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September 2012 Archives

W-Soccer: Over Time, Warriors Emerge

Buchanan's first goal since 2010 is difference against Western

celebrate72CSU 132.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior forward Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) scored her first goal since the final regular-season game of 2010 as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team remained undefeated in the Little East Conference with a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Western Connecticut State University Saturday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex

At right: Taylor Buchanan (5) and Chelsea Downer celebrate the game-winning goal. (Liz Cutler photo)

Eastern (5-3-1, 3-0 LEC) recorded its fifth straight victory over Western (6-3-1, 1-2 LEC) when Buchanan slid a shot from the left side of the net inside the far right post after taking a crossing pass from senior forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) 14 minutes and 30 seconds into sudden-death overtime.

Buchanan, who missed all of last year with an ACL injury after leading the club in scoring with 13 goals as a junior, ignited the odd-man advantage when she won a ball near midfield and sent it ahead to senior forward Chelsea Downer (Colchester). In stride, Downer found Marchitto racing down the right side. Marchitto draw a defender before sending the ball from the right wing into  the box to an unmarked Buchanan, who beat Western senior keeper Caitlin Avery from 15 yards.

celebrationwcsyu72 106.jpgBuchanan's sixth career game-winning goal - the 19 goal of her career - was the best opportunity that either team had to score. Western outshot the Warriors 9-7 and had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks.

Until Saturday, Buchanan's last goal had come on the final day of the 2010 regular season at Plymouth State University.

At left: Taylor Buchanan is mobbed by her teammates after ending Saturday night's Little East win over Western Connecticut in overtime. (Liz Cutler photo).

Eastern senior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) needed only three saves - matching Avery -- to record her ninth career shutout.

Playing without several injured starters, Eastern posted its fifth shutout of the season. The Warriors' back line is comprised of two freshmen and two sophomores.

Western junior Ariana D'Aurio  - the team's leading scorer with eight goals, was limited to one shot. Western had nearly taken a 1-0 lead when Tracy Sales  hit the post  13 minutes into the second half on one of her team-high four shots.

The victory snapped a two-game home losing streak and evens Eastern's home record at 3-3-1.Western entered played unbeaten (4-0-0) on the road this year.

Eastern visits Connecticut College Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

W-Volleyball: Warriors Capitalize with Wins

Eastern finds relief with pair of non-conference triumphs

wilson72dpi_1994.jpgBROOKLINE, Mass. - A pair of non-conference opponents provided relief for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team, which stopped a four-match losing streak with straight set wins over host Newbury College and Bay Path College Saturday afternoon.

At left: Katie Wilson

(Photo by Courtney Weber).

Behind the standout all-around play of 6-foot-2 inch senior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA), Eastern (7-9)  was able to utilize all 13 roster players in 25-18, 25-13, 25-19 victories over Newbury (6-11) and in 25-14, 25-14, 25-14 verdicts over Bay Path College (6-5). Both opponents are members of the New England College Conference.

Wilson was no match for either opponent as she had 31 kills and a .587 attack percentage in six sets and also led all Eastern players with 20 digs, three blocks and seven service aces. She was also perfect on a team-high 33 serves. She finished her day's work with a team-high 40.5 points (the sum of kills, service aces and blocks).

Junior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) and first-year juior Samantha Browning (Mystic) each collected ten kills on the day, Gasch attacking at .348. Junior Erynn Miller (Stratford) and freshman Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) combined for 25 digs, with Miller adding four service aces. Six different players contributed at least one of the team's 17 service aces.  Sophomore Allie Henry (Middletown) recorded 52 assists.

Sidelined with injury all season, first-year sophomore transfer setter Jess Patrizi (Beacon Falls) made her Eastern debut against Newbury.  In one set, Patrizzi contributed six assists, four digs and a service ace.   Patrizzi averaged team-high averages of 3.53 assists  and 2.53 digs per set last fall at the University of Saint Joseph (CT).

The victory over Newbury kept the Warriors unbeaten in seven matches in this series with the Nighthawks and was the team's first victory on its opponent's court this season. The contest was the first-ever against Bay Path, which was elevated just recently to a four-year institution after being founded as a community college.

Eastern returns to Geissler Gym for its first home match in a month Tuesday when it hosts Western Connecticut State University at 6 p.m.

Field Hockey: Plymouth Prevails in LEC, 2-0

Panthers break halftime deadlock with two goals in six minutes

 rossetti72dpi_0674.jpgPLYMOUTH, N.H. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey and men's and women's soccer teams found themselves in the same situation at halftime of their respective Little East Conference matches Saturday

At left: Sam Rossetti

Unfortunately for field hockey, the favored team prevailed each time.

While the men's and women's soccer teams remained undefeated in the conference by scoring after ther break against Western Connecticut State University, the field hockey team fell shy of its upset bid when host Plymouth State University -- a ten-time qualifier in the LEC tournament championship game -- scored both of its goals in a span of six minutes after 55 scoreless minutes and went on to a 2-0 victory at Arold Field.

Positioned for its first win over Plymouth in the 17-year history of the series, Eastern dropped its fourth match in the last five outings after Emily Davis and Aisha Rai Thompson connected for goals off penalty corners (Plymouth had 19 in the match) only mnutes apart.

By winning, Plymouth (6-3, 4-1 LEC) keeps pace in the conference, remaining in a tie for second, one game behind the leaders. All four of the top teams in the conference won their matches yesterday. Eastern (3-6, 1-4 LEC) shares ninth place in the 12-team conference. The top eight finishers qualify for the LEC post-season tournament.

The Panthers out-shot the Warriors 9-2 in the game, but didn't score until the 56th minute of play.   The outcome also gave goalie Katlyn Hall a shutout in her first career start, the sophomore making saves on both of Eastern's shots in place of injuried starter Hilary Lemelin. Eastern sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) turned back five shots in a strong effort marred by the goals which came six minutes apart

The Warriors were able to keep the match even with the help of defensive saves from from defenders Sam Rossetti (Shelton), a sophomore, and senior Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor).

After a scoreless first half, Plymouth  broke through with 15 minutes left in regulation. Sophomore Sam Carberry  took a penalty corner and Davis received the pass and fired home her third goal of the season.  Thompson tallied her first of the season five minutes later after receiving a pass from senior Olivia Colborn.

 Eastern hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday in a Little East match at 4 p.m. The Corsairs share the LEC lead with a 5-0 record.

M-Soccer: Warriors Capture Ninth, 2-0

Furman, Tobler maintain their recent scoring touch in win over WCSU

tobler_r72_0894.jpgDANBURY, Conn. -  One of the top defensive teams in the Little East Conference over the last six years,  Eastern Connecticut State University's offense is keeping pace in 2012.

At left: Cory Tobler

Saturday, active career scoring leaders Matt Furman (Montville) and Cory Tobler (Portland), both seniors, scored second-half goals and the defense posted its sixth straight h shutout as of Western Connecticut State University in as many seasons under head coach Greg DeVito in a 2-0 Little East Conference triumph Saturday night at the Westside Athletic Conference.

Ranked fourth in New England, Eastern (9-0-0, 3-0 LEC) remains one of two unbeatens in the conference, along with UMass Dartmouth. The Corsairs pounded Rhode Island College, 4-1, Saturday. Keene fell from the ranks of the conference unbeatens with a 1-0 home loss to Plymouth State.

Thus far in 2012, Eastern has outscored its opponent by a 3-to-1 margin, scorning 21 and allowing only seven.The Warriors remain undefeated through nine matches for the first time since winning their first 15 in 1969 en route to the New England championship.

Furman, the active scoring leader with 82 oints, has scored all 15 of his points this year in the last five matches. He has been named LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year the last two weeks. Tobler, showing 51 career points, has also totaled all eight of this year's points in the last five matches.

Senior keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) needed three saves to register his fifth shutout in eight starts this year.

The Western (1-6-2, 1-2 LEC) offense generated the game's first shot in the second minute of play, but for the remainder of the half Eastern dominated the offensive opportunities, holding a 12-4 advantage in shots taken during the opening period.  At the 26:43 mark, junior  Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) drove around the left side of the Western defense and blasted a shot that caromed off the left post and across the face of the goal, missing the right post by inches.  After 45 minutes of play, the score remained tied at 0-0.

In the second half, Eastern picked up where it left off and continued attacking the Western defense.  After 73 minutes of scoreless play, junior Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) brought the ball into the Western end of the field and chipped a pass over the top of the Colonial defenders.  Furman just outraced a Western defender to the ball and drilled it into the back of the net with a perfectly timed strike, giving Eastern a 1-0 lead. 

Seven minutes later, Power delivered a pass to Tobler, who gave the Warriors an insurance goal and a 2-0 final margin of victory.

For the game, Eastern held a 20-8 advantage in shots, and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.  Western keeper Jack Holub  finished with eight saves.

Eastern hosts Worcester State University Tuesday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference match.



Eastern Athletics Weekly Airing Friday

USE72PI_1045.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Eastern Athletics Weekly is scheduled to be webcast live on Friday morning at 11 a.m., originating from the Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center.

The hour-long sports show - hosted by students Nick Aconfora,  Sean Harrison, Nick Minutelli, and Brent Pelella - exams Eastern intercollegiate sports, as well as Division I and professional sports.  Viewers will also be eligible to win official Eastern athletics apparel by answering trivia questions which deal with Eastern athletics.

The show's first segment Friday will include a representative from the men's soccer team and will also review the past week in Eastern athletics in the sports of cross country, volleyball, soccer and field hockey and will preview this weekend's schedule. A trivia question will wrap up the segment.

The second segment will include a guest from the women's soccer team and will focus upon Eastern men's and women's soccer teams and will conclude with a second trivia question.

Discussion will focus upon the NFL and its replacement referees and specifically the Green Bay-Seattle and Patriots-Baltimore game in the third segment. Additional NFL talk and fantasy football will also be included.

The final days of the Major League Baseball regular season will be  the topic in the final segment.

Aconfora, Harrison, Pelella and Minutelli  are serving as play-by-play and color analysts this fall for Eastern athletic home events which are broadcast live and later archived on

Each edition of Eastern Athletics Weekly is archived on immediately following its live airing under Recent Archives.

Viewers can tweet Aconfora @NAconfora and can email him at



Field Hockey: An Opportunity Lost

Only one of Warriors' 20 shots gets past Holewa as Fitchburg prevails, 3-1

keiser_head_72dpi_0141.jpgHannah Keiser (at right)

FITCHBURG, Mass. -  Coming off its first Little East Conference victory since 2010, the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team found itself with an opportunity to to even its LEC record when it visited Fitchburg State University Wednesday night.

Facing a Fitchburg (5-3, 20-2 LEC) team which had finished ninth in the 12-team conference last year, Eastern (3-5, 1-3 LECoutshot the hosts 20-13 Wednesday, but could only get one past sophomore keeper Lucy Holewa, who made 13 stops to lead the Falcons to a 3-1 victory.

The Warriors equaled their season high for shots Wednesday but it did not prevent them from dropping their fifth straight decision to Fitchburg.

Freshman Erin Morrissey  notched three points on one goal and an assist senior Jamie Kelley - fourth in the conference in goals - connected on her eight of the season, but it took  freshman Christian Armstrong's first career goal to provide breaking room for the Falcons.
After Morrissey  and Kelley lifted Fitchburg into a 2-0 halftime lead, Eastern freshman forward Hannah Keiser (Danbury) cut the Fitchburg lead in half early in the second half on a penalty stroke before the Falcons re-gained the two-goal advantage on Armstrong's goal16 minutes left.

Kelley, a third-team all-conference selection last year, unloaded eight of her team's 13 shots, with Eastern sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) making five of her game total of six saves on those attempts.

Eastern  visits Plymouth State University Saturday at noon in a conference match.

W-Soccer: Offense Sputters in 1-0 Setback

SalemState  ends three-game skid at hands of Warriors


By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff

ANSFIELD, Conn. - A pair of equally matched women's soccer teams entered the turf Wednesday night with a defensive battle to get any goals. Only one goal was enough for a win and a late rally was shot down late in the game.

At right: Playing all 90 minutes for the fourth straight match, freshman Gia Karahalios (4) was active on the defensive end against Salem State Wednesday night. 

Salem State University (5-3-0) was not intimidated by the rain or the slippery turf field as they out-hustled Eastern Connecticut State University (4-3-1), 1-0, The Vikings improve to 4-2 on the road while the Warriors have lost their third home game of the season.

