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W-Basketball: Warriors Falter, 60-53

Dallas never trails after scoring first six points of second half to break tie

Box score.htm

pierlioni72_8470.jpgPHOENIX, Ariz. -- The University of Dallas broke a halftime tie by scoring the first six points of the second half to turn back the Eastern Connecticut State University  women's basketball team, 60-53, in the consolation game of the Grand Canyon Classic Thursday morning at Southwestern College.

At left: Amanda Pierlioni (44)

Simpson College (9-3) won the championship game, 93-67, Thursday over Ohio Northern University (10-2). In Wednesday's first round, Simpson had defeated  Dallas, 80-46, and Ohio Northern had beaten Eastern, 55-37.

A loser of three of four since winning its first seven games, Eastern (8-3) never led in the second half. Trailing by four, 57-53, with 64 seconds left, Eastern stole the ball but missed a three-point field goal. The Lady Crusaders (5-6) then sandwiched three free throws around Eastern's 23rd and final turnover for the final seven-point margin.

Eastern's best opportunity to move ahead came with just under four minutes left when senior guard Jessica Moriarty's (East Haven) three-point made it 53-51. Dallas followed by missing a shot and two free throws, but an Eastern turnover set up a pair of Dallas free throws that made it 55-51 with three minutes left.

In the second half, Eastern turned the ball twice as often as Dallas, totaling 15.

Scoreless in Wednesday's loss to Ohio Northern, Moriarty led Eastern with 19 points - equaling her season high and falling one point shy of her career best. Senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) recorded her first double-double of the season for Eastern with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds and also had four assists. Sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) also had 11 points. Behind Pierlioni, Moriarty, junior post Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI)  and sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) all had eight rebounds to lift Eastern to a 12-rebound margin over the Lady Crusaders.

Blodgett outscored the bench of Dallas, which got all but three of its points from its starters. Sophomore guard Kylie Yoshimura was among four double-digit scorers for the winners. Yoshimura scored 12 of her points in the second half, and keyed the team's performance in the final minutes by converting all six of her free throws. Senior forward Cara Sczepanski, the team's scoring leader, had 14 points and ten rebounds, junior forward Kelly Regan 13 points and seven rebounds and senior center Joirdan Cole ten points and eight rebounds.

The Lady Crusaders enjoyed a +9 advantage in free throws. Dallas was 16-of-25 from the stripe, Eastern just 7-of-9. After missing 22 of 24 three-pointers in Wednesday's loss, the Warriors were 6-of-14 against Dallas, with Moriarty sinking three.

Eastern returns to Little East Conference action Saturday at Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m.




W-Basketball: Warriors Fall Hard, 55-37

Following 17-day layoff, Warriors are 2-of-24 from three-point range in loss

Box Score.htm

whiteleydefense72_8433.jpgPHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgcouldn't shake off the rust of a 17-day layoff, the Warriors managing only 16 second-half points in a 55-37 inter-sectional loss to Ohio Northern University in the first game of the Grand Canyon Classic Wednesday morning at Southwestern College.

Above: On Wednesday, Eastern's defense rebounded from a 17-day layoff, but the offense did not.

In its first official competition since December 11, Eastern (8-2) managed only 16 second-half points and missed 22 of 24 three-pointers in the game in falling 35 points below its season scoring average in the first meeting ever between the programs.

On Thursday at noon EST, Eastern plays the University of Dallas in the tournament consolation game. Dallas (1-6) dropped an 80-46 decision to Simpson College (8-3) in Wednesday's second game, shooting just 27.9 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 31 times.

Off to its best start in program history, Ohio Northern (10-1) won its ninth straight while Eastern has lost two of its last three following a 7-0 start. The Warriors were playing their first game since routing Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference game  while the Polar Bears had been idle since defeating Ohio Athletic Conference foe Capital University this past Wednesday

Eastern allowed only six points more than its season average but converted only two of 24 three-pointers and shot just 24.1 percent (13-of-54) overall from the floor and and commited 21 turnovers.

The Warriors managed only 21 points in the first half but trailed by only six at halftime and by four after scoring the first bucket of the second half. Ohio Northern  broke the game open over the first six minutes of the second half with a 9-0 run. Eastern missed eight of ten field goals and turned the ball over four times in that stretch in falling back by 13, 38-25.

Eastern's defense held Ohio Northern's top three scorers in check but its starters countered with only 29 points and and were 1-of-15 from three-point range and 11-
of-42  (26.2 percent) overall from the floor. The Polar Bears came into the game holding opponents to a shooting percentage of just .339.

Senior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) scored a team and game-tying high of 12 points but was the only Eastern player in double figures. Sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) handed out a career-high 11 assists, giving her 19 helpers in the last two games.



Soccer: Two are Academic Honorees

For Hickey, honor follows All-America selection; Appel is second-teamer

Related story

Below: Hickey (at left) and Appel

hickey_head_72_2040.jpgappel_shirt_72_1982.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Followers of college soccer have long known of the on-field accomplishments of Eastern Connecticut State University's Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ).

That pair have now been officially recognized nationally for their achievements in the classroom as selections to their respective National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) College Scholar All-America College Division teams.

Both followed up their selections to their respective NSCAA Scholar All-East Region College Division teams by being named to the national scholar College Division All-America team. Hickey was one of six defenders chosen to the Scholar All-America women's first team and Appel was the lone goalkeeper named to the men's second team. Hickey is a senior and Appel a junior.

Hickey becomes the first member of the Eastern women's team and second member of the soccer program to receive both  NSCAA All-America and Scholar All-America accolades in the same season. Last week, the two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year became the second player from the women's program - first in 18 years - to gain NSCAA All-America honors when she was tabbed as a second-team pick.
Eastern Hall of Famer Glenn Judge is the only other member of the soccer program to earn both honors in the same season. In 1986, Judge was a second-team pick to both men's team.

 "Lauren and Carl excel both on the soccer field and in the classroom, and represent the very best in what a public liberal arts education is all about," praised Eastern interim Director of Athletics Michael J. Stenko. "These honors are well-deserved, and I know the entire Eastern community of alumni, administration, staff, faculty and students join with me in offering our congratulations.  We are very proud of them for their commitment as student-athletes."

Hickey72_3726.jpgHickey and Appel were the only regional or national academic representatives from the Little East Conference.

The NSCAA selected  four regional men's and four women's academic teams  throughout the country, with the first-team selections advancing to national consideration.  The East Region is comprised of student-athletes from four-year Division II and III institutions located on the east coast from Maine to Virginia and includes New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

At left: Lauren Hickey.

Hickey was among only six NSCAA Division III All-Americas nationwide - the only one from New England -- to additionally garner first-team Scholar All-America laurels.

Earlier this year, Hickey was additionally selected as the program's first first-team CoSIDA/ESPN College Division Academic All-District  1 selection.

A business major with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.62, Hickey has earned a spot on the LEC All-Academic Team in both soccer and basketball in all three years of eligibility and has received an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in both years of eligibility. Appel, a Sport and Leisure Management major with a 3.50 cumbulative GPA, has earned the conference academic honor in both seasons of eligibility and the E-Club award in his only season of eligibility to date.

Hickey helped the Warriors to their most accomplished season in the program's 25-year history, the Warriors going unbeaten until reaching the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The team was ranked first in New England (for the first time) for four consecutive weeks and earned a program-best No. 8 national ranking in early November on the way to a program record 16 wins against five ties and a single loss.

In the season-ending 2-0 loss to Williams College in the NCAA tournament, Hickey set a program record with her 77th career start. She appeared in all possible 79 games in her career fifth all-time) and set a program season record for field players with 1,965 minutes  (89.3 mpg.) this year and 6,891 (87.2 mpg.) in her career. This year, Hickey played every minute of the game 16 times, including the final 14 of her career. She wasappel1472dpi_6433.jpg on the field for all but 115 possible minutes in 22 matches.

Appel won out as a first-team Scholar All-East Region pick among 90 total selections to  first, second, third team and honorable mention regional teams. He was the only first-team regional pick at goalkeeper and one of only four Division III first-teamers at any position from New England on the first team.

