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November 2010 Archives

W-Soccer: Season (16-1-5) in Review



Above: Eastern President Dr. Elsa Nunez hosted the players and coaches in a tea party at the Student Center Cafe in recognition of their historic season.

The 2010 Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team saved its most historic season for its 25th Anniversary, going unbeaten through its first 21 matches and reaching the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Under the direction of ninth-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio (135-61-21), the Warriors finished with 16 victories against five ties and a single loss, captured the Little East Conference regular season outright for the second time in six years and posted program-highs with No. 1 New England (for four consecutive weeks) and No. 8 (Nov. 2) national ranks.

The Warriors broke numerous team records, among those for wins, winning percentage (.841), consecutive wins (11), consecutive matches unbeaten (21), and best regular-season home winning percentage (1.000/7-0-0).

Now 56-8-6 in regular-season conference play the last ten years, Eastern posted its third unbeaten LEC regular season and 6-0-1 record in the last six years under D'Ambrosio, voted the LEC Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in ten years.

wsocwrap72_6521.JPGGame highlights included a 1-0 win over LEC rival Western Connecticut, , a come-from-behind 3-2 win over conference rival and 2009 regular-season champ Keene State College which was the result of three straight second-half goals over the final 18 minutes, a 2-1 victory at New England power Amherst College (which had shut out Eastern in the 2009 NCAA tournament, a 1-1 LEC tie at UMass Dartmouth which was possible due to the game-tying goal with seven minutes left; and a scoreless "tie" against Wheaton College in the second round of the NCAA tournament that propelled the Warriors to the third round after they nailed all four of their attempts in the penalty-kick shootout nine days after missing three of four in a penalty-kick "loss" to UMass Boston in the conference tournament semifinals.

In the final conference statistics, Eastern finished first in corner kicks (135)second in least goals allowed (14), goals-against average (0.61), and shutouts (10/one shy of the program record).

The Warriors allowed one or no goals in 13 straight matches heading into the third round of the NCAA tournament and in 20 of 22 contests during the season.


Having an undefeated season is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

dambrosio 72 dpi.jpg"Let's hope it's not a once-in-a-lifetime thing (laughs). No, I think that there were a lot of good things that happened. It's not just one factor.We had a good core of returnees and added good recruiting  class and some good transfers. The talent was there, but talent alone doesn't guarantee success. It was the chemistry that was import, and the fitness. We had 15-16 kids who were really fit to start the season, and that allows you to do more things. Injuries did not happen as often because we were fit. We had a good rhythm coming out of pre-season, and we were pretty deep.  We had all of the ingredients that you look for. We had pretty good team speed, we had a nice mix of technical players, ball-winners (i.e. physical players), youth, and some experience. The mix was really good."

Did you feel that this team could go undefeated?

"I don't think anyone thinks that they're going to go undefeated at the start of the season (but) we've been building and building the program for years,  and this group had some pretty lofty goals: win the conference regular season, win the conference tournament, be over .500 on  the road, be undefeated at home, and have the highest GPA of any team here at Eastern. A lot of those goals were fulfilled, and it all started with our fitness. They were so fit coming in, that a lot of those goals were achieved. And when you start off really well, your confidence grows pretty quickly."

Even as the undefeated streak grew, this team never appeared to be playing not to lose.

"We certainly had an attack mentality. We wanted to keep possession of the ball and attack our opponent. "

Was there a point where you began thinking about an undefeated season?

"I think we were tested all through the season.. I don't  think  that I said at any time, ' jeez, we could go undefeated.' You take it one game at a time, which I know is an old cliché. (We said), let's have a good week of practice, do the best we can, and try to prepare for the next opponent, and try and win the game. We had a lot of options, because we didn't have a lot of injuries, so we could go in with a good game plan against every opponent."

Early in the season, did you get a feeling that this team could be special?

"We were tested early. At the Manhattanville tournament (in mid-September), we were down in both games. We came back to tie Montclair, 1-1, and were down 1-0 to Vassar and came back to beat them, 2-1. That's when I first said, 'OK, this group might be pretty resilient, the chemistry is pretty good, When you're down, a lot of teams cave in (but) these  guys kept fighting.'  So that was a little springboard to see where we were at.  Probably the first big, big test other than that was Keene State at home. We're down 2-0 in a Little East game, our conference rival, and we come back to score three goals in the last 19 minutes of the game. I think that convinced me that this team was pretty tough.  Most teams down 2-0 are going to be pointing fingers, complaining about calls to the referee, and blaming each other, and then you lose 4-0. Well, we didn't do that. We kept playing, kept our heads in the game, kept our composure. There were kinda marks like that throughout the season. Then we get to Amherst, always a very good program, Top 5 in New England every year, usually Top 20 in country, and we beat them on the road, and we played very well. We attacked and had the better of play throughout the second half, probably. So, that was another mark. So, I think we had marks throughout the season."

After beating Amherst, it seemed that Trinity - the 15th of 18 regular-season matches -- might be the only team standing between the team and an undefeated regular season..

"Well, that's always been a great rivalry, and it's toward the end of the year. You could lose your focus (because it's a mid-week game), because you're really into the conference games on Saturdays. And Trinity's  a good team, they're one of the better teams that we play. Their attack was lacking a little bit (that day), but they were still a formidable foe, for sure. And that (scoreless overtime tie) was a good result on the road. I think that we did some good things. We  opened up a little sluggish and Trinity had the better of play, but we got into a really good rhythm in the second half, and it was probably just a lack of finishing or else we probably would have won that game."

Because of the quirky nature of the game, soccer may be one of the more difficult sports in which to go undefeated.

"It's so unpredictable. You can play really well and lose, or you can have an average day and get away without being punished, and you win. It's a really unpredictable game. That's why a like it, because you never know. It's not cut-and-dry all of the time."


Taylor Buchanan  So. F 5-8 Ellington  Ellington '09
Second-year letterwinner... first-team  all-conference... sixth in the conference in goals (13) and points (28) and tied for third in game-winning goals... had a point in 13 of the final 14 regular-season matches... had five game-winners among her team-leading 13 goals... goal total equaled the second-month in a season in program history and point total (28) equaled the ninth-highest in program history...scored all three of the game's goals in a regular-season LEC win at UMass Boston.... converted the clinching PK in a 4-2 shootout win over Wheaton in the second round of the NCAAs...

Rachel Cutler   So. B 5-8 Guilford  Guilford '09
Second-year letterwinner and starter... appeared in all 22 matches, starting 11 of the last 12... averaged 64.7 minutes per game... played the entire match six times...

Chelsea Downer  So. F 5-7 Colchester  Bacon Academy '09
First-year transfer from Division II Southern Connecticut... appeared in 21 of 22 matches with 12 starts...contributed two goals and shared second place on the team with five assists... tied for eighth in the conference in assists...

Megan Godwin  Fr. B 5-7 Manchester  Manchester '10
One of two freshmen starters, along with midfielder Tamar Merheb... appeared in 20 matches with 19 starts...started 18 of 19 matches through the conference tournament before missing the first two NCAA tournament games due to illness.. returned to start the third round match of the NCAAs against Williams, playing all 90 minutes...played every minute in 13 matches, averaging 85.7 minutes a match on the season... had two assists...

Lauren Hickey  Sr. B 5-8 Southwick, MA Southwick-Tolland Reg. '07
Four-year starter... repeated as conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year - the first player in the nine-year history of the award to win it in consecutive seasons -- and first-team all-conference... a three-time all-conference pick in her career... played all but 115 minutes all season, playing the entire match in the final 14 games of her career... led all field players in minutes for the third straight year after finishing second as a freshman...  contributed two goals and four assists... scored the game-winner in the season-opening 1-0 win over Westfield State... academically, was named first-team all-academic all-district by Co-SIDA and ESPN... named to the academic honor roll (3.30+ GPA) in all three years of eligibility and received an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award (3.50+ GPA) in both seasons of eligibility...

McKenzie Hyde  So. MF 5-10 Colchester  Bacon Academy '09
First-year transfer from Division II Southern Connecticut who retained four years of eligiblity... appeared in 11 games off the bench with no points... one of six newcomers on the team... also a member of the Eastern basketball program...

Kaitlyn Kennedy  Fr. MF 5-5 Burlington  Lewis S. Mills '10
One of four true freshmen on the roster... appeared in 20 of 22 matches with two starts... had no points and averaged 33.2 minutes per game... started road games against Fitchburg State and UMass Dartmouth...

Sam Konopka   Jr. MF 5-7 Hebron   RHAM '08
Third-year letterwinner and first-year starter... started 18 of the 19 matches in which she appeared, missing three with injury... one of four new starters... averaged 60.6 minutes per game... had her goal and a ssist in a home win over Salem State... played a career-high 103 minutes in a tie against Montclair State... earned a spot on the LEC academic honor roll for the second time in as many seasons of eligibility and also earned an E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award in her first season of eligibility...

Nicole Leonard  Fr. F 5-7 Rutherford, NJ  Rutherford '10
One of four true freshmen on the roster... saw time in all 22 matches, with three starts... averaged 42.8 minutes per match... top scorer (4-2-10) among newcomers... started two of the top four matches... scored Eastern's first goal 23 minutes into the second half that helped the Warriors back from a 2-0 deficit and a 3-2 LEC win against Keene State....

Mackenzie MacLeod  So. K 5-9 Northfield  Litchfield '09
Second-year member of the program and first-year letterwinner...
appeared in nine matches in net, with five starts...  had a .783 save percentage  and 0.86 GAA... made three saves in posting a 1-0 shutout in the season-opener against Westfield State in her first career start (fifth appearance)... started the first four matches of the year, wining two and tying one, making nine saves and allowing three goals (never more than one in a match)... never allowed more than one goal in a match... played all 280 minutes in her first three starts...  earned a spot on this fall's LEC academic honor roll in her first season of eligibility...

Daniela Marchitto  So. F 5-2 Orange   Amity Regional '09
Second-year starter... second-team all-conference... second or tied for second on the team in points (25), goals (10) and assists (5)... seventh in the LEC  in points, tied for seventh in goals and tied for eighth in assists... had three game-winning goals, including the only goal of the match against Worcester State University for the program's first NCAA tournament win ever... had four goals and ten points in seven LEC regular-season matches... had at least one point in seven of the team's first 11 matches, including three goals in a 6-1 LEC win over  Rhode Island College... first-team all-conference and LEC Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009... qualified for the LEC academic honor roll (3.30+ GPA) in her first season of eligibility...

Jo-Ann Merheb  Jr. MF 5-5 Bethel   Bethel '08
Third-year member of the program and second-year starter... second-team all-conference... appeared in all 22 matches with 15 starts... furth on the team in points (12), tied for third in goals (5) and also had two assists... three of her goals were game-winners... teammed at midfield with freshman sister Tamar... had game-winning goals in important victories in two of the biggest wins of the year (Keene State and Amherst College) and scored the team's only goal in the LEC tournament semifinal tie with UMass Boston... converted the game-winning PK in a 4-2 shootout win over Wheaton in the second round of the NCAAs... earned a spot on the LEC academic honor roll for the second time in as many years of eligibility and will also earn an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in her first season of eligibility...

Tamar Merheb   Fr. MF 5-5 Bethel  ` Bethel '10
One of four true freshmen... appeared in 21 of 22 matches with 19 starts, equaling the most starts among tru freshmen... third among position players and first among freshmen in minutes (84.9 per game)...  played every minute in nine matches, including all 110 minutes in four overtime matches over the final month of the season...contributed two assists...

Stephanie Norell  Sr. B 5-5 Stratford  Frank Bunnell '07
One of four seniors... a regular in the lineup in the three previous seasons (starting every match as a sophomore and junior) who was limited to six matches (two starts) this year while rehabilitating from off-season hip surgery... member of the conference academic honor roll (3.30+ GPA) in all three years of eligibility and an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award (3.50+ GPA) in both seasons of eligibility... also co-recipient of the Holly Zimmerman Award as a junior for academic determination and contributions to the Eastern athletic department as a PE major...

Theresa Pagnozzi  Jr. K 5-9 Waterford  Waterford '08
Third-year member of the program... second-team all-conference in her first season as a starter... was 13-1-4 in 19 appearances (17 starts) with a .870 save percentage and 0.52 GAA... had never started a match in her two previous seasons... set season records for goalkeepers for consecutive wins (10), consecutive wins without a loss (17) and winning percentage (.833) and tied the record for full shutouts (7)...  GAA was just shy of the season record of 0.50, set by Stacey Schofield in 2002... led the conference in save percentage and was second in GAA and fourth in shutouts... in 26 career appearances prior to the third-round NCAA 2-0 loss to Williams, was 14-0-4 with a 0.44 GAA...

Megan Pavia   Sr. MF 5-3 Stamford  AITE '07
Fourth-year member of program... one of four seniors... appeared in 19 of 22 matches with three starts...had all of her points on the season with a goal and assist against Salem State...appeared in all three NCAA tournament games... started games against Westfield State and back-to-back games against UMass Dartmouth and Manhattanville...

Amber Petrizzo  Sr. B 5-5 Plainville  Plainville '07
Junior eligibility... previously lettered in 2007 and 2009... moved from starting midfielder in 2009 to starting back this year... second-team all-conference... started all 21 matches in which she appeared... second on the team in minutes (1,869) and average minutes (89.0)... played the entire match 11 times, nine of the games coming in succession... helped the Warriors to the second-best defensive rating in the conference...

Laura Violette   Jr. B 5-8 Wallingford  Mercy '08
Third-year letterwinner and three-year regular in the lineup.... has been hampered by injury each of the last two years...  appeared in 17 matches with 12 starts... missed five matches at mid-season due to an ankle injury but returned to start the first two NCAA matches when freshman midfielder Megan Godwin was sidelined with the flu... played all but ten total minuets in the first five matches... 

Kelly Wallace   So. F/MF 5-6 South Windsor South Windsor '09
Two-year starter at midfield and forward... first-team all-conference... team leader for second straight year in assists, with six... third on the team with 16 points and tied for third with five goals...tied for fifth in the LEC with four game-winning goals and tied for fifth in assists... recorded the game-winning goals in three of the team's first six victories... has 16 assists in 43 career matches, one shy of breaking into the career Top 10.... qualified for a spot on the LEC academic honor roll in her first season of eligibility...




M-Basketball: Warriors Re-Group in OT

After blowing 16-point, second-half lead, they pull away in overtime, 71-61

nedwickconn72_7356.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) scored a season-high 17 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and hit consecutive three-point field goals in the final three minutes of regulation to carry the Eastern Copnnecticut State University  men's basketball team to a 71-61 non-conference overtime win over Connecticut College Monday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Nick Nedwick (background) defends Conn's Matt Vadas in the second half of Monday's 71-61, ot victory. Nedwick and Vadas each led their respective club in points.

Playing its fourth straight game decided by five points or less or in overtime, Eastern (4-1)  led by 16 points with 12 minutes left but needed Kohn's back-to-back three-pointers from the top of the circle to help the Warriors erase a four-point deficit in the final minutes of regulation.  

