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September 2010 Archives

Field Hockey: Late Goal Sinks Warriors

They are still looking for first LEC win after Colonials break late tie

reichardt72dpi_3095.jpgDANBURY, Conn.. - The Eastern Connecticut WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgState University and Western Connecticut State University field hockey programs have enjoyed only limited success as members of the Little East Conference. None of that seems to matter when they square off in a match which usually results in a one-goal decision.

At left: Danielle Reichardt

Wednesday was no exception as the teams played to a one-goal decision for the fourth time in five years.

This time, sophomore defender Deanne Mastrocola waited for just the right moment to score her first career goal, in the closing minutes of Western's 2-1 victory at the Westside Athletic Complex that sent the Warriors to their fourth straight loss and dropped them to 0-4 in conference play.

Mastrocola's blast from the top of the arch with just over five minutes left lifted Western (5-3, 2-2 little east) to its fourth win in this series with Eastern (2-6, 0-4 little east) in six decisions.

Mastrocola, who had taken six shots prior to the winning  blast, was set up by a perfectly placed penalty corner from junior Lauren Atkinson.  She completed the set piece with a bullet by Eastern junior keeper Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ). The blast ruined a productive evening for Reichardt, who more than doubled her previous season high with 15 saves. Both of the goals allowed by Reichardt came on penalty corners.

Despite being decisively on the short end of the shot and penalty corner totals, Eastern was able to rebound from an early deficit and enter the second half on even terms after senior forward Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) scored her second goal of the year in the 16th minute.The Colonials took a 1-0 advantage, in the tenth minute of play, when Atkinson set up Leandra Zaklukiewicz  from the corner. It was Zaklukiewicz's first career tally, as well.

Eastern visits Plymouth State University Saturday at 1 p.m.

W-Volleyball: Comeback Falls Short

Warriors erase two-set deficit before J&W uses late spurt to survive


PROVIDENCE, R.i. - Eastern Connecticut State University and Johnson & Wales University continued its hotly-contested rivalry Wednesday night at the Harborside RAC.

At right: Erynn Miller

In a match where three of the first four sets were decided by a total of seven points, Eastern (6-8) nearly dug itself out of two-game hole before Johnson & Wales scored the final five points of the deciding game emerge from a 10-10 tie and survive in five games.

Johnson & Wales won the match, 25-18, 28-26, 22-25, 24-26, 15-10.

In the last nine meetings between the programs, only two have been decided in straight sets, with four of the last nine going the full five sets, the Wildcats winning each time.

In the five-set tussle, five Eastern players collected ten or more digs: sophomore Danielle Bourne (Branford) and junior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) with 17 each, junior Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) and freshman Erynn Miller (Stratford) 16 each and junior  Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) with ten.Ibsen served 27 balls with only one error and Bourne 16 with none. Ibsen also led the Warriors offensively with 13 kills, sophomore Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) adding 11. Miller made only one error on 31 receptions, and Slonski recorded 30 set assists.

Wildcat senior Catherine Bravo notched her fifth triple double of the season with 18 kills, 24 assists and 15 digs for the winners, while sophomore Michelle Johnson recorded 12 kills and 17 digs. 

Eastern hosts Wheaton College (MA) Friday at 6 p.m.





W-Soccer: Offense Finds Overdrive

Warriors score four first-half goals, dismantle Salem State, 6-1


MANSFIELD, Conn. - Junior WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgmidfielder Sam Konopka (Hebron), senior midfielder Megan Pavia (Stamford) and sophomore forward Chelsea Downer (Colchester) scored their first goals in an Eastern Connecticut State University uniform as the Warriors manhandled Salem State University, 6-1, in their most lopsided win in this 18-game series Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Freshman back Megan Godwin. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Ranked No. 5 in New England, Eastern (8-0-1) improves upon its best start in the program's 25-year history with its sixth straight win. After scoring three goals in the second half of Saturday's encouraging Little East Conference home win over Keene State, the Warriors remained in goal-scoring mode with four more  in the first half against Salem (3-5-1), which had not allowed more than a goal in a game all season.

Averaging two goals a game entering play, Eastern broke a 1-1 tie with three goals in 14 minutes to move out to a 3-1 lead  with three minutes left in the first half on the way to its fourth straight home victory.

Eastern, which took complete control of the match after a balanced first 20 minutes, did not allow a shot in the second half, finishing with a 17-6 bulge in shots and a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford), in her first season as a starter, made three saves to extend her season record to 6-0-0 and remain perfect in seven career decisions.

Sophomore forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) snapped a tie which had lasted less than three minutes with her fifth goal that gave Eastern the lead for good, 2-1, and sophomore midfielder Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) came off the bench to score her fourth and fifth goals of the year. A first-year transfer, Downer had scored three goals last year at Division II Southern Connecticut State University.

petrizzo72dpi_3903.jpgBuchanan and Downer tacked on second half goals for Eastern, which could have had double that number. However, Buchanan couldn't capitalize on two breakaways and freshman forward Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ)  -- last week's Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Week -- drilled an uncontested shot right at the keeper seven minutes into the second stanza.

At left: Senior back Amber Petrizzo (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Down 1-0, Salem had tied the match in the 26th minute when senior back Taylor Orlando drilled a 35-yard free kick under the cross bar, but Marchitto answered minutes later when she capitalized on a defensive mistake in the Salem box.

In the first meeting between the programs in six years, Eastern won for the sixth time in the last nine tries (6-2-1) against the Vikings after going 0-8-1 in the first nine confrontations. Until Wednesday, Eastern's widest margin of victory had been two goals in a 2002 shutout and its highest goal total against Salem had come in a 3-2 overtime victory in 1999. In 1994, Salem had posted a 6-1 victory over the Warriors at Salem, Mass. in its most lopsided decision against Eastern.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Boston Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

M-Soccer: On Road, Warriors Trip SSU

Warriors shut out Salem State, put two-game losing streak behind them 


vear shirt 72_2017.jpgSALEM, Mass. --  Ranked sixth in New England, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team won its sixth match in seven tries away from home this year, ending a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 non-conference victory over Salem State University Tuesday night at Alumni Field

Above: Tom Vear

Freshman forward Tom Vear (Monson, MA) scored his first career goal midway through the first half, and sophomore forward Cory Tobler (Portland) added his team-leading fourth of the season in the opening minutes of the second half as Eastern (6-2-1) ended its first two-game losing streak  since the second week of fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito's first season in 2007.

Eastern is now unbeaten (2-0-1) in its last three meetings with Salem (3-3-2) after the Vikings posted a 14-game unbeaten streak (11-0-3) against the Warriors through 1995. The teams have met each season since the rivalry was renewed following a 12-year hiatus.

Junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) needed only one save to record his fourth shutout in eight starts this year --  the 16th of his career. Appel lowered his goals-against average to 0.80 and improved his goals-against average to .870. Salem keeper Luis Marques, a 6-foot-3 inch senior, made five saves in his sixth start of the season as the Vikings lost for the first time after three straight wins. It marked the first match this year that an opponent managed more than a goal against Salem.

Eastern hosts the University of Massachusetts Boston in a Little East Conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.



W-Volleyball: Warriors Dump Gordon

Abelli serves 16 straight points in final game to lift Warriors over Scots


abelli_slide_4537.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) served 16 consecutive points - five of them aces - early in the fourth set to help the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team fend off Gordon College, 25-17, 17-25, 25-21, 25-14 in a non-conference match Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Taylor Abelli

With Eastern (6-7) down by a point early in the fourth set, Abelli served the Warriors into an insurmountable 17-3 advantage, with five of her 16 points coming on aces.

Playing their first home match in three weeks, the Warriors snapped a four-match losing streak with their fourth win at Geissler Gymnasium in five decisions this year. Gordon (2-14) was coming off its first two wins of the season this past weekend. The meeting was the first between the programs in five years.

In the pivotal third set - after the teams had traded eight-point wins -- Eastern erased a three-point deficit at the halfway point of the set, scoring seven points in a row to break a tie and move out to a six-point, 22-16 advantage. Junior middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) contributed two service aces in that set and freshman outside hitter Erynn Miller (Stratford) had three of the team's nine kills in a balanced attack.

Junior setter Samantha  Slonski (Griswold) led Eastern in the match with 13 digs, 30 set assists, six kills, and two block assists and served 12 balls without an error.Ibsen topped the Warriors with 11 kills and added two service aces,and two  block assists. Miller  had eight  kills and 11 digs and handled 28 receptions with  just two errors; Abelli's  19 digs and  six service aces led all Eastern players.

Sophomore Keri Hustus and junior Claudia Amado combined on 35 digs for the Scots, with Hustus leading all players in the match with 20. Hustus was also successful on 30 of 34 receptions and served two aces, and Claudia Amado totaled five kills. Freshman Lauren Kranyak recorded a team-high eight kills, sophomore Alex Nawoichik adding six and Claudia Amado and senior Megan Spurgin chipping in five each. Sophomore Jessica Taber had 15 assists.

Eastern visits Johnson & Wales University Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Eastern Conn. 3, Gordon College 1

Gordon College (2-14)       17    25    21    14
Eastern Conn. (6-7)          25    17    25    25


Men's Lax: Rivals Unite Against Autism

Eastern initiates innovative tournament to benefit childhood disorder


By Zach Malouf
Sports Information Intern

Click here for related story

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Arguably the best WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgmen's lacrosse goalie of all time, 2009 graduate Kyle Savage recently embarked upon on a mission to create something which has never been conjured up before at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Over a year ago, Savage was heading up to his assistant coaching position under head men's lacrosse coach Justin Axel, when the realization that his lacrosse years were over had started to really sink in. Although playing as an alumnus  is a great honor, playing against the current lacrosse team year after year can get somewhat monotonous, but having the opportunity to play against teams from years past is an opportunity that not many are afforded.

"I thought about all the times we use to say, 'what if this year we had that player or if this player had one more year would we win?'" That's when it hit me. I thought, 'why not have all the past players from Eastern and (Little East Conference rival) Keene State College come back and play again?'""

And, voila!, "Rivals Against Autism" was born.

The date is set for Sunday, October 3, when Eastern will host a tournament at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex with invited alumni teams from Keene, Western New England College, and Springfield College - three of the other top programs in New England.

The tournament is designed to raise money for Autism, a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. The disorder is represented in the United States by about one percent of children ages 3-17.

However, this fundraiser's purpose hits closer to home, as Scott Smith, Eastern's athletic equipment manager, and wife Dianne Smith, have a son, Nicholas Smith, living with Autism.  "From our freshly-cleaned jerseys to our top-of-the-line equipment, Smitty does it all, and I wanted to find a way to show our gratitude and appreciation for everything that he has done and still does to help us succeed as a team,"said Savage.

Each participating alumni player will make a $20 donation to Creative Living Community of Connecticut, and spectators will be asked for a  $5 donation, as well. Creative Living envisions adults in Connecticut with and without developmental disabilities as valued and contributing members of our society, exemplified in a model community to be created in Eastern Connecticut where all will experience a sense of belonging, share resources and enjoy a happy life.

On October 3, six games of 50 minutes each will get underway at noon, with the final contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Eastern will play Keene State at 1 p.m., Springfield at 2 and Western New England at 5 p.m. Keene will meet Springfield in the kickoff contest at noon.

Initially, Eastern and its current conference rival Keene State formed the foundation of the "rivals" tournament, but former Pilgrim League rivals Springfield and Western New England were later invited. In addition to Eastern's rivalry with the latter two schools, Springfield and Western New England are long-time Springfield, Mass. rivals.

Although it is the first year for the tournament, setting the bar high with donations and funds raised will be a good starting point for years to come. Savage and Axel both believe strongly that this activity will mark an important new tradition for the Warrior lacrosse family and the surrounding community.

When asked about the projected success of this tournament, Axel pointed out that "it has been a great team effort getting everything in line, with Kyle leading the way."

Said Savage, "It didn't take very long at all before I received confirmation from all the coaches that they would love to participate in such a unique event for such a great cause.

Although this program is just getting off the ground, Savage feels that things are moving in the right direction. "I knew once I had started generating serious interest that this event could work and potentially could grow each year. An incentive for competitive play will be a trophy for the rival teams to compete for, along with the bragging rights for the upcoming year. And that's almost as important to these teams.

"With any new tournament or idea, it's always interesting to see how the first event occurs," said Axel. " In the future, we are hoping to continue to expand the event into a tournament format with more Universities and rivalries involved.  As great as the rivalry games are, it's just as important and rewarding when you can create opportunities to use a sport like lacrosse to generate awareness and funds for a great cause such as research for autism."  






Little East: Two From Eastern Cited

Hackett named male xc's top rookie again; Leonard w-soccer No. 1 rookie


leonard head 72_2062.jpghackett_head_72dpi_2903.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Two Eastern Connecticut State University first-year competitors have been recognized by the Little East Conference as part of its weekly awards program.

Above: Leonard (left), and Hackett

For games through the week of Sept. 26, junior Conor Hackett (Bolton) has been named LEC male cross country Rookie-of-the-Week for the third straight week, while freshman forward Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) has received the identical honor with the women's soccer team.