At right: Carl Appel

Only two goalkeepers nationwide in Division II and III earned spots on the men's Scholar All-America College Division squad. Appel was joined by first-team pick Nate Sprenkel, a junior Psychology major with a 3.30 GPA from DePauw University. Two student-athletes from New England Division III institutions were named to the first team and two to the second (including Appel).

In his third starting season this past fall, Appel backstopped the men's team to its fourth straight post-season appearance and a final record of 14-4-3. The Warriors qualified for their second NCAA tournament in Appel's career and went on to the program's first-ever NCAA victory when Appel shut out homestanding Nichols College, 1-0,  in the opening round..

A second-team NSCAA All-New England Region and second-team All-LEC selection this past fall, Appel was the conference leader in all three major individual categories: shutouts (8), GAA (0.72) and save percentage (.877).

Among keepers over the last 20 years, Appel rates first in career GAA (0.83), second in full shutouts (20) and minutes (5,325)  and third in appearances (62) and starts (61).



Basketball: Warriors Back on the Beam

Women in action in Arizona Wednesday; men play in Pasadena Sunday

kelleher72_8410.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University basketball teams return to action this week after extended layoffs, playing back-to-back inter-sectional games against first-time opponents.

At left: Lauren Kelleher (14)

The women (8-1) compete in the Grand Canyon Classic Wednesday and Thursday  at Southwestern College in Phoenix, while the men (7-2) compete in the Holiday Classic in greater Los Angeles.

The women meet Ohio Northern University (9-1) at noon EST Wednesday in their first contest in 18 days. Thursday, the Warriors will face either Simpson College or the University of Dallas at either noon or 2 p.m. EST, depending on Wednesday's outcome.

The men return to California for the first time in nearly 20 years, facing Caltech (3-6)  Sunday at 5 p.m. EST in Pasadena their return to action following a three-week layoff , then square off with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (2-5) Monday at 7 p.m. EST in Claremont.Listen Live to men's tournament.

Both Eastern teams are coming off Little East Conference wins over Plymouth State at Geissler Gymnasium in their final contests prior to exams.  The women (2-0 LEC) routed the Panthers, 107-60, after coming off their only loss to date - a 79-55 over No. 1 nationally-ranked Amherst College at Amherst, MA. The men evened their conference record at 1-1 with an 82-65 win over Plymouth.

Similarities in women's teams

Eastern and Ohio Northern - and their head coaches - have a number of similarities as they prepare for their first meeting. 

Both clubs return all five of their starters from a year ago, when the Warriors finished 17-9 and the Polar Bears 16-11. Both are off to fast starts this year, the 9-1 mark ONU's best ever in program history. Eastern won its first seven before the loss at Amherst while the Polar Bears have won eight in a row after losing in the championship game of the Sodexho Classic to Hanover College Nov. 20 in Lexington, KY.

carter72_8349.jpgAfter clashing as opposing college players in the late 1980s, Eastern's Denise Bierly and ONU's Michele Durand - both raised in the Mideast -- face off as head coaches. Bierly and Duran went head-to-head several times as Western Buckeye Collegiate Conference rivals in Ohio, Bierly at the Defiance College and Durand at Bluffton University. Both current head coaches played point guard and remain among their respective school's all-time assist leaders. (After graduating, both also earned their Masters' Degrees at Bowling Green State University).

At right: Tanisha Carter (35)

Thus far this season, Eastern has beaten its opponents by an average of  23 points, has limited them to .316 shooting from the floor and holds a +17 rebounding average. The Polar Bears, similarly, have been winning by an average of 17 points, holding their opponents to a .339 field goal percentage and feature a +11 rebounding average.

While senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) and sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) rank 1-2 in scoring in starting roles, sophomore center Lauren Kelleher (Dart mouth, MA) and sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) have filled in off the bench as the team's third and fourth-leading scorers. All four are shooting at least 50 percent from the floor (Kelleher at .592).

Ohio Northern features impressive overall size, with its six most prominent players all standing at least 5-foor-10 inches tall.  Led by senior all-conference performer and top scorer Jeanne Bockey, ONU's top four scorers are all shooting at least 80 percent from the free throw line, having combined for a mark of .837 (77-of-92).

Bockey leads her team in scoring (14.4) and three-point field goals (20), with six-foot all-conference honorable mention pick junior Kara Dysert the runaway rebounding leader at 8.1. Junior Steph Hicks is shooting .727 from the floor and sophomore Joanna Snyder .523.

The Polar Bears are coming off a 65-52 Ohio Athletic Conference win Dec. 22 over Capital University, where Bierly spent two seasons as an assistant coach (helping the team to a national championship and second-place finish) before accepting her first head coaching assignment at Eastern in 1994.

Caltech men's program on upswing

ives_726901.jpgAt one time, a game against Caltech -- billed as the No. 1 engineering school in the world -- meant certain victory. No more.  Caltech has already won more games this year than in the two previous seasons combined (1-49 record).

At left: Joe Ives

The Beavers snapped a 44-game losing streak earlier this month as a springboard to its first three-game winning streak in 16 years. Dubbing itself as the "youngest team in the nation" last year with 11 freshmen and two juniors, Caltech is under the direction of third-year head coach Oliver Eslinger, a 1997 Clark University (MA) graduate who helped build the No. 1 engineering school in the East (MIT) into a Top 25 program as a six-year associate head coach in Cambridge.

Eslinger has led (in their own words) "the world's most brilliant student-athletes" to respectability in a short period of time. The 15 player s on the roster  represent ten different states - including Alaska, Pennsylvania  and Wisconsin - and two foreign countries (Germany and Australia).

Team scoring leader Ryan Elmquist is the only holdover from the previous  coaching regime. The 6-foot-5 inch senior averages 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Also averaging double figures are 6-foot-7 inch sophomore Mike Edwards (13.8 ppg./.955 free throw percentage) and freshman Todd Cramer (12.6).

The Eastern men have followed up  the second-winningest season in program history last year (20-10) with another encouraging start this season under ninth-year head coach Bill Geitner. The team's two losses have come by a total of four points, with the Warriors lugging a three-game winning streak into its first appearance on the west coast since 1992 (Eastern is 1-5 in two previous visits to greater LA).

sawyer_72_6982.jpgThe Warriors closed out the 2010 portion of their schedule with three straight home wins, all coming by at least ten points and each fashioned with less than ten turnovers.

At left: Broderick Sawyer

Junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) is one of Eastern's top defensive players and is also  its No. 1 scorer. Nedwick averages one-quarter of the team's points (18.4) and also tops the club in steals and three-point field goals and is second in assists. Junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) averages 10.0 points and a team-leading 8.3 rebounds, sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton)  8.7 points and 5.9 rebounds with a team-leading .681 shooting percentage, and senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk)  8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds and a .527 shooting mark. In his first season as a starter, sophomore point guard Joe Ives (Avon) is the squad's assist leader.

Senior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) has struggled offensively from the floor but is shooting .938 (15-of-16) from the foul line and contributes strong defense. Sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) is the first guard off the bench, bringing an .885 free throw percentage (23-of-26).

Soccer: Two Merit ECAC Recognition

Hickey is women's New England DIII Defensive Player-of-the-Year

Below: Hickey (at left), Smiles

hickey head 72_2040.jpgsmiles shirt 72_2012.jpgCAPE COD, Mass. -  Defenders Lauren HickeyWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg (Southwick, MA) and Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) of  Eastern Connecticut State University have been selected as 2010 ECAC New England Division III soccer all-stars. A senior, Hickey was additionally recognized as the women's Defensive Player-of-the-Year.

Hickey was one of 14 selections (four defenders) to the women's all-star team while Smiles, a junior, was tabbed as one of 12 picks (five defenders) to the men's team. In addition to the all-star teams, offensive, defensive and rookies of the year were selected for both the women's and men's teams. Last year, two 11-player teams were chosen for both the men and women, with Eastern forward Maxim Fantl being voted men's Offensive Player-of-the-Year.