In overtime, however, Eastern scored the first ten points, with 11 of their 15 ot points coming on 15 free throw attempts. Sophomore guard Joe Ives (Avon) was 7-for-8 from the stripe in the five-minute extra session, taking all of his free throws in the game in the final 82 seconds of overtime.

Junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) led  Eastern in scoring for the fourth time this year, totaling a game-high 24 points, and joined Kohn as the only two Eastern players in double figures. The duo amassed 41 of the team's point total.

Nedwick had 13 first-half points to vault Eastern into a nine-point, 33-24 lead at the break, then scored the team's first seven points and nine of its first 11 points in the second half to push the Warriors to their 16-point, 44-28 lead with 12 minutes left.

Freshman Matt Vadas came off the bench to lead Conn with 20 points, Taylor Hanson adding 14 and Rob Harrigan ten. Vadas led the second-half charge for Conn by scoring 14 of his team's 32 points in the second half. Vadas sparked a 24-4 Conn run (11 straight points) over  nine minutes by scoring 12 points, five coming from the foul line His jumper tied the game at 48-all with just over five minutes left and Harrigan and Pete Banos followed with buckets in the paint to give the Camels a 52-48 lead with 3:19 left.

Six-foot-five inch center Chris Robitaille (Canton) of Eastern left the game with 1:28 left in the first half and did not return after an elbow in the cheek drew blood and was expected to require as many as six stitches. Robitaille was shooting .850 from the floor this year and averaging 9.8 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds through the team's first four games.

With Robitaille scoring only two points in five minutes off the bench, the Camels' bench players outscored Eastern's reserves by 18 points (24-6). Vadas scored 20 of those points, but no other sub on either team had more than two.

Averaging 25 turnovers a game, Conn turned the ball over only 15 times (four in the second half), but missed 15 of 19 three-point field goals. Shooting over 80 percent this year from the foul line, Conn sank 75 percent of their tries but were awarded only half as many as Eastern. The Warriors were 16-of-24 from the stripe, Conn 9-of-12.

The game was Eastern's fifth in the first 11 days of the regular season while Conn was playing its first game in six days.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at Rhode Island College at 3 p.m

Del Vecchio's Career on Fast Track

Senior sacrifices final athletic season to accelerate law enforcement dream

By: Dana McLaughlindel vecchiosrday72dpi_4296.jpg
Sports Information Intern

del vecchio_head_72dpi_2579.jpgEastern Connecticut State University senior Ashley Del Vecchio played the final match of her four-year field hockey career against Lasell College on October 12 - with nearly three weeks and five games left in the season.

Above:: Ashley Del Vecchio (8) is embraced by her family on Seniors' Day.

Del Vecchio, a hardworking and committed individual and the team's second-leading scorer, sacrificed the final weeks of her field hockey career and the final season of her lacrosse career in the interest of her future.

With the idea of becoming a police officer in her heart, she began an internship with the Fairfield Police Department the summer after her sophomore year. Enjoying the experience, the Fairfield native returned to complete another term of the internship last summer following her junior year at Eastern

. A two-sport four-year letterwinner and former team captain in field hockey, Del Vecchio is as driven off the field as she was on the field. She says that she has had the dream of becoming a police officer for as long as she can remember. At Eastern, she was majoring in Sociology and minoring  in Criminology.

del vecchio_action72dpi_3424.jpg

At the end of last summer, she applied for an opening on the police force in her hometown. Just before she was about to leave for pre-season field hockey camp at Eastern this past August, an opening also surfaced in Westport, a town which borders Fairfield to the west.

This job opening was more of an immediate inquiry for an officer, and excited about the situation, Del Vecchio applied immediately.  Things accelerated quickly from that point one. During the opening weeks of the fall semester, Del Vecchio went through a series of interview and tests, was hired, and  sworn in on October 20th as the newest member of the Westport Police Department

del vecchio laxaction72dpi_9514.jpgAfter being officially hired, Del Vecchio was present on the sidelines in sweats for several of the final games of her field hockey career, but was forbidden from playing in the final five games. She was able, however, to participate in pre-game Seniors' Day ceremonies with her parents Cheryl and Albert prior to the season-finale Oct. 30 against Worcester State.
With so much support and well-wishes from her teammates and coaches, Del Vecchio left school one semester shy of graduation in order to enroll at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden.
"It all happened so fast, but I couldn't be more please with this opportunity," Del Vecchio commented.

M-Basketball: Warriors Hold on, 71-68

 They score final five points from free-throw line in non-conference win


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The College of New Jersey missed a potential game-tying free throw with 4.9 seconds left and junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) sank both ends of a two-shot foul 1.6  seconds later to lift the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 71-68 non-conference victory Sunday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Mike Garrow (31) drive to the basket in the second half of Sunday's 71-68 win. Garrow later sank two key free trows with1:19 left to preserve the Warriors' lead. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Eastern (3-1) never trailed after the opening minutes and took a 12-point lead into the final ten minutes before New Jersey's (0-4) Albert Matlock sparked a 12-3 run over the next three minutes with two three-point field goals that pulled the Lions to within three 57-54, with seven minutes left. 

In the final five seconds, however, TCNJ missed a potential go-ahead three-point field goal and couldn't convert a subsequent free throw with 4.9 seconds left that would have tied the game.

Eastern's final five points came from the free throw line over the final 1:19. Sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) swished two free throws with 1:19 left after junior forward Dan Bucher was called for a block on Garrow's drive to the bucket. The free throws made it 68-65.  After Bucher answered with two free throws with 32.6 seconds left to cut the gap to one point again, Eastern sophomore point guard Joe Ives (Avon) hit the front end of a two-shot foul with 27.3 seconds left to make it 69-67. 

New Jersey sophomore guard Donovan Smalls grabbed the rebound of the second miss for New Jersey, which then called consecutive timeouts. The Lions then missed the potential go-ahead three-point from the corner, but Smalls grabbed the rebound with 4.9 seconds left and sank the first of a one-and-one. Kohn then pulled down the rebound of the second one and iced the win with his only two free throw attempts of the game.

New Jersey senior scoring and rebounding leader Steve Siracusa was held far below his averages of  15.3 points and 14.3 rebounds, but Smalls countered with a game-high 27 points, Matlock (4-for-6 from three-point range) adding 12.

In addition to playing tight defense on the 6-foot-3 inch Siracusa, Eastern 6-foot-5 inch senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) led a balanced Eastern attack with 12 points and added six rebounds without a turnover in 20 minutes. Ives and 6-foot-5 inch sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton) added 11 each and Kohn ten. Off the bench, Robitaille led all players with eight rebounds, helping the Warriors to a +10 advantage in that department. Kohn had six rebounds and four blocked shots without a turnover in 27 minutes.

Junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) was stopped seven points shy of his team-leading scoring average for Eastern, but chipped in nine points, four rebounds, four steals  and four assists with only two turnovers in 30 minutes of work.

Robitaille connected on four of six shots from the floor and is now 17-for-20 (.850 percent) on the season, with a team-leading 7.3 rebounding average.

In its fifth game in the first 11 days of the season, Eastern hosts Connecticut College Monday at 7:30 p.m.



W-Basketball: Warriors Crush Valiants

Warriors boost 2-to-1 rebounding advantage in fourth victory, 67-36

armstrong72_7122.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Six-foot WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgjunior Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) had a career-high 14 rebounds and 6-foot-1 inch sophomore Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) came off the bench for 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots to power the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 67-36 non-conference victory over Manhattanville College Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Sophomores Rachael Armstrong (far left) and Samantha Riccio (24) defend Manhattanville's Beranda Felder in the second half of Saturday's 67-36 victory.

The win is the fourth without a loss in the first eight days of the season for Eastern (4-0), which outscored Manhattanville (2-2) 17-3 over the final eight minutes of the first half to move out to a 12-point, 29-17 lead. The Warriors put the game out of reach by scoring ten of the first 12 points of the second half to build a 20-point, 39-19 advantage four minutes into the frame.

Eastern has won its games this year by an average of 26 points, with two of the three previous victories coming against perennial post-season contenders Tufts University and Emmanuel College.  Manhattanville had won the Salem State University invitational last weekend, upsetting No. 23 nationally-ranked Bowdoin College, 66-62, in the first round.

Now averaging nearly 14 rebounds more than its four opponents this year, Eastern outrebounded the Valiants, 57-28, scoring more than half of its points (38) in the paint.

Seven of Chapman's rebounds came off the offensive boards, where Eastern outrebounded the visitors, 25-10, totaling 19 second-chance points in the game. Kelleher led all players in scoring (8-for-11 FG) - one shy of her career-best which was recorded in the season-opener a week ago. Kelleher also had one-quarter of the team's eight blocked shots.

Sophomore Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and senior Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) followed Kelleher in double figures with 11 and ten, respectively. All 11 Eastern players scored a point and all but one grabbed at least one rebound.

Guarded mostly by Eastern senior Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) -- the two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year -- Manhattanville senior scoring leader Simona Gordon managed only four points in 22 minutes, 18 points shy of her season average. Junior Courtney Turner had a team-high 11 points for the Valiants, who shot just 22.6 percent from the floor (2-for-13 from three-point range).

The win was the sixth straight in this series with Manhattanville, whose win came in the first meeting in 198182.

Eastern hosts Vassar College Wednesday at 7 p.m.




W-Basketball: Warriors Rout Saints

Box score.htm


At left: Jessica Moriarty

BOSTON -- Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had 18 points and seven assists to WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpglead the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team to its third win in four days in a 73-55 non-conference victory over Emmanuel College Tuesday night at  the Jean Yawkey Center.

Coming off this past weekend's championship of its own Eastern Tip-Off Tournament, Eastern (3-0) shot 50.0 percent  from the floor in the first half to roll to a 17-point, 40-23, halftime lead on the way to its fourth victory over Emmanuel  in the last six meetings. The Saints lost at home for the second straight game.

Senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) added 13 points and eight rebounds for Eastern, six-foot junior forward Piper Chapman  (Portsmouth, RI) eight points and nine rebounds and  sophomore forward Tanisha Carter  (East Hartford) nine points and seven rebounds.

Those four players combined to shoot 58.3 percent from the floor (21-for-36).

The Warriors went on a 13-0 run to pull away from an early one-point lead. Moriarty scored five points while dishing out two assists in the first six minutes of the game.  Leading by seven with five minutes left in the first half, the Warriors outscored Emmanuel by ten to end the half with its 17-point, 40-23 cushion. 

The teams exchanged baskets in the opening minutes of the second half before the Warriors assumed control by scoring 11 unanswered points.

 Emmanuel was led by Freshman guard Alyssa Schlehuber led Emmanuel with 13 points, sophomore forward Fiona O'Dwyer adding ten points and six rebounds.

Eastern hosts Manhattanville College Saturday at 2 p.m.

Men's Basketball: Warriors Catch Trinity

They score final ten points; head coach Bill Geitner wins 100th game

Box Score.htm

robitaillesteal_72_7105.jpgHARTFORD, Conn. - Sophomores Chris Robitaille (Canton) and Mike Garrow (Terryville) combined for 25 points off the bench and Eastern Connecticut State University scored the final ten points of the game in a come-from-behind, 58-53 non-conference men's basketball victory over Trinity College Tuesday night at Ray Oosting Gymnasium.

Above:: Chris Robitaille preserves Eastern's one-point lead with one minute left by stealing the ball from Trinity's Chris Applegate as teammate Joe Ives looks on. Eastern hit four free throws over the final 32.7 seconds to ice the victory.

Eastern (2-1) trailed by ten points seven minutes into the second half and by nine with 11 minutes left before rallying to give ninth-year head coach Bill Geitner his 100th career coaching victory at Eastern. The win was the Warriors' third in as many years over Trinity (2-1).

When Eastern scored the final ten points over the final three minutes, the 6-foot-5 inch Robitaille scored four points, had a key steal with  one minute left that preserved a one-point, 54-53 lead, then  grabbed the rebound of a missed shot in the lane with ten seconds left that kept Eastern in front, 55-53. Garrow, junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), and sophomore point guard Joe Ives (Avon) combined to can four of six free throws in the final 33 seconds.

Eastern shot 52.0 percent from the floor in the second half and commited only seven turnovers in the game.

geitner100th72dpi_7044.jpgTrinity was averaging 78 points on 51 shooting from the floor in its first two wins but was held to just 39.7 shooting from the floor by an aggressive half-court defense that forced the Bantms to unload numerous hurried shot with time winding down on the shot clock.

At left: There were a few anxious moments before the Warriors secured head coach Bill Geitner's 100th career victory.

Trinity was awarded only four free throws in the game. Its only second-half free throw completed a three-play by Jared Pimm that boasted the hosts into a five-point, 53-48 lead with 3:06 left. Eastern would not allow another point the rest of the way, however.  Junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) got Eastern's three-minute drill going with a perimeter jumper, and Robitaille followed with a jump-hook with two minutes left that pulled Eastern to within one, 53-52. After an Eastern timeout, Ives stole the ball and Kohn found Robitaille alone underneath for an uncontested basket that pushed  the Warriors into their first lead since midway through the first half, 54-53. Robitaille then came up with his steal on Trinity's next possession, and with 32.7 seconds left, Garrow hit one of two free throws after being followed underneath on a pass from Kohn to make it 55-53.

Nedwick and Garrow led Eastern with 13 points each, with Robitaille adding 12. Junior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) had a team-high six rebounds and four (first-rhalf) blocked shots. Ives added five rebounds and five assists and converted four of five free throws

Eastern hosts the College of New Jersey Sunday at 1 p.m..



W-Swimming: Rivers LEC Top Rookie

Through five meets, freshman has won 12 times in six different events

rivers_head_72_4202.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Having collected 12 first-place finishes in six different events through the first month of her collegiate career, Eastern Connecticut State University freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden) has been named Little East Conference Rookie Swimmer-of-the-Week in the first weekly report of the 2010/11 season.

Among nine freshmen in a productive Class of 2014, Rivers has helped the Warriors to a 2-1 dual-meet record, second-place finish in the Blue Jay Pentathlon and dominate showing in the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (non-scoring) Invitational.

The 2010 graduate of Platt High School, Rivers has won the 50 freestyle three times and the 100 freestyle twice and the 50 butterfly once. In addition, she has contributed to six winning relays: the 200 freestyle three times, 200 medley twice and 400 freestyle once.

In her collegiate debut at the Saint Joseph College (CT) Blue Jay Pentathlon, Rivers placed 12th overall in five pentathlon events. Her best finish in that meet was fourth in a field of 88 in the 100 freestyle in a time of 58.71.

In the team's most recent meet Saturday - a 137-14 home victory over Saint Joseph College (CT) -- Rivers swam the opening leg of the winning  200 medley relay and the opening leg of the 200 free relay which swam the fastest time on an exhibition basis among eight relays. In that meet, she also set a personal mark of 1:08.06 in swimming the 100 butterfly on an exhibition basis and was second in the 200 freestyle in a time of 2:09.44 in her first attempt in that event.

Eastern  competes in the Little East Conference Championships Dec. 4 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.


