Category Archives: Sports

Canisius and Western Michigan Both Top Softball in Doubleheader

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State University lost two games on March 10, in the Under Armor Series Tournament in Tampa, Florida. The First game was against Canisius, and the second was against Western Michigan. Canisius Golden Griffins beat CCSU, 3-1, while Western Michigan beat the Blue Devils 2-0.

Sarah Oglivie hit a double to left center in the second inning, then later scored on an Emily Cronin single. That was the only run for CCSU Blue Devils against Canisus.

Canisius would go on to tie the game in the third, until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Blue Devils went on to give up two scores in the sixth inning.

Alex Casanas got her first start of the year, only allowing three hits, one run and walk though four innings before being pulled.

Oglivie took over pitching and struggled to finish the game. In her two innings, she gave up five hits and two runs.

Canisius pitcher Madi Weathers threw for all seven innings. She only allowed two hits, one run and two walks.  She also struck out five different players.

Western Michigan started the game well, going three for three and grabbed one run right in the first inning. Emily Sargent would start the second game for CCSU, but they were shut out by Western Michigan.

Sargent pitched the entire game and allowed only five hits and two runs. She gave up two walks and had one strike out.

Western Michigan pitcher Jordan Kurth played close to a perfect game, after pitching the entire thing and allowing three hits and no runs. She struck out three players and never allowed a base on balls. Kurth faced a total of 25 batters and had a pitch strike ratio of 106-68.

CCSU had one final opportunity in the top of the seventh inning, when Oglivie and Brittany Camara were out to third and second base. Emily Cronin tried to make a comeback with an opportunity to bring both girls home. She went on to bunt the ball to get to first base, but it was snuffed out and the inning was over.

It’s Arsène Wenger Time to Leave

by Dillon Meehan

In the fall of 1996 Arsenal dismissed their manager Bruce Rioch after a series of disputes with board members. Following his departure the board decided to bring in Arsène Wenger, a figure who was relatively unknown by the English media.

It was a rough start, he came in with a focus on sports science and nutrition. Before his tenure, it was standard procedure for players to often drink in the locker room and go out on their off days. Yet Wenger changed all of that.  He banned his players from drinking and junk food, he encouraged them to avoid red meat and replace it with chicken. Apart from diet, he had his players injected with vitamins and use Creatine to recover from games and training.

A year later, he became the first foreign-born manager in the English Premier League to win the “double,” by capturing both Premier League title and the F.A. Cup.

Four seasons later, in 2002 he would repeat history by leading Arsenal to another double. But he wasn’t done; in 2004 Arsenal became the first team since Preston North End 115 years prior to go undefeated throughout an entire season, and the first to do so in a 38-game season.

He had revolutionized the game in eight years; but he had also plateaued.

In 2006 the club finished fourth in the Premier League, a first for Wenger. On top of that, the club blew a lead late in the second half against Barcelona in the Champions League final. At the start of the summer, the club built a new stadium which was supposed to cement Arsenal as one of premier destinations for the top players in the sport, but in reality it was the opposite.

The owner and board elected to choose prioritize financial success over improving the team.  Instead of bringing in players, they began to lose some of their best.  It started with Sol Campbell, Lauren and Rober Pirès in 2006.  A year later Thierry Henry, the clubs best player, left for Barcelona.

That was only the beginning, in 2009 the club started a trend of sending their best players to Manchester City, first with  both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure in July 2009. Two years later the club sold another two as Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri both left.

The following year in 2012, Robin Van Persie would also leave for Manchester, this time going to United.

Over the past decade, Arsenal have become a shadow of the club they once were around the turn of the century. The club has now lost in Champions League Round of 16 in seven straight seasons. They have repeatedly blown chances to win the Premier League title. The only silverware they have to show are two F.A. Cup titles in 2014 and 2015. But that competition is essentially worthless now, with the majority of clubs using their B-teams to compete in it.

