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Charity to benefit Be The Match is combined with Team IMPACT
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team and alumni will sponsor a Goal-a-Thon to benefit the Be The Match National Marrow Donor Program Saturday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
All proceeds from the Goal-a-Thon will benefit the Be The Match program in the name of Eastern soccer senior Jon DeCasanova, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia this past fall and has spent most of the past eight months in the hospital.
The Goal-a-Thon involves Eastern players and alumni divided into teams of 4-6 and will play timed, small-sided games until a combined total of 100 goals are scored.The minimum sponsorship is 5 cents per goal.
Prior to the Goal-a-Thon, 15-year-old Tyler Belfleur of Canterbury will be outfitted in a team uniform and will join team members during official introductions as part of the Team IMPACT! Program. In June of 2012, Tyler was involved in an ATV accident and sustained brain injury. Since then, he has advanced from a wheelchair to a walk and now needs only a crutch. Prior to the injury, Tyler was active in soccer and basketball, among other sports.
Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. The goal of the organization is to harness the power of teamwork by matching those courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are "drafted" onto local college athletic teams and to the greatest extent possible, become "official" members of the team for the duration of their treatment, and beyond.
Tyler will be "drafted" by the Eastern soccer team prior to the Goal-a-Thon.
To support the Goal-a-Thon through a financial contribution, contact Eastern head men's soccer coach Greg DeVito at 860-465-4334 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) has designated the month of March as National Athletic Training Month.
The theme of the second annual NATA month is Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer. From the NATA toolkit, the goal is "to continue to reach those individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers when it comes to legislation, employment and public health."
At right: Athletic trainer Julie Alexander works recently with baseball catcher Ben Richards, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. (Daniela Marchitto photo)
Promoting the awareness of athletic training to people who do not know what athletic trainers do is a key goal that the NATA looks to achieve. Educating people of the importance of athletic trainers and establishing relationships between student-athletes and athletic trainers are things to consider in promoting the awareness.
Eastern Connecticut State University has athletic trainers who work hard without needing any recognition or high praise. The athletic trainers at Eastern are people who are helpful to the student-athletes and make sure each are cleared to play based on the guidelines on handling a specific injury.
Below (from left): Eastern athletic trainers Julie Alexander, Stevie Clines, Tom Holton, Jarrett Sorge.
Athletic trainer Julie Alexander, who graduated from Eastern with a B.S. in Psychology and went on to earn a M.S. in Athletic Training at Old Dominion University, expressed her feelings on the importance of this month and beyond.
"I think that we will carry out our day-to-day functions the same way we always have," said Alexander. "Any athlete that comes in with an illness or an injury that's athletically-related, we care for the same way regardless of whether it's March, April, May, August or September. I think this month of March is more to promote the field of athletic training to people who don't understand what it is that we do. A lot of people think athletic trainer, they think personal trainer, a strength coach, and while we do have some function in teaching strength and conditioning and techniques, we're also on the field emergency care, injury evaluation, treatment rehabilitation, returning to play concussion management, the list goes on and on."
Alexander, who was hired at her alma mater this past summer after many years at Division I Sacred Heart University, has been proud of helping out the people she has met in her field.
"After 20 plus years, I can tell you that anytime we have an injured athlete, the best day is the day that they return to their field of play," said Alexander. "That is probably the most exciting thing about what we do, especially if it's an athlete that's been injured, had surgical interventions, has gone through post surgical rehabilitation in our room; returning to play is those days I look forward to. I enjoy every day but those are the days that are special."
As there are upsides, there are downsides for being an athletic trainer. Athletic trainer Tom Holton, who earned a B.S. in Physical Education from Eastern and an M.S.S. in Sports Medicine from the U.S. Sports Academy, noted that he loves his job but dislikes when he lets the student-athlete know the bad news.
"I love doing my job it's just part of the job you hate saying 'you can't play'," said Holton. "I really wish I could come into work every day and not have to do that.. The reality of the fact is that there's people we have to hold out and tell them 'you're season's over, you got to have surgery' and deal with the emotions of that athlete and how they're going to handle 'my career is over'."
Holton, a staff member since 1999, noted how being able to get the student-athlete to get back in his or her field of play and watching him or her succeed is one of his proudest moments as an athletic trainer.