Earlier this year, Hickey was named second-team All-America and first-team All-New England Region by the NSCAA, and also repeated as both a first-team All-Little East Conference all-star and LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Smiles was a first-team All-New England East Region selection by the NSCAA and repeated as a first team All-Little East Conference honoree.  Hickey was a fourth-team and Smiles a second-team All-New England Region pick in 2009.

Hickey helped the Warriors to their most accomplished season in the program's 25-year history, the Warriors going unbeaten until reaching the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The team was ranked first in New England (for the first time) for four consecutive weeks and earned a program-best No. 8 national ranking in early November on the way to a program record 16 wins against five ties and a single loss.

In the season-ending 2-0 loss to Williams College in the NCAA tournament, Hickey set a program record with her 77th career start. She appeared in all possible 79 games in her career fifth all-time) and set a program season record for field players with 1,965 minutes  (89.3 mpg.) this year and 6,891 (87.2 mpg.) in her career. This year, Hickey played every minute of the game 16 times, including the final 14 of her career. She was on the field for all but 115 possible minutes in 22 matches.

In the final conference statistics, the Eastern women finished 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.

Earlier this year, Hickey was additionally selected as the program's first first-team CoSIDA/ESPN College Division Academic All-District  1 selection. She is currently under consideration for NSCAA Scholar All-America.

A three-year starter, Smiles anchored the defense and took the team's free kicks and corner kicks. He started all 19 matches in which he appeared (missing two to injury) for the men's team, which qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament for the third time in the last four years and finished 14-4-3 and ranked sixth in New England.

Smiles averaged  85.6 minutes per game - second-best on the team - and played the entire match 12 times, including all three LEC and NCAA post-season tournament games. He was part of a defense which led the conference in shutouts (9), least goals allowed (16) and goals-against average (0.74). Smiles  also shared second place on the team with six assists, giving him the program's highest career assist total (24) since 1990.


Baseball: Warriors No. 26 in Pre Season

schult ecsu_72dpi1004.jpg

Complete Poll.pdf

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team has been ranked No. 26 nationally in the 2011 ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III national pre-season poll.

A winner of 31 of 46 games last year, Eastern returns 13 letterwinners from last year's team, which qualified for its 31st NCAA tournament in 35 years last season after qualifying for the New England Regional Tournament on an at-

Above: Jim Schult

large basis.

Both of last year's starting catchers return in Chris Cannata (Southington) and Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA), as well as regular outfielders Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), Robert Perry (Manchester) and Joe Cousineau (Newington), starting first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA), and regular corner infielder/outfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich). All but Cammuso (a junior) are seniors.

A righty, Schult is the only returning starter to the rotation and senior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) the only proven reliever from a year ago.

Top losses among 12 departed letterwinners from a team which dropped consecutive NCAA New England Regional tournament games for the first time since 1981 are All-America infielder Melvin Castillo, All-New England middle infielders Travis Bass and John Parke, All-Little East Conference outfielder Chris Thomson, All-LEC righty Matt Fontaine and additional top pitchers Will Musson and Benjamin Church, both righties. Also graduated is team appearance leader Wes Dutton.  All but Church were seniors.

After being ranked No. 3 in last year's national pre-season poll, Eastern opened the regular season at No. 23 with a 10-3 record. The Warriors peaked at No. 16 May 2 with a 26-9 record, were rated No. 24 heading into the NCAA tournament and concluded at No. 29 following NCAA tournament play.

Only one of the top 13 teams in last year's pre-season national poll advanced to the 2010 NCAA Division III national tournament, which was won by Illinois Wesleyan University over SUNY Cortland. Illinois Wesleyan was not ranked in last year's pre-season top 30 while Cortland was rated 17th. Others reaching the national tournament (with 2010 pre-season ranking in parenthesis) in addition to Cortland and No. 8 Shenandoah University were Heidelberg University (14th), UW-Stevens Point (24th) and Johns Hopkins University (30th). Linfield College and Massachusetts Boston, unranked in last year's pre-season poll along with Illinois Wesleyan, also won regional championships and moved on to the national tournament.

A 12-time NCAA regional champion since 1982 and four-time national champion, Eastern won regional titles five times in the first eight years of last decade, last claiming a national championship in 2002 with an 8-0 shutout of Marietta College in the championship round at Grand Chute, WI.

Eastern is scheduled to open its 43rd season under head coach Bill Holowaty (1,319-489-6) February 27 at 2007 NCAA Division III national champion Kean University and is scheduled to kick off its home campaign March 29 against Manhattanville College.

M-Lax: Vasil Pre-Season All-America

  Two-time national leader in faceoffs and ground balls repeats honor


Eric Vasil (at left)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Eastern Connecticut State University senior faceoffWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) has been named to the 2011 Face-Off Yearbook pre-season Division III All-America honorable mention men's lacrosse team for the second straight year.

The 5-foot-11 inch, 190-pounder was one of nine faceoff specialists named to the 80-man pre-season All-America team. He was one of four faceoff specialists from New England institutions and one of only two pre-season All-America selections at any position from a Little East Conference institution.

vasil actionWEB.jpgAt faceoff, Stevenson University senior Ray Witte was named first-team pre-season All-America, Colby College senior Craig Bunker second team and Cabrini College senior Mike Gurenilan third team. Stevenson is ranked second nationally in the Face-Off Yearbook's pre-season Top 20, Cabrini 13th.  Behind Vasil in last year's national faceoff statistics, Witte was rated 19th (.629), Bunker third (.724) and Gurenilan sixth (.679)  Vasil was second nationally in faceoffs won to Witte (300), who led Stevenson to last year's national semifinals.

At right: Eric Vasil (12)

Last year, Vasil repeated as the nation's statistical leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls per game en route to earning honorable mention USILA Division III All-America honors and being named first-team All-ECAC and second-team All-New England.

In the 2011 Face-Off Yearbook conference outlook, Eastern players commanded five of the 12 Little East Conference pre-season all-conference slots - the most of any conference team. Vasil was joined on the team by senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan), senior long-stick midfielder and captain Sean Leary (West Hartford), senior defenseman Ryan Schneeloch (Glastonbury) and junior defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY). Vasil and Albertson were first-team all-conference picks last year, Leary, Schneeloch and Flynn second-teamers.

Vasil has proven himself to be the nation's premier faceoff specialist for two straight seasons, leading Division III in faceoff percentage (.761) and ground balls per game (14.1) for the second straight year. Last spring, he finished well ahead of national runnerup J.J. Miller of Messiah College (.741) in faceoff percentage and decidedly better in ground balls per game than runner-up Stuart Knechtle (11.47) of Gordon College.

Over the course of the season, Vasil won less than half of his faceoffs in a game only once (against three different faceoff men from NCAA Division III national finalist Salisbury University). In eight conference games, he won 80.7 percent of his attempts, including 15 of 16 against Plymouth State, 20 of 22 against UMass Boston and 22 of 24 against Western Connecticut.

Against four national contenders other than Salisbury, he won 76.9 percent of his attempts (80-of-104).

In three years, Vasil is already the program's all-time leader in  career faceoff wins (671) and and winning percentage (.693). He needs two attempts to break the current career record of 969. Vasil set season records for faceoff percentage, wins and attempts as a sophomore in 2009, and broke those records last year. In addition to his nation-leading winning percentage, he set season records for wins (286) and attempts (376).

In his first season at Eastern last spring, Albertson led the Warriors in scoring (39-18-57). Leary started 16 of the team's 17 matches with 27 ground balls; Schneeloch started 15 of the team's 17 matches with 27 ground balls, and Flynn started all 16 matches in which he appeared and led all field players except Vasil with 34 ground balls.

Under fourth-year head coach Justin Axel (37-16/.698), the Warriors return 27 of last year's  31 letterwinners - including four of  their top six scorers, three of their top four defensemen and their No. 1 goalie -- from last year's 12-5  team. Under Axel, Eastern has won two Little East Conference regular season and one LEC post-season tournament championships and qualified for one NCAA tournament.

Eastern opens its 16th intercollegiate season March 2 when it hosts Stevens Tech, and plays its opening conference match a month later when it hosts the University of Southern Maine.



