Groton) drove in another with a triple.

Batting at the top of the order, Alicea and Cooper combined for five hits and three RBI against the Gators, with Alicea scoring three runs. In addition to her sacrifice fly, Sullivan drove in Alicea with a triple in the first, and came around to score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Eastern's defense commited only one error on 54 chances on the afternoon and has only two errors in its first four games. Three pitchers fanned 16 and walked only five  and had a 1.50 ERA.

On Tuesday, Eastern faces Washington & Jefferson College at 9:30 a.m. and Bowdoin College at 11:30 a.m.



Fontaine and Wojick fan ten and walk none in 8-6 win over MIT

fontaine  72dpi_9377.jpg

CHANDLER, Ariz. Senior righties Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) and Chris Wojick (Uncasville) struck


out ten without a walk and allowed only three runs over the first eight innings and junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) hit a three-run home run to carry the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to an 8-6 victory over MIT Sunday afternoon.

At right; Matt Fontaine

The win in its third game in Arizona  snaps a three-game losing for Eastern (3-3), ranked No. 6 in Division III. The game was the first in Arizona for MIT (1-2).

Behind Fontaine and Wojick, the Warriors breezed into the eighth with an 8-1 lead before MIT got one back in the top of the eighth and pushed across three more in the ninth before senior lefty Wes Dutton (Waterbury) retired the tying run at the plate by inducing pinch hitter Aric Dama into a game-ending comebacker to record his first save of 2010.
In the ninth,MIT scored its three runs on just one hit but was helped by two walks, a hit batter and two Eastern errors. After a run was walked in, Dutton was summoned. Two errors allowed two more runs to score but Dutton got a strikeout for the second out and the ground ball for the final out.
Making his first appearance of the year after injuring his arm in last year's regional tournament Fontaine (1-0) allowed only two runs on six hits with four strikeouts over the first five innings. Wojick fanned six in three innings while allowing one run on three hits.
The top three hitters in the Eastern lineup -- junior Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls), senior Travis Bass (West Hartford), and Schult combined for six hits and six runs. Schult drove in three runs with a home run in  the sixth that gave Eastern a 7-2 lead. Schult also doubled. Kingsley had three hits and senior Melvin Castillo (Danbury) had two hits, including a double, and two RBI and junior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) two hits.

Eastern faces Williams College Monday at 3 p.m. ET.


 Eight-time champs are never threatened, snap Warriors' streak

SALISBURY, Md. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team went 47 minutes with just one goal as eight-time NCAA Division III national champion Salisbury University swamped the Warriors, 20-6, Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgThe win is the eighth this year without a loss for No. 3 nationally-ranked Salisbury, which has captured five of the last seven national crowns. Eastern (3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped and has now been outscored 37-14 in road losses to two nationally-ranked teams this year.

Last year, with two eventual All-Americas and a four-year starting goalie, the Warriors represented themselves well in a 15-7 loss at Salisbury. With all three of those players gone this time, the Warriors trailed 10-0 26 minutes into the match and 18-1 with 12 minutes left before scoring five goals in the final 12 minutes.

Twelve different Salisbury players had either a goal or assist and all four of the team's goalies received time in the net. Attackmen Grant Albertson (New Canaan) and Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) - both newcomers to the program - each had two goals for Eastern, with senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) coming up with six ground balls. Freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) stopped 14 shots over the first 44 minutes. Junior Eric Vasil (Southington) won a career-low 46.4 percent of 28 faceoff attempts. Last year's national leader in that department, Vasil brought an 81.5 winning mark into the contest.

Honorable mention All-Americas Matt Cannone and Mike Von Kamecke combined for eight goals and six assists for Salisbury, with Jake DeLillo adding two goals and three assists. Winning goalie Johnny Rodriguez turned aside seven shots, giving up only one goal.

Salisbury outshot Eastern 54-23 and capitalized on seven man-up situations by scoring six times. Eastern potted just one goal on six extra-man tries.

Eastern visits Goucher College (5-2) Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Gophers have won five straight and are unbeaten this year on their home field.


       Defense submits perfect performance, but pitching no match for JHU


CHANDLER, Ariz.  --  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team continues to be plagued by poor pitching as the Warriors surrendered 20 runs in just four innings in a 12-run loss to No. 25 nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins University Saturday morning at the Snedigar Complex.

At right: Melvin Castillo's 40th career home provided a bright light on a dark day.

After allowing 13 runs and making six errors in a 13-7 loss to Concordia University (WI) Friday in its Arizona opener, No.. 6 nationally-ranked Eastern (2-3) responded with perfect defense against Johns Hopkins (11-3), but the offerings of five hurlers served only as fodder for the Blue Jays' bats. Five of Johns Hopkins 13 hits went for extra bases, and JHU also capitalized on nine walks, a hit batsmen and three wild pitches All nine of the batters who walked, as well as the hit batsmen, came around to score.

By pre-arrangement, the game was stopped at 11 a.m. local time - after Eastern had completed its at-bats in the top of the fifth inning -- to accommodate Johns Hopkins travel plans as it wound up a 12-game Arizona trip with a 9-3 record. The Blue Jays won their final four games - all against Little East Conference teams. Only one of the four was closely contested. Johns Hopkins was coming off a 9-1 verdict over No. 11 University of Southern Maine Friday after sweeping Keene State College Thursday.

The early returns projected this game to be an apparent laugher - for Eastern - as the Warriors bolted to a quick 5-0 lead after their first two at-bats. However, after a 1-2-3 first inning, JHU scored four times in the bottom of the second inning on two hits, three walks and a sacrifice fly, and followed with eight more in both the third and fourth innings. The Blue Jay were 28-16 a year ago, one season after reaching the NCAA Division III national championship game and winning 42 games.

All nine Blue Jay batters drove in at least one run and scored at least one, with leadoff hitter Matthew Bernardi and No. 8 hitter Joe Borrelli each plating four. Number five hitter Dave Kahn doubled, tripled and homered and reached by walk, scored four runs and drove in three.

In Eastern's eight-hit attack, senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. Castillo extended his career record with his 40th home run - a two-run blast which also sent in Dewing in the fourth. Both of Dewing's hits were RBI doubles. He scored after each of them.

Eastern looks for its first Arizona win and to snap a three-game losing streak when it faces MIT Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Chandler.


               Defense limits Hawks to four second-half goals in  15-11 victory

macdonald raw_9525.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgdominated the second half to break from a halftime tie and post a 15-11 non-conference victory over Roger Williams University Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Taylor MacDonald establshed a program record for career draw controls Saturday.

Playing its final game before an 11-game layoff, Eastern (2-3) improved its record to 2-0 againt Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opponents this year by defeating Roger Williams (1-1) in the first meeting between the programs. The Hawks are coming off a 15-4 season whch resulted in an ECAC tournament berth.

Eastern scored the first four goals of the second half in a stretch of four minutes, outscoring the visitors 8-4 over the final 30 minutes. In that second half, Eastern had advantages of 18-8 in shots and 18-12 in ground balls. The Warriors were successful on eight of nine clears in the second half and converted four of six free-position shots.

Freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) scored three of Eastern's eight second-half goals - the first two coming on free-position attempts. Marchitto led all players in the game with four goals, first-year sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) adding three each. MacDonald won three draws in the game to establish a career record of 191, two more than former recordholder Mo Deegan.

In the first half, Roger Williams sandwiched three-goal runs around five in a row by Eastern for a 6-5 lead 15 minutes before the break, but the Warriors never allowed the Hawks to score more than one unanswered goal over the final 35 minutes of the game. Roger Willams was comng off a 17-2 conference road thumping of Nichols College in its 2010 opener.

MacDonald, junior defender Paige Booth (Hollis, NH) and senior midfielder Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) combined to pick up 18 of the team's 30 ground balls, with MacDonald also caused five of the team's nine forced turnovers and capitalized on three of four free-position shots.

Freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made six saves to record her first career win at home.

Eastern hosts Mount Holyoke University March 31 at 4:30 p.m.


Returning All-America sets down 12 batters on strikes in 2010 opener

rathbun72pdi_3724.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Sophomore righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) began her second softball season at Eastern Connecticut State University in the same way she opened her career -- with a complete-game victory. Saturday, the second-team Division III All-America fanned 12 batters and spaced three hits to record her eighth shutout iin 22 career starts in a 5-0 season-opening victory over Bates College at the National Training Center. Two of Bates' (1-4) hits never left the infield as Rathbun won her 17th career regular-season game in 20 decisions. She walked two in facing only five batters over the minimum. Rathbun registered at least one strikeout in all nine spots in the Bates order. Her strikeout total was just three shy of her personal record and moves her into a tie for fourth place all-time with 218 strikeouts in only 30 career appearances. Seven different batters had one hit for Eastern, which scored twice in the first and fifth and once in the sixth. Three of the Warriors' runs were unearned. Senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull), first-year sophomore DP Kassondra Silva (Hamden) and freshman pinch hitter Christine Akcer (Milford) all drove in a run for the Warriiors. Akcer's  hit came in her first collegiate at-bat and drove in sophomore rightfielder Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) with the final run of the game. Batting leadoff, senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) reached safely three times, scored twice and stole a base.

Rochester 4, Eastern 2

In Saturday's second game, the University of Rochester (6-7) scored all of its runs in the first inning and UR sophomore righty Sara Hutchinson pitched a complete-game seven hitter in the Yellow Jackets' 4-2 victory.

Eastern freshman righty Christine Akcer (Milford) recovered to pitch four scoreless innings after Rochester roughed her up in the bottom of the first inning on four hits and a walk. Juliana Nicholson and M.C. Wagner had consecutive two-run hits in the inning for Rochester

The Warriors had two chances for big innings but managed only one run in each. In the bottom of the first, Rochester commited two errors but Eastern left the bases loaded after scoring one run when Church came home from third on an infield error. In the fourth, the Warriors strung together three hits but a heads-up play by Hutchinson allowed the Yellow Jackets to escape with only one run scored. With runners on first and second, junior pinch hitter Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) plated freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) from second with a single as freshman pinch runner Courtney Weber (Groton) headed to third. The throw from the outfield sailed over the head of catcher Nicholson, but Hutchinson was backing up the play. She retrieved it and gunned down Yeomans trying to take third base to end the inning.

Making her collegiate pitching debut Acker (0-1) gave up only four hits over the final four innings of her five-inning stint. 

Cooper reached safely three times. She had two hits and reached on an infield error.

Hutchinson (5-4) fanned eight and walked only one.

On Sunday, Eastern plays UW-Whitewater at 11:30 a.m. and Allegheny College at 3:30 p.m.  


teepee 72_9669.jpg

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg In 2010, the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program  is coming off consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in 14 years.

Yet, they do feel that they have not yet arrived. While the Warriors have made great strides toward re-capturing the success that made them the most successful post-season program in New England history throughout the decade of the 1980s and into the mid-90s, they feel that there is still much work to do.

"I think that we're more athletic than we've been in the past - top to bottom," says ninth-year head coach Diana Pepin.  "But what I think motivates the players is that they all want to go to the world series. So that's our goal."

