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August 2010 Archives

Leanne Shoop Gets Call to E-Club Hall

Anticipating a hoop career, she instead made her mark in softball 
 
HallofFame_72dpilogo.jpgshoophead_1392372dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  Leanne Shoop may have been anticipating a solid collegiate career when she enrolled at Eastern Connecticut State University in the fall of 1987 as an All-State basketball player out of Bacon Academy.

As it played out, Shoop's sport of choice at Eastern turned out to be softball. And it was solid. Hall of Fame solid.

The only player in Eastern softball history to earn All-America honors in each of her first two seasons in the program, Shoop has been chosen for induction into the University's E-Club Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.

The 17th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 24 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.

A Colchester native, Shoop set a number of records and attained numerous milestones in a four-year Eastern career between 1989 and 1992. An outfielder, she is one of only two players in program history named first-team All-America as many as two times and is one of only three three-time All-Americas (the only three-timer who was strictly a position player) in program history. Shoop, who began a streak of 160 consecutive starts 15 games into her freshman season, established program career records for hits (192), stolen bases (65), consecutive stolen bases (31),  outfield  assists (41) and at-bats (556), with all but the career stolen base mark having withstood the onslaught of the last 18 seasons.

Under the late head coach Jeff Anderson, Shoop batted at or near the top of the order
and served as the team's starting rightfielder (she moved to center early in her senior year). She helped Eastern to a four-year record of 136-38 (78.2 percent), four consecutive regional championships and three spots in the championship round of the NCAA Division III national tournament, including the 1990 national title.

Recruited to Eastern to play basketball, the 5-foot-3 inch 120-pound Shoop joined the softball program after two solid basketball seasons. In her first softball season in the spring of 1989, Shoop batted .368 (third-best on the team) and threw out 12 runners from right field and became the program's first first-team freshman All-America; on the 1990 national title team the following year, Shoop batted a career-

high .371 (also third-best on the team) with a career-high 21 RBI, led the club in hits (49) and steals (12), and repeated as a first-team All-America and remains as the only player to earn that honor in her first two season; as a junior she batted just .297 but matched her 1990 total of 49 hits, was 19-for-19 in stolen bases, and collected a career-high 14 outfield assists; as a senior, Shoop batted .359 with a career-high 52 hits and was selected second-team All-America and as the ECAC Player-of-the-Year.

After three seasons as the starting rightfielder, Shoop was moved to center field nine games into her senior campaign following a season-ending injury to sophomore centerfielder Lori Franchina. In  the regular season that year, Shoop batted .405 and had two or more hits in nearly half (16) of the team's 34 games, only twice going as many as two straight games without a hit. In fact, in 171 career games (second-most in program history), Shoop had two or more hits 55 times.

Shoop began her program record streak of 31 consecutive steals four days into her sophomore season - a streak which extended four days into her senior year. In her career, she was caught stealing only five times in 70 tries.

Shoop's first outfield assist came in her first career game on the team's season-opening trip to Hawaii.. As a late-inning replacement in right field, she forced out Hawaii Loa's Vicky Lee at first base on a "single" to right for the first out of the sixth inning of a scoreless game in an eventual 1-0 Eastern win. In her first career at-bat in the seventh inning of that game, Shoop singled, but ironically, was thrown out trying for her first career stolen base.

In her two-year basketball career, Shoop appeared in 48 games with six starts and averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 assists. She was a member of two ECAC tournament teams which combined on a 38-18 record.

Shoop holds a B.S. Degree in Sociology from Eastern and an M.S. Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Southern Connecticut. She is currently employed by Connecticut Real Estate Management and makes her home in Middletown with Alyssa Pillion.

