Tag Archive for student athletes

Women’s Soccer Hosts Clinic to Benefit Local Food Pantry

kicking4hungerThe Wesleyan women’s soccer team hosted a free kids’ soccer clinic on Nov. 12 for ages 5-13 to benefit the Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown. The event called Kicking4Hunger encouraged area children to donate a non-perishable food item in exchange for the free clinic. Around 25 kids from the Middletown area attended and were taught the basic skills of soccer — passing, dribbling, shooting — by members of the team.

Senior captain Carly Swenson ’17 spearheaded the second annual event, along with former player Tess Daggett-Edenholm. Swenson and Daggett-Edenholm started a program on campus called Athletes C.A.R.E (Creating Abundant Relief Effort), which is a non-profit effort that started at Lafayette College. Swenson said the goal is to “use athletics to make a lasting impact on the lives of others by providing assistance and support to the needy, hungry and homeless.”

The soccer team was able to donate about 65 pounds of canned goods to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry.

“It was a beautiful day and we had a ton of fun running around with these young soccer players,” Swenson said. “Based on the reviews from the kids and their parents, we plan on organizing other sporting clinics.”

Women’s Crew Claims First Place Victory at Head of the Charles Regatta

(Photo by Mike Box)

Wesleyan women’s crew team. (Photo by Mike Box)

The Wesleyan women’s crew team continues to excel as the Cardinals finished first out of 28 boats from Division I, II and III programs at the 52nd Annual Head of the Charles Oct. 23 in Cambridge, Mass.

Wesleyan’s Varsity 8 boat finished in 18:04.538, almost a full second ahead of the second-place boat and nearly four seconds ahead of the third-place boat.

The crew consisted of Sarah Osborn ’19, Clara Babbott-Ward ’20, Emma Halter ’17, Allison Quintana ’19, Annalee Holmdahl ’17, Rachelle Flowers ’19, Amanda Molitor ’18 and Ava Miller-Lewis ’17 and coxswain Rachael Crunkleton ’20.

Ithaca College finished in second with a time of 18:05.494 and the William College Boat Club placed third in 18:08.416.

Earlier in the day, Wesleyan Varsity 4 boat finished 10th overall in the 35-team field with a mark of 21:57.064.
The crew featured Grace Middleton ’20, Alexandra Branman ’19, Sonja Welch ’20, Olivia Pearson ’19 and coxswain Elisa Greenberg ’18. Additionally, Wesleyan’s Club 4 boat competed and finished 24th overall out of 59 teams with a mark of 20:44.5. The crew consisted of Emma Porrazzo ’19, Eleanor Highleyman ’19, Monica Rao ’19 and Kate Suslovic ’17.

Wesleyan Football Drafts 10-Year-Old Michael from Team IMPACT

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The Wesleyan football team poses for a team photo with their newest member, Michael, pictured in center with the No. 5 jersey.

On Sept. 10, Wesleyan’s football team welcomed its newest member to the program, 10-year old Michael from Team IMPACT.

Michael receives high-fives and handshakes from the Wesleyan football team.

Michael receives high-fives and handshakes from the Wesleyan football team.

Michael, from Cromwell, Conn., was born with an immune dysfunction and is blind in one eye. He also suffers from cardiac issues, developmental delays and cognitive impairments. Michael started speaking at 4 1/2 years old and took his first step at 2 1/2. He now walks independently and has scoliosis in his spine. Because of his immune deficiency, he is very susceptible to getting sick.

Partnering with Team IMPACT, whose focus is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team, the Cardinals made Michael apart of their team.

Wesleyan’s leadership group, which consists of seniors Ike Fuchs, Shane Jenkins and Jordan Stone, junior Jake Cronin and Khephren Spigner, and sophomores Ryan Earle, Isaiah Thomas, came together and came up with the idea to officially draft Michael before the teams’ intrasquad scrimmage. The Cardinals created a tunnel of players for Michael to run through, where he would meet Head Coach Dan DiCenzo at the 50-yard line. From there, DiCenzo handed him a jersey and hat, and named him the team’s official No. 1 draft pick.

The leadership group also thought of the idea to run a play for Michael near the end of scrimmage, in which they handed him the ball as the 10-year old ran into the endzone for a touchdown.

Wesleyan Celebrates Historic Memorial Day Weekend for Women’s Tennis, Crew

28May2016 Eunice Chong of Wesleyen University won the NCAA Division III Womens Tennis Championship match over Juli Raventos of Williams at Kalamazoo Colleges Stowe Stadium.

Eudice Chong ’18 won the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship finals over Juli Raventos of Williams at Kalamazoo College’s (MI) Stowe Stadium. She’s pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried.

The 2016 Memorial Day Weekend was a historic one for Wesleyan athletics as women’s tennis player Eudice Chong ’18 defended her crown as the NCAA Division III Individual Singles Champion, and the women’s crew team captured a bronze medal in the Varsity 8 Grand Final at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Chong, a First Team All-NESCAC selection for the second consecutive season, capped off an incredible sophomore campaign with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Juli Raventos of Williams College in the championship finals of the singles bracket. Chong and Raventos met twice, earlier in the season, with Raventos claiming both matches — the only two losses of Chong’s collegiate career. With a win over Raventos in the third match-up of the season, Chong became Wesleyan’s second two-time national champion in school history.

