Each week, the staff at NESCAC Insider, the Tufts Daily’s NESCAC blog, will compile a roundup of the top news throughout Div. III’s top conference. For more up-to-the-minute analysis and comprehensive coverage of the NESCAC, visit blogs.tuftsdaily.com/nescacinsider or follow on Twitter @NESCACInsider.
Baseball | Year of the freshmen?
Most likely not, given that the NESCAC schedule has not yet commenced, but a few first-years are already making a name for themselves during the non-conference slate.
Wesleyan outfielder Donnie Cimino was recently named the NESCAC Player of the Week after batting a blistering .517 on the Cardinals’ spring trip to Arizona. Cimino, who ranks sixth in the NESCAC with a .444 average to date, sported a .600 on-base percentage during Wesleyan’s 4-4 week, scoring 11 runs and driving home 11 runners to go along with five walks and six stolen bases in as many attempts.
Amherst first-year Brendon Hardin, who’s sporting an absurd .541 average through 10 games, is the current conference leader in batting average, and he has also compiled 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored. Combine them with Trinity freshman Anthony Redamonti – the reigning NESCAC Pitcher of the Week after giving up just two hits and one walk over 6 2/3 innings in relief – and you have a handful of first-years who are off to brilliant starts.
Hockey | Ten honored by New England Hockey Writers
Ten NESCAC hockey players -? five men and five women -? were honored this week as members of the New England Hockey Writers Div. II/III All-Star teams. Included on the list was NESCAC Player of the Year Jonathan La Rose. The Amherst goalie was named the Div. II/III New England MVP after he finished 2011-12 with a .943 save percentage – tops among all goalies in the two divisions – and a 1.5 goals against average.
The award is just one of many for the senior, who was also named the NESCAC, ACHA and USCHO Div. III Player of the Year. He will graduate from Amherst with the program’s highest-ever save percentage and has set a national record for career save percentage.
La Rose’s coach, Jack Arena, added New England Coach of the Year honors to his haul after being named the national coach of the year. He led Amherst to its second NESCAC title in four years.
Other men’s honorees included Tufts senior tri-captain goalie Scott Barchard, senior All-Americans Justin Troiani (Williams) and Jordan Lalor (Bowdoin) and Wesleyan sophomore Nik Tasiopoulos.
On the women’s side, NESCAC Player of the Year Geneva Lloyd, a junior defender from Amherst, made her third straight appearance. Trinity head coach Carson Duggan received New England Coach of the Year honors. Other honorees included Bowdoin junior forward Kayte Holtz, Middlebury’s Lauren Greer and Sara Ugalde and Bantams sophomore goaltender Alexa Pujol.
Lacrosse | Shakeup in latest Div. III men’s national poll won’t last
Tufts and Amherst virtually traded spots in the latest USILA coaches poll, the former dropping down to No. 6 after a spring break loss to then-No. 10 Stevenson and the latter moving up to No. 3.
Things are about to get more complicated atop the NESCAC, though. Yesterday, Amherst lost its first game of the season, a 6-3 decision to Wesleyan at home. The unranked Cardinals used four second-quarter goals to surge ahead and dethrone the conference’s last remaining undefeated team.
The Jumbos, who have made two straight appearances in the national championship game, dropped down from No. 2 and will have to wait until April 14 to get their crack at the Lord Jeffs. Bowdoin moved up one slot from No. 15, while Middlebury, Bates, Wesleyan and Trinity all received votes but did not make the rankings.
In the latest IWLCA poll for women’s lacrosse, Trinity, Colby and Middlebury all remained locked in at Nos. 5, 6 and 7, respectively. Bowdoin dropped down two spots to No. 11, and Tufts followed suit from No. 10 to No. 12. Hamilton and Bates, ranked 17th and 19th, respectively, round out the slew of NESCAC schools in the top-20.