A first-year transfer, Hackett led the Warriors at the finish for the second straight time in three races this year Saturday with an overall 45th-place finish with a time of 27:49 over 8,000 meters at the 43rd Annual Codfish Bowl at Franklin Park in Boston. Hackett placed in the top 16 percent among 287 finishers. The Warriors  were 16th in a field of 25. In his collegiate debut Sept. 10 at the Fitchburg State University Jim Sheehan Memorial, Hackett was fourth overall in a field of 40 before leading the Warriors for the first time last Saturday by taking 73rd overall among  272 at the UMass Dartmouth Shriners' Invitational.

Hackett was a two-time Class "S" All-State runner in high school and won the state title as a senior in 2005.

The cross country team competes at the Westfield State University James Earley Invitational Oct. 9 at 11 a.m.

Leonard won a weekly conference honor for the first time after contributing a goal and assist in a 2-0-0 week for the Warriors, ranked No. 6 in New England. The freshman forward came off the bench in both home wins, assisting on the game-winning goal seven minutes into the second half of a 2-1 non-conference victory Westfield State University Wednesday and scoring Eastern's first goal in an eventual 3-2 conference win over Keene State College Saturday. In a re-match of the 2009 LEC tournament title game won by Eastern, Leonard sparked a run of three Eastern goals in a span of 13 minutes that carried the Warriors back from a two-goal deficit against the No. 9 Owls.

Leonard has appeared in all eight matches this year, with two starts. She has scored two goals and assisted on one in an average of 45.0 minutes.  Her five points lead all newcomers on this year's team.

Unbeaten (7-0-1) through eight matches, Eastern is off to its best start in the program's 25-year history. The Warriors host Salem State University Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Women's Soccer: Warriors Deny Owls

Behind Wallace's game-winner, Warriors trim underrated Westfield again

Video: Head Coach Chris D'Ambrosio


wallace72dpi_3655.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team put only four shots on net Wednesday night in its non-conference match against Westfield State University, but scored on two of them as the Warriors equaled the program's best start ever after seven matches with a 2-1 win at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Kelly Wallace (left) and Theresa Pagnozzi (above). (Stephen Goomrigian photos)

Ranked No. 6 in New England, Eastern (6-0-1) scored twice on shots from outside the 18-yard box in defeating Westfield (1-7-0) by a goal for the second time this season. Eastern had emerged with a 1-0 victory in the season-opener for both clubs Sept. 4 in the opening round of the Springifield College Invitational.

The Warriors never trailed in the match in winning its fourth match this season in four matches decided by one goal. Westfield, playing without graduated 2009 ECAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year Meg Gearin, is now 1-5 in one-goal decisions. Like Eastern, Westfield reached NCAA tournament play last year after winning its conference tournament championship.

Sophomore midfielder  Taylor Buchana (Ellington) gave Eastern a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when she struck a 20-yarder that caromed off the crossbar and off Westfield freshman goalie Jess Habif and into the goal. After  the Owls tied the match in the 28th minute on a header by sophomore  Colleen Bazinet off  a corner kick by senior midfielder Kate MacLellan , sophomore forward Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season seven minutes into the second half on her only shot -- a bad-angle bomb from near the corner flag that sailed over the head of junior keeper Jessica Pieciak and inside the far post.
 The game-winning goal was the third this season for Wallace, who also stuck the deciding marker in the Springfield Invitational championship game against Roger Williams and in a 2-1 victory over Vassar College to give Eastern a 2-0 record at the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic Sept. 12. Wallace led the conference in assists last year.

 With the non-conference match sandwiched between two key Little East Conference matches, Eastern came out sluggish against the Owls. The Warriors threatened several times in the first half - sophomore forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) making three runs but coming up empty each time. The Owls nearly tied the match ten second before the end of the half when sophomore forward Leanne Rivard found room in front of the net on a throw-in, but one-timed the ball over the crossbar.

Junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) won her fourth game in as many decisions this year. Pagnozzi played the second half in relief of sophomore starter Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) and remained undefeated thanks to Wallace's tie-breaking goal. Pagnozzi's one save kept the game tied 28 seconds into the second half when she dove to smother a shot by Westfield senior midfielder Ali Pease, who had run onto a thru-ball in the 18-yard box.

 MacLellan couldn't convert two prime opportunities to tie the match early in the second half. The dangerous MacLellan, who has come up empty on 23 shots this year, sent two balls over the crossbar. The first came on a cross from sophomore forward Kayley Miller that she one-timed while wide open over the top; the second came minutes later when she blasted a free kick from just outside the box on a line that whistled inches above the crossbar.

Midway through the second half, the Owls looked to have benefit of an odd-man opportunity before Eastern sophomore defender Rachel Cutler (Guilford) broke up with a cross-field dash before it could materialize.

In a re-match of last year's conference championship game won by Eastern, the Warriors hosts Keene State College Saturday at 1 p.m.



Men's Soccer: Warriors Stymied, 1-0

Their season-opening unbeaten streak ends in non-conference loss

appel_save72dpi_3612.jpgWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Trinity College  senior midfielder Matt O'Connell scored on a 20-yard free kick which deflected off an Eastern Connecticut State University player midway through the first half and the Bantams went on to shut out the Warriors for the third straight year and for the seventh time in the last eight meetings, 1-0, Tuesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Carl Appel makes a second-half save that keeps the Warriors to within a goal. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

The loss is the first this season for Eastern (5-1-1), ranked No. 2 in New England and tied for 12th nationally in the most recent NSCAA polls, released today. All four of Trinity's (2-2-0) matches this year have been decided by one goal, three by 1-0.

On the re-start, O'Connell drilled the ball to the left of the Eastern wall. After clearing the wall, it deflected off of an Eastern defender and sailed inside the far right post, beyond the dive of Eastern junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ). The goal ended a streak of 325 consecutive scoreless minutes by Appel, who had recorded shutouts in his three previous starts was named the Little East Conference Goalkeeper-of-the-Week the last two weeks.

Below: Freshman Romaro Johnson (7) came off the bench to play a season-high 44 minutes Tuesday night. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

johnson72dpi_3601.jpgThe first of three second-half saves by Trinity junior keeper Grant Schonberg was his best, when he stretched out diving to his left to bat away a one-timer by Eastern sophomore midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland) off  a short cross in the box ten minutes into the second half. Six minutes later, Eastern threatened to tie the match again, but freshman forward Romaro Johnson's (Bridgeport) header in front off a cross from Tobler sailed wide. On an Eastern counter after Appel made a diving save to his right at the post on a shot by Dan Mayernick, Schonberg left his line to cut down the angle on a breakaway by Eastern first-year junior midfielder Ryusuke Imamura (Kichijoji, Japan) to preserve the Trinity lead.  On a final bid inside the final ten seconds, Johnson again let loose a header from the near post off a cross from Tobler, but Schonberg hauled it in at the far post

Eastern managed only three shots in the first halfl -- none of them on goal. Trinity had the only real good opportunity in the half, but Eastern junior back Matt Esposito (East Haven) cleared a shot by Anthony El-Hachem off the line midway through the stanza.

The 1-0 hutout is the second in as many years for Schonberg against Eastern.In the last eight contests between the programs, Eastern has scored in only one -- a 3-1 victory at Trinity in 2007. Five have ended in 1-0 losses.

Eastern played the match without three starters: junior midfielder Sean Collins (Bristol), junior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA), and junior forward and scoring leader Matt Furman (Montville).

Eastern visits Keene State College Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

Softball: Team Award-winners Named

sbawardwinners72dpi_3289.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University softball program conducted its 2010 post-season awards banquet Sunday night. The Warriors won their 12th regional championship this past spring and finished third nationally in the NCAA Division III national tournament at Eau Claire, WI. Team award-winners included (front row from left in photo) freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury), and (back row) sophomore pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) and senior catcher Nikki Mustin (Griswold). Cooper was named Rookie-of-the-Year, Sullivan Coaches' Award, O'Toole Most Improved Player, Rathbun Most Valuable Player, and Mustin Gold Glove Recipient. The Warriors won their first Little East Conference tournament title this past spring, captured the Wellesley Regional championship, won three games in the national tournament, and tied the program record with 39 victories, 14 of them coming consecutively through the regional tournament.

The photo below of all banquet attendees is available by contacting Bob Molta at


Quinones improves 37 places and 32 seconds from a year ago at this meet

Complete results.htm              View race photos


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) improved her lot 37 places with a 32-second improvement from a year ago in leading the Eastern Connecticut State University women's cross country team to a 26th-place finish at the 38th Annual University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Shriners' Invitational over 5,000 meters on the UMass Dartmouth campus Saturday.

Above: Amanda Ericson (foreground) and Melissa Healy

In leading the Warriors at the tape for the sixth straight race in which she has competed, Quinones scored 84 points with a 90th overall finish in a time of 20:15, an improvement of 37 places and 32 seconds from a year ago, when she finished 127th overall and scored 125 points in a time of 20:47. Quinones was last week's Little East Conference Runner-of-the-Week.

For the second straight race this year, freshmen Katie France (Portland) and Alexa Palasky (Griswold) followed Quinones for the Warriors. France scored 114 points with an overall finish of 122nd and time of 20:43, and Palasky totaled 171 points with an overall finish of 188 in a time of 21:40.

Completing Eastern's scorers were  seniors Amanda Ericson (Bolton) and Melissa Healy (Naugatuck). Ericson (22:15) scored 185 points with an overall finish of 204 and Healy (23:09) had 208 points. Sophomore Denica Gagnon (Colchester) was Eastern's sixth varsity race runner. Gagnon (23:21) was 232nd overall.

Ericson was competing in the UMass Invitational for the fourth time, having improved her time each year. This year's time was four minutes better her first try in 2007, 1:44 faster than her sophomore season and a 44 second improvement from a year ago. Healy did not compete in the race last year but ran 50 seconds faster than in 2008 and 82 seconds faster than her freshman season in 2007.

Wellesley College and MIT waged a two-team battle for the team title, with Wellesley edging the Enginners, 41-45. Wellesley placed all five of its scoring runners among the top 12 and ahead of MIT's No. 4 runner.

Eastern competes in the Codfish Bowl Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston at 11 a.m.

Men's XC: Hackett Leads Warriors

At 73rd overall, newcomer leads the way among 272 competitors at UMD

Complete results.htm        View race photos


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - First-year junior Conor Hackett (Bolton) ran to an overall finish of 73rd to pace the Eastern Connecticut State University men's cross country team equaled its best finish (20th) in the last seven years at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Shriners' Invitational over 8,000 meters on the UMass Dartmouth campus Saturday.

Above: Bryan Jorge

Last week's Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Week, Hackett scored 67 points - placing among the top 27 percent in the field -- and was followed by sophomore Nick Miller (Norwich), freshman Brody Secore (South Windsor), sophomore Tim Callahan (Portland) and junior Alejandro Hernandez (Branford). Hackett was timed in 26:28, Miller (101 points) at 27:19, Secord (138) 28:25, Callahan (148) 28:46, and Hernandez (158) 29:00.

Junior Bryan Jorge (Bristol) rounded out Eastern's performers in the varsity race, placing 168th overall in a time of 29:26.

Jorge knocked 27 seconds off his time of a year ago, while Miller matched exactly his mark from 2009.

Keene State College out of the Little East Conference won the team title, winning a three-team race for the title. The Owls scored 73 points, MIT 76 and Brandeis University 79. A total of 36 teams and competed, with 272 runners completing the course.

For the first time in 33 years, Eastern competes in the Codfish Bowl Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston at 11 a.m.


W-Volleyball: UMB Drops Warriors

Warriors give No. 3 Beacons a run before losing LEC opening match

abelli_slide_4507.jpgBOSTON - Sophomore middle hitter LEC25.jpgShannon Thompson put down a match-high 15 kills and added nine digs, while sophomore setter Frana Burtness-Adams closed out all three sets on her service to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston women's volleyball team over visiting Eastern Connecticut State University, 25-15, 25-16, 25-13, in the Little East Conference opener for both schools at the Clark Athletic Center.

At left: Taylor Abelli

The Beacons (10-1, 1-0 little east), who received votes in the most recent AVCA Division III national poll and are ranked No. 3 in New England, are off to their best start since an 11-1 stretch to begin the 1999 campaign. Eastern (5-5, 0-1 little east) dropped to 2-4 on a current run of six straight road matches after opening the season with three wins in four home contests.

The teams were knotted at 15-15, before UMass Boston reeled off 10 straight points behind the service of Burtness-Adams to take the first set, 25-15.  The Beacons scored the first five points of the second set to make it 15 straight and took an 8-1 advantage, before Eastern climbed to within 16-14 later in the set.  With Burtness-Adams behind the service line, UMass Boston ripped off nine straight points to take set number two, 25-16.  The Warriors owned a 7-4 lead early in the third set and were up 9-8, before the Beacons went on another run of nine straight points with junior setter Cassy Hanneman serving, to take a 17-9 margin. 

Junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) collected 25 of the team's 44 digs and cleanly handled 20 of 21 serve receptions. As a team, the Warriors made only three reception errors and two serve errors but attacked at only .026. Junior outside hitter Samantha Slonski (Griswold) led the Warriors with eight kills and also was successful on 28 of 29 reception attempts. Junior middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) chipped in six kills and junior setter Britt Carrier (Southington) set up the offense with 12 assists.

 Burtness-Adams registered 18 assists in the match.  Freshman outside hitter Amber Clemons contributed with seven kills and a robust .429 hitting mark to go with a pair of aces and four digs.  Sophomore libero Bethany Rossoll anchored the defense with 12 digs, while Hanneman directed the offense with a match-best 20 assists in addition to 11 digs.

Eastern visits Keene State College Saturday in a Little East Conference match at noon. The Warriors will also face Division II Saint Michael's College at 2 p.m. in a non-conference contest.

UMass Boston Sports Information contributed to this game account

UMass Boston 3, Eastern Conn. 0

Eastern Conn. (5-5, 0-1 little east) 15 14 13
UMass Boston (10-1, 1-0 little east) 25 25 25

Women's Soccer: Warriors Survive, 1-0

Petrizzo honored by ECAC

Against Wesern, keeper Pagnozzi answers the call, posts first shutout LEC25.jpg

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore midfielder Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) scored into an open net in the fifth minute of play and the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team withstood several Western Connecticut State University scoring bids late in the game to post a 1-0 win in the Little East Conference opener for both teams Saturday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex

At left: Taylor Buchanan (5) is congratulated by her teammates after giving the Warriors and early lead Saturday night. (Liz Cutler photo)

Last year's conference tournament champion, Eastern (5-0-1, 1-0-0 little east) is ranked No. 6 in New England. The Warriors were playing their home-opener.

With Western (3-3-0, 0-1-0 little east)  sophomore keeper Caitlin Avery caught out of the net, Buchanan scored her second goal of the season inside the right post from ten yards after collecting a loose ball in the box following a corner kick by junior Sam Konopka (Hebron). It was the only shot of an otherwise uneventful first half where neither team was able to possess the ball for long periods of time.

Western regrouped in the second half, however, controlling play and maintaining possession for most of the second half when it recorded all nine of its shots, its first coming 90 seconds into the stanza. With just under a minute left in regulation, Eastern junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) made her only save of the match but came when she was on the ground directly in front of the net and it robbed Western  sophomore back Alana Fitzpatrick, who had received a header from the right wing following a re-start. Pagnozzi batted the ball loose but to the foot of junior forward Lauren Francisco, whose wide open shot from inside ten yards sailed over the cross bar.

While Pagnozzi was credited with just that one save, she made a game-saving play with 2:30 left by racing off her line to beat Western Jennifer Duran to the ball and smother the ball with a dive before the senior midfielder could gain control. Pagnozzi also broke up a bid with 11 minutes left in the first half after Western senior midfielder Nicole Sieber served a dangerous ball to senior forward Lauren Matthews. Western's other best scoring chance came early in the second half when sophomore midfeidler Tracy Sales found space inside the 18 but her booming shot sailed well over the crossbar.

Pagnozzi notched her first career shutout in her second start and has not allowed a goal this year in 180 minutes. The Warriors extended their scoreless streak to 245 minutes and 25 seconds following their second straight shutout. The team has not given up a goal since Vassar College scored in the 25th minute of Eastern's 2-1 win last Sunday.

Eastern sophomore Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), one of Eastern's main scoring threats, was held without a shot but was a physical presence and made a number of dangerous runs. Eastern nearly added an insurance goal with 16 minutes left but no one was there when junior midfielder Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) slid a left-foot shot from the left side all the way across the front of the goal mouth.

Eastern senior Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) opened the game at midfield but spent much of the evening using her speed to track down balls in the back and diffuse Western's opportunities before they materialized.

With the win, Eastern ties the best start in program history after six matches (done previously in 2001 and '04) , needing one more victory to equal the best start after seven matches (2004). The win for Eastern over Western was its second in as many years after winning only three times in the first 15 years of the rivalry.

Eastern hosts Westfield State University Wednesday at 7 p.m.


Men's Soccer: An LEC Opening Win

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LEC25.jpgDANBURY, Conn. - Sophomore back Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) scored the game's only goal and the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team remained unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over Western Connecticut State University in the Little East Conference opener for both teams at The Westside Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon.

At right: Sean Collins

In the 17th minute, DeCasanova received a pass, on the right side of the box, from junior midfielder Sean Collins (Bristol) and quickly placed the ball in the back corner of the net for his third goal of the season for Eastern, ranked No. 2 in New England and NO. 16 nationally. The assist was the team-tying third of the year for Collins.

After being outshot by Eastern (5-0-1, 1-0-0 little east) 11-3 over the first 45 minutes, Western (1-3-1, 0-1-0 little east) had several chances in the second stanza and drew even with the Warriors at 13 shots a side. In the 57th minute, Matt Hoffman had the best opportunity for the Colonials when he was left alone in front of the goal mouth but shot the ball high over the cross bar.

Mike Sullivan had a chance to knot the game with 7:25 remaining in the game, but could not get a quality attempt away as the Warriors defense collapsed around him after having an open look from 10 yards out. All-conference junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) earned his third shutout of the season, 15th of his career and third in as many career starts after making six saves.

With the win, the Warriors run their unbeaten streak against Western to 3-0-2, having last allowed a goal to the  Colonials in a 1-1 tie at Danbury in 2006. The victory also ties the program's best start after six matches since the team won its first six on the way to a 7-0 start in 1978. Eastern was also 5-0-1 last year on the way to tying the program record of 16 wins.

Eastern hosts Trinity College Tuesday at 7 p.m.


Field Hockey: Early lead doesn't hold

In Little East play, Bridgwater scores game-winner late for 2-1 win


LEC25.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Bridgewater State University erased an early one-goal deficit, finally breaking a tie when sophomore Megan Cullinane came off the bench to score her first goal of the season to lead the Bears to their first win of the season, a 2-1 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above Ashley Del Vecchio defends in Saturday's 2-1 loss. (Stephen Goomrigian photo).

The win is the third in as many years for Bridgewater (1-3, 1-1 little east) over Eastern (2-3, 0-2 little east). Bridgewater was playing its fourth straight road match.

After senior forward Bethany Bush tied the match in the 12th minute, the teams played scorelessly for more than 55 minutes before Bush set up Cullinane with what proved to be the game-winning goal with less than three minutes left. The play originated from deep in the Bridgewater end on a free hit, Senior forward Nicole Henrique found Bush near midfield. Bush carried until sending a pass ahead to an unmarked Cullinane, who beat Eastern senior goalie Tia Mucciarone (Franklin, MA) from in close to the goalie's left side.

Bridgewater had the better of play after the opening ten minutes, when the Warriors jumped to a quick lead on senior forward Ashley Del Vecchio's (Fairfield) first goal of the season in the third minute of play. Junior forward Ali Chapman (Watertown) fired a shot toward the cage from inside the circle, where Del Vecchio re-directed the ball past Bridgewater senior goalie Katie Weber  from the right post.

Bridgewater applied constant pressure in the second half, accumulating eight of the game's ten second-half penalty corners. Bush recorded six of her team's  18 shots, forcing Mucciarone to make three saves on her offensive bids.

Tuesday, Eastern hosts Connecticut College in a non-conference match at 4 p.m. while Bridgewater plays its fifth straight road game against Babson College at 6 p.m.


CLICK HERE.doc to download Registration and Tee Sponsorship Formsclip_image002.gif

sb_slideshgolf_5679.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - An inaugural golf tournament to benefit the Eastern Connecticut State University softball and women's soccer programs is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10 at the University Club of Connecticut in Willimantic.

Registration is scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 10, with a shotgun start planned for noon. A dinner and award ceremony will follow the completion of the tournament.

wscelebrationgolfSLIDEi.jpgCost of the four-person scramble  is $135 per golfer ($30 for dinner only) and includes greens fees, cart, dinner, gift and prizes. The tournament will be conducted rain or shine.

Tee sponsorships are priced at $100

All proceeds will go toward supporting the Eastern softball and women's soccer programs, both of whom won Little East Conference championships last year and participated in the NCAA Division III tournament.

For more information, contact head softball coach Diana Pepin at 860-465-5182 or at or head women's soccer coach Chris D'Ambrosio at 860-465-0175 or at

Registration and tee sponsorship forms can be downloaded from the softball or women's soccer page of the Eastern web site at and emailed to Diana Pepin or Chris D'Ambrosio or faxed to the attention of Diana Pepin at 860-465-0186.


W-Volleyball: Warriors Stumble

Ranked fourth in NE, Bantams sweep Warriors 25-13, 25-15, 25-21


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgHARTFORD, Conn. - Following two wins and two well-played losses last weekend, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team sustained a three-set loss to Trinity College Wednesday night at Oosting Gymnasium.Trinity won by 25-13, 25-15, 25-21.

At right: Taylor Abelli (left) and Danielle Bourne

It marked only the second time this year that Eastern (5-4) was swept in a match. Playing its home-opener, Trinity (4-1) got 14 kills and 13 digs from sophomore Danielle Isamana.
eight kills, and 14 digs and four service aces from senior Kristen Anderson to down the Warriors for the sixth time in the last seven meetings between the programs.

Trailing by a point early in the opening set, Trinity rattled off 13 unanswered points to take a 16-4 lead on the way to the 12-point victory. Trinity opened the second set with a 9-3 run and was never seriously challenged in moving out to a 2-0 lead.  The Bantams never trailed in the third set, but Eastern kept the score close the entire way. 

For Eastern, junior Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) and freshman Erynn Miller (Stratford) combined to successfully handle 36 of 38 service receptions. Abelli led the Warriors with 17 digs, Miller and first-year junior setter Ashley Markley (Preston) adding ten digs each and Markley16 assists. Miller and junior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) each recorded five kills but the Warriors managed just a .089 attack percentage as a team.

Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday at 2009 LEC champion Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m. The Beacons are ranked third in New England.





Women's Soccer: Unbeaten in Five

Warriors post solid 4-0 non-conference victory over Fitchburg State

marchitto SLIDE2.jpgWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgFITCHBURG, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team used late-season momentum to win last year's Little East Conference tournament. Wednesday night, the Warriors continued to ride that crest, pushing their season-opening unbeaten streak to five with an emphatic 4-0 non-conference victory over Fitchburg State University.

At left: Daniela Marchitto

Now 12-3-3 in its last 18 matches dating back to last September 30, Eastern (4-0-1) recorded its second shutout of Fitchburg (2-2-0) in two years. The Warriors moved ahead by scoring twice in less than three minutes early in the first half on goals by sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and senior Lauren Hickey (Southwick), and sophomore goalie Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) made six saves in the second half.

Ranked No. 4 in New England, Eastern tacked on two insurance goals in the second half from sophomore Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) and Marchitto. First-year sophomore transfer Chelsea Downer (Colchester) was credited with her first points in an Eastern uniform when she assisted on Hickey's goal and Marchitto's second half marker. Freshman Tamar Merheb's  (Bethel) setup of Marchitto's first goal in the 18th minute represented her first collegiate point, and sophomore Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) later added her 12th assist in 26 career games.
After going unbeaten in five season-opening road games, Eastern opens its Little East Conference and home seasons Saturday at 6 p.m. against Western Connecticut State University. The match is the first of four straight at home that closes out the month of September.




Field Hockey: Warriors Rout Wheelock

They race to 4-0 lead in first half and ease to second win in four games

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BOSTON, Mass. -  Following Wednesday night's 5-2 non-conference victory over Wheelock College, the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team finds itself a month ahead of last year's pace.

With juniors Chelsea Rizzo (Bethel) and  Lyndsey Zavisza (Suffield) scoring their first career goals, Eastern (2-2) built a 4-0 lead 11 minutes before halftime and eased to its fourth victory over Wheelock (0-3) in as many contests with the Wildcats, who were playing their home-opener.

At right: Chelsea Rizzo

Last year, the Warriors did not net their second victory of the season until the middle of October. It marks the first time in six years that Eastern stands at .500 four games into the season.

Zavisza and junior Ali Chapman (Watertown) each had a goal and assist in the match, while goalies Tia Mucciarone (Franklin, MA) and Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) split time in net, with Reichardt making the only save. Mucciarone lowered to goals-against average to 1.00 with her first win of the season.

Twelve seconds after Rachel Robohm recorded a first-half defensive save 79 seconds into play, Eastern senior Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) gave Eastern a 1-0, converting a Zavisza penalty corner feed. The Warriors later tallied three times in a 4:12 stretch to take a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Eastern hosts Bridgewater State College Saturday in a Little East Conference match at 1 p.m. The Bears have won three of the last four times the teams have met.



Men's Soccer: Warriors, Lyons Draw

Regionally-ranked opponents remain unbeaten following overtime draw


MANSFIELD, Conn. -  Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Wheaton College had its way with the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team.

No more.

