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By Kirby Clark – Sports Editor / Taryn Murphy – Managing Editor

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The past two weeks have proved to be crucial for the soccer, cross country and field hockey teams, as they prepare for their seasons, which kick off this weekend. These teams have spent considerable time practicing, including double sessions, to mesh both old and new talent entering the 2014 campaign.

Notably, the women’s soccer team is looking to defend last year’s Landmark Conference Championship. They enter this season ranked third in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. They return a strong junior class, including standout Emma Campbell (’16), and welcome six newcomers to the roster. The team opens their season at the Cyclone Classic, hosted by Centenary College.

After falling in the first round of the Landmark Conference Tournament last year, and achieving nationally ranked status, the field hockey team will look to rebound and capture their first Landmark Conference Championship. The team begins the season ranked third in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. They welcome four newcomers, including a pair of transfers, Huma Sheikh (’17) and Michelle Fallon (’16), from strong field hockey programs. They will open the season in their annual Fall Fest Tournament this weekend.

Despite failing to secure a spot in the Landmark Conference Tournament last year, the men’s soccer team enters the 2014 season ranked third in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. This year, they will rely heavily on a solid and experienced group of defenders. They welcome a host of newcomers to the roster, who join the determined returners. They will open the season in their annual Fall Fest Tournament this weekend.

The cross country team will look to build on last year’s results. They will kick off their season this weekend at the Delaware Valley College Invitational.

Make your way down to Ranger Stadium this weekend, and throughout the fall season, to support your fellow Rangers!

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By DJ Pfefferkorn – Staff Writer

The men’s lacrosse team faced off against Landmark Conference rival Susquehanna on Sat. March 22 looking to push their conference record to 2-0 and advance their overall record to 4-3.

Susquehanna came out of the gate, scoring quickly in the first 50 seconds when Jack Calder found the back of the net. Susquehanna would continue their hot shooting streak by scoring five more goals before the first quarter ended in the conference matchup. Trailing 6-0 and on the extra-man advantage, Mark Barus (’14) scored the first Ranger goal thanks to an assist by Al Faiella (’14).

Three minutes later at the 11:42 mark, Andrew Somps (’14) scored his first goal of the game, bringing the Rangers within striking distance 6-2. Susquehanna then countered Drew’s scoring streak with a three goal run that pushed Susquehanna out to a 9-2 lead.

Somps added another goal for the Rangers before the half, cutting the deficit to 9-3. The Crusaders did not slow down in the second half, as they came out scoring their first goal from the stick of Austin Lein at the 11:55 mark of the third quarter. Brandon Skeehan (’13) then had a goal of his own for Drew, but it wouldn’t be enough, as Susquehanna would score the final seven goals of the game including four in the fourth quarter to earn then a 17-4 victory.

Kyle Mariboe (’14) started the game for the Rangers in the net and made eight saves in his seventh appearance of the season. Teddy Sweeney (’17) and Harry Litchfield (’17) allowed three goals and made one save in the outing.

Drew then took on Oberlin College on March 25, which marked the first contest between the two schools in Drew men’s lacrosse history. The Rangers struck first in the game when Mike Marone (’14) blew by the Oberlin defender from behind the goal and fired a laser in the back of the net betting the goal to the left post.

Oberlin then countered Drew’s early goal by scoring the next three goals of the contest, making it a 3-1 Oberlin lead with 13:14 left in the first half. Marone struck again and pulled the Rangers within one thanks to his second goal of the game at the 9:45 mark of the second quarter.

Aaron Davis (’13) and Steven Cola (’14) each scored goals for Drew before the period, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead heading into halftime. Drew came hot out the gate in the second half by scoring the first goal of the half due to a Davis assist to a wide open Barus who fired a shot in the upper-right corner of the goal for his first of the game.

After Oberlin scored a goal to make the score 5-4, Al Faiella (’14) scored on of his own when he picked up a loose ball in front of the goal and dunked it over the goalie to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead. Trailing 7-4, Oberlin scored the next three goals to tie the game 7-7 with just over 11 minutes left to play in the game.

Davis scored his second goal of the game give minutes later to give Drew an 8-7 lead with 6:08 left to play but Oberlin scored the final two goals both coming by Nick Lobley in the final minutes. Rangers goalkeeper Mariboe made his eighth appearance in goal and seventh start of the season for Drew in the net. Mariboe allowed nine goals and made 13 saves on the day.

Mariboe now has a staggering 93 saves on the season, which puts him at the top of the Landmark Conference in saves.

“We are starting to come together, the only way to go is up. The seniors are really picking us up as a team and the freshmen are gaining a lot of experience so everyone’s been playing better,” said Rich Shahpazian (’17).

