Tag Archive for athletics

Wind Screen Set-Up Signifies Baseball Season

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The Athletics Department sets up a wind screen around the Andrus Field fence March 16. The brightly-colored screen allows the outfielders to easily see the fence line. The fence remains on Andrus Field throughout the baseball season.

The baseball season began March 6. The first home game is at noon, March 27 against Amherst College.

The baseball season began March 6. The first home game is at noon, March 27 against Amherst College.

Raba to Join U.N.H Athletics Hall of Fame

John Raba, head men's lacrosse coach, will  join the U.N.H. Athletics Hall of Fame during its induction ceremony March 26.

John Raba, head men's lacrosse coach, will join the U.N.H. Athletics Hall of Fame during its induction ceremony March 26.

John Raba, head men’s lacrosse coach at Wesleyan since 1997, has been selected as one of seven inductees for the University of New Haven Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2010.  John is a 1993 graduate of U.N.H. and a former standout in both football and lacrosse there.

Coming aboard the full-time Wesleyan staff in 1996 and now an adjunct associate professor in the physical education department, Raba enters his 14th season as head coach of men’s lacrosse during 2010. Raba has a 155-67 record at Wesleyan, including an 18-3 mark in 2007, the best season ever at the college, and a 16-4 record in 2006 as the team advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament semi-finals both years. For his accomplishment in both 2006 and 2001, when the team went 17-3, Raba was named NESCAC and NEILA Division III Coach of the Year.

Raba earned his fifth NEILA Coach of the Year award following a 15-4 season in 2009 as his Cardinals captured the NESCAC tournament title for the first time and qualified for the NCAAs for the fourth time in five years.  He was named co-Coach of the Year by the NEILA in 2005.

Raba serves on the USILA All-American Committee and is a regional representative on the NCAA men’s lacrosse advisory selection committee. In addition to coaching lacrosse, John assisted with the football team during the fall from 1996 through 2007, working on the defensive side of the ball each of those 12 seasons with eight seasons as defensive coordinator (1998-2005). He stepped down from that post in 2008, assuming the new position of recruiting coordinator for the athletics department.

A 1993 graduate of the University of New Haven, John was an All-American lacrosse player for the Chargers as a grad student in 1994 after leading Division II in scoring as a senior in 1993. Also outstanding on the gridiron, John was a team captain, a two-time all-New England pick as a fullback and earned team MVP honors as well. John was honored by U.N.H. as its male athlete of the year in both 1991-92 and 1992-93.

Raba will be part of the 27th class to join the U.N.H. Athletics Hall of Fame during its induction on March 26.

McCarthy Inducted into Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame

Assistant men's lacrosse team coach Rick McCarthy is a past-president of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Assistant men's lacrosse team coach Rick McCarthy is a past-president of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Rick McCarthy, who recently completed his fifth season as an assistant coach for Wesleyan’s highly successful men’s lacrosse team, was one of seven individuals inducted into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame during a ceremony Jan. 10 at Yale University.

Serving as the head coach of the men’s lacrosse team at Western Connecticut State U. for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, McCarthy came back to join the Wesleyan staff in 2006 after serving in that capacity during the 2003 campaign. In December 2006, McCarthy was honored by the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) as the Division III assistant coach of the year.

McCarthy began his lacrosse coaching career at Babson College in 1975. He has been involved in coaching for 38 years since his graduation from Yale University in 1968, handling mostly lacrosse and ice hockey, but also basketball and football at various levels of activity throughout southern New England.

He is a past-president of the New England Intercollegiate lacrosse Association (2002-03) and has been a member of the Division III men’s lacrosse national poll committee, the weekly NEILA rating board, the ECAC Division III men’s lacrosse advisory board and the USILA All-America advisory board.

More information on McCarthy is online here.

Coach Whalen Introduced at Campus Ceremony

Wesleyan President Michael Roth, right, introduced new football head coach Mike Whalen '83, left, to the Wesleyan community during a ceremony March 8 in the Freeman Athletic Center. Whalen, the 2006 NESCAC Coach of the year, comes to Wesleyan from Williams College, where he had been the head coach since 2004. Whalen also will serve as Wesleyan's assistant athletic director.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth, right, introduced new football head coach Mike Whalen '83, left, to the Wesleyan community during a ceremony March 8 in the Freeman Athletic Center. Whalen, the 2006 NESCAC Coach of the year, comes to Wesleyan from Williams College, where he had been the head coach since 2004. Whalen also will serve an assistant athletic director.

McKenna, U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Win Olympic Silver

Jodi McKenna, at right, coached the World Championships in Finland in April 2009 (pictured), and Team USA during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of USA Hockey)

Jodi McKenna, at right, coached the World Championships in Finland in April 2009 (pictured), and Team USA during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of USA Hockey)

Wesleyan head women’s ice hockey coach Jodi McKenna returned from the 2010 Olympics with a silver medal for Team USA.

In May 2009, McKenna was asked to serve as an assistant coach for Team USA during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While in Vancouver, Team USA demolished China (12-1), Russia (13-0) and Finland (6-0) during group play to earn a spot in the medal rounds. In the semi-finals, Team USA defeated Sweden, 9-1, to move into the Gold Medal Game vs. arch-rival Canada.

Despite the 10-goal-a-game average for Team USA entering the Olympic Gold Medal Game, the Americans were shut out by the Canadians, 2-0, with both goals coming during the first period. The teams, both averaging double-digit goals coming into the matchup, played the final 43 minutes scoreless.

McKenna, who was also an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship, recently finished her second season as the head coach at Wesleyan after spending nine seasons as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence University. In her nine seasons with St. Lawrence, she helped the Saints qualify for the NCAA tournament five times, making it to the Frozen Four on each occasion and playing in the title game in 2001.

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)