It would be hard to imagine UR sports this year without the members of the class of 2008. The seniors’ leadership and experience has been a catalyst for the success of many of the Yellowjacket teams this year.
For the men’s soccer team, a lot of the credit for its Sweet 16 NCAA tournament appearance goes to the team’s eight seniors. This past fall, four of the eight – midfielders Bobby Milenovici and Jeremy Mann and defenders Nick Mikolenko and Eric Meister – were named All-Region by d3kicks.com. Mikolenko was also named an All-American for the second-straight year. Midfielder Matt Sulkin also had a notable season. His assist in the final seconds of UR’s come-from-behind victory against Rochester Institute of Technology in the beginning of October was a season highlight. Patrick Ripp was key in the midfield for UR, playing in all 18 games and starting 17. The ‘Jackets also got energy and enthusiasm from forward Boston Nyer. And despite suffering an injury toward the beginning of this season, two-time All-University Athletic Association goalie Paco Corbalan still made an impact. Before the injury, Corbalan got UR off on the right foot, starting the first four games, going 3-1 and notching one shutout.
The women’s team was led by senior defender and three-time All-American Ashley Van Vechten (pictured above). Two other seniors were named All-UAA: goalie Molly Leitch and defender Amy Thompson. Midfielders Ali Streeter and Tammy Brewster led the team in points with 12 and 11, respectively. Back-up goalkeeper Kate Levy played in four games this season and did not allow a goal. Midfielder Laura Morrison started 15 games this season and notched four assists, and defender Darby Grant helped to anchor the Yellowjackets in the backfield. Grant started 18 of UR’s 19 games this year and assisted in setting the tone for a ‘Jacket defense that gave up just 0.65 goals per game.
In volleyball, UR was captained by lone senior and middle blocker Ariel Edelson. Edelson led the team in blocks this past season with 72. In the championship game of the Potsdam Tournament, Edelson propelled the ‘Jackets to victory with 11 kills and three blocks.
The men’s cross country team will say goodbye to six runners: Sean Czaja, Pat Hughes, Dan Mueller, Nick Roosa, Mark Stevens and Jacob Zucker. Hughes and Mueller were both named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association All-Academic Team and earned All-UAA honors at the UAA Championship meet. Stevens has also had a great deal of success throughout his career as a Yellowjacket. As a sophomore, he qualified for the NCAA championships with a fourth-place regional finish. As a junior, Stevens was named UAA Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The women’s cross country team will part with its senior trio of Kellie Hasselwander, Laura Richenderfer and Stacie Woods. Hasselwander has been a force for the women the past two seasons. As a junior, she led UR at the NCAA National Championship finishing 59th. This year, Hasselwander qualified for the individual national race and finished in the middle of the pack. Both Richenderfer and Hasselwander were named All-Academic by the USTFCCA.
Seniors Colleen Cross and Alexa Perry were leaders for the women’s tennis team. As a junior, Cross won the No. 1 doubles title at the New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. This past fall, Perry advanced to the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships.
The Yellowjacket football team had its fair share of senior standouts as well. Runningback Matt Bielecki (pictured below) has been especially potent in his four years as a ‘Jacket. Bielecki finishes his career as UR’s leader in rushing attempts, rushing yardage, total touchdowns and total points. He – along with fellow senior offensive lineman Dan Kyle and cornerback Andy Rape – also received All-East Region honors, as determined by d3football.com. Rape was also named an Academic All-American for the second-straight season. Seven members of the senior class earned All-Liberty League honors this year. The seven included Rape, Bielecki, Kyle, wide receiver Jay Jay Vanderstyne, lineman Brendon Reyes, defensive back Jim Milks and offensive lineman Jeff Cosgrove. Vanderstyne led the team in both number of receptions and receiving yards this season, banking 65 receptions for 655 yards. The ‘Jackets will also be saying goodbye to tight end Joe Price, wide receivers Nik Culver and Joffre Alvarez, defensive backs John Jackson, Tim Hamilton and Ray Czerwinski, inside linebackers Joe Galantini and Richie Canale, defensive lineman Max Benz and offensive lineman Matt Meckwood. Canale, Reyes, Galantini, Rape and Milks each started all 12 of the ‘Jackets’ games this season.
The golf team will be parting with one of the University’s most prolific athletes in Stephen Goodridge (pictured on the right). Over his four-year career, Goodridge has won 13 invitationals and has earned All-UAA honors each year. As a sophomore, he was the NCAA Division III national champion. It was the first time in the University’s history that a Yellowjacket player won the individual title. The team will also say goodbye to Matt Cairo. Last year, Cairo helped UR finish third in the St. Lawrence University Invitational by shooting a solid 158 through two rounds. As a sophomore, Cairo averaged 81.2 strokes per course.
In women’s field hockey, the seniors were pivotal to the team’s 10-7 record this year. Goalie Rachael Cahan has started almost every game of her college career, including all 17 games this season. She allowed an average of 1.69 goals per game while saving .831 of the shots she faced in 2007. Midfielder Kari Plewniak started all 17 games for the team and recorded seven points, including two goals, this year. Defender Alicia Citro has started all but two games in her career as a ‘Jacket, and recorded 10 points, including three goals, this season. Defender Rana Pedram played well off the bench and started four games for the squad this year. Goalie Robin Levy was another important reserve player, playing 73 minutes this season between the pipes.
