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October 2011 Archives

W-Swimming: Menard Honored by LEC

Senior tri-captain is cited in first report after winning SJC Pentathlon

menard head 72_5280.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University senior tri-captain Nadine Menard (Woodstock) has been recognized as Swimmer-of-the-Week by in the first weekly report of the year compiled by the Little East Conference, released today.

A fourth-year letterwinner, Menard was recognized with the weekly honor after winning the individual title at the Saint Joseph College (CT) Pentathlon in the  season-opening meet Oct. 22.

At Saint Joseph, Menard totaled a meet-best time of 5:44.30 in a field of 36 swimmers in five 100 yard events: 1:17.34 in the breaststroke, 1:05.75 in the butterfly, 1:08.45 in the individual medley, 1:09.82 in the backstroke and 1:02.94 in the freestyle.  Her total time was 3.28 seconds faster than sophomore teammate Erin McVeigh (Windsor).

In the meet, Menard won the breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley and was 11th in the backstroke and tied for 12th in the freestyle.

An All-LEC performer in the 200 butterfly and All-New England performer in the 100 and 200 butterfly as a junior, Menard was fifth in the Saint Joseph Pentathlon last year among 51 competitors. Her highest finish was fourth in the breaststroke.

Eastern hosts Western Connecticut State University Saturday at noon.

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E-Club Hall of Fame: Postponed

The 18th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception  scheduled for Sunday, October 30 at the Student Center has been postponed due to dangerous road conditions caused by Saturday night/Sunday morning.'s snow storm. No re-scheduled date has been announced.

M-Cross Country: Frosh Shine at LEC

 

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View Photos

Freshmen were at the front of the pack for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's cross country team Saturday at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Cross Country Championships at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Freshmen David Klein (above), Lee Cattanach and Austin Baldour finished 1-2-3 for the Warriors, with freshman Kyle Shaw rounding out Eastern's five scoring runners behind junior Bryan Jorge. Klein became the first freshman to lead Eastern in the face since Kristopher Sortwell in 2000. Klein  was 47th overall in the alliance tabulation and  28th overall in LEC scoring with a time of 27:43 over 8,000 meters.


Run over 8.000 meters

New England Alliance Championships

1. U. of Southern Maine  50 ; 2. Keene State College 54 ; 3. Bridgewater State U. 103; 4. Westfield State U. 105;  5. Fitchburg State U. 153; 6. Rhode Island College 156; 7. UMass Dartmouth 182; 8. Salem State  U. 270; 9. EASTERN CONN.  277;  10. UMass Boston  284; 11. Worcester State U.  311; 12. Mass Maritime  312; 13. Framingham State U.  370; 14. Mass. College Liberal Arts 375.

Little East Conference Championships

1. U. of Southern Maine 13; Keene State College 36; 3. Rhode Island College 88; 4. UMass Dartmouth 106; 5. EASTERN CONN. 144; 6. UMass Boston 145.

EASTERN MEN'S FINISHERS
Listed is scoring place in NE Alliance (153 finishers)/Little East (64 finishers)

37/21. David Klein 27:43; 45/25 Lee Cattanach 28:12; 55/29. 55.29. Austin Baldour 28:45; 66/33. Ryan Franklin;  74/36. Kyle Shaw 29:39; 77/37. Ryan Franklin 30:02; 82/39. Tim Callahan 30:35.

 

W-Cross Country: It's Quinones Again

 

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Senior Amanda Quinones (above) became the first Eastern Connecticut State University male or female to earn All-New England Alliance cross country honors as many as three times Saturday at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Cross Country Championships at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Quinones finished 11th overall in a field of 140 runners  in the alliance scoring and eighth in a field of  55 in the Little East scoring with a time of  19:28 over 5,000 meters. . The top 20 finishers are accorded alliance honors. Quinones missed by one place and five seconds of becoming only the second Eastern female to achieve All-LEC  status in the past 13 years. The top seven finishers receive that honor. As a sophomore, Quinones was 17th overall in the alliance and was 12th as a junior last year.  Keene State won its  12th straight alliance  and  LEC titles, totaling less than half the points of the second-place finishers.

Run over 5,000 meters

New England Alliance Championships

1. Keene State College 32; 2. Westfield State U.  64; 3. U. of Southern Maine  80; 4. UMass Dartmouth 108; 5. Worcester State 126; 6. Bridgewater State U. 155; 7. EASTERN CONN. 186; 8. Salem State  U. 262;  9. Rhode Island College 264; 10. Fitchburg State U. 271; 11. Mass. College of Liberal Arts 323; 12. Framingham State U. 332; 13. Mass. Maritime 339

Little East Conference Championships

1. Keene State College 24; 2. U. of Southern Maine 52; 3. UMass Dartmouth 63;

4. EASTERN CONN. 102; 5. Rhode Island College 134

EASTERN'S FINISHERS
Listed is scoring place in NE Alliance (140 finishers)/Little East (55 finishers)

11/8. Amanda Quinones 19:28; 28/16. Katie France 20:24; 38./21. Cora Gingras 20:50; 51/27. Alexa Palasky 21:32; 58/30. Kelly Labanara 22:14; 61.31. Melissa Zablonski 22:27; 67/33. Denica Gagnon 22:57;
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W-Volleyball: Warriors Enjoy Breather

Eastern eases past USM in finale, gears up for Western in LEC first round

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Tournament Central

GORHAM, Maine - After six emotional Little East Conference matches this season, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team enjoyed a respite Saturday morning - before jumping back into the fray in three days.

Above: Eastern seniors (from left) Kristianna Ibsen, Samantha Slonski, Taylor Abelli and Gianna Trombino will lead the Warriors and head coach Pete Maneggia into the Little East tournament Tuesday at Western Connecticut.

In the Little East Conference regular-season finale, Eastern (19-9, 3-4 Little East) breezed past under-manned University of Southern Maine, 25-9, 25-10  Saturday at the Warren  Hill Gymnasium and ended its regular season with wins in 11 of its final 13 matches, including three of its final four LEC contests after an 0-3 start.

With Eastern having assured itself a spot in the LEC tournament after a one-year hiatus earlier in the week with a 3-2 win over visiting UMass Dartmouth,  all 11 eligible players saw action Saturday as the Warriors defeated Southern Maine (0-22, 0-7 Little East) for the 12th time in 13 meetings in this series.

The fifth-seeded Warriors will visit fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University  (24-8, 5-2 Little East) in a first-round match at Feldman Arena at 7 p.m. in search of their 26th 20-win season in the program's 37-year history. The winner will advance to the LEC Final Four Saturday and Sunday at Foley Gymnasium on the Plymouth State University campus and will play the host Panthers in the semifinals  at 6 p.m. Sunday's  title game is set for noon.

Western swept the regular-season meeting between the teams at Danbury on Oct. 4, winning by 25-19, 25-22, 27-25. Eastern was also swept by UMass Boston, Plymouth State and Keene and swept Rhode Island College.

Eastern and Western, which have combined for nine of the 13 LEC championships, will square off in the tournament for the third time in five years. Western swept a first-round match in 2009 after the Warriors swept the Colonials in the 2007 championship tilt at Keene, NH.

Plymouth gained a surprising No. 1 seed after sweeping two-time defending regular-season and tournament champion UMass Boston last week. The teams shared the regular-season title with 6-1 records, while Western and Keene tied for third, two games ahead of Eastern.

Against Southern Maine, 6-foot-2 inch junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA)  had five kills and a .556 attack percentage, seven service aces and eight digs; senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) seven  kills and a .583 attack percentage and six service aces; senior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) six kills and 11 assists; and senior Gianna Trombino  (East Moriches, NY) 14 assists.

 

M-Soccer: Perfection Eludes Warriors

After six LEC shutout wins, Eastern falls to UMD in finale, 1-0

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Tournament Central

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  The bad news:  Eastern Connecticut State University's bids to record its first unbeaten regular season in Little East Conference men's soccer play and to become the first team to holds its conference opponents scoreless in a season were derailed in a 1-0 loss to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  in a rain storm Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.

 

Above: For the second time in three years, Eastern and UMass Dartmouth (seen here in 2009 title game) will meet in the Little East Conference playoffs. Returning from that match for Eastern are junior back Bradley Fletcher (16) and senior back Aaron Smiles (10).

The good news: The Warriors need wait only four days for an opportunity for redemption.

Having already secured  the No. 1 tournament seed for the second time in five years, Eastern  (12-5-1, 6-1-0 Little East) finished with only one conference loss for the sixth straight year after  UMass Dartmouth (11-6-1, 4-2-1 Little East) freshman John Macaroco scored his first career goal off  freshman Nick Gontijo's corner kick with 14 minutes left.

Assured the fourth and final seed prior to the start of play, UMass Dartmouth snapped a four-game losing streak and seven-game winless (0-6-1) streak against Eastern. with its sixth shutout win this year. Ranked eighth in New England, Eastern's only previous shutout loss this year had come  in the second match of the year in Canton, NY at the hands of No. 1 nationally-ranked St. Lawrence University (16-0-0), which has allowed goals in only two matches this season.

The goal was only the second allowed by Eastern in the last five contests with UMass. Five of Eastern's last six losses at the hands of the Corsairs have come by 1-0 scores.

For the second tim e in three years and for only the second time ever, Eastern will face UMass Dartmouth in the LEC tournament. The semifinal match is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Thomas Nevers Field.  In the previous tournament meeting in 2009, Eastern posted a 1-0 victory in the LEC championship game at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. The other semifinal features last year's LEC finalists in No. 2 seed and defending champ Keene State College and No. 3 Rhode Island College Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Keene, NH.

Eastern senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and UMass junior keeper Mike Phelan each made four saves.

W-Soccer: Warriors Close LEC with Win

They finish in sole possession of second place and gain first-round bye

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Photo by Cristina Danielson

Tournament Central

MANSFIELD, Conn. -Juniors Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and Daniela Marchitto (Orange) each scored twice and Merheb sisters Jo-Ann and Tamar (Bethel) each scored once as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team blanked the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 6-0, in a Little East conference match Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. The match was stopped after 80 minutes due to dangerous conditions due to snow.

The Eastern win in the regular-season finale -- coupled with Western Connecticut's 2-0 loss to visiting Keene State -- guarantees Eastern (10-8-0, 6-1-0 Little East) sole possession of second place in the final standings and a first-round tournament bye in this coming week's conference tournament. Keene wins the regular-season title with a 7-0-0 record.

Unofficially, second-seeded Eastern will host a semifinal-round match Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex against the winner of a Tuesday first-round match between No. 6 Plymouth State and No. 3 Western. UMass Dartmouth (7-10-2, 2-4-1 Little East) will unofficially be the No. 5 seed in the tournament and will visit No. 4 seed Massachusetts Boston Tuesday.  Also Thursday, Keene will host the UMass Dartmouth-UMass Boston winner. The highest remaining seed will host the tournament final Saturday.

Marchitto recorded her third multiple-goal match of the season, netting her 13th goal of the year in the 23rd minute to give Eastern a 2-0 lead and her 14th three minutes intot he second half to make it 4-0.

Downer entered the match with one goal but collected the final two of the match. Jo-Ann Merheb, one of four seniors recognized on Seniors' Day before the match, scored her third goal of the year in the tenth minute on an assist from Marchitto and sophomore sister Tamar notched her sixth of the year to make it 3-0 three minutes before halftime.

Senior keeper Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) won her first match of the season in her first start, making two saves in the first half to improve her career record to 15-1-4 (the one loss coming in the third round of last year's NCAA tournament).

UMass, winless against Eastern in its last 16 contests (0-15-1), had two legitimate chances to score. With the Corsairs trailing 2-0 with 14 minutes left in the first half,  junior Jillian Van Ness took a hard shot that deflected off an Eastern defender but was re-directed right at Pagnozzi.  Twelve minutes into the second half, freshman Shelby Friedland unloaded a drive from just outside the box, but junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) timed her leap perfectly and batted the ball over the crossbar.

For the 11th straight year under 12th-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio, Eastern has now won at least ten matches in a season  and has lost no more than one conference regular-season match for the tenth time in the last 11 seasons.  The team has not finished lower than second or tied for second since D'Ambrosio's first year in 2000.

 The Warriors are the defending regular-season champion and Western the defending tournament titlist.

 

 

W-Volleyball: Warriors in Five Again

For the second time in two nights, they erase 2-to-1 deficit to record win

wilsonwes72dpi_7440.jpgMIDDLETOWN, Conn. - For the second time in as many nights, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to record a five-set victory.

At left: Katie Wilson

Wednesday night, the Warriors  won the final two sets by scores of 25-17 and 15-13  for a come-from-behind victory over Wesleyan University in a non-conference match. Tuesday night at Geissler Gym, Eastern (18-9) rallied from a set down for  25-19, 15-5  victories over Massachusetts Dartmouth that carried it into the Little East Conference tournament.

The five-set match was the fifth this year for Eastern, which has won four times. The Warriors had played - and won - only two five-set contests through their first 26 matches but has now played three in a row. Last Saturday, they dropped a five-set decision to the University of New England at Plymouth, NH.

In winning for the 23rd time in this 34-match series with Wesleyan (8-17), Eastern never trailed in the fifth set. With the score tied at 12, senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) put the Warriors ahead for good with a kill and Eastern moved to within a point of match point on a Wesleyan attack error. Freshman Allie Henry's (Middletown)  only kill of the match sealed the victory and evened Eastern's record on its opponent's court  this season at 4-4.

With Eastern facing elimination in the fourth set, junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had four kills in five attempts and Ibsen four in nine tries to lead the Warriorrs to an eight-point win. Up  by a point, Eastern ran off six of the next seven to move out to a 16-10  lead.  Henry and Wilson each had five digs in that set.
 
Wilson  and Ibsen carried Eastern back from a sixpoint deficit in the first set, combing for seven kills on their last seven attempts, and senior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) came up with five digs.

Wilson led Eastern with 17 kills and a .385 attack percentage. Ibsen followed with 14 kills and junior Shannon Burke (Manchester) and sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford) chipped in five each. Abelli handled 25 receptions without an error and Wilson 21 with ony two. Wilson and Abelli led the way with 15 digs each, Henry adding ten and senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) with nine.  Ibsen collected a team-high five blocks, and Wilson three service aces. Trombino led the Warriors with 19 assists, henry adding 15.

Eastern closes out the regular season Saturday with a Little East Conference match the University of Southern Maine.
 

 

W-Soccer: Eastern Routs Valiants

In tuneup for Saturday's Little East match, Warriors post 7-0 victory

marchitto 72 mville 003.jpgPURCHASE, N.Y. - The Eastern Connecticut State  University women's soccer
tuned up for its Little East Conference regular-season finale  in three days
with a 7-0 victory over undermanned Manhattanville College Wednesday night
in a non-conference match at GoValiants.com Field.

At left: Daniela Marchitto works against Manhattanville freshman defender Gabby Barnes in Wednesday night's match. (Liz Cutler photo).

The victory moves Eastern (9-8-0) over the .500 mark for the second time this season following a 3-3 start and gives it  four road wins against three losses. Manhattanville (2-16) has lost six straight and finishes its home season at 1-10.

Six different players contributed a goal or assist, with sophomore Kaitlyn Kennedy (Burlington) scoring the first two goals of her career and adding an assist. Sophomores Nicole Leonard (Rtherford, NJ) and Tamar Merheb (Bethel) each had a goal and assists and freshman Maggie Slivinski (Wallingford) chipped in two assists.  Senior Laura Violette (Wallingford) scored her first career goal, and junior Daniela Marchitto (Orange) scored her team-leading 12th goal of the year - giving her at least one point in the last five matches and in 12 of 17 contests this season - and moved into a tie for fifth all-time with her 30th career goal.

