Husson Athletics 2013-2014: A Year in Review

Husson Athletics 2013-2014: A Year in Review

Bangor, ME – The 2013-2014 year brought many memorable moments, including the welcoming of new Director of Athletics Francis Pergolizzi, and new Head Coaches Kristie Hawkins with softball and Marsh Gray with men’s lacrosse. The Eagles also picked up three conference championships, provided a number of thrilling victories and heartbreaking losses. The facilities were renovated, athletic fields groomed, and the stands were filled with cheers.

Fall 2013

First year coach Jodie Fairbank, who joined the program after an impressive career in the United States Army, led Husson volleyball to the NAC Semifinals. Husson finished 4th in the North Atlantic Conference and hosted a first round match in the NAC tournament, defeating Green Mountain College. Despite their notable recruiting class, the Eagles fell to Colby-Sawyer College in the NAC Semifinals, concluding their 2013 season. First year Lindsay Chapman and junior Captain Alexandra deHertogh were named to the North Atlantic Conference Second Team All-Conference.

Men’s cross country entered their second year of program existence with strong showings at all 11 events.  Craig Smith and Josh Wheeler broke the 30-minute mark with their impressive efforts at the ECAC Championship, guiding Husson to a 35th place finish out of a 46 team field. Husson hosted the Husson Harrier Invitational at Saxl Park in Bangor and got to compete on home ground for the first time in program history. The team was recognized by the USTFCCCA for their academic performance.

Women’s cross country made a valiant attempt to defend their 2012 NAC Title, but fell just short to New England College. Runners Chrissy Larrabee and Alecia Palmer paced the Eagles all season with impressive showings for Husson, including a 1-2 finish in the first ever Husson Harrier Invitational held at Saxl Park in Bangor, ME. Palmer, Larrabee, Molly Frankinburger and Kateri Jeffrey were all named in All-Conference honors, with the team earning the NAC Sportsmanship Award. The team was also recognized by the USTFCCCA for their academic performance for the second straight year.

Field hockey earned the third seed in the NAC Tournament, winning the NAC Quarterfinal over Thomas College in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, but fell to the #2 seeded Monks of Saint Joseph’s College to conclude their season. Senior Sabrina Vaillancourt made history for the Eagles, becoming the all-time leader in career points for Husson field hockey. In the first game of the season, Vaillancourt rewrote the record book as all-time leading goal-scorer for Husson, as well. Vaillancourt also played in the 2013 National Senior All-Star Game. Sabrina joined teammates Annika Durrell, and Liz Noddin on the All-Conference Team.

Football welcomed back Gabby Price as the Head Coach of the Eagles. Husson went 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in ECFC play, including four thrilling home victories. Senior defensive standout Ernest Wiggins was named the ECFC Defensive Player of the Year, while six other Eagles earned All-Conference honors. Alex Young was named to the Offensive First Team All-Conference; Wiggins joined Stephan Dance and Reece Attard on the Defensive First Team All-Conference. Byron Jackson was named to the Offensive Second Team All-Conference, while Desmond Nutter and Ellis Throckmorton garnered Defensive Second Team All-Conference honors and offensive lineman Cody Ziegenfus earned an honorable mention.

Wiggins and Brandon Walker were selected to play in the 2013 National Bowl at FIU Football All-Star Game. Shabashe McIntosh was named the NCAA DIII Statistical Champion for Average Kickoff Return. Seniors Ben Foss and Devin Sherman, juniors Ryan Dorso, Caleb King, and Ryan Stroud and sophomores Jason Fisher and Tyler Lyle were named to the ECFC All-Academic Team.

The Husson University Football Team suffered a tragic loss following the conclusion of the 2013 Season, when linebacker Stephen Colvin was in a fatal skiing accident at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort. Colvin, a 21-year-old transfer to Husson, appeared in eight games in his first year with the Eagles, registering 12 solo tackles and two sacks. Colvin was from Hoosick Falls, New York, and was studying environmental science. The Eagles remembered Colvin during a memorial service held on February 7th.

Husson golf captured their Eighth Straight NAC Championship, led by Greg Martin who played the role of savior for Husson. Lancer Bernier and Bill Hutchins grabbed First Team All-Conference honors while Greg Pike and Martin earned Second Team All-Conference honors. Husson, by virtue of its championship represented the conference in the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championships, where they finished day 2 in 27th place. Martin finished 41st in a field of 210 competitors. Head Golf Coach Ed Meo stepped down following the completion of the season.

