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Outside of competing on the field, there are other aspects of intercollegiate athletics that can serve as valuable foundations for the development of many skills and qualities. These qualities can be beneficial to athletes as they enter the working world.

With competition comes learning to be an appreciative winner and a gracious loser, developing a sense of confidence and resilience, the understanding of the hard work and commitment needed to attain success and the value of being a part of a team environment with many people working towards one common goal.

Athletic competition is all about teamwork, multiple people cooperating to achieve a common goal, which is usually winning. In the working world, the ability to work well with others is also a critical skill and a skill that is often emphasized heavily by employers and interviewers. In their sport, athletes are forced to overcome challenges on a daily basis and understand how to be resilient in the face of adversity and difficult situations.

“Probably the biggest things that I have learned from soccer that easily transfers in the the work place is the value of leadership and time management,” said men’s soccer captain Mike Pezzuti (’15). “Playing a sport and being a student you need to always be planning ahead and be able to prioritize your schedule. In terms of leadership, soccer has helped me learn different ways to be a leader such as times you need to be a vocal leader versus other times you need to lead by example.”

He added, “I have learned that every decision that I make, whether it be on or off the field, can have implications on so many people. Learning this was extremely valuable because decision making is such a big part of being successful in athletics but more importantly it is so valuable in any workplace.”

Alex DeSousa (’15) shared her own experiences from integrating athletics into the working world through internships. “Athletics has taught me time management and strong work ethic. It has been mentioned that athletes are achievement-oriented and manage work well and I see that transferring in aspects of my everyday life. Being an athlete, I also believe, has taught me how to be a strong communicator and receive constructive criticism well. In the working world, these are four qualities I believe make resilient employees for employers.”

Athletic competition can also serve as a talking point during an interview, particularly when being interviewed by another former athlete, because of the shared experiences. “You can connect with people on a more personal level in interviews,” DeSousa said. “Especially in the finance world, a lot of people who play sports are involved and it is a way to have a personal connection, as well as a conversation starter on your resume. Also, many workplaces have leagues that employees are involved in and it creates a positive camaraderie amongst your peers.”

There are a lot of other parallels that can be drawn between aspects of being a member of a sports team and the working world. Director of Athletics Jason Fein discussed how participating in events, like the recent mock interview night, which was sponsored by the Career Center, can be seen as the equivalent to practicing for games.

“Student-athletes can really benefit from the mock interviews the same way they do at practice in their sport,” Fein said. “It provides an opportunity to see where you are in the process and how prepared you are for a true interview type situation. You’ll get feedback that you can use to go back and refine your interview skills, so that when it really comes time to interview (game time, if you will), you’ll be better prepared than if you had just tried to ‘get into the game’ without any practice.”

Because of the rigorous demands of being an intercollegiate athlete, there are often times when athletes miss out on career development opportunities because of athletic commitments. Despite this, athletes are exposed to an environment that fosters many skills necessary to pursuing a successful career every day they attend practice, participate in competition, or interact with their teammates.

 

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The Drew University men’s basketball team opened their 2014-2015 season with a Rose Classic Tournament face-off against St. Joseph’s College on Nov. 15. The Rangers fell behind early in the first half, but would rally around Jason Huelbig (’16) who provided the majority of energy to cut the lead to just five with five minutes left in the first half. Kevin Herring II (’16) and captain Michael Klinger (’16) struggled in the first half as they combined 3-of-14 from the field. Kevin-Michael Miller (’16) provided consistency on the boards and snagged nine rebounds along with a team-high of six points in the opening half.

At the half, the score was 35-28 in favor of St. Joseph’s, but Huelbig and the Rangers opened the half with ferociousness. Drew’s first basket came when the offense found Huelbig in the corner and pump-faked the defender to drive along the baseline and slam it home. Drew’s next basket would come from the opposite corner, this time from Klinger who drained his first three of the contest. At 13 minutes, Herring managed to sink his first three of the competition and the Rangers snuck right back into the game with a 10-0 run halfway through the second half.

The Drew offense changed their strategy, they started feeding the ball down low to Huelbig and Miller as the pair sank a combined 10 field goals for 17 attempts. With 4:30 left, the game was tied at 64-64 and remained tight all the way down to the final minute of play. Drew managed to take a 70-68 lead and preserved it when Herring chased the St. Joseph guard down on a fast-break and blocked the shot that would’ve been the tying point. Out of time-outs, Huelbig made one of the two free-throws then St Joseph’s tied the game 73-73 when they powered into the zone and sank a layup.

Drew had five seconds to answer and almost succeeded as Klinger attempted a floater while he leaped over a diving defender, but the try rimmed out and the teams went to overtime tied at 73-73.