With only two substitutes available, Manhattanville was outshot 21-2 in the second half and allowed five Eastern goals.

Junior Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) and senior Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford) split time in goal, each making two save.

An Eastern win Saturday over visiting Massachusetts Dartmouth (7-8-2, 2-3-1 Little East) and a Keene State  loss Saturday at Western Connecticut unofficially gives the Warriors a share of the regular-season title with Keene and Western. In the event of a two-way tie in the final standings, Keene holds the tie-breaker over Eastern due to its regular-season triumph and Eastern holds the tie-breaker over Western by virtue of its regular-season victory over the Colonials. If Western and Keene tie and Eastern wins Saturday, the Warriors would unofficially finish in sole possession of second place behind Keene.

The top two teams in the final standings are awarded first-round tournament byes. Eastern can finish no worse than third in the final conference standings. A third-place finish would provide Eastern with a first-round home match in the LEC tournament Tuesday.
A win Saturday all but assures Eastern of its 11th straight winning season and 21st in the program's 26-year history.

Men's Soccer: Warriors Dump Becker

LEICESTER, Mass..- Becker College fell 3-1 to Eastern Connecticut State University in non-conference men's soccer action Tuesday evening.

The Warriors got their first goal in the 20th minute when Nathan Mozian (Southington) fed Zach Kice (Denver, CO) with a beautiful centering pass in front of the Hawks net. Eastern Connecticut added to the lead with 16:03 remaining in the first half when Cory Tobler (Portland) took advantage of a failed clear attempt, blasting a shot past the dive of Becker keeper Tim McDonald.

The Warriors increased their lead in the 37th minute on a goal from sophomore Tom Vear (Monson, MA), making the score 3-0 at the break.

Becker finally got on the board with 1:15 remaining in regulation when senior Jinaldo DeBrito lifted a shot over the head of Eastern Connecticut keeper Carl Appel's (West Windsor, NJ) head, making the score 3-1.

Eastern Connecticut goalkeepers Jordan Munsell (Waterford) and Appel combined to make three stops on the evening.

The win ups the Warriors record to 12-4-1 on the season.

Tim McDonald made six saves in a losing effort. The Hawks record now stands at 3-13-2 on the season.

Easterm looks to close out a perfect Little East Conference season Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at 1 p.m.

W-Volleyball: Back in the LEC Tourney

In must-win situation, Warriors emerge with five-set victory over UMD

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Seniors honored before the final regular-season home matcher were (from left) Gianna Trombino, Samantha Slonski, Kristianna Ibsen, and Taylor Abelli.

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Post-game interview with head coach Pete Maneggia WATCH (3:57)

WILLIMANTIC,Conn. --  The women's volleyball rivalry between Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has been decidedly one-sided in the Warriors' favor over the past 25 years, but that does not mean that it has not been a hotly-contested one.

Tuesday was no exception.

In a match which all but decided the Little East Conference post-season fate of both institutions, Eastern won the final two sets after losing the first and third sets to gain a five-set decision and guarantee itself a return to the LEC post-season tournament after a one-year hiatus.

Eastern (17-9, 2-4 Lilttle East) won the match by 22-25, 25-10, 23-25, 25-19 and 15-5 and breaks a two-way tie for sixth place with UMass Dartmouth (13-15, 1-5 Little East) in the conference standings.

The Corsairs are eliminated from LEC playoff contention while Eastern moves into a two-way tie for fifth place with Rhode Island College. Holding the tie-breaker over RIC by virtue of their regular-season win over the Anchorwomen, the Warriors are unofficially guaranteed the No. 5 seed in the tournament if they finish tied with RIC in the final standings. Saturday, Eastern visits the University of Southern Maine (0-20, 0-6 Little East) in the regular-season finale at Gorham, ME,  and Rhode Island visits Plymouth State University.

The No. 5 seed will visit the No. 4 seed in first-round matches Tuesday.

With one regular-season LEC match remaining for all teams, defending champion University of Massachusetts Boston, Plymouth State and Keene State College all share first place with 5-1 records. Western Connecticut is fourth. Plymouth forced the three-way logjam atop the standings Tuesday after handing UMass Boston its first LEC loss in three years with a three-set sweep in Boston. .

Against UMass Dartmouth, Eastern never trailed in the deciding set. The Warriors had had nine kills and only one attack error in the set. Eastern  scored five straight points to take a 7-2 lead in the set. Sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford) had four digs and senior Samantha Slonski (Griswold), and juniors Shannon Burke (Manchester) and Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) two kills each. In the 5-0 run that gave Eastern the momentum or good, Miller, Wilson and Burke all had kills and senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) had consecutive service aces to make it 7-2.

Eastern lost its two sets by a total of five points. Down 1-0, the Warriors never trailed in the second set, scoring five straight points to move out to an early 9-4 lead on the way to the 15-point win.

Facing elimination and possibly post-season extinction after losing the third set, the Warriors seized the momentum by outscoring the visitors  6-1 to take a 20-15 lead on the way to the six-point win in the fourth set. Slonski had four kills and seven digs in the set, senior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) six digs, Wilson five and Miller four. After a UMD service error and an ace by Miller gave Eastern a 16-14 lead, Eastern won perhaps the biggest point of the night following an extended rally, the Warriors finally receiving the point on a Corsair error.  A kill by junior Danielle Bourne (Branford), an illegal UMD back row attack and a block by Wilson and Bourne made it 20-15.

After winning 33 straight matches in this series, Eastern sustained a four-set loss at UMass Dartmouth a year ago en route to a 1-6 conference record.

Tuesday, Wilson had 11 kills, 16 digs and six blocks, Ibsen 11 kills and  Slonski nine kills, 23 digs, and 16 assists. Miller added 23 digs, Abelli 20 digs; Bourne chipped in three blocks, seven  kills, nine digs and five assists and senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) 12 assists and eight digs. As a team,Eastern averaged 20 digs in the first four sets and added nine more in the 15-point finale.

For UMD, Cami Ascher had 14 kills and Allie Mastrocola six, Shannon Brodie 15 digs, Amanda Micco seven and  Jessica Goncalves 25 assists

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Field Hockey: Late Goal the Difference

Down in opening minutes, Warriors bounce back in home-finale, 2-1

farinaregis72dpi_7420.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- In the first meeting between the programs, Eastern  Connecticut State University senior Chelsie Rizzo (Bethel)  scored at the left post with nine minutes left to snap a tie as the Warriors ended their home season with a 2-1  victory over Regis College (MA).

At left: Senior Amanda Farina looks for room against Cheyenne Genga in the first half of Tuesday's 2-1 win in the home finale.

Eastern (3-14) won for the second time in the last five outings and for the third time this year at home, while Regis (6-10) had a five-match winning streak snapped, a streak which featured four straight shutout victories.

Trailing 1-0, Eastern tied the match with eight minutes left in the first half on senior Erika Malito's  (Killingly) fourth goal of the season in a scramble in front of the net, and won it on Rizzo's fifth goal of the season. Senior Ali Chapman (Watertown) set up the winning goal with the hit-in on Eastern's 11th penalty corner of the match. Chapman sent the pass in to first-year junior Hannah Collier (Watertown), who drove a hard shot at the cage from the top of the cirle. Regis defemder Victoria Pappas knocked the shot off the goal line, but Rizzo was right there to send the quick deflection into the cage.

Regis needed only 72 seconds to take a 1-0 lead when  Meghan Robohm carried untouched into the circle and fired a waist-high shot past Eastern senior goalie Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ). The Pride were outshot 8-2 the rest of the half, however, with the Warriors accumulating six of the seven penalty corners that were awarded over the first 35 minutes.

Making her sixth start of the year, Regis goalie Genesiz Gudiel mad six saves in the first half, holding the Warriors off the board until Malito's equalizer late in the period.

Pappas made two defensive saves for Regis, clearning out a shot by Chapman with 12 minutes left following an Eastern penalty corner with the game tied at 1-all. Fie minutes earlier Eastern junior back Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor) had kept the match tied when she stopped a shot on the back line by Regis'  Cheyenne Genga. Christine O'Toole was there for the rebound of Genga's shot, but Reichardt followed with her only save of the half.

Eastern closes out its season Saturday at Bridgewater State University at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

 

M-Soccer: Smiles a 3rd-Time Honoree

Following team's two shutouts, LEC tabs him top defensive player again

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smiles_action72_9186.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the third time in seven weeks this season, Eastern Connecticut State University senior defender Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) has been named Defensive Player-of-the-Week in the Little East Conference for the week ending Oct 23.

A first-team All-New England Region and All-LEC selection, Smiles anchored a defense which shut out both of its opponents this past week (U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Southern Maine), giving the Warriors their tenth and 11th shutouts of the season and breaking the previous team record of ten, set in 1969 and equaled four more times. With Smiles playing all 180 minutes, the two opponents managed only eight shots, with only four of those shots reaching the goal.

Smiles was similarly honored in the first weekly report of the season Sept. 12 and in the fifth weekly report Oct. 10.

Smiles has started all 13 matches in which he has appeared this year, sitting out three with a concussion sustained in late September.  He averages 87.4 minutes per game and has played every minute of his last eight starts. Has has contributed four assists.

With Smiles, Eastern finished first in the conference in least goals allowed or goals-against average, or both, in both 2009 and 2010 and has finished either first or tied for first in shutouts in each of the past three seasons. This year, the Warriors are again the top-rated defense in the conference in least overall goals allowed (8), goals-against average (0.49) and shutouts (11) and through games of Oct. 17, were rated ninth nationally in shutout percentage.

Saturday in the LEC regular-season finale at Massachusetts Dartmouth,  Eastern looks to become the first conference team to shut out all seven of its conference opponents since the LEC expanded to its present eight-team format in 1997 and also the fifth team to win all seven of its regular-season LEC matches.

The individual weekly honor is the seventh this season by an Eastern player. In addition to Smiles other players earlier honored this year were senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and junior forwards Cory Tobler (Portland) and Matt Furman (Montville).  Appel was named Goalkeeper-of-the-Week twice and Tober and Furman the Offensive Player-of-the-Week once each.

This past Saturday, Eastern (11-4-1, 6-0-0 Little East) clinched both the outright regular season LEC title and the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the four-team conference playoffs, which get underway with semifinal games Nov. 2.

Since the beginning of LEC men's soccer play in 1989, Eastern has won three outright regular-season titles (1992, 2007 and 2011) and shared two (1991 and 2009). The Warriors have earned the No. 1 seed in the LEC tournament (which began in 1999) only once before, in 2007 when it went on to its first of two post-season crowns in four years under fifth-year head coach Greg DeVito.

 

W-Volleyball:Plymouth Downs Warriors

Tuesday's LEC home match against UMass Dartmouth now looms large,

abellipsu72dpi_7379.jpgPLYMOUTH, N.H. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team continues to be competitive against the top teams in the Little East Conference this year, but has little to show for it.

At left (from left): Taylor Abelli, Katie Wilson and Samantha Slonski.

Saturday, with an opportunity to take a giant step toward regaining a spot in next month's conference tournament after a year's absence, the Warriors faltered down the stretch in the first two sets and were swept by Plymouth State University at Foley Gymnasium.

Now 1-4 in the conference with two winnable matches remaining, Eastern (16-9) hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at Geissler Gymnasium before closing out the season at the University of Southern Maine Saturday. UMass and Eastern share sixth place in the conference- the final post-season tournament spot - while Southern Maine has lost all five of its conference matches.

Saturday against Plymouth (18-9, 4-1 Little East), Eastern couldn't hold an early lead in the first set but rebounded from a six-point deficit midway through the second before eventually losing both by a total of five points, 25-22 and 26-24.  With the Warriors trailing by three points in the third set, Plymouth ripped off four straight points and nine of the last 13 to record a 25-17 victory.

Forty-eight minutes after the loss, Eastern returned to the court and eventually dropped a five-set non-conference decision to the University of New England (14-11) in games which were decided by a total of 18 points. Eastern lost 24-26, 28-26, 19-25, 25-21 and 11-15.

While three of Plymouth's top offensive players attacked at least .200 against the Warriors, Eastern attacked in negative numbers in the first two sets and finished the match with a .029 attack percentage. However, 12 service errors by Plymouth helped the Warriors stay close.

Junior middle hitter Katie Wilson's (Pittsburg, CA) kill pushed the Warriors into a 22-21 lead in the first set but Plymouth closed out the win with the final four points. A kill by Plymouth's top offensive player - Casey Stoodley - tied the second set and Eastern's only reception error of the set gave the hosts a 23-22 lead. The Warriors momentarily survived set point on Wilson's kill that tied it at 24, but a Plymouth kill off an Eastern block and a kill by Elissa Morin gave Plymouth the two-point win.

New England 3, Eastern Conn. 2

Eastern had won both of its previous matches this year that were extended to five sets.
Against UNE,  Eastern scored the final five points of the fourth set - the final three coming on a kill by junior Danielle Bourne (Branford) and two service aces by senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) - to force a final 15-point fifth set.

The Warriors scored three of the first four points of the decisive set but fell behind for good when UNE scored three straight points on a kill, block and Eastern attack error Wilson had four kills in the fifth set and the Warriors did not have a reception error and only one service error.

On the way to winning the Crabtree Classic two weeks ago, Eastern had swept New England.
 In 18 sets Saturday, Eastern attacked at .105 and totaled 20 service errors. Senior middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton), senior outside/setter Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and Wilson combined for 54 kills. Sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford) had 37 digs, senior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) 27 and Wilson 20. The second of three digs by Abelli in the first set against Plymouth moved her into third place all-time at Eastern ahead of Courtney Davidson (1994-97).

Miller was perfect on 26 receptions on the day and Bourne handled 19 of 20, Abelli 35 of 38 and Wilson 39 of 42. In the fourth set against UNE that forced a finale, Trombino had six digs, two service aces and three assists.

M-Soccer: Warriors Clinch in Little East

They are assured of outright championship and No. 1 seed in tourney

LEC LOGO PARE.jpgGORHAM, Maine - Since the Little East Conference expanded to an eight-team men's soccer league in 1997, four teams have run the table by winning all seven of their regular-season conference contests.

None, however, have done it by shutting out all seven conference opponents. After blanking the University of Southern Maine, 6-0, Saturday at Hannaford Field, Eastern Connecticut State University will have that opportunity next Saturday when it visits the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the final regular-season match of the season.

In addition to posting its sixth shutout in six conference matches this year Saturday, Eastern (11-4-1, 6-0-0 Little East) clinched both the outright regular-season LEC title and the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the four-team conference playoffs, which get underway with semifinal games Nov. 2.

Collins MSoccer 72PI.jpgSince the advent of LEC men's soccer play in 1989, Eastern has won three outright regular-season titles (1992, 2007 and 2011) and shared two (1991 and 2009). The Warriors have earned the No. 1 seed in the LEC tournament (which began in 1999) only once before, in 2007 when it went on to its first of two post-season crowns in four years under fifth-year head coach Greg DeVito.

At left: Sean Colllns

Saturday, senior midfielder Sean Collins (Bristol) came off the bench to score two goals and dish out an assist, and junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) scored twice, and senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ)  made three saves for his fifth full shutout in six conference matches.  All of Eastern's wins this season have come by shutout and Saturday's shutout sets a program record of 11. Five previous teams had amassed ten in the program's 50-year history.

The LEC leader in overall goals-against average and save percentage, Appel pulled into a share for the conference lead with his seventh overall full shutout this year. Furman, last year's LEC scoring leader, now shares the conference lead with nine goals.