Salem State dominated the first half by forcing their attack at Eastern's defense. The lone goal came in the first half as Casey Connolly beat freshman goalkeeper Rachael Skelton (East Lyme) with a one touch shot in the lower right corner of the goal. The goal came in the 23 minute and was assisted by Kelly Birchmore. Connolly netted her fifth goal of the season and Birchmore recorded her first assist of the season.

Eastern had committed five fouls in the first half and gave up three corner kicks, three shots, and was called offside in the 25 minute. The Warriors only got one shot in the half that came in the sixth minute of the game. Eastern was stuck playing defense for most of the half as Salem State kept the ball in their offensive zone.

Salem State started strong in the second half as they had three corner kicks and two shots, keeping Skelton under pressure again. Skelton finished the night with two saves and faced five shots in the second half, eight total.

The Warriors had to change their game-plan and did so when they substituted in seven players early in the second half. The amount of fresh legs helped Eastern keep up and take the ball away from Salem State. Senior midfielder Kelly Wallace(South Windsor)  had three shots late in the second half. On a penalty kick in the 82nd minute, Wallace's shot went low and Viking goalkeeper Rachel Ledbetter made an easy save.

Junior midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel)  had a last second chance at tying up the game but her shot was saved by Ledbetter and held on for the time to hit double-zeroes.
As Eastern gave up a total of nine corner kicks, eight shots, and committed seven fouls, their offense woke up late in the second half and missed on key opportunities.

Eastern hopes  to improve its home record when it hosts Western Connecticut State University this Saturday night at 7 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.

E-Club Hall of Fame: Chiasson Tabbed

Closer won four games and saved five without a loss in post-season

chiasson_head_72dpi_6231.jpgHallofFame_72dpilogo.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  A dominant closer on the 1998 national championship baseball team who won four games and saved five without a loss in 13 career post-season pitching appearances, Scott Chiasson has been selected for induction into the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame, it has been announced by selection committee chairman Scott Smith.

The first E-Club Hall of Fame selection from the 1998 NCAA Division III national championship team, Chiasson never lost a game in two years of Little East Conference and NCAA tournament competition, and was the closing pitcher in his final season when the Warriors won the 1998 NCAA New England Regional and NCAA national tournaments.

The 19th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 21 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 Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

Chiasson spent his freshman season in 1996 as the team's starting shortstop before taking on additional duties as the team's closer as a sophomore in 1997. During his junior season in 1998, freshman Nick Tempesta took over as the team's starting shortstop, freeing the 6-foot-3 inch, 185-pound righty to concentrate exclusively - save for 20 at-bats - as the team's lights-out closer. Challenging batters with a fastball clocked well above 90 miles per hour, Chiasson set program season records in 1998 for appearances (28) and relief appearances (26) and tied the season record for saves (10). That year, he compiled a 6-2 record and a staff-leading 2.51 ERA, fanning a staff-best 59 in 61.0 innings. Opposing batters were limited to a .173 batting average and managed only eight extra-base hits.

In conference and NCAA tournament play in 1998, the Norwich native's number 23 was called ten times in 12 games. The finisher in each of those ten appearances, Chiasson won three games and saved five and was on the mound to celebrate both the regional and national championship victories over Massachusetts Dartmouth at the new Eastern Baseball Stadium and Montclair State University at Salem, VA, respectively. In 18 2/3 innings in post-season play that season, he fanned 11 and gave up earned runs (2) in only one appearance.

In 1998, Chiasson was named first-team ABCA All-America - the first Eastern righty in 11 years accorded All-America honors. He was also selected first-team All-New England Region, first-team All-New England by the ECAC, and first-team All-Little East Conference after leading the LEC in saves and ERA. Chiasson also posted the top save total in the conference as a sophomore in 1997, when he was a second-team all-conference selection after compiling eight saves and a 2.01 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.

Chiasson appeared in only one game as a pitcher as a freshman late in the 1996 season, giving up  three hits and four runs in one inning of work in his debut out of the bullpen. As a sophomore, however, he surrendered earned runs in only four of 19 games out of the bullpen, with four of those seven earned runs coming in one game.

In his career, Chiasson helped the Warriors to an overall record of 98-38 (.721), two LEC regular-season titles and one LEC tournament championship and an overall conference regular-season record of 26-3 (the LEC began sponsoring regular season and tournament play in Chiasson's sophomore year).

Chiasson was named to the regional and national tournament all-tournament teams in 1998, and ranked in a tie for second nationally in saves.  Chiasson's career total of 18 saves still ranks second all-time --- one behind the all-time leader. By striking out 97 batters in 93 1/3 innings, Chiasson averaged 9.4 strikeouts per game in his career.

Six days after recording the final six outs of a 16-1 victory over Montclair in the national title game, Chiasson was selected in the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals (to date the highest Eastern pick in the regular phase of the draft) as the first right-handed New England college pitcher chosen in the amateur draft. A year later, Chiasson was sent to the Oakland Athletics to complete an earlier deal for major leaguer Jay Witasick, and 18 months later was the first overall pick of the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft. 

After totaling 34 saves between Double A and Triple A (ten saves in 11 appearances in Triple A) in his third full professional season -- first with the Cubs -- Chiasson reached the major leagues on Sept. 19, 2001. He made his debut at the age of 23 as the third of three Chicago pitchers in a 10-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Cinergy Stadium, fanning two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Chiasson appeared  in ten major league games with the Cubs over two seasons with a 1-1 record  and nine strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. In 2001, Chiasson was credited with a major league win as the fifth of six Cubs' pitchers - retiring the final out of the eighth inning - in a 7-6 win over the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field as part of a Cubs' lineup which featured Sammy Sosa, Fred McGriff and Joe Girardi. 

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2002, Chiasson rebounded to reach the Triple A level with five different organizations, amassing 29 saves with the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) in 2006 and a total of 87 over four seasons (2008-2011) with Quintana Roo of the Mexican League.

In a 14-year professional career, Chiasson signed contracts with seven different major league baseball organizations and also pitched for the Yokohoma BayStars of the Japanese Central League in 2007). A week after being released by the Colorado Rockies in 2005, Chiasson signed a free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants and appeared in 15 games with their Double A Norwich affiliate -- pitching at Dodd Stadium in his hometown. It was at Dodd Stadium seven years earlier where Chiasson had been a member of the New England College All-Star Game in  - one day prior to signing professionally with Kansas City.

In 13 minor league seasons, Chiasson compiled 161 saves and 619 strikeouts in 674 1/3 innings. While compiling 24 saves with West Tennessee of the Double A Southern League prior to his major league debut in 2001, he was named to the Futures Games.

Chiasson holds a B.S. Degree in Management from the University of Phoenix and is employed as a Contract Analyst at Electric Boat in Groton. Chiasson and wife Heather Jean have three children, Kelsey 8, Cole 4, and infant son Kyle, and  reside in Oakdale.
















Cross Country:Warriors Grind it out at Wes

Men's and women's team tackled difficult layout at Wesleyan Invite

By Brendan DriscollSports Information Staff

gingras 2011head 72dpi_3623.jpgklein head 72_3624.jpgGinigras (far left), Klein

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Sophomore Lee Cattanach (New London) and senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) recorded the fastest times for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's cross country teams at the Wesleyan Cross Country Invitational of Saturday.

The times of the race may have been slower compared to the meet last week at UMass Dartmouth Invitational due to the rigorous course layout. According to head coach Kathy Manizza, the course contained a huge hill called "The Monster". Another reason for the slower times of Eastern runners was the training regime for the week. The team trained hard last week and didn't get much rest in order to prepare for the New England Open Championships October 7  at Westfield, MA.

The women's team placed eighth in the 11-team field, which was comprised of 132 runners.  Gingras recorded the best time for the women's team (20:53), taking 40th place (scoring 35 points) over the 5,000 meter run. The women continue to run close together, with all of the five scoring runners finishing within 1:44.

 The same five women who scored points last week scored again at Wesleyan Junior Katie France (Portland) was the women's second runner, clocking a time of 21:17. Finishing just 20 seconds later was freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester). Junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold) ran fourth scoring 52 points at a time of 22:16, while Courtney Magario (Voluntown) clocked a time of 22:37 to be the fifth runner for Eastern.

In the men's field of 95 runners, Cattanach recorded the fastest time for Eastern (27:32). The time placed Cattanach 18th (scoring 18 points) and helped Eastern finish eighth in the 10-team field over the 8,000 meter layout..

Manizza indicated that Lee had a good performance but the difficulty of the course slowed down his time. An improvement the men's team made this week was closing the gap between Cattanach and the team's other runners. Sophomore Dave Klein (New Milford) finished in 48th place (scoring 36 points) with a time of 29:10. Finishing just 45 seconds later (29:55) was junior Evan Glaude (East Hampton), who finished in 58th place (44 points). Eastern's No. 4 runner,  freshman Steven LaFlamme (Moosup) and No. 5 runner Kyle Shaw (Lebanon), a sophomore, placed within 40 seconds of each other. LaFlamme was clocked at 33:09 and Shaw at 33:49.

This meet was seen as a building block for the New England Open Championships in two weeks. The team trained hard last week and was a little tired going into the meet on Saturday. Manizza plans to have the team train hard again this week but slow it down the week before the New England Open in order to give the runners rest. The past three weeks of hard training should benefit the times in two weeks.

The New England Open  is a large meet that includes Division I schools. Manizza said it would be a great experience for the team. It will also be interesting to see where the runners finish in a meet this big since last year the team did not choose to compete.


Soccer: Pair are Recognized by Little East

They are cited as conference's No. 1 offensive players last week

marchitto 72dpi 023.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's and men's soccer  teams remain unbeaten in the Little East Conference, thanks in large part to the offensive exploits of two senior forwards.

Four-year players Daniela Marchitto (Orange)  for the women's team and Matt Furman (Montville) of the men's program each netted hat tricks in conference victories over Plymouth State University.

The women's team's 4-1 triumph on the road against the Panthers and the men's 5-3 verdict over PSU at Thomas Nevers Field Saturday were the second LEC ones in as many game for both Eastern teams, whichwere last year's conference playoff titlists.

The Little East Conference leader in goals and point, Furman recorded his sixth career multiple-goal match and second hat trick against Plymouth in the team's only match of the week.

Furman, the Eastern leader in goals and points each of the past two years, scored twice in the first five minutes and after Plymouth tied the match, scored the go-ahead goal five minutes into the second half to lift the Warriors to their seventh win without a loss this year.

furman_72_0982.jpgFurman has scored all six of his goals and all 13 of his points in the last three matches.  He is ranked sixth all-time in Eastern history with 80 points and tied for sixth with 31 goals. Eastern's five goals equalled the most by the Warriors in this 37-match series with Plymouth.

Last year's LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, Marchitto recorded her second career hat trick against Plymouth - the Warriors' 1th straight against the Panthers in this series. In a 1-1 week, Marchitto contributed to four of the team's five goals, having assisted on the team's only goal in a 3-1 home win over visiting Westfield State University during the week.

Since going scoreless through the first four matches of the season, Marchitto has answered with five goals and 11 points in the last three outings for Eastern, which improved its regular-season conference record under 13th-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio to 89-33-6 (75.0 percent) with the victory over Plymouth.

Marchitto,  now third all-time at Eastern with 90 career points, scored once in the first half and twice in the second to help stake the Warriors to  a 3-0 lead against Plymouth. She  shares fifth place in the LEC with 11 points.



Hall of Fame:Softball's Poyant Named

She played on national title team and was a veteran of 20 NCAA games


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A six-time All-New England softball pitcher at Eastern Connecticut State University who set or tied a total of six season records in the early 1990s, Donna Poyont has been selected for induction into the E-Club Hall of Fame, it has been announced by selection committee chairman Scott Smith.

A New Bedford, MA native, Poyant helped the Warriors to the 1990 NCAA Division III national championship as a freshman, into the 1991 national tournament championship round as a sophomore, to a third straight regional title as a junior in 1992, and to an overall record of 124-40 (.756) in a four-year career between 1990 and 1993.

Previously announced  as a member of the E-Club Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was Scott Chiasson, the closer on the 1998 NCAA Division III national championship team who went on to pitch in the major leagues.

