Tag Archive for athletics

WesPep Supports Athletic-Packed Weekend

WesPep, a student-run organization, brought cheers and enthusiasm to several Wesleyan sporting events Jan. 29 and 30. Wesleyan took on Tufts in basketball, Western New England in wrestling and New England College in men's ice hockey. The theme for the Jan. 29 game was "black out." WesPep encouraged sports fans to support the Cardinals by wearing black.

WesPep, a student-run organization, brought cheers and enthusiasm to several Wesleyan sporting events Jan. 29 and 30, including a men's basketball game against Tufts Jan. 29. The theme for the game was "Black Out." WesPep encouraged sports fans to support the Cardinals by wearing black.

WesPep presented free Wesleyan gear to the liveliest members of the crowd. The organization also set up the Cardinal's Nest, a section only available to Wesleyan supporters.

WesPep presented free Wesleyan gear to the liveliest members of the crowd. The organization also set up the Cardinal's Nest, a section only available to Wesleyan supporters during the men's basketball game against Tufts.

The Wesleyan Cardinal helped WesPep raise spirits in the audience. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

The Wesleyan Cardinal helped WesPep raise spirits in the audience. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Men’s Water Polo Collegiate Club Division III Team of the Decade

Mac Clonan '05 talks strategy with the team during a timeout in the 2006 championship game.

Mac Clonan '05 talks strategy with the team during a timeout in the 2006 championship game.

In the past decade, the Wesleyan Men’s Water Polo Club captured two titles and appeared in six Division III National Collegiate Club Championships. For their efforts, the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) named the team the “Collegiate Club Division III Team of the Decade” for 2000-09.

Unlike many teams in their conference, the Wesleyan club runs its program without monetary or administrative support from the Department of Athletics. The students are coached by team captains, and occasionally a graduate student who has played on the team will coach without compensation. Nevertheless, the team won the 2004 and 2005 Division III Collegiate Club Championships, and placed second in this tournament in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2006.

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments of our men’s water polo club team,” says John Biddiscombe, director of athletics and chair of the Physical Education Department. “A student-centered and directed team, it has had committed athletes and great student leadership over the decade. The members

McKenna Coaching U.S. Olympics Ice Hockey

Jodi McKenna

Jodi McKenna

Jodi McKenna, head coach of women’s hockey, is taking a leave from Wesleyan to coach the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. The games open Feb. 14.

In a Jan. 10 Hartford Courant article titled “Career Path Continues to be Covered with Ice,” McKenna says, “It’s not something, when I got into coaching, that I would even conceive of, being in this situation. It became more of a possibility the more I became involved in the national program.”

McKenna was named an assistant coach in May, right before her Wesleyan players went home for the summer. McKenna, who spent nine years as an assistant at St. Lawrence University, had just completed her second year as a head coach. It was hard to tell her team she wouldn’t be there this winter.

“I miss the girls,” McKenna says in the article. “I check in but I try to let the current coaches do their job. … Hopefully, there are a lot of things I’ll be able to take back to Wesleyan.”

McKenna was featured in a Sept. 19, 2007 article in The Wesleyan Connection.

Wesleyan Sailing Goes from Club-Sport to Competition

The Wesleyan Sailing Club competed in 25 regattas this year, finishing four ranks above Williams College.

The Wesleyan Sailing Team competed in nine regattas this fall, finishing four ranks above Williams College.

Three times a week, a group of Wesleyan sailors travel 21 miles to Essex, Conn. for a three-hour practice on the Connecticut River. On the weekends, the students tackle the waters in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont or Maine.

The Wesleyan Sailing Team, which recently completed its second year participating in the competitive New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA), finished its season in 26th place. Forty-two collegiate teams are registered with NEISA.

This fall, the student-run group competed in nine regattas and 10 last spring. They finished three ranks under Amherst College, one rank under Middlebury College and four ranks above Williams College.

