Athletics

Mentors Share Experience with Female Student-Athletes

On April 17,  more than 30 alumni, parents and community members and 80 student-athletes participated in an Alumni Athletics Mentoring Workshop in Beckham Hall. As part of the program, mentors met with female student-athletes to speak about career options.

Student-athlete Melissa Leung ’16 has first-hand knowledge of the workshop’s value. “At last year’s event, I met my mentor, Clare Colton ’12,” says Leung, who attended the event for the second year in a row. “Clare provided resume and email etiquette advice and connected me with Jim Citrin (P’12 P’14), senior director of Spencer Stuart, who created an internship position for me with Spencer Stuart in Shanghai last semester, during my semester abroad.”

(Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)

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Former Wesleyan field hockey and lacrosse player Suzi Byers ’94 shares her experience with Rosemary Martin ’16 at the mentoring event.

Feinman ’16, TeamIMPACT Child Speak at Boston Gala

Carly Feinman '16, ESPN personality Wendi Nix, and Aliana Fichera at the TeamIMPACT event in Boston, April 2.

Carly Feinman ’16, ESPN personality Wendi Nix, and Aliana Fichera at the TeamIMPACT event in Boston, April 2.

On April 2, Carly Feinman ’16, a diver on Wesleyan’s swimming and diving team, and 10-year-old Aliana Fichera, a local girl who has become an honorary member of the team, spoke on a panel during the TeamIMPACT Game Day Gala in Boston.

In November 2014, Aliana was “drafted” onto the Wesleyan team through the TeamIMPACT program, which matches children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams. Aliana has attended numerous Wesleyan meets and team functions, and the team members have visited with Aliana during her treatments for Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) and for her meets with her swim team in Rocky Hill, Conn.

Student-Athletes, Area School Children Play During Recess at Wesleyan

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Approximately 45 student from the Macdonough School in Middletown came to Wesleyan for recess April 2. It was the fifth year in a row that an area school has been invited to Wesleyan’s Bacon Field House for a noontime recess in eary April.

Student-athletes from many Wesleyan athletic teams have spent significant amounts of time at Macdonough over the last five years to act as role models and speak to the students there on a variety of topics, such as sportsmanship.

Basketball, Softball, Lacrosse Play Opponents Out of State during Spring Recess

Wesleyan’s Office of Sports Information provided the following athletic highlights on March 24:

Holding Pomona-Pitzer to seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts, Gavin Pittore ’16 upped his record to 2-1 on the season, while giving baseball a win in its final game out west. Pittore was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Week. Jon Dennett ’15 added four hits during the final four games to join the 100-hit club as the 49th Cardinal to do so. Andrew Yin ’15 hit .438 over the week with seven safeties as he rose to No. 5 on the all-time Cardinal hits list with 175. Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 had a .588 slugging percentage with a double and home run, as he paced the team with six RBI during the week.

Softball ended its Florida trip by going 3-1, defeating all three Division III opponents behind the pitching of Julie McDonald ’18, while losing to a Division II rival. McDonald tossed 18 innings in the three wins, allowing 17 hits with a 1.56 ERA while striking out 21. Over the final four games, Su Pardo ’16 hit .455 with a pair of doubles and five RBI. Annalie Walsh-Costello ’17 hit .500 and Izzy Linzer ’17 batted .417 with a hit on all four games, giving her a hit in 11 of the 12 games played in Florida.

Matt Prezioso ’15 carried the attack for men’s lacrosse during a pair of wins in Pennsylvania. He picked up a hat trick during a seven-goal run that extended a tight two-goal lead in the third period to a nine-goal margin heading into the fourth quarter at F&M. He then added four goals and three assists during the victory against Whittier, with three goals and an assist coming during an 8-0 Cardinals run that erased a 5-3 deficit, turning it into an 11-5 lead in the third period.

