Friday, October 31, 2008

B-ball updates from Beantown

The Stags are finishing up the team's lone practice of the night in Chestnut Hill as we speak. From there, it seems as if the team will scrimmage Boston College twice tomorrow - first thing in the morning and again later in the evening. A team source told me that head coach Ed Cooley and the gang may even attend BC's football game against Clemson in between the two scrimmages. Nice to see a little team bonding...

More updates to come as they are available.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back from MAAC Media Day

More to come and some commentary on the way, but here are the quick hits from the ESPN Zone at Times Square:

  • Both the men's and women's team placed second in the MAAC coaches' preseason poll.
  • Two Stag seniors - point guard Jon Han and forward Baendu Lowenthal - were named as MAAC First Team Selections. Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck and Marist's Rachele Fitz were the preseason picks as Player of the Year.
  • Anthony Johnson was also added as a second-team All-MAAC Selection.
More to come.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Men's soccer update: Stags tied 1-1 with #7 Loyola

20:34 remaining in the first half here at Lessing Field and the Stags are currently tied with the #7 team in the country, Loyola, 1-1.

The Greyhounds scored an early goal just three minutes into the game, but Jack Burridge buried an equalizer 10 minutes later.

Possibly a live blog coming up for the second half, if the internet continues to work here.

-Tom Cleary

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Volleyball: Are you not entertained?

I kept thinking of that legendary 'Gladiator' quote when I saw the 3-0 score from today's volleyball win over St. Peter's at Alumni Hall. That's two wins in two days for a team that has won eleven of its last twelve.

Better yet, here's a stat to think about: they've shut-out the opposition in seven of their last eight wins, all of which were in-conference games. Seven.

Forget the Iona loss. Even the best teams have an occasional lapse here and there. What more does this team have to prove? Volleyball is a hungry, energetic team with a young, upbeat coach. They'll make waves the rest of the year, and I'd be shocked if they're not playing for a conference title come late next month.

Things going swimmingly for Stags

Two home meets, two wins in a row for Fairfield's Swimming and Diving team. The Stags narrowly escaped the RecPlex with a 151-147 win on Saturday afternoon in front of a decent crowd of alums and parents. Freshman Michelle Yoshida was a double-winner, her third such effort in as many meets, and continues to impress.

And the weekend goes on...

Red Ruggers down the Gaels

Fairfield's men's rugby club team continued its banner season with a stirring victory over Iona, 29-8. Nice crowd on hand, too - seemed as if plenty of alums and students were in attendance. Aside from the slip-up against Sacred Heart, these boys have looked awfully impressive so far this season.

Speaking of Sacred Heart, your eyes didn't deceive you: that was Sacred Heart's rugby team ("the X-Men") cheering on Fairfield from the sidelines near North Benson. Apparently, Sacred Heart either: a) dislikes Iona even more than us, b) are good buddies with a lot of Fairfield's player, c) needed the Red Ruggers to win to qualify for the post-season, or d) all of the above.

More to come on the weekend. 

Alumni/Parents Weekend underway

The University's new hybrid Homecoming/Alumni Weekend started off with a bang last night - even though both the men's and women's soccer team wins had nothing to do with the festivities.

Carl Rees and the men's team stretched their win streak to three games with a 2-1 victory over Rider - which was played in the shadow of Fairfield Prep's football game across the stream at Alumni Field. Must be a rough feeling for the Brits on the team to see a high school "American" football game have three times the fans, eh?

In New Rochelle, N.Y., Kelly Boudreau held the Iona Gaels scoreless and led the Stags to an impressive, 3-1 victory.

Of course the big soccer game comes tomorrow at Lessing Field against Loyola, a team currently ranked seventh in the nation in the adidas Collegiate Poll.


Men's basketball just wrapped up a scrimmage at Alumni Hall - now it's on to Hutch Williams-style Stag-tastic fun at various alumni games [including men's and women's lacrosse and men's rugby]. More to come..

