Women’s Lacrosse Finishes Historic Season
It was a historic season for women’s lacrosse as the Pride won a program record 16 games this season, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship Sweet 16 for the first time in its history. The team dropped a 12-10 decision to Catholic University in the Sweet 16 round. Springfield bested Babson 5-4 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Championship to advance to the NCAA championship where it defeated Bridgewater State 8-7 for the program’s second-ever win in the national tournament. The Pride then ground out a 3-2 victory over ninth-ranked Bates to claim a spot in the Sweet 16. Springfield landed a program-best five student-athletes to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Berkshire All-Region team.
Men’s Lacrosse Makes Third Sweet 16 Appearance in Seven Seasons
The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship Sweet 16 for the third time in the past seven seasons. Behind the play of New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Year, Brendan Dooley (Setauket, N.Y.), Springfield captured its ninth-consecutive league title with a 12-7 triumph over Babson in the NEWMAC Championship. In the opening round of the NCAA, the Pride knocked off ninth-ranked Middlebury 11-10 in a triple overtime thriller before falling to eighth-ranked St. Lawrence 12-9 in the second round.
Men’s Volleyball National Runner Up
The men’s volleyball team finished as the NCAA Division III national runner up after it was defeated by New Paltz in four sets at Nazareth College. Set scores for the Hawks were 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, and 26-24. The Pride, which advanced to the national championship match for the seventh-consecutive season—and eighth time in the last nine years—closed its season with a 28-4 record. Springfield has captured nine Division III national championships as a men’s volleyball program, including winning three NCAA Division III Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Since the NCAA’s inception of a Division III Championship in 2012, Springfield has appeared in every title contest. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) and Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) were each named to the all-tournament team for their efforts for Springfield College.
Pair of Pride Wrestlers Regional Champions
Tyler Keane (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Jake Benedict (Pulaski, N.Y.) qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships for the first time in their careers after each captured individual regional titles. With Benedict and Keane atop the podium, Springfield College was one of only eight schools from across the entire Division III wrestling landscape to have multiple individual regional champions, as the duo competed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Record-setting Medeiros Earns All-America Honors in Swimming
Emily Medeiros (Wakefield, Mass.) put together an incredible showing at the 2016 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Medeiros earned All-America honors in the 100 breast event after she took fourth with a new school record time of 1:02.45. The following evening, in the 200 breast race, the junior clocked in at 2:16.46 to finish sixth in the nation, and earn her second All-America honor of the week. She met provisional times for the U.S. Olympic Trials, but deferred to focus on her pursuit of a degree in physical therapy, in which she currently holds at 3.90 GPA.
Gymnast Marissa DeAngelo’s Impressive Season
Marissa DeAngelo (Brookfield, Conn.), a member of the women’s gymnastics program, was named the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women Division III East Region Gymnast of the Year, as well as the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) East Region Gymnast of the Year honors. At the NCGA Championships at The College at Brockport, DeAngelo became a three-time All-American, as she took eighth place in the all-around competition, benefiting from a pair of school record-breaking performances in the all-around and on vault. In the individual event championships, DeAngelo took fifth in the vault when she repeated her school-record score of 9.725, before taking 11th in the balance beam with a 9.575 to pick up her second and third All-America honors of the weekend.
Historic Showing for Gymnast Jon Zirna in NCAA Division I Championship
Senior Jon Zirna (East Amherst, N.Y.) capped off his illustrious gymnastics career competing in the NCAA Division I Championships in St. John Arena at Ohio State University. Just reaching the competition was a historic moment in itself. Prior to that evening, only three times in the last 32 years has a Springfield College men’s gymnast reached the individual finals of the NCAA Division I Championship. Ryan Ponce ’14 took third on the rings in 2014, and in 1984, Jeff Coehlo earned second place on the rings to finish as the national runner up. Zirna, a physician assistant major, scored a 13.550 on his final collegiate routine competing against the likes of gymnasts from Stanford, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois on the parallel bars.
Successful ‘True Pride Challenge’ Supports Springfield College Athletics
For the second-consecutive year, the Springfield College Department of Athletics held its True Pride Challenge with the goal of growing the Friends of Springfield College Athletics (FOSCA) donor base. During a three-day period from April 26-28, the FOSCA donor base grew by nearly 40 percent as 1,125 friends, alumni, students, and families generously made a gift to impact the student-athlete experience in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Thanks to all those who participated, the $10,000 lead gift will be distributed appropriately among the 26 Springfield College varsity teams.
Men’s Volleyball Game Broadcast in Spanish
When the men’s volleyball team hosted MIT, the video stream on springfieldcollegepride.com was broadcast in Spanish. Springfield’s roster boasts six student-athletes who are from Puerto Rico, including Luis Garcia Rubio and Jonathon Rodriguez from Bayamon, Luis Vega from Corozal, Eli Irizarry Pares and Ricardo Padilla Ayala from San Juan, and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano from Adjuntas. A pair of Springfield College student-athletes who originally hail from Puerto Rico were the voice of the historic broadcast for Springfield College. Javier Cruz (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico) performed the play-by play duties. He is a doctoral student at Springfield College in the teaching and administration program. Fabiola Aviles (San Juan, Puerto Rico), a senior sport management major who spent the last two years as a member of the women’s volleyball program, was the color commentator for the match. “This is a unique way to celebrate diversity within our athletics program,” says Springfield College Director of Athletics Craig Poisson, PhD. “To have the ability to utilize a doctoral student and women’s volleyball student-athlete as a resource speaks to our diversity on this campus.”