Women’s lacrosse split a pair of games in Colorado, with Leah Sherman ’15 providing the spark in the overtime win vs. Pomona-Pitzer. Scoring three goals in the final 8:16 to tie the game, Wesleyan got a goal from Sherman with :40 left in regulation to make it 10-9. Sherman then controlled the ensuing draw to set up Emily Gretsky ’16 for the tying goal at :16. Sherman then scored in the first overtime as the score remained deadlocked, 11-11, before Sherman’s sixth goal of the game decided the outcome just 41 seconds into the sudden-victory period.

For the full update, along with upcoming schedules, webcast information, and weekly scores, visit:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/athletics/weeklyupdate.html

89 Cardinals Named Academic All-NESCAC

At left, Brenna Diggins '17 and Jess Cherenza '15 were named academic all-NESCAC during the winter, 2014-15 season. Eighty-nine students earned this distinction. 

At left, Brenna Diggins ’17 and Jess Cherenza ’15 were named academic all-NESCAC during the winter 2014-15 season. Eighty-nine Wesleyan students earned this distinction.

When the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced the names this month of 939 athletes among its conference member schools who earned the distinction of academic all-NESCAC during the winter 2014-15 season, Wesleyan celebrated its largest pool ever in winter with 89 student-athletes. These student-athletes, sophomores and above, meet the criteria of being significant contributors to their teams while achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or higher.

The student-athletes play in the following winter sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s squash, men’s and women’s indoor track and wrestling.

Some highlights from this season’s group of honorees include:

Jordan Schildhaus ’15

Jordan Schildhaus ’15

  • Women’s ice hockey standout Jordan Schildhaus ’15, who received academic all-NESCAC laurels in each of her three eligible seasons. She led the Cardinals in scoring during 2014-15 with 23 scoring points and was named first-team all-NESCAC. She was a second-team all-NESCAC pick in both 2013-14 and 2012-13 after being named NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2011-12.
  • Five athletes who had the pleasure of competing in NCAA Championship events, including:
    • Wrestler Ryan Sblendorio ’15, who placed third at 174 pounds during the Northeast Regional Championships to earn a spot at the NCAA Division III Championships where he went 1-2, winning one match with a first-period pin.
    • Ellie Martin ’16, who qualified for the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track Championships in the 400-meter race and placed ninth nationally, a mere .03 seconds shy of All-America status as a top-eight finisher.
    • Three members of the men’s basketball team–Tim Gallivan ’15, Chris Tugman ’15 and Harry Rafferty ’17—as Wesleyan won the NESCAC men’s basketball tournament title with wins over Bates, Trinity and Amherst to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. The Cardinals lost their opening-round contest to Skidmore.
Ryan Sblendorio ’15

Ryan Sblendorio ’15

Since sophomores became eligible for the award during the 2010-11 year, Wesleyan’s previous record for academic all-NESCAC distinctions was 87 individuals in the 2012-13 season. The best results overall came in spring 2013, when 94 student-athletes were recognized.

For the complete list of all winter academic all-NESCAC selections, click here or see below:

8 Student-Athletes Recognized with NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Awards

NESCAC_Primary_RGBThe NESCAC has announced the 2014-15 winter recipients of the All-Sportsmanship awards for each of the 11 member colleges. In total, eight Wesleyan athletes have been recognized with one in each of the eight winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s squash). They are James Albrecht ’15 (men’s ice hockey), Liz Baumgartner ’15 (women’s swimming and diving), Mike DeLalio ’15 (men’s squash), Bridget Doherty ’16 (women’s squash), Bryan Galvin ’15 (men’s basketball), Cara Jankowsi ’15 (women’s ice hockey), Cherkira Lashley ’15 (women’s basketball), Travis Williams ’15 (men’s swimming and diving).

The NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team recognizes student-athletes from each varsity sport who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to sportsmanship. These student-athletes exhibit respect for themselves, teammates, coaches, opponents and spectators. They display sportsmanship, not only as a participant in their sport, but also as a spectator and in their everyday lives. Through their positive actions and example, these student-athletes inspire others to adhere to the quality of sportsmanship that the NESCAC and the NCAA endorse.

