Brian Katten

Wesleyan's first full-time sports information director, hired in 1982. Wesleyan class of 1979.

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:

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

Student Athletes Collect Toys for Local Children at “Stuff the Net”

For the third year, Wesleyan's Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored "Stuff the Net" to benefit Macdonough School, one of eight local elementary schools in Middletown.  For one week, people visiting the Freeman Athletic Center had the opportunity to drop off unwrapped toys intended for students ages 5-11 and leave them in the hockey goal set up in the Cross Street Lobby.  The toys were wrapped by Macdonough staff, Athletic Department staff and student-athlete volunteers. The gifts were taken to Macdonough School for distribution to the students. Over the past two years, hundreds of gifts were donated, ranging from stuffed animals to bicycles.

For the third year, Wesleyan’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored “Stuff the Net” to benefit Macdonough School, one of eight local elementary schools in Middletown. For one week, people visiting the Freeman Athletic Center had the opportunity to drop off unwrapped toys intended for students ages 5-11 and leave them in the hockey goal set up in the Cross Street Lobby. The toys were wrapped by Macdonough staff, Athletic Department staff and student-athlete volunteers. The gifts were taken to Macdonough School for distribution to the students. Over the past two years, hundreds of gifts were donated, ranging from stuffed animals to bicycles.

Gridiron Club Honors Assistant Coach DiCenzo, Bussani ’14

Dan DiCenzo and Jake Bussani '14

Dan DiCenzo and Jake Bussani ’14

In November, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston named Associate Head Football Coach Dan DiCenzo the Division III assistant coach of the year.

In addition, NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Jake Bussani ’14 received a Joe Zabilski Award for being the top Division III defensive player in New England. The honor is annually awarded to New England’s best collegiate players in Divisions II and III. Bussani was one of four NESCAC players chosen for the New England Football Writers Division II/III all-star team. The last Cardinal to grace the NEFW all-star squad was Shea Dwyer ’10 during the 2010 season.

Bussani is currently enrolled in Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies program.

Founded in 1932, the Gridiron Club promotes the game of football at all levels and nurtures the ideals of citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and athletic and academic achievement. The club carries on its tradition of honoring exemplary players, coaches and officials at all levels of sport.

(Photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)

Wesleyan Dedicates Citrin Field in Honor of the Men’s Lacrosse Team

On Nov. 22, Wesleyan formally dedicated its new synthetic turf field, naming it Citrin Field, in honor of the Citrin family. The turf field is located to the south of the Freeman Athletic Center inside Andersen Track.

On Nov. 22, Wesleyan formally dedicated its new synthetic turf field, Citrin Field. Citrin Field was named in recognition of a generous gift from Jim Citrin P ’12, P ’14, in honor of the men’s lacrosse team. The turf field is located to the south of the Freeman Athletic Center inside Andersen Track. Citrin Field, opened for use during the fall of 2013, is a lighted field used for football, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s lacrosse activity.

Jim Citrin P'12, P'14, in center, spoke on behalf of the Citrin family with President Michael Roth, at left, and Athletics Director Mike Whalen '83, at right. Jim Citrin's son, Teddy Citrin '12, was a high-scoring, four-year letterman in men's lacrosse, racking up 76 goals and 13 assists for 89 scoring points while helping the Cardinals post a record of 42-23 from 2009-12. His other son, Oliver Citrin '14, was a outstanding fan and men's lacrosse team photographer during his Wesleyan years.

Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, in center, spoke on behalf of the Citrin family with President Michael Roth, at left, and Athletics Director Mike Whalen ’83, at right. Jim Citrin’s son, Teddy Citrin ’12, was a high-scoring, four-year letterman in men’s lacrosse, racking up 76 goals and 13 assists for 89 scoring points while helping the Cardinals post a record of 42-23 from 2009-12. His other son, Oliver Citrin ’14, was a outstanding fan and men’s lacrosse team photographer during his Wesleyan years.

Jim, Teddy and Oliver Citrin joined Wesleyan head men's lacrosse coach John Raba and members of the 2015 team during the festivities.

Jim, Teddy and Oliver Citrin joined Wesleyan head men’s lacrosse coach John Raba and members of the 2015 team during the festivities. Citrin Field is Wesleyan’s second artificial surface field, joining Smith Field, which opened in 2006. (Photos by Jack Gorlin ’18)

Football’s Fuchs ’17 Receives Regional Honors, Gold Helmet Award

Placekicker Ike Fuchs '17. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Placekicker Ike Fuchs ’17. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Placekicker Ike Fuchs ’17 (#10) accounted for 16 of the Cardinals’ 22 points during a 22-0 football victory at Williams College Nov. 1, raising Wesleyan’s record on the season to 6-1.

