The Year In Sports: Spring Season
Issue   |   Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:57
Rob Mattson
The men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, only losing three games this season.

Baseball

Amherst baseball enjoyed another winning season, posting a 27-15 record and returning to the Division III NCAA regionals for their third straight season. The team narrowly missed a NESCAC title, falling to Wesleyan in the extra-inning championship game thriller.

Mike Odenwaelder ’16 was named the NESCAC player of the year for the second straight season. He led the league in hits and total bases, posting a .373 batting average. He also blasted seven homers in additional to stealing 15 bases.

Other conference recognition came for Yanni Thanopoulous ’17, who was named to the first team, and Andrew Vandini ’16, a second team selection. Thanopoulous posted a .362 batting average and led the league in RBI. Vandini finished with a .305 batting average and his 46 RBI was good for second best in the league.

First-year Harry Roberson quickly earned a starting role, becoming the team’s consistent shortstop and hitting for a .358 batting average.

Defensively, junior starter Riley Streit led the pitching staff. Streit finished with a 2.40 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team opened up its spring season with a fifth-place finish at the Westport Hampton Inn Spring Invitational and continued to play well throughout the season, taking second at the Little Three championships.

Jarvis Sill ’15 built off his successes in the fall, placing fifth at the Hampton Inn Invite.

Amherst concluded their season at the Little Three championships with a strong showing from a trio of first-years. Sam Procter, Dan Langa and Mateo Wiesner all earned points against Wesleyan to help the Jeffs to a 9-3 win over the Cardinals. Procter was the only Jeff to take a point from rival Williams.

With three seniors graduating, the team will need to use this momentum from the younger golfers and carry it into the fall season.

Women’s Golf

After a successful fall campaign, the women’s golf team started its spring season with two sixth-place finishes, one coming at the Vassar Invitational and the other at the Amherst-hosted Jack Leaman Invitational.

Jamie Gracie ’17 continued her winning ways, placing sixth at the Vassar Invitational, third at the Jack Leaman invite and tying for fifth overall at the Williams College Spring Invitational. Gracie was also selected to compete at the NCAA Division III championships. She was the only individual selected from the NESCAC and finished tied for 25th overall at the tournament in a field of 110 golfers.

First-year Zoe Wong was also one of the Jeffs’ main contributors, consistently placing in the top five for Amherst. Her best performance of the spring came at the Vassar Invitational. She scored an 84 on both days, a two-day total that made her Amherst’s second best finisher at the tournament.

With the conclusion of the spring season, coach Michelle Morgan will retire after 25 seasons with Amherst. Morgan was inducted into the Western Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame back in October.

The team also graduates two senior captains and will rely on a new crop of leadership come fall.

Men’s Lacrosse

The men’s lacrosse team advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, losing just three contests all season. They started their season on an eight-game win streak and enjoyed another victorious eight-game stretch in the middle part of their season.

Quinn Moroney ’16 was named NESCAC player of the year, leading Amherst with 113 total points consisting of 30 goals and 83 assists.

Other NESCAC honors came for head coach Jon Thompson, as he was named Co-Coach of the Year.

Moroney was also named to the All-NESCAC first team, joined by teammates Dylan Park ’16, Ryan Cassidy ’16 and Cody Tranbarger ’17. Second team recognition went to Matt Virgilio ’15, Rob Butko ’16 and Matt Killian ’17.

Six Jeffs were also recognized with USILA All-American honors. Moroney and Cassidy were placed on the first team, while Park, Kane Haffey ’16, Butko and Tranbarger all garnered honorable mention titles.

After playing in just seven games in his first year, Tranbarger became the Jeffs’ main goalie in 2015, starting in every game for the team. He posted a 62.1 save percentage, making 315 saves total.

Women’s Lacrosse

Starting the season ranked at fifth in Division III, the women’s lacrosse team faltered in numerous NESCAC games to fall short of expectations and post a record just above .500 at 9-7.

The season was highlighted by a 17-11 win over rival Williams and a thrilling 9-8 overtime victory over Colby.