Herring and Klinger accounted for all the Rangers scoring done during the overtime period, and did enough to get them to a 79-79 tie at the thirty second mark. With a 1.5 second shot clock/game clock differential the Rangers looked to score but they turned it over and St. Joseph’s ended up on a fast-break that resulted in an and-one opportunity after their guard laid one in while being fouled in the act. St.Joseph’s was unable to convert the and-one, and the Rangers found themselves with only two seconds to make a basket. The inbound pass went to Klinger who ran the baseline and missed the teardrop lay-in as St. Joseph’s sneaked away with a win in overtime 81-79.

The Rangers then took on the Penn State-Abington Lions as they looked to continue their attack on the grounds of crisp shooting, distribution, and rebounding. Herring once again found his touch by draining his first two buckets from three point land to contribute to the Rangers’ phenomenal early three-point shooting, and he managed to hit nine successful shots in the first ten minutes. When their three-point shot did not fall, the forwards were there for athletic put-backs. Penn-State Abington continued to work hard for every basket they could muster, but were down 54-31 at the half.

The Rangers’ juggernaut offense did not stop in the second half as by the seven-minute mark the Rangers led by 40. The Rangers would end the game with 120 points which broke the record for most points scored in school history and tournament history. Also, the Ranger’s set a new record as they buried a team record of 18 three-point field goals.

The Rangers then defeated the Bryn Athyn College Lions by a score of 84-61 last night. Both Ozan Yucetepe (‘16) and Klinger led the Rangers with 19 and 27 points respectively. Miller pulled out a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Drew came out hard, with energy up and gained an early lead. Herring had a swift pass to Huelbig who threw it to Yucetepe who finished the play. The guys displayed smart skills and a good knowledge of the game.

Yucetepe praised his team’s ball distribution. “We shared the ball we did what we’re supposed to do on both the offensive and defensive ends,” Yucetepe said. “Coach told me from the beginning we needed more post touches and we haven’t had that in previous years. I feel like I’m more of a post-up guy who works from the inside.”

Klinger unleashed a series of three slick drives to the basket, culminating with a spinning and-one bucket. He sped in, leapt and as a defender spun him in mid air, let a shot go with his back to the basket. The shot fell and Klinger fell to the ground with a fist pump for good measure.

The Rangers were in sync and operating effectively. Drew entered the half outshooting Bryn Athyn 50-percent to 34-percent leading 43-27. The Lions came out of the break with much more control than the previous half. They made a run at Drew’s lead, outscoring them 24-21 in the first 12 minutes.

Yucetepe had a previous record of 10 points in a single game which was shattered last night with 19 points total.

Drew will host Vassar College in a non-conference game at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Baldwin Gymnasium.

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The Drew University swimming and diving teams fell to the Catholic University of America in both the men’s and women’s meets on Saturday. The women’s team finished with 51 points to Catholic’s 122, while the men’s team had 50 points to 139. Drew’s Mike Smoliga (’16) and Peter Mari (’17) both took multiple first place finishes.

Drew excelled in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay earning 11 points. Bobby DeMarco (’17), Mari Smoliga (’17) and Sebastiano Pigazzi (’18) scored a time of 3:24.25 and a first place finish.

Mari stood out in the individual men’s 100-yard breaststroke as well, gaining nine points and finishing with a time of 1:08.43.

Lindsay Pearce (’17) also did very well in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke. She finished in 1:12.65 and managed to bring in nine points for Drew.

Jenny Stein (’18) showed her value to the women’s team again this week for Drew. She took first place in the 100-yard backstroke stopping the clock at 1:06.48. Stein also brought in another nine points from her victory lap.

Smoliga did well in both the team relay and also individually. He hit the men’s 50-yard freestyle with a 23.96 time, another nine-pointer for Drew.

Both of Drew’s swimming and diving teams have dropped their record to 0-5. They have another dual meet in Elizabethtown tonight at 6:30 p.m. where they will face the Blue Jays.

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The Drew University men’s soccer team faced off against the Richard Stockton Ospreys in the semi-finals of the ECAC tournament on Nov. 15.

The Drew defense prevailed in the first half, denying all of the Osprey’s attempts at goal. In the 37th minute of play, Michael Pezzuti (’15) earned a free kick and powered a shot right through the Osprey goalie to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The goal from Pezzuti forced the Ospreys to be more aggressive on offense, but the Ranger defense continued to be impressive and denied them of a good look opportunity on a corner kick.

