The fall crew season focuses on head races, where boats must find the quickest way down a five-kilometer winding river in a time trial (each boat starts at different time increments). Women’s crew had a relatively successful fall season, with the top boat finishing in first place at the Head of the Riverfront Regatta in Hartford, Conn., second at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Mass. against top NCAA DI schools, and first at the Head of the Fish in Saratoga, N.Y. The second varsity eight boat also rowed to first place at the Head of the Fish.
The top boat of the men’s team managed a second place at the Textile River Regatta in Lowell, Mass., but couldn’t quite compete at the same level at the tough Head of the Charles, where they ultimately placed 17th. Fortunately, they picked up the pace at the Head of the Fish, taking sixth place.
Since the beginning of November, both Red and Black rowing teams have been hard at work in the gym for the spring season, which will consist of two-kilometer sprint races. As of today, the spring schedule for the rowing teams has not been released.
The football team had, by most accounts, a successful season. Finishing fourth in the NESCAC with a 6-3 record, the Cardinals also tied for a share of the Little Three Title with Williams and Amherst. Led by senior wide receiver Mike Breuler, the Dirty Birds had one of the conference’s most prolific passing attacks. The future appears bright for the Cards as the squad returns quarterback Mark Piccirillo ’19 and leading tackler, Brandon Morris ’19, for what looks to be a promising 2018 season.
Despite low placings in the Little Three Championship and the NESCAC Championship, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams finished strong this past Saturday, Nov. 11, at the NCAA New England Regional Championship. Conner Sexton ’20 led the men’s team, placing 53rd out of 370 runners in the eight-kilometer course. Fellow sophomore Kevin McMorrow, who finished first for the Cardinals just two weeks before, finished second for the Red and Black and 65th overall. Senior standout Tate Knight finished close behind McMorrow in 67th, rounding out Wesleyan’s top three. Overall, the men’s team took a solid 11th place of 55 teams.
The women’s team has had slightly more success this season, with an early 1st place out of 32 teams in the Paul Short Run back in September. Despite falling third in the Little Three and seventh in the NESCAC Championship, the small but mighty team came back to claim 9th out of 56 teams on Saturday. First-year Becky Lopez-Anido placed 37th of 393 runners and first for the Cards, the fourth consecutive time she’s led the Wesleyan team in her rookie season. Julia Mitchell ’19 and Sara Pinsonault ’20 followed, respectively placing 40th and 51st overall. Mitchell and Pinsonault have consistently been a part of the Cardinals’ top three finishers this season.
Despite the teams’ final successes, much of their hard work is not over. Many of the teams’ runners are looking forward to two more seasons this school year as indoor and spring track & field loom closer.
Sporting a rough 4-11 overall record and 1-9 conference record, field hockey’s season was filled with team upsets and personal successes. Despite their losing records, they built upon downfalls from the 2016 season, which ended in a last-place finish in the NESCAC and 2-13 overall record. This year’s improvement allowed for twice as many wins and a move up to the 10th slot in the ’CAC standings.
Individually, senior Cici Frattasio was stronger than ever on offense, taking 13th in the league for most goals with nine, in addition to three assists. Defensively, sophomore goalie Delaney Wood placed first in the league for most saves with 139 overall. She also finished fifth for her impressive .751 save percentage.
Golf had some mis-hits in a short season with four main matchups: the Bill Derick Invitational, placing 11th out of 11; the Duke Nelson Invitational, managing 21st out of 22; the Williams Fall Invitational, climbing to 18th out of 19; and the NESCAC Championship Qualifier, placing 10th out of ten. Minor successes came with individual team members, especially captain Zach Lambros B.A. ’17 M.A. ’18. Lambros consistently finished at the top of the Wesleyan team, hitting as low as a 77 during the NESCAC Championship Qualifier. As the Dirty Birdies return to the green in the spring, they’ll be swinging their last strokes with the team’s five seniors: Emmet Daly, Brian Gerner, Andrew Rachlin, and Theo Tydingco, in addition to Lambros.
After last year’s spectacular NCAA tournament runs, the Cards’ women’s and men’s tennis teams have maintained their high level of play this fall season. The women were championed by doubles pairing Eudice Chong ’18 and Victoria Yu ’19, who together won the MIT Invitational, the ITA New England Regional Championships, and the ITA Oracle Berry Cup, before ultimately finding worthy opponents at the ITA Fall National Championships. In her own singles campaign, Chong captured the ITA New England Regional Championships and the ITA Oracle Berry Cup, before falling at the ITA Fall National Championships.
The men’s team didn’t accumulate quite the same number of championships but still had a couple of individual triumphs. At the Quinnipiac Invitational, the Cards’ top player last year Steven Chen ’18 won the flight ‘A’ singles title. But perhaps a more notable victory than Chen’s title win was top freshman recruit Andrew Finkelman’s defeat of Middlebury’s Lubomir Cuba, NCAA DIII Singles Champion from last year, at the ITA New England Regional Championships.
The success this fall tennis season has brought for the Cards suggests an auspicious spring season is in the works. The Red Birds will start up again on March 12, when they will head to southern California to compete in dual matches against some of the best teams in the nation.
Despite some close games and strong efforts, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams failed to qualify for the NESCAC Tournament. The men finished their 2017 campaign with a 7-6-2 record while the women concluded their season with a record of 6-8-1. There were also some bright spots on the pitch for the Red and Black. On the men’s team, junior midfielder Komar Martinez-Paiz was named Second Team All-NESCAC as a result of his aggressive play around the oppositions’ nets all season. Lauren Goetzman ’19 and Kinsey Yost ’19 on the women’s team were both named Second Team All-NESCAC. Goetzman netted four goals in the season while Yost played stellar defense for the Dirty Birds. With juniors obtaining these types of accolades after this season, there’s no telling what they may do in their final fall at Wes.
This was, by far, the best season in the history of Wesleyan’s volleyball program. The Cardinals went 22-6 en route to the NESCAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, they defeated Wellesley College before ultimately falling to Johnson & Wales University. It might be hard to believe, but two seasons ago the Cardinals finished 5-15 and found themselves in the basement of the NESCAC Standings. The transformation that this program has made under the tutelage of head coach Ben Somera has been frankly incredible. Along with team success, this season came with a series of personal achievements. Sophomore Nicole Hilton was crowned the NESCAC Player of the Year, becoming the third Cardinal volleyball player to ever claim the prestigious honor. Hilton, along with Stasie Litinsky ’20, was named First Team All-NESCAC, while Phia Bellizzi ’21 was named to the Second Team All-NESCAC.
Cormac Chester can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Kelly Hogan can be reached at email@example.com, and Zoë Kaplan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.