Women's Basketball: Sweet 16th

In their own tip-off tournament, Warriors' defense shuts down Tufts

whooptipoff72_6834.jpgWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - In the second lowest-scoring championship game in the 31-history of the Eastern Connecticut State University Tip-Off Tournament, the host Warriors never trailed, shutting down Tufts University throughout on the way to their 16th tournament title, 57-43, Sunday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern (2-0) shot 54.2 percent in the first half and never trailed in the game in a re-match of the 2008 title game, won by Tufts (1-1), 68-55. The Warriors' aggressive defense forced Tufts into shooting 23.2 percent from the floor and missing 18 of 21 three-point tries. Tufts, a 20-game winner and NCAA qualifier last year, never was able to score as many as four consecutive points  until making its only consistent run in a bid to  erase an 18-point deficit in the final eight minutes.

Trailing 48-30, the Jumbos strung together nine straight points to cut the gap to single digits, 48-39, with just over three minutes left. While the Warriors missed seven straight shots and turned the ball over once on eight possessions, Collier Clegg scored seven of her ten game points in that spurt as the Jumbos cut the Warriors' 18-point lead in half.

whoopallturney72_6832.jpgTournament MVP Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks), a senior guard, helped stem the tide for Eastern at that point when she found sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) alone underneath for an uncontested layup. Leading 50-41 with 1:30 left, Eastern scored  the next five points to ice the win. Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) converted a conventional three-point play for the first points of the run, then grabbed a defensive rebound on a missed Tufts three-pointer and sank one of two free throws with just under a minute left.

Above: Eastern all-tournament picks (in white) from left were Tanisha Carter, Jessica Moriarty, and MVP Brittany Whiteley.From Tufts (in blue) from left were Tiffany Kornegay and Colleen Hart. 

Eastern got out quickly in the game and never slowed down. Senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) scored five of her seven game points in the first  two minutes and also grabbed a rebound to set up the final basket of an early 11-2 run that gave the Warriors the momentum.

Leading by 13 at halftime, Eastern pushed its lead to 19 four minutes into the second half and Tufts was able to cut the lead to single figures (nine points) only twice. 

Whiteley had 12 points and six assists in 33 minutes in the final, and was 5-for-5 from the foul line. She had 11 assists and only three turnovers in 50 tournament minutes and scored 20 points. She shot .538 percent from the floor and hit all five of her free throws. Moriarty was named to the all-tournament team for the third straight year and Carter for the second time in her two-year career. Moriarty led all players in the final with 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds and had two-game totals of 28 points and 15 rebounds.  Carter had ten points and eight rebounds against Tufts, sinking five of eight field goals. She had 17 points and 16 rebounds in two game.

Tufts guards Colleen Hart and Tiffany Kornegay were also named to the all-tournament team, along with Lasell College sophomore Kim Archibald. Hart, the 2008 tournament MVP, picked up two quick fouls in the game but led her team with 13 points and ten rebounds as the point guard without a turnover in 35 minutes. She had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the tournament. Kornegay was held scoreless until the late stages of the championship game, finishing with four points,  but grabbed nine rebounds and had three assists. She totaled 23 points, 14 rebounds , five assists and four steals in the tournament.

The teams' combined total of 100 points  was the second-lowest in the championship game ever, following the combined total of 66 in Albertus Magnus College's 36-30 win over Caldwell College in 1993. Sunday's final was lowest-scoring one ever involving Eastern.

In the third-place game, Maine at Presque Isle led by eight points with just over three minutes left but needed Emily Pelletier's three-point field goal with nine seconds left--her only bucket of the game --  to erase a one-point deficit in a 53-52 victory With a chance to win, Lasell gave the ball back when UMPI forced a five-second call on a halfcourt inbound with six seconds left. Archibald had ten points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the loss and totaled 12 points and 22 rebounds in a pair of games.

Eastern visits Emmanuel College Tuesday at 7 p.m.



Women's Basketball Tips Off with Win

Warriors break to early ead, cruise to 77-34 win; face Tufts in final

kelleher slide_1457.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - In the trandtion of WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgthe Eastern Tip-Off Tournament, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team eased to a first-round victory in its season-opener in anticipation of a challenging championship game..

At left: Lauren Kelleher

Saturday afternoon, the Warriors broke to a quick 13-2 lead and sailed to a 77-34 victory over the University of Maine at Presque Isle in the first round of the 31st annual tournament at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

By winning over Presque Isle (0-2), Eastern rolled into the tournament championship game for the 27th time. The Warriors will meet Tufts University (1-0) Sunday at 3 p.m. in their quest for a 16th tournament title. Tufts (1-0) routed Lasell College (0-2), 88-34, in Saturday's first semifinal. The Jumbos won the 2008 title in their first tournament appearance, taking down Eastern in the final by a 68-55 score.

Presque Isle faces Lasell Sunday at 1 p.m. with third place at stake.

Returning all five starters and three key reserves, Eastern scored the first nine points against UMPI, allowing only 15 points en route to a 26-point halftime lead,  All 11 players in uniform saw action for the Warriors, with ten seeing significant time.

Facing a team without a player over 5-foot-9 inches tall, Eastern owned a 54-31 advantage on the boards. Six-foot-one inch sophomore Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) tossed in a game and career-high 18 points and also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots in 18 minutes. Senior Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) followed with 14 points and eight rebounds and senior Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) added eight points and nien rebounds. Sophomore Samantha Riccio (Avon, CT) scored 12 points off the bench - equaling her highest game total since striking for a career-high 16 in her collegiate debut against Manhattanville College in last year's tip-off opener.

Coming off a 20-win season last year, Tufts crushed Lasell, which commited 27 turnovers and shot just 30 percent from the floor.  Senior guard Colleen Hart, the MVP of the tip-off tournament as a sophomore,  had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Tiffany Kornegay enjoyed a strong all-around game with a game-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds and three etals. She was 8-for-12 from the floor.

In the 2008 title game, Eastern shot 52.4 percent in assuming a three-point halftime lead but was limited to 20 second-half points on 32.1 percent shooting as the Jumbos pulled away over the final ten minutes.




Women's Soccer: Warriors Out of NCAA

They battle Williams through 53 scoreless minutes before losing first game

pagnozzinsave72Picture 297.jpg

Theresa Pagnozzi (above) deflects this first-half shot which kept the game scoreless. (Liz Cutler photo)

GENEVA, NY -- Ninth-ranked Williams College used a pair of second-half goals to hand 14th-ranked Eastern  its first loss of the season, 2-0, in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament sectional semifinals at William Smith College's Cozzens Field.

Eastern (16-1-5) closes out its most successful post-season in the program's 25-year history by winning its first two NCAA tournament matches ever and posting its first undefeated regular season with a record 11-game winning streak and 21-game unbeaten streak. 

The game featured teams ranked first (Williams) and second in New England.

Williams (15-3-2) squares off with host William Smith Sunday at 1 p.m.  in the sectional finals (national quarterfinals). The Herons eliminated SUNY at Oneonta, 2-1, earlier Saturday.
The two sides played a fairly even first half. Although the Ephs (15-3-2) had a lopsided edge in shots (10-1), the match went up and down the field without either team scoring. Williams was able to test Eastern keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford), but the junior stopped all five shots. However, the Warriors struggled to generate chances at the other end of the field against Williams' solid back line.

The Ephs broke through in the 54th minute on a set piece. After an Eastern foul about ten yards outside of the box, senior Sara Wilds' beautifully struck ball found the upper left corner of the cage for a 1-0 lead. It was her team-leading 13th goal of the season. Williams got some breathing room 24 minutes later when senior Annelise Snyder ran around her defender, dribbled along the end line from the left side and bent a right-footed shot into the net for her third marker of the year.

While the first half numbers didn't tell the full story, the second half numbers did. Williams outshot Eastern11-3 after the intermission and looked every bit as dominant as the numbers suggest.

Pagnozzi finished the match with eight saves in losing the first decision of her career.  Williams senior Julia Schreiber and sophomore Laura Wann combined to make two saves.


Men's Basketball: Just Short in FInal

Billups carries Purchase down stretch for 80-79 win over 2009 champs

robitaille slide_0989.jpg

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Marvin Billups scored his team's last five points to boost the Purchase College men's basketball team to an 80-79 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in the championship game of the 2010 Eastern Tip-Off Tournament Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Chris Robitaille

Billups, named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player hit a basket in the lane and sank three free throws over the final 14.8 seconds to lift Purchase (3-0) to the tournament title in its second (straight) tournament appearance and dethrone 2009 titlist Eastern (1-1).

Billups, a 6-foot-3 inch senior forward, tied the game for the 11th and final time with two free throws with 14.8 seconds left. Eastern's (1-1) Joe Ives (Avon) hit the back end of a two-shot foul after being fouled a second later as Eastern re-gained a 78-77 lead before Billups sank a shot in the lane and converted the free throw after being fouled to give the Panthers the lead for good with 5.8 seconds left, 80-78.

The Warriors had an opportunity to force overtime but missed the second of two free throws after being fouled in the paint as the buzzer sounded.

Bidding for its ninth tip-off title, Eastern erased a 36-29 halftime deficit behind 14 points from all-tournament pick Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), nine from all-tournament selection Jamie Kohn (Columbia) and eight points and eight rebounds from Chris Robitaille (Canton).

The score was tied ten times and changed hands eight times before Billups gave the Panthers the lead for good with 5.8 seconds left.

Charles Thompson had ten points and Purchase commited only five turnovers in building its seven-point halftime lead, Thompson and John Simmons scored inside baskets at the outset of the second half as Purchase moved out to its largest lead of the game, 40-29, before the Warriors  ran off ten points in a row behind four points from Kohn and Nedwick.

Joining Billups on the all-tournament team from Purchase was Elliot Watson and Michael McNair. Billups had 16 points in the final, 29 in the tournament and was 11-for-19 from the floor and 6-for-9 from the foul line in two games; Watson had a team-high 17 in the title game and 27 in the tourney and was 11-for-14 from the floor on the weekend; McNair scored  16 points in the final and 22 in the tournament  and was 7-for-14 from the floor in two games.

Nedwick led Eastern in the final with 18 points. He had 35 points in the tournament, 11 rebounds, ten assists and four steals; Kohn had 15 points and eight rebounds against Purchase and totaled 29 points and 19 rebounds in the tournament. Robitaille came off the bench in the final for his first career double-double with 14 points and ten rebounds in 23 minutes. Robitaille hit all six of his field goals and both of his free throws. Both Nedwick and Kohn repeated as all-tournament selections, Nedwick last year and Kohn as a freshman.

Nathan Firn of Emerson rounded out the all-tournament team. Firn had 26 points and five rebounds in the tournament. In Emerson's (2-1) 68-63 victory over Berkeley College, NY (3-2) in the third-place game Saturday, Firn led four Emerson double-digit scorers with 17 points. He was 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the stripe. Firn scored six of his team's final nine points in that game. With the Lions holding a four-point lead in the final seconds, Firn sank two free throws after grabbing the rebound of a missed free throw by teammate Alex Dempsey.

In that consolation-game win, Emerson emerged with the win despite being outrebounded, 45-17. The Lions forced 28 turnovers, however and connected on 54.2 percent of their second-half shots. In the tournament, Emerson's Tom Messinger totalled32 points, sinking ten there-point field goals.

Jose Stable dominated play in the tournament for Berkeley. He had 18 points and eight rebounds in a 71-60 firsdt-round loss to Eastern and 17 points and 13 rebounds against Emerson Saturday. Elijah Craig had a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds against Emerson, sinking nine of 11 field goals.


Women's Swimming: Three Take Two

Arisco, Menard, Schapp are double winners in 137-114 win over SJC

odgers72_6772.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior Amy Arisco (Wallingford), junior Nadine Menard (Woodstock) and freshman Michelle Schapp (Torrington) all captured two individual events as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team posted a 137-114 victory over Saint Joseph College (CT) Saturday morning at the Sports Center pool.

Above: Becky Odgers

Eastern (2-1) officially won nine of 12 individual events as well as the 200 medley relay and also recorded the fastest times in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 individual medley (Arisco) while swimming on an exhibition basis.

Arisco won the 50 and 100 freestyle, recording a personal-best time of 26.62 in the former event, while Menard was first in the 200 butterfly and 200 breaststroke and Schapp the individual victor in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Other individual winners included freshman Colleen King (Barkhamsted) in the 100 breaststroke in a personal-best time of 1:16.56 and freshman Becky Odgers (Shelton) in her first attempt at the 1000 freestyle.

Eastern opened the meet by claiming the 200 medley relay behind the efforts of Schapp, Menard, Arisco, and freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden). Posting the fastest time in the meet-ending 200 free relay were Rivers, Odgers, freshman Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia, NY) and Schapp.

The victory for Eastern was its 25th all-time in dual-meet competition against Saint Joseph (1-2), nearly one-quarter of the program's all-time dual meet win total.

The meet was the final one at home for nearly two months. Eastern competes in the Little East Conference Championships Dec. 4 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.






W-Basketball: Wanting More in 2010-11

By: Dana McLaughlin
Sports Information Inter

bierly_head_72_4504.jpgWILLIMANTIC,Conn. -- Last year was a successful season for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team, which won 17 of 26 games and advanced  it to the semifinal  round of the Little East Conference  tournament, and marking head coach Denise Bierly's (at left) 300th career victory.

This year, the team has equally high - if not higher -- expectations - for themselves

Gaining the number two ranking in the LEC coaches' preseason poll, the Warriors have returned their top eight players, including their skilled starting five. Commenting on the chemistry of the team this year, Bierly states, "We have been able to move along a lot faster throughout this preseason and the team chemistry definitely has had an impact on that."

moriarty72dpi_6269.jpgIn the past few years the preseason polls have changed order, proving that as Bierly has stated, you have to bring your A-game everyday. Scores have been getting closer in the past, and the conference play is going to be a battle.

At left: Jessica Moriarty

"Working on our consistency of shooting, and consistency of taking care of the ball I would say are my two biggest worrie," said Bierly, who enters her 17th season needing only 18 victories to become the winningest coach in program history. While Bierly stated only a few concerns she has for the season thus far, they are drastically outweighed by the team's strengths.

The team's chemistry on the court and its ability to create plays and shot opportunities are going to be a major strength for the warriors this year. Among the returnees are senior tri-captains Jessica Moriarty (East Haven), Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) and Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks), along with junior Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) and sophomores Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA).

Moriarty is a two-time conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Pierlioni the team's top three-point threat, Whiteley the starting point guard and Carter and 6-foot-1 inch Kelleher members of the conference All-Rookie team a year ago (Carter was also named to the all-conference second team).

Other returning players are senior guard Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and three additional members from that promising freshman class: guards Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) and Samantha Riccio (Avon) and forward Rachael Armstrong (Fairfield).

Rounding out the 13-player roster are junior transfer guard Karen Manning (Bolton), sophomore transfer forward McKenzie Hyde (Colchester), and freshman guard Nikki Caron (Charlton, MA).