Eastern director of athletics Dr. Jeff Konin, another Eastern alum, has been an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. Konin mentioned how the importance of athletic trainers is not just for the collegiate level, but for all levels of competition.
"The purpose is to bring awareness to the general public, to bring awareness to the public of the importance of athletic trainers and the injury prevention care of the numerous student-athletes that participate in sports in all levels," said Konin. "At the high school level, less than 50 percent of high schools have an athletic trainer, and when every high school has programs but less than half of them have proper ways to care for the kids, that's why an awareness month is there to inform people of what they should be doing to provide appropriate programs. You wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the fields, you wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the coaches and you really shouldn't put them out there if you don't have the appropriate medical care for them."
As the spring season is starting to get into full-swing, so are the athletic trainers at Eastern working hard to make sure every student-athlete is evaluated and cleared to play. The month of March will be busy at Eastern with lacrosse, baseball, softball, and track & field. The Eastern athletic trainers will be the unsung heroes in helping our student-athletes, not only during national NATA month, but every month of the academic year.
"I have the best job in the world," said Alexander. "In this job, you don't sit behind a desk or do the same thing every day . Every day is different , and you get to work with amazing people who you want to see get better when they get injured.. What's better than that?"
A total of 23 Eastern Connecticut State University intercollegiate athletes were named to the Little East Conference's 2012 All-Academic Team for the fall season. That total gives Eastern 401 such honorees in the history of the award, which began in the fall of 2007. Since the fall of 2009, student-athletes must have reached sophomore academic and athletic status and have accumulated an overall grade-point average of 3.30 to earn a spot on the team. Listed below are this year's recipients. In parentheses is the total number of times they have achieved All-Academic status, including this fall.
Danielle Bourne (5), Sr., Women's Volleyball (Branford)
Lee Cattanach (1), So., Men's Cross Country (New London)
Jordan Clark (2), Jr., Men's Soccer (Manchester)
Christine DeFilippo (2), Women's Soccer (Ronkonkoma, NY)
Nicholas Demo (1), Men's Soccer (Brookfield)
Katie France (4), Women's Cross Country (Portland)
Nicki Gasch (1), Jr., Women's Volleyball (New Fairfield)
Kelly Gawron (2), Jr., Field Hockey (Ramsey, NJ)
Kaitlyn Kennedy (2), Jr., Women's Soccer (Burlington)
Kelly Labanara (1), So., Women's Cross Country (Chaplin)
Mackenzie MacLeod (3), Sr., Women's Soccer (Northfield)
Daniella Marchitto (5), Sr., Women's Soccer (Orange)
Erynn Miller (2), Jr., Women's Volleyball (Stratford)
Brittany Miskell (2), Sr., Women's Cross Country (Woodstock)
Jordan Munsell (5), Sr., Men's Soccer (Waterford)
Rochelle Normandin (3), Sr., Field Hockey (South Windsor)
Alexa Palasky (4), Jr., Women's Cross Country (Griswold)
Mike Radlbeck (2), Jr., Men's Soccer (Westbrook)
Sam Rossetti (1), So., Field Hockey (Shelton)
Rachael Skinner (1), So., Women's Soccer (Uncasville)
Cory Tobler (3), Sr., Men's Soccer (Portland)
Kelly Wallace (2), Sr., Women's Soccer (South Windsor)
Katie Wilson (2), Sr., Women's Volleyball (Pittsburg, CA)
EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY
LITTLE EAST CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
Team Record: 6-12 (2-9 in LEC/11th of 12 teams); Did not make LEC playoffs
Chicorka (below left), DeLuca
Laura Chicorka Fr. F Third Team Enfield (Enrico Fermi)
Eastern's first freshman All-LEC since 2001; 4th on team in points (8); Started every match.
Lauren DeLuca Sr. B Third Team South Windsor
Third team in 2011; Led team with nine defensive saves; Started every match
Team Record: 19-13* (4-3 in LEC/4th of 8); Lost in first round of LEC tournament
Katie Wilson Sr. MH First Team Pittsburg, CA (Norwich Free Academy, CT)
Eastern's first All-LEC since 2009; Leads LEC in kills and points per set and is second in attack pct.; third nationally in points per set and 11th in kills per set; needs 16 kills for 1,000 in 3 years.