This season has been particularly awful for Wenger and his squad. Earlier in the month, they suffered an embarrassing lost 10-2 on aggregate against Bayern Munich. While fans thought it couldn’t get worse Arsenal managed another embarrassing 3-1 against West Brom.

The former perennial title contenders now sit in sixth place tied with Everton.  With Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all looking to have rebounded from their slow starts it is unlikely that Arsenal will even be able to contend for a Champions League spot, and even worse, finish below their London rivals Tottenham for the first time since the inception of the Premier League.

Arsène Wenger has a choice; either tarnish his legacy as one of the games greatest coaches, or resign. If he stays he will likely see the clubs two best platers Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil leave this summer, further plummeting his squad.

If he reigns he can either take a spot as the club’s Sporting Director, or take a job elsewhere. Following PSG’s embarrassing defeat to Barcelona and their performance in Ligue 1, there is a chance that Unai Emery could be fired or resigned. This would open the door for Wenger to finish his career in an easier league with a much better squad.

Blue Devils Grab Second Win Against La Salle

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State’s softball team beat La Salle, 3-0 on March 11. Emily Sargent pitched her second consecutive complete game, recording her first shutout of the season. She allowed one hit in seven innings, while walking three batters and striking out two. Sargent improved her record to 2-4 this season.

Alexis Debrosse tripled on a hit to left field on the first at bat of the game for CCSU.  Emily Cronin reached first, on an error allowing Debrosse to score and take a 1-0 lead. Brittany McNulla then doubled to left center, scoring Cronin to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Sarah Oglivie would single to right field and eventually score as Tori Constantin doubled to left field, giving the Blue Devils their third and final run.

Debrosse went up to bat four times. She was an offensive weapon for the Blue Devils again. She scored a run and a hit, striking out two times.

Emily Cronin had three at bats and one hit with one run scored and one RBI.

Oglivie went up to bat three times.  She also had one hit and one run.  Despite being a freshman, Oglivie has had a lot of impact as of late.

La Salle pitcher Reilly Gearhart threw a complete game with nine strike outs.  She allowed three runs on seven hits. Gearhart is now 1-3 when she starts for La Salle.

La Salle had no answer for CCSU, and weren’t able to score a single run the entire game.  La Salle’s lack of offense didn’t help their chances as they only had one hit, their only other offense came from three walks.

Softball Gets First Win Against UPenn

by Humera Gul

The Central Connecticut State University Softball team got their first win of the season, 6-3 against University of Pennsylvania on March 9. The game was at Eddie C. Moore Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game uplifted CCSU’s record to 1-5. UPenn dropped to 4-6.

Emily Sargent pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils. She struck out three and walked three, while giving up a total of nine hits and three runs, with only two earned.

Sargent stopped many attempts by the Quakers early in the game.  For the Blue Devils, Brittany McNulla and Brittany Camara played strong the entire game. McNulla had the team’s first hit and Camara began the rally in the sixth inning. Alexis Debrosse walked on four balls to first base in the sixth inning.

UPenn made two pitching changes to stop the rally from CCSU. However, it fell short as CCSU scored two more runs. Maddie Landry scored on a hit-by-pitch and Sarah Ogilvie brought in Camara with a single.

McNulla went up to bat four times and had one run and three hits and allowed a run. She went up to bat with a vengeance each time and hit three times in her four opportunities.

Kerri Dadalski went up to bat a total of three times. She had one run and one hit, and had 3 RBIs. Dadalski had a double play that sealed the game for the Blue Devils.

Debrosse went up to bat three times and had one run and no hits. She got the base on balls and could score for the Blue Devils and struck out once. Debrosse proved to be patient and took a base on balls delivered and scored off that base as the Blue Devils put together a good finish.

Blue Devils Fall Short In Conference Semi Finals

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State University’s women’s basketball team  fell to Robert Morris 70-62 in the NEC Semi-Final. It was a close game, but the Colonials of Robert Morris held on to beat CCSU, closing their year at 11-21 and 9-10 in the league.