Southern Maine (3-13-0, 2-4 Little East)  dropped its third straight match and is 0-8-1 against Eastern in the last nine meetings.

Junior midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs) had a goal and picked up an assist on Collins' first goal for the Warriors.  Junior forward Cory Tobler (Portland) scored the final goal of the match off an assist from Collins.

Stensland gave the Warriors the only goal they would need in the 14th minute, getting the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, taking a touch and putting a shot inside the left post for his second goal of the season.  Collins took a feed from Stensland in the 37th minute and deposited the ball into the USM net.

Collins and Furman scored less than a minute apart in the second half to push the lead to 4-0.  Collins cracked a 25-yard shot from the left side into the right side netting for his second goal of the day, and third of the season, in the 61st minute.  Furman scored less than a minute later collecting a loose ball in the middle and slipping a shot past Charette.

Through six conference games, Eastern has piled up a 16-0 goal differential. Thirteen different players have contributed a goal or assist. Furman has scored four goals, sophomore forward Tom Vear (Monson, MA) and Collins two goals and two assists. Appel has made 26 saves.

Since the LEC went to its present eight-team format, the least goals allowed by the conference champion in a seven-game conference season have been three, by Western Connecticut in 2002 and Keene State in 2005. Western was 6-1-0 and Keene 6-0-1. The least goals allowed by a conference team in 14 seasons of the present format was two by Rhode Island College in 2008, when the Anchormen finished second to Southern Maine with a 5-1-1 record (Eastern scored one of those goals in a 2-1 overtime road loss).

Plymouth State and Keene State are the only two institutions to have  won all seven of their LEC regular-season contests. Plymouth did it in consecutive seasons in 1997 and 1998 and Keene in 2001 and 2004.  In those four perfect seasons, Plymouth allowed the least number of goals in LEC play - four in both.

In five seasons under DeVito, Eastern is 26-4-4 in conference regular-season competition and, regardless of this Saturday's outcome, will never have lost more than one LEC match in a season. The club has gone unbeaten once in regular-season conference play, in 1991 when it finished 4-0-1 and shared the LEC regular-season title under former head coach Frantz Innocent.

Eastern, which defeated UMass Dartmouth, 1-0, in the 2009 LEC tournament final at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, has recorded shutouts on the Corsairs' home field in three of the last four years. UMass has qualified for the 2011 conference playoffs, and if current seeds hold, would visit Eastern in the LEC semifinals Nov. 2.

Backstopping the previous seasons of ten shutouts were Appel as a freshman in 2008, current assistant coach Jay Barney in 2006, E-Club Hall of Famer Terry Hinesley in 1984 and 1985, and Geoff Nicholson in 1969, when the Warriors were undefeated (15-0-0) through the NAIA regional tournament.

Eastern visits Becker College Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Southern Maine Sports Information contributed to this game account.

W-Soccer: Defense Stifles Huskies, 2-0

Following LEC victory, Warriors still in position for share of title

konopka 72dpi_2803.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team kept its hopes alive for a share of the Little East Conference regular-season title Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over the University of Southern Maine at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Senior back Sam Konopka (16)

The defending LEC regular-season champion, Eastern (8-8-0, 5-1-0 Little East) got second-half goals from sophomore midfielder  Tamar Merheb (Bethel) and junior forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) to maintain a share of second place in the conference with Western Connecticut State University. Conference leader Keene State College moved to within a win of its fourth outright LEC title since 1996 by scoring twice in a span of less than a minute inside the final 15 minutes for a 3-2 road win over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Western scored the first two goals in a 2-1 victory at Massachusetts Boston Saturday.

An Eastern win Saturday over visiting Massachusetts Dartmouth (7-8-2, 2-3-1 Little East) and a Keene loss Saturday at Western Connecticut unofficially gives the Warriors a share of the regular-season title with Keene and Western. In the event of a two-way tie in the final standings, Keene holds the tie-breaker over Eastern due to its regular-season triumph and Eastern holds the tie-breaker over Western by virtue of its regular-season victory over the Colonials. If Western and Keene tie and Eastern wins Saturday, the Warriors would unofficially finish in sole possession of second place behind Keene. The top two teams in the final standings are awarded first-round tournament byes.

For the second straight LEC contest, Tamar Merheb scored the game-winner, this time with her fourth goal of the season less than two minutes into the second half on a header at the left post off junior midfielder Chelsea Downer's (Colchester) cross. The play originated when a free kick by Tamar Merheb's bounced off the hands of Southern Maine keeper Kat Rothe and over the end line, giving the Warriors a corner kick. Marchitto touched a short corner  to Downer, who sent a cross from the right of the box to the head of Tamar Merheb, who was running toward the left post.

Eastern topped Southern Maine (2-12-1, 0-5-1) for the 12th straight time. 

Eastern's defense did not allow a shot in the second half and the offense added an insurance goal with four minutes left when Marchitto notched her team-leading 11th goal of the year on a pass from senior midfielder Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel).  Marchitto, who has at least one point in the last four matches and in 11 of 16 contests this year, gained control of Jo-Ann Merheb's pass in traffic, split two defenders, and slid the ball on the ground inside the left post from inside the box.

Marchitto has 29 goals and 70 points in her career, ranking her in a tie for sixth in goals and seventh in points. Scoring more than Marchitto's  11 goals in a season has been achieved only nine times in the program's 25-year history

Eastern outshot the visitors, 15-2 and featured a 15-1 advantage in corner kicks. Tamar Merheb and Marchitto combined for more than half of the Warriors' shots.

Junior Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) needed to make only one save toearn her fourth shutout of the season while Southern Maine senior goalkeeper Kat Rothe recorded seven.

Eastern's starting defenders of seniors Sam Konopka (Hebron) and Amber Petrizzo (Plainville), sophomore Megan Godwin (Manchester) and freshman Whitney Mantel (Stamford) controlled the space in front of MacLeod, each playing all 90 minutes  as the team lowered its goals-against average this year to 1.50. 

Eastern visits Manhattanville College Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a non-conference encounter.

 

W-Swim: Menard Pentathlon Champ

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Above: Nadine Menard

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim team won all five pentathlon events and all three relays and  senior Nadine Menard (Woodstock) and sophomore Erin McVeigh (Windsor) finished 1-2 in the pentathlon scoring in the season-opener Saturday at the Saint Joseph College Pentathlon.Eastern swimmers captured seven of the top ten spots in the pentathlon scoring. Eastern amanssed 104 points to breeze to the title. Western New England University at 25 points and host Saint Joseph 17. Menard, a tri-captain, won the 100 yard breaststroke, 100 IM  and 100 butterfly, sophomore Michelle Schapp (Torrington) won the 100 backstroke and sophomore Amanda Rivers (Meriden)
the 100 freestyle. Menard recorded a composite time of 5:44.30 in the five pentathlon events and McVeigh 5:47.58.  In addition to winning three pentathlon events, Menard was 11th in the 100 backstroke and 12th in the 100 freestyle. McVeigh was second to Rivers in the 100 freestyle and second to Menard in the 100 IM and was third in the 100 butterfly, fourth in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

 

Seventeen returning swimmers provide experienced nucleus in 2011/12

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Senior captains (from left): Andzelina Chmielewski, Nadine Menard and Tara McCane,.

By Jonathan Mizger '13

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WATCH: Senior captain Nadine Menard (at left) previews the season. 

The Eastern Connecticut State University  women's swim team starts this year's season with a lot of leadership and  commitment.  The swimming team is led by 16th-year head coach Maureen Fahey, the only head coach in program history.

The Warriors participate  in their first swim meet Saturday at the Saint Joseph College (CT) Blue Jay Pentathlon.

Last year's team included three seniors: Amy Arisco, Carolyn Jenkins, and Ericka Piccochi.Arisco earned All-New England honors in three individual and with three relays during the year and set  records in the 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly, 100 and 400 individual medley and as a member of four relays

The Warriors finished in second place in the Little East Conference for the third straight year and  in fifth  in the New England Division II-III Championships after a program-best third-place finish two years ago.

The fact that the program lost several talented swimmers does not overly concern Fahey.
"[We Have] a lot of diversity this year", says Fahey. "We have a lot of kids that can do different kinds of events and different kinds of strokes that is really going to help us".

This year's team is comprised of 26 swimmers - 17 returnees and nine newcomers, six of whom are freshmen.

 The six seniors on the team are Samantha Armitage (Bristol), Andzelina Chmielewski (Enfield), Jennifer Dufraine (Somers), Kelly Hill (Port Tobacco, MD), Tara McCane (Torrington), and Nadine Menard (Woodstock).  Chmielewski, McCane and Menard will be leading the team as captains.

The three juniors  are Elizabeth Nahorney (Newington), Jen O'Leary (West Suffield), and Julie Pietrycha (Newington), with Nahorney and O'Leary first-year transfers.

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The ten sophomores are Marissa Colley (East Haven), Collen King (Barkhamsted), Erin McVeigh (Windsor), Becky Odgers (Shelton), Amanda Rivers (Meriden) , Mackenzie Russo (New Milford), Vic San Pietro (Stratford), Michelle Schapp (Torrington), JodyLynn Tedford (Colchester), and Jacqueline Tromp (Bohemia, NY).

At right: Michelle Schapp

The  freshmen are Abby Arisco (Wallingford), Shannon Coleman (Plantsville), Taylor Errichiello (Brookfield), Stacey Ferraro (Morris),  Kayla Smoragiewicz  (Norwalk) and Rachel Thatcher (Newington).

"We have added depth as well", says Fahey, "We'll have the people in the second and third positions that are going to step up and get us more points."

The team has high goals as it did last year: Keep improving to qualify for the New England (NEISDA) Division II-III championships in late February.

"Our goals are maintaining through the end of the year to gear up for our big championship at the end of the year to qualify for New Englands", says Fahey.

A storyline for the year: watching the nine-person returning sophomore class with much more to prove in the pool.

"My returning starters are largely dominated by the sophomore class" says Fahey. "There are a lot of kids coming into their second season here who do not realize how good they can be ."

Newcomers expected to make an impact are O'Leary, who swam two years at Division I Central Connecticut, and freshmen Arisco (sister of Amy) and Smoragiewicz. Arisco swims the freestyle, O'Leary the breaststroke and Smoragiewicz the backstroke.

As for coaching for the last 15 years at Eastern, Fahey  attributes many factors to her enjoyment. 

"[It's] the kids, I really like working with the kids" says Fahey. "I like my coaching staff at Eastern and I like the other coaches of the other sports that I work with. Ultimately, I'm here every day for the kids".

Returning to Fahey's side are eighth-year assistant Amy Golas and seventh-year assistant Bill Hassell. Golas was one of the most accomplished swimmers during her four-year Eastern career and Hassell is a former Division I New England champion..

Field Hockey: Stroke of (Bad) Luck

Western's penalty stroke in OT puts end to Warriors' LEC tourney hopes

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - A penalty stroke late in sudden-death overtime officially ended the Little East Conference playoff hopes of the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team Thursday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right Freshman Deisy Naranjo (white shirt) works for possession of the ball Thursday night against Western.

After Eastern (2-13, 0-9 Little East) bounced back from a two-goal deficit for the second time in the last three conference contests to tie the match , Brittany Barra's penalty stroke with 3:22 left in a 30-minute sudden death session - awarded when Eastern senior goalie Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) was cited for covering up a loose ball during a scramble in front of the net -- gave Western Connecticut State University (9-6, 4-5 Little East) a 3-2 victory.

The loss mathematically eliminates the Warriors from attaining one of the eight LEC playoff spots in the 12-team conference, while Western moves into a four-way tie for sixth place in the conference with the win in the match which had been postponed Wednesday due to rain.

Down 2-0 in the opening minutes of the second half, Eastern's defense held Western scoreless from the field for the remaining 60 minutes. The Warriors got one back on senior forward Erika Malito's (Killingly) third goal of the season on an assist from first-year junior Hannah Collier (Watertown) ten minutes into the second half, and pulled even with 8:14 left in regulation on senior midfielder Lyndsey Zavisza's (Suffield) first goal of 2011 on an assist from freshman forward Deisy Naranjo (Washington Heights, NY) -- the first point of her career.

Neither team was able to break through the first 15-minute sudden-death overtime  -- Eastern managing two shots and a penalty corner - and appeared headed toward a penalty-stroke shootout after Reichardt made a sprawling, game-saving (to that point) save on a breakaway by Deanne Mastrocola with 3:39 left in the second overtime.

On the play, however, Western was awarded its 15th penalty corner of the match - sixth in overtime. Team scoring leader Lauren Atkinson provided the hit-in on the corner,  then took a return pass soon after from Barra. Atkinson became tangled up with Reichardt while fighting for the loose ball in front of the cage when the infraction was whistled. Atkinson found a small opening between Reichardt and the left post on her ensuing game-ending penalty stroke.

After Western had the better of play in the first half - Eastern's first shot did not come until 5:33 remained in the first half - the Warriors' defense helped swing the momentum back in the hosts' favors. Starting defenders were junior Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor), sophomore Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) and freshman Jennifer Mitteness (Waterford), with sophomore Nicole Vitello (Wallingford) coming off the bench.


Barra figured in all three of Western's goals, setting up teammates for the first two.
 Mastrocola had given Western its  1-0 lead at halftime with her third goal of the season in the 26th minute and  Kim Gigante made it 2-0 1:22 into the second half.  Barra assisted on both goals, giving her a team-leading five helpers.
 
Reichardt made 13 saves for Eastern, which was outshot 22-7.  Three of her saves came on four Western shots (prior to the stroke) in the second overtime session. She stopped Mastrocola twice and Atkinson once. All four of Western's shot in the second overtime prior to the stroke followed penalty corners.

Subbing for the injured Alyssa Picariello, sophomore Courtney Hearn made three saves to gain her first win of the year.

For the fourth time in the last six matches between the teams, the match has been determined in overtime, both teams winning twice. In 2008 at Danbury, Eastern gained a 3-2 verdict on a game-winning goal 10:29 into overtime. Current senior Ali Chapman (Watertown) scored the first goal of that match but the Colonials later rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime. Reichardt came off the bench to post 45 scoreless minutes to earn her first career win.

Eastern visits Worcester State University Saturday at 3 p.m. in  a Little East Conference match.

 

W-Volleyball: Warriors Sweep Rams

In first meeting in 25 years, they remain perfect against Framingham

Below: Kristianna Ibsen

ibsen head 72_2670.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- In the first meeting between the programs in WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg25 years, sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford) had a career-high 16 digs and three players combined for 25 kills  to carry the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team to its ninth win in its last 11 matches, 3-0, over Framingham State University Wednesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Game scores were 25-18, 25-21, 25-11.

Seniors Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton), and junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) combined for 25 of Eastern's 37 kills and combined on a .391 attack percentage as Eastern (16-7) surged to its eighth straight home victory after three opening losses.

Framingham (16-9) had won its last three, six of seven and ten of 13 heading into the match. The teams were meeting for the first time since 1986. The Warriors have won ten straight sets in four victories in as many tries in the series.

Slonski  had 12 kills and a .450 attack percentage, Ibsen seven kills and a .333 attack perentage and Wilson six kills and a .357 attack percentage. Slonski also had three service aces, eight assists and seven digs and Wilson nine digs. Senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) added 11 assists and five digs and freshman Allie Henry (Middletown) 11 assists.

Eastern did not commit an attack error in the third set, Slonski collecting six kills in seven attempts.

Framingham  got 11 digs and four kills from Ashley Nee and nine digs from Michelle DeJesus. Morgan Drew had 13 assists.