Six starting position players and the No. 1 pitcher are among the ten returning letterwinners from last year's club which captured at least 20 victories (26-13) for the fourth straight season and fifth time in the last six years under Pepin, who should become the second-winningest coach in program history before the club returns from its spring trip at the National Training Center in Clermont, FL.

The Warriors made a run for the Little East Conference roses in 2009 for the third time in four years, and although they fell short, their impressive total of quality victories landed them in the NCAA tournament as an at-large qualifier for the second year in a row.

Below is a breakdown of the season ahead.


With returning second-team NFCA Division III All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron), sophomore Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA), first-year sophomore transfer Kassondra Silva (Hamden) and freshman Christine Akcer (Milford), the Warriors may feature their deepest pitching staff in more than 20 years.

Rathbun won 16 of 19 decisions as a freshman last year in the regular season before shin splints limited her effectiveness in conference and NCAA tournament play. Still, Rathbun became only the second Eastern pitcher ever to strike out at least 200 batters in a season, finishing 16-7 with a 0.79 ERA that placed her among the national leaders in strikeouts, wins, ERA and least hits per game.

"You can't even describe what Molly brings to the program," says Pepin. "She's just a quality kid who wants her team to be successful, and that's a tribute to her character. We knew that she was going to be good (last year), that should would push that limit, but her physical abilities are above and beyond what we expected. She's a great kid who listens and applies what is being taught. She's going to do phenomenal things for this program."

Manzo is the only other pitcher on the staff to receive experience at Eastern a year ago, when she accumulated 28 innings behind the 1-2 tandem of Rathbun and graduated Katie Pensiero. Silva, who may also serve as a reserve outfielder, played last year's at Division I Iona University. Akcer may also see time at first base.

Second-year senior transfer Nikki Mustin (Canterbury)  is back behind the plate after commiting only one error on a team-high 237 chances last season. Junior Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) and senior utility player Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) will back up Mustin, as will freshman Katie Sokoloski (Eastford).


Below: Ashley Sullivan

sullivan 72_9779.jpgThe outfield should prove to be a source of strength. This year's returning outfielders ranked 1-2-3 in batting: senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull), junior leftfielder Katie Dinihanian (Stratford), and sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford). Alicea and Dinihanian's quickness will be enhanced because they bat from the left side of the plate. The pair will, in essence, be positioned back-to-back in the order, with Dinihanian batting ninth and Alicea returning to her leadoff position. Alicea earned a spot on the all-region team in only her first season with remarkable team-leading .448 batting and .530 on-base averages and team-leading 21 stolen bases. Dinihanian batted .320 and was never thrown out on nine stolen base tries. Sullivan will move from the No. 5 slot in the order into the No. 2 hole this year and should amass numerour RBI when hitting behind Alicea. Sullivan was an all-region selection as a sophomore when her .456 batting average fell just short of a season record, but she much of last year's pre-season with a broken hand before rallying for a final .339 mark that trailed only Alicea.

"Priscilla did exceed our expectations last year," says Pepin of Alicea, "but we have to be careful. We don't want her to think that she has to beat what she did last year. That may not be feasible. You can't expect (a .450 batting average) every year. That was special. But I do think that she'll steal more bases this year. And she can go from first to third on a bunt without a problem, and that's huge."

Outfield depth will be provided by freshmen Katie Stack (Mystic) and Courtney Weber (Groton) and sophomores Tina Brosnan (Preston) and Manzo, and freshman Amanda DiCicco (Somersworth, NH). Stack and Weber were both members of last year's Class "LL" state championship team at Fitch High School.


Talent abounds here, but it may take time to season. Fourth-year starting senior Kim Church (Farmington) is the only returnee. She will share the left side of the infield with freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), another player from Fitch High's state championship team. When not pitching,Rathbun will replace graduated sure-handed  Rachel Denny at first base. Freshman Kelly Paterson (Southington) will be the starting second baseman.

Paterson can also play shortstop, if needed, while sophomore Christine Yeomans (Durham) can spell Cooper at third and Paterson at second. Additional depth will be provided by freshman Jamie Vallarelli (Vernon).at third base, When Rathbun pitches, O'Toole or Akcers may be the starting first baseman. Molly Cole (Wilbraham, MA), one of the team's nine freshman, will also see action in the infield.

Designated Hitter

To utilize their hitting skills, Silva, Akcer and Rathbun may rotate at DH when not pitching or playing a field position.

Batting Order

Joining leadoff hitter Alicea and No. 2 batter Sullivan and No. 9 hitter Dinihanian in the lineup, Rathbun will replace Denny as the No. 3 hitter, with Silva sliding into the cleanup slot. Church may drop from fourth to fifth, with Cooper sixth, Paterson seventh,  and O'Toole eighth.

"In the past, our 6-7-8 hitters were kind of 'iffy'", noted Pepin. "But from top to bottom this year, we have a solid lineup.Players like Arielle Cooper and Kelly Paterson (batting in the bottom of the order) make contact and they can do multiple things. They're not those strikeout kinds of kids."





Warriors open eight-game Arizona trip with 13-7 loss to Concordia (WI)

bass 72_1195.jpgCHANDLER, Ariz. - Playing its first games in nine days, the Eastern Connecticut State  University baseball team out-hit ConcordiaWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg University (WI) but committed six errors, threw four wild pitches and hit three batters in a 13-7 loss in the opener of an eight-game, nine-day Arizona trip Friday afternoon at Snedigar Complex.

At left: Travis Bass

In the first meeting ever between the programs, Eastern (2-2) out-hit Concordia but defense and pitching betrayed the Warriors. Eastern collected 12 hits but seven pitchers surrendered 11, walked five batters, hit three and threw four wild pitches. All of the walks, hit batsmen and wild pitches came over the final three innings, when the Falcons scored 12 of their runs. The game was the final one in Arizona for Concordia, which split ten games.

Eastern trailed by only 1-0 before Concordia scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits, a sacrifice fly and a hit batsmen to take a 5-0 advantage into the late innings.Trailing 8-1 in the top of the eighth, the Warriors pushed across five runs in chasing senior righty Derrick Pankow (3-0) by collecting half of their game total of hits. Senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) each contributed two-run doubles in the frame, and sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) drove in another with a single.

Eastern gave the runs right back in the bottom of the inning, however, when the Falcons answered with five of their own on three hits (all coming consecutively and driving in three runs), two walks, three wild pitches and an infield error.

In the game, the bottom two hitters in the Concordia lineup - freshman shortstop Daniel Mueller and  junior centerfielder Matt Mayer -- combined to reach base seven times on four hits, a walk, hit-by-pitch, and error. They drove in four runs and scored two.

In his second start of the season, junior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) surrendered only a single unearned run through five innings. However, he struggled in the sixth and was lifted after the first five batters reached safely. Schult fanned six without a walk and allowed seven hits.

The top six hitters in the Eastern order accounted for ten hits (four doubles), drove in six and scored five. Junior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) had three hits, Bass, senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) and Dewing all recording two. Dewing had two doubles, drove in two runs and scored two while Bass plated two and scored one.

Eastern faces No. 25 Johns Hopkins University - the Division III national runner-up two years ago - Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET at Chandler. Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) is expected to make his second start, looking for his second win.



Brewers score four goals in four minutes early in second half in 13-11 win

wayte raw_0093.JPGPOUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Eastern Connecticut State WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgUniversity women's lacrosse team kept Vassar College off the board for the first 15 minutes of the game but the Brewers used a quick second-half start to post a 13-11 non-conference victory over the Warriors Wednesday night.

At left: Brooke Wayte

Eastern (1-3) forged the fourth and final tie of the match on senior attack Courtney Bedocs' (Hamden) second goal of the year 74 seconds into the second half, but Vassar (3-1) answered with four in a row in a span of four minutes - with junior midfielder Sarah Warner scoring twice and assisting on one - to take command of an 11-7 lead. The Warriors never go closer than two the rest of the way.

Playing its first game up north after a three-game trip to West Palm Beach, Vassar won its third in a row. Eastern was coming off its first win of the season eight days ago. Three of Vassar's matches have been decided by a total of four goals.

Eastern got out to a quick 3-0 start -- holding the hosts scoreless over the first 15 minutes -- but was never able to connect on as many as three consecutive goals the rest of the way.

Eastern senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) doubled her season goal total with four strikes  -- three coming on unassisted goals in the final 20 minutes of the contest.  Seven additional players had one each for the Warriors.

Senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs,MA), last week's Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Week, won half of the  team's 14 draws and had five ground balls. MacDonald pulled to within one draw control of tying the career record of 189, held by Mo Deegan (2002-05).

Senior attack Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) led all Eastern players with five ground balls, helping the Warriors collected a season-high total of 38.

Warner led all players in the game with five goals to improve her team-leading total to 15.

Freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made seven saves for Eastern.

The match between these teams was the second close one in as many contests in this series. Last year at Mansfield, the Warriors emerged with an 11-10 victory in triple overtime - the longest game in Eastern history.

The Warriors host Roger Williams University Saturday at 1 p.m.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Freshman Berube makes 14 saves, Warriors' man-down stymies Amherst


  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) recorded double- digit saves for the first time in four collegiate appearances and the Eastern Connecticut State University man-down unit killed eight of nine opposing extra-man opportunities as the Warriors downed Amherst College, 14-12, Tuesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Salieu Bolivar

The win is the first for Eastern (3-1)  in three tries against Amherst (0-2) and gives Eastern three straight victories at home in seven days by a total of four goals.  The triumph follows one-goal wins over Babson College, 12-11, in its home-opener and an 11-10 overtime verdict over Montclair State University Friday night.

Although the final margin was only two goals, Eastern  trailed only twice by one goal each time in the first quarter and was never behind throughout the final three periods. Sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) connected on the team's third and fourth shots of the game to provide the hosts with an early 2-0 lead and after senior attack Matt Kellman gave Amherst its second and final lead of the game late in the first period, Eastern took the lead for good. The Warriors tied the game with 57 seconds left in the first quarter on a goal by senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich), and freshman attack Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) and Albertson beat Amherst freshman goalie Steve Levy 13 seconds apart to make it 6-4. Janssen's goal came in a man-down situation after the Warriors were whistled for a slash with 19.8 seconds left in the first period.

The Warriors carried a three-goal lead into the fourth period and fattened that lead to five, 14-9, with nine minutes left when 6-foot-7 inch first-year junior transfer Grant Albertston (New Canaan) stuck in a man-down goal - his fifth of the game.

Eastern successfully killed the next seven minutes before Amherst (0-2) answered with three goals in 57 seconds to knock the lead down to the final two-goal margin. The Warriors turned the ball over with time running out but Berube made his 14th and final save in the final seconds to keep Amherst from making it a one-goal agme.

Bolivar followed Albertson with three goals, with six additonal players adding a goal each. Junior attack Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, NY) handed out two assists.

Eastern's opponents had converted nine of 20 extra-man tries heading into the game but the Warriors successfully killed off eight of Amherst's nine power-play situations. Amherst was 0-for-4 in the first half and couldn't capitalize on two man-up advantages when it tried to rally in the fourth period

Amherst sophomore midfielder Alex Fox contributed to ten of Amherst's 12 goals by scoring seven and assisting on three. Fox took one third of his team's shots..