“We started at the very bottom, so we’re satisfied with 26th,” says Wesleyan Sailing Team member Jacon Mayer ’10. “Next year the team is hoping to be five spots higher.”

Mayer, who transferred to Wesleyan during his sophomore year, was instrumental in transforming the hobby-driven club into a competitive sport. He and other team

Men’s Soccer Banner Year Ends in Double-Overtime NCAA Loss

Men’s soccer had its outstanding season come to a close in the sectional semi-finals, dropping a double-overtime contest to the University of Rochester Nov. 21. Keisuke Yamashita ’10 gave Wesleyan a 1-0 first-half lead, but Rochester tied the game in the second half and won it just 38 seconds into the second sudden-victory overtime.

The team ended its campaign with a final record of 12-2-5, went undefeated in NESCAC regular-season play and earned the top seed in the NESCAC tournament.

(Game and fan photos by Cora Lautze ’11)

Record-Setting Men’s Soccer Team Eyes NESCAC Title

Team co-captain Nick Whipple '10 and the Wesleyan Cardinals men's soccer team, expect to remain in the top spot among New England Division III squads as well as maintaining a top-10 position nationally. (Photos by Peter Stein '84)

Team co-captain Nick Whipple '10 and the Wesleyan Cardinals men's soccer team, have remained in the top spot among New England Division III squads for four weeks, as well as maintaining a top-10 position nationally. (Photos by Peter Stein '84)

Wesleyan men’s soccer has accomplished two feats never before witnessed by Cardinal faithful: they have yet to lose after 15 games, and have set a school record for shutouts in a season.

Now they are looking for a NESCAC title, something that has only been done once before (in 2005) by Wesleyan Men’s Soccer.

Their campaign has in no way been easy. They opened the year on Sept. 12 facing perennial power and Little Three rival Williams College on the road. In that match the Cardinals came back after being down 1-0 to forge a 1-1 tie. Over the eight weeks that have followed the squad has pushed its NESCAC-best overall record to 11-0-4 and 6-0-3 in league play, earning Wesleyan the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament. The Cardinals are one of only two unbeaten Division III teams in the country.

Keisuke Yamashita '10 goes for a goal against Colby College.

Keisuke Yamashita '10 goes for a goal against Colby College.

The 15-game unbeaten streak has eclipsed the previous school mark set in 2006 when the team opened the year 9-0-3 before falling to Williams in game 13. With 11 shutouts so far this year, the 2009 squad has broken the record set by the 1980 Cardinal team, which collected eight shutouts on its way to a 12-2 record and an ECAC New England Division III title.

It’s been quite a rebound for a team that finished at 5-8-2 last year.

What has made the difference in 2009?

Co-captain Mark Murphy '10.

Co-captain Mark Murphy '10.

“I think it was a question of taking a step backward in order to take two steps forward,” says 11-year head coach Geoff Wheeler. “Last year was a learning experience and a chance for the upperclassmen to reflect on the disappointment and use it as a positive.”

Mixing 21 returnees, seven of them seniors, with a very capable crop of nine newcomers, Wesleyan has gelled into a national force, one that has held the number-one spot in New England for four straight weeks, debuted on the national rankings at No. 15 on Oct. 6, then climbed to No. 6 on Oct. 13 and continued its ascent to No. 5, a position it has held since Oct. 20. A new poll is coming out Nov. 3 and Wesleyan is expecting a rise to No. 4 nationally.

In one of the team’s recent games Oct. 24, a 0-0 overtime deadlock at Little Three rival Amherst, 21 Cardinals saw action in the contest, seven of them first-years, including the team’s starting netminder Adam Purdy ’13.

Adam Purdy '13 at Trinity.

Adam Purdy '13 at Trinity.

“He has been an extremely welcome addition to the team,” says Coach Wheeler. “There’s no doubt his presence has given us a big lift. While we came into the season with a concentration on defense because we gave up 27 goals in 2008, Adam has been called upon to make some big saves and he has really come through.”

