ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene and other matters

Hurricane Irene has claimed its first victim in the area as the Quinnipiac University women’s soccer team’s game against Army, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m., has been cancelled.
The game will not be re-scheduled. Bobcat fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics,, for up-to-the-minute schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights.

Quinnipiac tips off the Fall college sports season Friday when the field hockey team plays host to Holy Cross. The game is slated for a noon start.

Albertus Magnus will unveil its new turf field on Aug. 31 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on campus. The Falcons will play men's and women's soccer on the new field and begin lacrosse teams.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yale names Rotan assistant women's basketball coach

Here are some news and notes from Tuesday around the area:

The Yale women’s basketball team announced the hiring of Kelly Rotan as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
After a successful playing career at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, Rotan spent the 2010-11 academic year working at Penn State as a marketing coordinator in the athletic department, where she helped organize events, promotions and fundraising efforts for the basketball teams and other Olympic sports.
Rotan joins a Bulldog staff that is coming off of its first-ever appearance in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). She will assist Coach Gobrecht and fellow assistant coaches Allison Guth and Jarietta Benton in the development of the Bulldogs’ post players, as well as all facets of game preparation.

The Southern Connecticut State women’s soccer team was selected eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference Coaches’ preseason poll. The Owls garnered 129 points after compiling an 8-6-3 overall record, and a 6-6-3 mark in the NE-10 last year.
The University of New Haven women’s team was picked to finish 10th in the poll.
Saint Rose was selected as the preseason favorite to win the league.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SCSU soccer third in poll; area notes

SCSU men’s soccer tabbed third: The Southern Connecticut State men’s soccer team has been selected third in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll, as it was announced earlier today. Previously, the Owls were stationed at No. 12 in the NSCAA National Preseason poll.
Southern Connecticut received two first place votes in the poll.
The Owls are coming off another successful season (14-2-4) in which they reached the NCAA Tournament second round. The 2011 season opener will be Sept. 3 against Bridgeport.
New Haven was picked 10th.
Also, the SCSU women’s cross country team has been ranked No. 2 in the region in the preseason rankings released by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The men’s team was ranked third.
Yale field hockey gets votes: In each of the past two seasons, the Yale field hockey team has utilized a mid-season hot streak to earn a spot among the teams receiving votes in the national poll. In 2011, the Bulldogs are starting the year there. They earned four points in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll.
Yale returns 13 letterwinners for Pam Stuper’s seventh season as head coach. That includes the top seven scorers and nine players who started seven or more games. The 2010 squad went 11-6 overall (5-2 Ivy League, tied for second place).
AMC names captains: Albertus Magnus men’s soccer head coach Jim Bernardo has announced that Jamal Howard, Nick Hamasian and Stephen Zapata will serve as team captains for the 2011 season.
Howard, of West Haven, was a captain last year for the Falcons, earned NSCAA/Performance Subaru Men’s DIII All-New England Region Second Team honors in 2010. He led the Falcons in goals (12) last season.
Hamden’s Hamasian joined Howard on the GNAC First Team as he was tagged as the 2010 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year. Zapata, also of Hamden, also earned First Team honors in 2010 as he led Albertus Magnus with 29 points and 13 assists. His 13 assists were good enough for second place in the conference rankings.
Gagne feted: University of New Haven graduate student-athlete Shannon Gagne has been selected as one of the top 30 honorees for the NCAA Woman of the Year. The association announced the top 30 women, 10 from each NCAA membership division, Tuesday.
After her record-setting season, Gagne continues to earn prestegious honors from the NCAA and the USTFCCCA.
The top 30 honorees were nominated by conference and independent members and represent multiple sports. Three finalists will be chosen from each division to form the nine finalists for the Woman of the Year award.

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Tennessee's Summitt diagnosed with dementia

This is fron the Associated Press and it's distubring news about Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