The 19th E-Club Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 21 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 Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

Following the graduation loss of 1990 national Player-of-the-Year and E-Club Hall of Fame pitcher Christia Mohan, Poyant took over as the team pitching ace as only a sophomore in 1991. That year, Poyant led the staff in every pitching category, setting season records to that point in program history in appearances (39), innings (207 2/3) and relief appearances (11) - breaking her own program record in the latter category set as a freshman --  and tying Mohan's season record of 22 victories.  Poyant's win total that year equaled the second-most in Division III.

In 92 career appearances, Poyant won 48 of 62 decisions with seven saves and a 1.10 ERA in 439 1/3 innings. She completed 43 of her 60 starts, with 13 shutouts and 134 strikeouts. Only two of the 316 hits allowed by Poyant - none in her first three seasons -- went for home runs.

As a freshman on the team's most recent national championship, the right-hander set the former season record for wins without a loss at six and in 1992 tied the former program record for saves, with three.

Poyant's season records for appearances, innings and wins without a loss stood until 2012, her win record shared by Mohan and save record shared by six others until 2011, and her record for relief appearances until 2008.

In each of her four years, Poyant opened and closed the season with success. On the annual season-opening trip to Florida, Poyant won 12 of 13 decisions in her career, and in seven regional and national tournaments, was 11-3 with one save.
Poyant was unbeaten in regional tournament play in six career decisions, shutting out SUNY Cortland and Bridgewater

State in two regional starts as a junior in 1992 --  with the eight-inning 1-0 verdict over Bridgewater coming in the regional title game - and blanking Ithaca College in the first game of the 1991 regional championship round as a sophomore. Eastern came through the losers' bracket to win each of those regional tournaments.

In all, Poyant pitched in 20 NCAA post-season tournament games with an 11-3 record and a a 0.89 ERA in 111 1/3 innings. She completed 11 of her 14 starts and amassed three shutouts. In 1991, she pitched in all 11 post-season games, starting nine and winning seven of nine decisions with seven complete games and one shutout in 65.0 innings and a 0.65 ERA.

In the 1991 national tournament at Spector Field, Poyant started all six of Eastern's games, winning three, including a 7-2 complete-game triumph over rival College of New Jersey that vaulted the Warriors into the championship round against Central College (IA). Poyant lost both of her decisions to Central in the tournament despite shutting down the Dutch on just one earned run in 10 1/3 innings and was named to the national tournament all-tournament team.

Pitching on surgically-repaired knees as a senior captain in 1993, Poyant still led a deep pitching staff in wins, games, innings, and shutouts and shared the staff lead in starts and complete games.

Poyant was named to the NCAA All-Northeast Region team each year after her freshman season, twice to the All-New England team and once to the ECAC all-star team, earning first-team All-Region and All-New England honors as a sophomore in 1991.

Nineteen years after graduation, Poyant still ranks among the program's all-time top eight in every career pitching category, including second in relief appearances (32), fourth in wins, and fifth in appearances. At the time of graduation, Poyant was ranked among the all-time top three in appearances, wins, innings, starts and saves and was fourth in complete games.

In both years of eligibility, Poyant earned an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, which was provided to juniors and senior athletes featuring cumulative GPAs of at least 3.25.

Poyant became the 23rd individual associated with the Eastern softball program to gain E-Club Hall of Fame induction, fourth from the 1990 national championship team.

Poyant holds a B.S.  Degree in Business Management with a minor in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Eastern, an M.Ed. in Sports Management from Springfield College, and an M. Ed. in Student Affairs  Counseling from Bridgewater State University. She is currently employed as an academic advisor at the Bridgewater State and resides in North Dartmouth, MA.






W-Volleyball: Warriors Swept at Keene


miller_72dpi_1082.jpg Warriors swept by Keene in Little East, edged in five sets by WNEU

bourne 72_3898.jpgAbove: Erynn Miller

KEENE, N.H. -  Two kills and two service aces gave the Keene State College women's volleyball team a late lead in the important second set and the Owls went on to sweep Eastern Connecticut State University in Little East Conference competition Saturdawy afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium

At left: Danielle Bourne (7)

After losing for the fourth straight time against Keene (6-7, 2-0 LEC), Eastern (5-8, 0-2 LEC),  couldn't close out Western New England University (10-1) in a non-conference match as the Golden Bears rallied for the final two set victories.

Keene, which has reached the LEC tournament championship match twice in the last four years (winning once), submitted a 25-16, 25-20, 25-18 victory over Eastern while Western New England defeated the Warriors for the first time in the last four tries by scores of 25-17, 21-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-8. Eastern lost for the third  time in four matches this year decided in five.

After a kill by f6-foot-2 inch reshman Brooke Curran (Chelmsford, MA), Eastern led the second set against Keene by a point in the late stages before the hosts used consecutive kills and consecutive service aces to surge to a 22-19 lead.   In all, Keene outscored Eastern 7-1 after Curran's go-ahead kill.

After  Eastern pulled off two straight wins by a total of seven points against Western New England, the Golden Bears forced a deciding set with the five-point victory in the fourth set - erasing an early five-point Eastern lead. Leading by three points midway through the fourth set, Eastern was outscored again by a 7-1 count as the Golden Bears oved out to a 19-16 advantage.

On the day, junior Erynn Miller (Stratford) had 17 digs and received 31 serves without an error. Six-foot-two inch senior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA)  led the way with 25 kills and 15 digs, four blocks and four service aces.  Junior Nicki Gasch  (New Fairfield) added 18 kills and sophomore setter Allie Henry (Middletown) 49 assists . Senior Danielle Bourne (Branford) topped the Warriors with 31 digs  and handled 41 serves with only one error.

Against Keene, Wilson and Gasch combined for 17 of the team's 27 kills but the Warriors attacked at just .028. Bourn, henry  and freshman Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) teamed for 24  digs against the Owls.

Eastern neutralized Western New England's attack with ten blocks but attacked at only .075 and gave away 21 points on reception and service errors. Wilson led all players in the match with 16 kills, Gasch adding ten, with Wilson also serving four aces and blocking three WNEU attacked balls and collecting 11 digs. Bourne amassed a career-high 22 digs against the Golden Bears, Miller matching Wilson with 11 digs.

Eastern visits Connecticut College in a non-conference match Tuesday at the Luce Fieldhouse. AConn (9-1) has beaten Eastern the last two times the clubs have met after the Warriors had taken seven straight in the series.



Field Hockey: Warriors Emerge With Win

Defense rules in Little East victory over Fitchburg, 1-0


MANSFIELD, Conn. - -- In a match between teams who have found it difficult to score goals this year, one goal figured to stand up, and it did

At right: Senior captain Lauren DeLuca..

Saturday, s enior forward Hannah Collier (Watertown) scored her second goal of the year in the 15th minute and sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel) recorded her second shutout when the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team rammed  Framingham State University, 1-0, in a Little East Conference match at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

The conference win is the first for Eastern3-4, 1-2 LEC) since 2010. Framingham's (4-2, 1-2 LEC) victory over Eastern last year was its only conference victory.  The home win was also the first of this year for Eastern. Since winning the first five matches in this series, the Warriors managed only two in the last seven until Saturday.

Collier scored  an unassisted goal when Framingham senior goalie Sarah Ryan was unable to kick away a loose ball in the circle. Collier was able to free the ball, which bounced behind Ryan for Collier, who scored into an open net before falling to the ground.

Eastern  played a person down for the final 36 minutes after Collier received a red card ejection with just a minute left in the first half. The Warriors also kept the Rams from scoring despite being accessed nine minutes in penalties on two green cards and a yellow card in the second half. The Warriors played shorthanded while players served those penalties.

Framingham,  which has won thre of its matches this year by shutout, held a 7-1 advantage in penalty corers - including 6-0 in the second half - but the Warriors' defense shut downt he Rams whenever the visitors had penetrated into Eastern's defensive end.  Eastern's defensive trio of All-LEC senior Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor), junior Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) and sophomore Sam Rossetti (Shelton) all took turns gaining possession of the ball for the Warriors before Framingham could formulate a serious scoring bid.

Mullen and Ryan were called upon for only three saves each, with Mullen lowering her goals-against average to 2.14

Eastern visits Fitchburg State University in a conference match Wednesday at 6 p.m.

W-Soccer: Warriors Roll Past PSU, 4-1

Marchitto nets hat trick in Warriors' 14th straight triumph over Panthers

marchitto 72dpi 023.jpgPLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Daniela Marchitto (Orange) recorded her second career hat trick to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team to a 4-1 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University Saturdawy afternoon at Panther Field.

At right: Daniela Marchitto (Liz Cutler photo)

Since going scoreless through the first four matches of the season, Marchitto has answered with five goals and 11 points in the last three outings for Eastern (4-2-1, 2-0-0 LEC), which won for the 14th straight time over Plymouth (1-5-0, 0-2-0) and iimproved its regular-season conference record under 13th-year head coach Chris D'Ambrosio to 89-33-6 (75.0 percent). The Warriors have allowed more than one goal in just one of those 14 matches.

Marchitto,  now third all-time at Eastern with 90 career points, scored once in the first half and twice in the second to help stake the Warriors to  a 3-0 lead  before junior Sam D'Agati got the hosts on the board by connecting on a penalty kick after the Pantehrs were taken down in the box five minutes into the second half.

Senior Chelsea Downer (Colchester) also scored  her fifth goal of the season - giving her a share of the team lead with Marchitto. Both also have 11 points. 
Marchitto put the Warriors on the board just five minutes into the contest when she received a pass from senior Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) near the top of the box, spun around and fired the ball into the right side of the goal.  Eastern extended the lead to 2-0 midway through the first half when Downer came down the right side with the ball, made a nice move to the inside past a PSU defender and knocked the ball past an outstretched Panther keeper.
Plymouth's  best chances to score from the field came on pair of shots by sophomore Emily Bell, but one went over the crossbar and the other was stopped by Eastern senior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield).
Marchitto tallied her second goal of the game for Eastern just two minutes into the second half to push the Warriors' lead to 3-0. Marchitto, last year's LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, receiving a touch pass on the left side from junior Tamar Merheb (Bethel) and finishing off the goal for her second of the game.

The assist for Wallace was her team-leading fourth of the year and 23rd of her career, moving her into sole possession of fifth place all-time. Wallace has led the team in assists twice, with a career-high ten coming during her freshman season.
The Warriors finished with a 19-10 margin in shots and  despite starting two freshmen and two sophomores on the back line, did not allow a corner kick

MacLeod made four saves to  improve her record to 4-1-1 this season.

The match was the first on its opponents' turf for Eastern, which had played five hoeme matches  and one neutral-site game until Saturday.

Eastern hosts Salem State University in a non-conference match at 7 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.


M-Soccer: Warriors Shake Plymouth, 5-3

Furman scores team's first three goals; Eastern wins seventh straight

jennison72dpi_2447.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team allowed a season-high goal total but never trailed, scoring twice in the final nine minutes en route to its seventh straight win, 5-3, over Plymouth State University Saturdawy afternoon in a Little East Conference match at Thomas Nevers Field.

Eastern's first three goals came from senior Matt Furman (Montville) but the winning goal came from senior Cory Tobler (Portland) in the 82nd minute 16 minutes after the Planthers had tied the match for the second time midway through the second half.

 With the win, Easern (7-0-0, 2-0-0 LEC) equals its best start after seven match since identical record which opening the 1978 season.

Furman, who has all six of his season goals in the last there matches, scored two of his goals in the first 5:26, the second one giving him 30 in his career and pushing the Warriors to a quick 2-0 lead.

At left: Timothy Jennison

Junior Christopher Giustina (Enfield) lobbed a pass over the defense to find Furman, who was able to settle the pass and beat the keeper to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the third minute. Just three minutes later junior Tom Vear (Monson, MA) tapped a pass over the defense, once again to find Furman who beat the keeper in almost the identical spot as the first goal.

Plymouth State  (2-7-0, 0-2-0 LEC), which has lost four of its matches by one goal, fought back however scoring their first goal in the 14th minute when senior Parker Spear grabbed the ball off a turnover and flicked a shot from just outside of the box. The shot was just under the crossbar and just out of Eastern freshman keeper Jeremy Battye (Reading, MA), who was making his first career start and appearance.. 

Plymouth, which dropped its sixth in a row to Eastern, tied the match with only three seconds left in the first half off a corner goal by freshman Petro Masumbuko . The Panthers crowded the box as the corner was going to be the last chance in the half. Masumbuko received the corner from sophomore Joss Knol. He then beat the keeper on the right side of the net for the goal.

In similar fashion to the first half, Furman struck early in the second, putting Eastern back in the lead just four minutes into action off of a corner kick by junior Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook), the ball found the foot of Furman who blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the goal giving him a hat trick for the game. 