Eastern junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won 20 of 28 faceoffs and collected 15 of the team's 33 ground balls. In four games, Vasil has won 88 of 108 faceoffs (81.5) and picked up 68 ground balls. Albertson tops Eastern this year wtih 13 goals and 18 points and Janssen has scored eight goals and added five helpers. Berbue is 2-0 with a 9.87 goals-against average and .538 save percentage.

 Eastern plays the first of six consecutive road games Sunday at No. 3 nationally-ranked Salisbry University at 1 p.m.


Five players cited for their performances for the week ending March 14


NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Five Eastern Connecticut State University lacrosse players were recognized with weekly honors by the Little East Conference in the first week of the honors program.

Eastern athletes were selected as the conference's Defensive Player-of-the-Week and as the Goalie-of-the-Week in both men's and women's lacrosse and as the men's Rookie-of-the-Week.

Senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) and junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) were named women's and men's Defensive Player-of-the-Week, respectively, while freshmen Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) and Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) were cited with their respective Goalie-of-the-Week honors. Freshman attack Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) was tabbed as the men's lacrosse Rookie-of-the-Week.

MacDonald, the LEC's two-time Defensive Player-of-the-Year, led Eastern to a win in its only match, a 16-11 decision at Salve Regina University. MacDonald had six ground balls, won three draws, and caused two turnovers. Ibrhim stopped 11 shots against Salve to record her first collegiate win.

On the men's side, Vasil won 88.2 percent of his faceoffs (45-for-51) and picked up 33 ground balls as Eastern won a pair of one-goal decisions at home: 12-11 over Babson College and 11-10 in overtime over Montclair State University. A pre-season All-America, Vasil led Division III last year in faceoff percentage and ground balls.

Berube registed his first career win in his second career start against Montclair, making seven saves and giving up only four goals after the intermission.

Janssen collected ten points in two matches, scoring six goals and assisting on four others. Against Babson, Janssen scored an unassisted goal to give Eastern an 11-10 lead with eight minutes left, and assisted on senior attack Vinny Tornatore's (Norwalk) game-winning goal in sudden death overtime.

MacDonald received a weekly LEC award for the seventh time in her four-year career. She was named top weekly rookie once in 2007, twice top defensive and once top offensive player as a sophomore and once top offensive and once top defensive player last season. Vasil was accorded top defensive accolades three times last year. The Rookie-of-the-Week recognition was the first by a men's lacrosse player since goalie Kyle Savage was honored in the third week of the 2006 season.

The Eastern men (2-1) host Amherst College Tuesday at 4 p.m. while the women (1-2) visit Vassar College Wednesday at 6 p.m.



Senior Tornatore strikes 2:24 into sudden-death in comeback victory

tornatore slides.jpg

  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- In a battle of 2009 NCAA tournament teams and conference champions, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team snapped a three-game losing streak at the hands of Montclair State University with its second one-goal triumph in three days, 11-10 in overtime Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex

Above: Vinny Tornatore

Senior crease attackman Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) scored his second goal of the match 2:24 into sudden-death overtime with a shot from in front of the cage on an assist from freshman attack Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) to end the match. The lead was only Eastern's second of the match and first since the Warriors led 5-4 with 3:20 left in the first half, and the shot was the Warriors' only one in overtime.

Montclair led 4-1 late in the first quarter and 9-7 with nine minutes left in the game after  sophomore attack Tyler Meth scored his team-leading 11 goal of the season. Trailing 10-9, Eastern tied the match for the fourth time in the match when senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich) scored on a pass from junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) with  just 85 seconds left in regulation.

Montclair started the overtime period with possession and a man up after Eastern was whistled for a push with eight seconds left in regulation. The Red Hawks were unable to capitalize on three overtime possessions, however, with two of their shots blocked by Eastern defenders.  Eastern cleared the ball successfully, then called time out to set up the winning goal.

berube_jersey_72dpi_0328.jpgMaking his second career start, Eastern freshman netminder Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) recorded  seven saves to earn his first career win in his first career decision. Eastern junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) won 22 of 24 faceoffs to improve his nation-leading percentage to .850 (68-for-80) and also picked up 13 ground balls. Vasil, the team-leader with 53 ground balls,  led Division III last year in faceoff percentage and ground balls.

Above: Donald Berube 

Eastern survived 31 turnovers to gain its second one-goal home win in as many home matches this year.In its home-opener Wednesday afternoon, Eastern trimmed Babson College, 12-11.

Montclair's special teams scored six goals in the match - the man-up unit striking for five goals on nine chances and the man-down unit scored once. The man-up unit scored twice in the first quarter to held the Red Hawks into a quick 3-0 lead halfway through the period and that group scored one additonal man-up goal in each of the final three quarters. With Eastern leading 5-4 late in the first half, , Montclair's man-down tied the match with 2:10 left, and the extra-man unit scored just over a minute later to give the visitors a 6-5 halftime lead.

Junior attack Mike Corsetto contributed four assists for Montclair,, setting up senior attack Patrick Nann for the team's go-ahead goal with five minutes left in regulation. Albertson, a 6-foot-7 inch first-year Division I transfer, netted six points for Eastern with four goals and two assists, while Janssen chipped in two goals and two assists and junior attack Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, NY) registered his first two goals of the year.

In three games, first-year players Albertson and Janssen have combined for 23 of the team's 48 points, 15 of its 31 goals and eight of its 17 assists.

Eastern hosts Amherst College Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Eastern Conn. 11, Montclair State U. 10

Montclair State U. (1-3)          4    2    2    2    (0) -- 10
Eastern Conn. (2-1)                2    3    1    4    (1) -- 11

Goals: M-Matthew Prongay 2, Tyler Meth 2, Taylor Bonner 2, Robert Sinicola, Patrick Nann, Ryan Kloss, Patrick Ferry; E-Grant Albertson 4, Matthew Janssen 2, Vinny Tornatore 2, Brendan Hoppy 2, Zach Malouf.
Assists: M-Mike Corsetto 4, Meth, Nann, Prongay, Sinicola; E-Albertson 2, Janssen 2, Maxim Fantl.
Shots: M-33, E-39; Saves: M-Andrew Rosado 5, E-Donald Berube 7.



Ducks build early lead and hold on for first win ever over Warriors


church_jersey_72_3135.jpgHOBOKEN, N.J. -- Trailing by five runs late in the game, the Eastern Connecticut WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgState University baseball team scored twice in the eighth but eventually left the tying run at the plate in the ninth in a 10-8 loss to Stevens Tech Wednesday afternoon at Dobbelaar Field.


Above: Benjamin Church


Eastern (2-1) scored two runs after there were two out and none on in the eighth and pulled another run closer when junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) opened the ninth with the team's second home run of the game, but Stevens (4-4) sophomore righty Vincent Vinci left the tying run at the plate when he got an game-ending foul ball to right.


The win is the first for Stevens after four losses against Eastern, ranked No. 3 nationally.


Junior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) sustained the loss, allowing five runs in the first two innings. Wojick was making his first start after 41 career relief appearances. Freshman righty Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA) allowed only two hits and one run in three innings of relief in his second career appearance, and senior lefty Wes Dutton (Waterbury) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.


Senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) and Schult each had three hits for Eastern, which out-hit the Ducks 14-11. Junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) hit his eighth career home run in the fourth - a three-run blast that pulled the Warriors to within 5-4. Schult and senior All-America third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) had singled to open the inning. Parke raised his average to .538 (7-for-13).


Playing its second former national champion and current Top 10 nationally-ranked team, Stevens moved out to a 9-4 lead by scoring four runs in the fourth after there were two out and only one runner on base. After an RBI double plated the first run of the inning, junior rightfielder Russ Grimes swatted a three-run homem run to center to give the hosts a five-run cushion.Grmes finished the game with four RBI and senior centerfielder Mark Rasulo had three hits and scored three runs.


Each team had three home runs in the game. Joining Dewing and Schult for Eastern was first-year Division I junior transfer Tyler Turgeon (Norwich). As a sixth-inning replacement at designated hitter batting eighth in the order, Turgeon ripped a two-out solo home run in the seventh and also singled and scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.


For the second time in three games, the Warriors did not commit a fielding error.


Eastern is scheduled to face Saint Joseph's College of Long Island Saturday at 2 p.m. and Farmingdale State Colllege Sunday at 2 p.m. at Farmingdale, NY.



In home-opener Warriors respond after giving up four-goal lead, 12-11

albertson_jersey_72_0208.jpg janssen_jersey_720369.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- First-year junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) scored his second goal of the game on a pass from sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) with 18.7 seconds left to give the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team a 12-11 victory over Babson College Wednesday night in the 2010 home-opener at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Alberston (left), and Janssen

Ranked in a tie for 11th in the first New England Division III poll, Eastern (1-1)  led 9-5 midway through the third quarter but Babson outscored Eastern 6-2, tying the game on junior Armand Wilson's goal with just under a minute left. After a timeout,  Eastern junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won the ensuing faceoff to give Eastern possession. Eastern maintained possession after the ball went out of bounds, and with 18.7 second left, Running from left to right, Bolivar fed un unmarked Albertson stationed at the left of the cage. Vasil, last year's national leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls, then won his 23rd faceoff in 27 tries, scooping up his 20th ground ball and making one pass before the final horn sounded..

Freshman attack Alex Patinkin scored three of his game-high five goals to ignite Babson's second-half rally. Eastern freshman attack Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) scored two of his team-high four goals in the fourth quarter. His first goal of the quarter gave Eastern a 10-8 lead and his second came on an extra-man opportunity and lifted Eastern into an 11-10 lead with eight minutes left in the game. Neither team scored for the next seven minutes until  Wilson scored from in close on a pass from junior defenseman Christian Ebert to tie the game at 11-11 with 52 seconds left.

The Warriors allowed Babson only three extra-man opportunites after the first quarter and was not whistled for a penalty over the final 21 minutes. Babson scored twice on man-up tries in the first quarter in taking an early 3-1 lead. Eastern gave up the first goal of the second quarter and trailed 4-1 before striking for the next five goals and eight of the next nine to move out ot its 9-5 lead. Senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) was credited with his first three goals of the season to ignite that 8-1 rally and senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) added two goals and Janssen two assists.

Sophomore Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) played the second half to receive his first collegiate victory in relief of starter Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA). Berube made eight saves over the first 30 minutes and carried a 6-4 lead into the half, but lost his bid for his first win when the visitors tied the match, 10-10, with 8:34 left.

The contest was the first for Eastern on the new synthetic turf at the Mansfield Complex. The win was the fifth straight and tenth in 14 meetings in this series for Eastern, ranked in a tie for 11th in the first New England Division III poll.

Eastern hosts Montclair State University Friday at 6 p.m.


Warriors capitalize in final minutes of each half to down Salve, 16-11

marchitto72sru_3650.jpgMIDDLETOWN, R.I. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team scored the final four goals of the first half to gain the momentum and struck for the final four goals of the match to pull away for a 16-11 victory over Salve Regina University Tuesday afternoon at Gaudet Field.