CCSU shot 23 of 55 from the field. and were 13 of 16 from the foul line. They struggled beyond the arc and shot three of 14.

Giocelis Reynoso finished with a double-double. She was four of nine from the field and made both of her free throws, finishing with 10 points. She grabbed a career high 15-rebounds, one assist, one steal and a block.

Aleah Epps led the team in scoring with 15 points. She was four of eight from the field and made seven of her eight free throws. She was able to record one rebound, three assists and two steals.

Andi Lydon contributed 10 points and was four of 11 from the field, and two of six from the beyond the arc. She had four rebounds, one assist and two steals.

Robert Morris shot 24 of 56 from the field, five of 17 from the arc and was 17 of 24 from the foul line. Robert Morris also didn’t shoot well from the arc, however, the Colonials drew many fouls and took good advantage of those shots. The Colonials were 70.8 percent in foul shots.

Anna Niki Stamolamprou had played well for the Colonials, with five of 16 from the field, two of five from the arc and three of four from the foul line. She finished with five rebounds, four assists and two steals and scored many points for her team.

Rebeca Navarro also played well for the Colonials.  She was four of 11 from the field, two of seven from the arc and one of two on foul shots.  She also had five rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block.

CCSU went into the half being down by just four points, but in the third quarter they were outscored by nine points. CCSU started the fourth period being down by 13 points and outscored Robert Morris in the fourth quarter 22-17, but it was too late. Robert Morris eventually went on to win the NEC tournament against Bryant.

Hickey Gets Team Ready For Conference Play

by Alex Nordstrom

The Central Connecticut State Blue Devil baseball team has had an up and down run in the Northeast Conference, which has been highlighted by a stretch from 2002-2004 when they won title for three consecutive years.

In the past few years however, the Blue Devils have been inconsistent in where they have ended up among conference competition.

Last year, CCSU made the NEC tournament finishing fourth during the regular season with a 15-17 record. However, the season before that they missed the tournament finishing in last pace.  Two years ago, in 2014, they were runner’s up in the regular season for the NEC conference.

In the NEC pre-season poll this season, the Blue Devils received a number two ranking in the conference behind reigning tournament champion Bryant and ahead of last year’s runner-up Sacred Heart.

Leading the way for the Blue Devils this year will be their All-NEC junior second basemen Dean Lockery, who was third in hits (72) and seventh in batting average (.344) in the conference last season. CCSU also has a returning All-League first team starting pitcher in senior Andrew Hinckley, anchoring the pitching staff who was fourth in the conference last year in wins (8).

With such a high ranking and spot to be in heading into the 2017 season, 18th year head coach of the Blue Devils, Charlie Hickey, says that rankings mean nothing to his team.

“I don’t think it means anything in terms of pre-season rankings and to be honest about it, I didn’t even know about it,” said Hickey. “We have to sure up some things with our pitching staff with a couple of injuries before heading into conference play first of all.”

Hickey did point out that his team will benefit from more three game weekends than four this season.

“The first two weekends are only going to be three games which will be beneficial to us at this time of the year,” said Hickey.

With two of the team’s top pitchers in, senior Brett Susi and junior Cody Brown coming off injuries, Hickey says that shorter game match ups early on in the season will give these two the time to get back fully healthy without the need to rush.

Hickey said another positive thing that his Blue Devils have going for them right now is a lot of different position combinations that has created good competition for his players.

“Competition creates a little anxiety and people come to the ballpark having to prove themselves,” said Hickey. “It is not going to be a team that we are going to just write down the same nine guy’s everyday which is fine and it will keep everyone going.”

Bryant is a team at the top of the list that CCSU is looking to take down this year, especially as they come into this season as reigning conference champions, in addition to a top ranking in the conference.

“They are a good team, and they have been a good team,” said Hickey. “They are re-building a little bit this year after having seven kids drafted off of last year’s team, which is pretty remarkable in this conference and part of the country.”

When it comes down to it, Hickey puts it very simple regarding his expectations for this upcoming season, pre-season rankings and everything else set aside.