Once again, however, Eastern was unable to hold onto its  lead  as Plymouth scored in the 66th minute to tie it at 3-3. Knol scored on a shot that snuck just under senior keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford), who gained his seventh straight win after giving up two goals over the final 70 minutes.

Ranked No. 5 in New England, Eastern was finally able to put Plymouth State behind for good when Tobler scored after receiving a great lead pass from junior Carl Stensland (Storrs). Tobler was finally able to beat the senior keeper Bjorn Ohlsson on his third shot on goal in the game. The fifth Eastern goal was scored on a penalty kick by Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) with3:29 left. The reason for the penalty kick was due to an inadvertent handball by Joakmin Martinsson as he attempted to clear the ball with a kick. The ball went directly into his own hand.

Eastern visits Salem State University in a non-conference match Tuesday at 7 p.m.

EAW Airing Live Friday at 11 a.m.

Third installment of student-produced sports program airs on

USE72PI_1045.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The third installment of Eastern Athletics Weekly is scheduled to be webcast live on Friday morning at 11 a.m., originating from the Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center.

The hour-long sports show - hosted by students Nick Aconfora,  Sean Harrison, Nick Minutelli, and Brent Pelella - exams Eastern intercollegiate sports, as well as Division I and professional sports.  Viewers will also be eligible to win official Eastern athletics apparel by answering trivia questions which deal with Eastern athletics.

The show's first segment Friday will review the past week in Eastern athletics in the sports of cross country, volleyball, soccer and field hockey and will preview this weekend's schedule. A trivia question will wrap up the segment.

The second segment focuses on Eastern men's and women's soccer and field hockey and will conclude with a second trivia question.

NFL, fantasy football and UConn basketball are the subjects of the third segment, The third segment. The fourth segment is comprised of Major League Baseball, specifically a discussion of MVP and Cy Young candidates, playoff predictions and the future of the Red Sox.

Aconfora, Harrison, Pelella and Minutelli  are serving as play-by-play and color analysts this fall for Eastern athletic home events which are broadcast live and later archived on

Each edition of Eastern Athletics Weekly is archived on immediately following its live airing under Recent Archives..

Field Hockey: Valiants Stop Warriors, 6-1

Four goals in eight minutes doom Warriors against Manhattanville

aheardmville72dpi_2299.jpgAbove: Finley Ahearn of Eastern (11) and Rylee McGuire contest the ball Wednesday night.


By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Trying to get at an even  record and defeat another non- conference opponent this season, the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team was giving their best against Manhattanville College Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

In the end, Manhattanville (4-3) was too much to handle for the Warriors, winning 6-1 for tis fifth straight win over the Warriors in this series. The match was the seventh away from home this year for the Valiants.

At the outset, Eastern was driving and pressuring Manhattanville sophomore goalie Courtney Ponte. Eastern missed on scoring opportunities early in the game - when it collected four of its five penalty corners -- and had Manhattanville on its  heels until late in the first half

With 10 minutes and 52 seconds left to play in the first half, Manhattanville's Julia Esposito scored the game's first goal, her second goal of the season, and the Valiants never looked back by adding three more in less than eight minutes. Over a minute later with nine minutes and 20 seconds left, Amanda DeChent scored Manhattanville's second goal and Eastern had to regroup with a timeout.

The Warriors were stuck in their defensive zone of the field for most of the end of the first half and had trouble getting out of their zone. Manhattanville scored late with three minutes and 36 seconds left by Kayla Meenan, her second goal of the year, and DeChent recorded her second goal of the night with two minutes and thirteen seconds left. At halftime, Eastern was down 4-0.

The Valiants did not stop their offensive attack as they kept challenging Eastern sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel) .With 28 minutes and 35 seconds left in the game, DeChent scored her third goal of the match, earning a hat trick and her 13th  goal of the season, and giving her team a 5-0 lead.

The final goal total was the highest this year for the Valiants, who are averaging over 3.5 goals per match. Manhattanville had been tested early this year with a difficult schedule which included back-to-back tournament contests in each of the first three weekends of the season. 

Eastern did not go down easy; the players kept on going hard throughout the game. With 19 minutes and 31 seconds left, the Warriors finally got a goal  by sophomore forward and team scoring leader Deisy Naranjo (Washington Heights, NY) on an assist from junior midfielder Finley Ahearn (Wallingford)  The goal was the sixth this year for Naranjo.

Gaining her first win in her second career start, freshman  Courtney Ponte carried a shutout into the middle stages of the second half before Naranjo  broke through.

The Warriors got new life and still kept attacking Manhattanville's defense, but could not get anything in the net for the rest of the game.

With four minutes and three seconds left, Manhattanville's Rebecca McClintock scored the last goal and the last dagger into Eastern's chances of coming back.

As they lost their second straight game and for the third time in three contests at home this year,  the Warriors look to end both losing streaks and get their first Little East Conference win when they host Framingham State University Saturday at noon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.


Women's Soccer: Owls Drop Warriors, 3-1


merhebwsu72dpi_2144.jpgWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Junior midfeilder Tamar Merheb (above) scored her first goal of the season midway through the first half but Westfield State University answered with the final three of the match to defeat the Warriors for only the second time in ten tries on the Warriors' home field in a non-conference match Wednesday afternoon, 3-1, at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. Ranked No. 5 in New England, Westfield (7-0-1) remained undefeated with its second win over Eastern in the last two years. In a battle of teams which have qualified for the NCAA tournament six tmes in the last seven years, senior forward Brittanie McGregor scored the game-winning goal against Eastern (3-2-1) for the second time in as many years. McGregor had tied the match late in the first half, and put the Owls ahead for good with her sixth goal of the season17 minutes into the second half. McGregor had tied the game with a low shot from the right wing which carried across the box and settled inside the left post. Her game-winner came when she re-directed Leann Rivard's  free kick from inside eight yards A last-tminute addition to the starting lineup, Eastern sophomore back Rachael Skinner helped limit Westfield top scorer Kayley Miller to just one goal. Miller's team-high  ninth goal came inside the final minute of play.  Miller unloaded nine of her team's 18 shots, but four were saved. Trailing 2-1, Eastern nearly tied the match, but Westfield junior keeper Jess Habif charged off her line to deny Eastern senior Daniela Marchitto's bid from inside the box off a corner kick. The best of  Eastern senior keeper Mackenize MacLeod's six saves came on a diving grab on a shot by Miller that kept the Westfield lead at one goal in the 64th minute. Following a three-game homestand which produced a 1-1-1 record, Eastern visits Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.


Cross Country: Times Are Down at UMD

For men, Cattanach is 39th; women's 1-through-5 are 50 seconds apart

By Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Staff

cattanach_head_72_0353.jpgpalasky 2011head 72_3628.jpg

Cattanach (far left), Palasky

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Sophomore Lee Cattanach (New London) had a "breakthrough race", according to first-year head coach Kathy Manizza, helping the Eastern Connecticut State University men's cross country team to place 28th in a 39-team field Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Shriners' Cross Country Invitational, run on the University's campus.

The day started with rain, however it cleared up by the time of the races, as the temperature was in the low 70's for the race which was run over the flat, fast, grass course.

The women's team placed 25th in the 38-team field which was comprised of 293 runners. Senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton), the program's only three-year letterwinner, recorded the best time for the women's team (20:27), taking 108th place (scoring 100 points) over the 5,000 meter layout. The encouraging fact was that Eastern's five scoring runners were separated by only 50 seconds.

In the men's field of 293 men runners, Cattanach ran a personal best time of 26:14 to finish in 39th place - scoring 37 points -- over 8,000 meters - a pace of five minutes and 17 seconds which provided him with a cushion of two minutes and 17 seconds over Eastern's No.2 runner.

Cattanach improved his personal best by nearly two minutes. According to Manizza, Cattanach remained mentally strong throughout the race,  thanks to his recent training with first-year assistant coach Kevin Brandon, a former four-year cross country runner under Manizza at the University of Hartford.

David Klein (New Milford), one of four sophomores on the men's team,  finished in 179th place (166 points) with a time of 28:31. This time was 38 seconds slower than his time last year in this meet. However, Manizza said, he is getting into better shape and he should improve throughout the year. As Eastern's No. 5 runner, freshman Steven LaFlamme (Moosup) finished with a time 32:38 in his first race at the five-mile distance (most high school courses are three miles).

Klein, first-year junior Evan Glaude (East Hampton) and sophomore Kyle Shaw (Lebanon) placed within 61 seconds of each other. Glaude was clocked in 29:08 and Shaw 29:32.

Manizza would like to see the men's team run more as pack in order to improve its finishing places in meets. She hopes that most runners will be able to reach the time that  Cattanach had in this race, while she hopes Cattanach can get into the 25 minute time range. The team should also receive a benefit when sophomore Austin Baldour (Newtown) and junior Mike Singletary (Hartford) return from injury in time for the New England Open Championships in three weeks.

Manizza was pleased with the women's team's ability to run as a pack. Junior Katie France (Portland) was the women's second runner, clocking a time of 20:35 - just eight seconds behind Gingras, while  junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold) was third in a  personal -best of 20:59, marking her first sub-21 minute effort. 

Eastern's No. 5 runner - freshman Courtney Magario (Voluntown) - ran just 50 seconds behind Gingras. Freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester) ran with Palasky throughout before coming in just five seconds behind the junior. Magario also improved her own personal best, which gives Manizza the confidence to believe that the women's team all have the potential to become much better.

The team is very young and Manizza believes that it is not close to having achieved its potential, but she expects that it will be much improved in a month. As long as the runners believe in themselves and can build confidence in their abilities and their teammates, it could be a very successful season, says Manizza.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Shriners' Cross Country Invitational is one of the best Division III meets in New England. It is a 40-year tradition attended by many schools in New England.

The race was the second of the season for the Warriors, who had opened up two weeks ago by competing in the Keene State College Alumni Invitational for the first time.

Eastern competes in the Wesleyan University Invitational Saturday at 11 a.m.



Soccer: Three Gain LEC Weekly Awards

MacLeod, Fletcher and Furman recognized in weekly program

fletcher 72dpi_0802.jpg

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's and men's soccer programs were undefeated in five matches last week, and their success was recognized by the Little East Conference in its third weekly awards program.

At right: Bradley Fletcher

Three Eastern seniors were honored Monday for their contributions when the women's team won one and tied one and the men's team won all three of their matches.

Senior goalkeeper MacKenize MacLeod (Northfield) was cited as LEC women's soccer Goalkeeper-of-the-Week while in men's soccer, senior back Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) was recognized as Defensive Player-of-the-Week and senior forwared Matt Furman (Montville) as Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

macleod72dpi_1430.jpgIt marked the first weekly recognition this year for any of the three.

At left: Mackenzie MacLeod

After going scoreless in the first four matches of the year, Furman contributed to four goals in three wins last week by scoring three (two game-winners) and assisting on one. The two-time first-team All-LEC forward scored the first two goals of a 3-2 win at Rhode Island College in the conference opener Saturday,  then scored the first and assisted on the second the next day in a 3-0 victory over Springfield College. Furman is the teams active scoring leader with 28 goals and 74 points.

Furman is tied for second in the LEC in goals and tied for fourth in points.

Fletcher is a four-year starter who played every minute in a 3-0-0 week in which the Warriors posted two shutouts and allowed only two goals which came in a span of two minutes in the win over Rhode Island.  Opponents managed only 29 shot as Eastern has posted its best start under sixth-year head coach Greg DeVito.


Fletcher is a two-time second-team All-LEC selection and 2009 conference Rookie-of-the-Year who this year has helped the Warriors to the top spot in the conference in least goals allowed least goals per game, , shutouts and goals-against average.

The men are ranked fifth in New England.

At right: Matt Furman (Cristina Danielson photo)

A second-year starter, MacLeod is a second-year starter extended this season's consecutive scoreless minutes streak to 3:17:30 with a 110 minute shutout of Wesleyan University in a mid-week scoreless overtime tie, and 45 shutout minutes in a 7-0 victory over Rhode Island College in the team's LEC opener Saturday.
MacLeod made all six of her saves on the week against Wesleyan.

Macleod has not allowed a goal in four starts  this season, making
eight saves with three shutouts.

Both Eastern soccer teams won LEC playoff titles last year, the men as the regular-season champion and the women as the No. 2 seed.