A winner of its first Little East Conference match Oct. 11 against Rhode Island College after three opening losses, the Warriors return to conference play Saturday against Plymouth State University at Foley Gymnasium at noon, and will also face the University of New England in a non-conference match at 1:30 p.m.

Eastern shares fifth place in the conference with Rhode Island College. Plymouth (17-9, 3-1 LEC)) is tied for second place with Keene State College  The top six teams in the eight-team conference qualify for the LEC playoffs, which get underway Nov. 1.

Eastern Conn. 3, Framingham State U. 0

Framingham State (16-9) 18 21 11
Eastern Conn. (16-7)  25 25 25

W-Soccer: Warriors Rally Late in Loss

Trinity scores first two goals of match and hands them a 2-1 setback

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Above: Kelly Wallace contests a loose ball in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Trinity.

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Leigh Howard scored on a 35-yard free kick in the first half and  Jenny Ley knocked in a one-timer on a cross from Elisa Dolan in the second half as Trinity College snapped a four-match losing streak and handed the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team its fourth loss in the last five matches, 2-1, in a non-conference match Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

With Eastern (7-8-0) trailing 2-0, junior forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) was taken down in the box near the end line with five minutes left and converted a penalty kick  goal with a hard drive inside the left post - her team-leading tenth of the year and 28th of her three-year career -- to pull the Warriors to within a goal.

Now 2-2-3 against Trinity (5-5-2) in the last seven meetings, Eastern spent most of the second half in the Bantams' end of the field but could only muster Marchitto's penalty-kick goal.  Ley's second goal of the season on a one-timer off an end-line cross from Dolan with seven minutes left was answered by Marchitto  two minutes later, but the Warriors did not threaten over the final five minutes.

The Bantams, who have lost four of their matches this year to teams ranked among this week's top six in New England, threatened twice in the first 15 minutes before breaking through in the 18th minute on Howard's  third goal of the year. Awarded a free kick from 35 yards out after the Warriors were issued a yellow card, Howard nailed a hard drive which sailed just under the cross bar inside the near right post.

Twelve minutes into the match, Eastern junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) robbed Trinity's Katie Giberson by diving to her left to make a save at the right post to keep Trinity off the board. Eight minutes later, Giberson leaped to head a serve from Dolan wide of the left post.

With the match still scoreless a minute later, Eastern senior Sam Konopka (Hebron) sent a free kick from the right side on goal. Trinity keeper Lily Pepper was unable to handle the play cleanly, and the ball  landed at the feet of senior Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel), who volleyed the loose  ball over the crossbar.

Eastern outshot Trinity 19-10 - including 14-4 in the second half - and did not allow a corner kick in the match.

Eastern plays its fourth straight home match Saturday when it hosts the University of Southern Maine at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

The Warriors, winners of the last 12 meetings against Southern Maine, enter play Saturday sharing second place in the conference with Western Connecticut, both teams a game back of leader Keene State College. Also Saturday, Keene visits UMass Dartmouth and Western visits UMass Boston.

 

Hall of Fame: Amy Keane Gets the Call

She was a member of the inaugural women's soccer program

Keane Formal HeadCOLOR.jpegWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A member of the first intercollegiate women's soccer team, first post-season tournament team and a four-time team defensive MVP, Amy Keane Steed has been selected to the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by selection committee chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.

A 5-foot-2 inch sweeperback, Keane was a four-year starter between 1986 and 1989, serving as the starting sweeperback on the inaugural team under the direction of her former high school coach and E-Club Hall of Famer Beth Regan '79. Keane started 52 of a possible 55 matches in her career and was a member of the first (ECAC) post-season tournament team in 1988 and first NCAA Division III post-season tournament team the following year.

Keane rounds out the six-person E-Club Hall of Fame Class of 2011, joining five previously-announced inductees:  Joe Funaro (1992-95)(baseball), Kathleen Kimball Tredwell (1991-95) (women's volleyball), Melissa Kowolenko Angle (1989-93) (women's basketball), Paul Martineau (1982-85)(baseball), and Shannon Sligo (1997-00) (men's lacrosse).

The 18th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 30 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at yeo@easternct.edu or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at smithsc@easternct.edu.

A native of Tolland, Keane was recognized as the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player every season in her career and also served as a team captain as a junior and senior. She is among the first three four-year letterwinners in program history, joining Donna Beland and E-Club Hall of Fame Robin Gaby, a two-sport athlete.

Despite being a newly-minted program, Eastern never experienced a losing season during Keane's career. The Warriors won 35, lost 17 and tied 3 (66.4 winning percentage) and were  ranked among the national Top 20 ten times  and in the New England poll 15 times. Eastern defeated the University of Bridgeport, 5-2, in its inaugural match Sept. 17, 1986, and lost a 2-0 decision to William Smith College in the opening round of the 1989 NCAA Division III tournament at the old Alumni Field in the final match of Keane's career.

Having found a large measure of success in high school under Regan at Tolland, Keane was looked upon as a mentor, leader and role model by her college teammates, many of whom offered  the program limited high school experience.

"Amy was a 'pioneer' who broke new ground and was a leader in establishing a program that has become one of the best in the country," noted Regan. "She was our earliest 'recruit'.  In order to compete, we needed to defend -- first and foremost -- and not give up goals. Amy was that exceptional defender.  She was small in size, but she was big in skill, heart and tenacity.  As our sweeper, Amy was the anchor in our program."

 In only the third season on the intercollegiate level in 1988, Eastern  compiled a 13-4-0 record and qualified for its first tournament -- the ECAC New England Division III tournament. In October of the following year, Keane was part of the seminal moment in program history when, on the road, the Warriors stunned national power Plymouth State (1-0), the top-ranked team in New England which was ranked No. 3 nationally. That victory - more than any other one previously in program history - set the tone for years to come. It also was the influencing factor for Eastern's selection to its first NCAA tournament in only its fourth season.

"Amy set a standard of excellence that has continued to this day," points out Regan. "She could contain, defend and gain possession of the ball like no one else. Her quickness, ability to see the field of play and anticipation allowed our team to be successful not only in that first season, but in the three years to follow. 

A former soccer coach at Tolland High School for ten years, Keane holds a B.S. Degree in Health and Physical Education from Eastern and an M.S. in Physical Education from Central Connecticut State University. Keane has taught Health and Physical Education in the Tolland Public Schools for the past 12 years and resides in  Vernon with her husband, John, and children Hannah, 15, Joanna, 9, and Jack, 8.

 


 

M-Soccer: Defense Denies Coast Guard

Furman's 11th career game-winner sparks Warriors past Bears, 1-0

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) scored his 11th career game-winning goal 12 minutes into the second half to carry the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team to a 1-0 non-conference verdict over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Tuesday afternoon in the final regular-season match of the year at Thomas Nevers Field.

At right: Midfielders Cory Tobler (left) of Eastern and Joe Bodzewski.of Coast Guard battle for possession in Tuesday's match at Nevers Field.

With its third straight win over Coast Guard (4-8-1), Eastern (10-4-1) has now won as many as ten matches in a season for five consecutive seasons under fifth-year head coach Greg DeVito for the first time in the program's 51-year history.

Furman's team-leading seventh goal and 23rd of his career was set up by senior back Matt Esposito (East Haven) and junior midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland). Furman worked a give-and-go with Tober who layed the ball off on the right side to Esposito, who found Furman near the top of the box for a return pass. Furman settled the pass and fired a high, hard shot inside the right post.

smilesheadercga72_7161.jpgIn posting its tenth shutout in 15 outings this year, Eastern's defense held Coast Guard without a shot until just 1:20 remained in the first half and without a corner kick through the first 74 minutes.

At left: Eastern All-Region defender Aaron Smiles gets a head up on Coast Guard's Brett Godiksen Tuesday.

Making his first start of the season, junior Jordan Munsell (Waterford) recorded his second shutout in four career starts. His only save came with 10:25 left, when he left his feet at the right post to smother a low hard shot by sophomore Sam Zogran-Werness. Coast Guard's reserves took all three of the team's shots.

With the shutout, Munsell lowers his career goals-against average to 0.45 in 605 minutes.

Furman, Tobler and senior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) all made bids to break the first-half deadlock, but Coast Guard junior keeper Will Leffler made two of his four first-half saves on those plays. Sixteen minutes into play, Tobler shot in the box sailed wide; with ten minutes left, Smiles ripped a free kick through traffic but right at the keeper; and with four minutes left, Furman split two defenders after collecting the ball on a long serve, but was unable to gather himself and his slow roller was fielded easily by Leffler.

Seven minutes after Furman's goal,  Eastern sophomore midfielder Luke Capezzone (Colchester) took a pass from Tobler on the left side but his attempt to double Easetrn's lead bounded inches wide of the right post.

 Eastern visits the University of Southern Maine Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match. The Warriors lead the LEC with a 5-0-0 record with two regular-season conference matches remaining.

W-Volleyball: Team Effort Lifts Warriors

 In sweep, they attack at .306 and commit only two  reception errors 

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At left: Gianna Trombino

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball teamWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg  won for the seventh time in the last eight matches by scores of 25-12, 25-18, 25-12 over  Mitchell College Monday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

In a 57-minute match,  Eastern (15-7) attacked at .306, commited only two reception errors and had nine service aces in winning for the third time in as many contests in this series with Mitchell (6-7).

Senior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) had 13 kills and attacked at .360 and junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had eight kills and a .500 attack percentage with two service aces and three blocks. Slonski also had  six digs  and 11 assists and senior Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) seven digs. Senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) added 14 assists and two service aces. Senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) joined Wilson with three blocks, with five different players combing on the team's two block solos and eight block assists.

Eastern never trailed in the first two sets and shook free in the third to outscore the visitors 10-3 and move out to a 13-7 lead. Slonski had six kills in nine tries with only one error in the first set and junior Danielle Bourne (Branford) and freshman Haley Roberts (Windham) combined for five kills in the second set. Trombina had two service aces in the second set and nine of her 14 assists in the third set.

As a team, the Warriors cleanly handled 31 of 33 receptions. Wilson was perfect on 11 tries and Abelli on ten.

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

 

 

W-Soccer: Warriors Shade Beacons, 2-1

Behind Tamar Merheb's game-winner, Warriors turn back UMass Boston

celebratews72dpi_7025.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore Tamar Merheb's (Bethel) first goal in five weeks with ten minutes left proved to be the game-winner as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team regained a share of second place in the Little East Conference with a 2-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Monday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: The Warriors celebrate Kelly Wallace's first-half goal.

Merheb drilled a 25-yard free kick into the upper right-hand corner of the net to snap a 1-1 tie in the 80th minute as Eastern  (7-7-0, 4-1-0 Little East) remained unbeaten in the all-time series with UMass (10-5-0, 3-2-0 Little East), improving to 16-0-2.

Because this match had been postponed Saturday due to wet field conditions, Eastern and UMass had entered the night sharing third place in the conference, three points behind second-place Western Connecticut State University and six points behind LEC leader Keene State College. With the victory, Eastern locks up one of the LEC playoff berths accorded the top six teams in the final standings and remains in a tie with Western for second place and one of two first-round tournament byes. (Eastern holds the tie-breaker over Western by virtue of its 2-0 regular-season road win over the Colonials Oct 1.

The teams traded goals Monday before Merheb blasted her first  game-winning goal of the season and first goal  overall since Sept. 11. Junior Kelly Wallace's  (South Windsor) fourth goal of the year - first in nearly three weeks - gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead  in the 13th minute, but the Beacons answered  four minutes into the second half when senior Kristin Mulry scored an unassisted goal. Wallace worked a give-and-go with junior Daniela Marchitto (Orange), beating UMB freshman keeper Dani Perkins on a shot near  the right post that rolled inside the far left post. Mulry scored her eighth goal of the season following a UMB corner kick when she averted a defender and hit a hard line drive past Eastern senior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield).

UMass entered the match leading the LEC in most goals scored and least allowed and featured the LEC's top scorer in freshman Krista Ledin. Ledin uncorked four of her team's nine shots, but forced MacLeod to save only one. Two of her shots ran just one, however, including one in the first half on a break from the right flank that beat MacLeod but travelled just wide of the left post.Early in the second half, Ledin had a 1v1 opportunity with MacLeod but drilled the ball off the near post.

Moments before Wallace's go-ahead goal, Perkins had made a leaping save of a long Eastern free kick, barely getting her gloves on the drive and knocking it away from the goal.  Leading 2-1, the Warriors made a bid to add insurance, but Perkins made a save on a shot by Tamar Merheb in the 80th minute, and a minute later, senior Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel) headed a long cross just wide.

The contest was a re-match of last year's LEC semifinals at Mansfield, which ended in a 1-1 overtime tie. The Beacons advanced on penalty kicks, losing to Western in the title match.

Eastern hosts Trinity College Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

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M-Soccer: Warriors Upended by Babson

Anderson has goal and assist as Beavers post victory over Eastern

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Above: Eastern's five seniors and their families were honored at halftime (Chris Ganoe photo)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  First-team All-America junior Eric Anderson had a goal and assist as No. 20 nationally-ranked Babson College gained its first win over Eastern Connecticut State University in three years with a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

Now unbeaten (11-0-2) in its last 13 matches, Babson (11-2-2) scored in the final minutes of the first half and made it 2-0  35 seconds into the second to win its first match in the series in four matches.  Babson is ranked No. 3 in New England and Eastern No. 6 in New England.

Trailing 2-0, Eastern got one back with 15 minutes left senior Matt Esposito (East Haven) converted a penalty kick which was awarded when the Beavers were whistled for a hand ball in the box in knocking down an Eastern shot in a crowd.

Anderson, last year's New England Women's and Men's Conference Player-of-the-Year, gave Babson a 1-0 lead when he knocked in junior Salomon Guindi's corner kick with a header for his team-leading ninth goal of the season with 2:13 left in the first half. Anderson then set up senior Ryan Obolewicz 's second goal of the season with a short pass in the box that Obolewicz sent past Eastern senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) from close range.

Eastern nearly forced  overtime in the final seconds when sophomore Tom Vear (Monson, MA) collected the ball in the box but tipped the ball past the left post as the final horn sounded.

Babson senior Max Walker who controlled the tempo throughout the match, nearly scored in the first half when his sizzling 30-yard line drive caught Appel flatfooted but banked off the right post and was cleared by Eastern senior Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA)

Six-foot four inch senior keeper Peter Crowley was credited with only three saves but was aggressive throughout the match, punching out corner kicks and hustling off his line to beat Eastern players to the ball. Appel also made three saves.

Esposito, Appel and Smiles and classman Matt Kalmin (Burlington) and Sean Collins (Bristol) -- the team's five seniors -- were honored at halftime of the match on Seniors' Day.

Eastern hosts U.S. Coast Guard Academy Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Nevers Field.

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W-Volleyball: Streak Stopped by CGA

Ranked sixth in New England, Coast Guard tops Warriors in four

millercga72dpi_5723.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn. --  Junior middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had 13 kills and a .684 attack percentage when the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team sustained a four-set loss to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday morning. Coast Guard won by   25-15, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21.

At left: Erynn Miller

The loss is Eastern's (14-7) first  after it won six straight (at home) in  18 consecutive sets. Coast Guard (17-5),  ranked No. 6 in New England, defeated Eastern for the third straight time and seventh time in the last eight tries.

Wilson, and sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford) combined for 20 kills and a.606 attack percentage. Miller had seven kills and a .500 attack percentage.