Women's Soccer: Hickey is All-America

Senior defender becomes second NSCAA selection in program history

hickey_action72 583.jpg

hickey head 72_2040.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- To put the magnitude of the accomplishment in historical context, Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) was still in diapers the last time an Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer player was named as an All-America.

Wednesday, the senior defender Lauren Hickey became the first player in the program to be named to the All-America team in 18 years when she was selected as a second team Division III All-America by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA). The All-America team is sponsored by Performance Subaru.

Above: Lauren Hickey (dark jersey) (Liz Cutler photo)

A four-year starter for the Warriors, Hickey was one of 14 second-team choices to the 41-player team, which included 13 players on the first team and 14 on each of the second and third teams. In all, a total of 13 defenders were named.

A two-time All-New England Region and two-time Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Hickey was the only selection from the Little East and one of five All-America picks from New England institutions.

Until Wednesday,  Lisa Matukaitis had remained the only All-America in program history when she earned third-team NSCAA honors in 1992. Hickey becomes the fourth individual in 75 years of Eastern men's and women's soccer to be named All-America. Defender Kyle Bedini in 2008 and forward Glenn Judge in 1986 represent the men's program as All-Americas.

"When Lauren came here, she certainly was an athlete. She was fast, and pretty fit.  And through hard work and determination, she really became a complete soccer player, as far as technically and tactically," praised 11th-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio. "And on top of that, she was a great leader for us the last couple of years. She led by example. "

Hickey helped the Warriors to their most accomplished season in the program's 25-year history, the Warriors going unbeaten until reaching the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The team was ranked first in New England (for the first time) for four consecutive weeks and earned a program-best No. 8 national ranking in early November on the way to a program record 16 wins against five ties and a single loss.

hickey_family_300dpi_5x7_5449.jpgIn the season-ending 2-0 loss to Williams College in the NCAA tournament, Hickey set a program record with her 77th career start. She appeared in all possible 79 games in her career fifth all-time) and set a program season record for field players with 1,965 minutes  (89.3 mpg.) this year and 6,891 (87.2 mpg.) in her career. This year, Hickey played every minute of the game 16 times, including the final 14 of her career. She was on the field for all but 115 possible minutes in 22 matches.

At left: Lauren Hickey celebrated her final season as the program's first All-America selection since 1992.

This year, Hickey became the first player in the nine-year history of the LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year Award  to win it in consecutive season. She also repeated as a first-team all-conference, earning honors for the third time. She played all but 115 minutes all season, playing the entire match in the final 14 games of her career, and led all field players in minutes for the third straight year. Offensively, she totaled a season-best eight points on two goals and four assists and ended her career with six goals and 18 points.

In the final conference statistics, Eastern finished 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.

Earlier this year, Hickey was additionally selected as the program's first first-team CoSIDA/ESPN College Division Academic All-District  1 selection. She is currently under consideration for NSCAA Scholar All-America.


Pos., Player Name, Class, School, Hometown
K, Alli Novak, Sr., Illinois Wesleyan University, Naperville, Ill.
D, Leigh-Anne Borkowski, Sr., Carleton College, Elverta, Calif.
D, Jenny Knox**, Sr., Otterbein College, Gahanna, Ohio
D, Jenn Paulucci*, Sr., Johns Hopkins University, Manalapan, N.J.
D, Lindsay Schmitt, Sr., Skidmore College, Mendon, Mass.
M, Alexandra Brandt, So., Messiah College, Annapolis, Md.
M, Taylor Moesle, So., Augustana College (Ill.), Orland Park, Ill.
M, Amanda Naeher**, Sr., Messiah College, Seymour, Conn.
M, Sara Wild, Sr., Williams College, Portland, Ore.
F, Jessica Babice*, Sr., Rowan University, Groveville, N.J.
F, Amy Kuykendall, Sr., Hardin-Simmons University, Weatherford, Texas
F, Brelynn Nasypany**, Sr., William Smith College, Herkimer, N.Y.
F, Jaime Orewiler, Jr., Wheaton College (Ill.), Wheaton, Ill.
K, Rebecca Roth, Jr., Hardin-Simmons University, Weatherford, Texas
D, Lauren Gorodetsky, Fr., Emory University, Palm City, Fla.
D, LAUREN HICKEY, Sr., Eastern Connecticut, Southwick, Mass.
D, Sarah Nolet, Sr., Tufts University, Los Altos, Calif.
D, Ali Ruddy, Sr., William Paterson University of  New Jersey, Wayne, N.J.
D, Sarah Zembrodt, Sr., Transylvania University, Edgewood, Ky.
M, Jordan Azar, Sr., Trinity University, Albuquerque, N.M.
M, Mary Jean Cornelius, Sr., University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, West Bend, Wis.
M, Annie McCarthy, Jr., The College of New Jersey, Brick, N.J.
F, Jennifer Clemmer, Sr., Denison University, Hixson, Tenn.
F, Ellen Coleman*, Jr., University of Rochester, Wauwatosa, Wis.
F, Emily Hinchman, So., Illinois Wesleyan University, Geneva, Ill.
F, Betsy Kwiatkowski, Sr., Lynchburg College, Mount Jackson, Va.
F, Katy Wendt, Jr., Wartburg College, Bettendorf, Iowa
K, Jackie Law, So., Arcadia University, Scotch Plains, N.J.
D, Chelsea Albert, Sr., Ohio Northern University, Plain City, Ohio
D, Claire Denz, Sr., University of Chicago, Wheaton, Ill.
D, Courtney Price, Sr., Springfield College, Enfield, Conn.
D, Alessia Viscomi*, Sr., Wheaton College (Mass.), Newton, Mass.
M, Lindsay Keyser, Jr., Plattsburgh State University, Keeseville, N.Y.
M, Sinead Vaughan, Jr., California Lutheran University, Simi Valley, Calif.
F, Brittany Garr, Sr., Centre College, Louisville, Ky.
F, Sam Johnson*, Sr., Concordia College-Moorhead, Fargo, N.D.
F, Abby Loar, Jr., Trinity University, Littleton, Colo.
F, Rachael Palladino, So., Ithaca College, Lansing, N.Y.
F, Chelsea Paskman*, Sr., University of Scranton, Chalfont, Pa.
F, Carly Prins, Sr., Calvin College, Hudsonville, Mich.
F, Kate Young, Jr., Loras College, Roscoe, Ill.
*indicates prior selection


WATCH LIVE: Saturday, January 15 vs. KEENE STATE, 1 p.m.


Eastern swimmer's passion for her sport benefitting cancer patients

By Dana McLaughlin Sports Information Internjensen_slide_1844.jpg

jensen_head_72_4216.jpgSince grammar school, Eastern Connecticut State University sophomore Darcy Jensen of Orange has combined her love of swimming with a concern for others for the benefit of cancer victims.

Darcy Jensen (above and right)

A second-year member of the Eastern women's swim team, Jensen participated in a SWIM Across the Sound Charity event for the tenth consecutive year. The charity is run by St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport and hosts several types of events annually whose proceeds are put towards helping cancer patients. The event Jensen has participated in since she was in fourth grade is a swim-a-thon type event put on by the SWIM Across the Sound Foundation.

Jensen got involved at such a young age after a relative was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she has been participating annually since. The event she participates in takes place at the Fairfield University pool and there are several ways that people can participate. Swimmers can get pledges per lap, or they can collect general donations.

 "My first year, my aunt pledged $5 per lap, I swam 105 laps that year so she had to pay $525 to the SWIM Across the Sound Fund," remembers Jensen, a two-year member of the Eastern program who participates in the freestyle and backstroke. "But after the first year,  everyone learned to just donate a flat fee rather than waiting to hear how many laps I swam."

Before Jensen participates, she makes efforts to reach out to family and friends by sending messages informing people of the event, what it supports, and how to get involved. She generally swims about 200 laps each time  - depending upon her fitness level in any given year - which means about two hours of non-stop swimming.

The Fund was started by St. Vincent's Medical Center in 1987 with the original event of the 25 kilometer swim from Port Jefferson, NY to Captain's Cove in Bridgeport. Since then it has evolved into 35 separate events from individual swim-a-thons to luncheons to walk/run events.