M-Soccer: Eastern Extends Streak to Six

Still unbeaten, New England's fifth-ranked team repeats 2-0 win over SC


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  After allowing an uncharacteristic two goals (in a little more than two minutes) in a Little East Conference-opening victory Saturday, the Eastern Connecticut State University defense returned to form Sunday with a solid 2-0 shutout of Springfield College in a non-conference match at Thomas Nevers Field.

At right: Junior back Christopher Giustina (14) controls the ball against Springfield forward Scott Saucier. (Cristina Danielson photo)

With the win - its fourth by shutout -- Eastern (6-0-0) extended its best start under seventh-year head coach Greg DeVito. Playing Springfield (1-6-0) at home for the first time in this brief three-game series, Eastern repeated the 2-0 victory it posted over the Pride in the opening round of last year's NCAA tournament at Amherst, MA.

With the help of starting defenders Bradley Fletcher (Middletown), Christopher Giustina (Enfield), Jordan Clark (Manchester) and Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook), senior keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) was threatened only once and needed only four saves to record his sixth shutout in 11 career starts and lower his career goals-against average to 0.45.

Making his first start of the season, Springfield senior keeper Chris Walton didn't need a save in a scoreless first half, but was the victim of two wonderful Eastern goals in a brief eight-minute span that put the match in Eastern's win column.

Scoreless through the first four match of the year, Eastern senior midfielder Matt Furman (Montville) scored Eastern's first goal of the match and assisted on the second to give him three goals and an assist in a little more than 24 hours. Senior  forward Cory Tobler (Portland) added his second goal in two matches  to provide insurance.

Furman's goal came on Eastern's first shot of the second half - less than a minute into play -- on a diving off  a beautiful cross across the box from junior midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs). Tobler followed eight minutes later ith a blistering ground ball from the right side on a long pass from Furman that Walton had no chance on.

Munsell needed one acrobatic save to preserve the two-goal lead on a header from in close by Springfield sophomore midfielder Zach Dutter minutes after Tobler's goal. Dutter was able to control the rebound, but sent it over the cross bar for the Pride's last threat.

For Springfield, four of its first five losses had come by one goal (two in overtime), with the fifth to regionally-ranked Wesleyan University. Sunday's shutout was the fourth, however, for the Pride, which has managed more than a goal in a match only once this season.

While Eastern scored twice in the second half Sunday, the Warriors had scored both of their goals in the opening half in last year's NCAA victory. The shot totals were even in both matches.

Ranked fifth in New England, Eastern has allowed only three goals in six matches, two coming minutes apart when the Warriors opened their Little East Conference season with a 3-2 victory at Rhode Island College.

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

Volleyball: Warriors Sweep Wheaton

Eastern also drops decision in straight sets to No. 6 Coast Guard

GaschWilson_72_1334.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn.--  Eastern Connecticut State University senior Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) led the way with 14 kills to go with eight digs and junior Samantha Browning (Mystic) added 11 kills as the Warriors swept Wheaton College (MA), 25-10, 25-23, 25-23 in non-conference women's volleyball action Saturday afternoon at Roland Field House.

At left: Nicki Gasch (12) and Katie Wilson. (Courtney Weber photo)
Against Wheaton (3-8), junior Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) added eight kills while sophomore Allie Henry (Middletown) led Eastern (5-6)  with 24 assists.

In the third match of the day, host Coast Guard (5-4) won its 19th straight home match with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-16) victory over the Warriors. Ranked No. 6 in New England, Coast Guard defeated Eastern for the fourth straight time.

In defeating Wheaton for the seventh time in the last eight meetings, the Warriors jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead in the opener and used a 6-1 run later to open up a 17-8 lead en route to the victory.  In the second set, Eastern led 23-16 before Wheaton scored seven of the next eight to pull to within 24-23. In the third set, Eastern led 15-9. Wheaton rallied to tie it 19-19.

Freshman Anastasia Tammen led the Lyons with 10 kills while classmate Page Gustofson had a team-high 16 assists..

Against Eastern, Coast Guard's Catherine Walker and Karen Matic led the way with seven kills each while freshman Ashley Dumont had six kills and Kelsey DePorto five.
Matic had a team-high 11 assists while Elise Sako added three aces and seven digs.

Freshman Kendyl Jacobs led the Lyons with four kills to go with four blocks, classmate Robyn D'Agostino had seven digs and freshman Elisa Waelder had three aces and four blocks.

Eastern looks for its first Little East Conference win after an opening loss when it visits Keene State College Saturday at noon. At Keene, the Warriors also face Western New England University at 2 p.m. in a non-conference match.

Eastern Conn. 3, Wheaton College (MA) 0

Eastern Conn. (5-5) 25 25 25
Wheaton, MA (3-8) 10 23 23

U.S. Coast Guard 3, Eastern Conn. 0

Eastern Conn. (5-6)  17 18 16
Coast Guard (5-4)  25 25 25


Field Hockey: WSU Corners Warriors, 4-1

Owls score three times on penalty corners to post Little East victory


by Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Staff

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Penalty corners proved to be the difference-maker in Eastern Connecticut State University's 4-1 Little East Conference field hockey loss against Westfield State University Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex, as three of the Owls'  goals came on those set pieces.

At right: Eastern freshman Laura Chicorka (12) moves the ball against Westfield sophomore back Kelsey Carpenter. (Krysta Valerio photo)

The road match was the first of the year for Westfield (3-1, 1-1 LEC) while Eastern (2-3, 0-2 LEC) lost its second in as many tries this year at home.  The victory was the eighth straight for the Owls over the Warriors in this14-game series.

Westfield, which amassed a 16-5 advantage in corner, struck first in the 14th minute off a penalty corner when junior forward Sarah Pliszka elevated her shot past Eastern (2-3, 0-2 LEC) sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel) on the upper right portion of the net. Eastern was able to keep the score 1-0 at halftime despite being down two players due to penalty in the 27th minute. Eastern successfully killed the penalty and almost tied the game in the 33rd minute when junior midfielder Finley Ahearn (Wallingford) sent in the penalty corner to senior forward Hannah Collier (Watertown), who had her shot attempt get deflected to freshman forward Laura Chicorka (Enfield). Her rebound opportunity missed the goal to the right, sending the game to halftime at the 1-0 score.

Nursing a one-goal halftime lead, Westfield State scored twice in a six-minute span. early in the second half. The Owls' second goal came off another penalty corner when senior midfielder Lauren Tavares scored on an elevated shot that beat Mullen into the top left corner in the 43rd minute, the goal was assisted by seniorforward Liz HallIn the 49th, Westfield State extended its lead to 3-0 on a backhand shot batted in by freshman forward Taylor Chase.

Eastern attempted to fight back, scoring off  its penalty corner in the 50th when freshman forward Hannah Keiser (Danbury) recorded her first career points on a bullet that beat Westfield senior goalie Khrystyna Mitchell. The assist came from Ahearn, who  also recorded her first career point.

However,  just five minutes later, Westfield  scored the last goal of the game, once again off a penalty corner. Hall scored after she sent in the penalty corner as she received the ball from sophomore forward Kelly Kinney, who had come off the bench.

Westfield  had the advantage in most stat categories. The Owls outshot Eastern, 9-2. Mullen made four saves, but last week's LEC Rookie-of-the-Week watched her goals-against average balloon from  1.25 to 1.80.  Mitchell needed only two saves to improve her record to 3-1.She has allowed only one goal in her last two starts. Westfield State benefitted from having 16 corners to Easterns' five.

Eastern hosts Manhattanville College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

M-Soccer: Warriors Stay Unbeaten, 3-2

In Little East opener, they take early lead in victory over RIC

furman 72_9245.jpg

PROVIDENCE, R.I - Facing Little East Conference nemesis Rhode Island College, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team improved to 27-5 in LEC regular-season play under sixth-year head coach Greg DeVito with a 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon at the RIC Soccer Field.

At right: Matt Furman

Now 6-2-2 against Rhode Island (1-3-1, 0-1 LEC) under DeVito, Eastern (5-0-0, 1-0 LEC)  got two goals from senior forward Matt Furman (Montville) - his first two of the year -- and one from senior midfielder Cory Tobler  (Portland) - his first -- in the first 30 minutes and survived a pair of early second-half goals by the hosts to record its first win on RIC's home field in ten years. Until Saturday, the Warriors were 0-3-2 at Rhode Island since taking a 3-1 decision in 2002.  In addition to regular-season play, the clubs have met four times in the LEC playoffs under DeVito, with the Warriors winning two and tying one.

The offensive flood gates opened in the 16th minute as junior midfielder Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) Power dumped a pass down the right side to freshman forward Tim Jennison (Coventry) who turned at the goal line and laced a perfect cross to the back post for Furman to head straight down over the goal line. It was the second career point for Jennison, making his first start.

As the Anchormen tried to settle down, Furman connected on his second of the game on another bang-bang passing play from senior back Bradley Fletcher (Middletown) in the 23rd minute.

Tobler  made it 3-0  in the 30th minute, with junior defenders Christopher Giustina (Enfield) and Jordan Clark (Manchester) picking up the helpers.

Prior to Furman's first goal, both teams threatened. Eastern junior midfielder Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) - who entered the match as Eastern's only player with as many as two goals -- struck a laser on a free kick that ricocheted off the crossbar in the 13th minute, and just over a minute later, RIC freshman midfielder Camilo Estrada launched a shot from the left wing that pelted the iron above senior goalkeeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford).

Rhode Island, which started nine freshmen and sophomores, finally got on the board in the 52nd minute as a failed clearing attempt was settled by sophomore defender Jeff Sampaio. His cross from 30 yards out from the right to left side found freshman midfielder Tyler Pacheco streaking in to score just inside the back post for his first collegiate goal. Just over two minutes later,  Estrada took a pass from sophomore forward Emmanuel Asiedu in the box to chip in his second marker of the season.

Ranked fifth in New England, Eastern shored up its defense, packing nine players into its own zone to keep the Anchormen from scoring the rest of the way. Munsell made a highlight-reel one-armed jumping save - his only one of the match -- to tip Estrada' potential game-tying laser over the cross bar in the 71st minute.

Eastern hosts Springfield College Sunday at 4:30 p.m.


W-Soccer: Warriors Unchallenged, 7-0

Downer and Marchitto each score twice in Little East opener

merhebric72dpi_1855.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Seniors Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and Daniela Marchitto (Orange) each scored twice and freshmen Maggie Sayers (Windsor Locks) and Brianna Curcio (Southbury) each recorded their first career points as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team shut out Rhode Island College, 7-0, in its Little East Conference opener Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

Above: Junior midfielder Tamar Merheb (9) (Krysta Valerio photo)

Last year's conference playoff champion, Eastern (3-1-1, 1-0 LEC)  outshot Rhode Island (1-3-0, 0-1 LEC) 21-0 in building a 4-0 halftime lead and went on to its fifth straight victory over the Anchorwomen. Eastern is 11-1-1 against RIC in the last 13 meetings and has won six straight at home against RIC since a 2-1 overtime loss in current 13-year Eastern head coach Chris D'Ambrosio's first season.

Downer totaled her team-leading third and fourth goals of the season and also added an assist, while Marchitto's first two goals of the campaign served as bookends to a four-goal first half.  Marchitto was last year's LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Year.

Senior midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) gave Eastern a 3-0 lead in the 32nd minute with her first goal of the year after assisting on Marchitto's goal which opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Sayers and Curcio each came off the bench to register their first career points. Sayers had an assist on Eastern's sixth goal in the 72n minute when served a ball from the right flank which was headed in at the left post by junior midfielder Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ). Curcio accepted a pass from junior midfielder Kaitlyn Kennedy (Burlington) and carried for 30 yards before unloading an uncontested shot from the right side.

 Rhode Island sophomore keeper Audrey Maia  stopped 14 Eastern shots, five coming in the opening minutes that kept the match scoreless until Marchitto broke through in the 12th minute on a shot from the left side that settled inside the left post.

First-year sophomore Rachel Skelton (East Lyme) made one save in net while playing the second half in her second college appearance.

Eastern plays the third of three straight home matches Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Westfield State University at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.



Volleyball: UMB Subdues Warriors in Three

 Eastern holds its own but can't prevent sweep by three-time champs

Luppi_ 72_1110.jpgBOSTON - The University of Massachusetts Boston scored nine of ten points to pull away in the all-important second set and went on to a three-set sweep of Eastern Connecticut State University in the Little East Conference women's volleyball opener for both teams Thursday evening at the Clark Athletic Center. Set scores were 25-15, 25-16, 25-17.