She also remains the only national champion in Wesleyan tennis history, and boasts an incredible 52-2 overall record in two seasons. In addition to her individual singles title, Chong also reached the doubles semifinals with teammate Aashli Budhiraja ’18. Read more here.

While Chong was excelling on the tennis court, the women’s crew team was busy placing third overall in the Varsity 8 Grand Final at the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships in Gold River, Calif. With a time of 6:47.82, the Cardinals became the first at-large team to win a bronze medal in the history of the national championships. Wesleyan was edged by Wellesley, who finished first in 6:46.10, while Williams placed second in 6:47.40. Read more here.

In addition to Wesleyan’s varsity athletics success, the Cardinals’ club sports also shined as the women’s ultimate frisbee team finished second in the USA Ultimate Division III College Championships.

Women's Crew claimed bronze in the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Women’s Crew claimed bronze in the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

Athletics Celebrates Partnership with Community Foundation of Middlesex County

Thayer Talbot, Jeff McDonald, and Wallace Jones stand in the lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center. Jeff McDonald is speaking.

Assistant Football Coach Jeff McDonald tells about his helpful experience with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County when the Athletics Council was seeking an anti-bullying program to link with their work in MacDonough Elementary School. Thayer Talbott, left, and Wallace Jones, right, look on.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) invited Wesleyan coaches for “A Slice and A Celebration” in the Warren Street Lobby of Freeman on May.

Over pizza and a beverage, the coaches were celebrated for their community involvement, as well as offered the opportunity to learn more about the Community Foundation and how it can be a resource to the nonprofits and our broader community. Foundation leaders in attendance were Cynthia Clegg, president and CEO; Thayer Talbott, senior director of programs and operations; and Wallace Jones, CFMC board chairman.

Scholar Student Athletes Honored at Banquet

On April 28, the Wesleyan Athletics Department honored more than 175 scholar student-athletes that excelled both on and off the field throughout the course of the 2015-16 season. Coaches, faculty and staff from the department also attended the event, which included dinner, speeches and awards in Beckham Hall.

To be recognized, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore with a grade-point average of 3.25 or above, and be a key contributor to his or her team’s success.

In addition, scholar athletes Joe Edmonds ’16 of the men’s basketball team and Rachel Hobert ’16 of the women’s soccer team presented inspirational speeches to their peers.

(Photos by Caroline Kravitz ’19)

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Wesleyan Football Team Helps Artists for World Peace Pack for Health Mission in Tanzania

Members of the Wesleyan football team and coach Dan DiCenzo, second from right, celebrate their successful packing service for Artists for World Peace. Founder and executive director Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, center is shipping the equipment to a Tanzanian village where she and others will offer an eye clinic this summer. (Photo by Lucy Guiliano for Artists for World Peace)

Members of the Wesleyan football team and coach Dan DiCenzo, second from right, celebrate their successful packing service for Artists for World Peace. Founder and executive director Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, center is shipping the equipment to a Tanzanian village where she and others will offer an eye clinic this summer. (Photo by Lucy Guiliano for Artists for World Peace)

On April 2, in a relentless rain, 20 Artists for World Peace volunteers—including Wesleyan Football Coach Dan DiCenzo and staunch members of the football team—loaded a 20-foot shipping container with $648,000 worth of medical equipment, eyeglasses, and other items.

“It was great to see our guys help such a fine organization,” said DiCenzo.

Jewelry artist Wendy Black-Nasta P’07, founder and executive director of Artists for World Peace (AFWP), had contacted the coach when she realized her group needed help. She had arranged for the shipping container, which arrived in the parking lot of Ace Hardware in Middletown, at 10 a.m. She and her team had only two hours to pack it with the donated equipment she had been collecting for the past two years. Included in the shipment were two complete eye examination rooms, one donated by Professor Raymond Dennis, who heads the Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing program at Middlesex Community College. Individual pieces weighed as much as 350 libs. It will be used in the small village of Kibosho-Umbwe, in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, where Black-Nasta and her group are returning this summer. On their previous visit in 2014, the team opened the first health clinic in the region, which they had helped build.
Black-Nasta, who arranged that trip and the one upcoming, has been traveling to the village since 2008. Her organization supports and educates the 20 children in the Good Hope Trust Orphanage.

The organization’s eye clinic will be running the first two weeks of August. To view their efforts, see AFWP’s Facebook page, blog and view the entire medical clinic and trip on AFWP’s website.

Black-Nasta was grateful to Coach DiCenza and the team for their support.

“Thank you again for being part of this with us and for bringing an incredibly joyful group of guys. Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits,” she said.

Female Student-Athletes Mentored by Alumni, Staff

More than 55 student-athletes attended a Women’s Mentoring Workshop on April 10 in the Daniel Family Commons. The workshop was part of the Athletics Advantage Program, also known as A+. The program combines individual training, mentoring, internships, career coaching, job shadowing, community service and other dimensions of the successful undergraduate Wesleyan scholar-athlete career.

