- August 18, 2015
Field Hockey - Return of Nine Starters, Influx of Eight Newcomers to Power Field Hockey in 2015
Wesleyan field hockey returns eight starting field players as well as both top goalies in hopes of gelling back into a NESCAC playoff squad in 2015. The NESCAC is the most competitive field hockey conference in Division III with five of its members ranked among the top 12 squads in the 2014 final national poll. Wesleyan has qualified for 13 of the 15 post-season conference tournaments, but just missed out in 2014 when Hamilton, a team the Cardinals defeated 3-1, got the eighth and final spot via a three-team random tie-breaker.
The Cardinals will rely on the talent of returning team tri-captain and second-team NFHCA all-New England West selectee Hannah Plappert '16 (#9, main photo) to carry the attack. She led the Cardinals in scoring with eight goals and one assist, giving her 15 goals and four assists for 34 career points. Lauren Yue '16 ranked third in scoring a year ago with a goal and six assists as the squad's inserter on penalty corners. Tri-Captain Caitlin Majewski '15 (#11, photo upper right) will be one of the stalwarts in the midfield as the third returnee to start all 15 games a year ago.
- August 14, 2015
Volleyball - Cardinals Relying on Mix of Veterans and Newcomers to Keep the Team a Winner in 2015
Returning the bulk of its kills from a 13-10 campaign in 2014, Wesleyan volleyball is in good shape in the attack area with five strong veteran hitters, but the Cardinals must find a replacement for four-year starting setter Claire Larson '15 to set up the attack. Wesleyan also returns two-year starting libero Rachel Savage '17 (#11, bottom photo), who led the squad in digs with 4.3 per set a year ago, as well as top blocked Naja Lewis '17 (#14, middle top photo), who averaged nearly a block a set in 2014. Wesleyan will be under new leadership in 2015 as Ben Somera, who posted a 75-21 record in three seasons at New England Division III powerhouse Roger Williams from 2012-14, takes over control of the team after the retirement of 30-year head coach Gale Lackey.
- August 14, 2015
Womens Tennis - Returning National Division III Champion Eudice Chong '18 to Headline Veteran Women's Tennis in 2015-16
Coming off a 2014-15 season that left the Cardinals one point shy of an NCAA tournament bid, 2015-16 Wesleyan women's tennis is setting its sights on a team appearance in the NCAAs for the second time in program history.
Boasting a roster chock full of newcomers a year ago, the Cardinals were led by undefeated NCAA Division III singles champion Eudice Chong '18 (photo), who dropped just two sets over 22 singles matches (22-0) a year ago, both to Bowdoin's Joulia Likhanskaia, whom she defeated for the NCAA crown last May. Chong also qualified for Nationals in doubles with partner Helen Klass-Warch '18, who held the number-two singles spot throughout the year. Both return as All-Americans and all-NESCAC selections. Also back as starters are #3 Aashli Budhiraja '18, #4 Nicole McCann '18 and #5 Dasha Dubinsky '18 from the team that went 11-4 overall, 6-3 in the NESCAC.
- August 14, 2015
Mens Tennis - All-Americans Michael Liu '17 and Steven Chen '18 to Lead the Way for Talented Men's Tennis in 2015-16
Behind All-Americans Michael Liu '17 (main photo) and Steven Chen '18 (photo insert, lower left), Wesleyan men's tennis will look to make a strong run at a NESCAC tournament spot, and NCAA tournament qualification in 2015-16. Last year, the Cardinals finished the year ranked 23rd nationally by the ITA.
Liu, who posted an 8-6 record, 7-5 at #1, during the dual-match season, was selected to complete in the NCAA Division III individual championships. He went 1-1 there, gaining All-American status as a result. During the fall of 2014, Chen made the finals of the ITA regional tournament and went on to represent New England at the ITA Championships, going 1-1 for All-America laurels. He posted a 10-4 singles record in 2014-15, including 6-3 at #2.
- August 05, 2015
Mens Soccer - Veteran Corps of 13 Lettermen with Eight Starters to Lead the Way for Talented Men's Soccer in 2015
Returning 13 lettermen, including eight seasoned starters, Wesleyan men's soccer is poised to continue its winning ways into the 2015 campaign. The Cardinals have been a top-tier squad in the NESCAC over the last 10 years with eight winning years, posting a collective 93-50-24 overall record (.629) and a comparable 53-28-14 NESCAC mark (.632). During the last four seasons, Wesleyan has been even more impressive with a 37-18-11 overall record (.644) and a stellar 26-10-4 NESCAC result (.700). Wesleyan has five trips to the NCAAs under its belt since 2005.
Team tri-captains Hans Erickson '16 (#15, left side photo), Max Jones '16 (#11, photo top right) and Ben Toulotte '16 (#12, photo bottom right) will provide the leadership as half the varsity seniors. Jones played in 13 contests a year ago while Erickson and Toulotte are among the eight returning starters, joined by Adam Cowie-Haskell '18, the reigning NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Brandon Sousa '16, Chris Kafina '16, Charlie Gruner '17, Danny Rubenstein '17 and Nick Jackson '18. Gruner is a two-time first-team all-NESCAC player with two goals and four assists to his credit.