Shoop rounds out the six-person E-Club Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Earlier announced as inductees were Denise Lamontagne '90, the first All-America second baseman in the history of the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program and a senior starter on the 1990 national title team, Bernice Laferriere '92,  a key component of two NCAA Division III women's basketball Final Four qualifiers, three Little East Conference championship teams and an ECAC tournament titlist, Brian Cassidy '87, a right-handed baseball pitcher who earned All-America honors in both seasons of a two-year career, Tom Reynolds '82, a senior All-America third baseman on the baseball program's first NCAA national title team  in 1982, and Jason Brasher '92, a two-time NEISL All-Star and 1991 Little East Conference Player-of-the-Year who graduated as only the third player in program history with as many as 100 career points.


 

Women's Soccer Alumni Game

WATCH: Meet the Alumni, and 2010 team

alumni72dpi_2636.jpgNearly 20 former players in the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer program attended the 2010 women's alumni game this afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. The alumni, many of whom played on at least one of the three Little East Conference tournament championship teams over the last seven years, scored the first two goals Sunday, but the 2010 team scored the final two to record a 4-3 victory. Eastern opens its 11th season under head coach Chris D'Ambrosio this coming weekend at the Springfield College Invitational.

 

 

Warriors return 14 letterwinners from team which won LEC tourney title

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WATCH: Chris D'Ambrosio, Head Coach

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University and Keene State LEC25.jpgCollege have been predicted to share the Little East women's soccer regular-season championship, according to the 2010 preseason coaches' poll. The Warriors and Owls each earned 58 total points, with Eastern garnering two of eight first-place votes.

At left: Lauren Hickey

Western Connecticut State University garnered the final two first-place votes to enter the preseason rankings in the third position with 49 points. The Colonials had their three-year streak as regular-season champions stopped in 2009.

Eastern earned its highest ranking in the preseason poll since 2006, when the Warriors captured their second of three conference championships. Eastern will begin the 2010 campaign the same way they started the 2006 slate, as the defending Little East champions. The Owls are making their sixth appearance as a preseason favorite and first since 2005. The Warriors and Keene State also shared the top ranking in the 2004 preseason listings.

Under the guidance of 11th-year head voach Chris D'Ambrosio, Eastern sported an overall record of 12-6-3 in 2009, marking the program's ninth consecutive season with at least ten victories. By posting a 5-1-1 conference regular-season record, the Warriors improved their LEC record over the last nine years to 50-8-5. Seeded second in the LEC tournament, Eastern recorded two shutout victories which included a 1-0 victory at the top-seeded Owls in the finals to earn the program's third NCAA tournament bid in the last seven years. It marked the sixth time in the last seven years that Eastern advanced to the LEC tourney championship game and was the Warriors third championship game triumph over Keene in four tries (twice as the second seed on the field of the top seed).

Half of this year's 14 letterwinners were regulars a year ago, among them 2009 LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Rookie-of-the-Year Daniela Marchitto (Orange), the team's two returning all-conference selections among six all-conference picks last year. Hickey is a senior, Marchitto a sophomore. Other key returnees are junior midfielder Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel), junior back Laura Violette (Wallingford), sophomore forward Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), and sophomore back Rachel Cutler (Guilford).Key losses include 2009 LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year Sarah Swann,  2008 LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year Christine Lemieux, and two-time All-LEC keeper Kim Church.

Last year, Denise Lyons directed Keene State to the program's first conference regular-season championship since 2004 with an unbeaten Little East record of 6-0-1. The Owls (16-6-3) matched the program's third highest single-season victory total since Keene State joined the conference 13 years ago. The Owls closed the 2009 campaign in dramatic fashion by defeating Brandeis University on penalty kicks in the championship round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament.    

Eastern competes in tournaments  on two consecutive weekends, opening an 18-game regular-season schedule  Sept. 4-5 at the Springfield College Invitational. The Warriors host Western Connecticut in their LEC opener Sept. 18 at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, and follow by hosting Keene State a week later.

