As the Ducks gear up for the spring season, check out the team’s highlights and hopes:
Scheduled to open their season on February 23 at Kean University, the Ducks are hoping to capture their first Empire 8 title this year. Finishing last season with an overall record of 21-19, the team made it to the semifinals of the ECAC Metro Tournament. A Spring Break training trip to Auburndale, Florida is planned to help get the Ducks ready to achieve their goal to return to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history (with their only other appearance being in 2002).
The Ducks’ home opener is slated for March 25 at Neshanic Valley Golf Club. Though the team will participate in a handful of tournaments and invitationals this spring, they are ultimately looking to improve upon their showing from the first part of the Empire 8 Championship which began in the fall. Stevens finished the fall portion – the first two of four rounds – in seventh place and will complete the final two rounds on April 16-17 in Danielsville, Pa.
Finishing last year with an overall record of 9-6 and a conference mark of 5-3, the team is looking to capture its first-ever Empire 8 title and return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. The 2006 trip was the last of six straight appearances in the NCAA tournament for the Ducks, and they are eager to kick-off another such steak. Men’s lacrosse will open their season at home against Endicott College on February 26.
Outdoor Track & Field
Men’s track & field will open the 2011 season in Lexington, Va. on March 26. The team finished third overall in the Empire 8 last year with Sebastian Luna ’11 (javelin) and Michael Pawalowski ’11 (triple jump) named conference champions. At the 2010 ECAC Outdoor Championships Mohamed Abuouf ’11 placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles and Luna was ninth in the javelin.
Looking to build off the momentum from their success at the ITA Regionals in the fall, men’s tennis opens the 2011 spring season against Haverford College on March 2. The Ducks had arguably the most successful season in school history in 2010 when they went 18-4, captured their second-ever Empire 8 title and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. Following a Spring Break trip to Claremont, California, the goal this spring is to win the Empire 8 title and make their fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament.
The Equestrian team returns to action this spring following a busy fall portion of their schedule that featured seven shows. Stevens’ Annual Show is set for March 5 at the Centenary College Equestrian Center in Long Valley and their first competition will be March 26 at Briarwood Farm. Julia Cederroth ’12 has already qualified for regionals and the Ducks are looking to have several other team members join her.
Women’s lacrosse is coming off a great 2010 season in which they set a school record for wins with a 17-3 record, won their first-ever Empire 8 title, earned their first NCAA tournament win and reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament. The Ducks have a very talented core of players returning, and are anxious to earn the second-straight Empire 8 title and return to the NCAA tournament. The team’s season-opener is March 5 at Montclair State University and they will play fifth-ranked Gettysburg College in Orlando over Spring Break.
Outdoor Track & Field
The 2010 season was ground-breaking for the team as the first-ever track & field athletes qualified for the NCAAs. Salme Cook ’10 placed 14th in the country in the 800-meter run and Maggie Kowalska ’13 was 17th in the javelin. Kowalska was also the Empire 8 Rookie of the Year, and the team placed third at the 2010 Empire 8 Championships. The Ducks open the 2011 season in Lexington, Va. on March 26.
Heading into their second season as a varsity sport, the team boasts a solid young core and several new recruits this spring as the Ducks look to climb their way up the Empire 8 standings. The Ducks won eight games in their first year and Lauren Hurley ’13 was a second-team All-Empire 8 selection in 2010.
The softball season will open with several games as part of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Florida over Spring Break and the first official game will be against St. Lawrence University on March 13.