Rachel Passarelli ’16 had a standout year, earning All-NESCAC first team honors in addition to being named an IWLCA first team All-American. She led Amherst in both goals and points, with 42 and 55, respectively.

Meghan Mills ’15 and Hanna Krueger ’17 were named to the all-conference second team, with each earning her first NESCAC accolade. Mills scored 30 goals for the Jeffs while also adding 20 groundballs and 45 draw controls. Krueger contributed stellar defensive play with 25 ground balls and a team-best 19 caused turnovers.

After an early elimination from the NESCAC tournament, the Jeffs will return many of their core players and chase a longer run next season.

Men’s Outdoor Track and Field
After a dominant indoor season, men’s track and field transitioned wonderfully to the spring, placing second at the Amherst Invitational to start the season.

They stumbled with an eighth-place finish at the NESCAC championships before rallying and racing to 16th of 29 at the NCAA Division III Northeast meet and tying for 13th of 53 at the ECAC Championships.

Six Jeffs were named to the All-NESCAC team. Kevin Connors ’17, Nick Codola ’15, Romey Sklar ’15 and Brent Harrison ’16 earned honors as members of the 4x800-meter relay team. Mohamed Hussein ’18 grabbed second place in the 10,000-meter run to continue his fantastic first year. Finally, Dan Crowley earned third place in the 5,000-meter run to round out the Jeffs’ all-conference honorees.

Hussein moves on to compete at the NCAA outdoor championships, which will conclude on May 23. He set a program record for first-years and also won the event at the NEICAAA New England championships with his qualifying time of 30:34.89.

Women’s Outdoor Track and Field

The women’s track and field team started its spring season with a second-place showing at the Amherst Invitational. They continued on to place eighth of 31 at the NCAA Division III Northeast meet and place 19th of 56 at the ECAC Championships.

Karen Blake ’17, Kiana Herold ’17, Lizzy Briskin ’15, Lexi Sinclair ’16 and Becki Goalia ’18 were named to the All-NESCAC team for their individual performances. The 4x100-meter team consisting of Gabby Bishop ’18, Herold, Taylor Summers ’16 and Blake also received conference accolades.

Blake and Herold also qualified to compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, and the last day of competition will be May 23.

Blake will race in the 200-meter dash as well as the 100-meter dash. She took second in the 200-meter at the ECAC Championships while finishing fourth in the 100-meter dash at the meet.

Herold is set to compete in the high jump. She took fourth in the event at the New England Division III Outdoor championships.

Softball

Under the new leadership of coach Jessica Johnson, the softball team went 16-12, narrowly missing the NESCAC tournament.

The team did capture the Little Three championship title, winning its series over both Williams and Wesleyan.

Seniors Kelsey Ayers and Donna Leet were named to the All-NESCAC second team. Ayers finished 10th in the league with a .398 batting average in addition to a .417 on base percentage. Leet was also named to the NFCA All-New England third team.
She finished with a .394 average to accompany six homers and 24 RBI.

In the circle, Jackie Buechler ’17 followed up a dominant first year with another successful season. She posted a 2.21 ERA striking out 86 batters in just 85.1 innings pitched.

First-year Ally Kido broke onto the scene, playing and starting in various different positions for the Jeffs. She posted a .309 batting average, blasting three homers and adding 18 RBI.

Graduating five seniors, the team will bring in six newcomers and look to find more success in 2016.

Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team fell shy of defending its national championship title, losing an exciting 5-4 match to Chicago in the NCAA Division III Championships.

The team went on a 10-match win streak in the middle of the season that started with a 7-2 win over Colby on March 29. The Jeffs dropped just six matches all year.

Andrew Yaraghi ’16 was named the NESCAC player of the year. He began the year at No. 3 singles but quickly moved up to the No. 1 position.

He is also one of the six singles player from the NESCAC selected to participate at the NCAA individual championships, which will conclude on May 23 in Mason, Ohio.

Yaraghi also earned a nomination to the All-NESCAC first team along with his teammates Michael Solimano ’16 and Aaron Revzin ’16.

The perennial contender Jeffs lose just three seniors and will hunt for another national title come 2016.

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