Purdy leads the NESCAC in both save percentage (.926) and goals-against average (0.32). Both these figures rank him among the top-10 nationally in Division III. Wesleyan has given up just five goals in 15 games in 2009.

The Cardinals opened NESCAC Tournament play at home Sunday, Nov. 1 with a 5-0 shellacking of Colby. Wesleyan will now host the conference Final Four the weekend of Nov. 7-8, facing Middlebury in one semi-final Saturday while Williams takes on Bowdoin in the other. The winners meet in the championship game Sunday with an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament going to the victor.
“It’ll be something we shoot for and hope comes our way,” says Coach Wheeler.

WesPep Raises Cheer for Wesleyan Athletic Events

Wes Pep, a newly-formed student organization, brings excitement, enthusiasm, and passion to the various Wesleyan sport games.  WesPep members, bottom row, from left, are Tamar Charles '11, Gelihsa Arjoon '11, Malik Salahuddin '13, Jessica Clark '12, Teju Adisa-Tarrar '13, Roynan Krebs '10 and Chantaneice Kitt '13.

Wes Pep, a newly-formed student organization, brings excitement, enthusiasm, and passion to the various Wesleyan sport games. WesPep members, bottom row, from left, are Tamar Charles '11, Gelihsa Arjoon '11, Malik Ben-Salahuddin '13, Jessica Clark '12, Teju Adisa-Farrar '13, Roynan Krebs '10 and Chantaneice Kitt '13.

AhDream Smith ’12 founded WesPep in 2008. She and fellow WesPep members support Wesleyan athletics by making banners and leading Wes fans in cheers and chants.

AhDream Smith ’12 founded WesPep in 2008. She and fellow WesPep members support Wesleyan athletics by making banners and leading Wes fans in cheers and chants.

This WesPep sign reads 'Wes FootBallas.' Fans held the sign during the football season opener Sept. 26.

Wesleyan FootBallas!

Wesleyan President Michael Roth joins the WesPep group during the Sept. 26 football game against Tufts.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth joins the WesPep group during the Sept. 26 football game against Tufts.

Bryce Hollingsworth '13 partook in WesPep festivities by painting his face red for the Sept. 26 game.

Bryce Hollingsworth '13 partook in WesPep festivities by painting his face red for the Sept. 26 game.

Tufts Who ???

Tufts Who ???

WesPep is in the process of starting a e-mail list serv. Meanwhile, anyone interested in joining WesPep can contact Smith at afsmith@wes or WesPep secretary Jessica Clark at jaclark@wesleyan.edu. (Photos contributed by AhDream Smith '12)

WesPep is in the process of starting a e-mail list serv. Meanwhile, anyone interested in joining WesPep can contact Smith at afsmith@wes or WesPep secretary Jessica Clark at jaclark@wesleyan.edu. (Photos contributed by AhDream Smith '12)

Patrick Tynan New Women’s Crew Coach

Patrick Tynan joined the Department of Athletics July 1. He admires the rich tradition of rowing at Wesleyan.

Patrick Tynan joined the Department of Athletics July 1.

Patrick Tynan, who spent the 2008-09 season as assistant men’s lightweight crew coach at Yale University, has been named faculty head coach of women’s crew at Wesleyan on July 1.  Tynan steps into the position occupied by Beth Emery from 1988 through 2008 and covered on an interim basis by Brian Dawe in 2008-09.

“The opportunity to be a head coach in the NESCAC, which is probably the most competitive league for women’s rowing in Division III, was a big attraction to me,”Tynan says. “When I met some of the athletes on the team through the interview process, I knew this would be a good fit because it was clear that they have a very strong drive to be excellent and they just seemed like great, down to earth, hard working kids. The facilities are top notch and the administration is supportive of the program.”

A 1999 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he was an integral member of the varsity lightweight crew, Tynan began his coaching career as a men’s assistant at his alma mater for two seasons before heading to Colby College from 2001-06. There he assisted with both the men’s and women’s programs, helping the women’s novice crew win three New England championships. As interim head women’s crew coach at Williams College in 2006-07, Tynan directed the Ephs to a New England and NCAA Division III title at the varsity eight level. Williams also captured a team title at the NCAAs in 2007.