At left: Freshman Daniela Marchitto absorbs a check to the head in the final minutes of Tuesday's 16-11 win over Salve Regina.

 Freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made nine of her 11 saves in the first half to help Eastern (1-2)  overcome an early 5-2 deficit as she posted her first collegiate win between the pipes.

 In the second half, Eastern turned the ball over only six times after giving it away 13 times before the break, and completed all seven of its clears. The Warriors allowed only one goal over the final 28 minutes of the match.

In addition to recording a team-high six points on four goals and two assists, senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) had six ground balls, won three draws and caused two turnovers. Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY)  added four ground balls and Ibrahim, senior Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) and freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) three each. Junior attack Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) caused a team-high three turnovers.

MacDonald scored goals on four of her team-high nine shots. MacDonald and Marchitto both scored twice on free-position goals as the Warriors converted five of their eight free-position shots.

Leading 12-11, Eastern scored the final four goals, holding the Seakhawks scoreless in that span over the final 15 minutes. After senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY ) scored an unassisted goal to make it 16-11, Marchitto won the ensuring faceoff and the Warriors maintained possession for nearly five minutes before finally turning the ball over on an offensive foul with 47 seconds left.

Salve scored five consecutive goals to wipe out Eastern's early 2-0 lead. The teams split the next four goals before the Warriors moved into their first goal since the opening two minutes by connecting on the final four goals of the half for an 8-7 halftimie lead.


Wayte and first-year sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) scored two minutes apart to cut the deficit to 7-6 before Eastern scored twice in the final 50 seconds to claim its one-goal halftime lead. Prizio picked up a ground ball off a Salve turnover and fed senior attack Katie Beers (Trumbull) to tie the game with 49 seconds left in the half. With time winding down, Beers was denied by Salve sophomore goalie Natalie Balletta on a point-blank try on a fast break, but Beers scooped up the rebound and found freshman midfielder Taylor Buchanan (Ellington), who beat Balletta two seconds before the halftime horn for her first collegiate goal to give the visitors an 8-7 halftime edge.

Above: Freshman Nancy Ibrahim's nine first-half saves kept the Warriors within striking distance.

Eastern survived despite winning only nine of 29 draw controls.The fourth of four different players to take a faceoff, Martchitto took the final two faceoffs of the match iin the final minutes, winnng both..

Eastern visits Vassar College Wednesday, March 17 at 6 p.m.


Eastern Conn. 16, Salve Regiina U. 11

Eastern Conn. (1-2)       8       8 -- 16
Salve Regina U. (0-1)     7       4 -- 11

Goals: E-Taylor MacDonald 4, Katie Beers 2, Brooke Wayte 2, Ashley Prizio 2, Daniela Marchitto 2, Taylor MacDonald 2, Ashley Del Vecchio, Courtney Bedocs; S-Sarah Baker 3, Sarah Livingston 3, Nicole Viola 2, Erika Curtin, Kelly Burke, Lia Lanzo
Assists: E-MacDonald 2, Beers, Bedocs, Wayte, Prizio, Dana McLaughlin; S-Viola, Lanzo, Baker.
Shots: E-37, S-30; Saves: E-Nancy Ibrahim 11, S-Natalie Balletta 13.



Men tied for 11th in first NEILA poll (March 9).pdf

Men unanimous No. 1 selections, No. 2 women nab three first-place votes

fantlmlax300_0754.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -The Eastern Connecticut State University and Keene State LEClogo-1WEB.jpgCollege men's and women's lacrosse teams are expected to be among the serious contenders for their respective 2010 Little East Conference regular-season championships, according to the coaches' pre-season polls.

Above: Maxim Fantl

For the second-straight season and seventh time overall, Eastern men's lacrosse has been predicted to capture the Little East men's lacrosse regular season championship after a unanimous vote by the conference's eight coaches. The Warriors earned all eight first-place votes and 64 total points.Keene State College, the second-most successful program behind Eastern in conference men's lacrosse competition, was the clear-cut No. 2 contender. The Owls earned each of the eight second-place votes for 56 points.

Keene State College came in atop the women's lacrosse preseason poll, narrowly edging the three-time undefeated regular-season champion Warriors for the distinction. In votes cast by the conference's seven head coaches, the two schools garnered three first place votes apiece. The Owls took the overall vote by a narrow six point-margin, taking 45 points to the Warriors' 39. After winning its first playoff title a year ago with an overtime triumph over top-seeded Eastern, Keene State finds itself selected as preseason favorites for the first time since the poll's inception in 2002.

The women's survey's results reflect a budding rivalry between the two-top vote getters heading into the 2010 season. In 2009, the Owls and Warriors split two head-to-head contests, each of which were decided by a single goal. While Eastern Connecticut grabbed a 14-13 victory last March, Keene State countered with a thrilling 9-8 overtime victory last May to claim the 2009 playoff title on the Warriors' home field. The Owls and Warriors headline the first day of this spring's conference play with a head-to-head matchup at Keene State at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 3. This much-anticipated matchup will be broadcast on

Under the direction of third-year head coach Justin Axel, Eastern captured the program's seventh LEC regular-season and sixth LEC playoff championships in 2009, defeating Keene State, 12-8, in the conference final at Thomas Nevers Field. The Warriors received their sixth NCAA Division III Tournament berth and earned the program's first victory in the championship field with an overtime win at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Axel led the Warriors to an overall record of 15-4, including the program's seventh undefeated (7-0) conference record. In nine seasons of conference competition, the Warriors are 52-2 in regular-season matches and 14-3 in the conference playoffs for an overall mark of 66-5 (.930).

The Warriors have welcomed back 20 letterwinners this year, including junior faceoff ace Eric Vasil (Southington). Vasil, senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) and sophomore long-stick midfielder Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) are the team's three returning all-conference selections. In 2009, Vasil led the nation and established new single-season program records for faceoff percentage (.714) and ground balls (221). The Warriors opened the 2010 schedule with a 17-8 loss at No. 17 Stevens on March 3.

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At right: Brooke Wayte

In each of head coach Christine Hutchinson's three seasons, the Warriors reached the ultimate game of the LEC tournament, claiming titles in 2007 and 2008, and coming in second  to Keene State in 2009. In 2010, Eastern will feature a two-headed offensive attack in senior attack  Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA), both returning first-team all-conference players. MacDonald has been voted the conference's  Defensive Player of the Year  in each of the last two seasons. MacDonald is also a former LEC Rookie-of-the-Year and tournament MVP while Hutchison has been voted conference Coach-of-the-Year in two of her three seasons in charge.

The Little East sponsors a seven-game conference schedule with the top-six squads advancing to the 2010 Little East Championship. The tournament will begin with two first-round matchups on Tuesday, May 4 with the two winners advancing to play at the top-two seeds two days later. The Little East champion will be crowned on Saturday, May 8 and earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

2010 Little East Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank  Institution  First Place  Total Points

2  Keene State College     56
3  Plymouth State University     36
   Western Connecticut State University  36
5  University of Southern Maine     35
6  Salem State College     25
   University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  25
8  University of Massachusetts Boston   11

2010 Little East Women's Lacross Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank  Institution  First Place  Total Points
1  Keene State College  (3)  45
3  Plymouth State University  (1)  31
4  University of Southern Maine     25
5  University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  21
   Western Connecticut State University  21
7  Rhode Island College  14


Moriarty, Nedwick Defensive Player-of-the-Year and first-team awardees

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 NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) and sophomore LEClogo-1WEB.jpgguard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) headline a list of Eastern Connecticut State University individuals  honored by the Little East Conference in its season-ending basketball awards program.

Moriarty was named the women's Defensive Player-of-the-Year for the second time in the two-year balloting for the award, as well as being selected to the All-Defensive Team and as a first-team all-star. Nedwick joined Moriarty as the men's Defensive Player-of-the-Year and as a member of the All-Defensive Team and as a first-team all-star.

On the women's side, freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and freshman center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) comprised 40 percent of the All-Rookie Team, with Carter being additional touted as a second-team all-star.

For the men, senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) repeated as a second-team all-star, while eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner was named Coach-of-the-Year for the first time. The men's team was also honored with the inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award.

Moriarty and Nedwick were named to their respective all-conference teams for the first time in their careers, although Nedwick was a member of both the All-Rookie and All-Defensive teams as a freshman last year. Last year, Moriarty was a member of the women's All-Defensive Team when she gained Defensive Player-of-the-Year accolades and was also an All-Rookie selection as a freshman in 2007/08.

Behind the 5-foot-7 inch Moriarty, Eastern was first in the conference in conference regular-season games in rebounding defense and was third in scoring defense.

The 5-foot-11 inch Carter led Eastern in scoring (11.2) and rebounding this year, while Moriarty was second in scoring (10.5) and fourth in rebounding (5.0). Moriarty totaled a team-leading 61 steals, more than twice as many as her closest teammate. Both Carter and Moriarty started all 26 of the team's games. In conference games, Carter and the 6-foot-1 inch Kelleher ranked 2-3 in the LEC in field goal percentage. Kelleher averaged 7.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21 games this year. She moved into a starting position midway through the season and started the final 12 games in which she appeared.

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Carter becomes only the program's third true freshman to be named to the all-conference team, following eventual four-time All-America guard Allison Coleman in 2000/01 and eventual four-time all-star guard Darcy Mund in 2000/01. She was one of only two freshmen named to either the men's or women's all-conference team this year.

Photo by Cris Yarborough

Despite losing four starters from a year ago, the Eastern women shared second place in the final conference regular-season standings and received a bye into the tournament semifinals. The Warriors finished with an overall 17-9 record.

Like Moriarty, Nedwick was assigned the opponents' backcourt offensive ace every time out this season. In conference regular-season games this year, the 6-foot-1 inch shooting guard ranks fourth with a total of 24 steals. He led the Warriors in all games with 64.

Overall, Nedwick and Ortiz ranked 1-2 on the team in scoring, free throw percentage, steals, three-pointers and three-point percentage. Nedwick averaged 14.0 points with a .688 free throw percentage, 64 steals, 38 three-pointers and a .352 three-point field goal percentage. The six-foot Ortiz averaged 13.4 points, a conference-leading .893 free throw percentage, 25 steals, a program-record and conference-leading 79 three-pointers and a .389 three-point percentage.

In overall conference statistics, Nedwick currently ranks among the Top 10 in eight categories., and leads the LEC in total steals, minutes per game (33.6) and total minutes (1,007) and is second in steals per game (2.1).

Ortiz is a former conference Rookie-of-the-Year when he earned that honor as a freshman in 2006/07.He completed his 108-game career ranked fourth all-time with 1,438 points, second among guards. In addition to breaking his own season record for three-pointers this year, his career total of 267 three-pointers is more than 100 more than any other player in progam history.

