ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SCSU wins Game 2; Stays alive

Here's what our reporter down south had to offer on Southern's NCAA win today:

CARY, N.C. — Nearly a week after arriving in North Carolina for the Division II College World Series, Southern Connecticut State’s bats finally showed up, too.
The Owls rebounded from a lopsided shutout loss in their opener to pound out 14 hits in an 8-6 win over Grand Valley State in an elimination game Tuesday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
The victory extended SCSU’s season and sent the nation’s top-ranked team home after just two games in the double-elimination tournament.
The Owls will try to continue their run through the loser’s bracket against either West Florida or Sonoma State today at 7 p.m.
“Whether you get beat by 13 runs or you get beat by one, it’s still a loss. And three other teams had losses,” coach Tim Shea said of his team’s 13-0 drubbing at the hands of West Florida in its tournament opener Sunday. “It’s just a matter of going back out the next day, being confident and taking care of business, which is what we did
See SCSU, E2
Continued from C1
today. I’ve got to give credit to them. A lot of teams would have folded.”
SCSU (44-8-1) wasted little time showing that things would be different with three hits in the first two innings against previously unbeaten Grand Valley ace Kyle Schepel.
That was one fewer hit than the Owls mustered in the opener.
Even though they didn’t score in either inning and fell behind 3-0 in the bottom of the third, third baseman A.J. Rouleau was anything but discouraged about his team’s start.
“In the first game, we hit the ball well. We just hit it right at people,” Rouleau said. “I think we’re still getting used to the metal bats. We just felt like (the hits) would start falling for us.”
They finally did in the top of the fourth.
Ryan Geffert started the rally with a double into the gap in left center, followed by a walk to Rouleau and run-scoring singles by Bryan Dorsey and T.K. Kiernan. Leadoff man Kyle Cummings put the finishing touches on the four-run outburst with a two-run single — the first of his three hits and three RBIs.
“Whenever a team puts up runs, all year we’ve come right away and try to answer,” Cummings said. “It was big for us mentally and physically to get back into the game. We were good from there.”
The Owls’ confidence showed again after Grand Valley (53-5) tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth.
This time they took advantage of the Lakers’ inability to turn a potential inning-ending double play and scored three runs in a decisive sixth inning. Cummings was again the catalyst, starting things off with a single before Rosadino and Rouleau delivered the runs to give SCSU a 7-4 lead.
Grand Valley, which entered the tournament on a 32-game winning streak, tried to rally by scoring twice in the sixth, then putting two runners on with two out in the eighth. But closer Mike Johnston struck out Giancarlo Brugnoni looking to end the threat.
The Owls tacked on an insurance run to put the game away in their final at bat.
“That was two teams fighting to survive,” Shea said. “As I told our guys before the game, it’s going to come down to the team that wanted it the most. We were able to hang on with our pitching staff and we pieced it together against a good club.”

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Haven's Gagne wins 2 NCAA titles

It was an unbelievable night for University of New Haven senior Shannon Gagne.
Gagne captured the NCAA Division II title in the 200 and 400 meters in the outdoor track and field championships at Turlock, Calif. Saturday night.
Gagne, of Meriden, completed the 400 meters race in 53.62 seconds. Gagne later won the 200 meters in 23.43.
“I just did everything I was taught,” Gagne said. “I tried to stay focused and relaxed throughout the race and it worked. I feel very blessed and thankful. It’s very humbling.”
The meet was run in a steady rain which didn’t faze Gagne one bit.
“This is what we train in everyday in New Haven,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of meets in the rain so this was just another one.”
It was Gagne’s first two national titles in the outdoor season.
She won three NCAA indoor titles and earned National Athlete of the Year honors.
She is also competing in the long jump and then looking to move onto the open national championships later in the summer.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Gagne said. “After graduation I want to try to make it to the U.S. Championships.”

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Plenty of locals eyeing DIII title

Here is a story by the Register's Chip Malafronte on a bevy of area players playing for Western New England College which reached the DIII World Series.

When the season began in early March, the main goal of the Western New England baseball team was to win the NCAA Division III New England Regional.
Since that was accomplished last weekend, there’s a new objective — to win a national championship.
Western New England (42-9) will make its first appearance at the Division III Baseball Championships in Appleton, Wis., tonight at 8:45 p.m. against Keystone (Pa.) College.
Located a few miles from the Connecticut border in Springfield, Mass., Western New England is loaded with state talent. Twenty-one players on the roster are from Connecticut, 10 from Greater New Haven.
That includes Northford’s Mike Rubino, a Career product who leads the team with a .417 average, Guilford’s Matt Anthonis (.347, six triples, 44 RBIs), Branford’s Casey Dadio (.252), Brendan Nugent (2.08 ERA), a relief pitcher from Milford and Cheshire’s Kevin Jefferis (4-3. 5.15 ERA in 11 starts). All five are underclassmen.
“It was exciting coming here knowing I had played against seven or eight other guys on the team in high school,” said Rubino, a sophomore third baseman. “We all meshed well and it helped with the team chemistry.”
Historically, the New England Regional champion has enjoyed success in the D-III national tournament. Over the last nine years, Eastern Connecticut (2002) and Trinity (2008) have won titles while
See WNEC, C4
Wheaton (Mass.) (2006) and Eastern (2004) have finished as runner-up.
Western New England had reached the regional the previous five seasons but came up short. Following a 4-4 start, which included losing four of six games on a spring trip to Phoenix, the Golden Bears have won 38 of 43 games and nine straight entering tonight.
“Coming out of high school, my main goal was to win,” Anthonis said. “Here, we have a real chance to do that every season. That was one of the big selling points for me.”
Rubino has led a potent lineup that features eight regulars hitting over .300. A two-time all-Southern Connecticut Conference Oronoque Division pick at Career, Rubino batted .345 as a freshman. This spring, his 80 hits set a school single-season record.
Anthonis and Dadio, both sophomores, were part-time players last season before earning starting roles. Anthonis has excelled out of the leadoff spot and has played left and right field. Dadio, also an outfielder, has big-game experience having played for Branford in the American Legion World Series in Spokane, Wash., last summer.
Jefferis’ numbers have dropped off slightly after going 7-1 with a 2.93 ERA as a freshman last spring, but he came through in Western New England’s biggest game (before tonight) by pitching 7§ scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in a 9-0 win over Bridgewater State in the New England Regional final.
Nugent is a freshman who played at St. Joseph last season, and has been a solid contributor with 15 appearances out of the bullpen.
Other area players on the roster include Milford’s Tom Booth, a backup catcher, Seymour’s Taylor Searles, a utility player, and Matt Sieminski of Madison and Derby’s Ryan Skelly, both relief pitchers.
“It’s been an exciting ride,” Rubino said. “We came into the regionals confident; we knew we could win the whole thing because we felt we had the best team. We’re confident heading into this tournament. (Tonight’s) game is huge. It will only boost our confidence up that much more knowing we can play with and beat the teams here.”
Follow Chip on Twitter @ChipMalafronte. To receive breaking sports news first — simply text the word “nhsports” to 22700. Standard msg+data rates may apply.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SCSU ready to put away the lumber in the World Series