“I think our expectations are to be able to compete at the top level of the conference, it’s where we should be and what we are capable of doing.”

Currently on the young season, CCSU sits at 9-7 in non-conference play, good enough for the best record in the conference so far. They started conference play this weekend with three wins against Mount St. Mary’s, as they began their run towards a conference title.

 

Ali Hooker is Making a Comeback

by Lauren Lustgarten

There are about 250,000 to 300,000 ACL injuries per year, and the majority of those injuries are happening to athletes. “You always hear about athletes tearing their ACLs, but you never think it is going to be you,“ said member of the Central Connecticut State University Women’s Lacrosse team, senior Ali Hooker.

On March 12, 2016, on Arute Field against Iona College, Hooker became one of those statistics. She landed the wrong way while going to cage, resulting in a completely-torn left ACL and a half-torn left meniscus.

“I have never went down in a game before, so I knew it was a serious injury as soon as I hit the ground. To validate it, I even heard the famous ‘pop,'” said Hooker.

The thoughts racing through an athletes’ mind when they go down in a game are all over the place. For Hooker, she had no doubt that her life was about to change.

“I heard the pop and I just knew. At that moment, all I kept thinking was that my season was over when it had just begun,” said Hooker. “As soon as the trainer told me he thought it was my ACL, I immediately asked ‘well, can I still play on it?’”

That question quickly got shot down the next day when Hooker saw her doctor, who confirmed that she did tear her ACL and had a partially torn meniscus, which refrains athletes from playing without surgery.

For some athletes, they only care about how their injury is going to affect them and how they are going to handle it. While that was a thought in Hooker’s mind, she also thought much about her team.

“I was nervous for them. I knew I was needed out there and for some reason I didn’t feel bad for myself, I felt bad for my team that I couldn’t be out on that field with them anymore,” said Hooker.

She explains her experience of watching her eventually 3-13 team struggle out on the field as frustrating and miserable. “Not being able to do anything other than try to coach my teammates and talk to them off the field was really hard. Every aspect of this injury is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” said Hooker.

Post-surgery is the hardest time for athletes. While that is the time to start rehabbing and get stronger to get back on the field, it is also a mind game. Hooker started physical therapy the day after her surgery to try to get her flexion and extension back in her knee. From then on, she attended physical therapy four times a week for three hours each session. The normal recovery time for an ACL tear is six to 12 months. It is expected that athletes start to lose motivation.

“Right after surgery, I was hopeful. My mindset was that I needed to do everything I could to get stronger and get back better than ever for myself and my team,” said Hooker. “Around five months out of surgery, I lost steam and motivation. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still went to all of my physical therapy sessions and I still worked hard, but I still felt at five months along, I was not going anywhere. I knew I still had months to go, so it became increasingly harder to go through those motions everyday.”

Hooker fought through and nine months after surgery, after almost one year of telling herself “It will be worth it in the end,” she was back. “I just had to keep saying that I didn’t go through 10 months of not being able to play the sport I love for nothing.”

Hooker’s first game back was on Feb. 18, against Quinnipiac University. For someone who usually never got nervous for games, she was terrified. “I felt good and I felt excited, but boy, was I anxious,” said Hooker. “I ended up playing better than I thought I would as I was convinced my nerves were going to consume me. I also always hear stories about athletes coming back and tearing their ACLs again, so I thought that I was going to be cautious and timid with my playing. But, once that whistle blew, I knew I had to make my mark again.”

So she did. By the second game, Hooker took back her spot as a starter and three games into the season, she has one goal and three assists. She feels that trusting the process and trusting that she did everything for a reason really is going to set the tone for the rest of the season.

“My advice to any athlete that may go through an injury like this, is to simply never give up and push yourself. It’s not supposed to be easy.” Hooker’s surgeon always told her something that has gotten her through: “It’s 10 percent what your surgeon does and 90 percent the work you put in after.”