*-Has qualified for ECAC tournament
Team Record: 9-6-3 (6-1-0 LEC/t-1st of 8 teams); Lost in semifinals of LEC playoffs
Below: Karahalios, Marchitto, Wallace, Downer
Gia Karahalios Fr. B South Windsor
Centerback who started every match and led all players in mpg (83.0); Fourth ROY in program history; opponents averaged only 1.1 goals per match.
Chelsea Downer Sr. MF First Team Colchester (Bacon Academy)
3-year player; 10th in LEC and third on team in points (9-3-21), exceeding the combined total of her first two seasons; had 5 game-winners, two serving as "Golden Goals" in LEC play.
Gia Karahalios Fr. B First Team South Windsor
Sixth first-team freshman pick in program history.
Daniela Marchitto Sr. F First Team Orange (Amity Regional)
1st team in 2009 and '11, 2nd team in 2010; 2009 ROY, 2011 Offensive POY
3rd four-time All-LEC in program history, 1st since 2004; Led team in goals and points (10-4-24) for 2nd straight year; 3rd all-time in career goals (43) and points (103).
Kelly Wallace Sr. MF Second Team South Windsor
1st team in 2010 and 2011; Led LEC in assists for the second time and team in assists for 3rd time;broke program season assist record of 14
in final match of season; ranks among top 15 nationally in assists and assist per match; set program career record of 33 assists during season.
Team Record: 17-1-1* (6-0-1 LEC/1st of 8 teams); Won LEC playoffs
*-Has qualified for NCAA tournament
Bradley Fletcher Sr. B Middletown (Xavier)
2nd Eastern player to win the award in as many years and fourth player in 7-year history of award; LEC ROY in 209.
Matt Furman Sr. F Montville
3rd Eastern player to win award in last five years; led LEC in goals (13) and points (31)
Bradley Fletcher Sr. B First Team Middletown (Xavier)
Started every match, averaging 91.1 mpg, sitting out only 30 minutes all season; team allowed an oaverage of just over half-a-goal a game.
Matt Furman Sr. F First Team Montville
Led team in goals and points for third time, totaling 4 game-winners.
Jordan Munsell Sr. K First Team Waterford
1st-year starter posted 17-1-1 record with LEC-leading 8.0 shutouts and LEC-leading 0.63 GAA; 2nd in LEC with .831 save pct. Started 4 consecutive shutouts during season.
Mitch Power Jr. MF First Team Douglas, MA
3rd on team in points and tied for second in goals (7-3-17), exceeding the total of his first 2 seasons combined; 4 game-winners; MVP of LEC playoffs after scoring first goal of championship match;
Cory Tobler Sr. F First Team Portland
2nd-team All-LEC as a junior; 2nd on team in points and assists and tied for 2nd in goals (7-6-20); 4 game-winners; set personal season-highs in goals and points and tied previous season high for assists.
Christopher Giustina Jr. B Second Team Enfield (Enrico Fermi)
2nd-year player is tied for second in the LEC in assists; started all 18 matches in which he appeared, averaging 88.2 mpg.; helped team to 9 shutouts and never more than 1 goal in a match over the last 9 matches.
Carl Stensland Jr. MF Second Team Storrs (E.O. Smith)
2nd-year player dominated the midfield for Eastern; recovered from an injury-plagued start to appear in 18 matches with 16 starts and average just under 80.0 mpg; contributed 2 goals and three assists.
Top row (from left): Fletcher, Furman, Munsell.
Second row (from left): Power, Giustina, Tobler.
Third row: Stensland.
Above: Seniors honored before the match Saturday with their parents were from left: Rochelle Normandin (27), Lauren DeLuca (18) and Hannah Collier. (Photo by Marissa Malouf)
Once-beaten Bridgewater can't shake Warriors until final minute
MANSFIELD, Conn. - An upset of monumental proportions had to be the dream of the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team and its three seniors when it faced Bridgewater State University in the final match of the season on Seniors' Day Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
And until the final minute of the 70-minute game, that outcome could not be ruled out.
Facing the Little East Conference's most potent offense in Bridgewater (16-2, 10-1 LEC), Eastern (6-12, 2-9 LEC) played the visitors on even terms - even getting the better of play in the first half - before the Bears finally broke through three minutes into the second half, then got a needed insurance goal inside the final minute in a 2-0 victory.