Wilson, Miller, senior Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) and senior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) all had at least ten digs. Abelli picked up 19, Wilson 17, Slonski 11 and Miller ten.  Slonski had  24 assists and senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) seven.

Eastern hosts Mitchell College Monday at 7 p.m.

 

M-Soccer: Carl Appel Has Career Day

 In win, All-Region keeper sets program records for shutouts and matches

appel72umb_5257.jpgBOSTON, Mass. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior men's soccer goalkeeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) enjoyed a career day Saturday afternoon in the Warriors' 2-0 Little East Conference win over the University of Massachusetts Boston.

A four-year starter, Appel broke program career records in the match with his 26th shutout and 75th appearance in making a career-high 11 saves en route to his 50th career win against 15 losses and seven ties. The victory extends his program record in that department. He also holds program records among goalkeepers for minutes (6.455), starts (74) and goals-against average (0.77).

In four career starts against UMass Boston (8-5-0, 1-4 Little East), Appel has allowed only one goal in 315 minutes. He  also shut the Beacons out as a freshman in 2008.

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For Eastern, ranked No. 8 in New England, sophomore Tom Vear (Monson, MA) scored his second goal of the season less than two minutes before halftime and added his team-leading fifth assist when junior Matt Furman (Montville) added his team-leading sixth goal of the year a little more than three minutes into the second half.

At right: Tom Vear rejoices after the 2-0 win over UMass Boston (Photo courtesy of the UMass Boston Sports Information Office).

The victory - Eastern's 12th straight over UMass -- keeps the Warriors atop the Little East standings with a 5-0-0 record (9-3-1 overall) and moves them to within two of their first perfect LEC regular season in 23 years of play (in 1991, they were 4-0-1) and a step closer to at least a share of their third LEC regular-season crown in the last five years.

Eastern hosts Babson College Sunday at 3 p.m. at Thomas Nevers FIeld. The Beavers are ranked third in New England and No. 20 nationally. The Warriors defeated Babson on its own field both last year and in 2009.

Cross-Country: Warriors Tripped by RIC

Quinones wins women's race; freshmen pace men's team at finish line

Complete Results.pdf

Quinones_7636 SLIDE.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  Senior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) won the individual title for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's cross country team but Rhode Island College captured the top three places in the men's competition Saturday morning at Mansfield Hollow State Park.

At left: Amanda Quinones

The Rhode Island men and women both defeated Eastern for the third straight year. The Eastern women were edged for the second straight year by a score of 27-28. A five-point winner over Eastern in 2009 and 2010, the RIC men's team recorded a  13-point, 21-34 decision this year.

In the only dual meet race for either team this year, Quinones (20:04) eased to the  individual title  in a field of  16 in the women's competition over the 5,000 meter layout. Quinones, who had finished second in this race in each of her two previous tries the last two years, outran RIC freshman Alyssa O'Connor.cattanachric72dpi_6792.jpg

For the women, the score was tied after each squad had put its No. 4 runners across the finish line, and was determined when RIC senior Brittany Richer outran Eastern first-year sophomore Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) for ninth place.

At right: Lee Cattanach

Running her first race of the season, Eastern freshman Ashley Westman (Newington) finished a solid fifth - third among Warriors behind Quinones and junior Cora Gingras (East Hampton).  Also placing among Eastern top five scoring women was sophomore Alexa Palasky (Griswold). Eastern  was without sophomore No. 3 runner Katie France (Portland).

Coming off an eighth-place finish last Saturday at the James Earley Invitational at Westfield, MA, RIC was powered Saturday by the 1-2-3 finish of junior Conor McCloskey and freshmen Shawn Stadnick and Ian LaPlume.

McCloskey (24:03), second to teammate Mike Macedo last year and third to Eastern's Dave Hunt and Macedo in 2009 in this race,  won by 48 seconds over Stadnick (24:51) and more than a minute over LaPlume (25:07).

Eastern featured three freshmen leading the way for the team in  Lee Cattanach (New London), David Klein (New Milford) and Austin Baldour (Newtown). Cattanach (25:18) was fourth overall, Klein (25:19) fifth and Baldour (25:22) seventh. Also figuring in the scoring for the Warriors were junior Tim Callahan (Portland)  and junior Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury). Callahan (25:29) was eighth overall, Franklin (25:57) tenth.

The Eastern men and women compete in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships at North Dartmouth, MA.

For Appel, Success is Spelled T-E-A-M

With shutout record in sight, senior keeper has sights set only on winning

By Jonathan Mizger '13

appel jersey 72_2528.jpgWILLIMANTIC,Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University seniorWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg soccer co-captain Carl Appel has provided the leadership and hard work to carry out the team's goals this season.

"Win the conference, win the conference tournament, and go as far enough to win the national championship," are the team goals, according to Appel, a four-year starter from West Windsor, NJ.

Last season, the team finished with 14 wins, 4 losses, and 3 ties, placing second in the Little East Conference regular season, and won a first-round NCAA Division III tournament game for the first time after qualifying on an at-large basis Currently at 8-3-1 and in first place in the conference with a 4-0-0 record. , the future looks bright for the team to stay on pace of achieving its goals.

appeljump72dpi_5252.jpg"We've been performing very well", said Appel, "We have our ups and downs here and there sometimes, but we find ways to get ourselves back on track".

Appel's off-season training has aided the team's success this season, from weight- room work, speed and agility training, working out with teammates, and his own personal training. "[My teammates are] like my little brothers and I try to look after them as best as I can, and make sure they are doing everything to the best of their ability, points out Appel. " If  I can help everybody do those little things, it puts our team in the best position to win."
 
Since his freshman season in 2008, the solid 5-foot-11 inch, 185-pounder has played in 74 matches as goalkeeper. For his career, he has allowed only 55 goals, a goals-against average of 0.78, recorded 299 saves, with a record of 49 wins, 15 losses, and 7 ties. He currently leads the conference in GAA and save percentage - categories in which he ranks among the national Top 20 - and has helped the team to a conference-best eight shutouts.

Appel's on-the-field success is also present off-the-field and inside the classroom. As a student-athlete, Appel  received high honors last year as a second-team NSCAA Scholar All-America and first-team NSCAA Scholar All-Region selection. With a cumulative GPA of better than 3.50, he also received an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in his first season of eligibility last year. Appel mentioned how working hard in the classroom allowed him to earn these awards.

"Whether it's 9 o'clock at night or 6 o'clock in the morning, Carl is motivated and is determined to do well, day in and day out,"  praises head coach Greg DeVito.

Appel's  soccer career has been influenced by his teammates -- who have shared his passion for the game - as well as by his father, Carl Sr.

"My dad [when I was in high school] would be the first one to the field," says Appel, "He'd beat our whole team there. In club games, my dad would wake me up five hours before the game and he'd be ready to leave the house. It's little things that you end up appreciating the most and it keeps me motivated now for the last few games I have."

Earlier this year, Appel took over second place all-time in career full shutouts, moving ahead of current goalkeeper coach Jay Barney, who amassed 23 full shutouts in the four years prior to Appel's arrival. Even though he has tied the program record of  25 (held by E-Club Hall of Famer Joel Boisvert), Appel is focused on leading the team and getting all of his teammates focused on the main goal of winning.

Appel's importance to the team success was never more important than in his first season in 2008. Without a proven starting keeper on the squad, head coach DeVito turned to Appel following the graduation of Barney the previous spring. Appel responded by starting all 22 matches and gained credit for eight full shutouts (he also started two additional matches which ended in shutout) and a 0.83 GAA and an .811 save percentage. He logged a career-high 1,951 minutes that season when Eastern went 15-4-1 and earned the No. seed in the ECAC tournament. Appel allowed only one goal in three post-season matches in that tournament.

"Carl has improved tremendously throughout his career," noted DeVito, the fifth-year head coach. "But as a freshman, he was a necessity. We had no (other keeper) on the team at the time and we put him in and he did well."

Appel has started all but four of the team's matches in his career and has never come off the bench or missed a contest due to injury.  In addition to Appel's 25 full shutouts, Eastern has shut out its opponent another ten times. Since he did not play the entire match in those contests, however, he is not credited with a full shutout.

"Carl could have broken the (shutout) record a year ago," points out DeVito. "We had big leads in many games and we subbed out Carl to get the backups some experience. Carl is more focused on the team (than the record). It would be great to reach such a high accomplishment like that, but Carl wants the team to function as a whole and to perform to the best of  its ability."

"It's not that I don't care about it," said Appel of the record. "At the end of the day (though), it doesn't matter. As long as our team's winning the games and getting in the positions we need to be in to win those games and continue on into the postseason, that is what really matters."

Appel and his teammates look to maintain their position atop the conference
when they face a road test Saturday at Massachusetts Boston at 1p.m.


 
 

 

W-Volleyball: Winning Streak Hits Six

Warriors have won 18 consecutive sets after sweeping Johnson & Wales

slonskiibsen72dpi_5876.jpgWATCH: Senior Samantha Slonski.chats with internet broadcaster Nick Magoulas after the win. (2:28)                

WILLIMANTIC,Conn. --   The streaking Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team shook free from two close sets to post a decisive win in the third on the way to 25-23, 25-18, 25-12 victories over Johnson & Wales University Thursday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymasium.

At left: Samantha Slonski (11) and Kristianna Ibsen (9).

With its sixth straight win - its longest winning streak since late October of 2006 - Eastern (14-6) exceeds its entire win total of 2010 and its final win total in three of the last four years. Since losing three tight Little East Conference sets at Western Connecticut nine days ago, the Warriors have won all 18 sets in their six straight wins. They have won six straight matches at Geissler Gymnasium since dropping their first three home decisions last month.

Having lost five starters to graduation from last year's conference champion and NCAA qualifier and its best defensive player earlier this year, Johnson & Wales (3-21) dropped its fourth straight and seventh in the last eight outings. The Wildcats  have lost six matches this year to teams ranked in the New England Top 10 and to another team which is rated No. 14, and fall to 0-7 this season against teams from the Little East Conference.

After prevailing in two competitive sets, the Warriors broke from a five-all tie in the third set to score eight of the next ten points and move out to a 13-7 lead. Senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) had two kills, sophomore Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) one and senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) a service ace to spark that 8-2 run that gave the hosts the momentum for good. Junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) contributed four kills in five attempts  and three blocks in the third set and senior Samantha Slonski (Griswold) added six digs.

In the match,  Slonski  had 11 kills, two blocks, ten assists and 14 digs; Wilson
11 kills with a .400 attack percentage,  five blocks, and ten digs; Ibsen seven kills with a .238 attack percentage, three service aces, and two blocks;  senior libero Taylor Abelli  (Cheshire) 15 digs and 23 reception attempts with only one  error; sophomore Erynn Miller (Stratford)  12 digs and 12 reception attempts with no errors; Trombino eight assists and freshman Allie Henry (Middletown) ten.

Eastern attacked at only .190  but commited only four reception errors and four service errors. Johnson & Wales, which started three freshmen and featured 13 freshmen and sophomores on its 16-player roster, attacked at a miserable .016 and had six service errors. Senior Audrey Warren led the Wildcats with six kills and two service aces and freshman Alyssa Drapeau had four kills and nine assists; sophomore Courtney Wright 11 digs and junior Karlie Haack nine.

Eastern snaps a two-year losing streak at the hands of the Wildcats and  improves its all-time record against the visitors to 11-6.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday at 11 a.m. The Bears are ranked No. 6 in New England.

 

Field Hockey: Scoring Bonanza (8-0)

Warriors net five goals in seven minutes in non-conference win

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Senior tri-captain Lyndsey Zavisza (below) visits with internet broadcaster Nick Magoulas for a post-game interview WATCH! (1:59)

zavisza head 72dpi_2594.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- In the first match ever between the programs, Ali Chapman (Watertown) recorded the eighth hat trick in the program's 14-year history as the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team snapped a seven game losing streak with an 8-0 win over Daniel Webster College Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above Ali Chapman (white jersey) moves the ball against Maeghan Farrelly in the second half of Wednesday's 8-0 win.

Leading 2-0 at halftime, Eastern (2-11) scored five goals in a span of seven minutes in the second half. Chapman scored both Eastern goals in the first half and added her team-leading sixth of the season in the second half, when six different players scored the six goals.

Daniel Webster (3-6) senior goalie Amy Prince made nine of her 15 saves in the first half when she kept the match scoreless for the first 21 minutes before the Warriors set a program record with six goals in one half over the final 35 minutes. The 11 Daniel Webster starters played the entire 70 minutes, with fatigue contributing to their inability to take shots (1) or defend (17 shots allowed) in the second half. 

Junior Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor), sophomore Nicole Vitello (Wallingford) and freshman Maureen Hinman (Wallingford) all recorded their first collegiate points. Hinman and Vitello each had a goal and assist and DeLuca a goal. First-year junior Hannah Collier (Watertown) was credited with her first collegiate assist when she set up Chapman's first goal of the match in the 22nd minute.

The team's 37 shots established a match record and the goal total was one shy of the program record set two years ago tomorrow in a home win over Lasell College. The eight-goal winning margin and eight-goal margin in a shutout also tie  the program record set against Stevens Tech seven years ago.

Senior goalie Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) made three saves to post her second career shutout.

The program's active scoring leader, Chapman boosted her four-year totals of 15 goals and 41 points. She shares fifth place all-time in career goals, shares fourth in assists and is fifth in points.

The Eagles competed in last year's ECAC New England Division III tournament and finished with a 12-5 record.

Eastern visits Keene State College in a Little East Conference match Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

W-Volleyball: Warriors Win First in LEC

They prevail in three tight sets to record fifth straight home sweep

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The  Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team produced when it mattered most - down the stretch - in sweeping to its fifth straight home victory Tuesday night in a Little East Conference decision over Rhode Island College at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Game scores were 25-23, 25-23, 25-22.

Above: Erynn Miller (left) and Taylor Abelli (right) handled 45 receptions against Rhode Island with only one error. (Cristina Danielson photo)

Eastern's (13-6, 1-3 Little East) second sweep of Rhode Island (12-9, 1-3) this year (the first does not count in the LEC standings) moves the Warriors from a tie for seventh place in the conference into a tie for fifth with Rhode Island and Masachusetts Dartmouth. UMass Dartmouth was swept at conference-leader Massachusetts Boston (4-0).

The win also equals the team's win total of a year ago and provides it with a season-high five-match win streak.

Senior Samantha Slonski  (Griswold) had 12 kills, two service aces, 16 digs, and 15 assists to lead the Warriors. Senior Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) added ten kills, two  service aces and five blocks and junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) eight kills, ten  digs and two blocks. Sophomore  Erynn Miller  (Stratford) handled 28 receptions without an error and chipped in six digs. Senior libero Taylor Abelli  (Cheshrie) had 14 digs.

For Rhode Island, which had won ten of its last 12 after a dropping six of its first eight,  Breanna  Boyer had  11 kills with a .500 attack pct., and 11 dig.
Marina Stoermer contributed eight  kills with a .267 attack pct., eight  digs and six blocks, and Jessica Ho 20 assists

Eastern hosts Johnson  & Wales University Thursday at 7 p.m.  The Wildcats were swept by Rhode Island on  Sunday.


Set 1:
Eastern gave up the first four points of the match on attack and reception errors but battled back in a game which featured eight ties. The Warriors broke the final tie (20-20) by scoring four of the next five points. Kills from Miller and Wilson gave the Warriors the lead for good and senior Gianna Trombino came off the bench to deliver a service ace which made it 24-21. Wilson and Slonski each had four kills in the set for Eastern.