For the second time in his head coaching career at Eastern, Geitner engineered one of the program's most significant one-year turnarounds. After finishing 12-14 overall and 6-8 and tied for fifth in the conference last year, Eastern won 20 of 30 games this year, recorded a program-record nine conference regular-season wins in 14 games, and shared second place in the final LEC standings after being picked for fifth in the pre season. The team was named to a post-season tournament for the first time in ten years and reached the championship game of the ECAC New England Division III Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Geitner, who has drawn  to within two victories of his 100th at Eastern, becomes the third different Eastern coach to be named LEC Coach-of-the-Year, following Barry Davis in 1999 and Dr. Dan Switchenko in 1988, 1990 and 1993.

It marks the third time this year that an Eastern team has won the inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award, following the field hockey and men's soccer teams this past fall.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Women close out indoor season by eclipsing two-year-old record at Smith

mills_charpentier_72dpi_2664.jpgNORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University 4x200 meter relay team closed out the women's 2009/10 indoor season by breaking the program's two-year-old record at the ECAC Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend at the Smith College Track and Tennis Facility.

At left: Monica Mills (foreground), and Christine Charpentier.

On Friday, the relay team of juniors Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) and Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and senior Monica Mills (East Hartford) was timed in 1:49.40,  .03 faster than the previous mark established two years ago at the same facility during the New England Division III Championships. Both Petrizzo and Mills were also part of that relay. Friday's race was the final indoor one in Mills' four-year career.

The relay placed 15th among 22 competing teams, less than a second-and-a-half shy of earning All-ECAC honors which is accorded the top eight finishers.

The record-setting relay had finished second in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Feb. 13 in a time of 1:50.47, which equaled the qualifying standard for the ECAC Championships. The relay earned All-New England honors the following weekend at the New England Division III Championships at the Costello Center on the University of Southern Maine campus, with a fifth-place finish in a time of 1:50.03.

During the season, the women's team broke five individual records and two relays.
In addition to running leadoff on the 4x200 relay, Petrizzo broke records at 200 and 400 meters Feb. 26 at the New England Open (she broke her own 400 record), while senior Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire) established a mark of 1:43.69 at 600 meters Feb. 6 and also contributed to the record-setting distance medley relay at the conference championship Feb. 20. Additional members of the DMR were juniors Ashley James (Franklin) and Becky Knapp (Naugatuck) and sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull). Among other records, senior Erika Barber (Portland) improved her program-record pole vault record with a jump of 10-feet-6 Feb. 6 and freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton)  broke the 14-year-old high jump record with a leap of 5-feet-3 Jan. 30.




February 28 Clinic.pdf               March 7 Clinic.pdf            

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The five-time national champion Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program will be sponsoring a Sunday series of clinics for youngsters beginning February 28 at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Molly Rathbun

The clinics will be conducted by ninth-year head coach Diana Pepin and assistants Clyde Washburne and Peter Maneggia and members of the 2010 team which is coming off its second straight NCAA Division III tournament appearance.

Among the clinicians from this year's team will be NFCA Division III All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun, NFCA Division III All-New England Region outfielders Ashley Sullivan and Priscilla Alicea, and ECAC All-New England shortstop Kim Church.

The clinics are open to youngsters age 8-to-17 and will focus on all aspects of the game, including throwing, receiving, hitting, bunting and fielding.

The February 28 clinic will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at a cost of $40 per player; the March 7 clinic will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at a cost of $25; and the March 14 clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon at a cost of $40.

For more information, contact head coach Diana Pepin at 860-465-5182 or at



Musson pitches a one-hitter for five innings in Warriors' win over OW

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgYAPHANK, N.Y. - Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) won his eighth career regular-season game without a loss and junior Robert Perry (Manchester) drove in three runs with three hits as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team completed a sweep of two season-opening weekend games with a 14-1 drubbing of SUNY Old Westbury Sunday afternoon at Baseball Heaven.

At right: Will Musson

Coming off a season-opening 19-4 victory over Albertus Magnus College Saturday, Eastern (2-0) collected 14 hits off six Old Westbury (1-4) pitchers Sunday and five Eastern pitchers limited the Panthers to five singles.

Perry, who was Eastern's top hitter with a .407 average in his first season last year, had a two-run single when the Warriors batted around in a six-run second inning, and also singled in another run in the fourth. He was 3-for-4 and also scored a run. Senior second baseman and leadoff hitter John Parke (Middlefield) singled in a run in the second, tripled in a run in the third and singled and scored in the fifth in matching Perry's hit total. Batting behind Parke, senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) reached safely three times with walks, scoring twice. First-year junior transfer Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) plated two runs with a bases-loaded walk in the second and a ground ball in the fifth.

Musson (1-0) fanned eight and walked two in a one-hitter over the first five innings. Redshirt freshman Mike Buckley (Braintree, MA) and freshman Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA) each pitched a scoreless inning in their varsity debut.

In late-inning at-bats, sophomore Hunter Caron (Houlton, ME) and freshman Drew Accomando (Monroe) recorded their first collegiate hits. Caron singled in the seventh and Accomando singled and scored in the eighth.

In two games this weekend, Eastern outscored its opponent 33-5 and outhit its opponent 39-11. Nine pitchers combined on a 2.50 ERA and fanned 25 with only six walks. Junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) had five hits, Perry, Parke and senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Monville) four each. Dewing drove in seven runs and Bass, senior All-America third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) and junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) each scored five runs.

Eastern visits Stevens Tech Wednesday at 4 p.m.




Tournament MVP Maldonado has 26 points for Blazers in title game


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The second-seeded Elms College men's basketball team scored the   final five points of the first half and the first six points of the second to gain the momentum and raced to a 94-71 victory over top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in the championship game of the 2010 ECAC New England Division III tournament Sunday at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Edwin Ortiz shot Eastern into an 11-point first-half lead Sunday with five three-point field goals. (Nick Noheimer photo)

Elms (24-6) ends its season on an 11-game winning streak while Eastern (20-10) lost at home for only the fourth time in 16 games. The ECAC appearance was the first for Elms, which won three tournament games in a span of five days. It was the first championship game for Eastern, competing in the tournament for the fifth time - first in ten years.

Behind five three-point field goals from senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford), Eastern led by 11 points with seven minutes left in the first half. Elms made a late rush to take a five-point halftime lead. The Blazers dominated the second half, using a fullcourt press and tight halfcourt man-to-man defense to outscore Eastern by 18 in the second half. The Blazers shot 64.5 percent from the floor in the second half and the Warriors turned the ball over 13 times thanks to 12 Elms College steals and missed 15 of 25 free throws.

Senior point guard Juan Maldonado of Elms was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. In the final, the 5-foot-4 inch Maldonado had a game-high 26 points, four assists and three steals. Maldonado was 10-for-16 from the floor and converted half of ten three-point field goals. He turned the ball over only twice in 31 minutes. In the second half, Maldonado had 18 points, canning seven of ten field goals (4-for-6 from three-point range).

Eastern, which won 20 games this year after a 12-14 campaign a year ago, turned the ball over 22 times after giving the ball away 27 times Saturday in a 75-71 semifinal-round win over Becker College. Senior forwards Javon Mathis and Antoine Holder followed Maldonado with 19 and 14 points, respectively, with junior forward Edgar Martinez adding 11. Maldonado, Mathis and Martinez combined to go 22-for-31 from the floor. In addition to Maldonado, Mathis played a key role for Elms in the tournament. He had 20 points and ten rebounds in a first-round win Wednesday over Curry College and 11 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 68-64 semifinal win over sixth-seeded Husson University. He was 20-for-27 from the floor in the tournament.

Held without a field goal in Saturday's semifinal win while battling the flu, Ortiz provided an early surge for the Warriors by nailing six of nine field goals (5-for-7 from three-point range) in the first half. Eastern used an 11-1 run to build its 11-point lead with seven minutes left in the first half - getting field goals from five different players - but the Blazers countered immediately with an 11-point run of their own which knotted the game at  30-30 with four minutes left. Maldonado ignited that important burst when he put in a driving layup off a steal and pass from junior forward Juan Alverio, then completed a three-point play with a free throw that made it 30-28. The Warriors missed two field goal attempts and two free throws soon after, and Mathis tied the game with an inside bucket with four minutes left.

Ortiz paced Eastern with 17 points, but was unable to get a single shot off in ten second-half minutes. Sophomore forward Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) came off the bench for 12 points and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) had 11 points and three steals for Eastern. A 68.0 percent team from the free throw line this year, Eastern missed 17 of 30 tries Sunday.

Nine different Elms players contributed to the team's total of 16 steals.

Eastern's only senior, Ortiz concluded his 108-game career ranked fourth all-time with 1,438 career points. The program's all-time three-point field goal leader with 267 - more than 100 more than his nearest competitor - Ortiz broke his own season record with 79 three-pointers this season.

Eastern became only the third team in the program's 68-year history to win 20 games, concluding only one win shy of the 21 victories established in 1969/70 and equaled in 1992/93.



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dewing, Tingley shine as Warriors collect 25 hits and strike out 15 batters


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgYAPHANK, N.Y. - Junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) drove in seven runs with two hits and four Eastern Connecticut State University pitchers struck out 15 batters on a combined six-hitter as the Warriors routed Albertus Magnus College, 19-4, in their 2010 season-opener at Baseball Heaven.

Above: Andrew Dewing

Ranked No. 3 nationally in the pre-season, Eastern scored the final 13 runs over the final six innings to pull away from an early 6-4 lead. The contest was the 2,000 game played in the 62-year history of the program.

Sparking  a 25-hit attack which featured 19 singles, Dewing drove in two runs with singles in the first and second innings and a double in the fifth and mixed in an RBI single in the fourth. Senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford), senior rightfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) and sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA).all contributed three hits. Two of Bass's hits were doubles. Bass, junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and senior All-America Melvin Castillo (Danbury) all scored three runs.

Below: Mike Tingley

tingley_jersey_72_0213.jpgThe right-handed Schult gave up four hits and all four Albertus (0-1) runs over the first three innings, but fanned six and walked only one. Junior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) was credited with his fifth career pitching win by throwing two scoreless innings after taking over for Schult. Senior lefty Mike Tingley (Rockville), battling arm problems the last two years, was dominant in a three-inning hitless stint. Tingley fanned the side after being inserted in the sixth and struck out two more in the seventh and eighth. He did not allow a baserunner.

In all, 13 batters collected at least one hit. First-year Division I junior transfer Travis Turgeon (Norwich) and freshman Joe Balowski (Berlin)  recorded their first hits in an Eastern uniform. Balowski singled in two late-game at-bats in place of Castillo at third and Turgeon contributed a two-out double in the ninth after taking over for Dewing at first base in the seventh. Turgeon had walked in his first plate appearance in the seventh.

Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) is the expected starting pitcher Sunday against SUNY Old Westbury at Baseball Heaven.



No. 1 Eastern and No. 2 Elms emerge with victories and will meet Sunday


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The top two seeds in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) men's basketball tournament built double-digit leads, then had to hold on to gain four-point semifinal wins Saturday and advance to Sunday's championship game at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus.