The dollars raised by this organization provides cancer education, screening, prevention programs, and helping individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific needs such as transportation to treatments and appointments, medication assistance, and support groups.



W-Swimming: Pair are LEC Honorees

Arisco, Rivers selected LEC top weekly swimmer and rookie, respectively


Arisco (at left), Rivers (below, right)

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Senior Amy LEC25.jpgArisco (Wallingford) and freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden) have been recognized as the Little East Conference swimmer and rookie-of-the-week for their performances during the week ending December 12.

In the team's third straight dual win of the season Saturday (a 149-110 victory at Bridgewater State University), Arisco swam the fastest times in all three of her events. In her first tries ever in both the 500 (5:34.84) and 1,000 (11:39.82) yard freestyle, the team co-captain was the first to touch the wall. She also posted the fastest time in her specialty event - the 100 individual medley (1:05.18).
The weekly honor is the first this year for Arisco and fifth in her four-year career. As a sophomore, she was selected Swimmer-of-the-Week on Dec. 14 after earning Rookie-of-the-Year accolades three times as a freshman in 2007/08.

rivers_72_7628.jpgRivers won a pair of individual events at Bridgewater State, capturing the 50 freestyle (25.96) and 50 butterfly (28.55). Her time in the 50 freestyle was just .75 seconds shy of the program. At Bridgewater, Rivers had the second-fastest time in the 100 individual medley (1:09.69) behind Arisco.

Rivers was named the conference's top rookie for the second time in three weeks of balloting. She was also recognized in the first weekly report on Nov. 22 for her performances through the first five meets of the season. In those meets, she collected six firsts in individual events in the freestyle and butterfly and six firsts in the freestyle and medley relays. She placed 12th in her collegiate debut in the Blue Jay Pentathlon Oct. 23, won  the 50 and 100 freestyle against Assumption and Western Conn. and the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly in the UMass Dartmouth Invitational.

Earlier this year, Arisco earned All-Little East Conference honors four times and Rivers three times at the Tenth Annual LEC Championships. Arisco won the 200 freestyle and 400 IM in program-record times and was second in the 100 butterfly and with the 400 freestyle relay. In addition to the 400 freestyle relay, Rivers swam to second-place finishes in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

Arisco currently holds all three of the program's individual medley records, the 50 butterfly and 200freestyle records and has contributed to four of the program's five relay records.
Eastern returns to competition Jan. 15, hosting Keene State College at 1 p.m.

W-Track: Gingras NE Qualifier Again

At Harvard, sophomore reaches five feet in HJ for fourth time in career


Complete listing of Eastern's finishers.pdf

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --   Eastern Connecticut State University sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton) qualified for post-season competition in the high jump for the second straight season  Saturday at the Harvard University Open Track & Field Meet at the Gordon Track & Tennis Center on the Harvard campus.

Gingras's mark of 5-0 ½ puts her in the New England Division III Championships in late February. It was Gingras's fourth jump of at least five feet in less than two years of indoor competition. She set the program record of 5-feet-3 inches last January 30 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational. Last year, Gingras jumped 5-0 ¼ in the New England meet, good enough for a tie for 12th.

Last week, freshman Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) reached the New England Division III Championships high jump standard with a leap of 4-11 ¾, good for third place. Saturday, Hultzman broke five feet, matching Gingras's mark and placing 13th in a field of 32. Gingras was 14th.

Additional top performances Saturday were turned in by sophomore Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and freshman Katie France (Portland). Charpentier was 64th in a field of 112 at 200 meters and 46th among 73 at 400 meters. France was 30th among 63 at 800 meters and 32nd among 66 participants in the mile. In addition to the high jump, Gingras posted a 19th-place finish in a field of 30 perfromers in the triple jump.

The non-scoring meet attracked Division I, II and III and unaffiliated competitors, with several events including upwards of 150 performers. A total of 14 Eastern competitors competed.

Eastern is idle for seven weeks until participating in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational Jan. 29.

M-Track: Pates is Pace-Setter at Harvard

In team's second meet of year, he excels in four events for Warriors


Complete listing of Eastern's finishers.pdf

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --   Eastern Connecticut State University junior Nick Pates (East Haven) finished among the top 50 percent in three events Saturday at the Harvard University Open Track & Field Meet at the Gordon Track & Tennis Center on the Harvard campus.

Competing in his first indoor meet of the year, Pates was 42nd among 150 competitors at 200 meters, 22nd among 77 at 400meters , and 38th in a field of 86 at 6 0 meters. Pates also competed with the 4x400 yard relay which took tenth place in a field of 23.

The non-scoring meet attracted Division I, II and III and unaffiliated competitors, with several events including upwards of 150 performers. A total of 18 Eastern competitors competed.

Addition top performances were submitted by freshman Brody Secore (South Windsor), and sophomores Colin Whiston (Brooklyn), Tim Callahan (Portland) and Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) at 800 meters and freshman Andrew Prince (Orange) at 60 and 200 meters.

In a field of 74 at 800 meters, Secore was 18th overall, Whiston 22nd, Callahan 24th and Franklin tied for 26th. Prince was 29th in a field of 86 at 60 meters and 41st among 150 at 200 meters.

Joining Pates on the 440 yard relay were Franklin, Secore and Callahan.

Eastern is idle for seven weeks until participating in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational Jan. 29.


Women's Swimming: Unchallenged

 Warriors record fastest times in all 14 swimming events in 149-110 win


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University's swimmers recorded the fastest times in all 14 swimming events - including the top three fastest times in five individual events - on the way to a 149-110 victory over Bridgewater State University Saturday afternoon at BSU's Mary Jo Moriarty Pool.

Above: Becky Odgers

Eastern (3-1) has won three straight dual meets since an opening loss to Division II Assumption College and has won the last three dual meets with Bridgewater (1-7) since losing the first three in the series.

Eastern swimmers posted the top three fastest times in the 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 50 butterfly and 100 individual medley.

Senior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) won the 1,000 freestyle and posted the fastest times in the 500 freestyle and 100 individual medley while swimming them on an exhibition basis. Junior Nadine Menard (Woodstock) won the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke and was the first swimmer to touch the wall while swimming the 100 freestyle on an exhibition basis. Freshman Amanda Rivers (Meriden) captured the 50 freestyle and posted the fastest time while swimming the 50 butterfly on an exhibition basis. Her time of 25.96 in the freestyle was just three-quarters of a second off the program record.

Junior Samantha Armitage (Bristol) won the 100 freestyle and four freshmen in addition to Rivers also placed first: Colleen King (Barkamsted) in the 50 breaststroke, Becky Odgers (Shelton) in the 200 freestyle, Michelle Schapp (Torrington) in the 100 backstroke and Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia, NY) in the 50 backstroke.

The Warriors also won the 200 medley relay (Tromp, Menard, junior Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) and junior Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield)) and had the fastest time in the 200 freestyle on an exhibition basis (Tromp, freshman Marissa Colley (East Haven), sophomore Laurswim3BSU72dpi_7751.jpgen Curtis (Hamden) and Odgers).

Eighteen of Bridgewater's points came in two diving events (Eastern does not offer diving) and the Bears were also awarded all of the points when the Warriors swam the last four events on an exhibition basis.

Eastern hosts Keene State College Saturday, January 15 at 1 p.m.


M-Basketball: Nedwick Offensive in WIn

Junior guard scores 13 consecutive team points to pace Warriors, 82-65

nedwickpsu72_8702.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior guardLEC25.jpg Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) scored the final three points of the first half with a three-pointer and the team's first ten of the second half in sparking the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to an 82-65 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Plymouth had no answers for Nick Nedwick (22) Saturday in the Warriors' 82-65 triumph. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Last year's Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Nedwick led Eastern (7-2, 1-1 little east) in scoring for the eighth time in nine games with a season-high 29 on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor (5-of-6 from three-point range) as one of the team's five double-figure scorers.

