Spring sports at Stevens are underway. Here is a preview of what to expect this year from the talented spring programs, including men’s tennis, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball.
The Ducks will look to ride a 15-match conference winning streak dating back to last April into an Empire 8 Three-Peat. The leaders of the Stevens squad are junior Chris Rosensteel, the 2011 Empire 8 Player of the Year, and Shota Tasaki, who teamed up with Rosensteel to form the 2011 First-Team All-Empire 8 doubles pair. In addition, head coach Steve Gachko returns for his seventh season. Last year, he was named Empire 8 Coach of the Year and guided the Ducks to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Stevens baseball team is coming off a 14-23 campaign in 2011. First year head coach Kristaps Aldins will look to Matt Glassman, the Ducks’ returning top hitter, and Tom Phillips, a base-stealing threat with a .339 average, to lead the team offensively. Third baseman Tyler Courter, shortstop Marc Calleo and catcher Curt Lowenstein will anchor the infield, with T.J. Alcorn as designated hitter and Ryan Kiczek, Dan Allen and Shane Raymond in the outfield. On the mound, Courter, Allen, Mark Poinsett, Matt Buccheri and Kevin Mathews are all potential starters. Gary Boardman and Peirce Marston will work the bullpen, and Vincent Vinci will fill the closer’s role.
Now in its third year as a varsity program, the Stevens softball team will look to improve on its 21-20 record with the help of eight returning starters and a skilled crop of freshmen. Leading the pitching staff will be Kayla Berardi, who re-wrote the Stevens record book both in the circle and at the plate last year. Berardi will throw to catchers Brianna Sticco and Clair Strom, both key contributors last season. Many players could split time in the infield, with first baseman Stephanie Senkevich as a key leader. In the outfield, three starters return as defensive anchors – Sarah Parker, Lauren Hurley and Noreen Jordan.
Led by head coach Gene Peluso, the nationally ranked preseason No.9 Stevens men’s lacrosse team looks to build on a 2011 season in which the Ducks posted a school-record 16 victories and made its seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance. That team – and the 2012 roster – will be anchored by captains Alex Hofricter, Michael Steinhauser, Kevin Rose and Nicholas Philippi. At attack, Hofricter scored 34 goals and was an Empire 8 first-team selection and Rose was the team’s leading scorer. Steinhauser is the go-to player at the faceoff, and he’ll be joined in the midfield by Philippi, who scored five game-winning goals last season. Other key returners include midfielder Rich Dupras, defensemen Brian Seldeen and Matt Marks, and goalkeeper Eric Yando, who made 183 saves in the 2011 season.
The women’s lacrosse team, ranked No. 9 in the nation, is coming of season in which it reached the NCAA Div. III regional semifinals. The Ducks boast a talented group of veteran leaders, including senior captains Michelle Buonacuore (fifth all-time in career points and assists), Ashley Carey (sixth all-time in caused turnovers), Lindsay Daly (a defensive standout) and Jenna Scheibling (26 goals and 32 assists last year). Junior Spencer Waybright will lead the midfield and junior Meg Collins will start in goal after going 9-2 as a sophomore. With the help of other solid returners and a talented freshman class, Stevens will run a balanced attack in hopes of earning its third straight Empire 8 title and third straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
Keep up with the action this spring at www.stevensducks.com.