Twenty-three alumni, current coaches and Wesleyan Career Center staff spent two hours with the students and discussed declaring a major, finding a summer job and figuring out a career. Alumni mentors range from the class of 2015 to as early as 1975.

“The event was a great success for both the mentors and the student-athletes. Mentors commented how much they enjoyed connecting with the undergraduates and students appreciated the kernels of wisdom shared by the wide range of mentors present,” said Geoff Wheeler, A+ co-director and men’s soccer coach. Wheeler co-directs A+ with Jen Lane, women’s softball coach.

This was the third mentoring workshop highlighting the female student-athlete.

(Photos by Jonas Powell ’18)

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Spring Baseball Season is in Full Swing

Baseball season is in full swing! Nick Miceli ’17 pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless relief, while Marco Baratta ’16 knocked in four runs and Matt Jeye ‘18 knocked in three as the Wesleyan Cardinals baseball team defeated the visiting U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 11-5 March 24 at Dresser Diamond. Wesleyan’s record is 10-3.

The Cardinals will return to the diamond March 30 and will host Eastern Connecticut at 4 p.m.

Read more about Wesleyan Athletic News here.
(Photos by Jonas Powell ’18 and Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ‘19)

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Wesleyan Athletics Hosts Girls, Women in Sports Day

Kathy Keeler '78, Wesleyan's only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan's National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. She also qualified for the U.S. Olympic rowing squad in 1980 and has been part of four U.S. national teams.

Kathy Keeler ’78, Wesleyan’s only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

On Feb. 13, Wesleyan student athletes welcomed local girls to campus and recognized the courage, confidence, and character women and girls gain as they participate in sports.

February marks the 30th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an event created to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.

The Wesleyan Athletics Department celebrated by hosting a day of fun-filled sports activities for girls, ages 5-12. Participants took part in sports clinics, had lunch and discussions with Wesleyan’s female student-athletes and coaches, and cheered on the women’s basketball and ice hockey teams during their home games.

“In our experience volunteering in the community and during our conversations with local community leaders and teachers, it became evident that this would be a tremendously beneficial event for the young girls in our community,” said event organizer Jeff McDonald. “It provided them with an opportunity to connect with our student-athletes, see all the positives that athletics brings, and experience all the different types of sports available.”

McDonald, assistant football coach, coordinated the event with help from Kim Williams, head women’s lacrosse coach; Jen Lane, head softball coach; and Olivia Berry, assistant softball coach.

As part of the celebration, Wesleyan highlighted some of their female alumni who dominated in their respective sports, including Wesleyan’s own Olympic gold medalist, Kathy Keeler ’78, who gave a short address to the group at the start of the day. Read stories from other Wesleyan alumnae athletes here.

Photos of Wesleyan’s Girls and Women in Sports Day is below: (Photos by Ryan Heffernan ’16)

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Men’s Basketball Davis ’16 Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone

B.J. Davis '16

B.J. Davis ’16

B.J. Davis ’16, a guard on the men’s basketball team, scored his 1,000th career point as the 25th-ranked Wesleyan Cardinals used a second half rally to defeat the Connecticut College Camels in NESCAC play Jan. 30, 87-79.

Wesleyan trailed the entire first half but outscored the Camels, 53-37 in the final 20 minutes of regulation to earn its fourth-consecutive win.

With 13 points, four fouls and just :43 remaining on the clock, Davis went to the foul line. He missed his first shot but hit the second to etch his name in the Wesleyan record books as he finished with 14 points on the day.

More Cardinal Athletics news can be found on this website.

(Information provided by Mike O’Brien, sports information director)

Alumnae Athletes Share Their Stories

All of the following women were Jones Award winners—women who represent the very best of Wesleyan athletics. Here are a few of their stories:

Christina Fedolfi ’90

Christina Fedolfi ’90

At Wesleyan, Christina Fedolfi ’90 (soccer) played soccer for four seasons, basketball for one season, and rugby for two seasons. “During these seasons, I made my lifelong friends- women who were dedicated, smart and fun. Athletics always provided structure to my college life- I knew I had to carve out time for my academics once practice and games were over. Playing sports made me a better student. I had my sports time and my academics time. I am trying to instill this in my kids today.”

Joanna Buffington ’81 (soccer) says she loved being part of the first varsity women’s team (after being club status for two years). “Being elected captain two years in a row (first year there were 4, second just 1) by my peers meant so much to me, as it clearly wasn’t because I was the most talented player. It was (I believe) because I had the biggest mouth and was constantly yelling encouragement and advice from all over the field (and off). Apparently my teammates thought that was helpful. Since playing soccer and running track at Wesleyan, I have managed to continue to play organized sports — I currently play pick-up Ultimate Frisbee, and am the oldest (by about 30 years) female to participate. I could be the grandmother of some of these kids. At least the more polite young men have stopped calling me ‘Maam.’

Here’s hoping to play for another 20 years.”