The Little East sponsors a single round-robin conference schedule with each team playing seven matches. The top six teams in the final regular-season standings will earn a berth into the 2010 Little East Women's Soccer Championship Tournament. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receive a bye and home field advantage into the semifinal round on Thursday, Nov. 4 with the winners advancing to the championship round three days later at the highest remaining seed. The conference champion will represent the league in the NCAA Division III Tournament. 

In 1989, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Southeastern Massachusetts University), Plymouth State University (College), Rhode Island College, and the University of Southern Maine each formed the Little East Conference. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993, while Keene State College completed the present eight-team membership in 1997. 


          2010 Little East Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll


Rank Institution (First Place Votes) Total Points
1. EASTERN CONNECTICUT  (2) 58
 Keene State College (4) 58
3. Western Connecticut State University (2) 49
4. University of Massachusetts Boston  36
5. University of Southern Maine  25
6. Plymouth State University  21
7. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  20
8. Rhode Island College  19

Warriors coming off second conference tournament title in three years

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WATCH: Carl Appel, Jr., Tri-captain

LEC25.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University and Keene State College share the top spot in the annual Little East Conference men's soccer preseason coaches' poll for the second time in the past three years. The Warriors and Owls are projected to once again finish tied atop the conference standings with each team receiving three first-place votes and 54 total points.

At right Aaron Smiles

According to the coaches', Rhode Island College will be in the regular-season title hunt after entering the preseason survey just two points shy of the favorites. The Anchormen claimed the final two first-place tallies. Eastern Connecticut, Keene State College, and Rhode Island College have represented the Little East as the automatic qualifier in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in each of the past four seasons. 

Under the watchful eye of fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito (42-16-7), Eastern Connecticut has earned at least a share of the top ranking in the preseason survey each of the past three years. In 2009, the Warriors matched the program's single-season win record with an overall mark of 16-5-1. Eastern Connecticut and the Owls both boasted a 6-1 record in the conference circuit to finish tied atop the Little East standings. The second-seeded Warriors raised the program's second Little East Championship trophy after edging the fourth-seeded Corsairs, 1-0, in the final. The victory over UMass Dartmouth earned Eastern Connecticut an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament--marking its second appearance in the past three years.

DeVito will welcome back eight starters from the 2009 edition, including a trio of all-conference selections. Junior Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) and sophomore Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) will control the defensive third, while junior goalkeeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) resumes his accustomed position in net for the third consecutive season. In 2009, the Warriors limited their oppositions to one or fewer markers in 16 of their 22 matches. Eastern Connecticut ranked atop the conference standings in goals against average (0.92), while sharing the lead in shutouts (9). .

Eastern competes in two exhibition matches - Friday at home against Gordon College at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at  Mitchell College at 4 p.m. The Warriors open their 18-match regular season looking to defend last year's Babson College Classic title Sept. 4 against MIT at 3:30 p.m.. Esatern plays the first of seven regular-season LEC matches Sept. 18 at Western Connecticut State University.

Head Coach Dr. Ron Butcher has guided Keene State to at least a share of the top spot in seven of the past eight preseason men's soccer coaches' polls. A year ago, the Owls finished strong down the stretch--winning six of their past seven matches--to share the regular-season championship and earn the No. 1 seed in the championship tournament.  Keene State completed the 2009 campaign with an overall record of 13-7, marking the 12th time in the past 13 years the Owls' have eclipsed double-digit victories.

Butcher returns 20 student-athletes back into the fold from a season ago, including sophomore attacker Joe Senecal. The all-conference, second-team selection is Keene State's top-returning scorer after registering 20 points on 10 goals as a rookie. The Owls kick off the 2010 schedule at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1, when Keene State travels to New England College.

The Little East sponsors a single round-robin conference schedule with each team playing seven matches. The top four teams in the final regular-season standings will earn a berth into the 2010 Little East Men's Soccer Championship Tournament. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will host semifinal round action on Wednesday, Nov. 3 with the winners advancing to the championship round three days later at the highest remaining seed. The conference champion will represent the league in the NCAA Division III Tournament. 