Tennessee’s Pat Summitt plans to coach “as long as the good Lord is willing” despite recently being diagnosed with early onset dementia.
In a statement from Summitt released by the university on Tuesday, the Hall of Fame coach said she visited with doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., after the end of the 2010-11 basketball season ended and was diagnosed with early onset dementia — Alzheimer’s type — over the summer.
“I plan to continue to be your coach,” Summitt said. “Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days.”
The Knoxville News Sentinel and Washington Post first reported Summitt’s condition. The coach did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Tennessee athletics director Joan Cronan told the AP that Summitt first thought her symptoms were side effects from medicine she was taking to treat rheumatoid arthritis. She said Summitt appears to be feeling better after beginning to get treatment for the dementia condition and speaking publically about it.
“She’s ready to fight this and move on,” Cronan said. “She had to come to grips with how she wanted to face it.”
Summitt, 59, told the Knoxville paper she plans to rely on medication and mental exercises to manage the progressive condition that destroys cognitive abilities over time.
She said longtime assistants Holly Warlick, Dean Lockwood and Mickie DeMoss will take on more responsibilities with the team going forward.
Summitt met with the Lady Volunteers on Tuesday to discuss her diagnosis with them. Junior guard Taber Spani said the meeting was business-like, with Summitt telling the Lady Vols nothing would get in the way for their quest of a ninth national title this season.
“More than anything she just emphasized that she’s our coach and that she wanted us to have complete confidence in her, and we do,” Spani told the AP.
Both UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Cronan pledged their support of Summitt’s decision to continue coaching.
“Pat Summitt is our head coach and she will continue to be,” Cronan said. “She is an icon not only for women’s basketball but for all of women’s athletics. For Pat to stand-up and share her health news is just a continuing example of her courage. Life is an unknown and none of us have a crystal ball. But I do have a record of knowing what Pat Summitt stands for; excellence, strength, honesty and courage.”
As college basketball’s winningest coach, Summitt has spent 37 seasons at Tennessee and has 1,071 career victories and eight national championships. The Lady Vols have failed to reach the Final Four since they last won the national championship in 2008.
Summitt said she met with local doctors after becoming concerned about her health, and those physicians recommended she undergo a more extensive evaluation. Summitt told the News Sentinel that her maternal grandmother had suffered from severe dementia.
“Pat came to us with concerns about her health and our preliminary evaluation was suggestive of dementia. Because of her young age, Pat was referred to neurology for formal evaluation,” Dr. Amy Bentley, with Knoxville’s Internal Medicine Associates, said in a statement. “After extensive testing, a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s was made and appropriate treatment was initiated.”
Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement he was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Summitt’s diagnosis.
“You don’t necessarily associate dementia with people our age so this announcement really put things in perspective,” Auriemma said. “Pat has great support from her family, friends and staff and I know they will help her immensely. There is no doubt in my mind that Pat will take on this challenge as she has all others during her Hall of Fame career — head on. I wish her all the best.”
AP-WF-08-23-11 1622EST

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Friday, August 19, 2011

SCSU football second in the NE-10 preseason poll

NEW HAVEN — A year ago the Southern Connecticut State football team was the preseason favorite to win the Northeast-10 Conference.
But, after seven games had been played, SCSU was just 3-4 and the troops were getting restless.
That’s when linebacker Sam-uel Johnson guaranteed his Owls would win the rest of their games.
“It worked for Joe Namath,” Johnson said. “The guys listened and we got it done.”
But Johnson took little satisfaction from the fact his prediction came true. The 6-4 finish was little reward. And with SCSU picked behind rival New Haven in this season’s preseason poll, Johnson already has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“I’m a straight shooter,” Johnson said. “We’re not picked first this year because Southern hasn’t been the team they’ve been in the past.
“Last year we were picked first and we didn’t perform. This year we’re picked second and if we perform well, we’ll be where we need to be.”
Johnson led the Owls with 76 tackles last year and was an All-Northeast-10 and All-ECAC selection. He also had three sacks, a team-high three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
But Johnson remembers some other disturbing numbers from last season.
See SCSU, E5
“We had 14 personal fouls and they turned into 10 touchdowns and four field goals,” he said. “We dropped 27 picks. You can’t win that way, you just can’t. If we come together as a group we’ll be fine.
“I had a good season last year but I listened and learned and that’s why I got better. That’s what everyone has to do this season. If the players work together and become a brotherhood, I really believe we would never lose.”
Johnson’s improvement last season was one of the brightest spots for SCSU coach Rich Cavanaugh.
“He’s a very tenacious football player,” Cavanaugh said. “He had a tremendous year last year. We’re expecting him to pick up where he left off. He plays the game from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet with every fiber in his body.
“The way he played last year, if I could have everybody on the team playing like Sam Johnson, I’d sleep pretty good at night. He had a breakout year and everything came together for him.”
Johnson will anchor the linebacker corps, perenially one of the best units in the region. Middletown’s Chevar Rankins and Gavin Nelson also return. The trio finished in the top four on the team in tackles. Add in Nate Tyler, Jack Petion and several others — all with great speed — and this unit will once again be a conference power.
Southern finished in a four-way tie for first place in the conference standings last year. The conference will add a ninth game to the NE-10 slate next season where the top two finishers will square off in an effort to give the conference winner more points to earn a berth in the postseason.
The Owls open the season Sept. 3 at Central Connecticut State. They won’t play a home game until Week 4.