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Sunday, August 28, 2005

On Labor Day weekend, nationally-ranked opponents await Warriors

  Senior Carl Segura

The men’s and women’s soccer teams will be tested immediately in 2005 when they  plunge into their respective seasons Labor Day weekend against teams ranked nationally in the pre-season NSCAA/adidas Division III national polls.

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The women’s team, a post-season qualifier

each of the past four years, faces No. 9 nationally-ranked College of New Jersey Saturday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. in the opening round of the Elizabethtown College Blue Jay Classic at Elizabethtown, PA. The men kick off their campaign on the same day against No. 12 nationally-ranked and host St. Lawrence University at 4 p.m.

                                 All-LEC senior Meghann Booth

In NCAA Division III play last year, both New Jersey and St. Lawrence reached the Round of 16 before being eliminated. New Jersey finished with an 18-2-2 record while St. Lawrence closed out at 16-3-1. The top seed in the ECAC New England Division III Tournament last year, the Eastern women were eliminated in the semifinals and finished at 15-6-2. The Eastern men qualified for the Little East Conference Tournament for the first time in three years and were eliminated in the semifinals by top seed and eventual champion Keene State College, finishing 6-11-3.

It marks the first meeting for the Warriors against either New Jersey or St. Lawrence.

Ranked nationally a total of five weeks a year ago, the women return 14 letterwinners under sixth-year Head Coach Chris D’Ambrosio. Four of the returnees earned All-Little East Conference honors last year: seniors Meghann Booth (WINDSOR LOCKS), Caitlin Buzzell (MANCHESTER) and Jenn Orme (CENTEREACH, NY) and junior Melissa Lambert (MONTVILLE). Both of last year’s keepers also return in senior Allison Sumecki (NORTHFORD) and sophomore Megan Gloster (AGAWAM,MA). Last year’s team won the Cardinal Classic at SUNY Plattsburgh on Labor Day weekend and the next weekend, won the Wellesley College Invitational.

The contest against New Jersey is the first of three against a nationally-ranked team for the women in the first three weeks of the year. The Warriors meet No. 20 Amherst College Sept. 14 in their home-opener and No. 3 Wheaton College (MA) the following Saturday at Norton, MA.

The men return one of their largest senior classes ever under 16th-year Head Coach Frantz Innocent. Among the 15 returning letterwinners are senior returnees Greg Arvai (NEWINGTON), Rob Bedini (MANCHESTER), Brian Clark (PATCHOGUE, NY), Jeff Mitchell (ENFIELD), Nick Rezendes (NEWINGTON) and Carl Segura (AMHERST, MA). All but Bedini are in their fourth seasons with the program. An additional senior is first-year transfer Fotis Anastasiou (COLCHESTER), who played at Division I Central Connecticut State University in 2003 after earning first-team  junior college All-America honors at Manchester Community College in 2002.

Three returning players for the men received all-conference honors last year: juniors Matt Fitzgerald (MARLBOROUGH) and Derek Miles (NEWTOWN) and sophomore Jay Barney (MANSFIELD). Barney, the No. 1 keeper, was last year’s conference Rookie-of-the-Year. Barney, Miles and Segura will serve as team tri-captains this season.

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