Brockport Fall Sports Previews

By on September 4, 2017

Women’s Volleyball

After losing only one senior from a team that finished 34-4 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament, expectations are sky high for the 2017 version.

Brianna Richardson (#16), Brockport Volleyball.

Brianna Richardson (#16), Brockport Volleyball.

Even though that player led the team in points and kills, there is plenty of firepower left to fill the void.

“Excited about the season and the team,” four-year head coach Steve Pike said. “We have a number of quality people and student athletes in our gym training right now. We have been growing and learning as a team and individuals which should help us throughout our season.

“We have high expectations of all our athletes and at this point are eager to see how well they compete in our gym. We don’t have any one or two members but as a collective group desire to mature on and off the court.”

Senior Brianna Richardson, junior Emma Stolz, junior Jamie Schlesinger, sophomore Kelly Waters and junior DeAnna Ortiz-Whittemore all finished with 200 or more kills last season with senior setter Noelle Poloncarz also returning.

Defensively, junior Maddy Taylor led the squad in digs while Richardson and Waters were one-two in blocks.

Newcomers trying out for the team at press time were transfer Jes Marini from Pittsford Sutherland and MCC, transfer Cassie Birth from Jefferson CC, Emily Orminski, Rachel Millington, Meaghan Mastro and Laiken Fox.

The team will fly west to take part in the Pacific Coast Classic to open the campaign, play Division II Roberts Wesleyan on the road and take part in the Union Tournament in the first two weeks. Home fans won’t have a chance to see the team until September 27 versus D’Youville.

Cross Country

With a year as head coach under her belt and, more importantly, a full year of recruiting, head coach Danielle Novara and the future is bright for the cross country team. The women finished last fall seventh in the SUNYAC and the men eighth and both teams finished in the top half of the region with all fourteen participants returning.

Sean Kuehn, Brockport Cross Country.

Sean Kuehn, Brockport Cross Country.

“I am very excited about this upcoming season as we welcome almost 30 new incomers to our cross country team alone,” Novara said. “The newcomers will bring some tremendous talent and work ethic to add to our already dedicated team. I want to be careful not to put too much overt pressure on my freshmen, as freshman year is always a transition – but it would not surprise me to see both of our Top Seven positions filled primarily with underclassmen.”

“Some of our returners have really stepped it up this summer with their training in preparation for the season. We welcome back our entire top seven from last year on the men’s side and I look forward to some tremendous years from Sean Kuehn, Joe Northup, Dylan Brickner and Stefen Davies. We are getting some superb talent in our freshman class with Ethan Carey, Dylan McNamara, Tyler Godin, (Niagara transfer) Ethan Graves, (Delhi transfer) Andy Davis and Marius Sidlauskas.

Lauren Bates, Brockport Cross Country.

Lauren Bates, Brockport Cross Country.

“As far as leadership on the men’s side – I could not ask for a more cohesive unit. They communicate well with each other and our staff and have the big picture always in the back of their minds.

“On my women’s side I am looking forward to some great seasons from upperclassmen Lauren Bates and Krista Kicsak. Our now sophomore class will be bringing back some good talent and experience in Allison Miller, Holly Heil and Megan McIntyre. We are getting some amazing talent in our freshmen women with Brianna Lawless, Lisa Pink, Makenna Bleier (Hilton), Kortnie Demers (Hilton), and Kayleigh Hildreth who I all think will have a chance to crack into our scoring seven.”

The Brockport Invitational kicks off the season September 1 as the only home meet with the SUNYAC championships in Potsdam October 28.

Women’s Soccer

Like the Cross Country squad, women’s soccer had a head coaching change prior to last season, but made the conference playoffs before being knocked out in the first round. Familiarity and a full year of recruiting could spell success in 2017.

Olivia Kuter, Brockport Women's Soccer.

Olivia Kuter, Brockport Women’s Soccer.

“The obvious difference is that it is a much younger team overall,” head coach Mike Idland said. “One major difference will be that last year’s team members, with a few exceptions, were all already very familiar with each other going into the 2016 season, whereas so many of this year’s team members will be getting to know each other for the first time throughout the 2017 season – I think that’s pretty exciting!”

Two local players—senior Maddie Siclare from Hilton and Olivia Kuter from Churchville-Chili will be asked to lead the squad in 2017.

“Siclare is an all-conference player and a team captain. Her role will remain in place as an attacking central midfielder with plenty of freedom to create and destroy. Kuter is another key returner and also a team captain. She will likely continue to play in the back line and provide lots of much needed experience in that part of the field for us.”

There is plenty of room for several players to contribute offensively whether that be from returners or newcomers as Siclare is the only returning player who scored a goal last season.

There are also questions to be answered in goal and defense with sophomore Kimberly Lubanski the only returner who saw any action last year—and that was all of six minutes. Junior college transfer Molly Graves will battle her for the starting nod. Aside from Kuter, the roster lists seven freshmen on defense including Churchville-Chili grads Rian McMullen and Jamie Cooper, so they will be learning on the fly as well.

“We have a wonderful class of freshmen and transfers joining us this season. It’s impossible to say at this point who among them will make an immediate impact, but collectively they will certainly help to raise the overall standard in training and the level of competition for spots within the team, which is key to any player making an impact in game-play.”

The team opens at the Roanoke Tournament before hosting St. John Fisher September 7 with conference play beginning September 22 and 23 at Fredonia and Buffalo State.

Football

The Golden Eagles finished with their first winning season (7-4) and postseason game since 2013. They had the second-best scoring and rushing offense in the Empire 8 and the fourth best scoring defense.