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post-scrimmage thoughts - Oct. 20

A few words from Alumni Hall following the men's basketball intrasquad scrimmage this evening:

  • Nice work today from back-up point guard Jamal Turner, who did an exceptional job defensively on senior Jon Han. Granted, this is only a preseason scrimmage. But it's nice to see some strides from a youngster at a senior-laden position. Cooley's emphasis on team defense suggests that if Turner can be a bench defensive sub option, he could be in line for PT early on.
  • Player who turned my head: Ryan Olander. Not only did this kid show some ability covering a more polished, more veteran forward in Greg Nero, but he even showed some decent range from the field. Someone to keep an eye on.
  • Warren Edney and Yorel Hawkins were quiet for the majority of the night, but the small forward position battle is easily the most intriguing early on. These two are far too similar to both receive extended playing time, so it may be all-or-nothing type situation. Stay tuned.
  • Brandon Davis did not take part in the scrimmage, as he continue to nurse an off-season knee injury.
  • Head coach Ed Cooley was as hands off as he possibly could be, but couldn't help himself at times in the game. At one point in the first half - after moving his seat at varying spots at Alumni all throughout the game - Cooley yelled out, "Ball pressure!" to the red team. Once a coach, always a coach.
  • I'd call it a mediocre turnout mostly full of alumnus and local fans. Maybe 100 or so.
  • To some, it may have been a disappointment that the University discontinued its 'Midnight Madness', but the whole thing is mostly a charrade. Cooley opted for a smarter, more focused start to the season: longer practice sessions instead of an over-the-top slam dunk show in front of a few students. Can't say I blame him.
  • My favorite observation: "Our Time" enscripted on the back of the practice jerseys. Motivation, anyone?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Late game heroics on the pitch

Amazing night for Stags' soccer all around. In Jersey City, junior Christian Uy tallied a goal late in the second half, as the men's team defeated St. Peter's, 1-0.

Meanwhile, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., sophomore Nicole Cavallaro notched a game-winner early into the first overtime period to clinch a 1-0 victory over Marist, last season's MAAC conference champions.

Official Preview: Stags a 'team to beat' in MAAC

Jack Jones (Director of Fairfield's Sports and Information Department) recently rolled out the 2008-09 men's basketball season-preview. Nicely done and very comprehensive. Interesting tid-bits about everybody on the roster and a look at the out-of-conference schedule.

Also, be sure to check out some information on the team's trip to Puerto Rico. Pretty cool video to go along with the schedule and quick facts.

Also FYI - 'The Mirror' will debut it's Section B for Men's and Women's Basketball on Thursday, November 13 - just in time for the men's season-opener against Memphis. This thing has already been in the works for weeks and will be as good of a guide as Tom Cleary, Chris Simmons, and I can possibly make.

Stay tuned

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soccer hits the road

Two intriguing match-ups tomorrow: Dave O'Brien and women's soccer travel to Poughkeepsie to take on Marist, last season's MAAC champions. Three straight wins for women's soccer in the conference, but this is arguably their biggest test thus far.

Carl Rees and the men's team travel to Jersey City to challenge St. Peter's, the team that ended their season a year ago. Motivation, anyone?

Should be an interesting Friday night of action.

Coplean taps five senior captains

This from the desk of Fairfield S.I.D. Chris O'Connor:

"Fairfield University head men's lacrosse coach Andy Copelan announced that Chris Ajemian (Duxbury, Mass.), Jeff Cilente (Hillsborough, N.J.), Billy Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Matt Petre (Somers, N.Y.) and Gary Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) have been selected as 2009 team captains.

"These five gentlemen have separated themselves as leaders during a critical time in this program's development," said Copelan. "I have complete confidence in the team's selections and look forward to watching this team improve throughout the year."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Volleyball sizzles in Friday night lights

They won't call it revenge, but I'm sure that volleyball's Friday night's 3-2 win over Siena in Albany, N.Y. was a nice shot of redemption into the team's psyche. Granted, the two rosters (coaches, anyone?) have a far different make-up than the ones that met last November at Alumni Hall. Nevertheless, the win will go a long way to help the Stags' confidence.

Don't look now, but rookie head coach Alija Pittenger's have won seven consecutive conference games and sit alone atop the MAAC standings.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Post-game - Men's Soccer Quotes

Plenty of interesting things said by Rees and his player. All that being said, the two were glowing about the post-half effort by the Stags. Whether or not that can carry over to next week's game against Loyola and the MAAC remains to be seen.

But, tonight could be a coming of age for this team.