“We feel confidant right now, the way we are starting to play together seems to be molding,” added Ryan Clay (’17).

The Rangers will return to action tomorrow in the first game of a men’s and women’s lacrosse doubleheader at Ranger Stadium as they face off against Landmark Conference opponent Goucher College at 12 p.m. The Rangers will look to improve their conference record this season with a win over the Gophers, who are currently 1-1 in the conference.They are currently 3-5 on the season and 1-1 in the Landmark.

 

 

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By Dylan Blanke-White – Staff Writer

The Drew baseball team, after a string of postponements brought on by inclement weather, found themselves playing six games in three days this past weekend. The Rangers emerged from the series 3-3, alternating wins and losses. The Rangers now stand at 1-1 in conference play and 5-6 overall on the season.

Friday’s games were split between Moravian and Drew. A phenomenal pitching performance from Dylan Baxter (’16) held Moravian to only one run, which the Drew offense surpassed easily.

Matt Kaplon (’14) began the third inning with a walk and the bottom if the lineup kept the rally going and loaded the bases for Steve Kowalski (’15) who ripped a single to center field to chase Kaplon home. Bobby Miskura (’16) would then come up and sky a fly ball just deep enough to plate the eventual winning run.

In game two, the Rangers were not so lucky and a poor display pitching wise from the Rangers caused them to fall 10-0. They managed only two hits which came from Klinger and Miskura.

Saturday began when Drew squared off against Richard Stockton College in the first game of a doubleheader. The sparkplug was Steve Kowalski (’15) who drove the Ospreys mad with his rampant advancement on the basepath. Kowlaski, leading off, turned on the jets when an errant throw from the second baseman flew over the head of the Osprey first baseman. Kowalski then promptly took off for third and swiped the bag easily. Anthony Feltre (’16) would walk and Miskura reached on a bobbled ball by the pitcher. The stage was set for Krause and he responded, blasting a double that went soaring into right-center field, good for three runs batted in.

The three run gap that opened up would be more than the Ospreys could handle and Drew hung on to win 6-3.

The Rangers fell in game two when starter Leo Ruiz (’15) allowed three earned runs in just three innings. Kowalski was hot again but could only do so much. The shortstop singled, stole second and advanced to third before he was driven in by Mark Alessio (’14) for the only Ranger run of the day.

The series was capped off Sunday by a doubleheader whose first game featured a rare walk-off victory.

Drew faced Franklin & Marshall and the two teams traded runs in the first inning, after which the two pitchers settled down. On the hill for the Rangers was Ryan Fitzpatrick (’17) who surrendered a first inning sacrifice fly but finished with a quality line of six innings pitched and three runs allowed. Fitzpatrick dealt with the Diplomat batters using a steaming fastball that when put into play was turned into outs by Drew’s solid defense.

Drew responded in the bottom of the first when Al Krause (’16) ripped a single into center field, sending home Miskura.

Fitzpatrick allowed runs in the fourth and fifth inning but retired the side in the top of the sixth before giving way to the sidewinding stylings of Matthew Hunter (’15). Hunter added to his dominant season with scoreless seventh and eighth innings, lowering his runs allowed per nine innings to only one.

A sixth inning rally sparked by eventual hero Mike Klinger (’16) knotted the score up at three, where it would stay until the eighth inning.

Miskura would get it started when he worked a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Michael Scarzafava (’15). Scarzafava would advance to second on a well executed sacrifice bunt by Krause.

Then stepped Jonathan Rodrigues (’17) who was brought in as designated hitter in the sixth. Rodrigues said he approached the at-bat “focused, confident and with one job in mind: move the runner over.” Rodrigues laced his third hit of the season into left field and Scarzafava, after an aggressive turn at third base, reluctantly obeyed the call of Coach Hirschberg, who was manning his usual position of third base coach, and retreated to the bag.

Klinger approached the plate and drilled a line drive for center field that looked as if it might be caught but the Center Fielder misjudged it, causing it to soar over his soon-to-be bowed head for the game winning hit.

Rodrigues, who was on first and delivered the key hit that set the table for Klinger, described the experience of being involved in a walk-off scenario as “exhilarating.” The freshman feels a certain “confidence” in his team and knows that “anyone can be clutch and come up in big situations.”

Drew would lose the second game of the doubleheader 2-8 when Starter Nate Brown (’15) allowed 5 runs in 4 innings. Drew will look for redemption Thursday at 3:30 p.m. when they return to Doc Young Field to take on New Jersey City University.

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In a five-day stretch that included two must-win games for the Drew Rangers Women’s basketball team, Drew went 2-0 and their playoff desire was on display.