Ranked fourth in the LEC pre-season coaches' poll, Bridgewater will be the No. 2 tournament seed behind UMass Dartmouth (the Bears' only LEC loss). Eastern misses the playoffs -- which include the top eight teams in the 12-team conference.
At left: Laura Chicorka
The conference leader in both goals (nearly four) and shots (nearly 20) per game, Bridgewater was held in check throughout the first half by Eastern's defense of senior Lauren DeLuca (South Windsor), junior Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) and Sam Rossetti (Shelton).
Bridgewater was limited to only four shots in a scoreless first half with just one forcing Eastern sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) to make a saves. Conversley, Eastern totaled seven shots and forced Bridgewater junior goalie Kacie Sturgeon to kick out four of them in order to prevent the Warriors from scoring first. Sturgeon's best save with four minutes left in the first half on a drive from the right of the cage by senior forward Hannah Collier (Watertown), who was looking to split the goalie's pads.
Bridgewater junior Carissa Vizakis, her team's third-leading scorer, finally ended the stalemate three minutes into the second half with her 11th goal of the season. Mullen made consecutive saves on Vizakis and senior Beth Phillips prior to the goal. Eastern was in the process of clearing the rebound up the left side, but the ball was stolen by Bridgewater freshman Jennifer Arnold. Arnold quickly sent a crossing pass from right to left into the circle, where Vizakis was able to get enough of her stick on the ball to knock it past Mullen from in close.
Eastern had one legitimate chance to the match with 20 minutes left, but junior Morgan Osiecki's (Bethel) breakaway shot from the flank carried wide.
The Bears did not secure the win until the final minute, when freshman Emily Mosca drove a shot off a penalty corner to make it a two-goal differential with 47.6 seconds left.
Eastern freshman Hannah Keiser (Danbury) took four of Eastern's ten shots, forcing Sturgeon to made saves on three of them.
Bridgewater senior Shelby Farland and junior Demi Miskiv entered play with a combined 44 goals on 192 shots but managed only one shot each, neither of which were on net. Farland leads the LEC with 28 goals, 13 assists and 69 points, averaging just under 8.0 shots per match.
The match was the final one in the careers of DeLuca, Collier and Rochelle Normandin (South Windsor). Normandin did not appear in the final four matches of the year due to sickness.
Defense surrenders only six shots in 2-1 non-conference win
WESTON, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University defense allowed only six shots and sophomore Deisy Naranjo's (Washington Heights, NY) team-leading ninth goal of the year gave the Warriors the early lead in a 2-1 field hockey victory over Regis College in a non-conference match Thursday night.
At right: Hannah Keiser
The win in the final regular-season road match is the third in the last five outings for Eastern (6-11), which scored twice in a span of just over five minutes in the first half to down Regis (3-13) for the second time in as many years in this two-game series.
Naranjo's goal off a pass from freshman Laura Chicorka (Enfield) came in the 20th minute and gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead, and freshman Hannah Keiser's (Danbury) fifth goal made it 2-0 in the 26th minute. Senior Hannah Collier's (Watertown) team-leading fifth assist of the season set up Keiser.
Naranjo's goal total is the fifth-highest in a season in program history -- the highest in eight years.
Sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) made three stops in goal.
Eastern outshot Regis, 13-6, and held a 9-4 advantage in penalty corners.
The sixth win of the season is the most by the program since an identical number in 2007.
Eastern closes out the regular season Saturday by hosting Bridgewater State University in a Little East Conference match at noon.
Bethel natives Osiecki, Mullen lead Warriors to Little East victory
DANBURY, Conn. - There remains a very good chance that Wednesday night's 1-0 Little East Conference field hockey win may not be enough to get Eastern Connecticut State University into the conference playoffs.
At right: Morgan Osiecki
There is also a very good chance that if Western Connecticut State University does not qualify, either, then the Colonials will look back on their loss to the Warriors as a major reason.
With a chance to move into a share of sixth place with a win over Eastern (5-10, 2-7 Little East), Western (5-9, 3-6 Little East) instead fell into a three-way tie for seventh, with two conference matches remaining. The triumph leaves the Warriors in a two-way tie for tenth place. The top eight teams in the 12-team loop will compete in the conference playoffs, which get underway Oct. 30 with first-round matches.