At left: Allie Luppi (Courtney Weber photo)

A winner of 27 of its last 28 regular-season conference matches, UMass Boston (6-4) attacked at .247 and with the help of 12 block assists, limited Eastern (4-5) to an -0.33 attack percentage - well below its season percentage.

First-year freshman libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) handled 19 serves with two errors and led the way with nine digs. Senior middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) and first-year junior outside hitter Samantha Browning (Mystic) combined for 11 of the Warriors' 20 kills. Three of Eastern's starters had negative attack percentages. Wilson, the LEC leader in points (4.61 per set), added four digs and two blocks and Browning six digs and three service aces. Sophomore setter Allie Henry (Middletown) totaled 17 assists.

UMass Boston 6-foot-2 inch senior middle hitter Shannon Thompson, a three-time All-America, collected nearly half of her team's kills (16 of 36) and attacked at .609. Six-foot-two inch senior defensive specialist Kayla Wilson picked up ten digs, 6-foot-1 inch freshman middle hitter Molly Witzmann four blocks and junior Megan Pollock and freshman Emma Rocha combined for 31 assists.

Eastern faces  Wheaton College (MA) at  1 p.m. and host U.S. Coast Guard Academy at 3 p.m. Saturday.


M-Soccer: Power Move in OT Lifts Warriors

Overtime goal allows them to subdue Mitchell in home-opener, 1-0

By Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Staff


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  Having lost only one of its previous five home-opening matches under head coach Greg DeVito, anything but a win in its first home match of 2012 against a game but overmatched Mitchell College  team would have been a major disappointment for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team.

At right: Luke Capezzone (4) (Cristina Danielson photo)

But despite holding a sizeable advantage in shots, it looked like the Warriors might have to settle for a tie Wednesday afternoon against first-time opponent Mitchell  at Thomas Nevers Field.

After 99 minutes of a scoreless game, however, junior forward Mitchell Power (Douglas, MA) finally drove one past Mitchell (1-2-0) standout sophomore keeper Ramazan Sinani sin the final minute of the first overtime period as the Warriors breathed a deep sigh of relief with the 1-0 non-conference victory  -- their fourth without a loss this season.

Ranked fifth in New England, Eastern was unable to score until overtime when Power scored on a wonderful strike from outside of the penalty box. Powers' second goal of the season (third game-winning onein the last two years) was the only shot that beat Sinani, who made a handful of beautiful saves among the 14 that he collected on the afternoon.

In the first half, Eastern had numerous opportunities to score including one chance in the 18th minute when senior forward Cory Tobler (Portland) crossed the ball into the box to find junior midfielder Tom Vear (Monson, MA) for a shot that was stopped and eventually recovered by Sinani. Another chance in the first half that didn't amount to a goal was in the 12th minute when Power had his shot go off the right goalpost but the ball found Tobler's foot but his shot went over the bar on the rebound attempt.

Power and Tobler combined for 13 of Eastern's shots, with Sinani coming up with five saves. Following a scoreless first half, Tobler sent a shot from close range over the top in the opening two minutes of the second half, and Power's line drive struck the left post  with 13 minutes left.

Senior keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) made three saves to record his fifth career shutout - third in four starts this fall -- in nine career starts. His toughest save came  12 minutes into the second half when he perfectly timed a leap to haul in a free kick by senior back Howie Johnson at the cross bar. With nine minutes left, Munsell nearly figured in a go-ahead goal. On the play, Munsell punted to senior forward Matt Furman (Montville), who sent a perfect pass ahead to Power, who volleyed a shot from in close over the cross bar while trying to beat one defender.

Munsell has not allowed a goal in the past two games in amassing a 0.24 goals-against average in  370+ minutes.

Mitchell College was not able to create much offense in the match, managing only nine total shots and attempting only one corner kick. Eastern, which recorded 32 shots and 11 corner kicks, would likely have enjoyed a lopsided win if not for the active play of the 5-foot-11 inch, 165 pound Sinani.

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


W-Soccer: Warriors Tie Up Wesleyan, 0-0

Despite playing with three freshmen starting backs, Warriors' defense continues to shine


MANSFIELD, Conn. --  Senior goalkeeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) posted her third shutout in as many starts to help the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team to a scoreless overtime draw with Wesleyan University Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Samantha Bottaro (Courtney Weber photo)

Playing with three freshmen and a sophomore among its five starting backs, Eastern (2-1-1) has allowed only one goal this season. MacLeod, a second-year starter in net has yet to give up a goal in over 270 minutes this year. After unloading 21 shots and scoring three times against MacLeod a year ago,  Wesleyan (0-1-1), was limited to 11 shots Wednesday, with MacLeod stopping all six that landed on net.

Eastern's starting defense in front of MacLeod includes senior Rachel Cutler (Guilford), sophomore Whitney Mantel (Stamford) and freshmen Geo Karahalios (South Windsor), Kaitlin Thibodeau (Tolland) and Samantha Bottaro (Southington).

Eastern had a handful of scoring opportunities that did not materialize. Senior forward Taylor Buchanan (Ellington), who missed all of last year with an ACL injury, nearly ended the match three minutes into overtime, but her free kick from 25 yards beat Wesleyan freshman keeper Rachel Hobart high but bounced off the cross bar and travelled harmlessly out of the box.

Two minutes after Buchanan's potential game-ending bid,  senior midfielder Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) got a step on a defender in the box and let loose a left-footed shot which cleared the cross bar.

Wesleyan, which has won just one of the last seven meetings (1-3-3)  against Eastern after shutting out the Warriors the first four times the program met, had its best chance 8:30 into overtime when  junior forward Kelly Doyle slid a low hard shot at goal from inside the box, but MacLeod was in position to scoop up the shot.

Eastern outshot Wesleyan 17-11 and held a slim 4-2 edge in corner kicks.  Hobart made three saves over the final 65 minutes in her collegiate debut after sophomore starter Jessica Tollman made the same number in the first half.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College in its Little East Conference opener Saturday at 1 p.m. at Thomas Nevers Field.


Sports Talk Comes to Eastern

Second installment of student-run show to air live Friday at 11 a.m.


Above (from left): Nick Minutelli, Nick Aconfora and Sean Harrison

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The second installment of Eastern Athletics Weekly - Eastern Connecticut State University's student-run one-hour sports talk show -- can be seen live on this Friday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m.

 The hour-long show - hosted by Nicholas Aconfora, Nicholas Minutelli and Sean Harrison - will also be archived for later viewing under ""Recent Archives" on immediately upon completion of its live airing.

Periodically, student-athletes, coaches and staff will interviewed on the show. The first half-hour of the show reviews the week in Eastern intercollegiate athletics, and looks ahead to upcoming activity. The hosts will discuss professional and Division I football and basketball in the second segment.

Viewers will have an opportunity to win Eastern athletic apparel and other merchandise by answering trivia questions as part of each show.

All three EAW hosts are Newington natives and graduates of Newington High School.

Aconfora is a sophomore Communication major and  has served as a play-by-play broadcaster for numerous Eastern sports since last year. He aspires to a career in broadcast journalism and to host his own sports talk show following graduation. He was a four-year member of the NHS basketball program.

Also a sophomore, Minutelli is an Economics major who is studying radio at Eastern and is involved in business. Minutelli also played four years of basketball and two years of golf at NHS.

Harrison is a junior Accounting major at Eastern who has an interest in radio broadcasting and is studying to become a Certified Public Accountant. Harrison was also a four-year basketball letterwinner at NHS who additionally played golf and ran cross country.

Field Hockey: Three-Goal Half Lifts Warriors


BOSTON - The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team remained unbeaten in this series with Wheelock College by outshooting the Wildcats 14-0 in the second half, when it wiped out a halftime deficit with three goals en route to its sixth win all-time against the hosts, 3-1, Tuesday night at Winsor Field.

Aright: Deisy Naranjo

 Sophomore forward Deisy Naranjo (Washington Heights, NY) scored two goals in a match for the second time in four contests this year and first-year sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel) lowered her goalsa-gainst average to 1.25 by making two saves as the Warriors evened their record at 2-2.

Wheelock  (0-3) took a 1-0 halftime lead by scoring with less than a minute left in the first half but freshman forward Laura Chicorka (Enfield) tied the match with her first career goal less than a minute into the second half.  Naranjo scored twice less than three minutes apart midway through the half, with senior forward Hannah Collier (Watertown) contributing her team-leading third assists on the go-ahead one and Chicorka adding her second assist of the season on the  second..

 Eastern outshot Wheelock, 16-3, forcing Wildcat goalie Michelle Greene to make seven saves.

Eastern plays the first of three straight home match Saturday at noon when it hosts Westfield State University in a Little East Conference match.



Field Hockey: Mullen is LEC's Top Rookie

Goalkeeper becomes program's first weekly LEC honoree since 2008


By Brent Pelella/Sports Information Staff

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey program was unsure of where its production would come from at the goalkeeper position in 2012. Luckily for the Warriors, first-year sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) has adamantly stepped into the vacancy at the position , and has yet to waver.

A two-sport athlete at Eastern, Mullen's performances from last week's two matches warranted the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week award for the week ending Sept. 9 and has the team excited about its new goalkeeper. Last spring as a freshman, Mullen  was a defender on the women's lacrosse team, and seems to have made the transition rather seamlessly.

Mullen becomes the first player from the program recognized with an LEC weekly award since freshman forward Devon Augule gained the identical honor in the first weekly report of 2008.

Last week, Mullen made three saves in her second start for her first career shutout in a 3-0 road win over Anna Maria College. This past Saturday, she made nine saves in a 1-0 loss at the University of Southern Maine in the team's Little East Conference opener...

In a small sample of three contests, Mullen has posted a .857 save percentage and has allowed only 1.33 goals per game in playing every minute I goal through three matches for the 1-2 Warriors.

On Tuesday, Eastern  travels to Wheelock College before embarking upon a three game home stand, which gets underway against Westfield State University Saturday at noon.  The Warriors are unbeaten (5-0) all-time in the series with Wheelock. Westfield is ranked eighth of 12 teams in the pre-season LEC coaches' poll.


W-Volleyball: Warriors Split Four at Invite

Eastern attacks at .320 in final set for first five-set victory of year


HARTFORD - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team was involved in two sweeps and two five-set matches over the weekend at the Trinity College Invitational at Ray Oosting Gymnasium, winning two and losing two.

At right: Allie Henry puts up one of her 69 assists over the weekend, with 51 coming in a five-set victory over Salve Regina. (Courtney Weber photo).

After sweeping Lasell College and dropping a five-set decision to host Trinity College Friday night, Eastern (4-4) lost in three to Wesleyan University (2-0) Saturday morning before bouncing back later in the afternoon to dump Salve Regina University (2-5) in five. Game scores were 25-19, 25-23, 25-20 against Wesleyan and 20-25, 26-24, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12 against Salve. The five-set victory was the first this year for Eastern after two such setbacks.

After edging Wesleyan in five sets a year ago at Geissler Gymnasium,  Eastern attacked at -0.11 Saturday and commited 12 reception errors in three sets to losing its second straight decision in the invitational.

Wesleyan did not take its first lead in the first set until breaking a 13-13 tie. The Cards scored four straight to move out to a 16-13 advantage and the Warriors never go closer than two thereafter. Eastern led by as many as four early in the second set but a five-point run gave Wesleyan its first lead since it scored the first point of the set. Wesleyan got out quickly in the third set but Eastern's 9-1 spurt negated that early Cardinal success. The Warriors held a lead which peaked at 17-12 but Wesleyan outscored the Warriors 13-3 thwilson72_1248.jpge rest of the way to complete the sweep

At right: Katie Wilson records one of her seven blocks Saturday, with a key solo block coming in a five-set win over Salve Region. (Courtney Weber photo)

In the decisive fifth set against Salve, senior middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) had seven of the team's  ten kills with only one error and combined with freshman Bryanna Kelly (Dunbarton, NH) and juniors Samantha Browning (Mystic) and Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) for 13 digs. Down by two in Set 5, Eastern scored six of the next seven points. Wilson contributed two kills and a block solo and the Warriors added two points in that run on Salve's attack errors. Eastern attacked at .393 to even the match with the second-set win and  .320 in the final set.