Set 2:
Rhode Island again jumped quickly with the first three points. Trailing by five, Eastern went on a 6-1 run to tie the match at 17-all and later  snapped a 20-20 tie with the next two points, in similar fashion to the first set. Wilson put down a left-handed kill and Slonski followed with  a kill to give Eastern the 22-20 lead. Ibsen's solo block ended the set. In the 6-1 run that tied the match, Ibsen had a kill and solo block, Slonski and Miller added kills and the Warriors tied the match on a Rhode Island service error and attack error. Ibsen contributed five kills in the set, Abelli five digs and Slonski four digs. Miller handled ten receptions without an error.

Set 3:
Eastern scored four of the final five points of the set on two kills from Ibsen, and a kill and match-ending ace from Slonski.  After Eastern scored two early points to tie the match at 5-all, neither team led by more than  two points until Slonski's decisive ace. Ibsen, Slonski and Wilson combined for ten of Eastern's 11 kills in the set. Slonski added seven digs and Ibsen two solo blocks.

Eastern Conn. 3, Rhode Island College 0

Rhode Island College (12-9, 1-3 Little East)     23    23   22
Eastern Conn. (13-6, 1-3 Little East)               25    25   25


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W-Soccer: Unbeaten Amherst Survives

Late goal helps region's top-ranked team avoid Warriors' upset bid

violette amherst72_6296.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A year ago, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in New England and escaped with a 2-1 road victory against an Amherst College team with a .500 record.

Above: Senior Laura Violette of Eastern and Maya Jackson-Gibson of Amherst.

Tuesday, the roles were reversed. Ranked No. 1 in New England and unbeaten, Amherst (9-0-0) broke a tie with  just over 13 minutes left to trim a .500 Eastern team (6-7-0) by the same 2-1 score at Thomas Nevers Field.

Ranked eighth nationally as one of  seven undefeated teams (three have won all of their matches)  in Division III, Amherst got a ho-ahead goal  from sophomore forward Amanda Brisco with eight minutes left in the first half, then snapped a tie with just over 13 minutes left for its tenth win in this series with Eastern against four losses and three ties.

The loss is the third straight this year for Eastern, which tied the match  14 minutes into the second  half on junior forward Daniela Marchitto's (Orange) team-leading ninth goal of the year on an assist from sophomore  midfielder Kaitlyn Kennedy (Burlington), who recorded her first career point with the pass that sprung Marchitto in the right flat.

Brisco gave  Amherst a 1-0 lead on a pass from junior midfielder Kathrun Nathan. Brisco took several touches past Eastern defenders and fired a perfectly-place, low hard shot from 18 yards that sailed just inside the left post. After Marchitto's game-tying goal,  junior back Emily Little  settled a pass in the box from sophomore midfielder Ellen Ingebritsen , turned, and volleyed a beautiful shot  from the top of the box into the upper right-hand corner of the net behond a leaping Eastern junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield).

Brisco, Ingebritsen and Little all came off the bench for Amherst to figure prominently in its scoring.

Eastern came within a whisker of forcing overtime as time expired. Following a quick corner kick, Eastern knocked the ball into the box, where sophomore back Tamar Merheb (Bethel) got a foot on it directly in front of Amherst keeper Allie Horwitz, but the ball deflected off a defender in front of the net as the horn sounded.

MacLeod made five saves while Horwitz made one while allowing only her second goal of the season. She entered the match ranked first nationally in save percentage and fourth in goals-against average. Amherst entered the match ranked third nationally in shutout percentage.

Amherst sophomore forward  Sarah Duffy created  a number of outstanding scoring chances in the second half of the match but could not finish them off. MacLeod saved one at the left post and leaped to grab another near the cross bar, and one hit the crossbar.  Tamar Merheb had Eastern's other best scoring chance when she banged a long free kick off the cross bar with the Warriors down 1-0 with two minutes left in the first half.

Eastern returns to action Saturday when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

M-Soccer: LEC Tabs Smiles for Honor

Senior defender named Defensive Player-of-the-Week for second time

smiles raw_6002.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the second time in 2011, Eastern Connecticut State University senior defender Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) has been named Defensive Player-of-the-Week in the Little East Conference for the week ending Oct. 9, it was announced today.

At left: Aaron Smiles (10) (Cristina Danielson photo)

A first-team All-New England Region and All-LEC selection, Smiles played all 181 minutes in a 1-1-0 week for Eastern (8-3-1), ranked sixth in New England. On Saturday, the Warriors posted their sixth shutout win in seven home matches with a 3-0 Little East Conference victory over 2010 LEC regular-season and tournament champion Keene State College. It was Eastern's first win and first win by shutout over Keene since 1970.

Smiles was similarly honored in the first weekly report of the season when the Warriors gave up only one goal in their first four matches en route to a 3-1-0 start.

With Smiles, Eastern finished first in the conference in least goals allowed or goals-against average, or both, in both 2009 and 2010 and has finished either first or tied for first in shutouts in each of the past three seasons. This year, the Warriors are again the top-rated defense in the conference in least goals allowed (6), goals-against average (0.49) and shutouts (8). Eastern's goals-allowed average this year of 0.50 is twice as good as its nearest LEC competitor.

The individual weekly honor is the sixth this season by an Eastern player. In addition to Smiles other players earlier honored this year were senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) and junior forwards Cory Tobler (Portland) and Matt Furman (Montville).  Appel was named Goalkeeper-of-the-Week twice and Tober and Furman the Offensive Player-of-the-Week once each.

Eastern looks for its fifth straight LEC win Saturday when it visits Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m.

 

Men's XC: Freshmen First at Westfield

Klein and Baldour are the Warriors' top finishers at Earley Invitational

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Klein (far left) and Baldour

WESTFIELD, Mass. - For the fourth time in as many meets this year, freshman David Klein (New Milford) led the Eastern Connecticut State University men's cross country team at the finish line. Saturday at the James Earley Cross Country Invitational, he placed among the top third of a 300-plus field in pacing the Warriors to 19th place in a field of 31 teams.

For the third time this year, freshmen were ahead of the field for Eastern. Saturday, for the second straight week, Klein was followed by freshman Austin Baldour (Newtown) over the 8.000 meter layout. In the season-opener a month ago at Fitchburg State, Klein and freshman Lee Cattanach (New London) were the first Eastern runners through the tape.

Saturday, Eastern's five scoring runners finished within a span of 49 seconds. Klein was 95th overall in a time of 29:05 among 306 finishers in a field which included competitors from all three divisions, community colleges, alumni teams and local running clubs. Baldour followed closely in a time of 29:27, good for 106th place overall, with junior Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury), senior Bryan Jorge (Bristol) and Cattanach.  Franklin was 120th overall (29:45), Jorge 127th (29:51) and Cattanach 130th (29:54).

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Saturday at 11 a.m. at Mansfield Hollow State Park.


TEAM RESULTS
(31 teams)
Top Ten

1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 67; 2. Greater Boston TC 102; 3. Westfield State U. 140; 4. Bridgewater State U. 142; 5. Westfield State U. Alumni 215; 6. U. of New England 218; 7. Le Moyne College 278; 8. Rhode Island College 299; 9. Saint Anselm College 329; 10. Massachusetts Dartmouth 342.
19. EASTERN CONN. 481.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
(306 Finishers)

EASTERN'S FINISHERS

95. (80) David Klein 29:05; 106. (89) Austin Baldour 29:27;  120. (100) Ryan Franklin 29:45; 127. (105) Bryan Jorge 29:51; 130. (107) Lee Cattanach 29:54; 144. (116) Kyle Shaw 30:11; 151. (121) Tim Callahan 30:18; 179. (--) 30:56; 179. (--) Ryan Hughes 30:56; 227. (--) Stephen Spranzo 32:39; 232. (--) Casey McGarvey 33:05;

 

W-XC: Quinones Earliest Ever at Earley

In field of 354, senior records highest finish ever by an Eastern female

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WESTFIELD, Mass. - Senior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) ran the fastest time and recorded the highest finish ever by an Eastern Connecticut State University female  at the 16th Annual James Earley Cross Country Invitational Saturday at Stanley Park.

At right: Amanda Quinones

Competing against runners from all three divisions, community colleges, alumni teams and local running clubs, Quinones was timed in 19:13 to place sixth among 354 competitors over the 5,000 meter layout. Due to sickness, only six runners competed for Eastern, which placed 12th in a record field of 38 teams. The Warriors finished among the top 32 percent of the competing teams, their best finish ever. Eastern has competed in the race every season.

For the second straight year in this race, Quinones broke 20 minutes. As a junior, she was timed in 19:41 in placing 20th. Until Saturday, that time and finish ever the best by an Eastern runner in the race. Quinones became the first Eastern female to lead the team in this race as many as three times. Only one other individual - former All-New England Alliance runner Erin Nolan in 2004 and 2005 - has led all Eastern runner in this race more than once.

Junior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and sophomore Katie France (Portland) also finshed among the Top 20 percent of the runners. Gingras was 57thoverall in a time of 20:15 and France was 71st overall in a time of 20:53.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Saturday at 11 a.m. at Mansfield Hollow State Park.

TEAM RESULTS
(38 teams)
Top Ten

1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 68; 2. Westfield State U. 85; 3. Le Moyne College 127; 4. U. of New England 134; 5. Saint anselm College 154; 6. Salve Regina U.  177; 7. Trinity College 201; 8. Massachusetts Dartmouth 205; 9. Clark U. 266; 10. Bridgewater State U. 292.
12. EASTERN CONN. 383

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
(354 Finishers)

EASTERN'S FINISHERS

6. (6) Amanda Quinones 19:13; 57. (54) Cora Gingras 20:35; 71. (66) Katie France 20:53; 149. (122) Melissa Zablonski 22:18; 168. (135) Denica Gagnon 22:42; 179. (142) Kelly Labanara 22:58.

M-Soccer: Warriors Hold Firmly to First

smilesksu72dpi_5967.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sophomores Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) , Tom Vear (Monson, MA) and Nathan Mozian (Southington) scored first-half goals and senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) tied the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer record with his 25th career shutout as the Warriors remained atop the Little East Conference standings with a 3-0 win over Keene State College Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

At left: Senior back Aaron Smiles (10) defends against Keene's Scott Douglas in the first half of Saturday's 3-0 victory. Smiles contributed an assist on Eastern's second goal. (Cristina Danielson photo).

Ranked sixth in New England, Eastern (8-3-1, 4-0-0 little east) posted its first victory and first regular-season shutout  over Keene State (5-6-1, 2-2-0 little east) in 41 years and recorded its sixth home shutout in seven outings this season.In 14 previous seasons of LEC regular-season play against the Owls, the Warriors had lost 11 and tied three.

With the win, Eastern remains three points ahead of Rhode Island College and five ahead of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the LEC standings. Saturday, the Anchormen (3-1-0) topped Western Connecticut, 1-0, on the road and UMass Dartmouth (2-1-1) edged visiting UMass Boston, 2-1. Like Keene, the University of Southern Maine (2-2-0) also lost (3-1 against visiting Plymouth State University) as both teams drop six points off the pace and share fourth place. 

The Warriors were the No. 1 ranked team in the LEC pre-season poll but Keene had won last year's LEC regular season and tournament titles. While Eastern had played Keene to a scoreless overtime draw in the championship game of the 2007 LEC tournament (Eastern being awarded the title on PKs), the Warriors  had not beaten the Owls by shutout since 1970, when they won, 3-0, at the old Alumni Field.

Coming off its only home loss Wednesday in overtime, 2-1, when it allowed its only home goal, Eastern scored twice in 17 minutes in the first half Saturday, and Mozian's first career goal off a throw-in from Vear 48 seconds before the end of the first half gave the hosts a three-goal cushion.

Power's fourth goal of the season (he had a hat trick for his first career goals 11 days ago at Nevers Field) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the 21st inute of play, and Vear's first goal of 2011 made it 2-0 less than 17 minutes later.toblerksc72dpi_5994.jpg

Sophomore Luke Capezzone (Colchester) sprung Power for the first goal of the match, with Power beating Keeene sophomore keeper Malcom Cheney in a 1-on-1 opportunity. After Keene was assessed a yellow car, senior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) sent a free kick to sophomore Zach Kice (Denver, CO), and Vear finished it off by touching it past Cheney at the left post to make it 2-0. Just before the half, Vear found Mozian at the left post on a long throw-in from in front of the Eastern bench, and Mozian placed it inside the post to complete the game's scoring.

Above: Junior Cory Tobler finds some running room in the first half of Saturday's 3-0 LEC win over Keene State at Nevers Field. (Cristina Danielson photo)

Eastern dominated much of the early going before Keene began to control play. Power's goal gave the momentum back to Eastern, however, and  Smiles nearly made it 2-0 with 11 minutes left in the half, but his header off a free kick from sophomore Christopher Giustina (Enfield) sailed just wide.

Down 3-0, Keene's best chance came  seven  minutes apart early ini the second half when passes from sophomore Scott Douglas and junior Kyle Leavitt set up junior Danny Silverman for an open header but the ball sailed wide.  Minutes later,  junior Joe Senecal - who scored the tying goal in Keene's 2-1 victory over Eastern last year - beat two Eastern defenders while heading toward the end line and fired a hard cross to senior Eric Martens at the far post. Martens just missed the ball, however, as it sailed out of the box.

Appel was credited with one official save  when he stopped a bid by Silverman two minutes into the second half. The shutout ties the record set by Eastern Hall of Famer Joel Boisvert between 1970 and 1973.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Boston in a conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.

Field Hockey: Comeback Falls Short

Warriors overcome two-goal deficit but allow late goal in LEC loss

zaviszassu72dpi_6162.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team erased a two-goal deficit in the second half but Salem State University scored the game-winner with 14 minutes left as the Warriors remained winless in the Little East Conference with a 3-2 loss Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left is Lyndsey Zavisza (white jersey), one of eight seniors honored on Seniors' Day Saturday. (Cristina Danielson photo).

Prior to the match, Eastern's eight outgoing seniors -- the largest senior class in program history -- were recognized.

In a battle of two teams looking for their first conference victory of the season, Eastern (1-11, 0-7 Little East) and Salem State (4-7, 1-6 Little East) traded goals before the Vikings ended an overall four-game losing streak with their fourth straight victory over Eastern.

Trailing 2-0, Eastern got one back 50 seconds before the end of the first half on senior Ali Chapman's (Watertown) third goal of the year when she re-directed senior Amanda Farina's (Mahopac, NY) drive to the cage.  Eight minutes into the second half, the Warriors struck for the tying goal when junior Hannah Collier (Watertown) teamed up with her hometown teammate. Collier drove a hard, high blast past Salem  sophomore keeper Michaela Boyer. Collier's shot came near the top of the circle on Chapman's hit-in on a penalty corner.

Junior Courtney Lynch netted the game-winner with 14 minutes left when she unloaded a drive on a short crossing pass from junior Erin Wilson past Eastern senior goalkeeper Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ).

Salem appeared to be on its way to a rout after freshman Nicole Bisbee and junior Eryn Shea scored first-period goals for the Vikings. Bisbee came off the bench to make it 1-0  in the 14th minute when she controlled a sweeping pass from Shea and blasted a low shot from the right of the circle inside the left post. Junior Kristin Santanello set up the play when she won the ball outside the circle and fed Shea. Santanello and Shea worked a give-and-go which led to a two-person break for Salem with two minutes left in the first half, and Shea knocked in her fifth goal of the season on a short pass from Santanello to make it 2-0.

Salem was playing without top scorer Kaitlyn Aronian, who leads the club in goals (6) and points (14).