Wednesday night in Eastern's (4-0-1) home-opener at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, the Warriors battled Wheaton (4-0-2) through 90 mnutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime in a scoreless draw that was a showdown between two early-season unbeaten teams ranked among the leaders in New England.

Above: Cory Tobler (right) hounds Wheaton's Rory McGonigle. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

And while the Warriors had the better opportunities, they had to settle for a tie in the first meeting with the Lyons in eight years. In ten previous encounters with Wheaton, Eastern had managed only a single win and one tie. In 2001, the Warriors recorded their only win over Wheaton, 2-0, but paid the price the next season in an 8-1 blowout loss at Norton, Mass.

Both teams had a number of chances throughout the game, but were unable to break through against Eastern junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and Wheaton senior Chris Smart. The final statistics were indicative of the  balanced play. Both teams had ten shots and were near-even in both corner kicks and fouls. Appel made six saves for his 14th career shutout and Smart made four for his third shutout of the season.

In the second ten-minute overtime period, Appel came off his line to punch out a dangerous throw in traffic by Wheaton senior forward Jake Wagner  that averted a possible disaster. Six minutes into overtime, Eastern sophomore forward Cory Tobler (Portland) unloaded a left-footed drive from close range that sailed wide. One of Wheaton's best scoring bids came late in regulation when sophomore back Howard Manly's  shot was knocked down by Eastern freshman midfielder Luke Capezzone (Colchester) and Wheaton sophomore forward Will Nesbitt's followup was smothered by Appel. Smart's most impressive save came with 25 minutes left in regulation when he dove to his right to haul in a 25-yard free kick by Eastern junior back Matt Esposito (East Haven), who put three of his team-high four shots on net.

Eastern entered play ranked No. 2 in New England and No. 16 in Division III and Wheaton was rated fourth in New England. And while Wheaton played a higher-ranked team to a draw on its home field, the younger Warriors (two seniors) were able to remain unbeaten against a team featuring 12 seniors, six of whom were in the starting lineup.

Eastern junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) was able to avoid serious injury despite being knocked to the ground on several occasions, but junior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) was not so lucky. Second on the team in minutes played, Smiles did not return to the game after leaving with 2:35 left in regulation following a collision with Appel in front of the Eastern goal.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University in its Little East Conference opener Saturday at noon.


NSCAA Polls: Soccer on the Rise

Men match highest NE rank, move into national poll; women No. 6 in NE

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The unbeaten Eastern Connecticut State University soccer teams are SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgrising in the early-season NCAA Division III national and New England regional rankings.

On the strength of two road wins last week, the men (4-0-0) moved into the NSCAA national rankings at No. 16, and jumped two spots to No. 2 in the New England rating. After winning and tying this past weekend, the women (3-0-1) also elevated their regional standing two spots, to No. 6.

decasanovaSLIDE_6679.jpgThe men  routed Fitchburg State University, 5-1, last Wednesday, and shut out Ramapo College of New Jersey, 2-0, Saturday. The women went unbeaten at the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic, playing Montclair State University to a 1-1 overtime draw Saturday, and trimming Vassar College, 2-1, Sunday.

At left: Jon DeCasanova

With an opening overtime road win over No. 2 Wesleyan University, the Williams College men retained New England top ranking. Wesleyan dropped to third behind Eastern with the loss and Amherst College fell two spots to No. 5 with an opening road tie with Bowdoin (ranked No. 5 last week). The Eastern women traded places in the New England poll with MIT, which dropped a road decision to unranked Worcester State University in a 1-1-0 week.

Both the Eastern men and women are coming off Little East Conference championships and NCAA tournament berths last fall.  The men debuted at No. 4 in the first poll of this  year Sept. 7, while the women were rated eighth.

For the men last week, junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and sophomore keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) each earned a win, allowing  only one goal. Sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) scored two of the team's seven goals, and five additional players chipped in one each. Eastern outshot its two opponents nearly 2-to-1 and held a better than 2-to-1 advantage in corner kicks.

For the women last week, sophomore keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) and junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) gave up a total of only two goals in two games and sophomores Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) and freshman Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) each contributed on goal.


The No. 2 regional ranking in the NSCAA poll equals the highest ever for the men, who earned that rating in the second and third polls of 2009. In the third poll last year, the Warriors were rated a program-best 13th. They were ranked third in the final regional poll of 2009 and also received votes in the 2009 post-season national poll. The women opened the 2009 season ranked No. 7 in New England and shared tenth place in the final regional poll, conducted following the LEC tournament championship game.

At right: Amber Petrizzo (Bill Church photo)

Wednesday, in a battle of unbeatens, the Eastern men make their home debut at 7 p.m. against Wheaton College (4-0-1), ranked third in New England. The Eastern women visit Fitchburg State University (2-1-0) at 7 p.m.

Little East Weekly Honors: Four Cited

Appel in soccer, Quinones and Hackett in xc and Miller in volleyball

miller72_2223.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Four Eastern Connecticut State University athletes in three LEC25.jpgsports have been recognized by the Little East Conference in its weekly fall awards program for the week ending Sept. 12.

At left: Erynn MIller

Junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) from the men's soccer program was named Goalkeeper-of-the-Week, while junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) was named women's cross country Runner-of-the-Week, first-year junior Conor Hackett (Bolton) men's cross country Rookie-of-the-Week, and outside hitter Erynn Miller (Stratford) of the women's volleyball program was tabbed Rookie-of-the-Week.

The LEC was conducting its weekly awards program for the second week in soccer and volleyball and for the first week in cross country.

The weekly honor was the fifth in the career of Appel, who was cited for identical honors once in each of his freshman and sophomore seasons  and was named Rookie-of-the-Week twice in 2008. It was the first weekly honor in the two-year Eastern cross country career of Quinones.

In the team's 2-0-0 week, Appel stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced in 135 minutes of action to lower his season goals against average to 1.14 and raise his save percentage to .852.  Last year's first-team all-conference keeper, Appel  made nine saves in posting his 13th career shutout in a 2-0 win a Ramapo on Sept. 11 - his second shutout of the Roadrunners in as many career starts and third win this year without a loss. Earlier in the week, Appel played the second half without a decision in a 5-1 non-conference win at Fitchburg State.

The defending LEC post-season tournament champion, Eastern entered last week ranked fourth in New England and brings a 4-0-0 ledger into its first home match of the season Wednesday against sixth-ranked Wheaton College (MA) at 7 p.m.

In Friday's season opener, Quinones recorded her first-ever first-place finish by winning the Jim Sheehan Memorial at Coggshall Park in Fitchburg, MA. The second-year junior transfer from Division I Rider University  finished tops among a field of 41, winning in a time of 21:18 over 3.1 miles, which was 37 seconds ahead of the field to help Eastern to a second-place finish. Quinones was last spring's Little East Conference and New England Alliance 10,000 meter champion and earned All-New England Alliance cross country honors last fall with a 17th-place finish in the championship meet.

In his first collegiate race, Hackett finished second on the team and fourth overall at the season-opening Jim Sheehan Memorial. The first-year junior transfer and two-time high school all-stater covered the 4.75 mile course in 26:24 as Eastern placed its five scoring runners among the top 11 in the 40-person field.

The  cross country programs participate in the Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational Saturday at 11:15 a.m.

In four matches and 15 sets, Miller averaged 2.47 digs and 2.47 kills, finishing second on the team in kills and third in digs at the Endicott College Invitational. Miller earned honorable mention recognition on the all-tournament team.  In four sets against eventual champion Endicott, she  slammed a career-high 15 kills.  The 5-foot-8 inch Miller also had a .333 attack percentage and served 12 balls without an error in that match.  In the third-set win over Endicott, Miller had six kills in 12 attempts with only one error. In five games against Emmanuel, she had a team-high 13 kills and also 11 digs.

Thus far for the 5-3 Warriors, Miller averages2.18 kills and 1.95 digs and has an .866 reception percentage on 82 attempts.  The only 'true' freshman on this year's 15-player roster, Miller  has appeared in seven matches with three starts.

The  volleyball team visits Trinity College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Last Monday, two members of the Eastern women's soccer program were recognized with weekly LEC accolades when sophomore forward Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) and back Laura Violette (Wallingford) were credited with the Offensive and Defensive Player-of-the-Year award after lifting the Warriors to the Springfield College Invitational championship..







Men's XC: A Solid Second in Opener

At Fitchburg, Warriors place all five scoring runners among top 11


Complete Results.pdf

FITCHBURG, Mass.  - Eastern Connecticut State University's five scoring men's cross runners finished among the top 11 as the Warriors placed a solid second in a field of four teams in the 2010 season-opener Friday at the Jim Sheehan Memorial at Coggshall Park.

At right: Nick Miller

Eastern and host Fitchburg State University have now traded six-point invitational wins the past two years. Last year, the Warriors edged the Falcons, 31-37 when they captured two of the top three individual spots. Friday, Fitchburg returned the favor, recording a 30-36 triumph in this two-team race over 4.75 miles. Worcester State University was a distant third (63 points) and Anna Maria College fourth with 105 points.

Eastern sophomore Nick Miller (Norwich) repeated his third-place individual finish from a year ago in a time of 25:37 (27 seconds faster than last year) as the Warriors No. 1 runner, with first-year junior Conor Hackett  (Bolton) fourth overall (26:24) in his first race. However, two Fitchburg runners preceded and followed the Warriors' duo. Those impressive performances from its top four runners was enough for Fitchburg to neutralize an 18th place finish (16 scoring points) from its No. 5 runner, who totaled  more points than the combined total of the team's top four.

Also commanding top ten finishes for Eastern were junior Bryan Jorge (Bristol) and sophomore Brad Beausoleil (Plainfield), while freshman Brody Secore (South Windsor) served as the team's fifth scorer. Jorge, the team's sixth runner in this race last fall, was eighth overall (26:53), Beausoleil tenth (27:13) and Secore 11th (27:16).

Fitchburg junior Kris Kibler, coming off a fourth-place finish at the Keene State College Invitational last Saturday, raced to the individual title in a time of 23:53, 72 seconds ahead of teammate Matt Spano.

Eastern competes at the Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational Saturday at 11;15 a.m.

Women's XC: Quinones Top Individual

In her first collegiate race, freshman France eighth in field of 41

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Complete Results.pdf

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgFITCHBURG, Mass.  - Eastern Connecticut State University junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) outran a field of 41 runners to post a 37-second victory and pace the women's cross country team to a second-place finish at the season-opening Jim Sheehan Memorial, hosted by Fitchburg State University Friday at Coggshall Park.

At right: Amanda Quinones

Last spring's Little East Conference 10,000 meter champion, Quinones led ten Eastern runners at the finish line, clocking a time of 21:18 over the 3.1 mile layout. In her Eastern debut last year after transferring from Division I Rider University, Quinones was third overall in a time of 22:31 to help the Warriors to the team title.

Eastern totaled 53 points and was second in a field of five. Three Worcester State  University runners filled in behind Quinones and all five of its scoring runners were among the top seven as the Lancers amassed a comfortable 31-point cushion over Eastern to win the team title.

Eastern runners have now won the individual title in each of the last three years in which the Warriors have competed in the race. It represented the first individual cross country championship for Quinones, who previously had placed second in last year's home dual meet with Rhode Island College.

In her first collegiate race, freshman Katie France (Portland) ran second for Eastern. France was eighth overall in a time of 22:31, just 11 seconds behind the fifth-place runner. She was followed by classmate Alexa Palasky (Griswold), who took 16th place overall (scoring 13 points) in a time of 23:30. Seniors Melissa Healy (Naugatuck) and Amanda Ericson (Bolton) rounded out Eastern scorers.  Healy scored 14 points with an overall 17th-place finish in a time of 23:43 and  Ericson scored 17 points with an overall finish of 20th in a time of 24:10. Healy was timed in 26:31 a year ago as Eastern's No. 9 runner across the line.

In addition to France and Palasky, freshman Wendy Bouton (Stratford)  completed her first collegiate race. Bouton was 31st overall in a time of 26:39.

Quinones took over as Eastern's No. 1 runner in early October, earning All-New England Alliance  honors with a 17th-place finish at the conference championship meet.

Eastern competes at the Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational Saturday at 11;15 a.m.


Women's Soccer: Warriors Tip Vassar

At Valiant Classic, they come from a goal down in second half for 2-1 win

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgPURCHASE,  N.Y. - In the pre-season, head coach Chris D'Ambrosio noted that Kelly Wallace  (South Windsor) -- last year's assist leader -- would serve the team as one of its best attacking players this season. Against Vassar College Sunday on the second day of the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic, the sophomore forward did just that, scoring an unassisted goal to keep the Warriors undefeated this year with a 2-1 victory.

Above: The Warriors celebrate Kelly Wallace's go-ahead goal. (Liz Cutler photo)

For the second time in the tournament, Eastern (3-0-1) scored in the second half to win or tie. Against Vassar (3-1-0) Sunday, sophomore forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange)  tied the match with her first goal of the season in the 50th minute on a scramble in front following a re-start, and Wallace knocked in her team-leading third goal of the year with 20 minutes left in regulation.

