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Volleyball wins league title
In one of the best midseason turnarounds of any program at Colgate, the volleyball team won the 2012 Patriot League Championship after a thrilling battle with American University. The Raiders won 20-18 in the final set.
The teams traded set wins in the first four games, lining up a dramatic fifth set in Cotterell Court. The Eagles jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, but Colgate climbed back in the match with five-straight points to get to 10-9.
Liz Karnes ’15 (#9, middle hitter) leaps for the kill. (Photo by Bob Cornell)
The advantage remained in the hands of American until two mistakes gave Colgate its first lead of the set at 20-19. The Eagles never recovered from the miscues, forcing a fifth set with a win in the fourth game.
Cotterell Court was rocking by the time the fifth set began as fellow student-athletes were in full support of their mates on the court.
“The football players, the women’s basketball players, and all the other athletes — they changed the match,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “With the energy they created, I truly credit game four to them. And then in game five, they consistently supported us.”
American quieted the crowd as the Eagles earned a fast 4-0 lead, which forced Baker to call a timeout. He regrouped his troops, who went on an 8-1 run to gain the lead. The Raiders, however, couldn’t get rid of the 10-time Patriot League Champions that easily: American stormed back to tie the set at 10-10. The momentum swung back to Colgate with four-straight points to set up match point. With the crowd ready to erupt, the Eagles came back from the brink with four points to tie the match at 14-14 and also gained their own match point at 16-15.
Colgate wouldn’t lie down, earning two more match points. Each time, American fought off the Raiders, but the adrenaline and crowd noise brought Colgate to another level. Finally, an attack that sailed long sent Cotterell Court into bedlam as students, fans, and parents stormed the court with the Raiders winning their first title since 1999.
“Both teams left their hearts on the floor,” said Baker. “It was one of the best volleyball matches I’ve ever seen.”
Michele McCarthy ’13 was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while Kaylee Fifer ’14 and Diane Seely ’15 joined her on the all-tournament squad. McCarthy led the team in the title match with an attack percentage of .414, finishing with just two errors. Seely and Lindsay Young ’14 also were impressive on the front line, with 18 and 15 kills, respectively. Fifer finished with 49 assists, 12 digs,
4 blocks, and 3 kills.
Following the big win, the Raiders continued to the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Austin, Texas, to take on the Longhorns. Texas proved to be too much for Colgate, but that didn’t put a damper on the great season.
“This was a Disney-style season for us,” said Baker. “We started poorly, but finished the way we wanted to. I can’t wait until I will be able to look up at the championship banner at Cotterell Court and think of each one of these exceptional student-athletes.”
Colgate finished the year 17-15, but when fans look back at the overall record, they will not realize that this team fought back from a 1-8 record early in the season to finish on a roll, winning 16 of 19 matches on their way to reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Women’s soccer wins 12th title
The women’s soccer team won its 12th league title this fall, defeating Navy 1-0 and earning the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament — for which they hosted a first-round game for the first time in program history.
“The team stuck together — they played with and for one another,” said Head Coach Kathy Brawn, who has been a part of all 12 titles. “They really brought their game to another level in training the whole week leading up to the Patriot League Tournament.”
Jenna Gibney ’15 (#7 midfielder), holds her head high during the first NCAA Tournament game against Rutgers at Van Doren Field. (Photo by Duy Trinh ’14)
The Raiders entered the tournament as the second seed; Navy was given the top seed and was the host. Before Colgate could reach the tournament final, the Raiders had to get through American, who had tied 2-2 with Colgate in the regular-season finale. Catherine Williams ’16, Jillian Kinter ’13, and Caroline Brawner ’15 each scored a goal against the third-seeded Eagles in a 3-0 shutout victory. It was also the 100th career Patriot League win for Brawn.
Colgate had also tied top-seeded Navy earlier in the season, so the Raiders showed up ready to play and ended the Mids’ 20-game unbeaten streak. With seven minutes remaining, a simple one-touch from Jenna Raepple ’15 gave the Raiders the 1-0 win.
Navy did earn a free kick from outside the 18 with 20 seconds left, but Colgate stood its ground to win the title. Ashley Walsh ’13 was named the tournament’s most valuable player after collecting two shutouts and not allowing a goal in 180 minutes of action. Joining Walsh with tournament honors were Brawner, Raepple, and Jenna Gibney ’15; all four were selected for the all-tournament team.
The Raiders then earned a chance to host their first NCAA Tournament game at Van Doren Field. Colgate outshot the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 20-13 but unfortunately lost 1-0.
Patriot League soccer awards
Women’s soccer players Jillian Kinter ’13 and Catherine Williams ’16 both earned major Patriot League honors for their successful 2012 season.
Kinter, team captain, was named Offensive Player of the Year, fulfilling early expectations after she was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in August. She also earned first-team All-League status after finishing the regular season leading the league with 13 goals and 35 points, while tying for the top spot with nine assists.
The Newburyport, Mass., native was also the top offensive performer during league play — with five goals and five assists for 15 points, she led all three categories. This season, Kinter became the eighth player in Colgate history to record 20 or more career assists. She sits eighth overall with 83 career points, eighth with 31 career goals, and tied for fifth with 35 season points.