 On Saturday, Drew traveled to Baltimore to take on the struggling Goucher Gophers. The game would prove to be a grueling double overtime marathon that could be considered the best game of the year.

The Rangers were led by Breana Wilson (’15) who logged a staggering 50 minutes of game time. When a full 40 minutes of regulation left the teams at a dead heat, 53 to 53.

With 8:08 to go in the second half, however, overtime wasn’t in anyone’s mind. The Rangers were teetering on the edge of contention for the playoffs as the scoreboard showed 52-38 Goucher. With the season on the line, Drew exploded and went on a 15-1 run capped by a final four points by Hannah Miller (’17). We were headed for overtime.

The teams traded baskets until nearly a minute remained. With the score knotted up, Courtney Stephens (’16) flipped a layup in and Drew was leading. Wilson would add a few free throws but with seconds remaining, Goucher drilled a three-pointer. Double overtime.

Stephens took over. She registered four points in Double OT and finished with eight as well as 14 rebounds.

Drew hung on, but to keep themselves alive in the playoff hunt, they would have to take on Merchant Marine on Wednesday night.

Drew won on Wednesday as well and moved Merchant Marine to a dismal 0-13 in conference play.

 Stephens, showing no signs of wear after Wednesday’s monster game, played every minute and locked in a season-high 19 points. Stephens shot efficiently sinking eight shots in only 12 attempts.

Drew was able to hold a comfortable double-digit lead for essentially the entire game as they kept their playoff hopes alive.

The Drew Rangers, whose record now stands at 13-11, has earned the right to determine whether or not they make the playoffs. Drew will square off against Juniata tomorrow at 4 p.m. The game will be played for fourth place in the Conference and a playoff berth.

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Drew took their talents to Goucher College on Saturday for a huge Landmark Conference matchup. Drew jumped out to an early 7-2 run with just under 16 minutes to play in the first half. Goucher answered back however by going on a 9-2 run and taking the lead 11-9 with just ten minutes left to play in the half. The rest of the first half was mostly even as Drew and Goucher traded blows but Goucher earned the lead 37-32 going into the second half.

Jason Huelbig (’16) was red hot in the first half, scoring 16 of his 18 points just in the first half. Goucher came out rolling scoring the first two points of the half taking a 39-32 lead. With just 11:33 left to play in the game, the Rangers trailed 47-41 but sparked a 17-4 run to take a 58-51 lead with just 6:44 left in the game.

Mike Klinger (’16) scored 15 of his game-high 19 points on the Ranger run. Goucher responded back by tying the game 62-62 with just two minutes left to play. After a missed Ranger jumper, Goucher came down the court drawing a foul and converted both from the line, taking a 65-63 lead. Goucher’s Alex Noble added two more dagger points from the free throw line making it a 67-63 Goucher win.

John Ford (’14) scored nine points and Brian McLaughlin (’16) also contributed with four points coming off the bench. Zach Nolan (’15) also contributed minutes off the bench, scoring four points as well.

Drew’s offense then took off and became way too much for Merchant Marine as Drew shot an impressive 58 percent from the floor in the final ten minutes of the game.

The Drew men’s basketball team then picked up a huge victory at home on Wednesday against conference rival Merchant Marine 77-63, which leaves Drew sitting at fifth place in the Landmark Conference.

Klinger drove the Drew offense scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the game. Huelbig also contributed for the win, recording his first double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Drew started out strong in the first half, when they expanded the lead by ten thanks to back to back three-pointers by Ford and McLaughlin, making it 17-9 Drew. Drew’s lead extended to twelve 24-12 with just 10 minutes left in the half. However, Merchant Marine made a big 18-8 run to cut the Drew lead to 32-30 going into the second half.

In the beginning of the second half, Huelbig came up with two big layups to set the tone for the half, as Klinger knocked down a three pointer right after the Huelbig layups. Drew took the lead 39-34 with 17:35 left in the game.

Merchant Marine took their only lead of the game with 11:30 to go, capping a 13-7 run giving them a one point lead 47-46. Drew’s offense then took off and became way too much for Merchant Marine as Drew shot an impressive 58 percent from the floor in the final ten minutes of the game. Ford ended his night playing 35 minutes and scoring 11 points. Kevin Michael Miller (’16) scored eight points and voted five shots off the island.

The Rangers play their last game of the season in a men’s and women’s doubleheader tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. in the Baldwin gym. The playoff scenario for Drew is still in reach: if the Rangers beat Juniata tomorrow and Merchant Marine loses to Susquehanna, Drew will take the fourth spot because they beat Merchant Marine twice.

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