Men’s soccer traveled to Europe in the offseason and clinched the 5th seed in the NAC Tournament, after going 5-1-3 in conference play. The Eagles fell in the NAC Quarterfinal to Thomas College. First year Jimmy Fitzpatrick earned NAC Rookie of the Year honors. Joining Fitzpatrick on the NAC Second Team All-Conference team were teammates Joshua Bean, Stephen Berenyi, and Chris DelGiudice.

Women’s soccer grabbed the 5th seed in the NAC Tournament, advancing on penalty kicks to the Semifinal, where they fell to Colby-Sawyer. Erin Boulier was the lone representative for the Eagles on the NAC Second Team All-Conference Team. Husson women's soccer received the NSCAA Gold Ethics/Sportsmanship Award. Marcy Francoeur, Becca Jones, Michaela Bicknell earned honorable mentions for the 2013 NSCAA College Division Women's Scholar All-East Region Team. The Eagles announced an impressive 2014 recruiting class welcoming; Katey Curtis, Myra Degre, Taylor Fortin, Tiffany Gray, Aimee Hartwell, Leah Hibbad, Maddie Page, Mollie Roy, Kaitlyn Virgin and Kirsten Wood.

The Husson University Athletic Department honored its newest class in the Husson Sports Hall of Fame as six individuals were inducted. Along with the new inductees, Joe Alvarez (’02), Kelly A. Dow (’00), Leah Drew Harvey (’08), Aaron Largay (’00), Mike McCaffrey (’99), and Ross Salovitch (’08). Husson also honored their Clara Swan and Del Merrill Athletes of the Year Alecia Palmer (Presque Isle, ME) and Shawn Smith (Winterport, ME).

The Husson University Athletic Department announced the completion of a new press box and bleachers overlooking the Bob and Fran O’Keefe Softball Field prior to the 2014 softball season. In addition to the 3-bay press box, two additional bleachers were added, increasing the capacity to nearly 400, while also becoming handicap accessible. The field was first built in 2005 and since 2009 has seen the addition of a grandstand, bullpen, backstop, and now the addition of the press box and 2 additional bleachers.

Winter 2013-2014

Men’s basketball clinched their first back-to-back North Atlantic Conference Championship since 2000-2001, and their 4th title in 6 years. The Eagles earned an automatic bid to the NCAA DIII Tournament, their 10th appearance in 20 years. Husson went an impressive 13-0 to start the season, before falling to NESCAC rival Bates College. The Eagles concluded their season going 26-3 overall, a record best under Head Coach Warren Caruso, falling to Eastern Connecticut State in the First Round of the NCAA DIII Tournament. Husson ranked in the top 50 among DIII schools in the nation in 11 statistical categories including a DII leading 17.8 point scoring margin. Caruso earned NAC Coach of the Year honors, while Trevon Butler grabbed Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors and Phil Leighton grabbed Second Team All-Conference Honors.  The Eagles have already announced two recruits for the 2014-2015 season, Connor Adams from Bangor and David Diaz from Miami, Florida.

Women’s basketball clinched the fourth seed in the NAC Tournament and defeated New England College at home for a quarterfinal match-up before falling to Castleton in the Semifinals. First Year standout Chandler Guerrette was named NAC Rookie of the Year, and MWBCA Rookie of the Year while grabbing NAC First Team All-Conference honors. Head Coach Kissy Walker picked up her 400th Career Win this season.

Women’s Swimming & diving finished up their successful year with a strong showing by Erin Benner at the NEISDA Championships. The Eagles celebrated Senior Day earlier in the season with a victory over Saint Joseph’s College. Senior Casey Pray was named to the GNAC Sportsmanship Team.

Men’s Swimming & diving kicked off their inaugural season with diver Tim Smith leading the way with his NEISDA and GNAC individual diving Championships.

Husson University head swimming and diving coach Butch Babin accepted a Sponsor Appreciation Award from Bernie Oster, Area Manager, and Susan James, Area Swim Coordinator, of the Penobscot/Piscataquis/Hancock County branch of the Special Olympics last week. Babin, along with volunteers from Husson's men's and women's swimming and diving teams, Husson's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and Bangor High School helped run the meet at Husson's Webber Pool under the direction of James. Approximately 150 Special Olympics athletes competed in the March 4 Area Swim Meet. Swimmers from the community also participated in some of the relays as part of the unified event.