The main strength of the Warriors, is their offensive and defensive rebounding abilities. Last year they led the conference in rebounding, and it has proven to be an important addition to their defensive game. "Since I've been here were put an emphasis on rebounding. We do a rebounding drill everyday in practice. It is the rebounding game on top of a strong defense that is going to win you championships," states Bierly.

The Warriors have high expectations of themselves for this season. Their ultimate goals are to win the conference regular season, then the conference tournament, and then to move on to the NCAA tournament. "We have a difficult schedule, we play a lot of ranked teams, but as a coach I stay optimistic knowing we can achieve a lot. Hopefully we can make it back to a 20-win season," says Bierly, whose teams have averaged just under 20 wins per season and have won or shared three LEC regular-season titles and captured two conference tournament championships.

The team's most immediate goal however is to win the Eastern Tip-Off tournament this weekend, when they open the season Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Eastern  looks for a re-match in the title game against Tufts University, which defeated Eastern, 68-55, in the title game two years ago.

M-Basketball: Warriors Win Opener

Host Warriors down Berkeley (NY), 71-60 in tip-off tournament WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg

kohn_724019.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior Jamie Kohn (Columbia) had his tenth career double-double as one of four double-digit scorers as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the 2010 Eastern Tip-Off Tournament with a 71-60 victory over Berkeley College (NY) Friday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium

Above: Jamie Kohn (32) (Cris Yarborough photo)

Defending champion Eastern (1-0) meets Purchase College (2-0) in Saturday's title game at 3 p.m. Purchase (2-0) downed Emerson College (1-1), 64-49 in Friday's first semifinal. Emerson faces Berkeley in the third-place game Saturday at  1 p.m. Eastern defeated Purchase, 68-60, in last year's first round.

Eastern led by as many as 18 late in the first half Friday and by 14 with eight minutes left in the game before the Knights closed the gap to five with just over a minute left. At that points before juniors Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) and Kohn and senior Bill Roveto (South Windsor) all sank free throws. Eastern missed ten of 29 free throws in the game but were 9-for-10 from the stripe inside the final minute.

Nedwick led Eastern with 17 points, Kohn adding 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, senior Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) ten points and eight rebounds and sophomore Joe Ives (Avon) ten points and five rebounds. Sophomore Chris Robitaille (Canton) came off the bench to grab seven rebounds in ten minutes.

Berkeley, competing in its third tournament already this year, got a game-high 18 points from freshman Jose Stable and game-high 14 rebounds from sophomore Damir Redzepagic.

The Warriors turned the ball over only 12 times (six times in each half). They shot only 40 percent in the first half  but built a double-digit lead with eight minutes left in the stanza and scored six points in a row to push the advantage to 18 in the final minute.  Ives, making his second career start, capped the run with a conventional three-point play that made it 37-19.

Purchase won its second straight Eastern Tip-Off Tournament game after defeating Fitchburg State University, 75-65, in last year's third-place game. Featuring a significant  size advantage over Emerson, Purchase shot 54.3 percent from the floor and outscored the Lions by 24 points in the paint. Relying upon a perimeter game, Emerson missed 23 of 31 three-point field goals and turned the ball over 27 times.

Senior Marvin Billups led a balanced Purchase team with 13 points (6-for-12 from the floor), five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Charles Thompson  added ten points and seven rebounds and junior Elliot Watson ten points (5-for-6 from the floor) and six rebounds.

Senior Tom Messinger dominated play for Emerson, scoring 18 of his team's 49 points, but turned the ball over seven times.

The championship game features teams which won 20 games last year. The Warriors were the No. 1 seed in the ECAC tournament and Purchase won the Skyline Conference and gained the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.


M-Basketball: Eying a Repeat in '10-11

Coming off their first 20-win season in 17 years, Warriors return 12 players


WATCH: Bill Geitner Examines the Season Ahead (9:23)

By Bill Mullins, Sports InformationOffice

GeitnerheadWEB_001.jpgWILLIMANTIC,C onn. -- Fresh off the heels of just the third 20-win season in program history, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team looks to duplicate that success as they head into the 2010-2011 season.

After finishing with a record of 20-10, Eastern graduated just one senior, although it was a big loss in  Edwin Ortiz, the program's fourth all-time leading scorer and career three-point field goal shooter and a two-time all-conference selection.sawyer_slide7598.jpg

At right: Senior Broderick Sawyer and the Warriors have set their sights high in 2010/11.

Last year, the Warriors set a school record for conference wins, with nine against just seven losses. After routing Keene State in the conference tournament quarterfinals, Eastern eventually fell to Rhode Island College in the semi-finals. The Warriors would win their first two games of the ECAC tournament with wins over Wentworth Institute of Technology and Becker College, the win against Becker capping off the 20-win season.

Under head coach Bill Geitner -now in his ninth season - Eastern played like a veteran team down the stretch a year ago. Incredibly, 21 of the team's 30 games were decided by eight points or less or in overtime (including ten straight in January) . The Warriors won 14  of those games, including three straight in overtime in a nine-day span in November. For the third time under Geitner, Eastern claimed the season-opening Eastern Tip-Off Tournament title, dumping a markedly  taller Bowdoin College team by four points in overtime in the final on the way to winning its first five games and 13 of its first 16.

Eastern's chances at continued success this year will be bolstered by the fact that they return 12 players, including four starters from last year's team, which reached the ECAC New England  Tournament final as the No. 1 seed. It was the first post-sesason tournament for the Warriors under Geitner and firs since the Warriors won the 2000 LEC tournament title and gained the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Leading the returners will be junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), who was named first-team all-conference and LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year last year. Joining him will be junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia), who led the LEC in rebounding a year ago, and senior post players Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and Bill Roveto (South Windsor), both of whom figure to be key factors in the paint this season.

Other key returners to this year's team include junior center Jeremy Thompson (Berlin), junior forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury), and sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) and sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton), and second-year senior transfer Jordan Levy (Woodbury). . The play of sophomore Joe Ives (Avon) will be critical as well, as Ives moves into the starting rotation at point guard after seeing limited - albeit encouraging -- time as a freshman.

Rounding out the returning group are sophomores Attah Agyemang (Windsor) and Tyler Hundley (Cheshire). Agyemang is a guard, Hundley a forward.

Three newcomers - all of whom can play the point - will look for minutes: all-stater Brian Salzillo (North Haven), Justin Nunez (Hartford) and Chae Philips (West Haven). Salzillo and Nunez are freshmen and Philips a junior.

The strengths last season were rebounding margin and field goal percentage defense, both of which the Warriors led the LEC in last season. Eastern averaged nearly 40 rebounds per game, in out-rebounding their opponent by nearly 6.5 per game, while holding opponents to just 42.6 percent shooting from the field.

According to Geitner, who needs two wins for 100 at Eastern , these will once again be key factors in how the season goes for Eastern. Geitner also added that he would like to see an improvement in the amount of turnovers committed this season, as Eastern committed 16 a game a year ago, adding he would like to see that number down to either 12 or 13.

Recently, Eastern was selected to finish third in the annual LEC preseason poll, after finishing last year tied for second place in the conference. The second place showing a season ago came after being tabbed fifth in the 2009-2010 preseason poll. Eastern looks to build off the programs first conference post-season win in nine years as they will try to capture their first conference tournament title since the 1999-2000 campaign.


Women's Basketball: Warriors No. 2

Warriors return top eight players, prep for another LEC championship run


NORTH LEC25.jpgDARTMOUTH, Mass. - Returning its top eight players from a year ago, Eastern Connecticut State University  has been ranked second among eight teams in the 2010/11 Little East Conference pre-season women's basketball coaches' poll.

At right: Jessica Moriarty

Eastern is the clear-cut No. 2 seed behind Western Connecticut State University  (64) after earning seven of the eight second-place votes. The Warriors also secured a third place marker for 55 total points. Perennial champion University of Southern Maine (45) narrowly edged out Rhode Island College for the third position (41).

Now in her 17th season, head coach Denise Bierly directed Eastern to the program's 13th straight season with at least 16 victories with an overall record of 17-9 in 2009/10. The Warriors recorded 10-4 mark in the conference circuit to earn the second seed in the Little East tournament. Eastern  lost a 48-46 semifinal-round decision to third-seeded Southern Maine.

Eastern returns nine letterwinners -the top eight players  -- from a year ago, including senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven). The two-time Little East Defensive Player of the Year helped the Warriors rank lead the conference in rebounding margin (+6.5), while ranking third in scoring defense (55.0 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.257). A starter in all 26 contests, Moriarty averaged 10. 5 points and 2.3 steals per game.

As a freshman last year, sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) led the Warriors in scoring (11.2),  rebounding (7.4) and field goal percentage (.509) and was named second-team All-LEC and to the All-Rookie Team. Senior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) averaged 10.4 points and 2.8 assists and senior guard/forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds with a team-high 31 three-point field goals. Sophomore center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) joined Carter on the All-Rookie Team, averaging 7.7 points and 6.2 rebounds with a .492 shooting percentage.

Bierly, who averages 16.0 wins per year, reached the 300-win plateau last year and brings a 315-128 overall record into the season. She needs18 wins to take over as the all-time winningest coach in the program's  39-year history.

Eastern has won or shared five LEC regular-season and three LEC post-season titles beginning with the 1990/91 season  It is 240-112 overall in LEC play for a .682 winning percentage (20-9-91 regular season/31-21 tournament).The Warriors have finished higher than third place in 16 of 24 years and have reached the LEC title game 13 times.
The Warriors kick off their season by hosting their 31st Annual Tip-Off Tournament Saturday and Sunday. (more)

Western Connecticut  has been unanimously selected as the favorite to capture the LEC title. The Colonials earned each of the eight first-place votes for 64 total points to begin the campaign atop the annual preseason survey for the second time in program history (1999-2000).

Western Connecticut enjoyed the program's most successful season in the past 11 years in terms of wins with an overall record of 23-6. Rybczyk and her charges made the program's 12th appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament after defeating the Huskies, 61-46, to raise the program's second conference championship trophy. The Colonials' success in 2010 has placed Western Connecticut firmly on the national landscape. The Colonials are currently ranked in three Division III national polls, including No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Preseason Poll and No.22 in national listings.

In 2010, Western eatured a powerful offensive attack, leading the Little East in assists (14.5 apg), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.9), field goal percentage (.422), scoring margin (+13.2), scoring offense (68.1 ppg), and three-point percentage (.347). Rybczyk will welcome a strong nucleus from the 2010 squad, including senior center Melissa Teel. Teel was recently recognized as one of 25 Preseason All-Americans. As a junior, Teel led the nation with 141 blocked shots, while averaging a double-double with 13.9 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. 

The top six teams in the final regular-season standings advance to the 2011 Little East Women's Basketball Championship. The conference will sponsor two first round contests on Feb. 22 with the winners advancing to a four-team common site for the semifinal and championship rounds. The top seed in the tournament will earn home-court advantage and face the winner of the No. 4 and No. 5 match up on Feb. 25. The No. 2 seed received an automatic bye into the semifinal round and will square off against the winner of the No.6 and No. 3 seeds. The 2011 Little East Champion will be crowned the following afternoon and earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Completing the annual preseason coaches' survey in projected order of finish are Keene State College (28), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (28), Plymouth State University (19), and University of Massachusetts Boston (8).

The Little East Conference is celebrating its 25th anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has growth to its current eight-institution membership and the sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.

                2010-11 Little East Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank Institution First Place Total Points
1 Western Connecticut 8 64
3 University of Southern Maine  45
4 Rhode Island College  41
5 Keene State College  28
 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  28
7 Plymouth State University  19
8 University of Massachusetts Boston  8



Men's Basketball: No. 3 in Pre-Season

 Following winningest LEC season, Warriors gain highest rank in 11 years


nedwick_slide_yarborough_3795.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - On the heels of its winningest conference regular season ever, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team has earned its highest ranking in 11 years in the Little East Conference 2010/11 pre-season coaches' poll.

At far left: Nick Nedwick (Cris Yarborough photo)

Slotted for fifth in last year's LEC poll, Eastern  won a program-record nine of 14 regular-season games and recorded its highest regular-season finish (tied for second) since a second-place finish in 1992/93. The Warriors won their first LEC post-season game in nine years in a 24-point home rout of Keene State in the first round and went on to be named the No. 1 seed in the ECAC tournament and reach the tourney championship game. The team finished with a 20-10 overall record, only the third 20-win season in the program's 68-year history.

Following its No. 1 pre-season rank  in 1999/00, Eastern had never been picked higher than fifth in the eight-team loop until this year. Despite being ranked first in thet1999/00 poll, Eastern  shared third place in the final regular-season standings but rebounded to win the LEC tournament championship and gain an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

From last year, Eastern loses only second-team All-LEC guard Edwin Ortiz, a 1,000-point scorer. Under Bill Geitner, last year's LEC Coach-of-the-Year, the Warriors return first-team all-conference junior guard and Defensive Player-of-the-Year Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia), last year's LEC rebounding champion,  and senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk), who was ranked third in the conference in blocked shots a year ago. Also back are senior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor), junior center Jeremy Thompson (Berlin), junior forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury), and sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville).

Rhode Island College was chosen as the Little East men's basketball favorite for the fifth time in the past six years. The Anchormen were ranked either first or second in each of the eight head coaches' ballots, securing the top ranking with six first-place selections and 62 total points. Western Connecticut State University received the remaining two first-place votes and 53 total points to earn the second seed.

Under the direction of  Bob Walsh, Rhode Island College advanced to the sectional semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship for the second time in program history. The Anchormen booked their fourth-straight trip to the national tournament with an overall record of 22-8, marking the fourth consecutive season with at least 20 victories. Rhode Island College wore the Little East crown for the third time in program history in 2010, defeating the Colonials 81-80 in the finals.  

The Anchormen led the conference in team rebounding (32.9), while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.427), scoring defense (70.0 ppg), and scoring margin (+6.3). Rhode Island College returns five of its top seven scorers from a season ago.  Junior forward Mason Choice is the squad's top returning offensive threat after averaging 13.2 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. A starter in 27 of his 28 games, the 2010 All-Little East, first-team selection reached double figures in the scoring column 23 times, including a season-high 24 at Keene State College.   .

Western Connecticut is making the program's highest preseason ranking since the 2004 edition, when the Colonials were the favorite. Head Coach Bob Campbell and his charges will look to ride the momentum it generated with a strong finish to the 2010 campaign. Western Connecticut won nine of its last 12 games to post an overall record of 19-7. The Colonials advanced to the championship game of the 2010 Little East Championship before being edged by the Anchormen.

Western Connecticut welcomes back seven letter winners from the most efficient offense in the conference circuit last winter. The Colonials sat atop the Little East team standings in assists per game 17.4), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1), field goal percentage (.477), and scoring margin (+6.8), while ranking third in scoring offense (81.8 ppg). Junior point guard DaQuan Brooks was a prolific scorer in 2010, reaching double digits in scoring in 23 of his 25 contests. The Little East Player of the Year netted at least 20 points 12 times, including scoring a season-high 40 points against Keene State. In addition to earning the conference's top offensive award, Brooks was also honored on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III All-Northeast first-team as well as on the All-Region second-team.