Completing the preseason poll in projected order of finish are University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (40), Plymouth State University (30), University of Southern Maine (25), Western Connecticut State University (16), and the University of Massachusetts Boston (12).

The Little East Conference begins its 22nd season sponsoring men's soccer in 2010. In 1989, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Southeastern Massachusetts University), Plymouth State University (College), Rhode Island College, and the University of Southern Maine each formed the Little East Conference. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993, while Keene State College completed the present eight-team membership in 1997. 


2010 Little East Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Institution First Place Votes Total Points

1. EASTERN CONNECTICUT (3)  54
    Keene State College (3) 54
3. Rhode Island College (2) 52
4. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  40
5. Plymouth State University  30
6. University of Southern Maine  25
7. Western Connecticut State University  16
8. University of Massachusetts Boston  12

 

 

Vandermeer Era Officially Underway

 Veteran mentor conducts first practice as Eastern's new volleyball coach

floorlevel72dpi_2104.jpgWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgFran Vandermeer runs the Warriors through their first practice Monday night as first-year head coach of the Eastern women's volleyball program. Led by returning seniors Alyssa Ruta, Christina Schirone and Rachael Joy, ten of the 15 players on the pre-season roster return from a year ago.A winner of three consecutive Little East Conference tournament titles from 2005 through 2007, Eastern struggled to a 12-18 overall record last year one season after posting its sixth 20-win season in the previous nine years. A Hartford native, Vahorizontal72dpi_2099.jpgndermeer brings to Eastern 13 seasons of head coaching experience at Trinity College and Williams College, where she led her teams to four appearances in the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in a seven-year span and a combined overall record of 318-128. Eastern opens the 2010 season Wednesday, Sept. 1, hosting Roger Williams University at 7 p.m. at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. A talented returning junior class includes first-team all-conference middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen, setter slonski72dpi_2115.jpgBritt Carrier, hitter Samantha Slonski and libero Taylor Abelli. Rounding out the returning group are junior Gianna Trombino (a 2007 letterwinner) and sophomores

 LEC Pre-Season Poll.pdf

Shannon Burke and Danielle Bourne. Among five newcomers to this year's team is  6-foot-2 inch middle hitter Katie Wilson, who lettered at Division II Southern Connecticut State University last fall after leading Norwich Free Academy to the Class "LL" state title as a first-team all-stater and regional Player-of-the-Year in 2008.

 

He batted .459 in 1982 post season to power baseball to first NCAA title

HallofFame_72dpilogo.jpgreynolds head72.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Tom Reynolds, who began his Eastern Connecticut State University baseball career with the ultimate individual feat and capped it with the ultimate team accomplishment, has been selected for induction into the University's E-Club Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.

The Thomaston native and 1978 St. Paul Catholic High School graduate hit for average and power as one of the program's premier clutch hitters, and used a discerning eye at the plate to draw over 100 walks in a four-year career between 1979 and 1982 that culminated in the 1982 NCAA Division III national championship.

The 17th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 24 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.

After Eastern fell one win short of a national tournament berth in two of the first three years of his career, the 5-foot-9 inch Reynolds shouldered the offensive and defensive loads in the 1982 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Tournament.

In three regional tournament games that year, the left-handed hitter batted .643 (9-for-14) with a .688 on-base percentage, nine RBI and five runs scored en route sharing the tournament MVP award.

In his only season as the regular third baseman,  Reynolds handled six chances in the regional tournament without an error, contributing a miraculous diving grab on a scorching ground ball to his left in the bottom of the ninth inning of the regional championship game that moved the Warriors to within one out of their first regional title in NCAA play.