NEW HAVEN — Tim Shea cracked open several boxes containing new bats and one by one the members of the Southern Connecticut State baseball grabbed them like kids on Christmas morning. The bats brought smiles to the faces of power hitters like A.J. Rouleau and Ryan Geffert for a couple of minutes.
Then Shea, Southern’s veteran coach, ordered his team to begin stretching and it was back to business for the Owls (43-7-1) as they prepare to play in the NCAA Division II College World Series at Cary, N.C.
Southern, the winners of the East Regional, will meet the University of West Florida (48-9) in their first game on Sunday at 5 p.m. West Florida won the South Regional. Southern will play again on Tuesday against a team to be determined in the double-elimination tournament.
SCSU paid for the new bats the team first used in Tuesday’s practice. Geffert and Rouleau, two of the top hitters on the Owls, haven’t swung an aluminum bat in a few years. Southern plays in the Northeast-10 Conference which plays all its games with wood bats while most other conferences around the nation still use metal bats.
“I see myself as a completely different hitter now,” Rouleau said. “When I was with the aluminum I had a lot more power and I hit a lot of home runs. To tell you the truth I like wood better. It’s better for everybody, the pitchers, the infielders and it’s a truer game.”
This season the NCAA mandated a new type of aluminum bat designated which it feels more resembles wooden bats. Shea said the flight of the ball is a bit more restricted than it was last year and overall home runs are down on all the levels. Still, aluminum bats are a different animal.
“When we saw who we were playing we went to their team Web site and checked them out,” said Geffert, who is batting .311 with six homers and 49 RBIs. “We saw they’ve got inflated numbers. They’re hitting .350 as a team and we’re only hitting .275.
“But we feel that we have become good hitters with the wooden bats. When you switch to a metal bat there are certain pitches you can swing at that you wouldn’t swing at with a wooden bat.
“If you swing at an inside pitch with a wooden bat you’ll probably break it. If you hit it with a metal bat you could fist a single over the infield. It makes a difference.”
Rouleau isn’t worried about an adjustment period at the plate or in the field. Playing third base he doesn’t expect he’ll play deeper than he usually does. He only felt that outfielders will have to adjust because the sound off the bat is always the same with a metal bat and they won’t be able to use it to judge the distance of the hit.
“Coming into Southern I had never used wood so it was kind of a longer transition for me to get used to it,” Rouleau said. “Any part of the metal bat you could hit it and it still could go out. It’s a lot more forgiving than the wooden bat.
”I think it’s going to be a lot easier transition going back to the metal.”
Rouleau said the pitchers may not like it but it really won’t make a difference.
“We just have to play like we’ve been playing,” he said. “We have to get used to the surroundings, get used to the bats. We’ll get more power back but we still have to get the pitching that we’ve been getting this year and we’ll be OK.”
West Florida had 37 home runs during the season while SCSU hit 20.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

SCSU video highlights

Here are some video highlights from SCSU's East Regional title game of the NCAA Division II baseball tournament.

Here is the final out of the tournament:

Coach Shea:

The team jumps in Pearley Pond after the victory:

SCSU celebrates after the final out:

SCSU gets the championship plaque:

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

SCSU baseball pushed to brink

From staff reports
Adelphi topped Southern Connecticut State 7-1 to advance to the championship round of the NCAA Division II East Regional at Rindge, N.HS. Saturday.
SCSU played Franklin Pierce late Saturday night with the winner earning a spot in the championship round.
Senior right-hander Jonathan Gonzalez fired a complete-game six-hitter, holding Southern to just one unearned run in the eighth inning. The only real threat the Panthers faced was in that eighth inning when the Owls stranded two runners, after a line-drive double play back to Gonzalez ended the frame.
On the offensive side for Adelphi hitters, the first through sixth spots in the lineup combined for 13 of the team’s 15 hits. Graduate student right fielder Omar Velazquez, junior left fielder Justin Farnum, and junior designated hitter Jaime Liebowitz combined for six runs scored. That proved to be all the offense the Panthers would need as they scored in every inning from the third through the sixth.
For the Owls, senior right-hander Steve Simon surrendered six runs and nine hits over five innings. In relief, junior Sean Leahy threw four innings of one run ball to finish the game.
With the win, Adelphi remains the only undefeated team in the regional and will move to Championship Sunday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

SCSU moving toward NCAA regional title

The SCSU baseball team continued its march toward a possible NCAA Division II East Regional title and a berth in the World Series with a 9-2 win over host Franklin Pierce Friday night.
The Owls improve to a program-best 40-6-1.
No. 8 Southern jumped out early in the second with a two-RBI single by Matt Pessy (Greenwich, Conn.). Southern added five runs in the fifth and sixth innings with a RBI single from Ryan Geffert (Plymouth, Pa.) and a sacrifice groundout by A.J. Rouleau (Westborough, Mass.) in the fifth and three bases loaded walks in the sixth. The Owls put the game out of reach in the eighth with a two-RBI single by Michael Cleary (West Boylston, Mass.).

Steve Landell (Higganum, Conn.) started for the Owls going seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out four batters. A.J. Turnier (Waterford, Conn.) relieved Landell in the eighth and went the final two innings and allowed no hits. The offenses for the Owls were powered by Cleary who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Kyle Rosadino (Berwyn, Pa.), T.K. Kiernan (Wallingford, Conn.) and Pessy also collected two hits on the day.

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Yale's McCarthy in hunt for NCAA individual berth

Senior Tom McCarthy shot a 1-over 73 on the second day of the NCAA Division I golf regionals at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech to move into a tie for 17th. However, despite McCarthy and teammates Brad Kushner and Jeff Hatten improving on their scores from the first day, Yale is tied for 12th heading into today’s final round.
McCarthy is currently tied for 17th with a 4-over total of 148.
Hatten rebounded from an 83 to shoot 75 on Friday while Sam Bernstein carded a 77.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

SCSU wins NCAA opener

The No. 8 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State University Owls defeats Wilmington (Del.) Thursday, 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA East Regional.

The Owls broke through in the eighth inning with two runs on a RBI single by Kyle Rosadino and a sacrifice flyout by A.J. Rouleau.

Kevin Pettine started for the Owls giving up no runs, on four hits, two walks and struck out three batters through eight innings of work. Closer Michael Johnston came in for the ninth inning and allowed one run to notch the save.
Nick DeProspo led the club going 2-for-3 with two doubles in the game. T.K. Kiernan also collected two hits on the day. Both Rosadino and Rouleau each collected a RBI.

Southern improves to 39-6-1 on the season. The Owls next game will be Friday at 7p.m. where they will play against second seed, Franklin Pierce.

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Pierce, Adelphi win openers

Franklin Pierce rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat UMass-Lowell 4-3 in the first round of the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament Thursday at Pappas Field in Rindge, N.H.
Earlier in the day Adelphi scored two runs in the first inning and made them hold up on the way to a 2-0 win over Dowling.
With the win, Adelphi advanced to the winner’s bracket of the regional and will play at 3 p.m. on Friday versus the loser of Thursday night’s Wilmington/Southern Connecticut State game.
Dowling heads to the loser’s bracket and will face UMass-Lowell on Friday morning at 11 a.m. in an elimination game.
Southern plays Wilmington, Del., Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No answers for why SCSU got a No. 4 seed

NEW HAVEN — From Shelton’s James Tate and the prom dilemma that became a national debate, to Milford’s Max Pelloth and the lacrosse debacle, the list of intriguing area story lines continues to mount.

Now add the astounding tale of the Southern Connecticut State baseball team to the growing list of head-scratchers.

On Sunday night the SCSU baseball team eagerly awaited word on its destination in the NCAA Division II East Regional tournament. After finishing the season 38-6-1, which included a record-breaking 22-game winning streak to start the season, the Owls felt certain they had done enough to host the regional at Yale Field this week.

Southern was ranked as high as fifth in the nation and entered the last weekend of the season ranked eighth nationally and, more importantly, No. 1 in the East.