Hooker wants athletes who may find themselves in her position to realize it is just another roadblock and you can and will overcome it.

“This injury will not only make you a stronger athlete, but also a stronger person. It has taught me to make the most of a bad situation and as backwards as it sounds, if this has to happen to you, this injury does have the ability to change you for the better if you let it.”

The Blue Devils Go Cold Against Lafayette

 

by Kimberly Pena

The Central Connecticut State University Women’s Lacrosse team was winded out by Lafayette University, with a 17-6 loss on a cold Saturday afternoon, dropping their record to 0-4.

Six different Blue Devils scored for the team, including senior Jessica Giangarra, who had a goal and two assists to lead the CCSU offense. Sophomore goalkeeper Jackie Branthover posted eight saves for the Blue Devils.

In the first half, the Leopards came storming out to build a 5-1 lead with just about seven minutes into the game. Amanda Case, Emma Novick, Jane Kirby, Kirsten Wilhelmsen and Emily Wingate had a goal a piece for LU.

Junior Kylie Sullivan got the Blue Devils back on the board with an assist by Giangarra to cut the score 5-2.

But, the Leopards did not slow down and were on fire after CCSU’s goal. The Leopards went on a 6-0 goal run, capped off by LU Hannah Davey’s 12th goal of the season giving Lafayette a 10-2 lead, with about 14 minutes left in the half.

“I think we just let them put some balls in the back of the net right away,” said Lacrosse team Head Coach Princess Livingston. “It kind of just deflated our confidence, and so it was hard for us to climb back in it. I think that’s what happened right away.”

The cold did not help the CCSU girls either, according to the players. It disoriented the team for much of the game offensively and defensively.

“I think the weather got to us,” said senior Marissa Soto. “It got to our hands and then let it get to our heads. I think everyone started sinking down and started showing it.”

Soto also posted a goal with 12:19 remaining in the half, cutting the lead 10-3; it was her ninth goal of the season.

The Leopards then went on another 6-0 run to extend their lead 16-3, including three from LU’s Jane Kirby, who posted five goals in the game to lead the Leopards.

“Going into it, Lafayette we knew was a very good team,” said Soto. “I don’t want to say I knew we were going to lose because, I will never say that. But, they are a very good program. I didn’t expect to come out here and shove goals in the back of their net, then stop them right away with defense.”

The second half was pretty quiet for both teams as CCSU scored three goals by Giangarra, freshmen Megan Szawlowski and freshmen Cameron Ruberti. Meanwhile, LU only scored once after a monstrous display in the first half.

“We still have a lot of games left, so we’re going to have to have a good week of practice and get a win on Friday,” said Senior captain Kelsey Murphy. “One game at a time.”

The Blue Devils will play their third straight home game on March 10, hosting St. Mary’s at 1 p.m. on Arute Field.

 

Women’s Basketball Moves On to the NEC Semi Finals

by Brennah Dallaire

Central Connecticut State University Women’s Basketball will advance to the Northeast Conference Semi Finals, after a 65-47 win at Saint Francis University on Sunday. The Blue Devils played a hot fourth quarter, scoring 26 points.

Kiana Patterson led the team in scoring against SFU, making three-of-seven attempted three-point field goals and four-of-seven attempted free throws. Patterson scored 19 points total.

SFU had a five-point lead in the second quarter and there was a lot of back-and-forth in the third quarter before CCSU finished strong in the fourth quarter at the NEC Quarter Finals game.

After a missed jump shot by SFU player Ace Harrison, Blue Devil’s guard Patterson made a defensive rebound followed by a three-point jump shot to start the fourth quarter. In addition, Patterson made two more three-point jump shots, a lay-up and three free throws in the fourth quarter.

Blue Devil’s forward Cebria Outlow contributed two layups and teammate Chayla Lewis made four free throws to add to a hot fourth quarter. Andi Lydon had a tip in and Aleah Epps made one free throw to add to the 26 points scored in the fourth quarter.

