The Wheaton Lyons have had some very strong competition this season in all sports that have competed in the spring of 2015. With seasons winding down, some teams are aiming for NEWMAC contention while others are aiming a bit further for championship seasons and NCAA Tournament runs.
Potentially the most successful team at Wheaton this spring is the Softball team lead by captains Emma Hart ’16, Madeline Hatch ’16, and senior Emily Berardi ’15. The team is ranked No. 20 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top-25 poll, and has also just recently claimed the NEWMAC regular season title after their victories in this past weekend’s double-header against Springfield.
This marks the 15th time that the Lyons have captured the NEWMAC regular season title since 1988 and the first under head coach Rachael Powers ’03 since she began her coaching career here at Wheaton in 2009. The team has completely dominated their conference competition, sweeping every team and holding a well-deserved 17-0 undefeated record in conference play. This season they have set an all-time best performance in program history with their clean conference record that leaves the Lyons with the most wins in a single season.
With this past weekend’s wins over Springfield, the Lyons have extended their winning streak to a program record of 20 games that dates back to the team’s final game in Florida, a 11-3 victory over Farmingdale State. The previous record was set in 1997 when the team had 18 consecutive wins in a season that ended with a 45-7 overall record and a third-place finish at the NCAA Division III College World Series. The team will close out their season with double-headers against Rhode Island College and Tufts University before they begin their NEWMAC Tournament
On the men’s side, the Wheaton Baseball team earned a split against MIT this past Saturday afternoon claiming their 16th regular season NEWMAC title in the past 17 years. The Lyons hold a 13-4 conference record (20-9 overall) and aspire to achieve conference glory after a disappointing finish last spring when the team fell just shy of a NEWMAC Tournament Championship title against MIT.
This past weekend sophomore Michael Bruemmel ’17 pitched six innings in Game 1 against MIT allowing 11 hits, five runs and two walks with a game-high of seven strikeouts. The Lyons would go on to win Game 2 of the series after the Engineers took the first. Wheaton first-year Brady Furdon ’18 picked up his fourth win of the spring, allowing six hits, three runs and two walks with four strikeouts. Senior Mike Bisceglia ’15 closed the game in the ninth inning for the 9-4-conference win.
If MIT loses their final conference game against Clark, the Lyons will host the NEWMAC Tournament at the end of April after closing their regular schedule against Endicott, Eastern Connecticut State, and a double-header against Bridgewater State. The Lyons have Eastern Conn. State and Amherst lined up on their schedule at the end of April as well to prepare for NEWMAC and potential NCAA post-season.
Wheaton’s men’s lacrosse team dropped a conference game against Springfield this past weekend at Nordin Field. Despite the loss, the Lyons are 3-2 in conference play currently standing in 4th place, which may land them a bid into the NEWMAC Tournament. Junior goalkeeper Ryan Clair ’16 stopped a career-high 21 shots in the 14-6 loss against Springfield, who, with their win, are now just above Wheaton in the conference standings. The Blue and White have their final conference game this week against 2nd place MIT and will close out their regular schedule against Mass. Maritime before the NEWMAC Tournament. This year’s NEWMAC tournament qualification would be the first under four-year head coach Jamie Lockard.
The women’s lacrosse side were involved in a 17-15 conference loss in a thrilling game against 2nd place MIT that went to overtime after sophomore Angela Mallis ’17 capitalized on a free position goal with two seconds left in regulation to tie it up. Mallis, along with Allie Bush ’16 and, Jenna Tewksbury ’16, and Brooke Sabol ’16 all scored hat-tricks for the Lyons. Senior goalkeeper Katy Ananian ’15 stopped seven shots on the day against the Engineers. The team has a 9-6 overall record (5-2 NEWMAC record) that has them sitting in 3rd place in the conference standings. They’ll travel to Wellesley on Wednesday to close out their regular season.
Despite a current 2-3-conference record, Wheaton’s men’s tennis team can still qualify for the NEWMAC Tournament with their final conference game against Babson this week. The team, lead by senior captain Lawrence Chan ’15, holds a 6-6 overall record this season with head coach Lynn Miller in her 26th year. The Lyons will finish their regular schedule against Colby-Sawyer before the NEWMAC Tournament begins on April 25th.
The women’s track and field team finished second at the Eric Loeschner Invitational hosted by Fitchburg State this past Saturday afternoon at Elliot Field while the men’s side finished 6th overall out of 22. The women’s team produced three nationally ranked times and won two events at the invitational. Sophomore Emily Gustavson ’17 clocked the fastest nationally ranked time in the 400-metter dash and then joined classmate two-time All-American Kelly Ludew ’17, first-year Kelsey Ferreira ’18, and junior two-time All-American Francesca Flynn ’16 to register the 38th fastest time in the country, 48.96 seconds, in the 4×100-metter relay. Both teams will be competing in the NEWMAC Championships next Saturday hosted by MIT. They will then compete in the New England Division III Championships, the All New England Championships, the ECAC Championships, and the NCAA National Championships hosted by St. Lawrence University at the end of May to conclude their seasons.
Wheaton athletics clearly have established a dominant presence this spring in the NEWMAC, with Baseball and Softball clinching 1st seed bids in the upcoming tournament and both men’s and women’s track & field producing several nationally ranked performances this season. The lacrosse teams appear to have earned conference tournament qualifications as well if the standings remain the same while men’s tennis remains hopeful. The spring season is rounding out and Wheaton athletics hope to see as many programs achieve conference glory as possible.