Justin Torres (#65), Brockport Football.

Justin Torres (#65), Brockport Football.

Now they have to find a replacement for All-American running back Dan Andrews, who leaves as the Brockport career record holder in career rushing yards (5,001), career points (434), career touchdowns (72), and most career rushing touchdowns (64). He also holds the records for most touchdowns scored in a season (2015, 26), holds seven of the top 20 rushing games, and the record for points in a season (146).

“Excited to have a chance to improve on how we performed last year,” head coach Jason Mangone said. “Last year’s losses were the result of us not finishing off games the way we started. We had fourth quarter leads in those games and relinquished them. Our focus since the end of last season has been to finish everything we’ve started.”

The offensive side of the ball will start with Empire 8 Rookie of the Year Joe Germinerio, who finished his freshman season ranked sixth in Division III for yards per pass attempt (9.73) and seventh for passing efficiency (172.2). He threw for 11 touchdowns with only five interceptions in ten games while finishing second on the squad in rushing behind Andrews with 556 yards and nine more scores.

Gannon transfer Justin Morrison will be given the chance to earn the starting nod at tailback. Sophomore Joseph Ortiz finished second on the team with almost 500 receiving yards last season with Daquan Hubbard expected to move into a regular role by the coaching staff. Freshman Tyree Brown could also push for playing time.

The best news on offense is that four of the offensive line starters from last year’s playoff game return in seniors Adam Barrientos, Justin Torres (Churchville-Chili) and James Grennan with junior Caleb Ferdilus.

On defense, Spencerport grad Jake O’Connor was named a First Team pre-season All-American at safety after he led the conference with seven interceptions and fifth on the squad in tackles.

Junior linebacker Matt Syzmanski is back after leading the team with 68 tackles including 27 solo last season. Sophomore Alex West will be given a shot to move into a starting role at outside linebacker as will sophomore Alaan Montgomery at safety after playing in four games as a freshman.

The rest of the secondary should include seniors Julius Brunson and Julius Mizro with junior Rashad Baker. Junior Austin Dean is the only regular returning on the defensive line, but freshman Joshua Greenwood could get the rare chance to start in his first year.

The season begins with 2016 NCAA playoff participant Hobart on the road prior to the home opener against Ithaca September 9. The conference schedule begins with the annual Courage Bowl at St. John Fisher September 16.

Field Hockey

A new era begins for this program with a new head coach for the first time in 16 years with the appointment of Krista Archambeau April 30. She arrives after most recently serving as the interim head coach at NCAA Division II Seton Hill University, where she also served for two seasons as the assistant coach.

Archambeau inherits a program in need of a facelift after recording a 5-12 record in 2016 and last making the conference playoffs in 2010. They were outscored and outshot last season by almost a two-to-one margin.

Margo Tremaine, Brockport Field Hockey.

Margo Tremaine, Brockport Field Hockey.

“I am very excited to start the upcoming season, as the new head coach,” Archambeau said. “We have a solid group of returners and talented newcomers, which will allow for us to build upon the current foundation of the team.

“The senior class as a whole has excellent leadership and a lot of heart. They’ve done a fantastic job guiding the team in the off season, and I anticipate them leading the team on and off the field in the 2017 season.”

Those seniors include midfielder Kelsey Devine, leading scorer Margo Tremaine, Mariah Clark, Kaitlin Croghan, Whitney Markwica and Amy Masciale.

Sophomore, Second Team All-SUNYAC selection and second leading scorer Abby Meagher returns up front with junior Christina Conkling.

Junior Sarah Beam started ten of the 17 games last season and is joined in net by classmate Adriana DeDie.

Penfield grads Meaghan Lurz and Emily Hall are among the eight freshmen on the roster at the start of the preseason.

There will be a long getting-to-know-you phase to the season and the new coaching staff will have a full recruitment year heading into 2018.

Keuka College is the opponent for the home and season opener September 1 with their first SUNYAC games the long trip to Oneonta and New Paltz September 22 and 23.

Men’s Soccer

After the Golden Eagles recorded only three wins in 2016 – the fewest in a season for the program since 1988 – it was time for a remake. In addition to the three seniors, the team also lost seven other players from last season’s roster.

Justin Mercer (#10), Brockport Men's Soccer.

Justin Mercer (#10), Brockport Men’s Soccer.

“We have a very large recruiting class coming in this season with some outstanding transfers,” head coach Gary LaPietra said. “We also welcome back some very exciting players that will provide us with more experience which our team lacked last season.

“I expect that our team will be exciting to watch since we have improved our overall team speed and have some very dynamic players that will create many scoring opportunities.

The team appears deep at midfield with captains senior Justin Mercer (Brockport) with juniors Connor Melanophy and Quintin Volpe plus sophomore Cam Beale. Misericordia transfer Russell Hines and Potsdam transfer Connor DeSantis will add to that depth and could push one or more of the returners to a new spot.

The team will depend on sophomores Michael Meyers and Austin Betts on defense after both started more than half the games as freshmen. Sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Romano received nine starts last season, but will be challenged by LIU Post transfer Ahmad Timsah.

Forward Jake Fusilli and newcomer Mike Duren hope to add to an offense that managed just 12 goals all of last season.

Brockport High product Jason Hayes transfers in from Oswego after one season with 11 starts at midfield. Other newcomers include Ryan Cullen, Hilton grad Michael Provost and Noah Mohamed.

The season opens at RIT and Nazareth September 1 and 2 before the home opener versus Medaille September 5. SUNYAC action begins against Fredonia and Buffalo State September 22 and 23 at home.

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