“Playing as the underdogs made us play with a chip on our shoulder,” said Lewis. “I think the key to our victory in Sunday’s game was that we worked together and stayed together throughout the entire game.”

Lewis had a stand-out game as a reserve, making five of eight attempted field goals in 16 minutes on the court. Lewis finished the game with 63 percent field goal accuracy, the highest player field goal percentage of the game. She made three of four attempted free throws and scored a total of 13 points contributing to the 27 bench points made by CCSU.

CCSU’s strong roster of reserves helped the Blue Devils stay strong in the fourth quarter. CCSU made 27 bench points compared to the two bench points SFU recorded.

“We’ve been working hard all season for this,” said Lewis. “I’m just proud of my team.”

Reynoso Giocelis had a solid game, scoring nine points. Giocelis led CCSU in rebounds, making four offensive and seven defensive. Giocelis also led the team with three steals and two blocks.

SFU forward Courtney Zezza scored 16 points. SFU guard Jessica Kovatch followed with 12 points scored.

“We all had the same menality that we weren’t ready for the season to end or to lose to Saint Francis again,” said Lewis. “It felt good to come away with a win.”

CCSU will advance to the NEC Semi Finals on March 8 at 7 p.m. The site of higher seed is to be determined.

Blue Devils Gear Up For Big Season This Fall

by Dillon Meehan

It’s February, which signifies the start of the 2017 season for Central Connecticut’s football team.

First there is national signing day, where thousands of kids across the country formally announce where they will be attending college. For the Blue Devils that number was 17. Eight of which came out of Connecticut, which was by far the most from any state.

“It was a strong class,” said Pete Rossomando head coach of the Blue Devils. “They really fit our needs the guys that we took. In the past we’ve always tried to focus on Connecticut first and then move on after that to our outlying areas. But this year was especially strong for us and kids wanted to stay close to home.”

However signing day is not the only way to improve a roster. Two seasons ago, the Blue Devils brought in Cameron Nash who transferred from West Virginia and quickly became one of the main contributors to the Blue Devils offense. This year it is Kyle Baum, a safety from Temple. Bringing in Division I talent is a great way to improve the team. But Rossomando insists they’re not bringing in kids with bad backgrounds, he does not want to cut corners in order to win.

“It’s got to be the right fit overall, the kid that we took from Temple is a 3.5 GPA pre med major. We want to make sure we get good people. It’s important to get good players I get it. Everyone wants to win, but at what costs. I got to work with these kids everyday, I want to make sure I work with good people.”

It’s going to be an important year for Rossomando, who is feeling the pressure of not meeting it up to some fans expectations.

“I’m in my fourth year here, and we haven’t necessarily turned it around the way everyone else has expected. But we want to make sure we’re doing it the right way. When I was at New Haven, I didn’t do that, when we were at Albany, we didn’t do that. We built it the right way.”

This particular Blue Devils team has the luxury of being filled with upperclassman. Having only a handful of players, Rossomando hopes to see just how good they can be with spring practices starting next month.

We’ve got a lot of guys back. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re gonna be better but we’ve got a pretty good chance at being better,” said Rossomando of his team. “Defensively we only lost three guys that played. They’re good players, but I think we have some depth behind them that will help us. I think we’re ready to make a jump this year. We have a veteran team coming back, which is nice. They understand expectations, they understand what it takes to win in this league.”

This fall is going to see the Rossomando face off against a FBS team for the first time in his career. The Blue Devils are opening their season against Syracuse. It’s tough to face a Division I program, let alone from one of the “Power 5” conferences. Rossomando doesn’t know what to expect, but he knows it’s a huge opportunity for his team.

“I don’t know, I’ll let you know on Sept. 3,” Rossomando said with a smile. “They’re a good team, it’s just going to be fun. It’s going to be fun for our kids. It’s the Carrier Dome one of the iconic buildings in the country, specially at the college level.”

Spring practice generally starts in mid to late March, with the spring game coming in the last week of April. Stay tuned for more updates on the Blue Devils.