For his performance, Fuchs received three regional awards and one national honor. Fuchs was named NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week as well as ECAC Division III Northeast Special Teams Player of the Week. He also was the recipient of the New England Football Writers’ Association weekly Gold Helmet Award for the top effort by a regional Division II/III player during the week.

Ike Fuchs '17

Ike Fuchs ’17

He is the first Cardinal to earn this coveted honor since Shea Dwyer ’10 was recognized for his 213-yard rushing performance with five TDs in a win over Hamilton in 2010. Fuchs also was named USA College Football’s Placekicker of the Week, a national honor.

Fuchs went 5-for-5 on field goals including a career-best 39-yarder and added an extra point on Wesleyan’s lone touchdown, that by running back Lou Stevens ’17 in the second quarter. Fuchs’ other three-pointer came from 31 yards, 35 yards, 23 yards and 25 yards. He entered the game 3-for-6 on field goals but had made his last two before the Williams game. As a result, Fuchs established a pair of school records as he broke the mark for field goals in a game, set by Greg Zlotnick ’86 when he booted four field goals against Coast Guard in 1983. Fuchs has now made seven straight field goals, breaking Zlotnick’s season record of six in a row, also set in 1983.

Men’s Soccer Victory Highlight of Wesleyan Homecoming Sporting Events

Wesleyan cheerleaders root on the Cardinals during the annual Homecoming football game against Amherst College, Oct. 18. The team fell to its rivals in overtime, 33-30, the team's first loss of the year.

Wesleyan cheerleaders root on the Cardinals during the annual Homecoming football game against Amherst College, Oct. 18. The team fell to its rivals in overtime, 33-30. This was the Cardinals’ first loss of the year. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Scoring the “golden goal” in the 95th minute during Wesleyan's Homecoming game Oct. 18, Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 netted his fourth goal of the year and second game-winner in propelling men’s soccer past Amherst 2-1.

Scoring the “golden goal” in the 95th minute during Wesleyan’s Homecoming game Oct. 18, Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 netted his fourth goal of the year and second game-winner in propelling men’s soccer past Amherst 2-1. (Photo by Peter Stein ’84)

During Homecoming, men’s soccer highlighted the day with a 2-1 overtime win against Amherst College to gain a share of the Little Three title. Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 delivered the golden goal as Wesleyan handed Amherst, ranked 10th nationally, its first loss against a NESCAC rival in three years, spanning 37 games.

Also scoring his third goal of the year in the game was Matt Lynch ’15, as he spotted the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second half. Goalie Emmett McConnell ’15 posted seven saves, five in the second half, in holding Amherst to a lone goal. Watch a video of the men’s winning soccer goal here.

Football led a good portion of its homecoming game against Amherst before falling in overtime, 33-30, the team’s first loss of the year. Quarterback Jesse Warren ’15

Wesleyan Battles for Homecoming Victory Against Amherst Oct. 18

Wesleyan student-athlete Jesse Warren '15 will start as quarterback in the Homecoming Day game, Oct. 18 against Amherst College. Warren leads the conference in passing efficiency (154.9) and has a league-best seven touch down tosses while throwing no interceptions. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Wesleyan student-athlete Jesse Warren ’15 will start as quarterback in the Homecoming Day game, Oct. 18 against Amherst College. Warren leads the conference in passing efficiency (154.9) and has a league-best seven touch down tosses while throwing no interceptions. (Photo by Brian Katten)

It’s a long rivalry. Wesleyan and Amherst have played nearly every year since 1913, missing just three seasons during World War II. They first met on the gridiron in 1882,  with Wesleyan prevailing.  The teams will battle for the 120th time during Wesleyan’s Homecoming, Oct. 18.

A webcast of the game is available here.

One aspect of the game is unmistaken. It represents the second straight year both teams bring identical 4-0 records into the encounter.

A Wesleyan triumph would add significant historical perspective to the proceedings. Having ended an 10-year skid versus Amherst last season with a 20-14 road victory, Wesleyan can put back-to-back wins against the Jeffs into the books for the first time since 1992-93. Even more significant, with a 19-17 homecoming win vs. Williams in 2013,