Eastern hosts Daniel Webster College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

W-Soccer: Warriors Fall from First

They drop into tie for second in Little East following 2-0 setback

mantelksc72pdiPicture 038.jpgKEENE, NH  -  Having been dominated by the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team over the last five years, Keene State College exacted a measure of revenge Saturday by ending  the Warriors' 15-match regular-season Little East Conference unbeaten streak with a 2-0 verdict  at Owls' Athletic Complex.

At left: Whitney Mantel (15) (Liz Cutler photo)

By winning the battle of conference unbeatens, Keene (9-5-0, 4-0-0 Little East) takes over sole possession of the conference lead, with Eastern (6-6-0, 3-1-0 Little East), Massachusetts Boston and Western Connecticut State University all three points back with 3-1-0 records.

Since losing at Keene State in overtime in 2009, Eastern had gone unbeaten (13-0-2) in 15 regular-season LEC matches until Saturday. Since a season-high three-game winning streak, No. 10 New England-ranked  Eastern has dropped consecutive 2-0 decisions.

In the previous 11 meetings with Keene, Eastern had won nine times, including last year's come-from-behind 3-2 verdict at home in a match where the Owls had scored the first two goals.

With three regular-season conference matches remaining, Keene remains in the hunt for  its fifth unbeaten conference regular season since 2000. In important regular-season conference matches remaining, Eastern hosts UMass Boston Saturday, Western visits UMass Boston Oct. 22, then hosts Keene State on the final day of the regular season Oct. 29. The top six teams in the final LEC standings qualify for the post-season tournament, with the top two seeds gaining first-round byes.

Eastern finished unbeaten in winning last year's LEC regular-season title. Assured of an NCAA berth due to an unbeaten record, the Warriors were upended on PKs in the conference semifinals by UMass Boston before going on two win the New England regional tournament at Mansfield. Eastern, Keene and Western have combined to win all 12 LEC tournament crowns.

Both teams played cautiously in the first half Saturday, with scoring opportunities hard to come by.  Sophomore midfielder Kristen Huckins gave Keene State a 1-0 lead at the 62:03 mark of the second half on a well-placed drive for 25-yards out that found the upper left corner of the net.           

Junior Joan Hamel scored a key insurance goal eight minutes later for Keene, which improved to 5-1-0 at home this year. Eastern is 3-5-0 away from home in 2011.

Eastern had an opportunity to score when freshman Whitney Mantel (Stamford) out-raced the Owls' Kelsie Bailey for the ball, chipping it over the head of Keene  senior keeper Megan Dempsey, but her bid went just wide of the right post.

Both teams had 11 shots, with Dempsey making seven saves to hand the Warriors their third shutout loss this season. Eastern junior Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) made only two saves as the hosts were limited to putting just four of their shots on net.
 
Eastern Conn. hosts Amherst College Tuesday at 4 p.m. Amherst is ranked No. 2 in New England and No. 14 nationally. The Warriors posted a 2-1 verdict over Amherst last year on the road to remain unbeaten at 12-0-1, getting goals from Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and Jo-Ann Merheb (Bethel), the latter the result of a penalty kick.

 

 

 

 

W-Volleyball: Warriors Sweep Crabtree

slonskicrabtreeUSE72dpi_5414.jpg

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  One of the most difficult tasks for the five coaches at the 31st Annual Crabtree Classic this weekend might have been which Eastern Connecticut State University players were most deserving of all-tournament recognition.

At right: Three-time Crabtree MVP Samantha Slonski.

Getting  contributions from most everyone, the Warriors won their own Crabtree Classic for the sixth time overall, fifth time in the last ten years and third time in the last four seasons.
Eastern (12-6) was virtually unchallenged, winning all 12 of its sets in victories over Worcester State University and Bridgewater State University Friday night and the University of NewEngland and Wheaton College (MA) Saturday.

The team's stiffest test came against New England, which challenged the Warriors in Eastern's 25-17, 25-21 and 25-10 victories.

Eastern's "big three" of seniors Samantha Slonski (Griswold) and Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) and junior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) enjoyed standout tournaments. Slonski, a setter, defender and setter, came away with tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for the third time in her career, and was joined this year by Ibsen. The 6-foot-2 inch Wilson and senior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) were in the mix, as well, for all-tournament consideration.

Slonski, who has helped the Warriors to three titles and a four-year match record of 12-2 in this tournament,  had 36 kills, a .418 attack percentage, 42 digs and 67 assists. Her versatility made her the all-tournament choice on five of a possible eight ballots.

Ibsen had 38 kills and a .455 attack percentage. Wilson, a force as both an offensive and defensive player, led all Eastern players with 40 kills and a .478 attack percentage. She also contributed 34 digs and a .947 reception percentage.

Defensively, all three also made it difficult for opposing hitters to find much room at the net.
In the tournament, Abelli was second to Slonski with 40 digs  and had an .894 reception percentage.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Tuesday at 7 p.m.

31st ANNUAL
CRABTREE CLASSIC
WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL INVITATIONAL
At Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium
at Willimantic, Conn.

FINAL STANDINGS

                     W-L  W-L
Institution   Match Game  Overall
Eastern Conn.  4-0  12-0  12-6
U. of New England 3-1  9-3  8-11
Bridgewater State U. 1-3  4-10  8-13
Wheaton College (MA) 1-3  4-10  3-18
Worcester State U.  1-3  4-10  8-13

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Samantha Slonski*  Eastern Conn.  Sr. 5-7 Griswold, CT
Kristianna Ibsen  Eastern Conn.  Sr. 5-10 Shelton, CT
Maria Kuehl   U. of New England So. 5-7 Middleton, NH
Kristen Robillard  Bridgewater State So. 5-1 Swansea, MA
Emily Davisson  Wheaton (MA) Sr. 5-3 Carpinteria, CA
Alyssa Jasper   Worcester State Fr. 5-8 Rockland, MA
*-Most Outstanding Player


Saturday's Results

Eastern Conn. 3, U. of New England 0

Eastern Conn. (11-6)  25 25 25
U. of New England (7-11) 17 21 19

Eastern Conn.:
Samantha Slonski 11 kills, .417 attack pct., 15 assists
Kristianna Ibsen 7 kills, .500 attack pct.
Katie Wilson 7 kills, .636 attack pct., 12 digs
Taylor Abelli 16 digs

New England:
Paige Curran 13 kills, 3 blocks
Angie Brunette 9 kills
Maria Kuehl 8 kills, 16 digs, 27 assists
Abby Davis 15 digs
Kirsta Adie 15 digs, 18 reception attempts with 1 error
Jackie Stone 13 reception attempts with 1 error

Worcester State U. 3, Bridgewater State U. 1

Worcester State (8-12) 25 26   22 25
Bridgewater State U.(8-12) 11 24 25 19

Worcester State:
Vicki O'Brien 20 digs
Joanne Grenier 10, 32 assists
Katey Figella 5 blocks
Alyssa Jasper 14 kills
Kristin Koles 8 kills
Becky Lebel 7 kills

Bridgewater State:
Kristen Robillard 23 digs
Mel Appleman 23 assists
Michelle Atkins 6 blocks
Tayler Beck  9 kills

U. of New England 3, Bridgewater State U. 0

U. of New England (8-11)  25 25 25
Bridgewater State U.  (8-13)  16 19 13

New England:
Kirsta Adie 17 digs, 11 reception attempts with 0 errors
Abby Davis 10 reception attempts with 0 errors, 3 blocks
Maria Kuehl 13 digs, 27 assists
Paige Curran 3 blocks, 12 blocks
Leah Janelle 8 kills, 5 aces
Anglie Brunette 8 kills

Bridgewater State:
Kristen Robillard 14 kills
Melanie Appleman 11 assists
Shayna Carmichael 7 blocks
Tayler Beck 7 kills

Wheaton College (MA) 3, Worcester State U. 1

Wheaton (3-17)  25 23 25 29
Worcester State U. (8-13) 12 25 13 27

Wheaton:
Emily Davisson 20 digs
Christina Cannon 18 digs
Olanna Nissim 41 assists
Lindsay Tebbetts 17 kills
Kara-Jane Walker 7 kills
Marguerite Copeland 7 kills

Worcester State:
Alyssa Jasper 8 kills
Vicki O'Brien 6 digs
Nicole Hanson 7 digs
Joanne Grenier 15 assists

Eastern Conn. 3, Wheaton College (MA) 0

Eastern Conn. (12-6)  25 25 25
Wheaton (3-18)  12 13 14

Eastern Conn.:
Kristianna Ibsen 12 kills, .471 attack pct.
Katie Wilson 6 kills, 7 digs
Samantha Slonski 6 kills.556 attack pct., 6 digs, 16 assists
Taylor Abelli 7 digs
Haley Roberts 6 digs
Erin Miller 6 digs
Allie Henry 9 assists
Gianna Trombino 6 assists
Wheaton:
Emily Davisson 12 digs


 

W-Volleyball: Warriors 2-0 in Crabtree

 

wilsonburke72dpibsu_5629.jpgABOVE: Junior middle hitter Katie Wilson (13) had 27 kills with a .561 attack percentage and six blocks in two wins Friday night in the Crabtree Classic. Wilson and junior Shannon Burke are shown above combining on a block against Bridgewater State.

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Defending Crabtree Classic champion Eastern Connecticut State University swept a pair of matches Friday night in the 2011 Crabtree tournament, defeating Worcester State University and Bridgewater State University. Now 10-6 with their first home wins of the year, Eastern faces the University of New England Saturday at 11 a.m. and Wheaton College (MA) at 1 p.m. New England is also 2-0 in the tournament after sweeping Worcester State and Wheaton Friday night. Wheaton and Worcester State are 0-2 and Bridgewater is 1-1.

Friday's Results

Eastern Conn. 3, Worcester State U. 0

Worcester State (7-11) 14 13 18
Eastern Conn. (9-6)  25 25 25

Worcester State:
Vicki O'Brien 17 digs
Beckly Lebel 5 kills, 6 digs
Amanda Lewis 10 assists
Kristen Koles 4 kills
Katey Figella 3 kills

Eastern Conn.:
Katie Wilson 13 kills, .647 attack pct., 2 blocks, 9 digs
Kristianna Ibsen 10 kills, .500 attack pct, 3 service aces
Samantha Slonski 10 kills, .389 attack pct.,  8 digs, 20 assists


U. of New England 3, Worcester State U. 0

U. New England (6-10) 25 25 25
Worcester State U. (7-12) 14 17 17

New England:

Maria Kuehl 16 digs, 29 assists
Abby Davis 11 digs, 12 reception attempts, 0 errors
Krista Adie 10 reception attempts, 1 error
Angie Brunette 2 blocks, 13 kills
Pagie Curran 12 kills, 4 service aces

Worcester State:

Vicki O'Brien 7 digs
Joanne Grenier 9 assists
Alyssa Jasper 3 kills
Katey Figella 2 service aces


Bridgewater State U. 3, Wheaton College (MA) 1

Bridgewater State (8-10) 16 25 25 25
Wheaton (MA) (2-16)  25 16 10 16

Bridgewater State:
Kristen Robillard  16 digs
Melanie Appleman 32 assists
Tayler Beck 12 kills, 4 blocks

Wheaton College:
Emily Davisson 19 digs, 23 reception attempts, 0 errors
Olanna Nissim 20 assists
Christina Cannon 8 kills, .231 attack pct.
Lindsay Tebbetts 8 kills
Leigh Hunt 6 kills

Eastern Conn. 3, Bridgewater State U. 0

Bridgewater State U. (8-11) 18 18 21
Eastern Conn. (10-6)  25 25 25

Bridgewater State:
Kristen Robillard 19 digs
Melanie Appleman 15 assists
Shayna Carmichael 3 blocks
Danielle Dean 5 kills
Eastern Conn.:
Katie Wilson 14 kills, .636 attack pct., 6 digs, 4 blocks
Kristianna Ibsen 9 kills,  .353 attack pct.,
Samantha Slonski 9 kills, .375 attack pct., 19 digs, 16 assists

U. of New England 3, Wheaton College (MA) 0

U. of New England (7-10) 25 25 25
Wheaton (MA) (2-17)  18 17 13

New England:
Maria Kuehl 15 digs, 22 assists, 2 blocks, 5 service aces
Abby Davis 5 digs, 5 kills
Kirsta Adie 10 reception attempts with 0 errors
Paige Curran 12 kills, 3 blocks
Angie Brunette 2 blocks
Leah Janelle 9 kills
Wheaton College:
Emily Davisson 12 digs, 14 reception attempts with 0 errors
Christina Cannon 6 kills, .294 attack pct.
Lindsay Tebbetts 6 kills
Olanna Nissim 12 assists


Saturday's Schedule

Eastern Conn. vs. U. of New England, 11 a.m.
Worcester State U. vs. Bridgewater State U., 11 a.m.
U. of New England vs. Bridgewater State U., 1 p.m.
Wheaton College (MA) vs. Worcester State U., 1 p.m.
Eastern Conn. vs. Wheaton College (MA), 3 p.m.

 

 

In Final Season, Seniors are 'All In'

Eight outgoing field hockey players working hard in last weeks

fhsrs72dpi_5594.jpg

Seniors who will be honored Saturday on Seniors' Day: back row: Lyndsey Zavisza, Danielle Reichardt, Rochelle Normandin; front: Erika Malito, Chelsie Rizzo, Ali Chapman, Amanda Farina, Elise Zarcaro.

Below: Senior tri-captain Erika Malito. WATCH (2:49)  

(Interview by Amanda Palmieri)

malito head 72dpi_2600.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- According to at least one senior on the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team, substantial progress has been made over the last several years.

The progress may not be reflected on the scoreboard or in the scorebook. It may not be enough to give the program its first winning season since 2001 or enough to return the program to the Little East Conference playoffs, let alone win a first conference tournament championship or qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program's 15-year history.

But the progress may be substantial enough to satisfy eight seniors - the largest graduating senior class in program history -- who are heading into the final half of their final collegiate field hockey season.

According to one of those seniors, tri-captain Erika Malito from Killingly, the team's hard work and teamwork -- - especially this past season and off-season - is making for a rewarding final season.

malito_action72dpi_6521.jpgSix of those seniors came in together as freshmen in the fall of 2008: Malito, Ali Chapman, Amanda Farina, Danielle Reichardt, Chelsie Rizzo and Elise Zarcaro. They were joined one year later by 2011 seniors Rochelle Normandin and Lyndsey Zavisza, who are three-year members of the program and join Malito as team captains.

At right: Erika Malito 

Malito has been pro-active in creating a positive learning and nurturing environment. Two years ago, she got many of the team members involved in playing winters in an adult league comprised of local college and high school players at the Star Hill Family Center in Tolland. This past year, she developed a Facebook page to keep all team players - especially the incoming freshmen - informed and interested over the summer as the pre-season approached.

While this year's team will likely finish under .500 for the fourth time in her career, Malito insists that the team chemistry, persistence, and work ethic is far and away the best that she's experience at Eastern.

"We work really hard," points out the Psychology major who feels that coaching field hockey at some level is in her future. "We have two-hour practices every day, we watch film to see what we need to do to improve and we try to work on that at practice."

After winning only one of 11 conference matches in 2010, the Warriors are still searching for their first LEC victory of 2011 after half of the 11-game regular-season conference schedule. It will likely take 4-5 wins in the final six conference matches to bring the team its first conference playoff berth in seven years. (The top eight teams qualify for the LEC playoffs in the 12-team league).

According to Malito, the goal from Day 1 this year - especially among the eight outgoing seniors - is to participate in the LEC tournament. But if that doesn't materialize, she knows that it will not be for a lack of trying.

Malito says that the approach to every match this year has been the same, whether the team is coming off a win or a loss or whether it had a history of losing to that particular opponent.