Eastern's victory Wednesday at the Westside Athletic Complex was orchestrated by junior Morgan Osiecki (Bethel) and sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel), who played their high school field hockey eight minutes from Western's campus.
Osiecki, starting at midfield in place of injured senior Rochelle Normandin (South Windsor), scored her first career goal with eight minutes left, and Mullen recorded her third shutout of the season in net by making three saves.
The only goal of the match came off senior forward Hannah Collier's (Watertown) team-leading fifth assist of the year - equalling the fifth-most in a season in program history.
It was the sixth one-goal decision in the last seven meetings in this series. Eastern snaps a three-game losing streak against Western with its third victory over the Colonials in four tries in this series on Western's home field.
Eastern hosts Worcester State University Saturday at noon and later closes out its conference regular season a week from Saturday by hosting Bridgewater State University on Seniors' Day. Worcester is winless in the conference and Bridgewater is 8-1, a game back of leader Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Ten-time Little East regular-season champs break from one-goal lead
MANSFIELD, Conn. - Keene State College scored four goals in a span of 15 minutes to defeat Eastern Connecticut State University for the 11th straight time in a 7-2 Little East Conference verdict Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At left: Freshman Hannah Keiser (10) and senior Rochelle Normandin (27) head upfield in the second half Saturday against Keene State. (Krysta Valerio photo).
Eastern (4-10, 1-7 LEC) had cut Keene's (10-6, 7-1 LEC) lead to one with goals from freshmen Laura Chicorka (Enfield) and Hannah Keiser (Danbury) four minutes apart late in the first half, but the Owls answered by regaining the momentum with a goal before halftime and added three in the first 11 minutes of the second half to pull away.
Having won or shared ten LEC regular-season titles, Keene moved into a two-way tie for second place in the conference with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In a meeting of previously undefeated LEC unbeatens, UMass Dartmouth erased an early 2-0 deficit to tie the match before halftime and win it with one second left in regulation, 4-3.
Freshman Lyndsie Rabenius scored two goals on 11 shots for Keene, with Katlyn Simula also scoring two and Kalin Billert adding her 16th goal of the season - second-most in the conference -- and two assists.
Sophomore Olivia Mullen (Bethel) made 13 saves for Eastern, while sophomore Caitlin Davino-Draper stopped three shots over the first 52 minutes to gain credit for the win for Keene.
Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University (3-5 LEC) Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first of four remaining regular-season matches.
Warriors strike for two late insurance goals to post 4-1 victory
MANSFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore forward Deisy Naranjo (Washington Heights, NY) scored her team-leading seventh and eighth goals of the season and freshmen forwards Marinna Emond (Seekonk, MA) and Laura Chicorka (Enfield) recorded their first career goals when the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team downed Lasell College, 4-1, Tuesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At left: Junior back Kelly Gawron (Cristina Danielson photo)
Eastern's (4-9) seventh victory over Lasell (4-9) in this eight-game series snaps a five-game losing streak for the Warriors, who scored a season-high goal total to end a string of four straight shutout losses.
Lasell, which has lost five of its last six, cut Eastern's lead in half when team scoring leader Kate Fabri notched her sixth goal of the season midway through the second half. Naranjo answered with her eighth goal of the season and Chicorka with her first in a span of less than a minute less than ten minutes later to provide Eastern with insurance.
After Fabri's goal gave the visitors late lift, Eastern countered by applying offensive pressure until Naranjo converted to make it 3-1. After the Lasers' goal, the Warriors collected five shots and three penalty corners over a four-minute span, capped by Naranjo's insurance goal. Chicorka set up that goal which made it 3-1 in the 65th minute with a blast from the left side that was blocked, but Naranjo was stationed at the left post to knock it in.
Naranjo's eight goals represent the fifth-most in a season in program history, four behind Sharon Kilpatrick's 2001 season record.
Lasell amassed 11 penalty corners but was unable to turn any of them into goals.
Sophomore goalie Olivia Mullen ( Bethel) made four saves for Eastern and Lasell freshman Cassie Aviles nine, seven coming in the second half.
Eastern hosts Keene State College Saturday at noon in a Little East Conference match.