We’re in the midst of a new season for the Ducks and one that players, administrators and students hope will be another winning year. The men’s and women’s teams take to the fields and the courts this fall following the program’s most successful season in Stevens’ history. Among the highlights from last year:
- Women’s soccer competed in the NCAA Division III Championship – they made it to the second round.
- Field Hockey, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer all played in the NCAA tournament
- Men’s Basketball won the ECAC Metro Championship
- Three students were named student/athlete players of the year and 33 were all-conference selections.
The men’s soccer team, with seven returning players, has charged into the season at 6-2, despite a coaching change that saw the departure of former head coach Tim O’Donohue. O’Donohue racked up a 155-20-22 record over a decade with the Ducks before taking a post with University of Connecticut. Interim head coach is Harvard University assistant, Devin Rensing. He’ll be helped by returning assistant, Ben Tamberella and two recent Stevens Institute of Technology soccer alums, Nick Gkionis (2006) and Zach Carr (2011). Both played professionally after their college careers and returned to Castle Point to share their knowledge to the next generation of Ducks.
Men’s cross country brings back top sophomores Michael Cahill and Andrew Turnage, who helped lead the team to fourth place in the Empire 8. Four seniors, Brad Antes, Andrew Ballinger, Steven Chick and Andrew Verderame, will also return. They’re lacing up their running shoes to host the Stevens Invitational during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 15, at Liberty State Park.
Varsity golfers started their season early September. The program’s fifth season will look to challenge the Empire 8 this year with a mix of veterans and new players. While scoring low on the course, the team hopes to continue to score high academically. Last year’s team garnered a team GPA of 3.47. Leading the team are seniors Aaron Dennis and John Ziegler, who serve as co-captains. Head coach Joe Stahley will again be backed by assistant coach Sean Pollack, a golf pro who joined the team last spring.
It may be a rebuilding year for the women’s soccer program, which graduated eight players in the spring. But by sticking with a long-running team mantras of ‘team first’ and ‘get better today’ returning players are expected to help make the rebuilding process easier. Back are are Empire 8 Rookie of the Year, Bridgett Barden, and goalkeeper Kaitlin McClymont, who was among the nation’s leaders in save percentage (.867) with 117 saves. She allowed just 0.97 goals per game for a 15-4-1 record.
The women’s tennis team will take a swing at repeating its stellar performance last year that included reaching the Empire 8 tournament for the fourth consecutive year and the conference championship match for the second-straight season. But this year the team would like to take it to the next level with a top spot in the Empire 8 and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
“Our ultimate goal is to win the Empire 8, but we need to focus on taking one match at a time and look to make the right adjustments along the way,” said head coach Steve Gachko. The team will face a more competitive schedule than they have in the past and will travel to the ITA and Swarthmore Invitational this year. The events “will be good tests for us and will give us some big-match experience leading up to the postseason,” says Gachko.