The Little East Conference is celebrating its 25th anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has growth to its current eight-institution membership and the sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.

2010-11 Little East Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Rankings

Rank Institution First Place Total Points

1 Rhode Island College 6 62
2 Western Connecticut  2 53
4 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  41
5 Keene State College  40
6 University of Southern Maine  21
7 University of Massachusetts Boston  14
8 Plymouth State University  13

Women's Soccer: Williams Up Next

Warriors and Ephs to clash in sectional opener Saturday at William Smith

Sectional Web Site

huddle72dpiPicture 1486.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The two top-ranked teams in New England and the two top-ranked ncaa soccer image.jpgteams in the East will meet in the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament Geneva, NY sectional tournament this weekend at William Smith College.

Photo by Liz Cutler

Ranked second in New England in the final NSCAA regular-season poll, Eastern Connecticut State University (16-0-5) faces Williams College (14-3-2) in Saturday's second semifinal match in the Round of 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Cozzens Field, while host William Smith (16-2-3) faces SUNY College at Oneonta (17-4-2) in the first semifinal at 11 a.m. Williams is ranked first in New England, Wlliam Smith first in the East and Oneonta second in the East. Williams and William Smith share ninth place in the final regular-season national poll, Onenota is 13th and Eastern 14th.

The winners will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the NCAA Division III Final Four Dec. 3-4 at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

This past weekend in regional final competition, Eastern advanced on penalty kicks over Wheaton College (MA), Williams routed Brandeis University, 6-0, William Smith downed the University of Scranton, 3-1, and Oneonta dumped the University of Rochester, 2-0.

pagnozzi72Picture 829.jpgAfter edging Worcester State University, 1-0, in Saturday's semifinals for its first NCAA win ever, the Warriors eliminated Wheaton on penalty kicks, 4-2, after the teams had played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer. Junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) saved two of the Lyons' penalty kicks and Eastern made all four. Converting for Eastern were sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange), freshman Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ), junior Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) and sophomore Taylor Buchanan (Ellington).

At left: Theresa Pagnozzi (Liz Cutler photo)

Marchitto's tenth goal of the season midway through the second half and Pagnozzi's six saves had provided Eastern with the win over Worcester State.

Buchanan (13 goals) and Marchitto have combined for more than half (23) of the team's 44 goals this year. Pagnozzi has tied the season record for full match shutouts with seven and Eastern has tied the season team record with ten shutouts. The Warriors have given up only 12 goals in 21 matches, with their opponent managing more than one only once.

Defenders who have formed the nucleus are seniors Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), freshman Megan Godwin (Manchester), junior Laura Violette (Wallingford) and sophomore Rachel Cutler (Guilford). Hickey is the two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Godwin missed this past weekend's regional tournament with the flu and was replaced in the backfield by freshman Tamar Merheb (Bethel).

Starting midfielders have been junior Sam Konopka (Hebron) and Tamar and Jo-Ann Merheb, and sophomore Kelly Wallace (South Windsor), with senior Megan Pavia (Stamford) and Leonard coming off the bench.

Eastern has played each of  the other three teams in the sectional in previous seasons. In the regular season, the Warriors lost 4-1 at Williams last year. The Ephs were ranked first in New England and No. 3 nationally and Eastern No. 7 in New England at the time of that match. Eastern has split 1-0 decisions with Oneonta in regular-season tournament play. In 2001, Eastern won in the finals of the University of Rochester Flower City Invitational and Oneonta turned the tables two seasons later in the season-opener for both teams at the Hartwick College Mayor's Cup Classic. In its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in the fourth year of the program in 1989, Eastern was dropped by William Smith, 2-0 in the NCAA regional opener at Willimantic. The Herons were the defending national champions and rated sixth nationally at the time (Eastern was No. 15)..

Eastern remains one of four teams in the national Top 25 still unbeaten. The Warriors are joined by No. 1 Messiah (21-0-0), No. 2 Hardin-Simmons University (21-0-0) and No. 3 Otterbein University (20-0-1).

 In last year's NCAA tournament, Eastern lost a first-round decision to Amherst College, and Williams lost in the sectional semifinal after eliminating Oneonta in the regional final.  William Smith lost in the regional final on penalty kicks to Ithaca College.

W-Soccer: This Time, PKs Prove 'Sweet'

Top-seeded Warriors eliminate Wheaton to advance to Round of 16

WATCH: Post-game reactions:   Coach Chris D'Ambrosio & Daniela Marchitto

marchittopagnozzi72_6511.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Ten days after being eliminated from the Little East Conference tournament on penalty kicks, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament by eliminating Wheaton College (MA) on PKs, 4-2, Sunday afternoon.

 At left: Sophomore Daniela Marchitto and junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi celebrate the PK victory that vaulted teh Warriors into the Sweet 16 next weekend.

After top-seeded Eastern (16-0-5) and second-seeded Wheaton (17-4-3) played 110 scoreless minutes, the Warriors converted all four of their penalty kicks. Wheaton made two, but Eastern junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) saved two to propel the Warriors to next weekend's sectional tournament. The match is officially recorded as a 0-0 overtime tie.

In next weekend's sectional tournament at Geneva, NY, Eastern faces Williams College Saturday at 1:30 p.m. after host Williams Smith College faces SUNY College at Oneonta at 11 a.m. The tournament final is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. Williams routed host Brandeis University, 6-0, to win the other regional tournament staged in New England, while host Williams Smith eliminated the University of Scranton, 3-1. Oneonta blanked visiting  University of Rochester, 2-0 to capture its regional championship.

In last Thursday's Little East Conference semifinals at home, the top-seeded  Warriors and fourth-seeded UMass Boston had played to a 1-1 overtime tie, but Eastern missed three of four penalty kicks and were eliminated, 3-1hickey72_3049.jpg

Sunday, Eastern sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange) converted the first PK, and after Wheaton tied it, freshman Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) gave the Warriors the lead for good. Junior Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) and sophomore Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) also converted for Eastern to keep the Warriors in front throughout the session.

Above: Lauren Hickey (7) is one of four seniors headed to the NCAA Round of 16. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Pagnozzi made five saves during the match to improve to 13-0-4 this season, 14-0-4 lifetime. Like Pagnozzi, Wheaton junior keeper Erin Cawley made serveral impressive saves in regulation and overtime to keep the match tied. However, senior Emily Hough was inserted for Cawley for the PK competition. Hough was unable to stop any of Eastern's four shots, though, with Marchitto drilling her low shot inside the right post to get things off to a positive start, Leonard and Merheb sending their shots low inside the left post, and Buchanan going upper-right. With a chance to give Eastern a 2-1 PK lead against UMass Boston, Buchanan's shot was saved by Beacon keeper Katie Coscia and Merheb's bid to tie the PK session against UMass clanged off the crossbar.

cutlercelebrate72Picture 1514.jpgEastern played the NCAA regional without senior back Megan Godwin (Manchester), then  suffered another blow against Wheaton when first-year sophomore forward Chelsea Downer  (Colchester) left the match 26 seconds into the second half with what could prove to be a season-ending knee injury. Junior Laura Violette (Wallingford), who had replaced Godwin in the starting lineup this weekend, also was knocked out of the game five minutes into play when she drew blood after being hit in the face, Violette did return with 15 minutes left in the half.

Above: The Warriors celebrate in goal after Theresa Pagnozzi's second save ended the PK session. (Liz Cutler photo)

Pagnozzi came up with at least four strong moves in the fsecond half to prevent Wheaton from breaking the tie, and the Warriors began asserting themselves later in regulation and throughout the 20-minute, sudden-death overtime.

Pagnozzi came aggressively off her line twice in a span of two minutes to thwart Wheaton scoring chances before they could materialize, and soon after sprawled to her right to make her only two saves of the half in robbing  Hough, and eight minutes later, Nicole Sherman

cutler72dpiPicture 1471.jpgCawley, one of three keepers to see significant time between the pipes this year for Wheaton, also came up huge in the game. Four minutes into the match, she stoned Jo-Ann Merheb on a prime Eastern bid to strike early (Buchanan followed by sending the rebound over the cross bar), and later got some help from senior back Alessia Viscomi, who took senior midfielder Megan Pavia's (Stamford) header in the chest while guarding the goal line when Cawley was out of position.

At left: Rachel Cutler (14)

While both teams had scoring chances, the finest came with time running out in the first overtime and nearly provided Eastern with the "golden goal". With the clock winding inside ten seconds, Buchanan headed the ball to the foot of Marchitto, who slid a pass on the right side to Leonard. Cutting in from the end line, Leonard was set to tuck the game-ending shot inside the right post with two seconds left, but Cawley left her feet to smother the shot at the post as time ran out..

For the 20th time in 21 matches, Eastern has allowed one or no goals, with the shutout giving the Warriors' ten his season (one shy of the program record). Pagnozzi also tied the program record with her seventh full shutout of the year, set eight years ago by Stacey Schofield. Four of the shutouts have come in the last seven matches. Senior defenders Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), sophomore Rachel Cutler (Guilford) and freshman Tamar Merheb (Bethel) never came off the field against Wheaton. A starting midfielder, Tamar Merheb moved to the backfield due to Godwin's absence. The defense allowed only 11 shots Sunday, with six of them coming in the first half.

The Warriors played only three substitutes but got quality minutes from Leonard, Downer and Pavia off the bench.Five Eastern position players logged all 110 minutes, while seven of ten position players for Wheaton were on the field for all 110 minutes.

Eastern had beaten Worcester State, 1-0, for its first NCAA win Saturday and Wheaton had eliminated Mitchell College, 4-0. Eastern and Wheaton had played four times previously, with all of those contests being decided by one goal, two in overtime. The perenniel post-season tournament qualifying Lyons had won three of the four..


E,  Daniela Marchitto    Good  W, Alessia Viscomi    Good
E, Nicole Leonard         Good  W, Colleen Liffers      Saved
E, Jo-ann Merheb         Good  W, Cassey Muse      Good
E, Taylor Buchanan      Good  W, Kaitlyn Mawicke   Saved

Goalkeepers: E, Theresa Pagnozzi; W, Emily Hough


Men's Soccer: Warriors Battle in Loss

Ranked No. 6 nationally, Bowdoin turns back Warriors' bid, 2-1

kice shirt 72_2025.jpgBRUNSWICK, Maine - The Eastern Connecticut State University  men's soccer team was WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgeliminated in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament with a 2-1 loss to Bowdoin College  Sunday afternoon at Pickard Field.

At left: Zach Kice

The match was the second in four days for Eastern (14-4-3), which was coming off its first NCAA win with a 1-0 victory over Nichols College. Ranked first in New England and sixth nationally,  Bowdoin (14-1-2), which tied a program record for wins with its first NCAA victory ever, had drawn a first-round bye. The Polar Bears advance to face Amherst Saturday, November 20 in a third-round match.

Sophomore Michael Gale and senior Ben Denton-Schneider scored their seventh and sixth goals of the season, respectively, to give Bowdoin a 2-0 lead six minutes into the second half before the Warriors cut the lead in half when freshman Zach Kice (Denver, CO) answered with his first career goal with just under ten minutes left.

Bowdoin controlled the early pace of play and, after sustained pressure throughout most of the period, found the back of the net in the 36th minute. Denton-Schneider controlled the ball in the left corner and centered a pass to Gale at the top of the box. Gale fired a blast to the lower-right corner that tucked inside the post, beyond the outstretched arms of Eastern junior netminder Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.

The Polar Bears doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Eddie Jones played a brilliant cross into the box that Denton-Schneider headed home for a 2-0 Bowdoin advantage.

Eastern battled back, and found its goal in the 81st minute when Kice beat Bowdoin senior goaltender Dan Hicks in a race to the ball and deposited his goal with just 9:20 remaining.

Appel stopped five shots in net while Hicks was credited with a pair of saves for Bowdoin. The Polar Bears held a17-8 advantage in shots and 5-1 edge in corner kicks in the win.

The post-season tournament was the fourth straight under fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito, who owns an overall record at Eastern of 56-20-10. The Warriors are ranked sixth in New England.

Eastern started three freshman in the match in midfielder Luke Capezzone (Colchester), defender Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) and forward Tom Vear (Monson, MA) and brought four additional freshmen off the bench in Kice, Kyle Surprenant (Coventry), Nathan Mozian (Southington) and Romaro Johnson (Bridgeport)

Bowdoin College Sports Information contributed to this game account.


Women's XC: Quinones Among Top 100


At right: Amanda Quinones (Stephen Goomrigian photo).

Eastern Connecticut State University junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) cracked into the Top 100 by breaking 25 minutes in leading the women's cross country team to 32nd place at the  NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship Meet Saturday at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Mass. Quinones was Eastern's first finisher for the second time in her two-year career, improving 43 spots from a year ago in claiming 97th place in a field of 336 finishers. Quinones was timed in 24:59 over the 6,000 meter course. Following Quinones at the finish were sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton), freshman Katie France (Portland), senior Melissa Healy (Naugatuck), freshman Alexa Palasky (Griswold), sophomore Denica Gagnon (Colchester) and senior Amanda Ericson (Bolton). Gingras (26:34) was 188th, France (26:46) 203rd, Healy (27:41) 242nd, Palasky (28:02) 255th, Gagnon (29:22) 287th, and Ericson (30:18) 304th. The race was the final one in the fourth-year careers of Healy and Ericson. Middlebury raced to a 33-point win over runner-up Williams College in the field of 51 teams. All five of Middlebury's five scorers finished among the Top 20.

Men's XC: Hackett Pace-Setter at NE's



Photo by Stephen Goomrigian

Eastern Connecticut State University first-year junior Conor Hackett (Bolton) (above) paced the men's cross country team to a 28th-place finish at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship Meet Saturday at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Mass. Hackett was 129th overall in a field of 333, covering the 8,000 meter course in a time of 28:23. Following Hackett at the finish were sophomores Nick Miller (Norwich), Tim Callahan (Portland), Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury), Brad Beausoleil (Plainfield) and junior Bryan Jorge (Bristol). Miller was 160th overall (28:58), Callahan 203rd (29:52), Franklin 219th (30:21), Beausoleil 226th (30:29), and Jorge 248th (31:06). MIT runners commanded three of the top 12 places en route to the team title with an eight-point win over host Williams College in the 48-team field.

Women's Swimming: Dominant at UMD

Behind freshmen, Warriors win eight of 14 events at non-scoring inviteWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg

menard_head72dpi_4285.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team won both relays and three individuals won two events each Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  Invitational at the Tripp Athletic Center pool.

At left: Nadine Menard

Senior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) won the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley, freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden) claimed the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly and freshman Michelle Schapp (Torrington) the 50 and 100 backstroke to power the Warriors  in the non-scoring meet which included Bridgewater State University, Westfield State University and Gordon College, along with the host institution.

Eastern won both relays and six of the 12 individual events.

Eastern, which features 16 newcomers on its 28-person roster, ,took three of the top five spots in the 400 freestyle relay, three of the top four in the 200 freeestyle, six of the top ten in the 100 backstroke, four of the top five in the 50 butterfly, the top three in the 200 individual medley,two of the top three in the 200 medley relay, and three of the top five in the 400 freestyle relay.