- August 04, 2015
Womens Cross Country - Cardinals Back Nearly Intact from Previous Season in Search of Improved Regional Finishes
The 2015 Wesleyan women’s crouss country team is a very young group of runners and only graduated Rachel Unger '15 from the 2014 squad. The 2015 team features a group without any seniors and will be led by Caroline Elmendorf ’17 (left side photo) and Molly Schassberger ’17 (right side photo). Elmendorf had a strong year of racing, completing the season with a 17:58.74 in the 5000m at the NESCAC Outdoor Track Championships. She was 46th of 387 runners during the 2014 New England Division III XC Meet, leading Wesleyan to 16th place among 57 teams. Schassberger looks to be extremely competitive in the 2015 season as well, following a 17:48.68 in the 5K during the indoor track season and a 36:56.68 in the 10K during the outdoor track season. Missing a good portion of the 2014 XC season, she returned in time to take 86th at New Englands, placing her in the top 25 percent of the field.
- August 04, 2015
Mens Cross Country - Returning Talent Should Keep Men's XC in the Running for a Top-10 New England Finish in 2015
The Wesleyan men’s cross country team graduated its top runner from the 2014 season and will certainly miss Evan Bieder '15, who was an NCAA Division III outdoor track qualifier in the 5k. But the Cardinals return the remainder of the team for the 2015 season. Last year's squad had a solid season, placing 14th of 40 teams in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh, eighth of 11 in the ultra-competitive NESCAC and 10th of 54 in the New England Division III Meet. Eight of the top 10 teams in the region were NESCAC squads including team champion Colby and runner-up Amherst.
Taylor Titcomb ’16 (middle photo) should lead the Cardinals as the top runner in 2015. Titcomb paced the Cardinals at New Englands last season, placing 35th of 373 runners to secure all-New England Division III status. He also had a strong outdoor track season, posting a PR in the 5000m of 14:56.64. Keith Conway ’16 (left side photo) is another strong leader for the upcoming season, having consistently shown improvement over the past few years and running a PR of 15:06.31 in the 5000m during the outdoor track season. He took 50th at the 2014 New England XC Meet.
- August 04, 2015
Womens Soccer - Cardinal Women's Soccer In Search of Consistent Scoring, Return to NESCAC Post-Season Play in 2015
The Cardinals will be relying on 14 veteran players and the influx of nine newcomers to put the squad back into the thick of the NESCAC post-season chase in 2015. From 2008-12, Wesleyan generated an overall winning record (36-31-8) and was very competitive in the ultra-challenging NESCAC with an 18-24-5 mark and appearances in the league playoffs each time out. The last two seasons, which included a NESCAC tournament bid in 2013, the Cardinals have slipped in the results area, due mainly to a lack of scoring, and are hoping to turn things around in 2015.
A year ago, Wesleyan tended to falter in the second half after holding all its rivals to just five collective goals over 775 minutes, comprising the first half of all 15 contests. But rivals found the net 20 times in the second half and twice in overtime to leave Wesleyan on the short end of the final score by just a lone goal in more than half the outings. Wesleyan scored four times in the first half and six times in the second half.
- July 30, 2015
Baseball - Gavin Pittore ‘16, Nick Cooney ‘15 and Donnie Cimino ‘15 All Sign Professional Baseball Contracts, Capping Off Outstanding Careers
Three key players in Wesleyan baseball’s fantastic run over the last three years have signed professional baseball contracts this summer. Gavin Pittore ’16 signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nick Cooney ’15 signed a contract with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the independent American Association, and Donnie Cimino ’15 was drafted in the 37th round by the Chicago Cubs.
“This is a thrilling achievement for Wesleyan baseball,” says head coach Mark Woodworth. “For three great young men to achieve at an elite level academically, while simultaneously becoming world-class athletes is so special and unique. We are so proud of all three of them, and thank them for the leadership and commitment to Wesleyan and the baseball team.”
All three players were instrumental in helping the Cardinals win the NESCAC championship in both 2014 and 2015, as well as three straight Little Three titles.
- July 30, 2015
Football - 2015 Cardinal Football Looks to Keep Riding High in the NESCAC After Back-to-Back 7-1 Seasons
First-year head coach Dan DiCenzo will welcome back 32 letterwinners from the 7-1 Cardinals of 2014, Wesleyan's second straight 7-1 campaign. But he will be without a group of 27 seniors, 18 of them seasoned starters, who donned cap and gown this past May. While Coach DiCenzo acknowledges it was this fabulous group of seniors that helped carry the Cardinals to 14 victories over the last two years, he states with equal conviction, "I'm very excited about this season. I'm looking forward to seeing this squad reload and compete with the same intensity in 2015."