In her 2010 debut in goal, junior Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) was credited with her second win in as many career decisions. Pagnozzi played the second half in relief of sophomore starter Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield). Pagnozzi needed only one save, that coming on a direct kick on a shot by Keiko Kurito in a tie game. Pagnozzi's previous win came last September when she made one save in relief in a 1-0 victory over Fitchburg State University at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

A sophomore, Kurito picked up her third assist of the tournament that helped give the Brewers a 1-0 lead midway through the first half. On the play, Kurito hit the post with a free kick, and senior Allison McManis was there to clean it up, recording  her first goal of the season in the process.

Eastern's starting back line of seniors Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), junior Laura Violette (Wallingford)  and sophomore Rachel Cutler (Guilford) kept Vassar's top two scorers in check throughout as the Warriors lowered their season goals-against average to 0.69. Entering play, senior Carolyn Demougeot and freshman Gavriella Kaplan had combined to score seven of  Vassar's nine goals. Sunday, they were limited to just one shot, which did not reach the goal.

With  her second game-winning goal of the season, Wallace has now amassed 25 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in  25 career matches. This year, she has contributed to four of the team's seven goals, earning Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year laurels last Monday.

This year's 1-0-1 record in the Manhattanville Classic (Eastern tied Monclair State, 1-1, Saturday) follows splits of two matches in the team's previous two appearances in the tournament in 2006 and 2007. The last three meetings between Eastern and Vassar have now resulted in 2-1 scores, Eastern winning the last two after losing by that score in overtime in D'Ambrosio's first road match as head coach in 2000.

The Warriors were unbeaten after four matches most recently in 2004, when they won their first four matches on the way to a 6-0-1 start  and eventually equaled the program record for wins with a 15-6-2 mark and ECAC tournament berth.

Ranked No. 8 in New England, Eastern plays its fifth straight road match when it visits Fitchburg State University Wednesday at 7 p.m

Eastern Conn. 2, Vassar College 1

Vassar (3-1-0)              1   0 --   1
Eastern Conn. (3-0-1)    0   2 --   2

Scoring: V-Allison McManis (Keiko Kurita) 24:36; E-Daniela Marchitto 49:33; E-Kelly Wallace 69:58.
Shots: V-6, E-6; Saves: V-Lexi Hutton 2; E-Mackenzie MacLeod 0 (1 goal allowed, 45: 00 min.), Theresa Pagnozzi 1 (0, 45:00).
Corner kicks: V-3, E-4.



Women's Soccer: Warriors Tie

 Freshman Nicole Leonard's first collegiate goal gives Warriors equalizer


merhebJ 671.jpgPURCHASE, N.Y. - The Eastern Connecticut State University and Montclair State University women's soccer programs don't meet very often, but when they do, the matches is an evenly-contest event. Saturday was no exception.

At left, Jo-Ann Merheb moves the ball against Katie Minervini of Montclair Saturday. (Liz Cutler photo)

In the first game of the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic at Field, the No. 8-ranked team in New England benefited from freshman forward Nicole Leonard's (Rutherford, NJ) first career goal to 12 minutes into the second half to forge a 1-1 overtime tie with the Red Hawks in only the second meeting  between the programs in the last 16 years. In five matches in the all-time series which began in 1992, the Warriors hold a 2-1-2 advantage, with three of the last four extending into overtime.

Saturday, Montclair (1-2-2) scored on a double-header in the 16th minute before Eastern (2-0-1) finally gained the equalizer when Leonard put away a loose ball in front of the net early in the second half.  On the scoring play, Allison Wacker headed a cross from Nicole Anulewicz toward teammate Alyssa Diacheysn, who headed it into the goal.

Neither team could break the tie in 30 minutes of overtime.

The goal is the first this year for Eastern by a newcomer, with Leonard coming off the bench to collect her first collegiate goal.

Sophomore keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) made three saves to preserve the tie. In her first season as a starter, MacLeod has a 0.60 goals-against average and .818 save percentage while playing all 300 minutes.

Eastern faces Vassar College (3-0-0) Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in its second tournament match. The Brewers scored twice in the second half on headers off corner kicks on the way to a 3-1 victory over host Manhattanville College (0-4-0) Saturday.The Valiants are under the direction of former Eastern head women's soccer coach Matt Paton.

Eastern Conn. 1, Montclair State U. 1, 2 ot

Eastern Conn. (2-0-1)      0    1    (0)    (0) -- 1
Montclair State (1-2-2)     1    0    (0)    (0) -- 1

Scoring: M-Alyssa Diacheysn (Allison Wacker, Nicole Anulewicz) 15:36; E-Nicole Leonard 57:00.
Shots: E-11, M-8; Saves: E-Mackenzie MacLeod 3, M-Marisa Zayac 4. Corner kicks: E-3, M-6.


Senior keeper turns back 15 shots in Warriors' 2-0 Little East setback  

LEC25.jpgKEENE, N.H - For the second straight match Saturday, the Eastern Connecticut State University offense was held off the scoreboard. The difference against Keene State College in the Little East Conference opener for both schools, however, was the defense.

Above: Tia Mucciarone

After giving up seven goals in a non-conference loss at Babson Tuesday, the Warriors got solid goaltending for the second time in three matches this season in a 2-0 loss to the Owls. In her first start (second appearance) of the season, senior goalie Tia Mucciarone (Franklin, MA) turned back 15 shots against Keene, which has won seven of 12 LEC post-season tournament championships.

The save total is the second-highest in the career of Mucciarone, second only to the 17 saves she amassed almost exactly two years ago against Trinity College. Mucciarone now has a 1.33  goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 105 minutes this year.

The net performance was the second solid one in three matches for the Warriors. In last Wednesday's season-opener, junior goalie Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) stopped six shots in a 3-1 home victory over Salve Regina University.

Soon after an Owl goal was disallowed, Keene got a first-half goal from freshman back Katlyn Simula  and an insurance score from junior forward Elizabeth Coffin 12 minutes into the second half.

Eastern visits Wheelock College in a non-conference match Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Warriors have won all three matches in the series, including last year's 7-1 home decision.

Keene State College 2, Eastern Conn. 0

Eastern Conn. (1-2, 0-1 little east)    0 0 -- 0
Keene State (4-0, 1-0 little east)       1 1 -- 2

Scoring: Katlyn Simula (Leigh Smith) 27:44; Elizabeth Coffin (Leddy Gallagher) 46:36.
Shots: E-2, K-29; Saves: E-Tia Mucciarone 15, K-Courtney Hearn 0 (27:44 min.), Meghan Ledoux 1 (42:16). Penalty corners: E-1, K-11.


Junior keeper shuts out Ramapo for second time in career, 2-0

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SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgMAHWAH, NJ. -  Junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) shut out Ramapo College of New Jersey for the second time in as many career starts  and sophomore midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland) broke a tie in the 57th minute as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team remained unbeaten with a 2-0 non-conference victory over the previously-unbeaten hosts Saturday afternoon at the RC Athletic Center.                                                                                Above: Carl Appel

Ranked No. 4 in New England, Eastern (4-0-0) is unbeaten (2-0-1) in its last three meetings with Ramapo (4-1-1) after losing eight of the first nine in the series which dates back to 1999. All four of the team's wins this year have come away from home.

Appel, who made five saves in shutting out the Roadrunners, 1-0, in his fourth career start two years ago on the same field, made nine saves Saturday to post his 13th full shutout in 45 career starts.

The game-winning goal is the second this season for Tobler, who scored with 56:51 gone to break a 1-1 tie in a season-opening victory over MIT  a week ago at the Babson College Classic. Tobler's goal off a pass from junior midfielder Sean Collins (Bristol) came with 56:52 gone against Ramapo.  Eastern's defense kept that lead intact until freshman midfielder Luke Capezzone (Colchester) came off the bench for his second career goal inside the final ten minutes.

Eastern's starting defense of junior Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA), sophomores Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) and Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) and freshman Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) helped the Warriors lower their season goals-against average to 1.00 (four goals in four matches).Ramapo sophomore forward Rob Santaniello, last year's New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, managed nine of his team's 18 shots, with Appel making saes on four of them. Santaniello had scored 25 goals in his first 21 collegiate matches heading into play Saturday.Ramapo's best chance came in the 30th minute of a scoreless match when   Santaniello hit the crossbar on a header. 

Ramapo freshman keeper Stephen Monaghan matched Appel with nine saves.

Eastern makes its home debut Wednesday against Wheaton College at 7 p.m. The Lyons are ranked sixth in New England and are 1-8-1 against Eastern in the all-time series, although the clubs have not met since an 8-1 Wheaton win in 2002.

Eastern Conn. 2, Ramapo College of New Jersey 0

Eastern Conn. (4-0-0)       0     2 -- 2
Ramapo College (4-1-0)    0     0 -- 0

Scoring: Cory Tobler (Sean Collins) 56:52; Luke Capezzone 81:25.
Shots: E-16, R-18; Saves: E-Carl Appel 9, R-Stephen Monaghan 9. Corner kicks: E-6, R-4.

W-Volleyball: Warriors split at EC

Saturday, Eastern battles in loss to host Endicott, wraps up with sweep


BEVERLY, Mass. -- Erynn Miller (Stratford) and Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) combined for 24 kills, and Britt Carrier (Southington), Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) and Rachael Joy (Huntington Station, NY) teammed for 62 digs as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team prevailed in five sets over Emmanuel College Friday night to gain a split in the opening night of the Endicott College Invitational at the Post Center.

Taylor Abelli Cheshire Herald Athlete-of-the-Week

abelli head 72_2080.jpgIn the first match Friday night, Eastern (5-3) was swept by Middlebury College (1-0). Ibsen had ten kills in that match and Danielle Bourne (Branford) seven, while Miller and Abelli each had ten digs. Ashley Markley (Preston) and Carrier combined for 18 assists. After losing the first two games, Eastern bounced back from a six-point deficit late in the third set before the Panthers broke a tie by scoring the first two points.

Above: Erynn Miller: Honorable mention all-tournament

In the first of two matches Saturday morning, the Warriors battled perenniel New England Top 10 opponent Endicott College (6-1) before losing in four sets: 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 18-25. Eastern bounced back in its fourth and final match of the tournament Saturday afternoon with a 25-20, 25-22, 27-25 sweep of Salve Regina, a team it downed in four sets in its season-opener last week.

Miller, the only true freshman on the 15-player roster, represented Eastern as any honorable mention selection to the all-tournament team. Tournament champion Endicott and runner-up Plymouth State each had two of the six all-tournament picks, with Middlebury and Bowdoin players commanding the final two spots. Miller was one of four picks to the honorable mention listing.  Appearing in all 15 sets, Miller had 37 kills, 39 digs and an .883 reception percentage on 60 attempts.

In five sets against Emmanuel in a match decided by a total of 20 points, Emmanuel evened the match twice before the Warriors finally prevailed in the fifth set. The Warriors scored five of the first six points in the decisive set but the Saints erased a four-point deficit to finally pull even at 12-12. Miller, Carrier and Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) responded with kills down the stretch.

The four sets with Endicott were decided by a total of 16 points.  Miller collected a team-high 15 kills and attacked at .33, with Ibsen adding ten kills and Wilson eight. Miller spearheaded the third-set victory with six kills and only one error, with Abelli contributing six digs and Markley ten assists .The Warriors pushed an early lead in that set to six points and withstood Endicott rallies which cut the margin to one.Up by two points, 18-16, Eastern took hold of the momentum for good on a kill by Ibsen, and blocks by Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and Carrier.

In the second set loss, Eastern led early but remained within a pair through the late stages. A kill by Ibsen tied the set at 23-23 before the Gulls gained the important win to go up 2-0 when they attacked through an Eastern block, then clinched it with a service ace.

The Warriors moved to an early lead behind the serving of Ibsen in the first-set win over Salve Regina Saturday afternoon, took the lead for good behind Ibsen's serving in the later stages of the second set, and erased a six-point deficit in the final set, later breaking a 25-25 tie on the strength of a Salve attack error and a match-ending kill by sophomore Shannon Burke (Manchester). 

In addition to Miller, other top performers for Eastern in the tournament: Abelli totalled 54 digs and six aces and handled 97 of the team's 315 receptioin attempts; Ibsen totalled a team-high 44 kills and had five service aces with three blocks; Wilson 25 kills and four blocks; Markley 102 assists and 29 digs; Carrier a team-high 67 digs, three aces, three blocks and 28 assists, and Joy 30 digs.


Middlebury College 3, Eastern Conn. 0

 Middlebury (1-0)            25    25     27

Eastern Conn. (3-2)       13    11     25

Eastern stat leaders:

Kristianna Ibsen 10 kills

Danielle Bourne 7 kills

Erynn Miller 10 digs

Taylor Abelli 10 digs

Ashley Markley    10 assists

Britt Carrier 8 assists


Eastern Conn. 3, Emmanuel College 2

 Eastern Conn. (4-2)      26    16    27    20    15

Emmanuel (0-3)            24    25   25     25    13


Eastern stat leaders

Erynn Miller 13 kills

Kristianna Ibsen 11 kills

Britt Carrier 29 digs, 16 assists

Taylor Abelli 19 digs

Rachael Joy 14 digs

Ashley Markley 23 assists


Endicott College 3, Eastern Conn. 1

Eastern Conn. (4-3)    22    23    25     18

Endicott (6-1)             25    25    21      25

Eastern stat leaders

Erynn Miller   15 kills, .333 attack pct.