Rivers, junior Nadine Menard (Woodstock), Arisco and freshman Becky Odgers (Shelton) contributed to the winning 200 medley relay, while Rivers, Odgers, Schapp and Arisco teamed on the winning 400 freestyle relay.

In addition to winning the 50 and 100 backstroke and swimming on the winning 400 freestyle relay and on the 200 medley relay which placed third, Schapp was third in the 500 freestyle and fourth in the 50 butterfly. Freshman Colleen King (Barkhamsted)  was second in the 50 and third in the 100 breaststroke and 50 butterfly, while Menard was second in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley and fifth in the 50 butterfly.

In winning the 50 freestyle in a field of 39 with a time of 25.42, Rivers was only .23 seconds off the program record. Previously this year, she had captured the 50 freestyle at Western Connecticut and against Assumpion College. The wins in the 50 and 100 backstroke were the first in the career of Schapp.

Eastern hosts Saint Joseph College (CT) Saturday at 11 a.m.


Women's Soccer: Warriors Advance, 1-0

By Jack Holleran, Little East Conference

Marchitto's second-half goal propels them to first NCAA victory

marchitto_hickey72 1401.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -The Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team earned the program's first NCAA Division III Tournament victory Saturday afternoon, defeating Worcester State University 1-0 in the first of two regional semifinal matches at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. 

At left: Daniela Marchitto (8) hugs Lauren Hickey after the two combined to give the Warriors the only goal of the match. (Liz Cutler photo)

Sophomore forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) netted the decisive marker in the 66th minute to lift the Warriors into the second round for the first time in program history.

One of four remaining undefeated teams in Division III, Eastern (16-0-4) is ranked second in New England and 14th nationally. Making its fifth NCAA appearance in seven years, Worcester State (10-6-4) was the automatic qualifier from Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference.

The Warriors meet Wheaton College (Mass.) (17-4-2) in Sunday's final at 2 p.m. The Lyons, ranked sixth in New England, scored three times in the second half to eliminate Mitchell College (10-8-1) in Saturday's second match. The Lyons are in their 11th NCAA tournament and have beaten Eastern three times in four previous regular-season encounters, most recently, 2-1 in overtime in 2007 at Norton, Mass.


Eastern  cracked the scoring column in the 66th minute, when Marchitto scored her tenth goal of the season.  Senior back Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) created the scoring opportunity on the right-side flank. She displayed some crafty footwork to elude a Lancer defender to open space in the middle of the field. Hickey gave a quick touch pass to Marchitto on the right wing. Marchitto took several touches, then slid a ground ball across the box just inside the far left post.. It was the third game-winning goal of the year for Marchitto, a second-team All-Little East Conference forward, and fourth assist for Hickey, the two-time LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year.

Above: Chelsea Downer (2) (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

The Warriors nearly gained the early advantage in the sixth minute of play, when sophomore forward Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) laced a shot into the midsection of the Worcester State goalkeeper. Eastern carried a slight 5-4 advantage in shots into the halftime intermission.

The Lancers came storming out of the gates in the second stanza. Worcester State nearly took the lead in the 47th minute, when junior back Nikki Scott headed a rebound from the Warriors' keeper wide left.  The pitch continued to be tilted in the favor of the visitors with the Lancers holding a 4-2 advantage in shots over the next 20 minutes of play. Worcester State junior striker Danielle Clifford had a chance to break the scoreless match in the 61st minute, but Eastern junior Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) made the save off a corner kick to preserve her sixth shutout of the season and improve her career record to 14-0-3. 

Pagnozzi  made six stops to collect her sixth shutout of the season, while her counterpart sophomore Angieszaka Sychtysz was creditied with eight saves. The match was the first between the teams since 1997, when the Warriors defeated the Lancers 3-2 in overtime.

Eastern played the match without starting freshman back Megan Godwin (Manchester), who will miss the regional tournament after becoming ill last weekend. Junior Laura Violette (Wallingford) made her tenth start of the year in place of Godwin.

The win establishes a program season record for victories, breaking the previous mark set in 2002 in a 15-4-0 campaign and matched in 2004 (15-6-2).  The Warriors competed in the ECAC tournament in both of those seasons. 

Wheaton College 4, Mitchell College 0

Sophomore striker Cassey Muse scored a goal and added an assist to pace the Wheaton offensive attack With their 14th NCAA tournament win, the Lyons advance to the second round for the second-straight season and for the tenth time overall. 

Wheaton dominated the action in the first 45 minutes of play, outshooting Mitchell 17-1. Sophomore midfielder Kierstin Luber gave the Lyons an advantage they would not relinquish in the 36th minute. The sophomore striker lifted a pass from Muse over the Mariners' keeper to account for the lone marker of the first frame.

Wheaton, an at-large selection to the tournament, continued to apply the pressure in the second stanza, scoring three insurance goals in the span of 16 minutes. Sophomore midfielder Colleen Liffers flicked her sixth goal of the season past freshman Kaylee Woodford  in the 53rd minute. Junior midfielder Emily Vincunas and Muse each registered a marker within seven minutes to provide the final margin of victory.

Lyons' junior goalkeeper Erin Cawley played the first 74 minutes and needed to just make one stop to collect the win, while Woodford had a strong match in net with 12 saves.

Mitchell, the champion of the New England Collegiate Conference, became the first Mitchell program in any sport to quality for an NCAA tournament.



M-Soccer: Warriors Pass NCAA Test

With 1-0 win,  Eastern on winning end of NCAA game for first time


Box Score.htm

DUDLEY, Mass. The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team won an NCAA tournament match for the first time in program history, riding sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova's (Glastonbury) eighth goal of the season with 18 minutes left in the first half and extending its unbeaten streak to nine (7-0-2) with a 1-0 verdict over Nichols College Thursday night in a first-round match at Michael Vendetti Field.

At left: Juniors Matt Furman (21), Carl Appel (12) and Aaron Smiles (10) in Thursday's NCAA wiin over Nichols College.

Ranked No. 6 in New England, Eastern (14-3-3) visits Bowdoin College (13-1-3) in a second-round match Sunday at 1p.m. Bowdoin is ranked No. 1 in New England, No. 6 nationally.

After freshman Tom Vear's (Monson, MA) goal was disallowed due to offside six minutes into action, Eastern followed with an undisputed one 20 minutes later , and the Warriors withstood unranked Nichols' (15-4-3) second-half barrage to advance for the first time in its third NCAA tournament appearance.

Eastern was playing in a post-season tournament for the fourth straight season, but didn't play that way in the second half. Nichols was appearing in its first NCAA tournament after winning the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship on penalty kicks,  and didn't play that way, either, over the final 45 minutes.

Nichols owned the second half Thursdsay night, as Eastern's stellar defense (one or less goal allowed in each of the last nine matches) bent but wouldn't break. The Bison spent the second half in Eastern's end, but could not get one past  junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ). The Bison collected nine corner kicks in the second half (Eastern had none) and unloaded 15 shots. Appel came up with saves on six of those second-half shots to post his third consecutive shutouts, eighth of the season.

decasanovaheader72_6299 copy.jpgDeCasanova's third game-winning goal of the year was set up by junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) and freshman midfielder Zach Kice (Denver, CO). The play originated in the Eastern defensive end when Furman was taken down without a call by referee Lou Labadia. Kice, however, regained possession for Eastern near midfield and sent the ball to open space on the right wing. Furman re-gained his feet and caught up to the ball, carrying toward the end line before sending a crossing pass inside the goalie box to DeCasanova, who beat Nichols junior keeper Brendan Hamilton (11 shutouts, 0.49 GAA, .907 save pct.) from in close. The assist was the team-leading eighth for Furman.

At left: Jon DeCasanova (11) beats Nichols' Matthew Nash to the ball Thursday night..

Big, fast and skilled and bearing little resemblance to the team that Eastern crushed two years ago, Nichols spent the second half knocking on the door, but the Warriors withstood the Bison's advances time after time. Nichols was awarded three corner kicks in the first two minutes of the second half. Eastern managed only one legitimate shot in the second half, that coming when DeCasanova fired a feed from Furman over the crossbar with 14 minutes left.

furman72_6389.jpgExecuting a perfect give-and-go, Nichols nearly tied the match with a wide-open shot from inside the box that sailed wide right of the right post. With 28 minutes left, a Nichols header off a corner kick also just missed its mark. Nichols' best chance came with 17 minutes left, but Appel timed his leap perfectly and got enough of  Pat Gaumond's drive to tip it over the crossbar. Nichols nearly scored on the resulting corner kick with a shot that  nearly crossed the goal line.

Above: Matt Furman (21)

Eastern's defense did not allow a corner kick until just 15:30 remained in the first half, with Appel being called upon for only two saves. Freshman back Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) broke up Nichols' scoring opportunity off that first corner. Following Nichols' second corner kick moments later, Mark Capitanio was left unmarked and one-timed a long serve on the left wing that carried wide of the left post.

All four of Nichols' losses this came by one goal, three by 1-0 margins.  Two years ago, Eastern routed the Bison, 5-0, in the opening round of the ECAC tournament. Nichols's re-vamped roster featured 14 freshmen and sophomores who did not experience the beating administered by Eastern in 2008.

Eastern Conn. 1, Nichols College 0

Eastern Conn. (14-3-3)    1 0 -- 1
Nichols College (15-4-3)  0 0 -- 0

Jon DeCasanova (Zach Kice, Matt Furman) 26:59.
Shots: E-10, N-27; Saves: E-Carl Appel 8, N-Brendan Hamilton 2.
Corner kicks: E-4, N-12.


Soccer: Warriors Come Up Large

Both teams are at-large selections to NCAAs; women hosting this weekend


W-Soccer Regional Tournament Capsules.pdf

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - For the second (consecutive) year, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's and men's soccer teams will be competing in their respective NCAA Division III tournaments in the same season.

Last year, both Eastern teams qualified automatically for the NCAA tournament after winning their respective Little East Conference championships. This year, both teams qualified on an at-large basis, the men as one of 17 Pool C selections to their 60-team tournament and the women as one of 20 Pool C picks to their 63-team field.

msochuddle72_5077.jpgOn the men's side, Eastern (13-3-3) visits Nichols College (15-3-3) Thursday at 6 p.m. in a first-round match, with the winner advancing to the  second round against host  Bowdoin College (13-1-3) Sunday at 1 p.m. Nichols gained the automatic bid accorded the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion, while Bowdoin was a Pool C selection out of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Above: The Eastern men have re-grouped from early-season injuries to bring an eight-game unbeaten streak into their fourth straight post-season tournament..

 On the women's side, top-seeded Eastern (15-0-4) hosts a regional tournament for the second time in program history. Saturday, the Warriors meet third-seeded Worcester State University (10-5-4)  at noon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, with second-seeded Wheaton College, MA (16-4-2) facing fourth-seeded Mitchell College (10-7-1) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday's regional championship match is set for 2 p.m.

Wheaton  was a Pool C at-large selection while Worcester State and Mitchell earned automatic bids representing the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and New England Collegiate Conference, respectively.

The winners of the eight regionals in both the men's and women's tournaments advance to the Round of 16 Nov. 19-21.


The Eastern women qualified for NCAA tournament play for the fifth time (second straight), Wheaton for the 11th (straight) time, Worcester for the fifth time (2004-07 previously) and Mitchell for the first time. After four weeks atop New England, Eastern is rated second in the region entering the tournament, with Wheaton sixth. The Warriors dropped from No. 8 to No. 14 in this week's national poll.

At right: The Eastern women prepare for their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in program history. Seniors sitting from left are Amber Petrizzo, Stephanie Norell, Megan Pavia and Lauren Hickey.

The Eastern women were unbeaten in the regular season for the first time in the program's 25-year history but the top-seeded Warriors were eliminated in the semifinals of the Little East Conference tournament on penalty kicks by fourth-seeded UMass Boston. The Warriors lost their NCAA openers in each of their four previous trips to the tournament. As a fourth-year program in 1989, Eastern served as a regional tournament host but was shut out by William Smith College, 2-0, in the opener.

The Wheaton women are 13-10-1 in 11 NCAA tournaments.  The Lyons opened the season with a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1). Their last two losses have come at the hands of conference foe Springfield College, including a 2-1 decision in the NEWMAC semifinals at Springfield, Mass. this past Saturday.

In its last NCAA appearance, Worcester State won two NCAA matches to advance to the Sweet 16, where it was eliminated in double overtime. The second-seeded Lancers gained their conference's automatic bid with a 1-0 home win over Bridgewater State University Saturday.

Mitchell brings a season-high five-game winning streak into Saturday's first-round tournament match. The second-seeded Mariners upended top-seeded Lesley College, 2-1, in the title tilt of the NECC tournament Saturday.

Eastern is 3-0-1 all-time against Worcester and 1-3-0 all-time against Wheaton and has never met Mitchell. The Warriors have not played Worcester or Wheaton previously in the NCAA.

On the men's side, Eastern is playing Nichols for the second time in three years in post-season play. The Warriors shut out the Bison, 5-0, in the opening round of the ECAC tournament in 2008 at Thomas Nevers Field.

Eastern is 7-0 all-time against Nichols, but has never played Bowdoin. Bowdoin is rated first in New England, sixth nationally; Eastern is sixth in New England and Nichols eighth.

The Eastern men are 6-0-2 in their last eight, the second-seeded and defending champion Warriors tying third-seeded Rhode Island College, 0-0 in double overtime in the semifinals of the Little East Conference tournament last Wednesday. RIC advanced on penalty kicks.  Playing at home, top-seeded Nichols advanced on penalty kicks in the semifinals and final of the CCC tournament to earn its first conference title and first spot in the NCAA tournament. 

The Eastern men are competing in post-season play for the 16th time in their 50-year history, third in the NCAA. The post-season bid is the team's fourth in as many years under fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito. Eastern has previously dropped first-round NCA tournament decisions to Williams (2007) and RPI (2009).

NCAA Division III
Women's Soccer Tournament
at Mansfield, Conn.

Saturday, Nov. 13

EASTERN CONN. (15-0-4) vs. Worcester State U. (10-5-4), noon
Wheaton College, MA (16-4-2) vs. Mitchell College (10-7-1), 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 14

Final, 2 p.m.

NCAA Division III
Men's Soccer Tournament
at Dudley, Mass

First Round
Thursday, Nov. 11

EASTERN CONN. (13-3-3) at Nichols College (15-3-3), 6 p.m.





