After losing 12 straight games against Plymouth (5-4, 0-2 little east), the Warriors have now won six of the last eight and avenged an overtime loss to the Panthers the last time the clubs met in Willimantic.  Plymouth was held ten points under its season scoring average, the Panthers having totaled at least 80 points four times this season.

Now averaging 24.7 points in the team's recent three-game (home) winning streak, Nedwick provided the Warriors with a seven-point halftime cushion with a three-pointer at the buzzer, then single-handedly outscore Plymouth 10-5 in the opening minutes of the second half as the Warriors moved out to a 12-point, 47-35 advantage. The lead never fell under ten points after sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton) swished two free throws with 12 minutes left in the game and the lead crested at 20 in the final minutes.

Nedwick, who shot .643 from the floor and .786 (11-of-14) from  the foul line with nine three-pointers and nine rebounds in this week's three wins, tossed in 19 of the team's 45 points in the second half. He was 7-of-9 from the field (3-of-4 from three-point range) without a turnover after the break.

Senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) followed Nedwick witih 14 points. and sophomore guard Joe Ives (Avon) tied his season high with 11 points to go along with five assists. Sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terrvylle) and Robitaille both came off the bench for 11 and ten points, respectively, and combined for nine rebounds. Garrow scored nine of his points from the stripe, hitting all eight of his attempts in the second half.  Senior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) led all Eastern players with eight rebounds.

The Warriors outscored Plymouth by ten points off turnovers and commited less than ten (8) for the third straight game and fourth time this year. After getting outrebounded by nine in the first half, Easten outrebounded the visitors by six over the final 20 minutes behind Robitaille and Garrow and junior forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury), who had all four of his boards after the break.

Plymouth senior guard Ryan Lambert more than doubled his season scoring average by netting a game-high 34. Lambert, who had 22 of his team's 35 after the break, hit half of his 20 field goals and 11 of 13 free throws to go along with five rebounds and three steals.  He was the only Panther in double figures. Senior forward Tom Dowd had nine points and nine rebounds and senior center Bill Stowell seven points and eight rebounds for the visitors, who missed 11 of 14 three-pointers.

Eastern plays Cal Tech Jan. 2 in Pasadena and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Jan. 3 in Claremont.

W-Basketball:Warriors Pound Plymouth

They shoot season-high 54 percent from floor in Little East victory


LEC25.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team put together a 17-5 run midway through the first half and coasted to a 107-60 victory over Plymouth State University in Little East Conference action Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Piper Chapman looks for room against Amanda Kania and Colleen O'Hara of Plymouth State Saturday. (Stephene Goomrigian photo)

Ranked 23rd nationally, Eastern (8-1, 2-0 little east) shot a season-high 54.4 percent from the floor  and commited a season-low 12 turnovers en route to its 16th consecutive victory over Plymouth (7-2, 1-1 little east). The Panthers had won seven straight following a season-opening loss but shot just 27.3 percent from the floor and were outrebounded by 24.

Coming off its first loss of the season at No. 1-ranked Amherst College Thursday, Eastern got points and rebounds from all 12 players in uniform Saturday. Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) led Eastern with a season-high 19 points (one shy of her career high), career-high 12 rebounds and season-high eight assists and was joined in double figures by sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford), sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic), sophomore center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) and sophomore guard Samantha Riccio (Avon).

Blodgett tied her career-high with a season-high 16 points in posting double figures for the fourth straight game, Kelleher adding 14 points and eight rebounds and Riccio 11 points - her highest output since the season-opener.

Kelleher, Blodgett and Riccio all came off the bench, while  senior guard Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and first-year sophomore transfer forward McKenzie Hyde (Colchester) both scored their first (two) points of the year after joining the team following the completion of the soccer season.

Moriarty (9-of-11), Carter (8-of-11), Kelleher (6-of-9) and Blodgett (6-of-8) combined to shoot .744 percent (29-of-39)  from the floor.

Senior forward Amanda Kania totaled nearly one third of Plymouth's points, finishing with 19 and a team-high eight rebounds as the only Panther with as many as ten points.  Averaging a combined 30 points per game entering play, junior forward Alicia Doucet and freshman guard Sammie Walker combined for only eight points on 1-for-13 shooting from the floor.

Moriarty scored her 900th career point in the game and now has 916 in 93 career games (9.8 ppg.).

Eastern competes in the Grand Canyon Classic Dec. 29-30 at Phoenix, opening against Ohio Northern University.


W-Basketball: Amherst Too Much

Ranked first in Division III, Lord Jeffs take battle of unbeatens, 79-55

Box score.pdf


AMHERST, Mass. -- In a battle of undefeated nationally-ranked teams, Amherst College outscored Eastern Connecticut State University 15-3 over the final four minutes of the first half and was never threatened in the second half on the way to a 79-55 women's basketball victory Thursday night at LeFrak Gymnasium.

At right; Jessica Moriarty drives for two of her team-high 13 points.
Amherst (9-0) is ranked first in Division III, Eastern (7-1) No. 23. The hosts won their 34 straight game on their home court.
Amherst got 11 of its final 15 points of the first half from reserves, with Kristyn Dunleavy scoring six on two three-point field goals and Jackie Renner scoring five by penetrating on a set play for two and converting a conventional three-point play.

The Lord Jeffs have won its game this year by an average of just under 40 points, averaging 80 points per game.

Averaging just under nine three-point field goals per game on 35 percent shooting behind the arc, Amherst canned ten  on 24 tries- the most allowed by the Warriors this year. The hosts shot 52.5 percent from the floor and limited Eastern to 39.0 percent and forced the Warriors into a season-high 25 turnovers.

While Amherst's bench players swung the tide permanently in Amherst's favor late in the first half, its starters outscored Eastern's first five by 21 points.  Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) was the only Eastern starter in double figures, finishing with a team-high 13 points. The team's four other starters managed only 22. Sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) came off the bench for 12 points.

Featuring a balanced offense this year, Amherst was led by sophomore guard Marcia Voigt and senior forward Jaci Daigneault. The duo combined for 36 points and a .625 shooting percentage (15-for-24). Junior guard Shannon Finucane dropped in three of her game total of four field goals from three-point range and finished with 11 points.  Daigneault led the hosts with six rebounds and did not turn the ball over in 30 minutes

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference game Saturday at 1 p.m..


Soccer: Five are All-New England

Smiles and Hickey are first-team picks, D'Ambrosio Coach-of-the-Year

hickey head 72_2040.jpgsmiles shirt 72_2012.jpg

Hickey (far left) and SmilesWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Defenders Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) and Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) have been selected first-team Division III All-New England Region by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) Division III as two of five Eastern Connecticut State University selections.

Smiles was a second-team selection to the men's East team as a sophomore in 2009 and Hickey a fourth-team pick to the women's team as a junior last year. Smiles was joined on the all-region men's team by junior teammates Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and Matt Furman (Montville). Both were second-team and first-time picks, Appel at goalkeeper and Furman at forwarddambrosio WEB_2751.jpg

At right: Chris D'Ambrosio.

Sophomore forward Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) was a third-team pick to the women's all-region team as a first-time selection while 11th-year head Chris D'Ambrosio was named New England Region Coach-of-the-Year after leading the Warriors to a 21-match unbeaten streak and rankings as a high as first in New England and No. 8 nationally. The honor was the first in the career of D'Ambrosio, who was named Little East Conference Coach-of-the-Year last month.

It marks the second straight year that as many as three Eastern players have been named to the all-region men's team in one season. First and second All-New England East and All-New England West teams were named this season, the second time that the New England region was divided into two sections. Twenty-four players were named in the West and 22 in the East.

The selections of Hickey and Buchanan to the 40-player all-region women's team give the Warriors 12 all-region selections under D'Ambrosio.

A first-team all-conference selection Smiles started all 19 matches in which he appeared for the Warriors, averaging 85.6 minutes and sharing second place on the team with six assists. A first-team LEC all-star, Furman led the team in goals (9), assists (8) and points (26) despite missing six matches with injury. A second-team all-conference pick, Appel appeared in 20 matches in net with 19 starts with a 0.72 goals-against average and .877 save percentage.