But, when the pairings were announced late Sunday night on, Southern was not only denied the first seed but had inexplicably fallen all the way to No. 4. To make matters worse, Franklin Pierce (38-12), which finished third in the conference standings and didn’t win the postseason tournament, was given the No. 2 seed. With it came the right to host the NCAA tournament.

The decision left Southern coach Tim Shea shaking his head in disbelief.

“The only answer I got was Franklin Pierce’s body of work was better than ours,” Shea said. “I don’t understand it. We went from the one seed to the three seed and back to the one seed late in the season. If we went into the final weekend as the three seed and fell to the four then that would be understandable, but that wasn’t the case.”

Shea was told that the selections were based on nine different factors.

“I went through the list of criteria and we finished ahead of Franklin Pierce in five of them,” he said. “The rest were supposedly subjective.”

Adelphi (33-12-2) was seeded No. 1 in the region. Adelphi finished second in the Northeast-10 Conference regular-season standings and won the NE-10 conference tournament on basis of the best tournament record after its championship game against Franklin Pierce was canceled due to rain. Continued...

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Shea said he didn’t have a huge problem with Adelphi being seeded No. 1 — even though Southern won the NE-10 regular-season crown — but still felt his team had a better season than the Panthers. Adelphi also didn’t apply to host the NCAA regional so it didn’t matter what seed it was given.

Southern had more wins, a better win percentage, won the conference regular-season title, had a better record against common opponents and a better road record than Franklin Pierce, all listed as defining criteria.

“We felt that we clearly had the criteria over Franklin Pierce, and when I crunched the numbers I found out that we did,” Shea said. “We’re extremely disappointed. All I got were really vague answers.

“What it comes down to is one day. We lost two games, both on the same day, and I find it hard to believe we can drop from one to four in one day. I clearly felt we were going to be the one or the two seed and because Adelphi didn’t put in to host the event, and we did, we were going to host it.”

And from a baseball standpoint, when Franklin Pierce was named host, it affected the landscape of the tournament. Franklin Pierce, located in Rindge, N.H., has a small field and has built its team around power hitters.

Franklin Pierce was 16-1 at the cozy confines of Pappas Field this season.

“It certainly makes a difference,” Shea said. “They’re used to the dimensions, the speed of the field, and they have some good hitters. Playing there where a 350-foot fly ball is a home run is a lot different than playing at Yale where it’s an out.

“We played there in the conference tournament last year and there were 10 home runs hit. Virtually the same teams came to Yale a week later in the NCAA and there were no home runs hit.”

Conspiracy theorists might add another factor to the debate. Franklin Pierce coach Jayson King serves on the NCAA selection board.

“I’m not even going there,” Shea said. “There is a certain subjectivity to the selection process. I guess it’s a bigger factor than they let on.” Continued...

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Jason Trufant, the chair of the East Regional, said he had been instructed by the NCAA not to comment on the selection process.

When asked why the chair of the NCAA Division I basketball selection committee fields questions from CBS after the announcement of the pairings, Trufant also refused to comment. And he would not answer whether Franklin Pierce coach King was involved when the committee discussed his team.

When the NCAA basketball pairings are being discussed, any member of a school whose team is about to be evaluated is asked to leave the room for the duration of talks about that team.

Shea was most disappointed by the NCAA’s lack of reasoning.

“Our kids were disappointed and shocked,” he said. “They wanted the chance to play in front of their parents and friends and host the tourney. They weren’t slamming things. They’re a very mature group and they’ll be ready.

“They’ll use it as motivation, but what it’s really going to come down to is how we play. I told them, ‘It is what it is and we’ve got to go there with the right frame of mind. The bottom line is we had to win a game over the weekend, and we didn’t. But if we play like we can, we can still get to the World Series.”

While there could have been other explanations given as to why SCSU was not selected as a host, Shea heard nothing. A couple of weeks ago, when it looked as though SCSU was a virtual lock to host the tourney, the school received a letter about the “playability” of Yale Field.

“They were worried about the infield and our school addressed the issue,” Shea said.

Also, rain is expected to stick around the state for virtually the entire week and Franklin Pierce has a turf field. But neither issue was given to Shea as a reason for the seeding.

“All they kept saying was ‘body of work’ and no other team around the region has the body of work that we have. There’s no question about it,” he said. Continued...

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The Owls will meet No. 3 Wilmington (Del.) in the opening round on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

“They’re a good team and they’ve been near the top of the region all year long,” Shea said. “But I’m glad we’re playing someone from outside of our conference. We’ve played UMass Lowell twice at the end of the season and then again in the tournament.

“The key to our success is our starting pitching,” Shea added. “In the two games we lost in the tournament we didn’t pitch well and we made some uncharacteristic errors. If we pitch well we’ll manage a way to score some runs like we’ve done 38 times this season.”

Franklin Pierce won the NCAA East Regional last year at Yale Field and advanced to the Division II World Series.

SCSU has reached the NCAAs six times, including the past two seasons.

Call Bill at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

SCSU gets ripped off by NCAA

Coming tomorrow in the Register, and later on this blog check out how the SCSU baseball got royally robbed by the NCAA selection committee.
It defies explanation.

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SCSU opens Thursday; UConn wins 37th

Southern Connecticut State will meet Wilmington (Del.) in the opening round of the NCAA Division II East regional on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The Owls, the No. 4 seed, enter the tournament with a 38-6-1 mark overall. All games of the regional will be played on the campus of Franklin Pierce University at Rindge, N.H.
UConn 4, Rhode Island 1: Doug Elliot went 2-for-4 as the 15th-ranked Huskies beat the Rams in Kingston, R.I., posting their seventh straight win over a non-conference opponent.
UConn improved to 37-14-1. Rhode Island is 29-18.
Bob Van Woert (4-0) struck out four in 5 innings before Will Jolin came out of the bullpen to record the final out of the sixth with the bases loaded.
Jolin struck out three in 2 innings.
Rhode Island’s Mike LeBel accounted for the Rams only run with a home run in the eighth.
Kevin Vance recorded his 11th save for UConn.
Canisius 1, Fairfield 0: At Buffalo, N.Y., Brian Burton led the bottom of the second inning with a walk and later came around to score on a one-out single by Chris Gruarin to lead Canisius to its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win.
Fairfield right hander Scott Gussaroff scattered five hits over eight innings of work while striking out six.
Fairfield falls to 19-25, 10-11 while Canisius improves to 22-28, 10-9.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

SCSU a shocking 4th seed in NCAA regional

What happened when the NCAA East regional pairings were announced is anyone's guess.
The Southern Connecticut State baseball team was seeded fourth in the region and will open play against third-seeded Wilmington (Del.) on Thursday at Rindge, N.H. The game is tentatively slated for 7 p.m.
How the selection committee came up with a 4-seed for Southern is hard to believe. Southern has been ranked No. 1 in the East region virtually all season long. They are ranked eighth in the country but only half as high in their own region.
The Owls (38-6-1) are making their sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament and second straight. Southern had hoped to host the tournament at Yale Field but Adelphi earned the No. 1 seed in the East after winning the Northeast-10 Conference tournament on Sunday. Adelphi will face No. 6 Dowling in the first round.
No. 2 seed Franklin Pierce will serve as the host and will face No. 5 UMass-Lowell in the first round.
SCSU defeated UMass-Lowell at this weekend’s NE-10 Tournament, but lost to Adelphi and Franklin Pierce. Southern has the most wins and best winning percentage of any team in the region.
Adelphi could not host the regional becuase it does not have the proper facilities. Franklin Pierce relishes the chance to host the regional and went to the DII World Series last year.