At right: Junior defensive stopper Bill Roveto (24) holds his ground against Becker's DJ Exum in the second half of Saturday's ECAC semifinal victory. (Nick Noheimer photo)

Host and top-ranked Eastern (20-9) led by as many as 15 points seven minutes into the second half and held on for a 75-71 triumph over fourth-seeded Becker College (19-10) in Saturday's first semifinal. In the second semifinal, second-seeded Elms College (23-6) raced to an 18-point lead with four minutes left in the first half and had to survive a second-half rush by sixth-seeded Husson University (16-12) that narrowed the margin to two late in the game in a 68-64 triumph.

Both finalists will be in search of their first ECAC tournament titles Sunday in their first appearances in the title game. Prior to this year, Eastern had advanced as far as the tournament semifinals only once in its previous appearances in the tournament. The ECAC bid this season was the first one for Elms, which had earned berths in the NCAA tournament each of the previous five seasons. The Blazers are under the direction of ninth-year head coach Ed Silva, a former Little East Conference All-Star and assistant coach at Eastern in the 1990s. In the only meeting between the programs, Elms  recorded a 92-74 victory over the Warriors in the championship game of the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament in 2006.

Eastern Conn. 75, Becker College 71

Eastern never trailed in the second half and led by 15 seven minutes into the stanza, but  utilizing its press, Becker pulled to within three points with six minutes left and within one when junior DJ Exum and junior Rajai Leggett each stole the ball and scored on layups on consecutive plays to make it 65-64 with three minutes left. Junior Broderick Sawyer (Norawalk) then found  sophomore Jamie Kohn (Columbia) open underneath for an uncontested basket and Sawyer then sank two free throws to push the lead back to five with two minutes left.

By grabbing twice as many offensive rebounds, Becker outscored Eastern by ten on second-chance opportunities and had a +11 advantage on points off turnovers (forcing 27 and commiting only nine) but was 17-for-33 from the foul line and missed all nine of its three-pointers.

Senior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) and Kohn played all but six minutes for Eastern and combined for 45 points (17-for-27 from the floor), 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Nedwick netted a season-high played all 40 minutes for Eastern, and was one of two Eastern players with at least 20 points. Nedwick had his second-high career point total with a game-high 25 points in 40 minutes to go along with four steals, four rebounds and two steals; Kohn had 20 points (9-for-12 from the floor) with a team-high eight rebounds and three assists.

Becker sophomore Terrance Favors  ignited Becker's second-half rally by scoring 13 of his team-high 17 points after the break. Favors finished with a game-high ten rebounds.

The Warriors survived despite having two players foul out and playing with a sub-par Edwin Ortiz (Hartford). Ortiz, who shares the team scoring lead with Nedwick, was held scoreless from the floor and finished with two points while battling a case of the flu. He played only 22 minutes.

Now 12-3 at home this year, Eastern reached the 20-win plateau for only the third time in the program's 68-year history. A win in the final will equal the program record for wins, set in 1969/70 and equaled in 1992/93.

Elms College 68, Husson U. 64

A winner of nine straight, Elms outscored Husson 13-2 late in the first half and appeared headed for a rout with an 18-point, 37-19 lead with three minutes left in the first half. The Eagles were unable to convert a field goal for five minutes during that stretch, getting  six free throws in that stretch before  junior forward Jay Uhrin chased in a three-point field with 2:33 left in the stanza. Uhrin scored all seven of his team's points in that run.

Elms senior Antoine Holder had 13 points and eight rebounds for Elms in the first half and Uhrin scored ten points for Husson over the final 20 minutes before fouling out with 6.6 seconds left.

Elms could only match Husson's game total of 16 free throws despite taking 12 more. The Blazers were just 16-of-35 from the foul line, including 9-of-22 when Husson staged its second-half rally.

Senior Juan Maldonado led Elms with 16 points, freshman Brittain Purcelle adding 14, Holder 13 points and eight rebounds and senior Javon Mathis 11 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Uhrin led all scorers with 18 points and had six rebounds, while sophomore Joshua Jones had ten points and a game-high 15 rebounds



Against Wesleyan, Warriors strike for final five goals in road loss


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Wesleyan University kept its record spotless against Eastern    WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgConnecticut State University in eight matches in this series with a 16-10 women's lacrosse win Saturday morning in the Cardinals' season and home-opener.

At right: Ashley Prizio

Wesleyan scored the first six goals of the match less than eight minutes into the contest with both senior Erin McCarthy and junior Jess Chukwu scoring twice to lead the run.  Both finished the game with four goals.  Eastern senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) ended the Cardinal string with the first of her three goals for the Warriors with 21 minutes to go before halftime.  The half ended with the Cardinals holding a substantial 12-2 edge.

The lead remained around double-digits for the opening 20 minutes of the second half with Wesleyan junior Allie Lynch adding a goal and an assist to produce a team-leading seven points as she produced six helpers to go along with her goal. Lynch's unassisted tally with 12:43 remaining gave Wesleyan its largest lead at 16-5. 

Eastern netted the final five goals of the game, two of them by first-year sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield), who finished with a hat trick. Eastern outscored Wesleyan 8-4 in the second half behind an 18-8 shot advantage.  Wesleyan held a 24-8 margin in shots during the opening 30 minutes.

In goal, freshman Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) notched eight saves for Eastern. for the second time in as many career starts  Cardinal sophomore Maggie Drowica made two stops while allowing two goals in the first half.  Senior Abby Sedney minded the net in the second period, making seven saves and yielding eight goals.

Eastern plays  Salve Regina  University Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Gaudet Field in Middletown, RI.


Experience will be a strength as Warriors shoot for fifth national title

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team returns six proven pitchers and starters at every position as they embark upon their 42nd season under head coach Bill Holowaty Saturday against Albertus Magnus College at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, NY.

Above: Senior All-America Melvin Castillo

The program's sixth decade of competition unfolds Saturday with the 2,000th game in the program's 62nd season. Goals for Holowaty --  the winningest collegiate coach of any sport at any level in New England - are a 15th trip to a national tournament and a fifth NCAA Division III national championship.

Last year, Eastern won its seventh Little East Conference tournament championship in 13 years and competed in its 37th post-season tournament. A winner of the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament in its previous four tries in that tournament, the Warriors used a dramatic ninth-inning comeback in the losers' bracket final before losing by a run in the title game.

"I have a very good feeling about this team," notes Holowaty. So does most of the Division III world,with the Warriors being ranked No. 3 nationall in the pre-season and being rated among last year's national Top 10 in 11 team statistical categories. "The guys are working hard. They've made a commitment." As far as raising another national championship flag - or even earning the right to play for one - Holowaty knows that "it's going to come down to pitching, defense, and getting those key hits and making those key plays, and all of those things that good teams do at the end."

The pitching staff will revolve around at least four tried and tested right-handed hurlers in seniors Will Musson (Wethersfield) and Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) and juniors Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and Chris Wojick (Uncasville). All but Wojick were starters last year. A senior with junior eligibility, Wojick may move into the starting rotation to make room for untried and untested Travis Bass (West Hartford), the team's starting shortstop.

Senior lefties Mike Tingley (Rockville) and Wes Dutton (Waterbury) round out the experienced returning pitching group. A co-captain, Dutton is coming off a breakout season as the middle reliever while Tingly could round into top form after rehabilitating  from an arm injury.

Holowaty is enthusiastic about the potential of his mostly unproven remaining pitching prospects. That group includes sophomore righty Michael Hepple (Newington) and sophomore lefty Tom Darby (Middletown, RI), each of whom spent most of last year with the sub-varsity but did get a small taste of varsity experience. Others who could round into varsity contributors are senior lefty Andrew Smiley (North Kingstown, RI), junior righty Andrew Morrison (Old Saybrook), junior lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor) and junior righty Jeff Morris (Deep River), redshirt freshman righty Mike Buckley (Braintree, MA), freshman righty Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA), sophomore transfer righty Mitch Furber (Montville). Morris retains sophomore eligibility after transferring in in 2007, while Buckley is coming off Tommy John surgery and Furber has been slowed in the pre-season due to tonsillitis.

"Our pitching is going to be the key," Holowaty predicts. "If we can develop a pitching staff with this offensive team... this team can run, it's very fast. The ability to make routine plays consistently is going to be a key. Having a presence on the mound is going to be a key. So, we have a lot of ingredients, now, we need it to mix together properly. I think that we have the ingredients to possibly do it. I think that we have to make things happen. Time will tell."

Bass has been an infield starter the last two years at Eastern - gaining All-New England honors last year -- after an All-New England freshman campaign at Castleton State College.

Fontaine and Musson were both all-region picks last year, with Musson winning a staff-high nine games in his first season after transferring from the Division I level and nearly pitching the squad to  victory in the regional championship on two days' rest.  A strikeout artist when healthy, Fontaine is bouncing back from an arm injury sustained last year.

Every position will be manned with experienced players who were primarily fulltime starters last year -- -- three of who are seniors.

Sophomore Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and junior Chris Cannata (Southington) may share duties again behind the plate, as they did a year ago following the departure of Andrew Magliola.  Bass returns at shortstop, with two-time third-team All-America senior Melvin Castillo (Danbury) at third, senior co-captain John Parke (Middlefield) at second and junior Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) at first. Juniors will open in the outfield, with second-year transfer  Robert Perry (Manchester) in left, Joe Cousineau (Newington) in center and the versatile Schult in right.

Castillo, Schult, Bass and Parke were also named to last year's all-region team, while Perry  batted a team-leading .407 and Parke and Bass rated 1-2 in assists and steals. Schult batted .388 and won all four of his pitching decisions and leads all returning starters with a 2.72 ERA.

Schult will serve as the designated hitter when he pitches, with other DH candidates including Division I junior transfer Tyler Turgeon (Norwich), second-year senior transfer Chris Thomson (Montville) and first-semester Division I sophomore transfer Evan Jones (Pomfret).

Infield depth will be provided by Turgeon, freshman Drew Accomando (Monroe), sophomores Justin Proctor (Meriden) and Kevin Keys (Fairfield), sophomore transfer Mark Julius (Meriden), and freshman Joe Balowski (Berlin). Turgeon is a corner infielder and Keys a first baseman.

 Joining the starting outfielders as important contributors will be seniors Shane Kingsley (Beacons Falls) and Thomson, junior Andrew Dyer (Topsfield, MA) and sophomore Hunter Caron (Houlton, ME). A second-year transfer, Kingsley has junior eligibility after missing his freshman season at Division I Marist College with a broken elbow.

Holowaty has always placed a premium on Senior Leadership. Although this year's club is brimming with seniors, Holowaty knows that, ultimately, the 'leadership' part will be the telling factor..

"Maybe we didn't have enough leaders last year to do what we wanted to do. Maybe this year we'll have more leaders stepping forward. (Co-captains) Shawn and Tristan were our leaders last year," points out Holowaty of two-time Division III Player-of-the-Year Gilblair and first baseman Hobbes. "This year we have ten seniors.  We have more leaders than we've had in quite a few years. The seniors have slowly grown up. Now it's their time to step forward  and show what they can do. Maybe we have more leaders who will express themselves. So, maybe we have more leaders, maybe we have a tougher ballplayer, because of maturity. Will we do it, is a mystery. The saying is 'the past is history, the future is a mystery.' It depends on how hard we want to work, and whether we will believe in each other. Maybe we can make the future pretty darn good. "


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Senior Courtney Bedocs (below)

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bedocs_head_72_2046.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Coaches are fond of saying that every player on their team is important. In the case of the 2010 Eastern Conneccticut State University  women's lacrosse team, fourth-year head coach Christine Hutchison can say that - and mean every word of it.