Eastern finished 14-4-3 under fourth-year head coach Greg DeVito and won its first NCAA tournament game in a 1-0 win over Nichols College before losing to national semifinalist Bowdoin College, 2-1, in the second round.

Hickey 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... She played all but 115 minutes all season, playing the entire match in the final 14 games of her career, and led all field players in minutes for the third straight year

Buchanan was a first-team  all-conference pick this year who finished  sixth in the conference in goals (13) and points (28) and tied for third in game-winning goals. She had a point in 13 of the final 14 regular-season matches and counted five game-winners during the year.

Under D'Ambrosio (135-61-21 record), the Warriors captured the Little East Conference regular season outright for the second time in six years and concluded with a program-record 16 wins against a loss and five ties after winning the regional tournament with their first-ever NCAA wins before losing to Williams, 2-0, in the sectional opener.They were ranked second in New England and 14th nationally in final polls.

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 uder D'Ambrosio, voted the LEC Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in ten years.


M-Basketball: Levy Assists with Win


WATCH: Head Coach BIll Geitner's Post-Game Reaction (2:05) (Dana McLaughlin interview)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Endicott College men's basketball team shot 59 percent from the floor in the second half but couldn't wipe out a 14-point halftime deficit as Eastern Connecticut State University led from start to finish in an 85-75 non-conference victory Wednesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Jamie Kohn (32) submitted his third double-double of the season Wednesday night against Endicott. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

The teams played virtually on even terms after Eastern (6-2) scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed thereafter. Endicott (3-4) has lost four straight. The win was the second in as many year for the Warriors over the Gulls after having lost three in a row in this series.

Both teams had five players in double figures but Eastern's bench outcored the Endicott bench 32-19. Senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and junior forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury) both had ten points and three rebounds off the bench for the Warriors, who also got a game-high 20 points from junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) and 16 points and 13 rebounds from junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia). Levy had five second-half assists, finding Kohn cutting to the basket three times for key baskets as the Gulls were pushing to make it a two-possession game on several occasions.

Now 5-1 at home, Eastern missed 14 of 17 three-point field goal attempts  but posted season-highs with 26 free throws and 38 attempts. The Warriors also had less than ten turnovers for the second straight game, totaling nine for the second straight time.

Shooting 59.1 percent from the floor and making 17 of 24 free throws in the second half, the Gulls quickly cut Eastern's 14-point halftime lead to single digits, getting as close as five points with nine minutes left on a pair of Jordan Lewis free throws. Kohn scored off his own offensive rebound with seven minutes left after Endicott had pulled to within seven, and Levy answered with an offensive rebound and bucket with four minutes left after the Gulls had again cut the Eastern lead to six with four minutes left.

Four of Levy's career-high five assists came in the final six minutes when he found Kohn three times and Sawyer once in open space. In one stretch, Levy contributed to five straight baskets by scoring one himself (on the offensive rebound) and assisting on the other four. Levy also came up with a game-high four steals.

A key stretch in the game when team scoring leader Nedwick went to the bench with his fourth personal foul and Eastern leading by seven. With Nedwick out of action, sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton) scored five points, Kohn four and Levy two to help the Warriors maintain add a point to their lead by the time Nedwick returned with four minutes left.Robitaille had 11 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. He was 5-for-7 from the floor and is now shooting a team-leading .718 from the field. 

While Endicott featured 11 freshmen, the Gulls also had six players standing 6-foot-6 or taller.

Aaron Karkow led Endicott with 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor. Hayden Paloze, who had scored only seven points this season, added 14 points off the bench (5-for-6 from the floor, 4-for-6 from the line) in 15 minutes. He also had five rebounds and two assists. Six-foot-eight inch Eric Callo added 13 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes and team scoring leader Lachlan Magee had 12 points and five rebounds. Magee, Karkow and Callo combined to sink 17 of 23 field goals.

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University in a Little  East Conference game Saturday at 3 p.m.


Women's Basketball: Complete Game

Ranked No. 23 nationally, Warriors ease to seventh straight, 74-49


chapman72D706323.jpgWESTFIELD, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team used a 15-2 run over six minutes early in the second half to expand  a seven-point lead on the  way to its seventh straight win to open the season - a 74-49 non-conference ictory over Westfield State University, 74-49 Tuesday night at the Woodward Center.

At left: Piper Chapman (40) and Samantha Riccio (24) close in on Westfield's Nania Ortiz in the second half of Tuesday's non-conference win. (David Harris-Fried photo)

Ranked No. 23 nationally, Eastern (7-0) turned the ball over a season-low ten times, doubled Westfield's (5-3) rebounding total (47-24), sank 23 of 27 free throws and outscored the Owls 23-7 off the bench. Eastern entered the game outscoring its opponent by +26.3 and outrebounding them +16.7.

Sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points to lead a balanced Eastern offense to its 18th straight win over Westfield.  She also grabbed six rebounds.   Sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and junior forward  Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) each posted double-doubles. Carter had her second double-double of the year and fifth in her career with 12 points and ten rebounds. Chapman recorded her first double-double of the year and second of her career with 12 points and ten rebounds. Senior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) added 11 points and four assists and senior guards Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) and Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) ten points and eight rebounds, respectively.

The Warriors seized the momentum midway through the first half by outscoring the Owls 10-2 over a span of 6:30 and by 16-4 over the final 9:30 of the first half to open up a 12-point, 34-22 halftime advantage. Whiteley hit all four of her field goals and scored a team-high nine points in the first half, with Chapman pulling down eight rebounds. The Warriors turned the ball over only three times over the first 20 minutes.

It marks the third time under 17th-year head coach Denise Bierly that Eastern has won at least its first seven games. In 2001/02, the Warriors opened the season 11-0 on the way to a 26-3 mark and three years ago, captured their first 12 games en route to a 24-5 mark and Little East Conference title and NCAA tournament berth. Eastern opened with a 4-3 record after seven games a year ago.

Eastern visits No. 1 Amherst College Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


W-Basketball: National Debut at No. 23

Following 6-0 start, Warriors appear in third weekly USA Today poll


Top 25 Poll.pdf

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  After winnings its first six games by an average of more than 25WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg points, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team is ranked 23rd in the  third weekly USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25 Coaches' Poll, released today.

Eastern is one of seven New England institutions represented in the Top 25 and is the highest-ranked of two Little East Conference schools.  Eastern was last ranked in the Top 25 in mid-February of 2009 when it as rated 17th following a 21-2 start on the way to a final 25-4 record and an NCAA tournament berth.

Among the team's wins this year are those against perennial post-season contenders Tufts University (57-43) and Emmanuel College (73-55) and a 67-36 triumph over 2009/10 NCAA qualifier Manhattanville College.

The Warriors are outscoring their opponents by a +26.3 margin and outrebounding them by +16.7. They are coming off a 71-47 victory over host Rhode Island College in their Little East Conference opener Saturday.

Among New England teams in the Top 25, Eastern faces No. 1 Amherst College Thursday and No. 13 Williams College Jan. 27 on the road. The Warriors also meet No. 25 Western Connecticut State University in a conference home-and-home series in the second half of their schedule.

Eastern visited Westfield State University Tuesday at 7 p.m.

W-Track: Hultzman Qualifies in Debut

In first meet, she meets New England Championships standard in HJ

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  Freshman Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) qualified for post-season competition in her first collegiate meet when the Eastern Connecticut State University women's track and field team opened its 2010/11 season at the Springfield College Invitational Saturday.

A total of 11 performers recorded points for the Warriors, who totaled 33 points and finished fifth in a five-team field won by Springfield College (239.5 points).

Hultzman took third in a field of 13 with a mark of 4-11 ¾ in the high jump to capture six points and qualify for the Division III New England Championships Feb. 19 at MIT. Her mark of 1.52 meters exactly equaled the qualifying standard.

Sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton) also had six points with a fourth-place finish in the high jump (4-9 ¾) and a second-place finish among 12 in the triple jump (32-2 ¼). Hultzman and Gingras both competed in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.

 Junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull), last year's Little East Conference outdoor champion at 10,000 meters, was second by less than five seconds in the mile in a time of 5:41.18. She recorded a team-best eight points for her efforts.