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Yale men headed to China

Yale men’s basketball coach James Jones envisions a fast-paced offense next season. So quick, that’s he’s getting a head start on things.
Yale is leaving on a nine-day tour of China on Monday and will play four exhibition games against Chinese college students.

“We’re playing against the best university teams in China,” Jones said. “And then we get a chance to play with the FIBA rules with the 24-second shot clock. We have to play more up tempo which is what we really want to try to do next year.”
Game-planning aside, Jones said there’s no better way to build the team’s chemistry.
“Wonderful things can happen when you’re sitting next to someone on a plane ride for 16 hours,” Jones said. “The entire experience is great for chemistry. You’re in a place where you have to depend on each other for everything.
“This is my sixth or seventh foreign trip as a player or a coach and every time it’s just an unbelievable experience. There are dynamics formed between guys that maybe you haven’t hung out with before, you’ll hang out with him more now.”
The Bulldogs finished 15-13 overall and 8-6 in the Ivy League last season and bring back starters Greg Mangano, Reggie Willhite, Jeremiah Kreisberg and Austin Morgan. Mangano, who recently was invited to Team USA open tryouts for the best college players in the nation, is excited about getting another stage to hone his game.
“I’m so thankful for Yale for putting this together,” Mangano said. “I’ve never been out of the country before so I’m extremely excited. I can’t wait and it’s great to get back on the floor with all the guys.”
Yale had planned to go to Taiwan but the trip was supposed to last just five days and when Jones inquired about extending it he learned about the possibilities of playing in China. The team leaves on Monday and will visit Chengdu and Shanghai. The opener is May 19 against the University of Electronic Science and Technology.
The Chinese government of Chengdu will also pick up some of the expense. Yale great John Lee set up an endowment several years ago that allows the team to make a foreign trip once every four years. The last two trips have taken the Bulldogs to Spain and Italy.
Yale was allowed five days of practice for the NCAA.
“It will be a great learning experience for our team, both on and off the court,” Mangano said. “The trip will help prepare us for next season, and we’ll have the opportunity to grow as a team. I’m thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given.”
In addition to its league slate, Yale will play Florida and Wake Forest next season. The international experience will be beneficial.
“We see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we look forward to the competition and the culture of the country,” Jones said.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gagne injures hamstring, NCAA in jeopardy

University of New Haven senior track star Shannon Gagne injured her hamstring in the warm-up session of New England Track and Field Championships on Saturday morning and had to withdraw from the meet leaving her NCAA titles hopes in jeopardy.
Gagne set the New England record in the 200 meters on Friday with a time of 23.89. She also ran her fastest time of the year in the 400 meters (54.89).
But, wamring up for the 4x100 meter relay on Saturday Gagne pulled up with an injury.
“She said she was in significant pain so we had to pull her out of the meet,” New Haven coach Kevin LaSure said. “We’ll see how she feels tomorrow.
“I really think it just scared her and she’ll be OK but we won’t know for a little while.”
LaSure said he will officially enter her in the NCAA Division II championship which begin on May 26 in Cal-State Stanislaus. He then will have a couple of days to withdraw her name if she can’t compete.
Gagne was recently named the Division II Track and Field Athlete of the Year. She won four Northeast-10 Conference titles after winning three NCAA indoor titles. She was the favorite in the 200-meters and had planned on running in the 400 meters and the long jump.
“I think Shannon is more worried about qualfying for the U.S.A. Championships in June,” LaSure said. “She should be taking things one week at a time instead of looking that far ahead.”
New Haven freshman Ada Udaya also tweaked her hamstring on Saturday but still won the 100 and 200 meter races.

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Sherrod heads five freshmen headed to Yale

Choate’s Brandon Sherrod heads a group of five incoming freshmen to the Yale men’s basketball team next season.
Sherrod, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward, led Stratford to a 27-0 mark and the Class L state championship two years ago and was named the Register’s State Player of the Year. He played at Choate last season and fielded offers from a pair of Atlantic-10 schools.
“He’s the most athletic post man that I’ve ever had,” Yale coach James Jones said. “He’s got the best combination of power and athleticism. He’s got like Ross Morin power and Matt Kyle’s athleticism.”
The Bulldogs return four starters from last year’s 15-13 squad which finished third in the Ivy League at 8-6.
Also headed for Yale is Javier Duren, a 6-4 point guard, from St. Louis.
“He’s a lefty which gives us a whole different dynamic,” Yale coach James Jones said. “We might bring the ball up on the left side of the court instead of always bringing it up on the right side.”
Armani Cotton chose Yale over Northwestern. Cotton, a tough 6-6 small forward, played at Northfield Mt. Hermon last year and is from New York City.
Matt Townsend, a 6-7 powerhouse from Westchester is also headed to Yale. Jones said Townsend is ‘toughest kid he’s ever seen.’ Said Jones: “He’ll get every rebound.”
Rounding out the class is 6-11 Will Childs-Klein, also from St. Louis, who Jones says could be the team’s next Greg Mangano.
“He’s the type of kid I wish I could red-shirt,” Jones said. “He’s not going to get a lot of time next year with Greg here but he’ll learn a lot from him. They have a lot of similar characteristics.”

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Gagne sets meet record

Senior sprinter Shannon Gagne led the way at the New England Track and Field Championships by breaking a 19-year old record in the 200 meter dash and qualifying first with a time of 23.93 seconds. The Meriden native also qualified first in the 400 meter dash, while freshman Ada Udaya qualified first in the 100 meter dash.

Gagne posted the best time, by over a second and a half, in the 400 prelims with 54.89 showing. Udaya qualified first with a time of 11.88 seconds in the 100 meter, while also qualifying second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.28 seconds.

Other top performers from the second day of the New England Championships included Shraya Manick in the hammer throw with a throw of 46.50 meters. Monica Yanez also placed 14th in the 400 meter hurdles.

The third and final day of the New England Championships, will feature the finals in the sprints as well as additional field events and the relay events on the track. Check back Saturday evening for complete results from the final day.

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Meet New Haven's Shannon Gagne, one of the best in the nation

WEST HAVEN — Shannon Gagne doesn’t believe in bad luck or superstitions. She doesn’t leave anything to chance.

The University of New Haven sprinter from Meriden will be the featured performer at the New England Track and Field championships at Southern Connecticut State’s Jess Dow Field this weekend.

Gagne will be heavily favored in the 200 and 400 meters. She’ll also compete in the long jump and two relays for the Chargers. It’s a busy weekend for the 23-year-old who has set her sights on the multiple NCAA Division II championships next month.

Gagne became the first person to win national crowns in both the 200 and 400 in a single NCAA Division II Indoor Championship. She won the 400 meters by a little over a second with a 54.03 clocking and then returned to the track an hour-and-thirty later to claim the 200 meter crown in 23.66, edging out Lincoln freshman Judith Riley for the title. Gagne scored 30 points total in the meet, leading New Haven to a 32-point, fourth-place team showing. Gagne also won the national crown in the long jump.

Her progression has been stunning and she was recently named that National Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Not bad for a girl who came to New Haven intending on only competing in the long jump, her staple in high school.

“I was always fast, but I wasn’t that talented,” she said. “Coach LaSure noticed I how fast I was and started training me in sprinting. You have to have some natural ability, but it’s been a lot of work.”

Gagne’s track teammates joke about her future in criminal justice. She is a 3.90 student hoping to go into a phase of national security.

“They always say imagine me chasing down a criminal,” Gagne said. “They’d have no chance.”

But there is no joking about her future in the sport. Gagne said she never imagined she could break the 25-second mark in the 200 meters. That seems like ages ago as she is one of the top seeds in the Division II with a best time of 23.59. Continued...