The All-Sportsmanship Team was created by the NESCAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The NESCAC SAAC serves as the liaison between the student-athletes of NESCAC member institutions and conference administrators.

For more information and a list of all-sportsmanship award winners in each winter sport throughout the NESCAC, click here.

Student Athletes Promote Anti-Bullying at Local Middle School

Wesleyan student athletes made an appearance at Woodrow Wilson Middle Middle School to share inclusive, accepting social values with other students. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Schassler/The Middletown Press)

Wesleyan student athletes made an appearance at Woodrow Wilson Middle Middle School to share inclusive, accepting social values with other students. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Schassler/The Middletown Press)

On Feb. 27, representatives from seven Wesleyan athletic teams visited Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown to promote the anti-bullying message “if it’s mean, then intervene” with about 300 seventh and eighth graders.

The student-athletes worked with the school’s RAM Pride Patrol program, which is run by seventh grade teacher and Wesleyan alumnus Anthony Albrech ’08. Albrecht organized the participation by Wesleyan athletes with Jeff McDonald, assistant football coach.

McDonald drafted 16 student athletes from the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, men’s hockey team, football, men’s tennis team, women’s basketball and men’s track to come to the school for two separate presentations.

Kristen Carlson, administrative assistant, also created specially-designed lanyards to give to the participants.

A story about the event was published in the Feb. 28 Middletown Press.

NESCAC Win Sends Cardinals to NCAA Championship

Coach Joe Reilly takes the net after the Cardinals won the NESCAC championship by defeating Amherst on March 1 at Trinity.

Coach Joe Reilly takes the net after the Cardinals won the NESCAC championship by defeating Amherst on March 1 at Trinity.

Wesleyan defeated Amherst, 74-70, in the championship game of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men's Basketball Tournament this afternoon. Sixth-seeded Wesleyan improves to 19-8 with its sixth victory in a row, and earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

Wesleyan defeated Amherst, 74-70, in the championship game of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Basketball Tournament March 1.

This month, Wesleyan’s men’s basketball team was crowned NESCAC champs and played in the NCAA Division III Championship for the first time in history. However, the team came up short at Nationals after losing to Skidmore in a first-round game March 6.

The field of 62 teams in the NCAA championship was announced March 2. Wesleyan’s team claimed the NESCAC title after defeating Amherst 74-70 in overtime on March 1. Wesleyan led most of the game but had to fend off several Lord Jeff rallies to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. In that game, Jack Mackey ’16 broke the Wesleyan single-season record for three pointers by upping his figure to 75, bettering the mark of 73 set by Chris Bray in 2000-01. Mackey ended the 2014-15 campaign with 77. Read more about the game here.

In the first-round NCAA Division III Championship game, the Cardinals faced Skidmore for just the sixth time, and the first in 10 years. Though Wesleyan recovered from a 12-point halftime deficit by starting the second period on a stellar 13-0 tear, Skidmore pulled ahead midway through the second half and went on to claim an 81-66 victory. Read a full account of that game here.

“It was an amazing run to the NESCAC Championship and first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament,” said Head Coach Joe Reilly. “The overwhelming support we received from the students, administrators and alumni was energizing. It’s fun to be part of the new era of Wesleyan Athletics. We are extremely proud of how our student athletes represented Wesleyan both on and off the court this season and look forward to building off this success for next year and beyond.”

The 2014-15 Cardinals finished 19-9 on the year, the second greatest number of wins in a season, just behind the 20-6 record of the 2011-12 squad. As the sixth seed, Wesleyan is the lowest seed ever to claim a NESCAC men’s basketball crown.

While the NCAA qualification is the first for men’s basketball, the NESCAC crown is the sixth by a Wesleyan team in the last 10 years. Baseball (2014), football (2013), softball (2010), men’s lacrosse (2009) and men’s soccer (2005) are the other prominent Cardinal squads with NESCAC titles to their credit.