Reynolds played the majority of the 1982  regional tournament with a badly bruised shoulder suffered when he dashed home from third base on a fly out to shortstop to score the go-ahead run against Ithaca College in the regional opener.  Reynolds also ignored the pain the following week in the national tournament, reaching base safely 11 times with eight hits and three walks and handling 21 chances without an error in the field to power the Warriors to four straight elimination wins following an opening-round loss in the double-elimination tournament.

In that breakthrough 1982 regional tournament, Reynolds reached safely in each of his first five plate appearances in each of the first two regional games (four hits and a walk in each), scored that improbable go-ahead run in the opening win against defending champion Ithaca, then drove in five runs in the second-game win with a double, three-run home run and two singles.  After teammate Norm Cutler tied the championship game against Brandeis University with a solo home run leading off the eighth, Reynolds greeted relief pitcher Larry Machado with a two-out, RBI single that proved to be the margin of victory as the Warriors clinched their first-ever NCAA regional championship.

The result of Reynolds's first career at-bat served as  an omen of an impending Hall of Fame career when he uncorked a pinch two-run home run against Division I University of Richmond on the teams opening southern trip. Three games into the season, he was a fixture in the lineup in left field and at DH and spent most of the season batting fifth in the order.

Reynolds' batting average rose every season, culminating in his senior season when he batted a career and team-high .376, including a mark of .459 with 12 RBI, eight runs scored and a .524 on-base percentage when he hit safely in all eight post-season games. That year, Reynolds was the only player to appear in all 45 games en route to second-team All-America honors. In addition to batting average, he led the Warriors in RBI, walks, slugging and on-base percentage.

In hitting safely in 25 of the final 27 games of his career, Reynolds played a key role when the Warriors lost only two of 31 regular-season games up north (28-2-1), and steamrolled to a program-record 21 straight regular-season victories over the second half of the season.
 
Sandwiched between Eastern Hall of Famers Jim Silva and Dennis Glynn in the lineup as a sophomore, Reynolds became the first Eastern batter to hit a home run under the lights at Alumni Field on April 18, 1980, with his third-inning three-run home run sparking a stunning 11-10 upset of Division I North Carolina.

In 646 career plate appearances, Reynolds struck out only 35 times - roughly once every five games - and had an on-base percentage of nearly 45 percent. He left the program as the all-time leader with 102 career walks, was fourth in RBI (135), seventh in hits (185), and  tied for seventh in home runs (17).

In the summer prior to his senior season, Reynolds proved himself as a legitimate professional baseball prospect by tearing up the Cape Cod Baseball League. In the premier wood bat summer league in the country with the Falmouth franchise, Reynolds belted 14 home runs - just two shy of the league record - and was named to both the mid-season and year-ending all-star teams.

In the summer following his senior season, Reynolds was drafted in the 25th round of the First Year Player Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

Reynolds becomes the sixth player from the '82 national title team to earn a spot in the E-Club Hall of Fame, following senior classmates Glynn, a second baseman, and outfielder Ray Gliha, junior first baseman Archie Drobiak, sophomore right-handed pitcher Jeff Brewer, and freshman outfielder Kevin Beaudoin.
 
Reynolds works as a Trauma Sales Manager for Rochester, NY-based Zimmer and resides in Penfield, NY with wife Mary and two children.

Earlier announced as 2010 E-Club Hall of Fame inductees were Denise Lamontagne '90, the first All-America second baseman in the history of the fastpitch softball program and a senior starter on the 1990 national title team, Bernice Laferriere '92,  a key component of two NCAA Division III women's basketball Final Four qualifiers, three Little East Conference championship teams and an ECAC tournament titlist, Brian Cassidy '87, a right-handed baseball pitcher who earned All-America honors in both seasons of a two-year career, and Jason Brasher '92, a former Little East Conference Player-of-the-Year and one of only four 100-point scorers in the 49-year history of the men's soccer program.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame has enshrined a total of 91  former athletes, coaches and administrators and has also recognized the contributions of 15 "friends" with the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award and has honored 22 individuals as "Pioneers" for their efforts in helping to establish the tradition of the Eastern athletic program.