"Last year, someone would score against us and we'd be thinking, 'alright, we're going to lose.' But it's not like that this year. We fight until the end this year. We won't give up. We keep fighting."

To promote team unity and communication, several times during the season, each team member meets individually with head coach Christine Hutchison, in order to iron out problems, search for solutions to on or off the field problems, or to make adjustments. Malito says that Hutchison welcomes input from the players, which pulls the team closer.

Hutchison praises Malito for her role in elevating the team's play over the last several seasons.

"Erika has been a great captain because she's positive and cares about the team on and off the field. She works hard to get everyone involved and to get everyone to improve themselves in teammates ini the off-season and in practice. She pushes her teammates to reach the next level."

Regardless of whether this year's team reaches the tangible goals that it has set for itself, Malito knows that she, her fellow captains and seniors will look back upon their careers with pride.

"We have said to each other this year, that we need to play every game like it's our last game," said Malito. "We tell the underclassmen to play for the seniors because this is their last year. That's really what I say to myself. As long as I play every game like it was my last game and give it my all, that's all I can do. Our team record doesn't really matter to me. I just really want to give it my all."

 

 

 

W-Soccer: Warriors Shut Out, 2-0

WMANSFIELD, Conn. - Connecticut College (3-4-1) improved to 3-1-1 in its last five matches after an 0-3-0 start by  scoring twice in the second half and handing Eastern Connecticut State University (6-5-1)  its first home loss of the season.

Grace Bilodeau of Conn (3-4-1) got behind the Eastern (6-5-1) defense and slid home a bad-angle shot from the left flank after a long run for the first goal of the match midway through the second half and Rebecca Parente  scored her first collegiate goal on a penalty kick with nine minutes left after teammate Ali Cline was taken down while making a run through the box.

Freshmen Natalie Signor and Blythe Gross-Hutton combined on the shutout, with the starter making all  four of the duo's saves in holding the Warriors scoreless for only the second time this year.
 
Eastern  visits Keene State College Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

 

M-Soccer: Eastern Falls in Overtime

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- After becoming the first team to score against Eastern Connecticut State University this year on the Warriors' home field, Western New England University scored  32 seconds into overtime to post a 2-1 overtime victory at Thomas Nevers Field.

The game featured two of New England's top-ranked teams in Western New England (8th) and Eastern (6th).

Shawn DaCruz came off the bench in overtime to score his first goal of the season on his only  shot of the match. Western New England (10-2-1)  scored after possessing on the overtime kickoff. DaCruz volleyed a hard low shot from the top of the box inside the right post past Eastern (7-3-1) senior keeper Carl Appel, (West Windsor, NJ) who allowed as many as two goals in a match for only the second time this season.

Eastern led early on Carl Stensland's (Storrs)  first collegiate goal with two minutes left in the first half but WNEU tied the match 67 seconds into the second half  on Shawn Fitzpatrick's goal on a pretty assist from Eric Marcellino. Stensland's goal came on a 25-yard floater while Fitzpatrick beat Appel to the ball in the right side  of the box and slipped it under the sprawling keeper.

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

 

W-Volleyball:Western Tops Warriors,3-0

Eastern has opportunity to win all three sets but falls to 0-3 in Little East

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DANBURY, Conn. --  In a match where the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team never trailed by more than six points in any set, the Warriors could not avoid a third straight Little East Conference loss Tuesday night, losing in three sets to Western Connecticut State University at the O'Neill Center on the Westside campus.

At right: Samantha Slonski

After losing the first two sets, Eastern led by three points late in the third set but could not capitalize despite serving for set point.

Ranked No. 11 in New England, Western (15-4, 3-0 Little East)  defeated Eastern (8-6, 0-3 Little East) for the fourth straight time, this time by scores of  25-19, 25-22 and 27-25. Eastern's three conference losses to date have come against teams ranked among the top half of the 2011 LEC pre-season coaches' poll.

Junior middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had five of her team-high 11 kills on her final six attempts of the third set to spark the Warriors to a 22-19 lead. The Warriors later broke a tie on a kill by senior hitter/setter Samantha Slonski  (Griswold) to move to within a point of set point, but Westen broke serve and prevailed with successive kills to sweep Eastern for the third time in four years.

Eastern led briefly in all three sets but never led by more than three points. However, the Warriors never trailed by more than six points in the match. Leading by two early in the first set, Eastern surrendered four straight points before calling a timeout and never recovered.  The Warriors attacked at .038 in the first set but improved to .143 in the second and .200 in the third.

In the second set, Eastern recovered from an early five-point deficit to pull even at 19-all and a kill by Wilson later pulled the visitors to within one, 22-21.  At that point, Western freshman Heather Williams and All-LEC  middle hitter Paxton Thornton followed with kills as the Colonials prevailed.

As a team, Eastern commited only two reception errors on 63 chances.

In addition to 11 kills, Wilson was perfect on 17 reception attempts and on 12 serves, while Slonski had eight kills, a team-high 16 digs and 17 assists.

Senior middle hitter Kristiana Ibsen (Shelton), who became the seventh player in program history to record as many as 1,000 kills last week against Gordon College, added four kills. The LEC leader in attack percentage attacked at only.067, however, on only 15 attempts.

Sophomore outside hitter Erynn Miller (Stratford)  had nine digs, served seven balls without an error and commited only one reception error on 17 attempts, while senior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) handled 19 receptions without an error and followed Slonski with 12 digs.

Paxton of Western led all players with 12 kills, Kelly Collins, this past week's LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Week, had 25 digs and freshman Jennifer Hogan amassed 31 assists.

Eastern hosts the 31st Crabtree Classic this weekend at Geissler Gymasium, hosting Worcester State University at 4 p.m. and Bridgewater State University at 8 p.m. Friday.

LEC: Eastern Soccer Keepers Cited

MacLeod for women and Appel for men recognized with weekly honors

macLeod head 72dpi_2623.jpgappel shirt 72dpi_2529.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's soccer teams are both undefeated in the Little East Conference this season. Backstopped by their goalkeepers, the two teams rely upon a solid defense which has allowed a total of one goal in six conference matches.

Monday, junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) of the women's team and senior All-New England Region keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) of the men's team were each recognized as Goalkeeper-of-the-Week in their respective fourth reporting week.

A weekly honor was the first in the three-year career of MacLeod, a first-year starter, and second this season and seventh in the four-year career of Appel. Prior to this year, Appel received the honor twice last year and once as a sophomore and was also tabbed as Rookie-of-the-Week twice in 2008.

Appel extends scoreless streak

Appel is the conference leader in save percentage and goals-against average and pulled into a tie for the LEC lead in shutouts (4)  by shutting out Western Connecticut, 1-0, for the fourth time (380 minutes) in as many career starts against the Colonials this past Saturday. The shutout was his 24th in 71 career starts - moving him into sole possession of second place all-time (one behind the leader) in shutouts in the 51-year history of the program. Appel, an NSCAA Scholar All-America selection last year, also played the first half of a 5-0 shutout of Salem State University during the week. He has not allowed a goal in his last 231 minutes and 32 seconds. 

This year, Appel has given up goals in only three of ten starts this year, and has allowed more than one only once. He made nine saves in last week's two wins, lowering his GAA to 0.42 and raising his save percentage to .922. Behind Appel, Easern has an LEC-high seven shutouts and has given up only four goals - five less than its nearest LEC competitor. The Warriors have not allowed a goal in five home matches this year.

Thus far, the men have outscored three LEC opponents 5-0. A winner of its last three by shutout, Eastern (7-2-1)  hosts Western New England University Wednesday at 4 p.m. Both teams shared seventh place in last week's NSCAA New England rankings.

MacLeod posts two road shutouts

Having played all 900 of the team's minutes in her first season as a starter, MacLeod made seven total saves in consecutive shutouts last week on the road against Salem State University (1-0) and Western Connecticut (2-0). MacLeod became the first Eastern goalie ever (in 12 matches) dating back to 1995 to shut out Western on its home field, making two saves.  MacLeod has posted shutouts in three of her last five starts and has allowed one or no goals in four of her last five starts.

Since opening the season with a 2-3 record, Eastern (6-4-0) has won four of its last five. In three LEC wins, the Warriors have outscored their opponent by 12-1. Eastern hosts Connecticut College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

W-Soccer: Warriors Shut Out WCSU, 2-0

For second straight time, they defeat Colonials on their home field

DANBURY, Conn. - After going winless the first ten times on its opponent's home field, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team made it two road wins in a row Saturday with a key 2-0 Little East Conference victory at Western Connecticut State University at the Westside Athletic Complex.

leonard 72 cutler051.jpgAt right: The Warriors celebrate Nicole Leonard's go-ahead goal Saturday agains Western. (Liz Cutler photo)

In a match which featured last year's LEC regular-season champion in Eastern (6-4-0, 3-0-0) and the 2010 LEC tournament titlist in Western (6-3-0, 2-1-0 Little East), the Warriors broke a scoreless duel with 17 minutes left and added an insurance goal inside the final three miutes to post a two-goal shutout win over the Colonials since a 3-0 home triumph over Western in the first meeting ever between the programs in 1994.

Eastern's win breaks a three-way tie for first in the conference with Western and Keene and leaves the Warriors and Owls atop the standings with identical 3-0 marks. Keene shut out homestanding Plymouth, 2-0, Saturday.

Ranked tenth in New England, Western had allowed only six goals all season behind   junior keeper Caitlin Avery, the LEC leader in goals-against average (0.34), and had posted four straight  shutouts against New England competition heading into Saturday's match.

Eastern junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) needed only two saves behind a tight defense to record her third shutout in the last five starts and lower her GAA to 1.50.  Eastern's starting defense of seniors Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) and Sam Konopka (Hebron) and sophomore Megan Godwin (Manchester) held Western to just eight shots, only two of which reached MacLeod.

Sophomore midfielder Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) scored on her only shot (in just 25 minutes) off a cross from Konopka - burying a 12-yarder with one touch- to break a 73-minute stalemate. With a little less than three minutes left, LEC scoring leader Daniela Marchitto (Orange)  scored her team-leading eighth goal off a first career point from freshman back Whitney Mantel (Stamford). With Western pushing forward in an effort to gain the tying goal, Mantel drew a Western defender before finding a streaking Marchitto on the flank. Marchitto's hard shot caromed off a Western player and past Avery to all but assure the win.

While MacLeod was all but untested, Avery made two spectacular saves in the opening minutes of the match to preserve a scoreless half.

In its first ten matches in this series on Western's home field, Eastern was 0-8-2 before coming away with a 2-1 triumph in 2009. All eight of those losses had come either by one goal or in overtime.

Eastern extended its regular-season unbeaten streak in LEC play to 15 (13-0-2), last losing in overtime at Keene State College midway through the 2009 season.

The match was Western's first at home in three weeks while Eastern was playing its seventh match away from home in the last eight games.  The Warriors have won a season-best three in a row and four of five and are 3-1 in their last four road contests.

Eastern hosts Connecticut College Wednesday at 7 p.m at the Mansfield Outdoor complex.

Field Hockey: Reichardt Stellar in Loss

Despite being outshot by wide margin, Warriors battle through one half

osieckipsu72dpi_5066.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  Seven-time Little East Conference tournament finalist Plymouth State University scored twice in three minutes late in the match to pull away from Eastern Connecticut State University, 4-0, Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: In her first career start, freshman Morgan Osiecki (at right) battles Plymouth and gets help from freshman Maureen Hinman (2).

Having beaten Eastern (1-9, 0-5 Little East) all 15 previous times the teams had met, Plymouth (8-1, 4-1 Little East) dominated play but managed only one goal in the first half before making it 2-0 six minutes into the second half, and tacking on two insurance goals in a span of three minutes inside the final seven minutes of play.

With the win, Plymouth maintains a share of second place in the conference  a game behind conference leader Keene State College. Plymouth was coming off a 3-0 road loss to Keene three days ago. Plymouth and Keene are the most successful programs in LEC history, having combined for ten post-season titles. Plymouth has won three and reached the championship match a total of seven times.

Eastern senior goalkeeper Danielle Reichardt (Ocean Township, NJ) made eight of her game total of 21 saves (11 shy of her program record of 32 set in the 2011 opener) to keep the Warriors within a goal at halftime before the Panthers unloaded 24 shots in the second half, getting three past Reichardt.

Ranked  third in the LEC in total shots,  Plymouth junior forward Olivia Colborn unleashed 13 in the game, putting six on net and finishing with a goal (that made it 2-0 six minutes into the second half) and assist. Sophomore forward Jackie Morin, who entered the match sharing the team lead for points with Colborn, unloaded all seven of her shots on goal, sneaking one past Reichardt that made it 3-0 with seven minutes left.

Freshman forward Nikki  Garvey put the Panthers ahead for good with just under ten minutes gone when she took a pass from All-LEC midfielder Christine Parisi, carried 20 yards past several Eastern defenders, and beat a diving Reichardt in a 1v1 situation. Colborn took a return pass at the left post after sending in a penalty corner to make it 2-0 six minutes into the second half and Morin scored from in close on a pass from sophomore forward Lauren Carroll after initially fanning on the shot. Carroll's fourth goal of the year rounded out the scoring with four minutes left when she re-directed Colborn's drive at the left post.

Eastern senior back Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor)  played strong in front of Reichardt, diffusing numerous Plymouth scoring bids and also recording a defensive save on the goal line nine minutes into the secnd half with the score 2-0.

Plymouth outshot Eastern 40-2 and was awarded 22 of the 26 penalty corners in the match.

Eastern visits two-time defending LEC tournament champion Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 7 p.m.


 

Men's Soccer: Alone at the Top in LEC

 Warriors post third straight shutout win on early own goal against WCSU

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - In a match between the Little East conference favorite and a team picked for last place, the margin was slim and only determined by an own goal.

At right: For fourth time in as many career starts against Western, Carl Appel gave the Colonials nothing.

Conference pre-season favorite Eastern Connecticut State University  scored an own goal in the fifth minute of play and the Warriors remained unscored upon at home this year in a 1-0 victory over Western Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

By extending its unbeaten streak against Western (1-7-1, 0-2-1 Little East) to six (4-0-2) with its second straight 1-0 verdict over the Colonials, Eastern (7-2-1, 3-0-0) takes over sole possession of first place in the conference. The University of Southern Maine drops three points back of Eastern following its 3-0 loss at Massachusetts Boston Saturday.

The only goal of the match came with 4:04 gone, when a Western defender leaped in an effort to clear an Eastern throw-in, but the ball travelled into the net.

Eastern senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) moved into sole possession of second place all-time in complete shutouts, posting the fourth of this season and 24th in 71 career starts. The shutouts are the most by an Eastern keeper in 37 years, since Eastern Hall of Famer Joel Boisvert recorded a program-record 25 between 1970 and 1973. Appel made three saves against Western to register his fourth full-match shutout in 380 career minutes against Western.

In running their home record to 5-0-0, the Warriors have outscored their  opponent 16-0.

Despite amassing a 13-5 advantage in shots and 9-2 margin in corners, Eastern could not shake Western.

On successive corner kicks early in the match, the Warriors put one off the post and one was punched out by Western sophomore keeper Jack Holub. Western's only first-half shot came with ten minutes left, with an 18-yarder sailing over the crossbar.

Nine minutes into the second half, Holub kept the margin at one goal when he saved a shot by junior midfielder Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury) off a cross from junior forward Matt Furman (Montville).  Pushing for the tying goal, the Colonials watched a header off a corner bounce off the post.

Eastern hosts Western New England University Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Nevers Field.


 

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