The Yellowjackets closed this season with style as they romped Case Western Reserve University 41-10 at home Nov. 11. The team finished 6-4 overall and placed fourth in the University Athletic Association and tied for first in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association ? UR?s first winning season since 1993. Senior Lance Ramer and junior Brian Kowalski both earned UAA honors for their strong defensive effort, combining for 250 tackles during the season. Freshman standout safety John Savage racked up rookie of the year honors in three different leagues, including the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, while sophomore running back Greg Lozeau and senior quarterback Jeff Piscitelli led the Yellowjacket offense throughout the season.
Led by senior goalkeeper Kate Donhauser, sophomore defender Amy Kelmenson and junior defender Jenn Seferiadis, the Yellowjackets knew that their defense was poised for a strong showing against its tough opponents. The women started with a second-place showing in the Flower City Classic tournament and by mid-season, UR had made its debut in the national rankings, coming in at No. 25. However, in the latter part of the year, the team lost in double OT against UCAA champion Union College and then dropped to Vassar College 2-1 in the ECAC championships. The women finished 11-7 overall, 4-3 in the UAA.
In the fall, the Yellow-jackets went a perfect 4-0 and captured a second-place finish at the New York State Championships and a third-place finish at the UCAA Championships. This spring, with a new coach and a fresh attitude, the women had set their eyes on the UAA title. Led by sophomore and first-seeded Joanna Toke and junior second-seed Deepa Popuri, the women put forth a strong effort in the UAA championships here at UR, placing third in the tournament behind the favorites Washington University in St. Louis and Emory University. The women boasted a 9-2 overall record.
The men had high hopes coming into this year and their finish gives them no reason for disappointment. With freshmen phonemes Colin Ryan and Dan Williford as first seed and second seed, followed by a solid string of veterans like juniors Anton Orlin, Aaron Arfman and Brad Kraus, UR knew it had a shot at grabbing the UCAA and the UAA titles last year. However, after tough defeats by nationally ranked Trinity College and Swarthmore College, the ruffled Yellowjac-kets dropped to second-seeded Washington University in St. Louis in the UAA championships, finishing third in the tournament. The men later wrapped up their split 6-6 season at UCAA tournament, finishing second behind Skidmore College. UR will finished off its 2001 season by qualifying to the NCAA eastern regional championships at a seventh seed, losing to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5-0 May 13.
Veteran leaders helped the Yellowjackets to a overall record of14-11. The leadership of sophomore point guards Tim Sweeney and Justin Hughes as well as junior forward Kyle Leach and senior guard Jeff Larson guided the team to an early season Chuck Resler Tournament championship and a second-place finish at the Chase Scholarship Tournament. Coach Mike Neer also celebrated his 25th year anniversary at the helm, leading the Yellowjackets during the regular season with upsets over Case Western and nationally-ranked Washington University. Freshman forward Andy Larkin lead the team in numerous categories including points per game, rebounds and minutes. His performance earned him rookie of the year honors in the UAA.
Despite some rough seasons in the past, the women regrouped for a more than impressive 2000-2001 season. They concluded their season by beating cross-town rival Nazareth College in the ECAC Championship game. The freshmen dominated team had great leadership in senior guard Jennie Wafer, junior guards Jen Labuda and Anne Gotstein. Senior forward Jill Strebel also post strong leadership in offense for the Yellow-jackets, scoring her career high 21 points in the womens? final game of the season against Case Western. Look next season for freshmen forwards Carrie Eisenhauer and Shannon Higgins as well as freshmen guards Tara Carrozza and Erika Smith, who all had outstanding rookie seasons, to step up for the Yellow-jackets.
The softball team experienced a rough 1-14 start to last season but it quickly turned itself around. The team won seven out of its last 10 games and concluded their championship season by defeating Skidmore in both games of a double-header. Junior infielders Nellie Coats and Kristy Krivickas provided veteran leadership for the team that included seven freshmen players. This young team pulled together to wrap up its rocky season by qualifying for post-season ECAC championships and was crowned UCAA champions with a 6-2 record.
The men?s outdoor track team showed enough strength and depth to pick up a NY-State championship but fell just short finishing in an impressive third-place behind Ithaca College and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute. Junior Justin Lamontagne grabbed the 110-meter high hurdle event as senior Darren Gaul was crowned the champion of the javelin throw. Senior sprinters Jon Coyles and Sam ?The Bull? Albert provided leadership for this immense squad and trampled over their opponents in their events throughout the season. Senior Andy Locke added to the squad of veteran leaders. The depth of this squad in events across the board helped them to an undefeated dual-meet record and a first-place finish at the UR Alumni Invitational in February.
The baseball team had an outstanding 8-4 record during its spring training games in Cocoa Beach FL. The trip included an upset 4-3 victory over nationally ranked Emory University. UAA honored senior shortstop Billy Rasmussen, senior catcher Mike McKinsey and junior third baseman Kris Kiefer for their efforts in leading the squad during the UAA championships in March. Junior pitchers Adam Fay, Mike Carletta and Brian Schobel held strong in the mound as sophomore outfielders RJ Johnsen, Matt Davison and Ryan Hanley stepped up at the plate throughout the regular season. However, the seniors will be missed next season. This season, Ras-mussen, McKinsey, senior second-baseman Keith Erazmus and catcher Dan Kernan led the defense and offense for the Yellowjackets and helped UR to a 18-14 record, which brought the men to their third ECAC championship tournament in the past four years. UR finished second behind Clarkson University.