Women's Soccer: Eight Honored by LEC


Name (Hometown)    Cl. Pos. Team
Taylor Buchanan (Ellington)   So. F 1st
Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA)*  Sr. B 1st
Kelly Wallace (South Windsor)  So. MF 1st
Daniela Marchitto (Orange)**  So. F 2nd
Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel)   Jr. MF 2nd
Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford)  Jr.  K 2nd  
Amber Petrizzo (Plainville)   Jr. B 2nd

Defensive Player-of-the-Year
Lauren Hickey     Sr. B 

Chris D'Ambrosio (11th year)#

*-Second team in 2008 and first team and Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2009
**-First team and Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009
#-Coach-of-the-Year in 2001


Eastern (15-0-4/6-0-1 LEC) won its second outright regular-season LEC title and forged its second unbeaten LEC regular season in the last three years en route to its first unbeaten (15-0-3) regular season in program history...extended its unbeaten streak to 19 when top-seeded Eastern tied fourth-seeded UMass Boston in the LEC tournament semifinals... ranked No. 2 in New England and No. 14 nationally, the Warriors will host an NCAA regional tournament for the second time in program history this weekend...

All-Conference Selections

Taylor Buchanan: Doubled her point total from her freshman season with a team-leading 28... had eight of her goals in seven regular-season conference matches... shared the LEC lead with five game-winning goals, four of them coming in conference matches... had at least one point in ten of the final 14 regular-season matches... scored all three of the game's goals in regular-season win over host UMass Boston...

Lauren Hickey: Becomes the first player in the nine-year history of the Best Defensive Player Award to win it in back-to-back seasons... the key player on a defense which has given up only 12 goals in 19 matches and which has posted eight shutouts and a 0.60 goals-against average... team has given up more than one goal only once... led all field players in minutes for the third straight season after totaling the second-highest number as a freshman...

Kelly Wallace: Last year's LEC assist leader leads the Warriors in that department again this year... only three conference players have more than her total of six... third on the team with 16 points... scored game-winning goals in second-day wins in the team's two regular-season tournaments this year... scored the only goal of the match in a victory over Manhattanville College in the final regular-season match of the year... had points in six of the team's first eight matches... will break into Eastern's all-time Top 10 in assists with her next one, which will be her 17th...

Daniela Marchitto: Second or tied for second on the team in points (23), goals (9) and assists (5)... seventh in the LEC  in points, tied for eighth in goals and tied for eighth in assists... had four goals and ten points in seven LEC regular-season matches... had at least one point in seven of the team's first 11 matches, including three goals in a 6-1 LEC win over  Rhode Island College...

Jo-Ann Merheb: Teammed at midfield this year with freshman sister Tamar... scored a career-high five goals... three of her goals were game-winners... had game-winning goals in important victories over Keene State and Amherst College and scored the team's only goal in the LEC tournament tie with UMass Boston...

Theresa Pagnozzi: In her first starting season, gives Eastern an all-conference keeper for the fifth straight year... second in the conference in goals-against average (0.50), and save percentage (.854) and fourth in shutouts (5)... has won 12 and tied 3 in 16 appearances and is 13-0-3 in her career... ten times did not allow a goal...

Amber Petrizzo: In her third season in the program, moved from midfield to a starting position at back... started all 18 matches in which she appeared, averaging 89.0 minutes per game.. her 1,602 total minutes ranks third on the team... helped the Warriors to the second-best defense in the LEC...


Chris D'Ambrosio: Has made Eastern the winningest team in the conference in his 11 seasons... the program's all-time winningest coach, D'Ambrosio led the Warriors to their tenth straight regular season of at least five LEC victories (in seven matches)... Eastern has lost more than one regular-season LEC match only once in the last ten years and has won or shared four LEC regular-season titles and captured three LEC post-season championships...the team has never finished lower than second in that span...


Men's Soccer: Six are All-Conference


Name (Hometown)    Cl. Pos. Team
Matt Furman (Montville)   Jr. F 1st
Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA)**  Jr. B 1st
Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ)*  Jr. K 2nd
Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury)  So. MF 2nd
Bradley Fletcher (Middletown)#  So. B 2nd
Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook)   Fr. B 2nd

*-First team in 2009     **-Second team in 2008, first team in 2009
#-Second team and Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009

Eastern (13-3-3/5-1-1 LEC) finished second in the Little East Conference regular-season standings and as the No. 2 seed was eliminated on penalty kicks in the tournament semifinals by No. 3 Rhode Island College. Ranked sixth in New England, Eastern qualified for its fourth straight post-season tournament and will open play in its 16th post-season tournament Thursday at Nichols College at 6 p.m.

All-Conference Selections
Six selections give Eastern 26 such picks in four years under current head coach Greg DeVito.

Matt Furman: Second-year transfer leads the LEC in points, points per game and assists per game. He has team-leading totals of 9 goals, 7 assists and 25 points despite being limited to only 13 games (10 starts) due to injury. Missed three of seven conference regular-season games with injury. Three of his goals have been game-winners.

Aaron Smiles: Defensive centerback anchors the defense and takes the teams free kicks and corner kicks. He has started all 17 matches in which he has appeared (missing two due to injury) and averages 85.1 minutes per game. He has played every minute ten times.

Carl Appel: Three-year starter in goal leads the LEC goals-against average (0.69), save percentage (.879) and shutouts (7). In 7 LEC regular-season starts, is 4-1-1 with a 0.60 GAA and .886 save percentage and 3 shutouts. Made a career-high 13 saves in the shutout of Rhode Island College in the LEC semifinals.

Jon DeCasanova: Started ever game at midfield this year after starting every game on defense last year. Second on the team with 7 goals and 17 points. Two of his goals were game-winners. Averaged 84.8 minutes per game. Tied for sixth in the LEC in goals and eighth in points. Led Eastern players with 4 goals (two game-winners) and 9 points in LEC regular-season matches.

Bradley Fletcher: For the second time in his two-year career, started every match and led the team in minutes... played all but 32 minutes, totaling  1,738 minutes for a team-leading 91.5 average... contributed a goal and three assists...

Mike Radlbeck: Freshman selection is the team's third of four starting backs to make the all-conference team... defenders Radlbeck, Fletcher and DeCasanova are the only players to start all 19 matches thus far... led freshmen in minutes played (1,591/83.7 per game)... helped the Warriors lead the conference in least goals allowed (14), goals-against average (0.71) and shutouts (8)... both of his goals were game-winners and came in 2-1 LEC home wins over UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth...





Cross Country: ECAC Championships

Men are 26th in field of 44; women 29th among 39 teams


Miller (top), and France

miller_head_72_2926.jpgBRISTOL, R.I. - Competing at the ECAC Division III Championship Meet at Colt State Park, the Eastern Connecticut State University men placed 26th in a field of 44 and the women 29th among 39 institutions Saturday.

Sophomore Nick Miller (Norwich) paced the men by placing 64th overall and scoring 62 points in a field of 300, while freshman Katie France (Portland) was the first women's finisher.

france_head_72_2905.jpgIn a field of 276, France was 94th overall and scored 92 points.

Several of Eastern's top runners - including men's top runner Conor Hackett (Bolton) and women's No. 1 finisher Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) did not compete in the meet, as they prepare for Saturday's NCAA New England Division III national qualifier at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, MA. 

Williams College scored 94 points to claim the men's championship while Middlebury College runners captured places 2-through-5 in breezing to the women's title by scoring just 21 points.



64. Nick Miller (27:50); 120. Ken Landry (28:44); 140. Tim Callahan (28:58); 195. Joey Perucki (30:09); 205. Ryan Hughes (30:17.


94. Katie France (25:48); 105. Cora Gingras (25:59); 196. Haley Smith (28:00); 218. Brittany Miskell (28:45); 227. Wendy Bouton (29:00).

W-Swimming: Warriors Go 18 Deep

Arisco is a triple winner and Rivers wins twice in win over Western



Arisco (top), and Dufraine

DANBURY, Conn. - Eighteen different swimmers contributed points that powered the Eastern Connecticut State University women's team to a 150 ½-130 ½ victory over Western Connecticut State University Saturday at the O'Neill Center pool.


dufranie_head_72_4209.jpgSix swimmers scored ten or more points in individual events as Eastern (1-1) downed Western (0-1) for the fourth straight time in dual meet competition.

After spotting Western 22 points in two diving events (Eastern does not offer diving), the Warriors roared back by taking the top two spots in the 200 butterfly, 50 and 100 freestyle events and 200 freestyle relay, going 2-3-4 in the 200 backstroke and claiming  the second and third spots in the 200 medley relay.

Eastern swimmers won seven of 12 individual events in addition to the 200 freestyle relay, with four different individuals taking home an individual title.

All-New England senior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) won the 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley for a team-best total of 27 points, and freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden) won the 50 and 100 freestyle events for the second straight meet for 18 points. Junior Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) and freshman Becky Odgers (Shelton) added 13 points each, junior Nadine Menard (Woodsock) 12 and freshman Michelle Schapp (Torrington) 11 ½.

Dufraine won the 1,000 freestyle, was third in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 200 IM; Odgers touched first in the 100 backstroke and was second in the 200 backstroke; Menard was second in two 200 yard events: the butterfly, breaststroke and IM; and Schapp was second or shared second in thre freestyle events: the 100, 200 and 500.

Thirteen different swimmers also contributed to the four relays which amassed a total of 21 points. Junior Andzelina Chmielewski  (Enfield), Odgers, and Rivers each swam on two of the relays, with Rivers, Schapp, Chmielewski and Odgers teaming to win the meeting-ending 200 freestyle relay.

The program record-holder in four individual events, Arisco was a second-and-a-half off the program record of 2:19.26 in the 200 butterfly and Rivers  was 44 hundreths of a second off the 50 freestyle mark.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at noon.

Program receives award for top grade-point average for 2009/10

Pres Cup photo_72dpi_5899.jpg

LEC25.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - With a cumulative student-athlete grade-point average of 3.02, Eastern Connecticut State University is the top academic institution in the Little East Conference, according to the inaugural 2009-10 Presidents' Cup standings.

Above: Eastern President Dr. Elsa M. Nunez (third from left) accepts the inaugural Little East Conference Presidents' Cup. Pictured with Dr. Nunez from left are Stephanie Norell (soccer), Janice Patry (Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development), Dr. Nunez, Jamie Kohn (basketball), Dr. Joyce S. Wong (Director of Athletics), and Ashlee James (cross country and track and field). The three student-athletes in photo are all members of the conference academic honor roll, are recipients of an E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award and have cumulative GPAs above 3.80.

"I would like to congratulate Eastern Connecticut State University as the inaugural recipient of the Little East Conference Presidents Cup," said Commissioner Jonathan C. Harper. "It is remarkable, along with Keene State College, that the 2009-2010 academic year featured the same two institutions headlining both Commissioner Cup and Presidents Cup standings."

Eastern, which finished second in the Commissioners' Cup standings last year, narrowly edged Keene State to earn the inaugural Presidents' Cup.

The Presidents' Cup trophy measures the highest cumulative grade point average of all institutions in the Little East Conference. Each athletic department calculates its student-athletes cumulative grade point average in the conference's 19 championship sponsored sports. 

Eastern sponsors conference competition in ten women's sports and seven men's sports: women's sports include field hockey, cross country, volleyball, soccer, swimming, indoor track and field, basketball, lacrosse, softball and outdoor track and field; men's sports include cross country, soccer, indoor track and field, basketball, lacrosse, baseball and outdoor track and field.

 "I am very pleased that Eastern's student-athletes have won the first Presidents' Cup competition," noted Eastern President Dr. Elsa M. Nunez.  "This award recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of our student-athletes and reaffirms the quality of students on our liberal arts campus.  Going to a national championship tournament, as our women's softball team did last past spring, is a thrilling experience for any athlete," added Nunez. "However, knowing that their exploits on the playing field are surpassed by their performance in the classroom is even more important in the long run.  These young men and women are bringing great pride and honor to the University as they prepare for success as professionals and engaged citizens." 

Last year, Eastern athletes earned spots on the LEC Academic Honor Roll a total of 64 times: 25 in the fall, 18 in the winter, and 21 in the spring.  Additionally, twenty-five  student-athletes sported a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 to earn an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, while an additional 15 student-athletes were honored as E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award recipients with a cumulative grade point average between a 3.15 and 3.49. 

Last year, Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) represented Eastern on National Soccer Coaches' Association of America/adidas Scholar All-America first team, and joined teammate Chris Bourdeau (Thompson) on the NSCAA academic all-region squad. Three members of the field hockey team -Rachel Cocola (South Windsor), Rochelle Normandin  (South Windsor) and Lyndsey Zavisza (Suffield) were also honored on the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association National Academic Squad. Junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) helped the baseball team extend its streak of having a student-athlete recognized on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team to four years with his second-team selection. Senior Courtney Bedocs (Hamden) also earned regional recognition with her selection to the Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll.

Last fall, the women's soccer team earned the institution's 2010 Faculty Athletic Representative award for accumulating the highest team grade point average. 

"I congratulate all of the members of our department for their commitment to having our student athletes succeed in achieving their educational goals," said Director of Athletics Dr. Joyce S. Wong. "We are proud of our coaches and student- athletes for their emphasis on achieving success in both the classroom and on the fields of play.  They have truly embraced the Division III philosophy.  Special thanks go to Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development, Janice Patry,  who has done an excellent job in coordinating and providing assistance to all of our student athletes."

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference sponsored its 24th season in 2009-2010. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993-1994, while Keene State College raised its current membership to eight teams in 1997-1998. The Little East sponsors championship play in 19 intercollegiate athletics: baseball; men's and women's basketball; men's and women's cross country; field hockey; men's and women's lacrosse; men's and women's soccer; softball; women's swimming; men's and women's tennis; men's and women's indoor track; men's and women's outdoor track and women's volleyball. 



W-Soccer: LEC Outcome is Bittersweet

Warriors remain undefeated with tie, but UMass advances on PKs

merhebcutler72dpi_5918.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to 19 matches Thursday in the semifinal round of the 2010 Little East Conference tournament at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Tamar Merheb (9) and Rachel Cutler (14) battle Anna O'Donoghue for possession Thursday. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

However, the top-seeded Warriors will not have an opportunity to defend their 2009 title in the finals after fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston (13-4-4) tied the match with 2:34 left in regulation, then after 20 minutes of scoreless overtime, eliminated Eastern (15-0-4) on penalty kicks, 3-1. The match is recorded as a 1-1 tie.

UMass advances to its first conference tournament championship match Sunday at the site of the other semifinal winner. Second-seeded Western Connecticut State University hosts third-seeded Keene State College Friday  at 4 p.m., with that winner hosting the tournament championship match. The Western-Keene match was postponed Thursday due to rain. No No. 4 seed has ever won any of the previous 11 tournament championships.

UMass converted three of its four penalty kicks while Eastern missed three of its four. Both teams made their first attempts and both missed their second. Shooting first, junior Molly Kuchar  then  made it 2-1 when she punched her shot inside inside the right post. Eastern's next attempt caromed off the crossbar, and freshman Samantha Cristoforo made it 3-1 with a drive inside the left post. Freshman keeper Katie Coscia then secured the UMB win when she saved Eastern's fourth and final attempt.

Last year's LEC tournament champion, Eastern tied UMass Boston after winning all seven of its previous home matches this year. A 3-0 regular-season winner over the Beacons, Eastern carried a 1-0 lead into the final three minutes Thursday before UMass forced overtime on a goal by junior forward Kristin Mulry with 2:34 remaining. Mulry possessed a loose ball from about 25 yards out and lofted a high arcing ball over the head of Eastern junior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) which came down at the goal line and bounced in.