Women’s indoor track & Field captured dozens of Personal and School records during the 2013-2014 season, in just their second year of NCAA Competition. Courtney Lizotte represented the Eagles at the New England Division III Championships at Springfield College. The first year was the sole qualifier for Husson in the program's second year of competition, and she finished 18th in the field of 22 competitors (and only eight first years) representing the top college athletes in New England.

In February the Husson Athletic Department hosted their Annual All-Academic Banquet. The 73 student-athletes were honored in a banquet held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Sunday, February 16, 2014. To be recognized for the Athletic Department Academic Team a student-athlete must be in sophomore, junior, or senior standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or better.

Spring 2014

Under the direction of new Head Coach Kristie Hawkins Husson softball grabbed their 6th straight North Atlantic Conference Championship, in dramatic fashion against Castleton. NAC Player of the Year Kayla Merrill and NAC Rookie of the Year Casey Lopes led the Eagles to an impressive 31-12 overall record. Joining K. Merrill and Lopes on the All-Conference team were Lyndsay Merrill and Amanda Ryan who received Second Team All-Conference.  The Eagles earned a NCAA DIII Tournament bid and travelled to Kean University to compete in a regional tournament, Husson defeated Keene State College to advance but fell in the double elimination tournament to Lebanon Valley College. 

Husson baseball finished the regular season 2nd in the NAC, and fell to Castleton in the Championship game, after a great season going 26-15 overall.  Husson’s Dylan Foster received numerous accolades following an amazing season. In 41 games Dylan led the team with 151 at bats, 79 total bases, 37 runs, 64 hits, 23 walks, 13 stolen bases, .506 on base percentage, .424 batting average and .523 slugging percentage. Foster was named NAC Player of the Year and the NEIBA DIII All-New England Team, as well as being selected for the NEIBA All Star Game and’s All-New England Team. Tim Nason was named Pitcher of the Year, while teammates J.T. Whitten and Brandon Gendreau earned First Team All-Conference honors and Kyle Bishop earned Second Team All-Conference honors. Head Coach Jason Harvey snagged his 150th career win. 

New Head Coach Marsh Gray led the Husson men’s lacrosse team clinch the #5 seed with a 4-4 NAC record and a NAC Semifinal appearance. Husson was awarded the NAC Sportsmanship award and senior Mark Nardelli grabbed First Team All-Conference honors, while teammates Vinny Visconti and James Seager were named to the Second Team All-Conference.

Women’s lacrosse reached the NAC Semifinals after a 4-goal run late in the second half to beat the Beavers of UMaine Farmington in the first round of the NAC Tournament. The Eagles finished the season with a 5-9 record. Michaela Bicknell, Caitlyn Stauffer and Kayleigh Piccirillo each grabbed NAC Second Team All-Conference honors. Stauffer passed the 100-point plateau in her career, and just one goal shy of being first all-time in program history. Kim Gambon became the programs all-time leader in assists in the game.

Outdoor Track & Field capped off their third year in NCAA DIII competition with fabulous showings from Alecia Palmer, Chrissy Larrabee, Brooke Hoople, and Sara LaPlante at the ECAC DIII Outdoor Championships. The season saw a number of person records set.

The Husson University cheerleading and dance teams placed first in their divisions at the annual New England Cheerleading & Dance Team Open Championships, ending a very successful season where they spread holiday cheer at the Ellen M. Leach Memorial in Brewer and hosted their Second Annual Youth Cheerleader Day with a showing of 45 youth cheerleaders.

The Husson University Department of Athletics held their annual Eagle Award Banquet at The Spectacular Event Center in Bangor, Maine on Monday, April 21st. WVII-TV’s Sports Director Aaron Jackson served as the evening’s emcee, while Husson’s Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi and President Dr. Robert Clark welcomed the over 350 attendees with their opening remarks. The Spectacular Event Center provided a wonderful meal, followed by the presentation of awards by the Voice of Husson Eagles, Reid Durost. Each of Husson’s 18 athletic teams and two spirit teams honored their senior student-athletes and awarded their Eagle Awards.

Husson Athletics will be holding the 4th Annual Husson Eagles Golf Outing on June 27, 2014, at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course and Seasons Restaurant & Sports Bar.