Katie Wilson 8 kills

Kristianna Ibsen 10 kills

Britt Carrier 16 digs

Taylor Abelli 15 digs

Ashley Markley 39 assists


 Eastern Conn. 3, Salve Regina 0

Eastern Conn. (5-3)    25    25   27    

Salve Regina (1-6)      20    22   25

Eastern stat leaders

Kristianna Ibsen  13 kills, .267 attack pct., 3 aces

 Katie Wilson 10 kills, .250 attack pct.

Britt Carrier 17 digs, 2 blocks

Rachael Joy 9 digs

Ashley Markley 30 assists

Gianna Trombino 8 assists













Soccer: Anniversary Reunions Planned

Men's 50th Anniversary event Oct. 10; Women's 25th event Oct. 16


SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University soccer anniversary reunions are planned for the men's and women's programs in October.

The men's 50th Anniversary season event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m., while the women's 25th Anniversary season gala is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. at the CafĂ© located in the campus Student Center.  All former players and coaches are invited.

For the men, a dinner and speaking program will conclude at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the current team's  6 p.m. home game against Kean University at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. Players and coaches from the program's club team in 1960 and first intercollegiate team in 1961 will be recognized at halftime.

wsoccerreunion72dpi 614.jpg

For the women, a breakfast and speaking program will conclude at 11:30 a.m. and will be following by the current team's 1 p.m. home game against Rhode Island College at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. Players and coaches from the program's club  team in 1985 and first intercollegiate team in 1986 will be recognized at halftime.

In 49 seasons, the men's program has enjoyed 26 winning season - including consecutive undefeated regular seasons in 1968 and 1969 - and has won four New England championships and competed in 15 post-season tournaments. In 24 years, the women have enjoyed 19 winning seasons, competed in 11 post-season tournaments, and won six Little East Conference titles.

Alumni and former coaches planning to attend must RSVP the Eastern Alumni Office at 860-465-5302 or at Deadline to reply for the men's reunion is Oct. 4. Deadline for the women's reunion is Oct. 11.


Men's Soccer: Warriors Dominant, 5-1

Against Fitchburg, they score two early goals and ease to third straight

decasanova_72_5638.jpgFITCHBURG, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgUniversity men's soccer team built a three-goal lead by the midway point of the first half and cruised to a 5-1 non-conference victory over Fitchburg State University Wednesday night.

At left: Jon DeCasanova

Ranked No. 4 in the first NSCAA New England poll of the season, Eastern (3-0-0) soccer team scored twice in the first 11 minutes and pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 20th minute when sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) scored his second goal of the match on a feed from junior tri-captain Sean Collins (Bristol). Sophomore back Bradley Fletcher's (Middletown) first career goal made it 4-0 with 14 minutes left in the first half. Fletcher  converted a penalty kick after sophomore midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland) was dragged down in the box.

DeCasanova re-directed junior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) corner kick past Fitchburg keeper Alex Ivanov to make it 1-0 in the fourth minute, and junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) scored his team-leading third goal of the year seven minutes later to double the margin. Freshman midfielder Jordan Clark (Manchester) came off the bench to score his first career goal to make it 5-0 with 20 minutes left.

Neither sophomore keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) nor junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) needed to make a save while splitting time in net. Eastern outshot the Falcons, 27-7 and featured a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Eastern, last year's Little East Conference champion, won for the 11th time in the last 12 matches (the loss coming in the NCAA tournament) and won for the seventh straight time over Fitchburg (0-3-0).

Eastern visits Ramapo College Saturday at 2 p.m.

                                    Eastern Conn. 5, Fitchburg State U. 1

Eastern Conn. (3-0-0)        4       1     -- 5
Fitchburg State (0-3-0)      0       1    -- 1

Scoring: E-Jon DeCasanova (Aaron Smiles) 3:51; E-Matt Furman (Cory Tobler) 10:42; ;E-DeCasanova (Sean Collins) 19:28; E-Bradley Fletcher (penalty kick) 31:00; E-Jordan Clark 70:17; F-Carmen Bordonaro 76:39.
Shots: E-27, F-7; Saves: E-Jordan Munsell 0 (0 goals allowed, 45:00 min.), Carl Appel 0 (1, 45:00), F-Alex Ivanov 9; Corner kicks: E-9, F-3.



Women's Soccer: Two LEC Honorees

Violette, Wallace are named Defensive and Offensive Player-of-the-Week

violette head 72_2051.jpgwallace head 72_2055.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass - The Eastern LEC25.jpgConnecticut State University women's soccer team used strong two-way play to win the Springfield College Invitational this past weekend.

Tuesday, it was recognized for its effort by the Little East Conference when junior back Laura Violette (Wallingford) and sophomore forward/midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) were recognized as its weekly Defensive and Offensive Player-of-the-Year, respectively.

Above: Violette (left), Wallace

A weekly honor by the conference is the first in the career of Violette, a third-year regular in the lineup and the third for Wallace, who was named LEC Rookie-of-the-Week in the first and last voting weeks of 2009. Wallace set a program rookie record last year with a team-high ten assists, equaling the fourth-highest total in a season in program history

The Warriors used tight defense and sufficient offense to down Westfield State University, 1-0, and Roger Williams University, 3-1, to win third first Springfield Invitational title and emerge from the weekend ranked No. 8 in the first NSCAA New England poll of the season. In that tournament, Violette was the team's only starting returning defender from a year ago, when Eastern won the LEC tournament title. Violette played all but ten minutes in the invitational, helping Eastern limit two opponents to 12 shots.

In the championship game, Wallace scored twice in eight minutes to push Eastern's lead to 3-0 late in the second half. In the opener, she assisted on the only goal of the match, scored by senior Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) early in the second half.

Eastern competes in the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic in 2:30 p.m. starts  Saturday and Sunday against Vassar College and Montclair State University, respectively.



In goal, Mucciarone shuts out hosts in second half in non-conference loss


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgBABSON PARK, Mass. - Babson College scored seven goals in the first half and eased to a 7-0 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University  in a non-conference field hockey contest at MacDowell Field Tuesday night.

At right: Tia Mucciarone

Coming off an encouraging 3-1 season-opening home victory over Salve Regina University Saturday, Eastern (1-1) found itself two goals down to Babson (2-0) in the first five minutes in dropping to 0-7 against Babson in this all-time series.

Freshman Morgan Lockwood set a Babson  match record with 11 points. After scoring her first collegiate goal in Babson's season-opening win over Endicott last week, Lockwood erupted for four goals and three assists for 11 points in the first 30 minutes alone - surpassing the program's former single-game mark of ten set six years ago. Junior Courtney Weaving  added two goals in the first half.

Junior Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) , who gave up only one goal in 70 minutes and made six saves against Salve Regina, started and made five saves in the first half, while senior Tia Mucciarone (Franklin, MA) shut out the Beavers with five saves in the second half.

Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday at Keene State College at 1:30 p.m.

                      Babson College 7, Eastern Conn. 0

 Eastern Conn.  (1-1)      0   0 -   0
Babson (2-0)                 7   0 -   7
Scoring: Courtney Weaving (Morgan Lockwood) 0:48; Lockwood 4;21; Weaving (Lockwood) 10:51; Sarah Fredlund (Lockwood) 20:39; Lockwood (Julia Pochini) 21:56; Lockwood (Kimberly Calhoun) 22:21; Lockwood (Colleen Kelly) 29:39
Shots: E-1, Babson 38; Saves: E-Danielle Reichardt 5, Tia Mucciarone 5; B-Jess Pashos 0 (35:00), Kayla Florence 0 (35:00). Penalty corners: E-0, B-7.






Women's Volleyball: Three in a Row

Warriors amass 12 service aces to claim sixth straight in series with Clark

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team erased an early nine-point deficit in the second set on the way to a 25-22, 25-21, 26-24 victory over Clark University Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above Gianna Trombino

The win is the third straight for Eastern (3-1) following a season-opening loss and is the sixth straight for the Warriors over Clark (1-1) in this series which dates back to 1977. The Warrors have captured nine of ten sets in the three wins.

After outscoring Clark  9-2 down the stretch to take the first set, the Warriors pulled out of a 10-1 hole that opened  the second set, outscoring the Cougars 21-6 to move out to a five-point lead late in the match. There were seven ties in the third set before Eastern closed out the match by scoring five of the final seven points.

As a team, the Warriors scored 12 points on service aces and seven more on blocks. Junior outside hitter  Samantha Slonski (Griswold) led Eastern with ten kills and a .333 attack percentage, while junior middle blocker Kristianna Ibsen  (Shelton) had seven kills.

Junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) had four service aces and ten digs, junior setter Ashley Markley (Preston) ten digs, four blocks and 27 set assists,  junior outside hitter Britt Carrier (Southington) eight digs and junior setter Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) three service aces. Trombino served a total of ten points in the match. Junior middle blocker Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had five kills and three blocks before leaving the match in the second set with a sprained ankle.

In addition to Trombino, Eastern got important contributions off the bench from senior Alyssa Ruta (Holbrook, NY), sophomores Shannon Burke (Manchester) and Danielle Bourne (Branford) and freshman Erynn Miller (Stratford). Ruta had six serves without an error and an ace, Burke five kills (four in the deciding set), Bourne two kills in as many attacks and Miller four kills (three in the deciding set) and four digs.  

Coming off a season-opening sweep against Mount Ida College, Clark  got 11 kills from senior outside hitter Maritza Fair, 12 digs from junior libero Kortney Kelley and 30 set assists, nine digs and three blocks from freshman setter Rachel Spera. Freshman outside hitter Katie Byrnes added nine kills.

Eastern opens play in the Endicott College Invitational Friday against Middlebury College at 5 p.m.

Eastern Conn. 3, Clark U. 0

Clark (1-1)                      22       21     24
Eastern Conn. (3-1)         25       25    26



Women's Soccer: Springfield Champ

           Warriors score three straight second-half goals to dump RWU, 3-1


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Sophomore defender Rachel Cutler (Guilford) came off the bench to score her first career goal and sophomore forward Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) followed by scoring on her only two shots eight minutes apart as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team won the Springfield College Invitational title with a 3-1 win over Roger Williams University Sunday night.

Above: Amber Petrizzo (Liz Cutler photo)


Making its third straight appearance in the SC Invite final in as many years, Eastern (2-0-0) recorded its first championship after losing to the host institution each of the last two seasons. The tournament title is the eighth for Eastern in 11 years under current head coach Chris D'Ambrosio.

Meeting Roger Williams (1-2-0) for the first time since shutting out the Hawks, 5-0, in the opening round of the RWU Invitational eight years ago, Eastern scored three times in 22 minutes Sunday after being held off the board through the first 58 minutes. Cutler's first career goal broke the deadlock and Wallace struck twice in eight minutes to put the game away. Wallace, last year's Little East Conference assist leader, set up senior Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) for the only goal of Saturday's victory over Westfield State University.

Eastern's starting defense of Hickey, senior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), junior Laura Violette (Wallingford) and freshman Megan Godwin (Manchester)  limited the Hawks to just six shots. Sophomore keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) needed three saves for the second straight game to record her second win in her second career start. Eastern limited RWU senior first-team all-conference forward Laurin Pendleton to one shot, with MacLeod losing her first career shutout when the Hawks knocked one in with 50 seconds left.

The Warriors collected ten of the 13 corner kicks in the game.

Roger Williams, the 2008 Commonwealth Coast Conference champion, earned a spot in Sunday's final with a 1-0 win over host Springfield Saturday despite being outshot, 20-7.

Eastern faces Vassar College Saturday in the opening round of the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic and meets Montclair State University Sunday. Both matches being at 2:30 p.m.

Eastern Conn. 3, Roger Williams 1

Eastern Conn. (2-0-0)          0    3 -- 3
Roger Williams (1-2-0)         0   1 -- 1

Scoring: E-Rachel Cutler 58:25; E-Kelly Wallace (Daniela Marchitto) 71:23; E-Wallace  79:55; R-Jessia Reade (Noelle Marston) 89:10.
Shots: E-14, R-6; Saves: E-Mackenzie MacLeod 3, R-Kelsey McGee 6. Corner kicks: E-10, R-3.


Men's Soccer: Babson Titlists Again

           For second straight season, Warriors top host SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgBeavers by a goal 
BABSON PARK, Mass. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team capped its second two-game sweep in the Babson College Classic in as many years, repeating as the champion by beating the host team by a goal in the title game, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Hartwell-Rogers Field.

Three of Eastern's (2-0) four wins in the tournament in two seasons have come by a goal. Last year, the Warriors downed MIT, 3-1, and Babson, 1-0. This year, Eastern emerged with a 2-1 victory over MIT Saturday to set up Sunday's one-goal verdict. Pairings in the tournament are pre-determined.


Junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) contributed to four of the team's five tournament goals with  a goal and assist in each contest.The team's leading returning scorer, Furman assisted on sophomore midfielder Cory Tobler's (Portland) tying goal midway through the first half, then scored an insurance goal on an assist from sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) to make it 3-1 midway through the second half

At right: Cory Tobler.

After Tobbler tied the match in the 21st minute, junior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) found freshman midfielder Luke Capezzone (Colchester) with a  free kick six minutes later to give the Warriors the lead for good. The goal was the first in the career of Capezzone. Smiles had two assists, bringing his total to 20 in 45 career matches.
Babson (2-1) scored first - in the 18th minute -- when sophomore Eric Anderson sent the ball to junior captain Max Walker in the right corner. Walker then sent a cross into the box, where junior Jimmy Stento headed a shot into the upper right corner. Behind an experienced defense, Eastern junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) kept the hosts off the board over the next 50-plus minutes - enough time for the Warriors to knock three of their own behind Babson junior netminder Peter Crowley. Appel totaled seven saves in each tournament match. Crowley was not credited with saves on any of Eastern's three shots on net Sunday.

Eastern answered Babson's early goal with a pair of goals in a six-minute span, both coming off restarts after Babson fouls just outside the box on the right side. On the first, Smiles  sent the ball to the far side, where Furman headed the ball back to the near side post. There, Tobler  easily blasted it over the goal line.

 Six minutes later, another foul gave the Warriors another free kick at nearly the same spot. Smiles again hit a perfect service, this time to the center of the box where Luke Capezzone one-timed it inside the right post to make it 2-1.

 Eastern scored what would prove to be the decisive goal in the 68th minute, as a perfect through-ball by DeCasanova sent Furman in all alone on Crowley. The junior forward then tucked it past the charging goalie and inside the right post to make it a two-goal margin.
Following last year's tournament encounter between the teams, both clubs went on to capture their respective conference titles, earn a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament , and post near-identical final records (Eastern 16-5-1, Babson 15-6-1).

Starting freshman forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) twisted his ankle in the first half and will be out of action for an indefinite period.

Babson College Sports Information contributed to this game account

Eastern Conn. 3, Babson College 2

Eastern Conn. (2-0)           2    1 -- 3
Babson College (2-1)         1    1 -- 2

Scoring: B-Jimmy Stento (Max Walker, Eric Anderson) 17:39; E-Cory Tobler (Matt Furman, Aaron Smiles) 20:06; E-Luke Capezzone (Smiles) 26:07; E-Furman (Jon DeCasanova) 67:22; B-Mike Fisher (Derek Foy) 70:32.
Shots: E-5, B-13; Saves: E-Carl Appel 7, B-Peter Crowley 0. Corner kicks: E-2, B-4.


Hickey and Wallace team up for only goal in opening victory

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Senior defender Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) scored her first career game-winning goal  eight minutes into the second half and sophomore keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) posted a shutout in her first career start as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team dumped Westfield State University, 1-0, Saturday evening in tne opening round of the Springfield College Invitational.

0904afterwsu72.jpgAt left:: Warming down after Saturday night's win were (from left) Kaitlyn Kennedy, Laura Violette, Lauren Hickey and Rachel Cutler (Liz Cutler photo)

Eastern (1-0-0) faces Roger Williams University (1-0-0) in Sunday's 7:15 p.m. championship match. Despite being outshot 20-7, the Hawks upended Springfield College, 1-0, in Saturday's late first-round game.  The Warriors were beaten by Springfield in the tournament final each of the past two seasons. Springfield hosts Westfield at 5 p.m. in Sunday's consolation game.

Hickey was last year's Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year but has also seen action both at midfield and up front in her career. Hickey's game-winner was set up by sophomore midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), who centered a pass to Hickey from the right wing. Last year's conference assist leader, Wallace now has 11 assists in only 22 career matches. Eastern has now won its season-opener each of the last four years.

The Warriors outshot the Owls by a 16-6 margin and MacLeod needed only three saves - matching her career total entering play - to amass a shutout in her first career start. MacLeod had come off the bench in four matches for last year's conference championship team.

The game was a battle of 2009 conference champions and NCAA qualifiers, both of whom lost their top scorers from a year ago (Sarah Swann of Eastern and Meg Gearin of Westfield) and were featuring untested keepers. Westfield's top returning scorer from a 16-2-2 finisher -- senior Kate MacLellan -- took four of her team's shots and forced MacLeod to come up with two of her three saves.

In addition to MacLeod, three teammates were also making their first Eastern start: sophomore transfer forward Chelsea Downer (Colchester), freshman midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel) and freshman defender Megan Godwin (Manchester).

In the only previous meeting, Eastern shut out Roger Williams, 5-0, in the opening round of the Roger Williams Invitational in 2002.

Eastern Conn. 1, Westfield State College 0

Eastern Conn. (1-0-0)            0    1 -- 1
Westfield State (0-1-0)          0     0 -- 0

Scoring: Lauren Hickey (Kelly Wallace) 52:41.
Shots: E-16, W-6; Saves: E-Mackenzie MacLeod 3, W-Jess Habif 7; Corner kicks: E-6, W-3.




Men's Soccer: Defending Champ Eastern Wins Babson Classic Opener

Furman scores first goal and assists on winner in 2-1 victory

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgfurman_SLIDE_5079.jpgBABSON PARK, Mass. - Junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) scored the first goal and assists on sophomore midfielder Cory Tobler's (Portland) game-winning early in the second half as defending Babson College Classic champion Eastern Connecticut State University turned back MIT, 2-1, Saturday at Rogers-Hartwell Field.

At left: Matt Furman

Babson (2-0-0) recorded its second straight 3-0 victory of the year, downing Wentworth Institute  of Technology earlier Saturday. The winner of the Eastern-Babson match Sunday at 1 p.m. will be declared the champion of the fourth annual tournament.

The top returning scorer from a 2009 team which lost its top two scorers, Furman scored his eighth goal in 22 matches at Eastern in the 14th minute. MIT (1-1-0) tied the match three minutes before intermission before Tobler one-timed a cross from Furman in the 57th minute to provide junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) with a lead that he protected over the final 33 minutes. Furman's goal glanced off an MIT defender and trickled past diving junior keeper Dylan Rankin., who was beaten by Eastern, 3-1, in last year's tournament opener.

Senior Christian Therkelsen stole the ball from a defender and sent a perfect cross into the box from the left side to set up MIT's tying goal. Junior Zachary Kabelac headed a shot over Appel and just under the crossbar.

MIT outshot Eastern 19-10 and amassed a 10-5 advantage in corner kicks, forcing and Appel into seven saves. Rankin made three.

Eastern's veteran returning team featured only two freshmen in the starting line-up: forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) and defender Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook).

The Warriors defeated Babson in last year's second game, 1-0, on a fluke goal ten minutes into the second half. In his collegiate debut, goalkeeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) made four saves in the shutout victory.

Eastern, which tied the program record last year with 16 wins, has won 17 of 19 matches against New England competition over the last two years. The Warriors have now won nine straight regular-season and Little East Conference tournament matches since a 2-0 loss at Kean University last October 12.

Eastern Conn. 2, MIT 1

Eastern Conn. (1-0-0)         1   1 -- 2
MIT (1-1-0)                        1   0 -- 1

Scoring: E-Matt Furman 13:32; M-Zachary Kabelac (Christian Therkelsen) 41:46; E-Cory Tobler (Furman) 56:51.
Shots: E-10, M-19; Saves: E-Carl Appel 7, M-Dylan Rankin 4.
Corner kicks: E-5, M-10.

First-year player Katie Wilson collects ten blocks and attacks at .388


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Six-foot-two inch first-year sophomore middle blocker Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) recorded ten blocks and attacked at .388 with a team-high 23 kills to pace the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team to two victories Saturday at Francis E. Geissler Gymasnium.

The Warriors and first-year head coach Fran Vandermeer (foreground) celebrate a two-match sweep Saturday.

Eastern (2-1) posted 25-17, 25-12, 21-25, 25-15 triumphs over Salve Regina University (0-2) and 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 wins over Babson College (1-2) as first-year head coach Fran Vandermeer was credited with her first coaching victories at Eastern. Vandermeer had won 318 matches in 13 years at Trinity College and Williams College.

Babson gained a split on the day with a 25-22, 25-15, 25-15 win over Salve.

A first-year transfer from Southern Connecticut State University, Wilson had double-digit kills in each match. Against Salve, she had 11 kills and a .276 attack percentage and six blocks; against Babson, she had 12 kills, a .550 attack percentage and four blocks.

For Eastern on the afternoon, junior outside hitter Samantha Slonski (Griswold) followed Wilson with 20 kills and a .310 attack percentage and contributed 22 digs, five service aces and two blocks; Senior outside hitter Rachael Joy (Huntington Station, NY) was also in double figures on the day with 11 kills while totaling 19 digs and three aces; junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) topped the Warriors with 29 digs and handled 37 serve receptions with just one error; and first-year junior setter Ashley Markley (Preston) collected 51 assists and chipped in 12 digs.

As a team, the Warriors were guilty of only three reception errors against Salve. After the Seahawks cut Eastern's lead in half with the third-set victory, Eastern broke from a tie by scoring seven straight points to move out to a 19-12 lead on the way to Vandermeer's first triumph at Eastern.

After taking the first two sets against Babson, the Warriors completed the sweep with a tight win in the final set. Babson scored twice in a row to pull even at 22-22 before Eastern closed out the triumph with the final three points.

In Babson's split, junior outside hitter Meg Flaherty totaled  25 kills and junior right-side Alexa Untermann  ten kills, senior outside Katy Alea 17 digs and sophomore setter Kathleen Lynch 51 assists. In the sweep of Salve, Flaherty attacked at .484 and had team-highs of 16 kills and 11 digs, Untermann seven kills, and Lynch 30 assists.

For Salve, freshman outside hitter Clare Adams  totaled a team-high 19 kills in two losses, sophomore libero Kathleen Sweeney 23 digs and senior setter Lisa Zabel 38 assists. Adams had 13 kills and ten digs and Sweeney ten digs  in the four-set loss to Eastern. Freshmen Jill Diffendaffer, Jackie Cinquemani  junior Julianne Barry  and Zabel combined for 29 blocks on the day. Against Eastern, Diffendaffer recorded five assists and four solos and Cinquemani five assists and a solo. Against Babson, Barry had five solos and three assists and Zabel four assists and two solos.

Eastern remained unbeaten in the all-time series with Salve (8-0) and Babson (7-0).

Eastern  hosts Clark University Tuesday at 7 p.m.





Warriors snap tie with two goals over final six minutes


WATCH: Head Coach Christine Hutchison

MANSFIELD, Conn. --  Junior back Erika Malito (Killingly) scored her first career goal on a penalty stroke with six minutes left that snapped a tie and sent the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team to a 3-1 season-opening victory Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Erika Malito

It was Eastern's fifth victory in a season opener in the last eight years and follows a 4-0 season-opening setback a year ago at Salve Regina University (0-2).

All of the goals in the match came in the second half. Eighty seconds after Salve had tied the match on a rebound goal by sophomore midfielder Sarah Bambur,  Malito fired a penaly stroke goal inside the left post after being awarded the free shot after interference was called on a Salve defender while Malito was en route to the goal.

"For the first time out, we played very, very well," noted fifth-year Eastern head coach Christine Hutchison. "I knew that we were capable of playing this way, and it was nice to see. They played with passion, they communicated, and they stayed positive."

Junior goalie Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) made six  saves to post the victory and also got a defensive save from freshman defender Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) late in the game. Gawron was the only freshman starter for Eastern. Reichardt has been credited with the team's last five wins dating back to 2008.

The Warriors had the better of play after the opening minutes of the match and broke through with the first goal four minutes into the second half when junior forward Elise Zarcaro (Enfield) threaded a leading pass to senior forward Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford), who slipped a shot through the legs of Salve junior goalie Natalie Balletta  from close range. Salve was held without a penalty corner in the second half, but finally tied the match with 7:34 left. A shot by freshman forward Heather Kapatoes in traffic was knocked down by Gawron at the left post, but Bambury knocked in the rebound from long range.

After Malito's go-ahead goal less than two minutes later, junior forward Ali Chapman (Watertown) added an insurance marker with her sixth career goal on a pass from senior forward Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield). Del Vecchio had made several scoring bids in the first half by taking three of the team's five shots.

Eastern visits Babson College Tuesday at 6 p.m.

                        Eastern Conn. 3, Salve Regina U. 1

Salve Regina (0-2)          0   1 -- 1
Eastern Conn. (1-0)        0   3 -- 3

Scoring:  E-Dana McLaughlin (Elise Zarcaro) 39:07; S-Sarah Bambury 62:26; E-Erica Malito (penalty stroke) 63:43; Ali Chapman (Ashley Del Vecchio) 68:32.
Shots: S-9, E-12; Saves: S-Natalie Balletta 3, E-Danielle Reichardt 6.
Penalty corners: S-5, E-6.