Men’s Tennis to Participate in Challenging Stag-Hen Invitational in California

Coach Mike Fried.

Coach Mike Fried.

Wesleyan men’s tennis will have ample opportunity this spring to test its mettle.

Head coach Mike Fried, who set up a challenging schedule for his young Cardinals, is hoping it will achieve the desired effect.

“When trying to bring the program up to the top national mix, we needed to do something more competitive with our spring training trip,” he said.

In past years, the Cardinals traveled to Orlando, Fla. during March break, playing 4-6 matches against high-level Divisions I, II, III and NAIA opponents, but not the top teams in Division III. Breaking from tradition,

Whalen ’83 to Devote Full Attention to Athletic Director Position; DiCenzo Becomes Head Football Coach

Michael Whalen '83

Michael Whalen ’83 will focus his energy on Wesleyan’s entire athletics program.

Michael Whalen ’83, who returned to his alma mater as head football coach and associate athletics director in 2010, has stepped down as head football coach, effective Feb. 1, to devote his full attention to his post as athletics director. He assumed that position in July 2012.

Dan DiCenzo, who has been associate head football coach and defensive coordinator at Wesleyan the last five years, is taking over the head coaching position, succeeding Whalen.

“Coach Whalen has dramatically improved Wesleyan’s football program,” said Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth, “and I am grateful for his remarkable service as coach. Now it’s time for him to focus all his energy on our entire athletics program. I’m so pleased that the football program will be in the very capable hands of Coach DiCenzo, and I anticipate both a seamless transition and great seasons to come.”

Over his five years as Wesleyan football mentor, Whalen compiled a solid 26-14 record for a .650 winning percentage.

Sociology Major, Football Player Fabien ’15 Planning to Coach, Join Special Forces after Graduation

Jay Fabien '15 and his "rescued" husky, Glacier, hang out on Citrin Field Jan. 23. Fabien, formerly a wide-receiver for the Wesleyan Cardinals Football Team, hopes to coach student-athletes after graduation and later join the U.S Army Special Forces. 

Jay Fabien ’15 and his “rescued” husky, Glacier, hang out on Citrin Field Jan. 23. Fabien, formerly a wide receiver for the Wesleyan Cardinals Football Team, hopes to coach student-athletes after graduation and later join the U.S. Army Special Forces. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

He loves “chick-flicks” and played alto-sax in high school. But he also wants to earn a spot in the Special Forces after graduation. In short, the Cardinals’ No. 80 in football has many layers. They all start and end with respect, and comfort in being himself, on and off the field.

He’s no prima donna, even though he has only played one position since he was 9 — wide receiver. Being a distraction to the team is not in his DNA.

“I’ve never been that way,” said Jay Fabien ’15. “I love all aspects of being a wide receiver.”

Samy ’18 Begins Collegiate Squash Career with 12-0 Record

Egypt native Laila Samy '18 says she chose Wesleyan because "the squash team .. was not just a team, it was a family."

Egypt native Laila Samy ’18 says she chose Wesleyan because “the squash team .. was not just a team, it was a family.”

#THISISWHY
In this Q&A meet Laila Samy from the Class of 2018.

Q: You came to Wesleyan from your hometown of Cairo, Egypt. Can you describe your life growing up in a foreign country? What was your secondary-school education like?

A: Growing up in Egypt and going to school there made me feel very grateful because I had a great opportunity to both play squash and get a decent education which lead me to move on to the next experience which is completing my last two years of high school in the U.S. and that lead me to be able to attend Wesleyan.

Q: You have already established yourself as one of the top newcomers on the collegiate squash scene with a 12-0 record at No. 1 and a title in the Division III National Championships. When did you begin playing the sport and when did it become apparent you were far from a run-of-the-mill player?

A: I started playing squash when I