Against Salve, Browning had 19 kills, Wilson 14 and Gasch 12. Wilson also had four blocks against Salve to give her six on the day and handled 19 serve receptions without an error and camem up with 12 digs. Browning contributed 12 digs and three service aces in the win and Gasch 11 digs. Junior libero Erynn Miller (Stratford) had 14 digs against the Seahawks  and sophomore setter Allie Henry (Middletown) had 51 assists and added 12 digs.

On the day, Browning led the way with 26 kills, Wilson following with 22 and Gasch adding 17. Henry finished with 69 assists and Wilson had seven blocks and commited only two errors on 35 reception attempts.

Eastern visits the University of Massachusetts Boston Thursday at 6 p.m.


Field Hockey: Warriors Push USM in Loss

LEC LOGO PARE.jpgGORHAM, Maine - The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team is still looking for its first Little East Conference win since the 2010 season, but the Warriors weren't far from breaking that streak Saturday afternoon.

In the conference opener for both teams,  Eastern (1-2) outshot the University of Southern Maine (3-1) 10-5 in the second half but could not break through in a 1-0 loss against the former LEC champions at Hannaford Field.

Sophomore forward Peyton Dostie notched her fourth goal of the season in the 30th minute to lead the Huskies to their sixth straight win over the Warriors.  Dostie snapped a scoreless draw with her second game-winning goal of the season on an unassisted strike.  After collecting a loose ball in the circle, Dostie calmly diced her way in front of the cage for the lone goal.

Despite outshooting Eastern  9-4 in the first half, the Huskies were unable to beat first-year sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Mullen (Bethel) until late in the half.  Mullen, who has a 1.33 goals-against average and .857 save percentage this year, made nine saves.

The Warriors pressured the Husky defense in the second half, outshooting Southern Maine 10-5 and forcing USM junior goalkeeper Kayla Kennedy to make all five of her saves.  Kennedy was aided by the solid play of freshman Marina Davidson who made a pair of defensive saves in the final ten minutes of action. 

Picked to finish fifth in the LEC pre-season poll, Southern Maine had outscored Eastern 17-3 in its three previous victories over the Warriors. Eastern was picked for last (12th)  in the LEC pre-season poll.

Eastern visits Wheelock College Tuesday at 7 p.m.


W-Soccer: Downer Engineers 1-0 Victory

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Senior midfielder Chelsea Downer (Colchester) scored her second goal of the season to snap RPI's streak of 269 scoreless minutes in Eastern Connecticut State University's 1-0 women's soccer win over the Engineers Saturday on the second day of the Valiant Classic, hosted by Manhattanville College. downer_72goal022.jpg

At right: Chelsea Downer beats Emily Eastman of RPI to score the only goal of the match Saturday. (Liz Cutler photo)

The match between the first-time opponents was stopped after 72 minutes nd 30 seconds of play due to unplayable field conditions caused by heavy rain. 

Senior keeper Macdenzie MacLeod (Northfield) made one save to post her second shutout in as many starts this year for Eastern (2-1-0), which had its scheduled match against  MIT postponed due to thunderstorms.

Downer scored the only goal of the match on a cross from junior midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel), who was credited with her first point of the season. RPI (2-2-0) was coming off a 5-0 victory over host Manhattanville College Friday night and had not been scored upon since allowing a goal in the 64th minute of a 1-0 season-opening loss to Emmanuel College.

Eastern hosts Wesleyan University Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.


M-Soccer: Warriors Slow Roadrunners, 1-0

 Own goal in second half propels Warriors to third win without a loss


Munsell (left)

MAHWAH, N.J.  - Ranked No. 5 in New England,  the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team  scored an "own goal" in the 67th minute and senior keeper Jordan Munsell (Waterford) made four saves to record his fourth shutout in eight career starts Saturday in a 1-0 triumph over Ramapo College at the Athletic Center on the Ramapo campus.

Eastern (3-0-0) scored the only goal of the match with a man advantage after Ramapo's Andrew Willcox was issued his second yellow card and automatic ejection 12 minutes earlier. The only goal of the match deflected off  a Ramapo defender's head and out of the reach of rookie goalie Brian Petrunik.

The Warriors shut out out Ramapo (2-2-0) for the second straight year, coming off last year's 5-0 victory in Willimantic.

For Ramapo, Petrunik  had even saves while senior Rob Santaniello - the program's all-time leading scorer -- led the team with five shots, two on goal. Petrunik made four of his saves on shots by Eastern senior forward Matt Furman (Montville).

With his second shutout in three starts this year, Munsell lowered his goals-against average to 0.33 in just over 270 minutes.

Eastern opens at home against Mitchell College Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Nevers Field.


W-Volleyball: Warriors Split at Trinity


At left: Samantha Browning

The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team split two matches Friday night at the Trinity College Invitational at Ray Oosting Gymnasium.  The Warriors rode a 13-kill, 13-dig performance by senior middle hitter Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) to a 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 decision over Lasell College before dropping a 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 19-25, 9-15 contest to host Trinity. Eastern (3-3) faced Trinity (0-1) less than an hour after sweeping Lasell, while Trinity was playing its first match of the night. Against Trinity, junior outside hitter Samantha Browning (Mystic) totalled a team-high ten kills and added eight digs, while Wilson  and junior outside Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) shared team-high honors with 11 digs each. Wilson and Gasch also combined for 17 kills. In eight sets over two matches, junior libero Erynn Miller (Stratford) handed 32 serves with just one error and also amassed 16 digs; sophomore setter Allie henry (Middletown) set for 59 assists and totalled 16 digs. Also on the night, Wilson had 22 kills, 24 digs and five service aces and was perfect on 28 serve reception. Gash picked up 16 kills and 19 digs, Brownning 16 kills and 13 digs,  and freshman defensive specialist Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA)  accumulated eight service aces. Against Trinity, Eastern lost for the second time this year after taking the first two sets. In the decisive fifth set, the Bantams scored five straight points to move out to an 11-7 lead on two kills and three Eastern attack errors. Wilson got Eastern off to a strong start against Lasell with eight kills on 11 attempts in the first set. Luppi picked up three service aces in the second set against the Lasers and Wilson and Gasch each totalled seven digs in the third set. On Saturday, the Warriors meet Wesleyan University at 11 a.m. and Salve Regina University at 3 p.m.

M/W XC: Making Strides Under Manizza

By Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Office

france head 72_3616.jpgsingletary_head_72_0355.jpg

France (far left), Singletary

After spending 13 years coaching at Division I University of Hartford, Kathy Manizza's reason for returning to become the head coach of the men's and women's cross county and track and field programs at Eastern Connecticut State University was simple.

"I enjoy coaching at the Division III level because the student-athletes want to be here," noted Manizza, a long-time area resident who had served as part time cross country  coach at Eastern for seven years (1993-1999) and as the head men's and women's track and field coach for five (1994-98). 

Also having previously coached at Eastern, Manizza  knows the friendly environment the campus offers. Her plans are to rebuild the cross country program because she knows they have the potential to be very successful.

 "I want the team to create a sense of team spirit," she says. She also emphasized the importance of creating team bonding. She feels that her athletes at Eastern are excited about the coaching change and will support their teammates throughout the season. Her goal in her first season is to recruit a large number of athletes in order to develop the program. Since she was hired in June, she has sent out over 350 letters to potential cross country and track and field recruits.

In the first meet of season last Saturday at the Keene State College Alumni Invitational,  the team gained valuable experience and preparation for its next race September 15th at the Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational.

The course at Keene was shorter than normal (5,000 meters for men and 2,000 meters for women) because it was the first event of the season. The course was grass and flat but it was a very humid day, which could have affected the times of all runners.

Six runners competed for the men. First-year junior Michael Singletary (Hartford), a sprinter on the track and field team, stood out with a time of 20:08, scoring 73 points as the team's fifth finisher. Returning sophomore Lee Cattanach (New London) paced the men in a time of 17:13, scoring 24 points.  Junior Evan Glaude (East Hampton), a transfer from Unity College, was the first newcomer across the line for Eastern, clocking a time of 18:59 which was good for 63 points.

Cattanach is among four returniees from a year ago, and is joined by returning classmates Kyle Shaw (Lebanon), Austin Baldour (Newtown) and David Klein (New Milford). Klein was the club's No. runner as a freshman last fall.

Junior Katie France (Portland) recorded the best time (13:01) on the women's team, scoring 26 points in a field of 148 finishers and leading the squad to seventh place among ten scoring teams. According to Manizza, France worked hard over the summer to be in shape for the season, which showed at the opening event.

Twelve of the 13 runners on Eastern's roster -competed for the women at Keene. France, who ran second last year behind All-Alliance performer Amanda Quinones, was followed by senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and freshman Courtney Magario (Voluntown)..Gingras, the team's only fourth-year runner,  took34 points in a time of 13:18 and Magario scored 37 points in a time of 13:23. Rounding out the team's scoring runners were junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold) and freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester). Palasky, a two-year letterwinner, scored 44 points with a time of 13:39 and McCartney 46 points in a time of 13:48.

Manizza will be assisted in cross country by senior Tim Callahan, a former three-year member of the program, as well as former University of Hartford runners Kevin Brandon and  Andrew Chalmers.

Field Hockey: Reversal of Fortune

Warriors  answer 3-0 opening loss with three-goal decision over Anna Maria


PAXTON, Mass. --  For the second time in two matches this year, the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team played a game which resulted in a 3-0 score.

Only this time, it was on the winning side of the ledger.

At right: Deisy Naranjo

Thursday, sophomore forward Deisy Naranjo (Washington Heights, NY) scored the first two goals of her career and first-year sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel) recorded her first career shutout against Anna Maria College in the first road match of the year at AMCAT Field.

The victory over Anna Maria (1-2) is the fifth in this series without a loss for Eastern (1-1), fourth by shutout and  follows a 3-0 season-opening loss to Saint Joseph's College (ME) Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

In contrast to Saturday's loss, Eastern got stronger as this match progressed, outshooting the hosts 11-2 in the second half en route to a 20-6 advantage in that department.  Mullen was called upon for only three saves in the match, thanks to the defense of All-Little East Conference senior sweeper Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor), junior Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) and first-year sophomore Sam Rossetti (Shelton).

The Warriors did all of their scoring in a 12-minute span around the halftime break. Senior forward Hannah Collier (Watertown) had a hand in all of Eastern's goals, assisting on the first and last and scoring the second for her first goal of the year. Eastern  broke a stalemate with Naranjo's first career goal in the closing minutes of the first half,  and Collier made it 2-0 in the opening minutes of the second. Naranjo put the game away seven minutes into the second half.

Freshman midfielder Laura Chicorka (Enfield) was credited with her first collegiate point when she assisted on Collier's goal.

For the second straight match, the winning team garnered a decisive 16-1 margin in penalty corners. As did the final score this statistic  favored Eastern this time.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at 1 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine.



W-Volleyball: Clark Spoils Home-Opener

 In match decided by 13 total points, Cougars rally from two sets down

gasch_head_720110.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - In a five-set women's volleyball match decided by 13 total points, Clark University ended a seven-match skid against Eastern Connecticut State University with a 24-26, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-11 decision which lasted two hours and seven minutes.

At left: Nicki Gasch

Clark (2-1) scored four straight points to break an 18-all tie in the fourth set to deciding a decisive fifth set. The Cougars did not trail in the fifth set and led for good after snapping a 4-4 stalemate by scoring three straight points on kills from Shannon Glass-Smythe and Mel Conde sandwiched around an Eastern attack error.

Leading 11-9 in the fifth set, the visitors scored three straight key points, two coming on service and attack errors by Eastern (2-2). The Warriors handed Clark 27 points in the match on service errors, with the Cougars guilty of 17.

Eastern scored the final two points in take the first set in a game where the Cougars led by a slim margin throughout, with a four-point lead their highest. The Warriors led by as many as six points in taking a 2-0 series lead with the second-set victory.

The visitors never trailed after the opening points of the third set, opening up a lead of as many as five points at the midway point.

Clark, which utilized only one substitute in the match, got ten kills from Savonnah Rowe, nine kills and 19 digs from Glass-Smythe, seven kills from Conde and 18 digs from Kaitlyn Stuck . Rachel Spera collected 22 assists.

Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) recorded 18 kills and nine digs for Eastern, Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) 16 kills and eight digs, Erynn Miller (Stratford) 17 digs, Allie Henry (Middletown) 33 set assists and Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) four service aces.

Eastern starting outside hitter Danielle Bourne (Branford) left the floor with a sprained ankle midway through the first set and did not return.

