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The Drew University Women’s basketball team finished with a .500 record of 13-13 last year and 6-7 in the a Landmark Conference which eliminated them from playoff contention.

This year though, is a new year for the Rangers basketball team, especially with the absence of former captain Briana Reich (C’14) and former strong center Logan Cavanaugh (C’14) who contributed many points and rebounds inside the paint. Like all college teams, the Rangers will have to find replacements for the talent that they lost, but the search might not be that hard to find.

The Rangers named Breana Wilson (’16) the solo captain for the 2014-2015 season due to her leadership on and off the court along with the motivation she brings every game. Erin Howard (’16) will also be a big part of that offense especially in the paint where her height tends to be a very hard matchup for any team in the Landmark Conference.

Wilson (’16) led the shooting for the Rangers last season with 12.3 points per game while playing a team high average of 37 minutes per game. Her athletic ability and dribbling skills are a serious threat for defenders especially when she can provide open shots beyond the arc.

The Rangers struggled at home last season with a record of 3-8 that hurt them in the long run, but with a new squad and with an above average recruiting class coming in, they look to turn the table on that stat. “We want to play smart basketball and attack the basket this season,” said Howard (’16), “we also want to communicate better with each other this year and we are aiming to be the hardest working team in the Landmark Conference”.

With the short time that Howard (’16) had last season, she put up a good number of points per game and contributed on the defensive side by providing key blocks down the stretch. Off the bench, one player to watch for is Veronica Chmiel (’17)  who has been practicing well over the last couple weeks.

“We really feel good about this season” said Chmiel , “Our coach is really pushing us so we are prepared for opening day”. Hannah Miller (’17) will also be one of the main shooters this year, coming back from an exceptional freshman season especially from the floor.

Opening day for the Rangers will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. against non-conference opponent Clarkson University in the opening day of the Rose City Classic.

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As they looked to capture their first Conference win of the season, the women’s swimming and diving team faced off against Landmark Conference rival Marywood University on Nov. 8. The Rangers posted five first place finishes with the 400 medley relay leading off the day for the women. Jenny Stein (’18), Lindsey Pearce (’17), Kristen Zeigler (’16) and Jordan Jessup (’17) combined for a time of 4:32.89, edging the Pacers by less than a second to grab eleven points. Stein led off with a time of 1:09.82 backstroke leg before Pearce finished the breaststroke in 1:14.50, which was the fastest of the heat.

Stein ended up going 3-3 by winning her two individual events as well. Jessup and Pearce also tasted victory once again as Jessup finished first in the 100 yard backstroke and Pearce finished first in the 100 yard breaststroke. The women’s team ended up dropping the meet 118-74 to the Pacers. The men’s team was paced by Mike Smoliga (’16), Peter Mari (’17) and Bobby DeMarco (’17). Smoliga began his day with a third place finish in the 50-yard freestyle after a sprint of 24.10 seconds. Mari picked up another second place spot for the Rangers in the 100 yard breaststroke stopping the clock at 1:11.12, but it wouldn’t be enough as Marywood took the men’s meet 133-55.

The Rangers will return to the FM Kirby Pool tomorrow at 1 p.m. for a home dual meet against Landmark Conference rival Catholic University.

 

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In a weekend of great highs and lows for the team overall, the Drew University Equestrian team competed in SUNY New Paltz show held at Crosswinds Equestrian Center this past Saturday.

Making the primaries this week, Cailin Abrahams (’16) won first in her Intermediate fences class. Katie Walker (’15) placed third in flat portion of the Open Division. Finally, Cassidy Rooney (’17) received second in her Novice fences.

In her flat portion, Abrahams placed fifth in the same division. Carli Gentile (’18) also received a fifth for her fences performance, as well as a fourth on the flat in the Novice division. Also in Novice, Rooney placed won another fourth place. Continuing the trend, both Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter riders, Lizzy Grein (’18) and Marissa Baldoni (’17) placed fourth in their classes.

Overall, the team placed fifth in the team rankings, a difficult drop from previous placings. All was not lost, however, as DUET will have four riders representing the team in the Battle in the Saddle on Nov. 23, at Valley Forge Military Academy. This is a competition that only invites the regional top four riders in each division to compete against the others in the zone. Abrahams will be representing the team in either the flat or fences class in the Intermediate division as she qualified for both and a decision has yet to be made at which she will participate in. Rooney qualified for Novice fences. Also to represent Drew in the novice division, Gentile has qualified for the flat. Baldoni is the final Drew qualifier in the Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter class.

DUET will compete in a show hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology on Nov. 22,  in Long Valley, N.J.

 

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Second seed, Drew University has been fighting hard for the Landmark Conference Championship coming out on top with a 3-1 win against No.7 Alfred University on Wednesday evening.