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“I remember when I was at the ECAC’s and I broke 24 seconds,” she said. “And then coach told me how many mistakes I made. It was like an epiphany. I felt I could even do better.”

And she has. Gagne keeps lowering her times to jaw-dropping standards. She’s the No. 1 seed in Division II in the 200 and the favorite in the 400 running just over 54 seconds. LaSure said her mere presence has put New Haven on the map.

“I got a call from Miami University and they were interested in competing against us. They wanted to know who was coming and I told them Shannon and they said, ‘Why don’t you come down here? We’ll host you.’”

Gagne’s elite training schedule is geared toward cracking a College National qualifying time of 23.25 seconds in the 200. She doesn’t expect to run that fast this weekend as she hasn’t tapered her training for this event. But don’t be surprised if she still blows the field away at New Haven this weekend.

“The other day she jogged it in 23.87,” LaSure said. “She’s never been better.”

LaSure is also sure that Gagne will win the NCAA title.

“She’s going to win, he said. “She’s fantastic.”

But what makes LaSure even prouder of his superstar is Gagne’s work ethic.

“I know that no matter what happens Shannon’s going to compete,” LaSure said. “Anything can happen. Anyone can be beat.

“But we’ve done our homework. Shannon is ready and there’s nothing left to chance. She’s as prepared as she can be.”

Gagne will finish graduate classes in the summer and is planning her wedding shortly thereafter. She jokes about being able to outrun her fiance. “We used to train together, but I can kill him now.”

Then again, there are few people in the nation who can stay with her.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mangano invited to Team USA tryouts

Yale center Greg Mangano has been invited to participate in the Team USA open tryouts over the summer.
Mangano, who will be a senior next season, is one of just under 30 of the nation’s top college basketball players to receive an invitation. Twelve players will be selected to the team.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to even get a tryout,“ Mangano said. “I found out yesterday and don’t know a lot of the details. I’ll get a chance to play with some of the best players in the country who are my age.
“It’s going to be the rest returning college players in the country. I know they’ll put together a great team and hopefully I’ll be able to make it.”
Mangano recently entered the NBA draft but withdrew his name from consideration just before the deadline in order to maintain his collegiate eligibility. He did not hire an agent and will finish his education at Yale.
“I looked at the draft a lot more,” said the first-team All-Ivy selection. “There’s a lot of guys who decided to come back to college. It’s still going to be great competition and I wouldn’t say that the draft was weak this year but hopefully I’ll get a chance to show what I can do against some of the great competition.”
Yale coach James Jones said that Mangano, who averaged 16.3 points and 10 rebounds a game last season, entered the draft process very late which prevented most NBA teams from making contact with the 6-10, 240-pounder from Orange.
“I did get a call from the San Antonio Spurs who wanted to know how serious he was about coming out,” Jones said. “They wanted to fly him down for a workout. He entered the process late but it was still beneficial.
“I don’t know if Greg will be drafted next year but I want him to get invited to the pre-NBA draft camp and then at least get into the (NBA Developmental League).”
Said Mangano: “As far as getting my name out there it served the purpose. I still it was a good decision and I’m glad I went through with it but this USA tryout is great. Basketball-wise things are going well.”
Jones said that Mangano is becoming a more complete player with every practice.
“Greg practically dominated every Ivy League game he played in last year,” Jones said. “I gave him (former Yale star and NBA veteran) Chris Dudley’s stats. I showed him that he averaged over four offensive rebounds a game.
“That’s what Greg has to do. He averaged 10 rebounds a game last year and only about one offensively. He has to attack the basket, dominate the offensive boards and live on the free throw line.
“If he does that he’s going to have a special season.”
The national team tryouts are expected to include Ohio State freshman center Jared Sullinger and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking sports news first — simply text the word “nhsports” to 22700. Standard msg+data rates may apply.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coming in the Register

This is a busy week of colleges in the area as the season comes to an end.
Check out these stories in the Register.

Bridgeport baseball sets school record for victories. The Knights are led by Guilford's Eric Schlitter.

New Haven's Shannon Gagne leads the Chargers into New England Championships.

SCSU's Kristin Whitley is among the nation's top hitters for the NE-10 champs. The Owls won four games on Sunday to cap the title.

Vanderbilt's Jason Esposito talks about his major league aspirations. Esposito is a former Amity standout.

The Yale basketball team is headed to China for 10 days.

The SCSU men's and women's track team look for plenty of success at the New England's a tourney they are hosting.

Plus: the SCSU baseball team is ranked No. 1 in the region and could host the NCAA's next week.

Check back here to see these stories as they become available in the Register.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

NE-10 baseball and NCAA softball pairings announced; Busy Monday of action

The University of New Haven baseball team captured the fifth seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference Tournament and will open on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 against the No. 4 seed, UMass Lowell.
The game will take place in Lowell, Mass. at Riverview Field, set to being at 5 p.m. The winner of the contest will advance to a four-team, double-elimination tournament on the weekend. The host site has yet to be determined.
Also on Wednesday, No.6 Stonehill College will head to No. 3 Franklin Pierce to determine the last team for the playoff. The Owls of Southern Connecticut State and Adelphi University claimed the top two seeds and earned byes for the first round.
The Chargers finished 6-4 against those five teams in the regular season. New Haven split two-game series with SCSU and Franklin Pierce, swept Adelphi and Stonehill and suffered a doubleheader-sweep to UMass Lowell. The Chargers do hold a respectable 12-8 record away from home this season.
UNH pitcher Henry Hirsch of the University of New Haven baseball team was rewarded for his dominant outing against No. 15 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce this past weekend, and named the Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Week.
Also, the No. 20 UConn baseball team shut out South Florida 2-0 in its Big East series’ finale on Monday afternoon. With the win, UConn completes the sweep of the Bulls as the Huskies improve to 34-13-1 on the year and 18-3 in conference play.
Freshman Brian Ward struck out a career-high 10 batters en route to his fourth straight win of the season. He also threw eight scoreless innings, another career-high for the Milford, Conn. native.

NE-10 Baseball Championship Tournament Seeds

#1 Southern Connecticut State University
#2 Adelphi University
#3 Franklin Pierce
#4 UMass Lowell
#5 New Haven
#6 Stonehill College
2011 Baseball Championship Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 3 (At higher seed)
Play in Game 1: # 6 Stonehill at # 3 Franklin Pierce
Play in Game 2: # 5 New Haven at # 4 UMass Lowell
Double-Elimination Tournament
Friday, May 6
Game 3: #2 Adelphi vs. Play in Game 1 winner
Game 4: #1 Merrimack vs. Play in Game 2 winner


New Haven was selected as the No. 7 seed in the upcoming NCAA Division II East Region Softball Championship Tournament.
The Chargers will kick off the double-elimination playoff on Friday, May 13 at the host site and No. 2 seed, C.W. Post. The game time against the Pioneers is set for 1 p.m. at the C.W. Post Softball Complex in Brookville, N.Y.
Also in the Chargers’ bracket will be No. 3 Molloy College and No. 6 Caldwell College. The Golden Lions of Dowling College captured the No. 1 seed and will host the other four teams in Oakdale, N.Y. Dowling opens up against No. 8 Merrimack, while No. 5 Dominican will take on No. 4 Southern Connecticut State University on Friday.
University of New Haven senior Chelsea Harold was named to the Capital One Academic All-District College Division Softball Second Team.
Quinnipiac’s Heather Schwartzburg was named the Akadema/Northeast Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week.
NCAA Division II Softball Championship Regional Bracket
East 2 Regional Site (Hosted by C.W. Post)
Friday, May 13, 2011
Game 1: #2 C.W. Post vs. #7 New Haven – 1:00 p.m.
Game 2: #3 Molloy vs. #6 Caldwell – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 11:00 a.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 1 p.m.
Game 7: (If necessary) – 3:30 p.m.