Jack Burridge

Comments on the game
“It was a rough start in the first half. In the second half performance was unreal. The guy’s just showed so much heart, grit, and determination. We had a goal disallowed in the second half. I’m proud of the lads, we did fantastic. If we carry this performance over to the MAAC games, I don’t see it being a problem at all for us to be a contender in the MAAC.

On halftime adjustments
At halftime, we decided that we were defending far too deep. We decided to take the game to them rather than let them come to us. We stepped up our game. We showed a lot of determination. In the second half, we came out straight from the races.

On the disallowed goal in the second half
Apparently, the official said that I climbed up above the defender. But, at the time, I was away from the defender. I don’t know why he called that. When I asked the official, he said that I held them. I don’t know.

On the play before his penalty kick and the penalty kick
On the PK. I couldn’t really do anything the goalie came so far out and smashed into me. He’s a 200-pound guy, you know. I was confident. I felt I could put the ball through.

On heading into the heart of the MAAC schedule
Like I said, if we take that into the MAAC games, I don’t see how we can’t win the MAAC and go through to the national tournament. Loyola is doing really well. But tonight, you could’ve put Real Madrid out there in our second half performance and we would’ve given them a good game.

On playing Boston College and an ACC team
BC is a great team. Everyone knows Boston College. Every guy all week has been looking forward to this game. From the start of the season, everyone on the team has been up for it. That’s why the start was so disappointing (given) that this was such a big game. We had a fantastic practice the other night, we had a fantastic second half. If we can take that into the MAAC – we just lost 2-1 to BC, and a lot of teams would’ve lost by five or six goals. I’m proud of the boys.

Head Coach Carl Rees
Comments on the game and his team’s effort
I’m fine with the way we played overall – even in the first half. You have to understand that this is a top ACC team. This is a team that was ranked number one in the whole country going into the national tournament last year. With that said, we have a team made in a large part of sophomores and juniors. Even in the first half, I thought we did quite well. But, I felt that there is another gear to us, and that we hit our stride in the second half. We were more assertive. We made errors, but they were errors of commission not omission. We weren’t scared to play, and we showed real good character. We had a goal disallowed and we scored a goal. At the end, there was only one team happy at the final whistle. If we can do that to an ACC team, than I’m happy with that. And our lads should be pleased with that. This is a big effort. I’m pleased for them, and they proved to themselves that they can compete with any team.

On the disallowed goal
I didn’t see anything from the sidelines, quite frankly.

On halftime adjustments
We needed to meet them higher at the field. Our starting position as defenders needed to be tighter on the ball. I thought that we needed to be collectively more assertive. Once we got momentum started and the crowd got into it, on Lessing field, we are a difficult team to stop at that point. Even at the end, they are scrambling and the crowd is behind us, it is an exciting contest. We just need a little bit of luck, but we’ll make our own luck down the stretch if we play like we did tonight.

On what you can take out of tonight going into the MAAC season
I think we got to see three non-regular starters stand up and be counted tonight. That was pleasant. It gives us some options come the MAAC. We played tonight without our two central defenders, and one of them is our captain. I thought that Lentine and Piedrahita led the team with dignity and ambition. Character is going to dictate the success of this team, like any other team. There was a lot of positive character straits being demonstrated tonight.

On Tom Clements’ injury
Clements – two weeks cracked ribs, hopefully, hopefully. It happened at Iona.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LIVE from Lessing - FU v. BC

Change of plans

Live blogging from Lessing of the men's soccer game vs. BC will be.... here.

Think of it as technical difficulties.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mirror Sports Blog 2.0

Finally! After a long-awaited delay (two posts in September after two in one day in the middle of August?! Ouch), we are finally back up and running. We've worked the kinks out of our new site, and a whole new slew of blogs are set to debut this week.

None bigger, obviously, than the original: the 'Mirror Sports Blog'.

So check here for the link (or go straight to The Mirror's official site) and check it out for yourself. Tomorrow night, we kick off our inaugural debut with a live game log (glog for the rookies out there) of the men's soccer game against Boston College at Lessing Field.

So, for all you soccer hooligans out there who have been saddened by our lack of fall blogging, don't worry. We're back just in time - and we'll be in the full swing of things in time for the heart of the MAAC schedule and the start of this other sports debuting in a month. Apparently it's a big deal on campus...

Stay tuned.