Others contributing one point each in individual events were sophomore Denica Gagnon (Colchester)  and freshmen Katie France (Portland) and Amy Huhn (Hebron). Gagnon was sixth in the 800, France sixth at 3,000 meters and Huhn tied for fifth in the pole vault. The 4x200 and 4x800 relay teams combined for ten points. Comprising the 4x200 were junior Elise Zarcaro (Enfield), senior Stephanie Noheimer (Willimantic), sophomore Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and senior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester). The 4x800 relay included Quinones, freshman Brittany Lane (Colchester) , France and Gingras.
Eastern competes at the Harvard University Invitational Saturday at 10 a.m.

M-Track: Warriors Open at Springfield

Callahan, Secore and Prince all excel for Warriors, who are fifth in invite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  Sophomore Tim Callahan (Portland) was third at 800 meters  and freshman Brody Secore (South Windsor) third at 600 meters and freshman Andrew Prince (Orange) ran to fifth-place finishers in large fields at 55 and 200 meters Saturday when the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field team opened its 2010/11 season at the Springfield College Invitational.

As a team, Eastern managed 31 points in finishing a distant fifth in a five-team field won by host Springfield College (182).

Callahan was timed in 2:02.52 and Secore in 1:26.86 as each shared the team high with six points. Prince was timed in 6.82 in the final of the 55 meters in an original field of 19. He was also timed in 24.13 in a field of 26 at 200 meters.

Also collecting six points was the 4x800 meter relay team which took third among five teams. Running for Eastern were Secore, senior Ken Landry (East Hampton),  sophomore Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) and Callahan.

Eastern competes at the Harvard University Invitational Saturday at 10 a.m.


W-Swimming: New Names,Same Game?

On Saturday, young but talented Warriors look to repeat success at LECs

WATCH : Senior co-captain Amy Arisco (below) previews the meetLEC25.jpg (6:03)

arisco_head_72_4197.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- A veteran Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team used extraordinary depth to equal its highest finish ever at the 2009 Little East Conference Championships.

Despite featuring a young team this year, the Warriors look for a repeat performance at this weekend's tenth annual competition, set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Tripp Athletic Center pool on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus.

Live video stream Saturday beginning at 10:50 a.m. on

Fourteen of 26 competitors on this year's team are new to the program, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the team cannot match its performance of a year ago. Last year, the Warriors accumulated over 300 points for the second straight year, besting host UMass Dartmouth by 44 points to finish a strong second to Keene State College.

capains72dpi_5495.jpgFour-time defending LEC champion Keene returns a number of key contributors from a team which went on to capture the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) title and place 18th at the national meet. Realistically, the Owls are a virtual lock to claim their eighth LEC title in ten years. But the six-team race for second could be interesting.

At left: Senior co-captains Amy Arisco (far left) and Ericka Piccochi with head coach Maureen Fahey.

The traditionally five-team LEC championship field has expanded to seven this year, with the inclusion of Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) members Westfield State University and Bridgewater State University.

Despite the additional teams involved, Eastern feels that it may have the woman-power to total at least 300 points and record its third straight second-place finish.

"I think that we can get second (place) again," says  Amy Arisco (Wallingford), who shares captains chores with Ericka Piccochi (Waterbury), the other returning senior. "We have a lot of people who are going to do very well in this meet."

menard_72_9996.jpgDepth was the key component of last year's squad, which won seven of ten duals meets finished a program-best third in the NEISDA Division II-III Championships. Six members of that 2009/10 team - the largest senior class in the program's 14-year history - have graduated. Among them were Jessica Wilson, Kelsy Doheny and Katie Curran, who combine to hold seven current program records in the breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle. Another significant graduation loss was Sarah Dombrowski, a versatile contributer in the distance freestyle and breaststroke events, as well as Stephanie O'Kelly, a freshman last year who is sitting this entire season with injury.

Above: Nadine Menard

Keene swimmers and relays are seeded first in 13 of 14 events. The program recordholder in all three individual medley events, as well as the 50 butterfly, Arisco leads the charge this year. Arisco is seeded second this weekend in the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 400 individual medley and will swim the anchor on the second-seeded 400 freestyle relay.

As a junior last winter, Arisco totaled 36 points in three individual events by placing second in the 200 IM and 200 butterfly and fourth in the 100 butterfly. In fact, only Arisco, and junior Nadine Menard (Woodstock) and Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield) return this year among swimmers who scored at least one point in an individual event in last year's LEC meet. Menard collected 21 points in the 200 butterfly and 200 IM and Chmielewski five in the 100 and 200 backstroke.

Menard is seeded second this year in the 200 butterfly, third in the 200 breaststroke and fourth in the 400 IM and junior Jennifer Dufraine (Somers) is seeded fifth in the 200 butterfly.

The team's upside this year is its abundance of talented freshmen and transfers, many of who are seeded among the leaders in the LEC meet.

At least five highly-seeded freshmen will play significant roles in the team's success this weekend: Amanda Rivers (Meriden), cousin of Arisco, is seeded second in the 50 and 100 freeestyle;  Becky Odgers (Shelton) fourth in the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 backstroke; Michelle Schapp (Torrington) fifth in the 50 freestyle and sixth in the 200 backstroke; Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia, NY) sixth in the 100 backstroke, and Colleen King (Barkhamsted) seventh in the100 breaststroke

Arisco repeats as anchor of the 400 freestyle relay. Joined by veterans Doheny and Wilson last year on the relay, Arisco will team this weekend with  freshmen Schapp, Rivers and Odgers. Despite its youth, that relay's seed time is less than a second behind Keene's.

With three seeded swimmers among the top ten, the Warriors anticipate major points in the 200 freestyle (Arisco, Schapp and Rivers), 200 butterfly (Menard, Dufraine and junior Samantha Armitage (Bristol), 200 backstroke (Odgers, Schapp and Tromp) and 100 butterfly (Arisco, King and Dufraine).

While Arisco is seeded behind Keene's Stephanie Murray  in the 400 IM, her career-best time of 4:49.09 tops Murray's seed time of 4:52.15.

Competing in the final LEC meet of her career, Piccochi is seeded 12th in the 500 freestyle and 13th in the 1,000 freestyle and 15th in the 100 freestyle.

W-Basketball: Warriors Blitz Brewers

Defense continues to shine; team routs Vassar for fifth straight, 65-37

WATCH (2:25): Coach Bierly's post-game reaction (Dana McLauglin interview)


Above: Tanisha Carter looks for an open teammate in Wednesday's 65-37 win over Vassar College. Carter and Lauren Kelleher (background) combined for 27 points and 25 rebounds, with Carter grabbing a career-high 16 boards. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team scored the first 12 points of the second half and outrebounded Vassar College  by more than 2-to-1 in the game in rolling to a 65-37 non-conference victory Wednesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Leading by 15 at halftime, Eastern (5-0) scored the first 12 points of the second half on the way to an opening 20-4 run that ballooned the lead to 31, 53-22,  with ten minutes left.

Behind a career-high 16 rebounds (nine offensive) from sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford), Eastern outrebounded Vassar (2-3) 56-27, forced 21 turnovers and limited the Brewers to 27.3 shooting from the floor. The Warriors grabbed a remarkable 25 offensive rebounds and allowed only four. Vassar entered action averaging 61.5 points per game.
Through five games, Eastern has defeated its opponent by an average of nearly 27 points, outrebounded them by nearly 17 and held them to an average of 41 points and a .231 shooting percentage.

All 12 healthy players saw time for Eastern. Carter finished with a game-high 15 points for her first double-double of the season, with sophomore center Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had 11 points, four assists and four steals and junior forward Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI)  adding ten points and eight rebounds.

Eastern failed on 14 of 15 three-point field goal tries  but sank 18 of 21 free throws. Carter was 5-for-6, Kelleher 4-for-4 and Chapman 4-for-5.

Junior guard Brittany Parks led Vassar with eight points and sophomore forward Natalie Allen grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Guarded by Moriarty, Parks  finished well below her season scoring average of 22.5. She was 3-for-11 from the floor.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m.