 

Eastern Fall Pre Seasons Approaching

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Eastern Connecticut State University soccer senior Lauren Hickey of Southwick, MA works out Thursday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex track in preparation for the start of pre-season camp Monday.Hickey was last year's Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year. The Eastern women's and men's soccer teams both won conference tournament titles last year and qualified for NCAA tournament play. The women and men open their 2010 seasons Sept. 4-5 by participating in the Springfield College Invitational and Babson College Classic, respectively. The women are under the direction of 11th-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio and the men under fourth-year mentor Greg DeVito. Under the direction of new head coach Fran Vandermeer, women's volleyball opens the 2010 home athletic season Sept. 1 by hosting Roger Williams. Under fifth-year head coach Christine Hutchison, field hockey kicks off its season at home against Salve Regina on Family Day Sept. 4.The men's and women's cross country teams, under tenth-year head coach Frank Poulin, begin competition Sept. 10 at the Fitchburg State College Jim Sheehan Memorial Classic at Coggshall Park in Fitchburg, MA.

Eastern Hosts HS Soccer Camps

littleMAC72dpi_1938.jpgMichael McNally (foreground), a freshman at Cromwell High School, participates with his teammates in the Eastern Connecticut State University High School Team Camp Thursday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. In addition to Cromwell, teams from Windham Tech, RHAM, Woodstock Academy, E.O. Smith and Tolland high schools competed at the three-day camp, which concludes Friday. The camp is under the direction of fourth-year Eastern head coach Greg DeVito and his coaching staff and alumni. McNally is the son of 1988 Eastern graduates John and Sue (Nalewajek) McNally. At Eastern, Sue was a four-year volleyball letterwinner and John was a four-year baseball and basketball letterwinner and 2006 E-Club Hall of Fame inductee.

EASTERN SOCCER'S HIGH-SCORING BRASHER E-CLUB HALL OF FAMER

 In career, he established himself as program's third 100-point scorer

HallofFame_72dpilogo.jpgbrasherhead72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A prolific soccer scorer and playmaker for Eastern Connecticut State University in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jason Brasher has been selected for induction into the University's E-Club Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.

The lithe 5-foot-11 inch, 150 pounder from Rowayton led or shared the team lead in goals and points each year after his freshman campaign in 1987, with the forward/midfielder netting career-highs of 17 goals and 41 points as a senior in 1991

The 17th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 24 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.

As a freshman, Brasher played under Eastern all-time scoring leader John Fitzgerald and with Glenn Judge, who graduated second only to Fitzgerald in all-time points. . By the time Brasher graduated, only Fitzgerald and Judge had collected more than Brasher's 79-game career total of 105 career points.  Today, only four players in the program's 49-year history have attained the career 100-point plateau.

The 1987 Brien McMahon High School graduate played his first two seasons (1987-88)  under Eastern Hall of Famer Fitzgerald  and his final two (1990-91) under former University of Connecticut soccer legend Frantz Innocent.  He started 73 of the 79 matches in which he appeared -- missing only one - and either scored or assisted on nearly 40 percent of the team's 173 goals in his career. 

After the team went winless (0-3-2) in conference play in 1990, the Warriors were unbeaten (4-0-1) in Brasher's final season and shared first place in the conference.  The second-year senior captain scored 17 goals and totaled 41 points , was named second-team All-New England by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA)  and to the NEISL New England All-Star Game for the second straight year, Player-of-the-Year by the Little East Conference as its runaway scoring champion, repeated as a first-team all-conference selection, was second in the state in scoring, and  was voted team MVP.