First-year standout Williams was named Rookie of the Year — the second-straight and third in the last four years to come from Colgate. The attacker stands second in the league with 28 points, tied for second with 10 goals and third with eight assists.
Williams was named the Brine Rookie of the Week four times, one shy of the record. She finished second in league play with 11 points (4 goals, 3 assists). She started all 18 games for the Raiders and has the fifth-highest point total for a first-year player in school history, with 28.
The Raiders also garnered three All-League selections on the first team: Joining Kinter and Williams is midfielder Caroline Brawner ’15, who is third on the team with 15 points.
Colgate led in the league with three selections on the second team, including 2011 Rookie of the Year Jenna Raepple at forward (3 goals, 5 assists for 11 points). Joining her were midfielder Kelsey Hough ’14 (1 goal, 4 assists for 6 points) and defender Elisa Amioka ’13 (3 assists).
Football captures league title
Colgate swept its seventh Patriot League football championship — all under Head Coach Dick Biddle — thanks to a perfect record in conference play. They finished 5-0 against league opponents (6-0 if including Fordham) after being picked third in the preseason behind Lehigh and Holy Cross.
The Raiders clinched the title with a 35-24 comeback win at Lehigh. The team started the season 1-3 and played only four home games, yet fashioned an 8-4 record and an NCAA playoff berth.
Above: Jordan McCord ’13 (#25) finished second in the nation in scoring, with 138 points. (photo by Bob Cornell)
Among a strong contingent of postseason all-conference selections, Colgate landed the Patriot League’s Offensive Player, Coach, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards.
Gavin McCarney ’14 earned the top offensive player award, Biddle earned coaching honors, and Chris Looney ’13 was named Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Counting McCarney, Colgate placed six players on the All-Patriot League first team and added two more to the second team. Colgate’s first-team representatives all came from the offense. Quarterback McCarney was joined by tailback Jordan McCord ’13, fullback Ed Pavalko ’15, and offensive linemen Craig Capodiferro ’13, Brian Crockett ’13, and Ryan Risch ’13.
Looney made the second team at wide receiver, while Patrick Friel ’13 was the pick at linebacker.
“It was a total team effort for us to go from 1-3 to win seven games in a row and the Patriot League title — and do it when most of the games were on the road,” Biddle said.
Biddle’s coaching record stands at 133-65 (.672), all at Colgate, and this year marked his 14th campaign with at least seven victories. He is 78-24 against Patriot League opponents and 38-9 against the Ivy League.
“I’m Coach of the Year only because we’ve got good players,” he said. “It’s the best year I’ve ever had in coaching at Colgate.”
McCarney’s record-setting season
Quarterback Gavin McCarney ’14 completed one of the finest individual football seasons in school history by being named Patriot League 2012 Offensive Player of the Year.
He finished the season with a school-record 3,778 yards of total offense, compiling 2,372 through the air and 1,406 on the ground. His name now appears in the Colgate individual records section in 18 categories.
McCarney also led the nation in scoring with 140 points, finishing with 23 touchdowns and one two-point conversion for an average of 11.7. (Teammate Jordan McCord ’13 was second with 138 points.)
The junior from Jefferson Township, N.J., also placed fifth in this year’s voting for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the NCAA Football Championship Division’s national player of the year.
Gavin McCarney ’14
McCarney helped the Raiders to an 8-4 season and an undefeated run through the Patriot League for the program’s seventh conference title. He was a late-season addition to the Payton Award watch list, and should be one of the award’s favorites heading into next year.
Finally, McCarney earned Patriot League Top Football Play of the Year as voted by the fans. His 51-yard touchdown run to open the scoring against Holy Cross included a midfield leap over a would-be tackler. Colgate went on to win 51-35.
“Under the circumstances of teams knowing what he was going to do, it probably ranks as the best I’ve seen for a player in one season at Colgate. He did it all,” said Head Coach Dick Biddle.
Johnson wins IC4A Championships
Patriot League Runner of the Year Chris Johnson ’13 won the 104th IC4A Championships with a time of 25:28 over the 8K course. Seven members of the Colgate men’s cross-country team competed at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City on November 17.
Chris Johnson ’13 (#37), Patriot League Runner of the Year, is most comfortable leading the pack. (photo by Arthur McKinnon)
In his first IC4A title-winning run, Johnson was with the lead pack during the first 2 miles of the race. He then made his move up the hills to build a 20-second lead and never looked back. He finished 37 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
Colgate finished seventh out of 16 teams. The team got a point boost from Ben Aldrich ’15, who finished in 12th place with a personal best time of 26:31, which earned him All-East honors. Timothy Phelps ’13 (27:14) and Christopher Wendt ’13 (28:17) helped the team improve from last year’s 13th-place finish. The three first-years representing the team — Michael McConville, Christopher Noda, and Cody Hawkins — all established personal records.
Herbst vs. Herbst
There was a good-natured sibling rivalry on display at center court before the women’s basketball game between the Raiders and Connecticut Huskies on November 28 in Hartford.