At right: Taylor MacDonald

The fact that this year's team features a solid senior class of five is not all that unusual. The unique thing is that those five constitute one-third of the squad which opens its 15th intercollegiate  season Thursday afternoon by hosting No. 11 nationally-ranked Babson College at 4:30 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

"We will have a small team (in numbers), so everyone will play," says Hutchison. "We've made sure to tell everyone that they will be extremely important, so everyone is working very hard. They will all need t take good care of themselves and their bodies. This has made us very close as a team."

Eight starters are back from last year's team which won half of its 18 games,  and completed  a perfect  Little East Conference regular season for the third straight year before falling in overtime in the conference tournament title game.

A new synthetic turf field allows the Warriors to begin a season on their home field for only the second time ever - the first time since 1999, when the official regular season did not unfold until March 30.

While the lack of numbers has prevented the Warriors from fully utilizing the expanse of the new field, the benefits have been obvious and should pay dividends immediately.

"We are so much better at this point than we were last year and better than we have been in any previous year, because we've been outside (in the pre-season)" notes Hutchison. "Whether we practice full field or not, the field has been a huge help because we can actually catch and throw in transition, which we hadn't been able to do in the past."

Nine returnees should fill out three-quarters of the opening-day lineup, with three newcomers to round out the starting unit. A new face will fill the goal for the fourth time in four seasons and Hutchison is in search of a new center to replace graduated senior Jessica Richards, who took roughly 75 percent of the team's faceoff with a success rate nearly 60 percent.

While freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhust, NY) will need time to adjust to the college game, Hutchison - the conference Coach-of-the-Year selection in two of her three seasons -- raves about the newcomers coachability, talent and work ethic. Low defenders responsible for keep opposing attackers away from the cage are junior two-year letterwinner Paige Booth (Hollis, NH), sophomore returnee Megan Barrett (Setaucket, NY) and junior Lauren St. Pierre (Southington), a second-year member of the program and first-year starter. Barrett moves from midfield this year to defense help offset the loss of graduated all-conference defenders Sara Barrett and Jackie Bivona. The defense wings will be first-team All-State freshman Daniella Marchitto (Orange), the conference's Rookie-of-the-Year in soccer this past fall, and  senior Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford). McLaughlin is a returning starter.

The centerpiece of the midfield area will be two-time conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA), a center who is already ranked among the all-time leaders in a number of offensive and defensive categories. MacDonald led last year's team in points, assists, ground balls, and caused turnovers and leads all returnees in draw controls.

Hutchison expected most every player on the field with the exception of the low defenders to contribute offensively. MacDonald will be joined offensively by attack wings Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) and Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) and attackers Katie Beers (Trumbull), Courtney Bedocs (Hamden) and first-year sophomore transfer Ashley Prizio (Brookfield).  Wayte, Beers and Bedocs are all seniors and Del Vecchio a junior. All were starters last season.

"This year, we have 11 people who are very comfortable handling the ball, carrying it, passing it, and putting a shot on cage," Hutchison notes. "I would really love it to have the scoring spread out - not for any one player to have really huge numbers, but huge numbers for our entire starting lineup. That would show that actually, physically, a team and not just a bunch of individuals. That's what I'm looking for."

In her second season last year after transferring  from Division II C.W. Post, Wayte joined MacDonald as a first-team all-conference selection as Eastern's second-leading scorer. Beers, Del Vecchio and Bedocs followed MacDonald and Wayte in scoring, with Beers and Del Vecchio handling  starting roles for the first time last sring. A two-time All-State player, Prizio is coming off a team MVP season at Division I Long Island University last spring.

"We were good last year, but I think this year that we're going to be a little bit better as a team, as a unit," says Hutchison. "And for lacrosse, that's really important. Everyone needs to trust each other in order to get the ball up and down the field. Win or lose, I think that they are going to play as a team."

While quantity will be in short supply off the bench, Hutchison likes the quality in freshmen Samantha Barone (Plainedge, NY), a defender, attack Christina Rully (Orange), and midfielder Taylor Buchanan (Ellington). Freshman Taylor Bidmead (Ellington) will back up Ibrahim in cage.

As the season approached, Hutchison felt that the faceoff position remained unsettled. Leading candidates were MacDonald, Barrett, Buchanan, Marchitto and Prizio. Hutchison felt that the team's overall aggressiveness around the faceoff circle would provide the team with its share of draw controls, regardless of who is occupying the center circle.

Last year's conference playoff loss in the title game was the first conference setback for any upperclassman on this year's roster and  snapped an overall conference 23-game winning streak.  In the coaches' pre-season poll, Eastern was rated second, which suits Hutchison fine.

"Instead of it being Eastern that every (conference) team gets geared up for, it will be (playoff champion) Keene," points out Hutchison. "And then they may make us a little bit of a lighter threat."



No. 11 Beavers score first seven goals to spoil Warriors' home-opener


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  Two-time All-America midfielder Anna Collins had three goals and four assists to power No. 11 nationally-ranked Babson College to an 18-6 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in the Warriors' season and home debut Thursday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Freshman Nancy Ibrahim (at right) made eight saves in her collegiate debut.

Six different players combined to score the first seven goals of the game for Babson (2-0), which was coming off an overtime victory over No. 8 nationally-ranked Union College in its season-opener Tuesday. It was the fifth win for Babson over the Warriors in the last five years.

Playing its season-opener at home for only the second time in program history, Eastern limited Babson to only four goals in the second half while getting three goals on four shots after the break from junior attack Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield). Freshman midfielder Daniella Marchitto (Orange) scored her first collegiate goal on her first shot with a free-position marker with 11 minutes left in the first half. First-year sophomore transfer Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) also contributed her first goal in an Eastern uniform in the first half.

Eight different Babson players found the back of the net. In addition to Collins, senior third-team All-America midfielder Kaitlyn Pettengill, sophomore attack Trisha Babson and junior attack Alyssa Hood each scored three goals. Babson, last year's ECAC Rookie-of-the-Year also won 11 faceoffs and captured eight draws and junior midfielder Ellen McCurdy collected a team-high five ground balls.

Eastern senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA),, the two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, won 13 of 20 faceoffs and picked up nine of the team's 14 draws.

Freshman Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made  eight saves in her collegiate debut for Eastern while Babson junior goalie Sarah Macary turned aside four saves to win her second decision of the season.         

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Saturday at 9 a.m.                                                      

Babson College 18, Eastern Conn. 6

Babson College (2-0)  14 4 -- 18
Eastern Conn. (0-1)    3 3 --  6

Goals: B-Anna Collins 3, Kaitlyn Pettengill 3, Trisha Babson 3, Alyssa Hood 3, Taylor Kralovenec 2, Jamie Spang 2, Ellen McCurdy, Erin Daley; E-Ashley Del Vecchio 3, Ashley Prizio, Daniella Marchitto, Taylor MacDonald
Assists: B-Collins 4, Pettengill, Kralovenec,  Spang, Babson, Hood, Daley; E-MacDonald.
Shots: B-32, E-14; Saves: B-Sarah Macary 4, E-Nancy Ibrahim 8.



Warriors muster only one first-half goal as they are dumped by Ducks

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgHOBOKEN, N.J. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team allowed five goals in the final eight minutes of the first quarter in dropping a 17-8 decision to No. 17 nationally-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology in the 2010 season-opener Wednesday afternoon at DeBaun Athletic Complex.

At right: Eric Vasil

Featuring a starting lineup of two seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and one freshman, Eastern could not dig out of an early 12-goal deficit in falling to the nation's 17th-ranked team. Stevens (3-0), a winner of two of the last three ECAC Metro/South championships, was making its home debut after posting two consecutive one-goal wins, one of which came against No. 20 Endicott College. The Warriors were coming off a 15-4 campaign and NCAA tournament appearance.

Five of Eastern's goals came by players making their Eastern debuts: first-year Division I junior transfer Grant Albertson (New Canaan) scored twice and freshmen Dan O'Reilly (Southington), Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) and Jonathan Nessa (Dedham, MA) once each. Senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) added two assists.

Junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) - last year's Division III national leader in ground balls and faceoffs, won 23 of 29 faceoffs (12-for-13 in the second half) against five Stevens Tech faceoff men and picked up 20 ground balls.Vasil won 13 of 17 against Stevens senior or Bobby Steinhauser.

Stevens junior goalie Dave Decker - a first-team pre-season All-America -- turned aside 12 of 16 shots before giving way to his backup with nine minutes left. After coming off the bench in seven games behind Kyle Savage last year, sophomore Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) surrendered 13 first-half goals in his starting debut before freshman Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) stopped four of ten shots on goal in his debut in the second half.

Four Stevens starters combined for 12 goals and nine assists. Junior Chris Laurita had three goals and five assists and sophomore Alex Hofrichter four goals and a helper. All-America defenseman Zach McHugh scooped up a team-high six ground balls for Stevens.

Eastern hosts Babson College Wednesday at 4 p..m. in the first of three straight home matches.

Stevens Tech 17, Eastern Conn. 8

Eastern Conn. (0-1)          1     0     3     4 --   8
Stevens Tech (3-0)            5     8    2     2 -- 17

Goals: E-Grant Albertson 2, Salieu Bolivar, Zach Malouf, Matthew Janssen, Jonathan Nessa, Dan O'Reilly, Vinny Tornatore; S-Alex Hofrichter 4, Chris Laurita 3, blair Koontz 3, Rich Dupras 2, Brandon Faubert 2, Dan Prakopcyk, Taylor Brown, Nicolas Philipi.

Assists: E-Maxim Fantl 2, Albertson, Bolivar, Brendan Hoppey, Eric Vasil; S-Laurita 5, Dupras 2, Koontz 2, Hofrichter, Tom Iadanza.

Shots: E-33, S-47; Saves: E- Jamie Tommins 6 (13 goals allowed, 30:00 min.), Donald Berube 6 (4, 30:00), S-Dave Decker 12 (4, 50:45), Eric Yando 2 (4, 9:15).




Levy, Kohn are key in second half as Warriors eliminate Wentworth

garrow72dpi_3268.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sophomores Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) and Jamie Kohn (Columbia) combined for 20 second-half points to help lift the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to its first post-season win in 17 years with a 64-59 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology Wednesday night in the first round of the 2010 ECAC New England Division III Tournament at Geissler Gym.

Above: Mike Garrow steals the ball in the first half of Wednesday's victory. (Nick Noheimer photo)

With the win, top-seeded Eastern (19-8) advances to the tournament semifinals Saturday at 4 p.m. and will host fourth-seeded Becker College (19-9). In the other semifinal Saturday at 7 p.m. second-seeded Elms College 22-60 faces sixth-seeded Husson University (16-11). The tournament final is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. All games will be played at Geissler Gymnasium.

