Athletics

Wesleyan Introduces New Cardinal

On Aug. 15, Wesleyan unveiled a new Cardinal—a modern and bold bird that looks to our future while paying tribute to our past.

The new Cardinal is being introduced in connection with the University’s core messaging project, which has been rolled out over the past year. It is part of an overall updated look and feel for Wesleyan Athletics, which captures the recent historic success of the program, and for the university as a whole. University Communications worked in close partnership with the coaching staff in designing the new Cardinal, and took input from faculty, staff, alumni, and students throughout the project.

“The previous Cardinal was developed in the early 2000s, long before digital and social media became dominant forms of communication. That mark was challenging to use in the digital realm, where vibrant and flexible graphics thrive,” explained Marketing Director Deb Katz.

Wesleyan Celebrates Historic 2018-19 Athletic Season

Women's tennis celebrating the 2019 National Championship (photo by Jamie Schwaberow).

Women’s tennis celebrating the 2019 National Championship (photo by Jamie Schwaberow).

After a historic 2017-18 campaign that featured the University’s first national team championship (men’s lacrosse) and a record-setting five-time individual champion in tennis (Eudice Chong ’18), the Cardinals raised the bar once again this past year with arguably the greatest all-around season in Wesleyan Athletics history.

The 2018-19 campaign was highlighted by the women’s tennis team winning the National Championship–becoming the first women’s team ever at Wesleyan to claim a national title–while Ivie Uzamere ’21 of the women’s track and field team won the National Championship in the weight throw at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Wesleyan’s women’s teams led the way this past year with historic performances across the board. The women’s tennis team won its first-ever Little Three Championship and first-ever NESCAC title before reaching the NCAA Tournament and hosting the first, second, and third rounds for the first time in program history. After cruising through the regional rounds and the quarterfinals, the Cardinals upset the top-ranked team in the country, Emory, 5-4 to advance to the championship match. In the Finals, Wesleyan earned another thrilling upset when sophomore Polina Kiseleva prevailed in the final match as the Cardinals defeated the defending national champions and No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-4.

Cardinal Community Classic Raises Almost $5K to Help Local Women with Breast Cancer

Jordan Sears, myself, JR Bascom

Jordan Sears ’18, Jordan Bonner ’19, and JR Bascom ’18 spearheaded the Cardinal Community Classic on April 28. All three are affiliated with the Wesleyan men’s basketball team.

On April 28, Wesleyan hosted the second annual Cardinal Community Classic at the Freeman Athletic Center. Thirty-two teams from Wesleyan and the local community participated in the event, which raised more than $4,637 for Middlesex Health Comprehensive Breast Center in Middletown.

Shack Dezonie ’22, Gabe Ravetz ’22, and Jordan James ’21 were named the Cardinal Community Classic champions.

“Our goal is to support individuals affected by breast cancer in our local community, but in the process, we also provide an exciting space where Middletown residents and Wesleyan students can come together and have a great time,” said event organizer and men’s basketball team member Jordan Bonner ’19. “We wanted more community engagement from last year so it was great to see so many people from Middletown competing and showing up to the day’s events.”

In addition to a 3-on-3 tournament, games included a 3-point contest, dunk contest, hot spot shooting, and half-court shot. Multiple Middletown-based businesses provided raffle prizes and Usdan University Center provided free food and refreshments.

Shack Dezonie ’22, Gabe Ravetz ’22, and Jordan James ’21 were named the Cardinal Community Classic champions.

Sarah Moore from the Middlesex Health Cancer Center spoke about the impact that breast cancer has had on the local community and how the funds raised by the Community Classic will be used to benefit patients who face financial hardship.

In 2018, the Community Classic raised more than $3,000 for Middlesex Health.

Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Lianne Yun ’18)

Women’s Lacrosse Team Wins Little 3 Title

Wesleyan's women's lacrosse team won Little 3 victories in 2017 and 2019.

Wesleyan’s women’s lacrosse team won Little Three victories in 2017 and 2019. (Photo by David Andonian)

On April 3, the women’s lacrosse team defeated Amherst College, clinching a Little Three Championship outright with a thrilling 11-10 win.

Little Three Championships are declared when a varsity team from Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst defeats the other two rivals. The fierce competition among the schools dates back to at least 1910.