The win was only the second ever for Clark in this series at Geissler Gym - first in 34 years. The Cougars had lost the last seven straight at the hands of the Warriors.

Eastern competes in the Trinity College Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Clark U. 3, Eastern Conn. 2

Clark (2-1)                   24 23 25 25 15
Eastern Conn. (2-2)      26 25 23 22 11


Volleyball: Warriors on Tonight

LEC LOGO PARE.jpgvb_bench72dpi_0613.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team's home opener against Clark University at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium will be streamed live on with a pre-game show beginning at 6:50 p.m. The contest gets underway at 7 p.m.

Eastern won two of three matches when it opened its season this past weekend at the Springfield College Invitational while Clark split two road matches this past weekend.

The meeting will be the 32nd in this series with Clark, the Warriors having won the last seven encounters.

Eastern is led by seniors Shannon Burke, Katie Wilson and Danielle Bourne, juniors Erynn Miller and Nicki Gasch and sophomore Allie Henry.

The match will be the only one at home in the month of September for Eastern, which returns to Geissler Gym Tuesday, Oct. 2 against Western Connecticut State University at 6 p.m.

Calling the match tonight are play-by-play commentator Nicholas Aconfora and  analysts  Nicholas  Manutelli and Sean Harrison.

The live broadcast can be found under "Current Schedule" on and will also be archived for immeiate viewing following the compeltion of the match under "Recent Archives" on


M-Soccer: PK is Golden in Warriors' win



WATCH: Post-game recap with Carl Stensland (3:00)

stensland_jersey_72_0025.jpgU.S. Merchant Marine Academy keeper Stephen Fucito's dive on senior back Bradley Fletcher's penalty kick goal  was in vain as the Warriors won the  Soccer City Shootout championship Sunday afternoon by scoring the Golden Goal 84 seconds into sudden death overtime. Fletcher knocked in his second career goal inside the right post to give Eastern its third season-opening invitational title in the last four years under head coach Greg DeVito. Junior midfielder Carl Stensland came off the bench to tie the match 15 minutes into the second half by converting a head ball in traffic on a serve from junior back Christopher Giustina. Merchant Marine had scored the first goal in the fifth minute of play during a horrential downpour which marred the first seven minutes of play and forced a 17-minute delay. Senior keeper Jordan Munsell allowed only one goal in two tournament starts in his first season as the starting keeper. Despite scoring the game-winning goal, Fletcher was recognized as the tournament Most Oustanding Defensive Player and junior forward Mitch Power the invitational's Most Outstanding Offensive Player after scoring the first goal in Saturday's 3-0 win over host Western New England University and finishing with nine of the team's 28 shots in two matches.  Junior back Mike Radlbeck and Munsell represented Eastern on the all-tournament team. Radlbeck had a goal and assist in Saturday's victory over the No. 23 nationally-ranked Western New England Golden Bears.

Volleyball: Warriors Third at Springfield

wilsonsept172dpi_0631.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Seniors Danielle Bourne (Branford) and Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) and junior Nikki Gasch (New Fairfield) all contributed ten kills to help carry the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team to a sweep of Westfield State University Saturday morning at the Springfield College Invitational.

At left: Katie Wilson

Coming off a four-set win over Rhode Island College Friday night, Eastern (2-1) dumped Westfield State, 25-14, 27-25, 25-14. In their final tournament match, the Warriors were swept by No. 21 ranked Springfield College, 25-8, 25-12, 25-21.

With a 2-1 record, Eastern shared third place iin the seven-team tournament behind Clarkson University (3-0) and Springfield (3-1).

Against Westfield, Bourne attacked at .276 and also contributed three of the team's 14 service aces.  She also had nine digs and four block assists. Wilson had 22 digs, , seven blocks and four service aces en route to all-tournament honors.

Junior libero Erynn Miller (Stratford) led Eastern with 23 digs and handled 16 serves without an error while freshman Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) dug up 22 balls and sophomore setter Allie Henry (Middletown) led the way with  25 assists.

In three matches in the tournament, Wilson  totaled 37 kills on 100 attacks with a .260 attack percentage. She also had 12 blocks and nine service aces.

Eastern competes in the Trinity College Invitational Friday and Saturday, facing Lasell College (5 p.m.) and Trinity (7 p.m.) Friday and Wesleyan University (11 a.m.) and Salve Regina University (3 p.m.) Saturday.


M-Soccer: No. 23 Western NE Falls, 3-0

power 72dpi_9194.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--  Supported by a strong defense, senior goalie Jordan Munsell (Waterford) needed only one save to record his third shutout in six career starts as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team opened its 2012 season with a 3-0 verdict over No. 23 nationally-ranked and host Western New England University in the opening round of the  2012 Soccer City Shootout Saturday afternoon at Suprenant Field

At right: Mitch Power

Eastern, which received votes in in the 2012 NSCAA pre-season Division III poll, moved into Sunday's 2:30 p.m. championship game against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which downed Springfield College, 1-0,  in the other first-round match Saturday.

Junior forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA)  scored the only goal the Warriors would need just 3 minutes and 29 seconds after the opening kickoff , and Eastern's defense of Munsell, senior Bradley Fletcher (Middletown), juniors Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook), Christopher Giustina (Enfield) and Jordan Clark (Manchester),  and sophomore Nicholas Demo (Brookfield).

Munsell opened the season as the team's No. 1 goalie for the first time after serving as backup keeper to All-New England backstop Carl Appel each of the last three years.

Radlbeck, who set up Power's early first-half goal, made it 2-0 with a header set up by freshman Timothy Jennison (Coventry) and Clark in the 58th minute, and a An "own goal"  three minutes later sealed the win.

The Warriors limited the Golden Bears to only seven shots and two corner kicks.

Western New England, ranked as high as third in New England last year, hadefeated Eastern 32 seconds into overtime last October 5 at Nevers Field.The Warriors went on to their fifth straight post-season tournament, however, downing Springfield College, 2-0, in the NCAA opener.


W-Soccer: Blue Jays Upend Warriors, 1-0


MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Freshman Sara Barnick's first career goal stood up after sophomore keeper Ashley Hebert preserved a shutout by saving a penalty kick for the University of Saint Joseph (CT) in a 1-0 women's soccer victory over host Eastern Connecticut State University  on the second day of the Warrior Classic Saturday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Kaitlin Thibodeau (11)

Saint Joseph (1-1-0) avenged a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Eastern (1-1-0)  in the second round of last year's tournament and handed the Warriors their first tournament loss after three victories in two years in the  tournament.

Barnick and junior Patricia Nolan converted a 2-on-1 opportunity against Eastern first-year sophomore transfer keeper Rachel Skelton (East Lyme) with ten minutes left in the match for the only goal.

Hebert kept the game scoreless when she made a diving stop of an Eastern penalty kick midway through the second half.. Neither team managed a shot after Barnick lifted the Blue Jays into the lead.

Eastern started three newcomers on the back line. Playing in front of Skelton were freshmen defenders Georgea Karahalios (South Windsor) and Kaitlin Thibodeau (Tolland). They were joined in the starting backfield by sophomore Whitney Mantel (Stamford) and junior Megan Godwin (Manchester).

Eastern allowed only one goal in the 90-minute match despite playing without four starters in the starting lineup: senior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield), senior forward Taylor Buchanan (Ellington), senior midfielder Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and junior midfielder Tamar Merheb (Bethel). Buchanan and Merheb are all-conference performers.

Eastern faces MIT Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Valiant Classic, hosted by Manhattanville College.

Field Hockey: Warriors Run Out of Gas

Between teams featuring 16 freshmen, Saint Joseph's (ME) wins, 3-0

MANSFIELD, Conn. --  In a match dominated by underclassmen, Saint Joseph's College (ME) compiled a 21-3 advantage in shots en route to a 3-0 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in the field hockey season-opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

ahearn72dpi_0687.jpgAt left: Finley Ahearn (Cristina Danielson photo)

In the first meeting between the programs, Saint Joseph's got a pair of unassisted goals from starting junior Rochelle Messuri and one from freshman reserve Brenna Fitzgibbon and racked up a 16-1 advantage in penalty corners.

The teams played on fairly even terms throughout most of the first half before Messuri's first goal broke a scoreless tie with 11 minutes left, and Fitzgibbon scored her first collegiate goal off her own rebound four minutes into the second half to make it 2-0. Messuri, who dominated offensively with her aggressive play and stickwork, took eight of her team's shots, getting two past Eastern first-year sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen (Bethel). Mullen, hampered late in pre-season with a quad pull, kicked out 12 Saint Joseph's shots in her collegiate field hockey debut.

A total of ten freshmen and sophomores started the match, four for Saint Joseph's and six for Eastern. The teams featured a combined total of 16 freshmen on their rosters. Eastern's starting lineup included five newcomers in Mullen, sophomore back Sam Rossetti (Shelton) and freshmen forwards Hannah Keiser (Danbury) and Laura Chicorka (Enfield) and midfielder Mackenzie Brower (Granby).

Eastern visits Anna Maria College Thursday at 4 p.m.


W-Soccer: Warriors Take Opener, 2-0

   Current and former Eastern coaches win on first day of classic

downer_head_72_0073.jpgleonard_head_72_0063.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -   Coaches with ties to the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer program won their respective opening matches at the Second Annual Warrior Classic Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Downer (far left), Leonard

Current 13th-year Eastern head coach Chris D'Ambrosio - he program's winningest mentor -- directed the host Warriors to a 2-0 victory over Fitchburg State University after former Eastern head women's soccer coach Matt Paton led Manhattanville College to a 1-0 triumph over the University of Saint Joseph (CT). Paton coached six years at Eastern between  1994 and 1999, the last two with D'Ambrosio serving as his assistant. Paton is in his eighth year at Manhattanville after several stops as an assistant coach at the Division I level.

Eastern 2, Fitchburg State University 0

In the second , Eastern got an early goal from senior Chelsea Downer (Colchester) and a clinching one from junior Nicole Leonard (Rutherford, NJ) to down the Falcons in the tournament opener for the second straight year.

Eastern struck first on a beautiful goal in the 11th minute by Downer. Junior Kaitlyn Kennedy (Burlington) was credited with the assist on the play when she passed to Downer on the right corner of the box. Downer curved the ball passed the keeper on the left for the goal.

Eastern had an opportunity to extend its lead seven minutes before the half  when senior Daniela Marchitto (Orange) completed a nice pass that lead to an opening for freshman Maggie Sayers (Windsor Locks), but Fitchburg junior keeper Jillian Kirouac charged and made a sliding save ending the threat and keeping her team only down one at the half.

Fitchburg had very limited scoring opportunities, managing only two shots, However in the 63rd minute the Falcons  had a chance to tie the game when freshman Rachael Mackewicz and junior Rachel Jamieson had a 2-on-1 chance, but Mackewicz could not complete the pass to Jamieson that would have been an excellent chance to beat Eastern senior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield).

In the 73rd minute, Eastern was able to get some breathing room on the Leonard goal. Senior Kelly Wallace (South Windsor) put the corner kick in the perfect spot of Leonard, who was able to head it in. The goal gave Eastern as many goals as Fitchburg shot. Eastern controlled the tempo of the match throughout.

The Warriors owned a 27-2 advantage in shots, but were only able to put nine of them on  Kirouac, who made seven saves. The hosts collected all eight of the game's corner kicks.

Eastern will play Saint Joseph in the second day of the tournament Saturday at 7 p.m.  while Fitchburg faces Manhattanville at 4:30 p.m.

Manhattanville 1, Saint Joseph 0

After a scoreless first half, senior Brittney Smith scored just two minutes into the second half to propel the Valiants to the opening win. Smith scored on a shot from inside the box which was  assisted by freshman Christie DeMarco to give her team the only goal of the game.

Just seconds after Manhattanville took the lead,  Saint Joseph had an excellent chance to tie the game when junior Patricia Nolan broke away from the defense but her shot went just over the crossbar. Saint Joseph had another great chance to tie the game in the 73rd minute when junior Nicole Mendelson attempted a free kick. Her shot hit the crossbar and fell straight down before being recovered by Manhattanville freshman keeper Grace Kraemer.

Manhattanville also had opportunities to extend its  lead. One of these moments was in the 66th minute when senior Morgan Rebollal took a long shot from well outside the box but sophomore keeper Ashley Hebert  made the save and kept the deficit at one.

On Saturday,  Manhattanville faces Fitchburg State University at 4:30 p.m. and Saint Joseph squares off with Eastern Connecticut at 7 p.m.


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