President vs. president: Jeffrey Herbst and his sister, Susan Herbst, president of the University of Connecticut, traded jerseys before the Raiders took on the Huskies. (Photo by Stephen Slade)
President Jeffrey Herbst and his sister, Susan Herbst, who is president of the University of Connecticut, exchanged handshakes, traded jerseys, and posed for pictures before the opening tipoff with Raiders Head Coach Nicci Hays Fort and the Huskies’ Geno Auriemma.
Nearly 150 Colgate boosters gathered for a standing-room–only pre-game reception, enjoying the atmosphere at the XL Center. The Raiders knew it would be a challenging night against the Huskies, the perennial powerhouse ranked No. 2 in the nation. UConn ended up winning 101-41.
Hays Fort told the
that the game was a no-lose situation. “We made a lot of mini-goals within the game and we wanted to compete every possession,” she said of her game plan. “I don’t want to say we competed every possession, but we competed in a lot of them.”
Alumnus joins ECHL Hall of Fame
Former Colgate standout Steve Poapst ’91 is among four inductees comprising the 2013 East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Hall of Fame Class.
Poapst was formally inducted into the sixth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame at a ceremony in conjunction with the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game on January 23 in Loveland, Colo.
“We are proud to welcome this year’s class of four players with outstanding credentials and uniquely different résumés,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna.
Poapst joined his former ECHL, AHL, and NHL teammate Olaf Kolzig as the second inductee in the Developmental Player category. Poapst began his professional career in the ECHL with the Hampton Roads Admirals in 1991–1992, scoring 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists) in 55 regular-season games and adding 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in 14 postseason games, helping the Admirals claim their second- consecutive Riley Cup championship. He returned to Hampton Roads the following season, tallying 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 63 games.
Poapst made his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals in 1995–1996, scoring one goal in three regular-season games, while also seeing action in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He appeared in 307 career National Hockey League games with Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, tallying 36 points (8 goals, 28 assists). Poapst also registered 205 points (45 goals, 160 assists) in 498 career games in the American Hockey League with Baltimore, Portland, and Norfolk. He is currently in his third season as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
With Colgate, Poapst appeared in 132 collegiate contests from 1987 through 1991, racking up 61 points on 13 goals and 48 assists.
Head pro at Seven Oaks recognized
Marian Blain, PGA professional and golf instructor at Colgate’s Seven Oaks course, was inducted into the Central New York PGA Hall of Fame during an awards banquet at Turning Stone Resort’s Shenendoah Golf Club in December.
According to a report in the
, Blain has broken several “glass ceiling” gender barriers during her golf career, including becoming the first female PGA member in the CNY Section (1987) and also one of the first nationally.
In 1970, following a petition to state officials by her father, Blain became the first girl to try out for — and make — the Hamilton Central High School boys’ team. It came at a time when girls were not allowed to be on boys’ teams, even if there wasn’t a girls’ team for that sport. By her senior year, Blain was the team captain and the first woman to earn a varsity letter on a boys’ team at Hamilton.
Blain played collegiate golf at Miami-Dade Junior College and the University of South Florida. She played in two U.S. Women’s Amateurs and four LPGA tournaments, and was runner-up in the first annual championship for female PGA pros.
Blain has been the head pro at Seven Oaks since 1982. She coached Colgate’s men’s golf team from 2005 through 2007 and continues to teach two golf classes at the university.
The honor for Blain came on the heels of Seven Oaks having been named golf course of the year by the New York State Golf Association. The course has hosted numerous qualifiers and championships for the state golf association and for the U.S. Golf Association. Blain accepted the President’s Award from the state association on behalf of the Seven Oaks staff.
Men’s rugby to compete at national tourney
The men’s rugby club advanced to the USA Rugby collegiate championships for the second-straight year after a 31-15 victory over Oswego State.
Playing in front of a huge crowd of supporters during Family Weekend in October, Colgate’s eighth-straight victory earned the team a berth to the national collegiate tournament to be held April 27 and 28.
Winger Joe Kelly ’13 delights the home crowd of more than 1,000 spectators by splitting a pair of Oswego State defenders en route to his second try of the rugby match. (Photo by Robert Tardio ’84)
“To return to the national tournament so soon after our first-ever qualification last year is a testament to the high quality of this program,” said Alexander Heller ’13, who captains the team with Graham Rieser ’13.
Heller, of Toronto, and Rieser, from Chicago, both came to Colgate after having played rugby in high school.
Head Coach Timothy Burdick praised the players, and cited the leadership shown by Rieser, Heller, club president Colin Cowles ’13, match secretary Rico Rosa ’13, communication secretary Matthew Flannery ’13, and club vice president John T. Colucci ’14.
“Colin, Rico, Matt, and J.T. — shoulder to shoulder with Alex and Graham — have displayed such skillful leadership throughout the season,” said Burdick. “These gentlemen are establishing Colgate rugby as one of the truly high-performance programs on the collegiate scene.”
The club finished the season 9-1, and has already started its preparations for the national tournament in April. After finishing fifth in the nation last year, the co-captains said they are committed to taking Colgate rugby to the top.
“While the team is different every year, the major difference this time is that we’re going to finish number one!” Rieser declared.