Going into the second half, the Rangers held the lead. They continued to play stellar defense as the Ospreys came up empty again on another great opportunity to tie the game. It wasn’t until the 73rd minute until Richard Stockton tied the game after a shot that was tucked inside the right side post and out of reach of Michael Reyes (’15) to tie the game at 1-1.

Fifteen minutes later, the Ospreys took their 19th shot of the game which ended up being the game-winning goal when the ball was nudged along the right side and put in the net by a Osprey attacker to take the 2-1 lead and the semi-final game. With that loss, the Rangers soccer season officially ended. The Rangers posted a  10-6-6 overall record.

 

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The Drew University women’s basketball team opened their season this past weekend in the Rose City Tip-Off Classic battling Clarkson University. They fell short on Saturday evening with a loss of 78-74.

The women began the game strong, but Clarkson took an early lead. In the first half, the Rangers were led by guard Hannah Miller (’17), who scored 13 points in the first half. Courtney Stephens (’16) and Breana Wilson (’15) scored 14 points between them before the half and also added three steals. Despite being behind early on, he girls went into halftime with a 33-30 lead over Clarkson.

Miller continued to shine in the second half with two quick three-pointers and two rebounds. Miller also had one assist before being subbed out. In addition, Wilson and Stephens continued with the crisp hand-offs but Clarkson was holding on and managed to take a 57-55 lead with only ten minutes to play.

With only seven minutes left in the game, Clarkson took control. With five minutes left, Drew again was in the lead with only one basket. Rangers guard Courtney Trzasko (’17) made her first basket of the game with a great three-pointer, giving Drew a five point lead.

While Drew was looking to get the ball to center Erin Howard (’16), Clarkson stole the ball and took a fast break. Trzasko forced a Clarkson travel gaining possession for Drew with only 1:30 to go. Clarkson regained the ball at the one-minute mark and sunk a three-pointer, thus bringing the score to 75-74. With 54.2 seconds remaining Clarkson added another two-pointer to their lead.

With less than a minute remaining Wilson threw up a 2-point shot, which circled the rim three times and came out, giving Clarkson the win with a final score of 77-74.

On Sunday the girls had a drive to win in order to redeem themselves from the previous night’s loss. Drew defeated St. Elizabeth College 92-60. Miller led the pack again with a three-pointer percentage of 63. In addition, Miller was named to the Rose City All-Tournament Team.

Ally Raulf (‘18) contributed five rebounds and she managed to have five steals during the game. Trzasko added10 rebounds and 11 points.

Drew held their control throughout the entire game. Raulf proved to be a key player, particularly because of her versatility. She showcased her basketball brilliance by forcing multiple Eagle turnovers.

The Eagles proved themselves early on to have offensive force. St. Elizabeth ran multiple intricate plays in the first half which led to a few baskets. Despite their efforts, this complex strategy was too much for them to execute every play and proved to be ineffective in enabling the Eagles to take the lead.

The Rangers were successful in every aspect in the game, even running right to basket. Michaela Keegan (’18) was attempting for a shot off the glass when a much larger defender threw her to the ground. She remained down for a moment before rising and converting the and-one attempt.

Drew went into halftime with a 47-27 lead, and the second half was no different from the first. Raulf continued to read the Eagles like a book and dominated in the paint.

The Rangers beat the Eagles 92-60 and while the tournament was over the girls maintained a busy week, playing the Albertus Magnus College Falcons on Wednesday evening.

Raulf again proved to be a vital component with Keegan and Haley Scheuer (‘18). The young trio provided an effective effort, scoring a combined 24 points for their 80 percent shooting off the bench.

Drew did not commit any fouls until the 5:44 minute mark of the half. By this time the Falcons had already accumulated six fouls. Drew shot with 44 percent accuracy, whereas the Falcons had 34-percent.

Albertus Magnus took 15 more shots than Drew but, due to their lack of conversion, the Rangers were able to get away with 12 turnovers. Drew entered halftime with a small lead of 30-26.

Drew was strategic in the second half, using drives and changes in direction to keep Albertus Magnus on their toes. Wilson and Stephens finished play-after-play with layups to gain points.

As the game came to a close, the Rangers stole a major lead by jumping into a 19-5 run which they did not give up. Raulf contributed multiple additional points and

the Rangers continued to draw fouls from the Falcons which managed to get them 22 points in total.

The Falcons may have taken an early six-point lead in the first half but Drew quickly corrected that and showed up with the lead for the majority of the second half. Albertus Magnus dominated the battle in the paint 44-26, but Drew’s advantage in bench points, which was 28-5, made up for the deficit.

The Rangers return to the court tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the Baldwin Gymnasium to face Centenary College for a non-conference game.

 

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