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Sacred Heart releases football schedule

Sacred Heart University head coach Paul Gorham, beginning his eighth season on the sidelines, announced the Pioneer’s 11-game schedule for the 2011 season. This fall’s slate will feature six home games on Campus Field and games against a pair of Ivy League schools.

For the third-straight season the Pioneers will open up against the Marist Red Foxes. SHU will open the 2011 season under the lights on Campus Field as the Red Foxes pay a visit on Saturday, September 3rd. The two teams have met every season since the 2002 campaign with SHU holding a slim 5-4 edge. The Pioneer posted a 28-25 win in last year’s match-up in Poughkeepsie, NY.

2011 Pioneer Football Schedule

3rd vs. Marist 7:00 pm
17th vs. Bryant* 1:00 pm
24th vs. Dartmouth 1:00 pm
“Homecoming Weekend”
1st at Central Connecticut State *TBA
8th at Columbia TBA
15th vs. Saint Francis (PA)* 12:00 pm
22nd vs. Monmouth* 1:00 pm
“SHU Family Weekend”
29th at Robert Morris* TBA


Yale's Mangano pulls out of NBA draft

NEW HAVEN – Greg Mangano has withdrawn from the 2011 NBA Draft and will remain at Yale for his senior season. He submitted his letter to the NBA offices late last week.
“Finishing my education remains my top priority, but I think it was a good experience, and hopefully it benefits me in the future,” Mangano said. “My main goal at Yale has always been to win an Ivy League championship, and with the players we return next year, I think we have a great chance.”
The deadline for withdrawing from the NBA draft was Sunday at midnight.
Mangano, of Orange., native, enjoyed an outstanding season in 2010-11, finishing ninth in the nation in blocked shots (3.0 per game) and 24th in rebounding (10.0 rpg.). He averaged 16.3 points and was a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection and earned all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Mangano led the Ivy League in rebounding and blocked shots and was second in scoring. He is the first Ivy player to average a double-double for the season since Kyle Snowden in 1995-96. His numbers were even more impressive in Ivy games where he averaged 18.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, which both led the league.
Mangano and rest of the Bulldogs will get a head start on the 2011-12 season when they begin a 10-day tour of China on May 16.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unbelievable day for SCSU softball

The Southern Connecticut State University softball team capped a magical run through the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament with four victories on the final day of the event to win the title Sunday at Worcester, Mass.
After defeating Adelphi 4-2 and New Haven 4-3, the Owls swept Merrimack by scores of 5-3 and 9-2 in the title round to claim their second straight NE-10 Tournament title.
Sophomore Kristin Whitley was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, while teammates Jayme Larson and Jessica Rosa were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Jillian Thibault launched a two-run home run giving the Owls a 4-2 win over New Haven in their second game of the game.
Southern earned the automatic bid and at 32-19.
New Haven will will await the NCAA Tournament selection show, scheduled to begin, today at at 10 a.m. and aired on
Chelsea Harold and freshman Brandy Dianno both had two hits in the game as fell to 34-17 on the season.
The Chargers are likely to make the field and should open play on Friday at one of the two top seed’s venues. The East Region is made up of two four-team double elimination tournaments, with the winners meeting the following week in the Super-Regionals.


SCSU baseball and track teams win NE-10 titles

UMass 1, Quinnipiac 0: At Amherst, Heather Schwartzburg struck out 10 batters and allowed four hits in the contest taking the loss for the Bobcats (30-25).
SCSU sweeps: No. 8 Southern defeated UMass-Lowell 3-1 and 2-0 at New Haven to wrap up the Northeast-10 Conference regular-season title.
The Owls jumped out early in the first game with two runs in the second off a triple by Bryan Dorsey and back-to-back doubles by T.K. Kiernan and Michael Cleary.
In game two, Southern got an RBI single from Kyle Rosadino.
Quinnipiac splits: At Smithfield, R.I., the Bobcats split a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Bryant University, losing the first game, 5-0, before bouncing back with a 5-2 win in the second game. The Bobcats close out their NEC schedule with an 11-21 mark in conference play while they move to 15-32 overall. Bryant goes to 26-23 overall and 15-12 in the Northeast Conference.
Ben Farina managed one hit in the doubleheader to tie Ryan Rizzo ’07 for the second most hits all-time at Quinnipiac. The hit, his 238th, came in the Bobcats’ five-run third inning of the second game.
UConn 9, So. Florida 5: At Storrs, George Springer hit his 44th career home run to lead the No. 20 UConn baseball team over South Florida 9-5 in BIG EAST play on Sunday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. The home run puts Springer in a tie with former Husky Mike Olt for first place among UConn’s all-time home run leaders.
Springer, who finished the afternoon with two hits and two RBI, led UConn to its 17th win in Big East play as the Huskies remain at the top of the conference standings with a 17-3 record. On the year, UConn is 33-13-1.
Men’s lacrosse
Mount St. Mary’s 14, Quinnipiac 9: At Emmitsburg, Md., Christian Haggerty and Kevin Kelly both scored three goals in the Northeast Conference Championship game. Quinnipiac ends the season at 7-7, while the Mountaineers move to 9-6.
Track and field
Southern men and women dominate: The SCSU women’s outdoor track team won their third straight Northeast-10 Conference Championship collecting 196 total points in the team ranking. Coach Chris Covert was named Coach of the Year, while Alasia Griebel took first in the 1500 meter run with a track record time of 4:37.93. Brittany Niemczyk was first in the 400 meter hurdles and Brittany Brown won the high jump.
The Southern men’s team won its 18th straight conference crown collecting 221 points in the team ranking through 21 events today. The Owls truly showcased their dominance finishing in first or second in twelve events out of a possible 21 events. Diwani Augustine was named Athlete of the Meet and Coach John Walling was named Coach of the Year.
Nana Ocran won the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.07.
Stevens win 5K: Quinnipiac’s Kristen Stevens won the 5,000-meter run helping the Bobcats to seventh in the Northeast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Monmouth won the event.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lynch throws 2 TDs in Spring Game

Junior quarterback Kevin Lynch completed 15-of-23 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns as the Southern Connecticut State University football team hosted its annual William ‘Sully’ Sullivan spring game on Saturday.
The offense was able to string together two scoring drives that resulted in touchdowns. The first culminated on a 21-yard pass from Lynch to Andre Privott. In the second half, the duo hooked up again on a 3-yard touchdown.
Privott finished the day with five catches for 95 yards and two scores. In all, 10 different receivers caught passes on the day. Freshman quarterback Jacob Jablonski finished the day with eight completions in 23 attempts for 113 yards.

For more on the Spring Game read this great story on Nick Mandich by Chip Malafronte

Elsewhere in area colleges on Saturday:
New Haven baseball splits: Dave Wirkus had three hits, two RBIs and a run to lead the Chargers to a 10-1 win in the opener over Franklin Pierce, clinching a spot in the Northeast-10 Confernece tournament.
Ryan Brockett added three hits, two runs and an RBI for New Haven (26-17). New Haven fell 11-4 in the second game.

Women's lacrosse
Quinnipiac fell to Navy 20-5 in the Bobcats first NCAA Play-In game at Annapolis, Md. Laura Iannotti and Sara Allen both had a goal and an assist for the Bobcats.