In the second half, Kohn had 11 points and six rebounds and Levy nine points, three steals and two assists in eight minutes  to spark the Warriors to their second tight win over eighth-seeded Wentworth (15-12) this year.

Eastern outscored Wentworth 9-4 over the final three minutes after breaking a 55-55 tie to pull out its 11th home win in 14 tries. With two minutes left and Eastern leading by two,, 59-57, Kohn grabbed the offensive rebound of a missed Eastern free throw and Levy sank a jumper to give Eastern a four-point lead. Wentworth senior guard Jack Barrett hit an off-balance layup while being fouled with 16 seconds left, but he missed the free throw and Eastern senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) converted one of two free throws 13 seconds left to give Eastern a three-point 62-59 lead.  Kohn then swished two free throws with two seconds left after Wentworth missed an off-balance three-point heave .

Eastern scored 22 points on second-chance opportunities, more than doubling Wentworth's offensive rebound total.

With a team-high 15 points and game-high 11 rebounds, Kohn had his team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) had 13 points and six rebounds, Ortiz 12 points and five rebounds and Levy 11 points (4-for-6 from the floor) and four steals.

Wentworth scoring and rebounding leader Sam Herrick, a 6-foot-11 inch junior, was held to five points and five rebounds, but senior forward Matt Abbott came off the bench for a game-high 16 points and five blocked shots, and team-high nine rebounds.

Nedwick dropped in a driving layup off a pass from junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor), then fired in his only three-point field goal of the game 90 seconds later to boost the Warriors into a nine-point lead --  their largest of the game - eight minutes into the game and led by  seven at halftime. Behind Abbott, however, the Leopards needed only two minutes in the second half to take their first lead since the opening basket of the game, 33-31.  After sophomore guard Adam Dombrowski canned a three-point on Wentworth's first possession of the second half, Abbott turned two Eastern misses and a turnover (Abbott stealing the ball) into three consecutive hoops to give the visitors that two-point lead. The game was tied six times heading into the final minutes before Ortiz gave the Warriors the lead for good, 57-55, with two free throws with three minutes left.

All three of Levy's double-digit points this year have come in two Little East Conference and one ECAC tournament game. He has 44 points, nine rebounds and ten steals and is shooting .714 (3-for-3 from three-point range) in those three games.

A win Saturday will give Eastern its second 20-win season in 68 seasons. In 1992/93, the Warriors finished 21-7 and reached the NCAA Division III sectional tournament championship game.



Warriors anticipate continued success under third-year head coach Axel

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Coach Justin Axel

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The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team opens its third season under head coach Justin Axel Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. when the Warriors visit No. 17 Stevens Institute of Technology at DeBaun Athletic Complex on the campus of the Hoboken, N.J. school.

At right: Eric Vasil's .714 faceoff percentage was Division III's best in 2009.

The Warriors return 19 letterwinners from last year's team which equaled the program record for wins (15-4 record), won its sixth Little East Conference playoff championship in nine years, went undefeated in regular-season conference play for the seventh time in nine years, and  achieved a landmark NCAA Division III tournament win - its first ever.

Eastern has lost its top two defenseman, starting goalie, and  top two scorers from that squad which carried a nine-game winning streak into a closely-contested 8-4 loss at Wesleyan University in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

However, it may be pre-mature to write the 2010 season off to growing pains. In fact, the Warriors might just be getting started under Axel as they chase their seventh NCAA tournament berth this decade.

While there are a number of holes to fill - including replacing four-year starting goalie Kyle Savage and 2009 USILA honorable mention All-Americas Steve Lane (a defenseman) and midfielder DJ Simmons  -- a combination of improved returning players and promising newcomers are intent on making the season just as memorable.

In Stevens Tech, Eastern will face a team ranked 17th in the first USILA Division III rankings. The Ducks are coming off their second ECAC regional championship in the last three years and already have two (one-goal) wins under their belts. They feature first-team pre-season All-America goalie Dave Decker, last year's Empire-8 Goalie-of-the-Year, as well as pre-season honorable mention All-America defenseman Zach McHugh.

Stevens is one of three nationally-ranked teams that Eastern will face in the first 18 days of the regular season. The Warriors will  play seven contests before opening their conference season April 3 at the University of Southern Maine.

Tangibly, Eastern's biggest strengths this season may be its size, depth, conditioning and its ability to win faceoffs. Its biggest areas of concern in the pre-season are inexperience on defense and in goal.hoppey slides.jpg

At right: Brendan Hoppey, top returning scorer.

"I tell our guys all the time that we just want to improve a little bit each day," said Axel, a former Salisbury University assistant who took over a program which was coming off its first losing season in program history. "This team has the capability of beating anyone on any given day because the offense is so good, because we have a faceoff guy who can get us the ball 75 percent of the time.  So even if we are giving up goals, if our offense is clicking, we can trade goals back and forth with most teams all day.  It will be interesting to see how far this team goes."

While Eastern got off to an encouraging start last year against its traditionally competitive non-conference opponents, the ability to practice outdoors extensively for the first time ever in pre-season may make for an even more productive start this season.

Sophomore Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) and freshman Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) are waging a healthy neck-in-neck battle for the starting goalkeeper spot vacated by stalwart Kyle Savage, with senior Douglas Hackenyos (West Suffield), juniors Daniel Dowling (Hamden) and Ryan Schneeloch (Glastonbury) and sophomore Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) expected to see most of the time on the back line. Dowling will also provide depth at long-stick midfield, where he will join junior Sean Leary  (West Hartford) and injured sophomore Andrew Sonnet (New Providence, NJ). The starting offensive midfielders are likely to be seniors Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) and Zach Malouf (Norwich) and faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington). Rotating at attack will be junior Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, NY), 6-foot-7 inch first-year Division I junior transfer Grant Albertson (New Canaan), and freshman Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ), with depth provided by senior Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk),  junior Brian Fechtmann (Levittown, NY) and freshman Jonathan Nessa (Dedham, MA).

Top defensive midfielders are sophomores Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk), Mark Vincent (Norwalk) and John Epley (Mystic).

"I actually think that we're better (offensively) already this year than we were last year, despite losing (Simmons and Matthew Savage), who were two great players," observes Axel. "We have 10-12 guys who can go in and play offense and score goals at any point in time. It is on the defensive end where it will take a little bit of time. But it's just a matter of getting the (defensive) guys playing together more. We had had the same defense down there for three years. They were all on the same page. It's just a matter of getting our new guys feeling each other out and getting comfortable with each other.  And we've seen a magnificent improvement from Day 1. Our defense is now playing great team defense. They just have to continue improving.They've been taking it to heart, they know that they can't relax." 

Bolivar, Brian Fechtmann and Nessa will also contribute at offensive midfield, as will senior Michael Glennon (Walpole, MA), sophomore Kyle Bainton (North Attleboro, MA) and freshman Dan O'Reilly (Southington), who missed last season with a broken jaw suffered in the pre-season. Additional defensive midfielders are senior Morty Bouchard (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) and junior Lee Mascolo (West Hartford).

Vasil was incomparable at the 'X' last year, leading Division III in faceoff percentage (.714) and ground balls (221). He set season records for faceoff percentage, faceoffs won and attempted and obliterated the season ground ball record. For his performance, he was named an honorable mention pre-season All-America this year.

"As good as Eric was last year, he worked twice as hard in the off-season," points out Axel. "His shot and stick have gotten better, and his defense is incredible. People cannot beat him on defense, because he's so strong. He should be," notes Axel, "the best faceoff guy in the country again."

Although Eastern lost its top two scorers in Matthew Savage and Simmons, every other player to harvest double-digit points returns. Hoppey leads the returnees with 39 points despite missing the first four games of last year with a hand injury. Malouf added 29, Brian Fechtmann  and Fantl with 28 each.

The luxury of having a synthetic turf field available throughout pre-season has  vaulted Eastern several weeks ahead of its usual schedule. The results were noticeable immediately in the team's two pre-season scrimmages against Wesleyan University and Connecticut College.

"We're going to be better earlier on," says Axel. "We won't see that (traditional) peak later in the year when we were previously just getting outside.  We will have a much slower (improvement)  curve and it won't be dramatic. Even though we lost nine guys, we feel that we can still be competitive in our conference, and hopefully, get another chance to go to the NCAAs."


Warriors host Wentworth Institute of Tech. in first round Wednesday


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Coach Bill Geitner (below)

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team has  been selected as the top seed in the 2010 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III Tournament and will host a first-round game Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Edwin Ortiz (Cris Yarborough photo)

Eastern (18-9) meets eighth-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology (15-11) in one of four tournament first-round games scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern will remain at home as long as it is alive in the tournament and with a first-round win would host the tournament semifinals Saturday (4 and 7 p.m.) and the final Sunday at 2 p.m.

Eastern has qualified for post-season play for the first time since 2000, when it earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament after winning the Little East Conference championship. The ECAC bid is the fifth for the Warriors since 1981 but first since 1990. Eastern is 1-4 in four previous ECAC appearances, 1-1 at Geissler Gym.

Qualifying for its first post-season tournament under eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner, the Warriors have won five of their last seven but were eliminated in the semifinals of the LEC tournament Friday in an 81-67 loss to Western Connecticut State University at Rhode Island College.

Eastern's win total this year equals the seventh-highest in the program's 68-year history and is the highest since 1992/93, when it tied the program record with 21 wins en route to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) share the Eastern scoring lead with 13.7 averages. Sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) tops the team with a 7.9 rebounding average and junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) and sophomore forward Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) each have team-leading .521 field goal aveage. Ortiz is sinking free throws at a team-leading .899 percentage and also has a program season-record 73 three-pointers. He is one of five players in program history with as many as 1,400 career points.

The meeting is the second time this year between Eastern and Wentworth, the Warriors winning, 75-67, Jan. 14 at Geissler Gymnasium. Ortiz (21) and Thompson (17) led the Warriors in scoring in that game, with Kohn grabbing nine rebounds. Ortiz was 9-for-10 from the the foul line.

Like Eastern, Wentworth was eliminated in the semifinals of its conference tournament (The Commonwealth Coast Conference) after finishing second in the regular season, but qualified for post-season play for the first time since 1998. The post-season appearances is just the second  in the program history.

After a 6-9 record through their first 15 games, the Leopards won eight of their final nine regular-season games.

Wentworth is led by 6-foot-11 inch first-team all-conference  junior forward Sam Herrick (11.2 ppg., 9.1 rpg), Second-team all-conference senior forward Shane West averages 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, while shooting 60.6 percent from the floor.  Sophomore guard Adam Dombrowski rounds out Wentworth's top three scorers, averaging 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds, and leads the team with 50 three pointers made. Second-team all-conference senior forward Matt Abbott averages 9.0 points and 6.9 rebounds, while shooting 57 percent from the floor. 

Herrick had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds when the teams met during the regular season. The Leopards led by two points at halftime of that game but missed 11 of 20 free throws in the game.

Eastern last played an ECAC tournament home game in 1988, when it dropped a 70-68 first-round decision to Rhode Island College. Eastern's only other ECAC tournament home game came in 1986, when it posted a 75-61 first-round victory over Tufts University.