Teaming up front with fellow first-team all-conference striker Demian DeVega in 1991, Brasher collected at least one point in 14 of the 20 matches in which he appeared. He knocked in three goals in the season-opener against Southern Vermont and in mid-October, scored both of Eastern's goals as the Warriors salvaged a 2-2 overtime conference tie with UMass Dartmouth. Brasher tied that game seven minute s into the second half and after the Corsairs moved in front seven minutes into overtime, Brasher tied it again when he scored on the rebound of a shot by Mike Surber.

The final week of Brasher's career was exhilarating. In his final conference game, Brasher contributed to all four goals by scoring two and assisting on two when the Warriors routed UMass Boston to clinch a share of the regular-season title. He reached and exceeded the 100-point plateau in that game with his second goal in the 54th minute. Four days later in his collegiate finale, he scored the only goal of the match with a 20-yard blast in the 12th minute that capped a season-ending four-game winning streak that propelled the team to the .500 mark. In those final four matches, Brasher contributed to seven of the team's ten goals by scoring five and adding two assists.

Brasher's first collegiate season in 1987 was a memorable one for two reasons. As only a freshman, he was able to team up front with national scoring leader Glenn Judge to help the Warriors forge their most successful season in Brasher's career.

Brasher scored twice in his collegiate debut to help Eastern get out of the gate quickly with four straight wins. The Warriors won six of their first eight and remained in post-season tournament contention until consecutive late season losses spoiled the bid.  That year, Eastern won two of three matches against Division II opponents but dropped one-goal decisions to New England tournament contenders Salem State, Trinity College and Fitchburg State. Brasher's goal midway through the second half on his only shot of the match tied things against Fitchburg - the team's last loss before a season-ending three-game winning streak - but the Falcons recorded the game-winner minutes later.

Brasher started all but six matches in his career, and saw time in the first 55 games before sitting out for the only time -- a 2-1 win over American International College -- after being sent off with a red card (two yellows) two days earlier against the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Brasher teaches Physical Education and serves as Athletic Director at The Montessori School in Wilton and resides in Bridgeport with wife Veronica and sons Joaquin, 9, and Diego, 3.

Earlier announced as 2010 E-Club Hall of Fame inductees were  Denise Lamontagne '90, the first All-America second baseman in the history of the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program and a senior starter on the 1990 national title team, Bernice Laferriere '92,  a key component of two NCAA Division III women's basketball Final Four qualifiers, three Little East Conference championship teams and an ECAC tournament titlist, and Brian Cassidy '87, a right-handed baseball pitcher who earned All-America honors in both seasons of a two-year career and led the Warriors to the 1987 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional championship.


 

CASSIDY RIDES TWO-YEAR BASEBALL CAREER INTO E-CLUB HALL OF FAME

Pitcher won 20 games and was an All-America in both seasons at Eastern

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -    An overwhelming majority of the 80 current athletes in the Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame have needed four competitive seasons to establish  Hall of Fame legacies.

Count Brian Cassidy among the underwhelming minority.

A right-handed pitcher with impeccable control and a devastating slider, Cassidy achieved NCAA Division III All-America honors in both seasons of a two-year baseball career, feats which have qualified him as a member of the University's E-Club Hall of Fame Class of 2010. The announcement was made by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.

The program's undisputed No. 1 pitcher in both 1986 and 1987, Cassidy becomes only the fourth individual -  the first baseball player -- to earn Hall of Fame stripes while competing in as few as two traditional seasons in just one sport. In that category, he joins in the Hall of Fame previous two-year letterwinners Tony Romano (basketball/1988 inductee), Kim Durocher Wise (softball/2006), and Judy Pemberton Bell (track and field/2006).

The 17th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 24 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center.

After experiencing mixed results in limited opportunities in two seasons at NAIA-affiliated Southern Utah State University, the 6-foot-3 inch, 175-pounder won 20 of 25 decisions with three saves in only 35 career appearances at Eastern, with a 2.24 ERA . Incredibly, he completed nearly half (12) of his 25 starts, four resulting in shutouts.