In a game played in steady rain and on a slick artificial surface, Eastern had  taken a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute when junior midfielder Jo-An Merheb (Bethel)  beat Coscia from in close on a cross from senior back Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA).  Sophomore midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) began the play by gaining possession in the middle of the field and sending the ball to Hickey on the right wing. Hickey carried it toward the end line before feeding Merheb in the middle of the field for her fifth goal of the season.

Eastern, which held a 16-7 advantage in shots and 9-1 edge in corner kicks, had one outstanding opportunity to snap the scoreless tie four minutes into the second half and two chances to win the match in the first 10-minute sudden-death overtime session. On that second-half bid, Coscia robbed freshman midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel)  with a dive to the right post. One minute into overtime, sophomore forward Taylor Buchanan's (Ellington) uncontested shot in space went wide, and with one minute left in the first overtime, Buchanan took a free kick from just outside the box that she hammered right at the keeper.

UMass Boston, beaten by a 4-0 score by Eastern in last year's semifinals at the Mansfield Complex, nearly won the match five minutes into overtime, but Eastern freshman back Megan Godwin (Manchester) cleared a rolling ball off the line that resulted when Pagnozzi could not hold the ball after diving to beat Mulry to a loose ball.

Coscia made nine saves, Pagnozzi five in moving her career record to 13-0-3.

Ranked eighth nationally and first in New England, Eastern awaits an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.


M, Kristin Mulry  Good                   E, Chelsea Downer Good
M, Tayla Andrews  Saved               E, Taylor Buchanan Saved
M, Molly Kuchar  Good                  E, Jo-ann Merheb Hit crossbar
M, Samantha Cristoforo Good        E, Rachel Cutler Saved















W-Soccer: New Season Unfolding

Undefeated Warriors embark upon "second season" in LECs Thursday

WATCH: Lauren Hickey interview (4:50)

hickey head 72_2040.jpgFor the first time in the 25-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State University  women's soccer program, the Warriors did not lose a match in the regular season. Thursday, they begin their "second season" when they host the University of Massachusetts Boston in the semifinal round of the 2010 Little East Conference tournament.

Ranked first in New England and a program-best No. 8 nationally, top-seeded Eastern (15-0-3) opens defense of its 2009 Little East Conference title  at 4 p.m. against fourth-seeded UMass Boston (13-4-3). A victory will move the Warriors into the championship game of the tournament for the seventh time since 2003.

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The Eastern-UMass victor faces the winner of Thursday's other 6 p.m. semifinal match featuring third-seeded Keene State College and second-seeded Western Connecticut State University.  In tournament championship games, Eastern is 3-1 against Keene State and 0-2 against Western.

At right: A collective competitive spirit has made the 2010 season a special one for the Warriors. (Liz Cutler photo).

After failing to qualify for the LEC tournament for the first nine years, UMass has won a game in the tournament in two of the last three years. On Tuesday, the Beacons eliminated fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine, 1-0.

During the regular season, UMass Boston was the seventh straight victim during the Warriors' record 11-game winning streak. In a game played in Boston, however, Eastern led only 1-0 at halftime before scoring two twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half.  With 15 wins and a tie in 16 meetings, the Warriors have never lost to the Beacons in this 16-game series.  After tying the Beacons 0-0 in overtime at home last year, the Warriors routed UMass, 4-0, in the only conference tournament meeting ever between the programs.

In 18 matches this year, Eastern has outscored its opponents 42-11 and has given up more than one goal only once all season, that coming in a 3-2 come-from-behind home win over Keene State  Sept. 25.

While Eastern entered the season having lost LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year Sarah Swann, former Defensive Player-of-the-Year Christine Lemieux and four-year goalkeeper Kim Church, the Warriors have flourished with a combination of veterans and newcomers. Goalkeepers Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) and Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) brought little tangible experience into the season, but has been protected by a strong defense. Eastern's keepers have averaged only 3.1 saves per game thanks to a defense comprised of 2009 LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA), and Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), both seniors, junior Laura Violette (Wallingford), sophomore Rachel Cutler (Guilford), and freshman Megan Godwin (Manchester).

The bulk of the offense has been provided by three sophomores: Taylor Buchanan (Ellington), Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and Kelly Wallace (South Windsor). Buchanan, who scored all three goals in the regular-season win over UMass Boston, tops the club with 13 goals, with Marchitto adding nine goals and five assists and Wallace five goals and five assists.

Sisters Jo-Ann and Tamar Merheb (Bethel) have been dominant players in the midfield, along with junior Sam Konopka (Hebron) and , with senior Megan Pavia (Stamford), sophomore Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and freshmen Kailyn Kennedy (Burlington) and Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) providing quality minutes off the bench.

This year's 15 wins equal the program record, set in 2002 and equaled in 2004

M-Soccer: RIC's Kicks Dump Warriors

After the teams play to overtime tie, Anchormen advance on PKs, 5-4

appeldive72_5884.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Following a 0-0 double LEC25.jpgovertime stalemate, third-seeded Rhode Island College converted all five of its penalty kicks for a 5-4 PK decision  over No. 2 Eastern Connecticut State University Wednesday night  that moved the Anchormen into the Little East Conference tournament championship match for the fourth time in seven years. The match is recorded as a tie.

At left: All five of Rhode Island's PKs were beyond the reach of Eastern keeper Carl Appel.(Stephen Goomrigian photo)

After eliminating 2009 champion Eastern (13-3-3), Rhode Island (10-6-2) faces
top seeded Keene State College in Saturday's noon title match at Keene, NH. Keene qualified for its  eighth championship game appearance with a 2-1 home win over fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth Wednesday night. Keene was upset by UMass in last year's semifinal and Eastern trimmed the Corsairs, 1-0, in the title game at Mansfield.

Wednesday, Eastern and RIC each their first four penalty kicks.  Shooting first, Eastern then missed its fifth try when RIC junior goalkeeper Nic Clark made the save on a low shot sent directly at him, and junior Bruno Costa  nailed the game-winner inside the right post.   Hector Espildora  Fortuno, Sean Maguire, Petdro Hernandez  and Jose Ruiz also converted their tries for RIC.

All nine of the successful PKs in the shootout were perfectly placed either inside the post or under the crossbar. Neither goalkeeper had an opportunity to stop any of those shots.

Although Eastern brought a seven-game unbeaten streak into play and RIC was only 3-4-1 in its last eight, the Anchormen controlled the pace of the match throughout. Eastern junior Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) was forced to make a career-high 13 saves to keep the visitors off the board. Appel kept the game scoreless twice when he leapt  to tip shots b Espildora Fortuno (first half) and freshman Ryan Rasieleski(second half) over the bar. Appel also dove to the post to deny Espildora Fortuno 17 minutes into the match and again to stop junior Mike Patriarca's quick turnaround shot seven minutes into the second half.

Clark was called upon for only four saves, but came up big when he left his feet in a dive to his right to grab freshman Romaro Johnson's (Bridgeport) bid from in close with seven minutes left in the first half.  Junior Matt Furman (Montville), the conference point leader, nearly gave Eastern a 1-0 lead with 19 minutes left in regulation, but his 25-yarder skimmed off the crossbar.

On its home field, Eastern had shut out RIC in the semifinal round in winning LEC tournament titles in 2007 and last year and had beaten RIC at home the last five times the teams had met. In a 1-1 overtime draw during the regular season at Providence, the Anchormen outshot the Warriors 21-13, with Appel coming up with eight saves.

RIC won its only LEC title in 2008 over Plymouth State University after losing in the finals in 2004 and 2005, the '05 setback coming at the hands of Keene State.

Eastern awaits possible at-large bids to the NCAA or ECAC tournaments.




No. 2 Warriors host No. 3 Rhode Island College in semifinals tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Appel_72dpi5587.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Regular-season men's soccer competition in the Little East Conference  played out this season as a virtual carbon-copy of 2009, with the same teams in the same order qualifying for the four-team 2010 post-season tournament, which gets underway tomorrow.

Above: LEC goals-against average leader Carl Appel (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

And a repeat of the LEC post-season tournament results from 2009 would sit very well for Eastern Connecticut State University, which won last year's title for the second time in three years  with a 1-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Last year's No. 2 seed, Eastern last year eliminated No. 3 seed and defending champion Rhode Island College at home by a 2-0 score, then was accorded home field advantage for the championship game  after No. 4 UMass Dartmouth upset top-seeded Keene State College, 2-1, in overtime at Keene, NH.

In tomorrow's semifinals at 6 p.m., No. 2 Eastern (13-3-2) hosts No. 3 Rhode Island (10-6-1) and No. 1 Keene State (12-4-2) entertains No. 4 UMass Dartmouth (10-5-2).  Wins by the top seeds would set up a championship match Saturday at Keene, NH, where the Owls handed Eastern its only LEC loss this year, 2-1, Sept. 25.An Eastern win Wednesday and Keene loss returns the title tilt to Mansfield.

The regular-season matches between this year's semifinalists both resulted in 1-1 overtime draws. Eastern and Keene were the visiting teams in those matches.

On the final day of this year's regular season, Eastern and Rhode Island shared second place, with the Anchormen holding the tie-breaker advantage in the event that the clubs remained deadlocked. Soon after UMass Boston upset Rhode Island, 2-1, in overtime, Saturday, however, Eastern earned the No. 2 seed and important home field advantage over RIC by trimming Plymouth State, 1-0, on a late goal by sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury).

Home field advantage has played a critical role in this Eastern-RIC series in recent years, lending even more substance to this past Saturday's outcomes.  Eastern has beaten RIC the last five the teams have met on the Warriors' field (four by shutout), but is winless (0-3-2) the last five times the teams have met in Providence.

In a contest which included  30 fouls (19 commited by RIC) and four yellow cards (three issued to RIC) seventeen days ago, the Warriors needed a goal by freshman Tom Vear (Monson, MA) with 18 minutes left to escape the physical tussle with the tie.

Wednesday's semifinal features the least-penalized team in the league in Eastern, (nine yellow cards) against the second-most penalized in Rhode Island (28). The contest which pits the last two LEC tournament champions also features the two most prolific offenses and stingiest defenses. The Warriors lead all LEC teams in goals scored (39) and least allowed (14), while RIC is right behind with 37 goals scored and 17 allowed.

In a matchup of junior keepers, Eastern's Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ)  is the LEC leader in goals-against average (0.74) and shutouts (6). RIC's Nic Clark follows with a 087 GAA and four shutouts. Offensively, Eastern has the LEC point leader in Matt Furman (Montville), but the Anchormen counter  with three players among the top five in juniors Hector Espildora Fortuna, Mike Patriarca and  Bruno Costa. Furman has produced  25 points in just 12 matches (due to injury), with DeCasanova next with 17, sophomore Cory Tobler (Portland) with 14 and Vear with 13.

Hampered by injuries all season long - with Furman missing six matches and senior Sean Capezzone (Colchester) seven - Eastern is hitting its stride under fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito.  The Warriors, showing a four-year conference regular-season record of 20-4-4 under DeVito, have  won six and tied one in their last seven matches and are 5-0-0 at home since absorbing a 2-0 loss to Montclair State a month ago.


W-Soccer: Hickey Academic Honoree

Senior on unbeaten team becomes program's first first-team ESPN pick

hickey head 72_2040.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA), a starting SoccerAnnivLogo.jpgdefender on the unbeaten and nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team, has been selected as the program's first first-team CoSIDA/ESPN College Division Academic All-District  1 selection, released today.

Hickey was one of 13 first-team selections to the team, and the only first-team pick  from the Little East Conference. A 13-player second team and nine-player third teams were also selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors Association of America. District 1 is comprised of Division II and III institutions located in New England and New York
First-team selections from all eight districts appear on the Academic All-America ballot. The All-America team is scheduled to be announced Nov. 18.

hickey volley large WEB_1839.jpgOnly three defenders from New England were chosen to the first team, with another from Divison III William Smith College (NY) and one from Division II College of Saint Rose (NY).
A four-year starter, Hickey is the only player on this year's team to have started all 18 matches for the Warriors, who completed the regular season with their first unbeaten season (15-0-3) in the program's 25-year history. The Warriors have been ranked No. 1 in New England the last four weeks and rose to a program-best No. 8 in the most recent NSCAA national rankings, released today. The win total equals the program season record.

Hickey averages 86.9 minutes per match and has helped the team post eight shutouts and a 0.59 goals-against average. The team has given up more than one goal in a match only once all year, that coming in a 3-2 Little East Conference victory over Keene State College Sept. 25. Named the conference's Defensive Player-of-the-Week once this year, Hickey has contributed two goals and two assists.

As a junior last year, Hickey was named fourth-team NSCAA All-New England Region, conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year  and first-team all-conference.

A Business major with a minor in Sustainable Energy Studies, Hickey has an overall 3.62 GPA as a member of the Honors Program. She has earned a spot on the conference Academic Honor Roll in all three years of eligibility (3.30+ GPA) and an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award (3.50+ GPA) in both years of eligibility. She is a member of the National Honor Society for Business majors.

Prior to this year, the program's only ESPN/CoSIDA regional academic award-winner was Carrie Fleischer, who earned second-team District 1 honors in 2005.

The No. 1 seed in the Little East Conference tournament, Eastern hosts the University of Massachusetts Boston Thursday at 4 p.m. in the tournament semifinals. The Warriors won their second outright LEC regular-season title with a 6-0-1 record. They are the defending conference tournament champions.

Men's Soccer: LEC Honors DeCasanova

In team's 2-0-0 week, he is named Offensive Player-of-the-Week


LEC25.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University sophomore midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) has been named Little East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Week in the sport of men's soccer for the week ending Oct. 31.

At left: Jon DeCasanova

DeCasanova had two goals in a 2-0-0 week as Eastern ended the regular season on a seven-game winning streak (6-0-1) and earned the No. 2 seed in the four-team LEC tournament, which gets underway with semifinal-round games Wednesday.

On Saturday, DeCasanova played the entire match for the 13th time this year and scored the only goal o with under five minutes left against visiting Plymouth State University. That win, coupled with Rhode Island College's overtime loss, gave the Warriors the second seed in the tournament and a semifinal home game against third-seeded Rhode Island at 6 p.m.

In an 8-1 home rout of Becker College Wednesday, DeCasanova  gave Eastern a 3-0 lead 83 seconds into the second half with a free kick.

A starting back last year, DeCasanova has played primarily at midfield this year, where he is second on the team in goals (7) and points (17) while starting all 18 matches. He ranks in a tie for sixth in the LEC in goals and tied for eighth in points.

The weekly honor is the first in the career of DeCasanova, who has started all 40 matches in two years. DeCasanova becomes the sixth different Eastern player to be honored this season, following junior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ), junior back Matt Esposito (East Haven), junior forward Matt Furman (Montville), sophomore back Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) and freshman back Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook).  Appel has been named Goalkeeper-of-the-Week twice, Esposito and Fletcher Defensive Players-of-the-Week once, Furman Offensive Player-of-the-Week once and Radlbeck Rookie-of-the-Week once.