Southern Conn. State 7, UMass-Lowell 2: Jayme Larson went the distance, allowing one earned run off five hits with five strikeouts to earn the NE-10 tournament win for the Owls at Worcester, Mass.
Kristin Whitley went 4-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs for Southern (28-19).
Merrimack 8, New Haven 0 (5): Pitcher Kelli Joe Deardorff tossed a three-hitter in Merrimack’s NE-10 Tournament win at Worcester, Mass.
Chelsea Harold, Brandy Dianno and Brooke Fisher each had hits for New Haven (34-16), who moves into the losers bracket of the tournament.
New Haven will play the winner of Adelphi and SCSU at 11 a.m. The winner of that game must beat Merrimack twice for the NE-10 title


Friday, May 6, 2011

SCSU Spring game Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Kevin Lynch didn’t want to assign a number to his goals this year. Suffice it to say that if he did they’d have been in the stratosphere.

Lynch, the Owls’ junior quarterback, hopes to lead the Southern Connecticut State football team back into the NCAA Division II playoffs after a two-year hiatus. The Owls were 6-4 last year, good enough to share the Northeast-10 title but not enough to earn a postseason berth.

“Our goal every year is to win the conference and make a run in the playoffs,” Lynch said. “We really didn’t do either of those. We lost a couple of tough games and that obviously made big difference in our season. If we can avoid those next year we should be better off.”
Lynch and the Owls unveil their potent offense today at Jess Dow Stadium in the annual Spring Football game. The game is dedicated to the memory of former SCSU staffer William “Sully” Sullivan.
Perhaps getting to know his young receiver corps Lynch and the Owls prodigious offense started slowly last year. SCSU got off to an 0-2 start and scored just six points in its season opener.
At the finish line it was business as usual for the Owls as SCSU won its last three games and scored 146 points in the process. Along the way Lynch made an assault on the school’s passing marks. He set an SCSU with 443 passing yards and matched the mark with six touchdown passes in a 49-32 win over Merrimack. Earlier in the year he broke SCSU’s marks for completions (30) and attempts (46) in a 49-35 loss to West Liberty State.
Lynch gives the credit to arsenal of skill players.
“I’m fortunate to have (receivers) Andre Privott, Willie Epps, great tight ends and Rashaad Slowley at running back,” Lynch said. “My offensive line is great. They’re all great play-makers and maybe last year it took a little longer than I would have liked to get going but I think with a year under our belts we can avoid that this year.
“We can just take what we learned from last year and be better off for it. It’s not that we didn’t work hard last year but we’re focused every day this year. The competition level (amongst the team) is very high. We’re using each other to get after it.”
Southern opens the season on Sept. 3 at FCS member Central Connecticut State.
“That’s pretty good team and it really doesn’t even help us (playoff) point-wise,” SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh said. “It’s a difficult schedule and we only have four home games.”
After the game against Central, SCSU travels to West Liberty State for a crucial out-of-conference Division II game.
“It’s important,” Lynch said. “You don’t want to dig yourself a hole. We’ve done that the past couple of years. We’re playing tough games early. You know Central’s good and West Liberty lost some players but they’re the type of team that reloads. They’ll be good but we can be better off than we were last year. We feel we’re very talented.”
Southern, American International, Bentley and rival New Haven all finished 6-2 in the NE-10 last year. While the Owls have been perennial conference preseason favorites over the past several years, the Chargers have 21 starters returning and could get the nod this year.
“I think that we should be the preseason favorite again,” said Slowley, who is hampered by a turf toe injury and his status for today’s game is incertain. “We’re more consistent but regardless of whether we’re the favorite or not we have to get ready for every game and we have to finish them.”
But Lynch said that Southern has something to prove this year. The Owls have finished above .500 for the past 10 years with an overall record of 75-33.
“History can only take you so far,” Lynch said. “You’re only as good as your last year and New Haven beat us last year. I’m sure they’re going to be very good next year but we’re looking forward to every game.”
Lynch completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,468 yards last season. The 6-3, 215-pounder from Medfield, Mass., also threw for 24 touchdowns. While 3,000 yards is within his reach he doesn’t care about that number.
“I’m sure every team says they want to be competitive and win every game,” he said. “No one says they’re goal is to go 4-6. Our expectations within ourselves are very high It’s not about my numbers and if we play the way we can our goals will fall in line.”
Lynch will be backed up by sophomore Jake Jablonski another in a long line of promising signal-callers at the school. Jablonski threw just two passes last year but has shown promise in practice.
“He’s a good player,” Lynch said. “He’s learning the offense and I’m trying to teach him everything I can like Steve (Armstrong) and Chris (Roberts) did with me. Down the road he’s going to be very good and any way I can help him I will.”

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

All eyes on Yale this weekend

Bulldogs meet Cornell in lacrosse
This will be a big weekend for Yale athletics.
On Friday night the Bulldogs' lacrosse team, winners of five of its last six games, will meet top-seed Cornell in the semifinals of the Ivy League tournament at Ithaca, N.Y.
The No. 19/20 Bullldogs (10-3), the tournament's fourth seed, face No. 2 and top seed Cornell (11-2) at 8 p.m.
The winner takes on the survivor of the 5 p.m. No. 15 Penn (8-5) vs. No. 17 Harvard (9-5) contest Sunday at noon for the automatic NCAA Tournament spot.
The Big Red has taken 12 straight and leads the series 44-23-1. Yale's last win was 7-6 in 1999 at Reese Stadium, while the last Bulldog win at Ithaca was an 11-10 OT decision in 1996. The Elis and Big Red have never played a post-season contest.
The Bulldogs have played six post-season games including five in NCAA Tournaments and one in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is 2-3 in NCAA games and lost its only Ivy appearance last year to Princeton.

Ivy League track
New Haven will serve as the host site for the annual Ivy League Heptagonals Championships. Yale will host the much-anticipated meet at Cuyler Athletic Complex and Dwyer Track from May 7-8.
The conference championship will feature all eight Ivy League schools in its 76th year of competition.
Senior captain Marty Evans will play a key role this weekend, holding the league's third-fastest time in the 200-meter dash and sixth-fastest in the 400-meter dash. Evans could also seek a title in the 200-meter dash after taking runner-up in last year's championships. Junior Matthew Bieszard should be a force in the 200-meter and 100-meter dashes, scoring in both events last year. Senior Chris Stanley has also been a contributor in the 400-meter dash this season. In the short sprints, senior Nathan Molina and freshman Daniel Jones seem to be peaking at the right time after a streak of season bests in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Springtime Invitational on Sunday.

Softball honors
Four Yale softball players have earned 2011 Capital One Academic All-District honors. Catcher McKynlee Westman was voted to the first team, while infielder Katie Yanagisawa and outfielders Jennifer Ong and Virginia Waldrop were second team selections.
Yanagisawa, a psychology major, was one of only four players to start all 42 games. She finished second on the team in hitting (.321) and tied for second in hits (44) and runs scored (24). Her 23-game hitting streak during the season was one of the longest in the nation this season. She is an Orange native.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Around and about, Rutty to Miller

Rutty and Babstock are athletes of year
Quinnipiac University senior Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) and freshman Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) were named the Quinnipiac Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, at the 2010-11 Quinnipiac Athletics & Recreation Athletic Awards program at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.

The honor is the second in as many years for Rutty, who also received the award last year. Rutty is one of four student-athletes, along with men’s basketball’s Roland Lavallee, men’s ice hockey’s Reid Cashman and men’s soccer’s Graciano Brito to receive the award twice. Rutty averaged 14.6 points and a league-best 9.5 rebounds per game while also shooting 53% from the floor. The senior center posted 11 double-doubles, which were second in the Northeast Conference despite playing seven fewer games than the league leader. Rutty, who led the league with 4.04 offensive rebounds per game, also became the Northeast Conference’s all-time leading rebounder after totaling 1,025 for his four-year career at Quinnipiac. Rutty passed the 1,500-point mark for his career as well. In addition, he was also named to the NABC All-District 18 team, the All-Northeast Conference First Team and was named the Quinnipiac Athlete of the Month for December and February.