WATCH: Head Coach Chris D'Ambrosio


With the loss of four starters from a women's soccer team which won its third Little East Conference tournament championship in seven years last fall, Eastern Connecticut State University will turn to a talented core and several impact newcomers in an effort to win consecutive LEC titles for the first time.

At right: Laura Violette

Last year under head coach Chris D'Ambrosio, Eastern won at least ten matches for the ninth straight season under the current coach, knocking off top-seeded Keene State College on its home field to win its first LEC title in four seasons.

Members of that team garnered all three LEC major individual awards, and two of those players are back in Defensive Player-of-the-Year Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Rookie-of-the-Year Daniela Marchitto (Orange).

In addition to losing LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year Sarah Swann, the Warriors must make up for additional losses in fellow all-conference players Kim Church (keeper), Christine Lemieux (defense) and Taylor MacDonald (midfield).

The loss of Swann notwithstanding, Eastern will be looking to match last year's offensive exploits with the return of  offensive threats Marchitto, sophomore Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), junior Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) and sophomore Taylor Buchanan (Ellington).Joining them will be Southern Connecticut sophomore transfers Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and McKenzie Hyde (Colchester).

"I haven't said this very often, but for once, I think that our attack is ahead of our defense," observed D'Ambrosio as the team prepared to open the 2010 season at the Springfield College Invitational Sept. 4. "And the reason I say that is that we have a lot of attacking-minded players who are skillful, who are athletic. We have speed. It's not that our defense looks bad, but it's just that we've been a very good defensive team in the past and that's going to be a bit of a question mark because we did lose some key players."

A three-year starter on defense, Hickey may move to center midfield this season, and three-year defensive regular Stephanie Norell (Stratford) could miss most of the season following hip surgery. The defense will be anchored by junior Laura Violette (Wallingford) and will include senior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), junior Sam Konopka (Hebron), and sophomore Rachel Cutler (Guilford). Freshman Megan Godwin (Manchester) will see plenty of minutes.

The loss of Church, the MVP of last year's LEC tournament, leaves the goalie position in the hands of two returnees: junior Theresa Pagnozzi (Wateford) and sophomore Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield).

Freshman All-State midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel) will team in the middle with sister Jo-Ann, senior Megan Pavia (Stamford), Hickey and Buchanan.

Support off the bench will come from sophomore back Colleen Gomola (Fairfield), freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Kennedy (Burlington) and freshman forward Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ).

Last year, the Warriors lost less than two matches in the conference for the eighth time in nine years. As the No. 2 tournament seed, Eastern posted two tournament shutouts. The Warriors avenged a hard-fought scoreless overtime regular-season draw with UMass Boston in a 4-0 semifinal-round victory, then upended top seed Keene, 1-0, behind Swann's game-winning goal.

Traditionally, Eastern, Keene and Western have been the most successful in LEC play, but improvement from all conference teams makes this year's race a toss-up.

"I tell our team that they can beat anyone on the schedule if we come to play and execute and have a good game, but the bad thing is that we can lose to anybody if we don't' come to play,", says D'Ambrosio, now in his 11th season. "Right now, I'm cautiously optimistic. I think that we can challenge for the top spot in the league if we stay consistent and injury-free."





WATCH: Head Coach Greg DeVito

The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer program kicks off its 50th Anniversary season Saturday when it returns as the defending champion of the Babson College Classic.

At right: Aaron Smiles

The Warriors return 13 letterwinners from last year's team, which set a multitude of records in equaling the program record for wins in a season (16). Eastern won its second Little East Conference Tournament in three years under head coach Greg DeVito and qualified for its third straight post-season tournament.

Under DeVito, Eastern has won 42 matches - the most total wins in any three consecutive seasons in program history.

"I like where we are right now. I like the team that we have," noted DeVito. "I like the fact that they came in fit. They work hard and are very coachable."

A balanced mix of returnees and newcomers make up the core of the team. Three of four starting defenders - plus junior goalie Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) - are back from a team which led the LEC in defense as an untested unit. Junior all-conference defender Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) returns to anchor the defense, and will be joined by junior Matt Esposito (East Haven) and 2009 LEC Rookie-of-the-Year Bradley Fletcher (Middletown), a sophomore. Freshman Jordan Clark (Manchester) will miss the opening weekend with a minor knee injury but is expected to return to the lineup soon.

Senior Sean Capezzone (Colchester) provides experience in the midfield. Sophomore Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury), a starting defender last year, may move to midfield year and may work with junior Sean Collins (Bristol) in the middle. Sophomore Cory Tobler (Portland) returns to the starting lineup at midfield, while freshman Luke Capezzone  (Colchester) - brother of Sean - and classmates Nathan Mozian (Southington) and Kyle Surprenant (Coventry) and first-year junior Ryusuke Imamura (Kichijoji, Japan) will see plenty of minutes at that position.

Rounding out the 24-player roster are first-year junior Matt Janco (New Hartford) and sophomore Ryan McCormack (Shelton).

"At the beginning of last year, the question mark was the defense', DeVito observed. "This year, the question mark is the offense. But we knew that we needed forwards this year, so we brought in a number of players who are very good attacking players. I think that we have more weapons this year as a team. We may not have one player score 15 goals, but we have 3-4 players who can score 5-6 each to make up for it."

As it did last year, Eastern meets MIT and Babson in its two Babson College Classic matches and on Sept. 15 opens its home season with Wheaton College

With the loss of all-conference forwards Maxim Fantl and Nicholas Boretti, junior Matt Furman (Montville) is the team's top returning scorer. He will open up top with freshman Mitch Power (Douglas, MA).

Junior Matt Kalmin (Burlington) and freshman Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) provide depth on defense, with freshman Zach Kice (Denver, CO) coming off the bench at midfield and freshmen Tom Vear (Monson, MA) and Romaro Johnson (Bridgeport) adding punch up front.

Senior Rick Emery (Brewster, NY) and sophomore Jordan Munsell (Waterford) will back up all-conference goalkeeper Appel in net.

             Warriors win opening set but Hawks respond with three straight


WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team fell behind early in every match in dropping a four-game decision to Roger Williams University in its season opener and debut under first-year head coach Fran Vandermeer Wednesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Ashley Markley

After rallying from an early deficit in the first set, Eastern was not as fortunate thereafter in dropping a 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 15-25 decision to the Hawks, who were also playing their season opener.

The Warriors broke a tie with three straight points in the first set to take the lead for good, chalking up the win behind a pair of kills from junior outside hitter Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and a set-ending RWU service errors. The Warriors used a run of five straight points to climb out of an early hole in the second set, but immediately gave those five points back as the visitors tied the match with a 10-4 set-endng run. In the third set, the Hawks broke from a 16-all tie to pull away with a 9-1 run. Roger Williams wrapped up its fourth win all-time over Eastern in 22 decisions in the fourth set. That match was tied three times in the early going before the Hawks opened up a ten-point lead.

"I'm satisfied with our effort," said Vandermeer. "It was our first night out and we have players coming off a season where they're not used to building confidence, and we're playing a team that was in the middle of the pack (in its conference) last year and comes back to win their conference championship."

Senior all-conference middle hitter Rebekah Dion had 12 kills and a .400 attack percentage for Roger Williams, with sophomore outside hitter Kelsey Twarog and freshman middle Krystie Luczynski adding ten kills each. Sophomore setter Emily Lebowitz, last year's Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, handed out 39 set assists and senior libero Jill Hurd dug up 20 balls.
Eastern collected seven blocks and averaged 15 digs per set, but attacked at just .007 (27-for-148 with 26 errors).

"I thought we got trapped a little bit too often," admitted Vandermeer. "Our game was playing right into the teeth of their defense."

Middle hitters Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton), a junior, and sophomore Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) combined for 14 kills, with Ibsen attacking at .278 and Wilson recording four blocks and collecting three service aces. Junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) led the way with 15 digs, junior  outside hitter Britt Carrier (Southington) digging ten, senior outside hitter Rachael Joy (Huntington Station, NY) and Slonski nine each and junior setter Ashley Markley (Preston) eight. Markley also registered 18 assists, Carrier two aces. Wilson and Markley combined to serve 37 balls with just two errors.

"We're really not executing our first and second contacts right now, it's making it very difficult to run the offense," added Vandermeer. "We need to run a quicker offense. We need to run it quicker to our outsides, but in order to do that, our middles have to be ready to run a much quicker offense. We have a couple of kids with size, but overall, we're athletic bangers, so we need to get used to hitting balls that are 4-5 feet off the net."

Saturday, Eastern hosts Salve Regina University at 11 a.m. and Babson College at 3 p.m.

Roger Williams U.  3, Eastern Conn. 1

Roger Williams (1-0)           22 25 25 25
Eastern Conn. (0-1)            25 17 17 15


Under new head coach Fran Vandermeer, Warriors look to re-coup glory

WATCH: Head Coach Fran Vandermeer


vandermeer72dpi_2202.JPGWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball coach Fran Vandermeer doesn't really care, which will fare well when the Warriors kick off their first season under the first-year head coach.

While Vandermeer is new to Eastern, she is anything but new to the game.

Vandermeer took over the program last spring after compiling a .713 winning percentage in 13seasons at Trinity College (1996-1999) and Williams College (2000-2008). She led Williams to six NCAA tournament berths, four of which culminated in trips to the Division III Elite 8.

Upon assuming the Eastern head coaching role, Vandermeer immediately made it known to the players that she did not care about the past. To her, the 2010 season represented a fresh start for both her (she took the 2009 season off from coaching) and for her players.

"I told them right away that we were moving forward," remembers Vandermeer, who is re-united at Eastern with assistant coach Peter Maneggia, who had assisted Vandermeer with the Trinity softball program in the late 1990s. "My only concern was 'how do we make you good teammates and us a better team?'"

At the core of Vandermeer's philosophy is the demand for accountability, hard work, and teamwork. It's a formula that has produced tight-knit teams that improve with each passing week, culminating in her teams playing their best when it matters most.

"To be a successful program, our whole focus must be 'team' oriented," points out Vandermeer. "To me, volleyball is the ultimate 'team' sport, because how well connected you are with your teammates is what makes the sum greater than the individual parts."

The Warriors struggled last year, but are relatively well-stocked as they look to regain their spot among the upper echelon of the Little East Conference, where they won three consecutive LEC tournament titles from 2005 through 2007.

Twelve players on this year's 15-player roster bring collegiate experience to the court. Ten have cut their teeth in the Eastern program, while two are first-year transfers.

As the team wraps up its two-week pre-season camp, Vandermeer is excited by a number of things as Eastern approaches its 36th intercollegiate season. She is impressed by the team's athleticism, size in the middle and depth at the hitting, blocking and setting positions.

But more importantly to her, she is enthusiastic about her players' work ethic, teammwork and their thirst for improvement.

"We have a team that is so willing to put the work in, so eager to learn," she says

.Returning seniors include outside hitter Rachael Joy (Huntington Station, NY), defensive specialist Alyssa Ruta (Holbrook, NY), and right-side hitter Christina Schirone (Pelham, NY).

By sheer numbers, returning juniors provide the foundation of this year's team. Among that group are returning first-team All-LEC middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton), outside hitter Samantha Slonski (Griswold), all-conference libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire), and setters Britt Carrier (Southington)  and Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY).  Trombino returns to the squad after helping it to the 2007 LEC tournament championship.

Providing additional experience and depth are sophomore returnees Danielle Bourne (Branford), an outside hitter, and Shannon Burke (Manchester), a middle blocker.

"We sense the energy, we sense the enthusiasm," says Vandermeer. "We can feel a commitment to improving every day as individuals, which makes our team better. That's a huge part of the learning curve. If you have that commitment to do the work, then your team gets better pretty darn quickly."

Several of the five newcomers may be impact players, among them junior transfer Ashley Markley (Preston) and sophomore transfer Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA). A setter, Markley played two seasons at the Community College of Rhode Island and Wilson, a 6-foot-2 inch middle blocker, spent last fall in the Southern Connecticut State University volleyball program. Former high school All-State teammates, Markley earned All-New England honors at CCRI and Wilson was a finalist for state Player-of-the-Year laurels.

Rounding out the roster are first-year senior Julie Forler (Hartland), first-year sophomore Jacqueline Brasa (East Hartford) and Erynn Miller (Stratford), this year's only true freshman.

The Warriors host Roger Williams University in their season-opener Sept. 1 and later in the month jump directly into the LEC fire with road games a week apart at 2009 conference champion UMass Boston and 2008 conference titlist Keene State. UMass Boston is the top-ranked team in the LEC pre-season poll while Keene is third.

In addition to ignoring the past, Vandermeer puts little merit in rankings, especially the ones released in the pre-season. In this year's LEC pre-season rating, the Warriors have placed fifth  in a field of eight in  a balloting of conference coaches.

"I'm one of those coaches who pays very little attention to the polls," admits Vandermeer. "Polls are entertainment, a little bit. What I like to pay attention to is what happens in the post-season. Those end-of-the-season polls, it's those polls that I love.