“There was a big difference in the second half,” said Head Coach Lenny Armuth, who now sits just one win away from No. 300 of his career. “We had to lay into them a little bit at halftime, but it seemed to click. If we want to continue in this tournament, we’ll have to put a whole 90 minutes together similar to the last 45 from tonight’s game.”

The Saxons gained a 1-nothing lead early on, forcing Drew to fight back from a deficit. Dylan Hammer (’17) led the Rangers’ climb by scoring the first goal for Drew. John Nogiewich (’18) gave them the opportunity for another game by scoring two more goals, clinching the playoff victory. The Rangers now advance to the semifinals to take on No. 3 Richard Stockton. The semifinal and championship rounds will be hosted by No. 1 Rutgers-Camden, which will face the winner of No. 4 New York University and No. 5 William Paterson University.

Drew was leading in shots on goal and possession throughout the first half, however Alfred was still able to slip the ball past the Drew keeper in the 18th minute. Omar Mohamed found a quick cross and sent it to the top right corner of the net.

“I thought we started a little slow but definitely picked it up in the second half,” said captain and goalkeeper Michael Reyes (’18). “If we put a full game together we have a great chance to win out this season. When we get a couple goals we’re really hard to beat and our guys seem to be clicking up top and in the midfield.” Reyes is very confident Drew can come out on top in the conference.

The Rangers was hoping to tie up the game at the 43rd minute mark when Michael Pezzuti (’18) fired a shot from the 30-yard line. To his dismay, Alfred keeper deflected the ball out of bounds. Saxons held the one-nil lead heading into the second half.

At the 58th minute of the game Joe Sollod (’17) had a great assist, sending a fierce pass to Hammer who was in a prime position, thus allowing him to slip the ball under the Alfred keeper, bringing Drew back into the fight. This was Hammer’s third goal of the season; earlier this week hammer was named to the Landmark All-Conference Second Team.

“I think the team wanted to come out and win last night to prove that losing at Merchant Marines would not put us down, instead we come out and try to play some good Football and show what we are really made of,” shared Assistant Coach Cesar Barrientos. “Also, the fact that it was our last home game, we needed to win to build some momentum for next fall. Our seniors step up and well, very well, they will be missed next year, but we have players that will step up next season.”

With energy and spirits high, momentum was building for Drew’s attack. Nogiewich scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute! The Saxon keeper was scrambling while the senior chopped a shot towards the net. While it was not a fast-paced ball, it slid past the goal line giving Nogiewich is fifth goal of the season and the Rangers the 2-1 lead. He also took his sixth goal of the season this game at the 87th minute giving Drew a 3-1 lead on a penalty shot from an Alfred handball in the box.

Drew ended up outshooting its ECAC quarterfinal opponent 18-7, while placing 10 of those shots on goal and keeping an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks. Reyes made four saves for his 29th career win, which is now tied for sixth in the Drew record books. The men will play Richard Stockton tomorrow at 2:30 pm in Camden, N.J.

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After four years, the Rose City Classic is back. The Drew University men’s basketball team is bringing back the alumni driven tournament at the season opener this weekend. Leading the Rangers this year is Head Coach Darryl Keckler who has maintained the position in Madison for six years. Joining him for his first year at Drew is Assistant Coach Andrew Kohler.

Kohler has eight years experience coaching youth basketball camps at DeSales, Phillipsburg High School and Notre Dame High School. Kohler was a forward while playing all four years at DeSales.

In addition, Brendan Trelease returned for his third season serving as an assistant. He came to Madison after a three-year playing career at Gettysburg College. Finally, Assistant Coach Nick Ganzfried (C’11), appeared in 52 games as a Ranger in four seasons. He was a three-time member of the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll and a two-year captain.

While the team had a solid season last year, Coach Keckler would have liked them to come out with a 13-12 record as opposed to their 11-14 record finishing the season. However, Keckler was happy overall with the amount of work the team put in. He is extremely happy with the pre-season thus far. “The returning players all came into pre-season in great shape and stronger than last year,” Keckler said. “We look forward to the season and hope to make it in the Landmark Conference with a 13-12 record.”

There are a couple new members of the team that the coaches are very excited about. The first is transfer student Kevin Herring II (’16). Herring came from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Herring will be playing guard for Drew and is a dynamic addition to the team, according to Kohler. In addition, Blaine Taylor (’18),  from Concord, Mass. will add strength to the roster. Kohler believes that Taylor will bring a physical inside presence that the team has really been looking for.

The coaches were all very happy with the senior class as a whole when they came into pre-season on Oct. 15. Specifically, they are excited about Jason Huelbig (’16) and captain Mike Klinger (’16). The two other captains this season are Steve Hydzik (’15) and Zach Zolan (’15).

The Rangers will be playing St. Joseph’s (L.I.) College as the opening game in the tournament tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. They will have their second game of the season for the tournament championship title on Sunday.

 

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