Babstock had the most productive season in program-history, breaking the program's single season goals, assists, and points records. The freshman finished with 30 goals and 29 assists for 59 points, ranking first on the team, as well as first among all ECAC Hockey skaters, in all three categories. Her tremendous on-ice performance earned her the title of both ECAC Hockey Rookie and Player of the Year honors, as well as being named to the All-League First Team and All-Rookie Team. She was named ECAC Hockey/MLX Skates Player of the Week on two separate occasions, and was named Rookie of the Week five times. Babstock was one of only two freshmen named to the New England Division I Women's Ice Hockey All-Star Team and was honored with Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Month honors in three separate months (November, December, February).

Miller promoted at UConn
The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday the naming of Glen Miller to the position of Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach. Miller served as the Director of Men's Basketball Administration for the 2010-11 season.
“I am so happy to be able to move Glen into the position of assistant coach,” said head coach Jim Calhoun. “Glen is an exceptional teacher of the game of basketball and I am excited that he will be able to get back on the court for us this year.”

SCSU tracksters moving up
The Southern Connecticut State University men's outdoor track and field team has several members that rank among the best in the nation on the NCAA Division II national leader board. New this week to the leader board, Jared Dixon claims the seventh best high jump in the nation with a height cleared of 2.12 meters achieved on May 1st at the Yale Spring Invitational. Logan Sharpe (Esperance, N.Y.) is No. 15 in the 400 meter hurdles for his time of 52.81 achieved on May 1st at the Yale Springtime Invite. Casey Canada (Royal, Ark.) adds his name to the national leader board in the 31st spot with a time of 53.62 in the 400 meter hurdles on May 1st at the Yale Invite.

For the women, Brittany Brown (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) of the Southern Connecticut State University women's outdoor track and field team has added her name to the list of top athletes in the Division II. Her performance at the Yale Invitational this past weekend ranks her 12th in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.13.

Whitley, Rosadino athletes of the month
Sophomore Kristin Whitley (North Andover, Mass.) of the softball team and senior Kyle Rosadino (Berwyn, Pa.) of the baseball team have been named as the Comcast/Southern Connecticut State University Athletes of the Month for April.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

SCSU's Rashaad Slowley talks about the upcoming season

Slowley looks for a fast start.

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Area honors

SCSU's Larson honored
Starting pitcher Jayme Larson (Aurora, Colo.) of the Southern Connecticut State University softball team was selected to the Northeast-10 Conference honor roll for her 5-1 performance this past week.
Larson went 5-1 on the week with a 1.31 ERA including a streak of 27 straight innings without allowing an earned run. Her best performance came against Franklin Pierce where she tossed a one hitter through 6.0 innings to get the win on Friday.
The Owls will be back in action for the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament to take on either No. 6 Adelphi or No. 7 LeMoyne in the fourth and final game of the day on Friday. The tournament, which runs in a double-elimination format, runs through Sunday.

Paolucci rookie of the week
Quinnipiac Softball’s Jordan Paolucci Wins Second Akadema/NEC Rookie of the Week Honor
Quinnipiac softball freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) was named Akadema/Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday, May 2. The honor is Paolucci’s second weekly accolade of the 2011 season.

Schwartzburg sets school mark
Junior right-handed pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) broke the Quinnipiac University softball season-strikeout record as she fanned six batters in a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Saint Francis (Pa.). Schwartzburg struck out 15 batters on the day to increase her season total to 265 strikeouts, which breaks the record she set last season when she posted 255 strikeouts as a sophomore. The Bobcats won the first outing of the twinbill, 2-0, and recorded an 11-3 victory in five innings of play in game two.

Bobcats meet Navy in NCAA
Quinnipiac was dominant in winning its first NEC Tournament title over the weekend, first ousting three-time defending champion Sacred Heart, 18-9, in Friday’s semifinals, before rolling to a 15-3 win over Mount St. Mary’s in Sunday’s final...Sacred Heart had beaten Quinnipiac in each of the last three NEC Tournament championship games...Quinnipiac has now won six straight and 13 of its last 14 outings...The Bobcats will take on Patriot League champion Navy in the NCAA Tournament Play-In game on Saturday, May 7th at noon

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

SCSU's Slowley hopes for fast start

NEW HAVEN — Rashaad Slowley has led the Southern Connecticut State football team in rushing each of the last two seasons.

Not bad for a back-up running back.

That success has Slowley eager to start his senior campaign after finally assuming the role of feature back. Slowley even has some lofty numbers in mind.

“I think 1,500 yards sounds about right,” Slowley said before a recent spring practice session. The Owls play their annual spring game on Saturday at Jess Dow Stadium at 10:30 a.m.

Slowley might not see the most work in the spring game as he is battling the effects of a turf toe injury, but he certainly should be 100 percent when Southern kicks off the 2011 season at Central Connecticut State on Sept 3.

“It feels like I have more weight on my shoulders now,” Slowley said. “I was the guy who’d come in if something happened to the starter before. Now I have to be more of a leader and I have a lot to prove.”

Slowley has patiently bided his time waiting to assume the role of No. 1 back for Southern. As a sophomore he gained 849 yards and scored six touchdowns playing behind both Jarom Freeman and John Wiechman. Last season he again led the team with 885 yards and 10 touchdowns playing second fiddle to Wiechman (791 yards).

While both Freeman and Wiechman earned All-American status in their illustrious careers, Slowley has always been the promising heir apparent.

It is now time to take the throne.

“I learned so much from Jarom and Wiechman,” Slowley said. “I wouldn’t be the player that I am without them. It’s one thing to learn from the coaches but when they came out of the game they would always tell me what to look for and what to do. Continued...

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“They always helped me.”

Now the pupil is ready to become the teacher.

“I’m ready to lead this team now, by example,” Slowley said. “If you look at the numbers I’ve had the past couple of years, I’ve split time and we’ve gained about 1,500 yards. If I get a lot of those touches I can get that much myself.”

Slowley said that splitting series at back certainly helped make him fresher, but there were times he felt he could have done more.

“There’s always times when you want it more, especially when you’re in the zone,” he said. “I’d break an 80-yard run and the next series I’m out and I want to be in,” he said. “But it’s a team thing and as long as the job is getting done I’m fine with it — and I’m not sure I know too many systems that work with just one back. The two-back system is definitely a good system to have. You’re definitely a lot fresher.”

SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh implemented the running back-by-committee routine the past few seasons, rotating the hot hand among his three talented backs. Cavanaugh said he doesn’t expect that to be the case this year.

“Rashaad’s certainly contributed the last two years,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s time for him to step up and be the man, play in and play out. He’s got the edge and he’s going to carry the load.”

Slowley looks like the entire package. While Freeman was a blazer and Wiechman possessed bullish power, Slowley, a 6-foot, 205-pounder, can do it all. He scored four touchdowns last season on runs of over 25 yards and scored in seven different contests, helping Southern go 6-4 and earn a share of the Northeast-10 Conference title.

But that isn’t good enough for Slowley.

“Last year was a disappointment,” he said. “I know that we probably won’t be the favorite to win the conference title this year, but I feel we should be. We know what it’s going to take. Continued...

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“The past couple of years we’ve started out slow and then had to string wins together. We know how important it is to get off to a good start this year.”

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