Before joining the Yale staff in 2008, Tynan spent the 2007-08 season with a second stint at his alma mater, this time assisting with the women’s squad.

A USRowing Level III certified coach, Tynan also has a wealth of experience at summer rowing camps

Drennan ’09 to Play Professional Volleyball in Denmark

Lisa Drennan ’09 will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Lisa Drennan '09 will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Lisa Drennan ’09 signed a professional volleyball contract in Europe and will play for a team in Brondby, Denmark for the 2009 season.

Drennan closed out her Wesleyan volleyball career in 2008 with her second NESCAC Player of the Year honor as well as second-team AVCA Division III All-America laurels.

Also named a second-team CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American in 2008, Drennan ranked among the top five players in Division III for average kills per set for three straight seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) while leading the NESCAC each of those years as well.  She ended her Wesleyan career ranked second all-time at the college for kills with 1,865 while holding down the top spot for average kills at 4.92.  She averaged 4.70 in 2008 to rank third nationally.  She had a .298 career hitting percentage and averaged 2.73 digs, 0.68 blocks and 0.46 aces per set over her four years.

Drennan is one of three Americans on the Brondby Elite roster, joined by 6-5 middle hitter Jolene Baptiste out of the U. of Arizona, and outside hitter Crystal Ames from Central Washington U. In total, 12 players are listed on the Brondby roster and the average height is 6-2.  Drennan is one of the smallest players, standing 5-11.  She was selected, as noted on the Brondby team web site, not just for her hitting ability but also for her receiving talent.

Brondby is scheduled to play a 21-match season this fall, all against other Danish teams, with the first match slated for Sunday, Sept. 13.  Many players for the Danish National Team are on the rosters of teams in the Elite Division.

(By Brian Katten, sports information director)

Athletes Receive Recognition from Jewish Sports Review

Four Wesleyan spring athletes were named first-team All-Americans in the July/August edition of the Jewish Sports Review, the pre-eminent national publication honoring Jewish athletes.

Talia Bernstein ’11

Talia Bernstein '11

Among those honored from Wesleyan, softball standout Talia Bernstein ’11 (#9), who earned first-team all-NESCAC as well as regional honors from both the New England Softball Coaches Association and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association after leading the Cardinals to a second-place finish in the NESCAC tournament with her .482 batting average, was a first-team Jewish All-American.

Two members of the Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team, Jason Ben-Eliyahu ’09 (#27) and Lonny Blumenthal ’10 (#13), found spots on the Jewish All-America first team. Both were integral parts of Wesleyan’s first-ever men’s lacrosse NESCAC title and fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament. Ben-Eliyahu racked up 24 goals and 22 assists to rank second on the team in scoring with 46 points from his spot on attack.

Jason Ben-Eliyahu '09

Jason Ben-Eliyahu '09

Blumenthal, with 25 goals and nine assists for 34 points, led the midfielders

Swimmer Madden ’11 Takes 4 Gold Medals at Massachusetts Sporting Event

Cara Madden ’11

Cara Madden '11

Cara Madden ’11, a Wesleyan swimmer, won four gold medals and set two records at the Bay State Summer Games, organized by the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation. The Bay State Games provide quality Olympic-style athletic competitions and developmental programs for Massachusetts amateur athletes of all ages and abilities.

Madden not only won each event she appeared in, but also broke two records in the Women’s 19-34 Division, representing the Northeast team.

Both of the records Madden broke were two-year-old records. In the 100-meter backstroke, she cut four seconds off the previous mark, finishing at 1:12.41.

Madden also broke the record in the 200-meter backstroke, finishing at 2:39.09. Madden won her two other gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle and in the 100-meter freestyle.

Madden was featured in the July 16 edition of The Ipswich Chronicle in Beverly, Mass.