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A year in review: 2007-08 Bobcat athletics
For Quinnipiac University, the 2007-08 season has been a banner year for athletics as the Spring sports begin to close out their seasons. Bobcat fans have witnessed some great individual achievements along with numerous superb team efforts.
Men’s soccer, which had only won one game the year before, did not lose until their 13th game of the season as they started out 9-0-3. Cross country continued to dominate the NEC by taking home the championship on both the men’s and women’s sides. Women’s basketball made their first postseason appearance as they hosted Iona in the first round of the WNIT. Each team had their ups and downs and their memorable moments this season, so here is a little recap of each team’s season.
The men’s soccer team turned most heads when they got off to their best start in school history. The only team in the nation to go longer without losing was Wake Forest. The Bobcats were led by junior forward Graciano Brito, who had one of the best seasons in school history. A few of the accolades that Brito scooped up along the way were NEC Player of the Year, named to the 2007 NSCAA/adidas North Atlantic All-Region First Team, and he was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section. The junior finished with 12 goals and 27 points for the season.
Just like their male counterparts, the women’s soccer team also got off to a hot start at the beginning of the season. After losing their opening game to Lehigh 2-0, the Bobcats won their next seven games and nine out of 10. The Bobcats posted a season-high five goals in their win over Siena on Sept. 23. In that match, Susan Donovan and Sara Lawlor each netted two goals, and Lauren Peacock added the fifth goal for the Bobcats. Lawlor and Leisl Lissfelt were both named to the All-NEC Second Team for their performances this season.
The volleyball team struggled during their 2007 campaign, but things may be looking brighter for the team in the future. First year head coach Robin Sparks has brought a winning attitude to the program and has already landed two recruits who should be able to help the Bobcats in the 2008 season.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams both recorded big 2007 season. The men’s team won their second consecutive NEC Championship as Jacob Gurzler, Keith Bushey, and Terence Moriarty all finished in the top three for the Bobcats. The women’s team won their third consecutive NEC Championship as Kristen Stevens won her second straight individual championship at the race. Stevens also won the Quinnipiac Invitational, finished second at the CCSU Invitational, and finished third at the New England Cross Country Championships.
The field hockey team had a disappointing 2007 season, but was able to close it out with a pair of wins. The Bobcats defeated Siena 2-1 and sent their seniors out with one last win with a Senior Day victory over Monmouth. Lauren Hartnett, Megan McCreedy and Bonnie Shea all had goals in their win over the Hawks. Junior goalkeeper Jenna Grossman was named NEC Player of the Week twice during the 2007 season.
Women’s basketball put themselves on the NCAA basketball map when they qualified for the WNIT by winning the NEC regular season crown. The Bobcats were awarded a home game in their first postseason appearance as they hosted the Iona Gaels. Even though the Bobcats lost the game, it was a major stepping stone for a program that only lost six games all season. Junior guard Erin Kerner led the team by scoring 17 points per game and was named to the All-NEC First Team. The Bobcats will look to contend for another NEC Championship next season as they return Kerner, along with guards Mandy Pennewell and Brianna Rooney.
Men’s basketball began a new era as Tom Moore took over as head coach for the Bobcats. The Bobcats finished with a record of 15-15 as they were led by senior DeMario Anderson. Anderson was the unquestioned leader and did a little bit of everything for QU as he averaged 21.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Quinnipiac was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter when Anderson hit a half-court buzzer beater to knock off Central Connecticut 76-73 in overtime. The shot led off the SportsCenter’s broadcast and was the No. 1 play in the country for the night. His shot was also nominated as a finalist for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance.
“It’s a dream come true, something you always think about,” Anderson said of his shot. “It also gave us a lot of great exposure.”
After reaching the ECAC Championship game in 2007, the expectations were high for the men’s hockey team heading into the 2007-08 campaign. During the middle of the season, the Bobcats went nine straight games without a loss and climbed as high as No. 10 in some rankings. During a 5-1 drubbing of Yale on Feb. 8, the Bobcats packed the house with a record 4,213 fans. Five different Bobcats scored and Bud Fisher made 25 saves in the victory. Quinnipiac, who lost their last six regular season games, defeated Brown in the first round of the ECAC Tournament. The Bobcats then fell to No. 3 Harvard in the quarterfinals.
The women’s ice hockey squad will bring plent of experience to the table during their 2008-09 season. They will return their top four scorers from this year’s team which includes Elyse Cole, Trudy Reyns, Kallie Flor, and Brandice Moniz. While the team struggled for most of the season, they did register a sweep of Robert Morris on Jan. 3 and 4. Next season, the team will have a new coach in Rick Seeley. Seeley, who coached at Clarkson last season, will look to get the program heading in a winning direction.
During their winter season, the men’s and women’s indoor track teams had some special performances. Tyler Dinnan and Lindsey Pierret each won the 5000m for their respective squads at the Yale Season Opener Dec. 8. For the women, five members of the team were named to the All-NEC Indoor Track Team.
Men’s lacrosse started off their season with six straight victories. The Bobcats picked up a pair of one goal victories over St. John’s and Providence during this stretch. In their win over St. John’s, Garrett Kerr scored the game-winning goal as time expired to give the Bobcats the 11-10 victory over the Red Storm. The Bobcats defeated Air Force 11-10 in overtime to nab their first Great Western Lacrosse League victory of the season. Quinnipiac will finish the regular season when they welcome Bellarmine on Apr. 26.
Women’s lacrosse has been the definition of hot as the season is coming to an end. After dropping their first NEC game to Monmouth, the Bobcats won seven straight to guarantee a share of the NEC crown. Quinnipiac has been led by Tiffany Manzi who has had a monster season as she has compiled 31 goals and nine assists. Hannah Nelson has been solid in net for the Bobcats as they will look to win the NEC Tournament and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Men’s baseball was looking to win their second consecutive NEC regular season title heading into the 2008 season. However, the Bobcats have struggled during NEC play. So far, the Bobcats have been led by Pete Kummerfeldt. The big lefty leads the team with a .315 batting average and six home runs. He is also second in RBIs with 21. With four more NEC series to go, the Bobcats will look to make a late season push for the NEC crown.
Right now, the women’s softball team sits in eighth place with four more NEC games to be played. The Bobcats will travel to take on last place Mount St. Mary’s for two games and then face Monmouth for their final two conference games. Last Saturday, the Bobcats secured two victories in their sweep of Georgetown. The pitching staff has been by Carolyn Schmolz who has a team best 2.64 ERA. For the offense, Christine Bourdeau leads the team with a .326 batting average and 14 RBIs.
Men’s golf has hit the links for the 2008 season and has had some quality individual performances. In their last
three tournaments, the Bobcats have been led by three different golfers. Brady Giroux led the Bobcats at the Yale Open, Charlie Niland at the New England Championships and Jayson Loranger at the Mount St. Mary’s Spring Invitational.
The men’s tennis team captured the No. 2 seed in the NEC tournament and advanced to the conference title match before falling to No. 1 Fairleigh Dickinson. The Bobcats finished 7-10. John Hughes and Brian Mikkelson will lead a squad that has eight of its nine members returning next year as the Bobcats, who won three straight NEC titles in ’04, ’05 and ’06, will look to reclaim the top in the conference.
The women’s tennis team continued their dominance of the Northeast Conference, winning their fifth consecutive NEC tournament title and advancing to the NCAA tournament. Amanda Petruzzi is the only graduating senior and Mary Wilson and Jackie Herb will be amongst those returning, looking to keep the Bobcats as a perennial NCAA tournament team in 2009.