Brian Katten

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

Neville ’10 Named Track and Field All-America

Ravenna Neville '10. (photo by Michael Donnella '76)

One of 19 participants in the 5k race during the 2010 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College May 27-29, Ravenna Neville ’10 placed eighth to earn All-America laurels in her first trip to track Nationals.

Her time was 17:18.59, exactly five seconds over her qualifying time, and :24.54 out of first place. During the fall, Neville placed 22nd in the NCAA Division III Cross-Country Championship for her first All-America accolade.

Neville qualified for the NCAAs with her effort in the New England Open Championships at Northeastern May 6-8. While Wesleyan finished in a tie for 33rd of 39 scoring teams, Neville was the top Division III runner in the 5k race and fifth overall among 28 entrants. Her time of 17:13.59 was her fastest of the season and improved her position dramatically on the provisional qualifying list for

Softball Gives Wesleyan its Third-Ever NESCAC Tourney Title

Wesleyan softball joins the 2005 men's soccer team and 2009 men's lacrosse team as NESCAC titlists. The Cardinals take on Kean University in the NCAA first-round game May 14. (Photo by Brian Katten)

The softball team claimed a NESCAC tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA championship May 14. Recovering from a disappointing 5-2 loss to Bowdoin in a potential title game, the Cardinals came back to trounce Bowdoin 10-1.

Wesleyan softball, coached by Jen Lane, adjunct associate professor of physical education, joins the 2005 men’s soccer team and 2009 men’s lacrosse team as NESCAC titlists. The Cardinals will play Kean University of New Jersey in the NCAA first-round game May 14 at Rhode Island College (R.I.C.).

Student-Athletes Honored at All-Sports Banquet

Dan Bloom '10 received the Ahrens Memorial Award, which is presented to the male athlete who has best combined the qualities of Carl R. Ahrens '60.

Wesleyan held its annual all-sports banquet for seniors, captains and award winners May 5 in Beckham Hall. During the festivities, teams which had concluded their seasons announced their award winners. In addition, the recipients of major departmental awards were honored.

Announced for the first time were the winners of the 2009-10 Suki Hoagland Award for outstanding contributions to women’s athletics and the Carl Aherns Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to men’s athletics.

Student Athletes Receive Wesleyan’s Scholar-Athlete Award

From left, Keisuke Yamashita '10, Jory Kahan '10, Clare Smith '10 and Beth Kenworthy '10 were honored during a luncheon April 9 as being recipients of 2009-10 Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard '37 Memorial Award.

Keisuke Yamashita ’10 of Yokahama, Japan; Jory Kahan ’10 of Norwich Vt.; Clare Smith ’10 of Lexington, Mass.; and Beth Kenworthy ’10 from New York, N.Y., were named the recipients of Wesleyan University’s Roger Maynard ’37 Memorial Award for the 2009-10 academic year.

The award is presented annually to the outstanding male and female scholar-athletes in their last year of eligibility. Yamashita, Kahan, Smith and Kenworthy represent the finest combination of athletic accomplishment and academic achievement at Wesleyan.

Kahan and Yamashita were starters on the 2009 men’s soccer team that posted the first undefeated regular-season since 1940 and set a school record for longest unbeaten streak (15 games), going 11-0-4 before dropping its NESCAC semi-final game to Middlebury. Receiving an at-large bid to NCAA Division III tournament, the team’s third

Cohen ’10 Honored for Sports Information Efforts

Ben Cohen '10

Ben Cohen ’10 was chosen to receive the 2010 Bill Esposito Memorial Award by the Eastern College Athletic Conference – Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA).

Named for long-time sports information director Bill Esposito, who served in the profession at St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y. for 25 years, the award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a senior student among the ECAC membership (more than 300 East Coast Colleges from all NCAA Divisions) who plans to pursue a career in sports information.

Cohen has been a stalwart of Wesleyan’s sports information student staff for three years. A staff sportswriter for the student newspaper in the fall of 2007, Cohen asked for feedback from Wesleyan sports information director Brian Katten on a volleyball article, establishing the connection. He has since gone on to serve as sports editor of the paper for two years and become the primary in-office, game-day stats, post-game release and website student worker for sports information. His self-directed contributions to the office are immeasurable and recently rewarded as he has been chosen the student supervisor for Wesleyan’s smooth transition to a new athletic web site content manager this summer.

With a 3.60 GPA as an economics major,

Crazy Eights: 3 Wesleyan Spring Sport Teams get off to 8-0 Starts

Casey Simchik '10. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Casey Simchik '10. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Wesleyan women’s tennis posted a 4-0 mark during its fall dual-match schedule, then added four victories in Orlando, Fla. during its spring training trip in March to head into the meat of its schedule with an 8-0 record. The rest of the season features matches against nine consecutive NESCAC rivals. The outcomes of this part of the schedule will dictate qualification for the NESCAC tournament.

Women’s tennis is one of three Cardinal squads to inaugurate the season with an 8-0 start. Both the baseball and softball teams also have started 8-0.

The 8-0 record is the best ever season opening records for both softball and tennis. Each, however, is shy of the all-time program record for consecutive victories: women’s tennis won nine matches in a row during a 15-4 season in 2000-01; softball won 12 straight during its 21-15 season just three years ago in 2007. Baseball, which extended its streak to 10 games this year before dropping a game in California, began the 1988 season 13-0 and had a string of 15 consecutive victories in 1983.

Genevieve Aniello ’13

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.

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.

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.