18 Athletes Earn All-NESCAC Honors, 58 Qualify as “Scholars”

Jake Sheffer '14 (#62) is a lead blocker on a run by LaDarius Drew '15 (#14) while receiver Kevin Hughes '14 (#19) blocks on the back side during a Wesleyan scoring drive against Colby in a 41-0 home victory Oct. 5.  Sheffer, Drew and Hughes were all first-team all-NESCAC choices in 2013, Sheffer for the third straight year.

Jake Sheffer ’14 (#62) is a lead blocker on a run by LaDarius Drew ’15 (#14) while receiver Kevin Hughes ’14 (#19) blocks on the back side during a Wesleyan scoring drive against Colby in a 41-0 home victory Oct. 5. Sheffer, Drew and Hughes were all first-team all-NESCAC choices in 2013, Sheffer for the third straight year. (Photo by Brian Katten)

The Cardinals put away a successful fall season, with 18 athletes earning all-NESCAC honors, 58 qualifying as NESCAC scholar athletes and (in case you haven’t heard) the football team winning the Little Three Title for the first time in 43 years.

Leading the way with 12 all-NESCAC picks were the 7-1 footballers, whose season record was the best finish for the team since 1993. Named to the NESCAC first team were NESCAC leading rusher LaDarius Drew ’15, defensive backs Jake Bussani ’14 and Donnie Cimino ’15, defensive end Nik Powers ’15, center Jake Sheffer ’14 and wide receiver Kevin Hughes ’14. Second-team laurels went to placekicker Sebastian Aguirre ’14, running back Kyle Gibson ’15, offensive lineman Pat DiMase ’15, linebacker Myers Beaird ’14, tight end Jon Day ’15 and return specialist Devon Carrillo ’17. Also noteworthy was the performance of quarterback Jesse Warren ’15, who was tops in the conference for passing efficiency as he competed 64.7 percent of his throws for 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Both Hughes and offensive lineman Jeremy Edelberg ’14 were recognized with a spot on the CoSIDA/Capital One District II Academic All-America squad.

Blair Ingraham ’14 was one of eight Wesleyan athletes chosen all-aportsmanship this fall. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Blair Ingraham ’14 was one of nine NESCAC athletes to be named all-NESCAC, academic all-NESCAC and all-sportsmanship this fall. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Blair Ingraham ’14 in field hockey and Ben Bratt ’15 in men’s soccer were among those most highly recognized as each was a rare thrice decorated NESCAC honoree during the fall. Both made their respective sport’s first team, while also gracing the all-academic NESCAC squad with a cumulative GPA in excess of 3.35, and the all-sportsmanship team as the sole representative from their team. In total, eight Wesleyan athletes, one from each of eight fall sports, was chosen all-sportsmanship.

Men’s soccer went 7-3 in conference play to earn the second seed in the NESCAC tournament, winning a first-round game at home over Conn. College, 1-0, before falling to Williams in the semifinals, 2-1. Joining Bratt on the all-NESCAC first team were midfielders Brandon Sousa ’16 and Charlie Gruner ’17. Bratt, a central defender, helped anchor a stingy Wesleyan defense that allowed only 12 goals in 16 games and posted eight shutouts.

Field hockey, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball each had one player receive all-NESCAC laurels. Top hitter Kim Farris ’14 was a second-teamer and also was a CoSIDA/Capital One District II Academic All-American while finding a spot on the New England Women’s Volleyball Association senior all-star classic roster. Ingraham was the field hockey selection and went on to secure a position on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association New England West all-star first team. Kerry Doyle ’14 made second team all-NESCAC in women’s soccer.

Men’s and women’s crew celebrated stellar seasons in the fall head races. The men produced two first place finishes, capturing a Club 8 title at the Textile River Regatta in Lowell, Mass. and defeating 24 other crews for the crown in the Collegiate 8 race at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga, N.Y. A fifth-pace finish among 40 entries at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta also highlighted the men’s crew season. The women had a win at Textile, took second at the Fish and would have placed fourth of 25 at the Charles had not a minor glitch at the start cost the team a one-minute penalty, dropping the Cardinals to 14th.

Brandon Sousa '16 (#8) sends the ball up field while Ben Bratt '15 (#4) looks on during a NESCAC semifinal game vs. Williams.  Sousa and Bratt were both first-team all-NESCAC while Bratt also was academic all-NESCAC and all-sportsmanship."  (photo by Peter Stein '84).

Brandon Sousa ’16 (#8) sends the ball up field while Ben Bratt ’15 (#4) looks on during a NESCAC semifinal game vs. Williams. Sousa and Bratt were both first-team all-NESCAC while Bratt also was academic all-NESCAC and all-sportsmanship. (Photo by Peter Stein ’84)

Giving Wesleyan something to cheer about on the tennis court was the “B” Division second-place finish by the team of Nicki Softness ’14 and Maddie James ’16 at the New England Division III tournament. On the men’s side, a sweep of Hartford to close out the fall campaign was a great way to finish.

In cross country, Libby Lazare ’14 led the Cardinal women in each of the team’s five events, concluding her career with a 30th-place showing in the NESCAC Championship and a 64th-place effort in the New England Division III meet. Taylor Titcomb ’16 proved to be the top runner for the men, hitting the tape as the first Cardinal in four of five races. He capped off the year taking 52nd place at the New England meet.

The highlight of the fall golf season came early as newcomer Atreya Sinha ’17 carded a one-under-par round of 71 during the Trinity Invitational, the top round posted by a Cardinal over five fall events.