A resident of Scituate, MA, Cassidy was named first-team All-New England and to the ABCA All-America team and competed in the New England College All-Star Game at Fenway Park  in both years at Eastern. In his first year, he was 9-3 with a save and 1.98 ERA in 95 2/3 innings en route to second-team All-America honors. As a senior in 1987, he was 11-2 with two saves and a 2.50 ERA in 97 1/3 innings and led the Warriors to their third regional championship in six years and a spot in the NCAA Division III national tournament at Marietta, Ohio. Only three pitchers in the 62-year history of the program have ever won more than Cassidy's 11 games in a season.

Behind its ace, Eastern qualified for consecutive NCAA Division III regional tournaments,  advancing to the '87 national tournament after Cassidy fired a complete-game six-hitter in the regional championship win over the University of Southern Maine.  That season, Cassidy headlined one of the deepest pitching staffs in program history. That staff, which lost its two national tournament games by a total of three runs, compiled 16 complete games and seven saves, gave up less than a hit an inning and amassed  a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Cassidy became the sixth member of the prestigious 20-win club in his final collegiate appearance when he tossed a complete-game eight-hitter over North Central College in the second round of the 1987 nationals. Among the 11 other pitchers in program history to win 20 games, ten were four-year members of the program and the 11th pitched for three seasons, and all but one pitched more than Cassidy's career total of 193.0 innings. Cassidy's career winning percentage of .800 currently ranks in a tie for fourth among 20-game winners.

Cassidy won his first five and last six decisions in an Eastern uniform, with four of his five career losses coming by a single run. His 1.98 ERA in 1986 landed him just .04 shy of the national top Ten and his 11 victories in 1987 were the most in New England and fifth-most in Division III. In his career, Cassidy accumulated a 3.3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and surrendered an average of less than ten hits and walks per nine innings. At the time of graduation, he ranked second all-time by averaging only 2.05 walks per nine innings, a mark which currently ranks fifth-best in program history.

Twenty three years after throwing his final pitch, Cassidy ranks sixth all-time in program history in career ERA, tied for sixth in shutouts, and tied for eighth in complete games.

 In two New England College All-Star Game appearances (one start), Cassidy fanned eight University Division all-stars over four innings, among them eventual major league all-star shortstops Mike Bordick and Gary DiSarcina.

Cassidy was born in Allentown, PA, spent his formative years in Groton and attended high school outside Ogden, UT. His family moved to Southington soon after his graduation from Box Elder High School

Cassidy earned his B.S. Degree in Elementary Physical Education from Eastern in 1987 and was employed for 22 years at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness in Hanover, MA. This past January, he started his own company, BDK Fitness, Inc., where he serves as president. Cassidy resides with wife Diana (Bergman), a 1988 graduate of Eastern, and son Kyle, 10.

Previously announced as 2010 E-Club Hall of Fame inductees were  Denise Lamontagne, the first All-America second baseman in the history of the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program and a senior starter on the 1990 national title team, and Bernice Laferriere, a key component of two NCAA Division III women's basketball Final Four qualifiers, three Little East Conference championship teams and an ECAC tournament titlist.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame has enshrined a total of 91  former athletes, coaches and administrators and has also recognized the contributions of 15 "friends" with the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award and has honored 22 individuals as "Pioneers" for their efforts in helping to establish the tradition of the Eastern athletic program.

Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.


 

EASTERN CONNECTICUT CAGE CLINIC

stoltenberg_72dpi_1725.jpgThe Fourth Annual Eastern Connecticut Basketball Clinic wrapped up Friday at the Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center. A record 170 area youngsters took part in the clinic, which featured two five-day sessions.  The clinic is under the direction of ninth-year head men's coach Bill Geitner, his staff, and a number of players from the men's and women's basketball teams at Eastern.  Youngsters learned the fundamentals of the game through drills, individual instruction and competition. At left is six-year-old Zachary Stoltenberg of Tolland, who attended the clinic's second week.