Sydney Prokupek ’21 scored the game-winning goal just seconds into overtime. In addition to the Little Three title, junior Abby Manning ’20 also reached another milestone as she became the fourth player in program history to score 100 career goals.

Wesleyan has now won two Little Three titles outright in the past three seasons.

For complete game details, visit this Wesleyan Athletics press release.

73 Student-Athletes Receive NESCAC All-Academic Honors

Sophia Antonio ’19 (women’s swimming & diving) was named to the All-Academic Team for the third time and was also on the All-NESCAC squad. (Photo by Ron Wimer)

The Wesleyan University winter athletic teams put a total of 73 student-athletes on the 2019 NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team, while eight Cardinals earned All-Sportsmanship honors as announced by the conference.

In order to earn a spot on the All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must have reached sophomore academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a minimum GPA of 3.50 or equivalent on a 4.0 scale. Transfer students are eligible as long as they have completed at least one year of coursework at the institution.

Coaches, Student Athletes Teach Local Girls about Sports

Wesleyan’s Athletic Department hosted its fourth annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day celebration on Jan. 26 at the Freeman Athletic Center.

Wesleyan coaches and student-athletes taught local girls in kindergarten through sixth grade about various sports, including track, soccer, softball, field hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, and more.

In addition to the lessons, participants had the opportunity to watch a women’s basketball game and a women’s ice hockey game. The women’s ice hockey team also hosted a “Skate with the Cardinals” where players welcomed fans and the girls to join them on the ice. Pizza was provided to all participants.

(Photos by Yizhuang Lin ’22 and Mingxuan Zhang ’22)

Coach Raba Inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame

John Raba

Wesleyan men’s lacrosse head coach John Raba was inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame Jan. 24 at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell. Raba is one of 11 individuals and four teams inducted into the 26th class.

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame,” Raba said. “I feel blessed to be recognized with some of Middletown’s finest. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with so many great administrators, coaches, and players throughout the years. Without their support and effort, this honor would not be attainable!”

Raba has been at the helm of the Wesleyan men’s lacrosse program for 22 seasons; in 2018 he led the Cardinals to the University’s first-ever national team championship. Wesleyan had the toughest road to the finals as it defeated No. 8 Cabrini (12-7), No. 2 Tufts (12-11), and No. 1 RIT (19-18) before earning an 8-6 win over perennial powerhouse, No. 3 Salisbury.

In his 22 years, Raba has amassed an incredible 265-113 (.701) record with 19 winning seasons, while competing in arguably the most competitive conference in the country. The three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year became the winningest coach in league history this past season. He was also named the 2017 USILA Division III Coach of the Year and is a six-time New England Coach of the Year.

Raba has coached three national position players of the year and 43 All-Americans during his tenure. His teams have qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament on six occasions and are 14-5 all-time with four semifinal appearances. Additionally, Wesleyan has won two NESCAC Championships and its 23 conference postseason wins are third all-time behind only Tufts (31) and Middlebury (26).

56 Student-Athletes Named to NESCAC’s Fall All-Academic Team; 8 Earn All-Sportsmanship Honors

Men’s cross country team member Kevin McMorrow ’20 is one of eight student-athletes from Wesleyan to receive All-Sportsmanship Team honors this fall. (Photo by Geoff Bolte)

The Wesleyan fall athletic teams put a total of 56 student-athletes on the 2018 NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team, while 8 Cardinals earned All-Sportsmanship honors.

In order to earn a spot on the All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must have reached sophomore academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a minimum GPA of 3.50 or equivalent on a 4.0 scale. Transfer students are eligible as long as they have completed at least one year of coursework at the institution.

Lauren Goetzman '19 (women's soccer) was named to the All-Academic team for the third-straight year and was also on the All-NESCAC squad.

Women’s soccer player Lauren Goetzman ’19 was named to the All-Academic team. (Photo by Steve McLaughlin)

The women’s soccer team led the charge for the Cardinals, with 18 honorees, while the football program saw 11 players earn the achievement. The field hockey team placed 8 athletes on the All-Academic unit, while women’s cross country (7), volleyball (5), men’s soccer (4), men’s cross country (2), and women’s golf (1) were all represented.

Lauren Goetzman ’19 (women’s soccer) was named to the All-Academic Team for the third-straight year and was also on the All-NESCAC squad. Additionally, there were 14 other individuals making their third appearance on the Fall All-Academic Team: Rhoen Fiutak ’19 (women’s cross country), Zach Foster ’19 (football), Nicole Galli ’19 (women’s soccer), Olivia Gorman ’19 (women’s soccer), Meg Harrop ’19 (women’s soccer), Evan Hull ’19 (football), Meghan Jain ’19 (field hockey), Sophia Linguiti ’19 (women’s soccer), Madeleine Lundberg ’19 (volleyball), Bobby Nevin ’19 (football), Ella Sinfield ’19 (women’s soccer), Joe Wilson ’19 (football), Kinsey Yost ’19 (women’s soccer), and Liz Young ’19 (women’s soccer).

The NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team recognizes student-athletes from each varsity sport who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to sportsmanship. These student-athletes exhibit respect for themselves, teammates, coaches, opponents, and spectators.

Women’s Golf Joins Wesleyan Varsity Sports

The three individuals that competed in fall competition this season were juniors Saadia Naeem and Emma Mehta, and first-year Meg Wiley. Naeem is the most experienced of the trio, having been a member of the Wesleyan golf team since 2016–17. She will serve as the team's captain in its inaugural 2019–20 season.

Saadia Naeem ’20 has been a member of the Wesleyan golf team since 2016–17. She will serve as the new women’s golf team’s captain in its inaugural 2019–20 season. (Photos by Steve McLaughlin)

Wesleyan University has announced the addition of women’s golf to its list of varsity sports beginning in the fall of 2019. Women’s golf will become the 30th varsity sport and the 15th for women at Wesleyan, which will become the eighth school in the NESCAC to sponsor the sport. Jon Wilson, a PGA professional at Lyman Orchards, has been named the head coach of the program.

“There have been ongoing discussions for several years about adding women’s golf,” said Director of Athletics Mike Whalen ’83. “We feel now that we have enough interest on the part of our student-athletes that we are confident we can provide a positive experience.”

6 Alumni Inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame

Six Wesleyan alumni were inducted into the 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame class on Oct. 19 during Homecoming festivities. The ninth class features James Carrier ’42, Philip Rockwell ’65, Allison Palmer ’95, Jed Hoyer ’96, Flo Stueck ’96, and Herb Kenny.

Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame (HOF), both online and on campus, is filled with entertaining and enlightening accounts of Cardinals past. It features exciting stories of accomplishment, character, perseverance, courage, loyalty, teamwork, and generosity. The HOF was founded in 2006 through the collaborative work of the Athletics Advisory Council, the Athletic Department, and the Office of University Relations and is on display in the Warren Street lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center.

Photos of the recipients are below. View the entire AHOF photo gallery online here. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)

Alumni Gatherings, Athletic Contests Highlights of 2018 Homecoming

Alumni joined students, faculty, staff, and friends for Wesleyan’s Homecoming celebration Oct. 19–20. This year, Wesleyan athletics took on Little Three rival Amherst College. Football lost 33–3; women’s soccer won 3–2; men’s soccer lost 3–0; and women’s field hockey lost 3–0. In addition, women’s crew Varsity 8 placed 6th of 28 boats at Head of the Charles and men’s crew Varsity 8 placed 12th of 36 and bested all NESCAC boats at Head of the Charles.

Other Homecoming highlights included an Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner, an alumni volunteer leaders meeting, team tailgates, a reception honoring leadership donors and volunteers, campus tours, a guided gallery tour of the Center for the Arts Kahlil Robert Irving exhibition, and more.

Photos of 2018 Homecoming events are below and on this Wesleyan Flickr Album.

Volleyball Wins 2nd Consecutive Little 3 Title

The Cardinals claimed the Little Three title for the second year in a row and third all-time. (Photo by Jonas Powell ’18)

Wesleyan’s volleyball team won its second consecutive Little Three Championship Sept. 30 following a 3-0 sweep over archrival Amherst College on the road. The Cardinals (10-2) remain perfect in NESCAC play with a 5-0 mark. Shortly after, they saw their 10-match win streak come to an end as they fell to non-conference foe Endicott College, 3-1.

With Wesleyan’s win over Williams earlier this year, 3-1, the Cardinals claim the Little Three title for the second year in a row and third all-time.