The men’s basketball team march into the Sweet 16 in this year’s NCAA tournament was a strong end to the careers of the five senior leaders – center Jon Onyiriuka, forwards Uche Ndubizu and Dan Milbrand and guards Rob Dominiak and Jeff Juron. Onyiriuka has picked up a number of accolades in his four-year career. He finishes at UR ranked seventh on the all-time list for points scored with 1,267 points. This past season, Onyiriuka was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Upstate New York All-Star team while also receiving All-American honors. Juron, Dominiak, Ndubizu and Onyiriuka all received All-UAA recognition this season. Dominiak (pictured on the left) broke the UR record this year for 3-pointers in a season with 93. Juron started every game his junior and sophomore years and was honored with All-UAA honors in each of his four seasons as a ‘Jacket. Ndubizu was second in Division III in field-goal percentage this year, hitting 63.3 percent of his shots from the floor. He was named to the Second Team All-East Region this past March and was the J.P. Morgan Chase Tournament MVP in January. Milbrand played in all 28 games this season and averaged 5.7 points.
The women’s basketball team also advanced to the Sweet 16 this season. The team had only one senior, forward Jessica Waddell. Waddell’s solid defense has left its mark on the UR program over the course of her four-year tenure. After missing her freshman year with an injury, Waddell started all but one game in her sophomore season and led the team in blocks. In her final two seasons, she has been very effective coming off the bench. This past year, she was second on the team in blocks and third in rebounds.
The men’s swimming team will say goodbye to three seniors: Jonathan Dennison, Dev Master and Joe Subjeck. At Liberty League Championships his sophomore year, Dennison finished fifth in the 100 breastroke and third in the 400 freestyle. Last yea
r, Master finished 10th in the 200 backstroke at the LL Championships. This year, Subjeck scored points for UR at the UAA Championships with a strong performance in the breaststroke.
The women’s team loses four seniors: Kelly Fischer, Denise Moseman, Danielle Scherry and Sara Tomaski. At UAA Championships this year, Fischer finished strong, coming in eighth place in the 200 breaststroke. Moseman ended her career by coming in 18th in the 200 breastroke in the same meet. Scherry had a brilliant four years swimming for the ‘Jackets. After being named Rookie of the Week at the Liberty League Championships her freshman year, Scherry continued her success as a sophomore, breaking the school’s record in the 1,650 freestyle at UAA Championships. This year, Scherry’s 400-yard medley relay finished seventh at the Championship meet. Tomaski finished 14th in the 1650 freestyle event at the LL Championships in 2006.
The squash team had three seniors: James Lynn, Patrick Harris and Alamdar Murtaza. Lynn won five matches in 2005 and six matches in 2006. Harris – the team’s captain – went 4-0 in Liberty League Championships this past year while winning eight matches last year. Murtaza was a valuable reserve, winning against Bates in 2006.
The women’s lacrosse team had five seniors – attack Kendra Williams, defenders Maureen Dooley, Rhea Lyons and Melina Hong and midfielder Jayne Van Schaick – all of whom left an impression on the program. Hong was named All-Liberty League three times in four years in addition to starting every game of her college career on defense.
The softball team was graced with three seniors this year. Outfielder Jessica Sorrentino capped a brilliant career with a great year. She managed 43 hits last year while starting every game and was named to the All-UAA Second Team. As a sophomore, Sorrentino batted .315 and, as a freshman, batted .301. Infielder Citro had 31 hits last year and 16 RBIs. In 2006, Citro had 20 hits with four doubles. Freshman year, she was named to the Liberty League All-Conference Second Team with a .322 batting average. Infielder Alix Davidson also was a contributor to UR’s success in recent years.
Seniors on the men’s baseball team have led the team to an 84-69 record over the course of four years, including a 27-11 mark this season. The talented group included outfielders Jim Bard and Dave Kloc, infielders Ed Kahovec, Devin Shane and Vanderstyne and pitchers John Fishback and Pete McEneaney. Kahovec, Vanderstyne and McEneaney were all awarded All-UAA honors this year. This was Kahovec’s second time being honored All-UAA. The short stop led the team in home runs this year with five. Vanderstyne has also had a very impressive career as a ‘Jacket and leads the team with a .437 batting average. Bard was All-UAA last season and, as a freshman, hit .344. Shane and Kloc each earned All-LL recognition as juniors.
In men’s track, Mike Burgstrom continued the success that has defined his prolific career, earning the title of Atlantic Region Male Field Event Athlete of the Year for the indoor season this past March. The award, given out by the USTFCCA, capped a season in which Burgstrom finished fourth in the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. During the outdoor season, Hughes and Mueller finished in a virtual tie in the 10,000 at the Danny Curran Invitational, an event in which UR runners took the top three spots. Mueller also finished with a personal best time of 15:04.87 in the 5,000 at the event, earning points for UR. Mere weeks ago, Hughes capped off his career with a first-place finish in the 10,000 at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championships. Stevens qualified for the ECACs despite an injury the season before. Also, Eric Scheele had success in the hammer throw this year. Additional contributors to the team were Czaja, Max Ehrmann, Daniel Gloekler, Tyler Stapleton, Eric Swanson and Zucker.
The women’s track team also had a superb season, winning the Indoor NYSCTC Championships for only the second time. This past spring, Hasselwander earned an ECAC berth for distance running. Overall, she had a hugely successful season, finishing first, second and third in a number of distance events. Anjuli Cherukuri, who also received an ECAC bid for the pole vault this spring, broke her own school record in the NYSCTC Championships during the winter season. Woods had a big impact on the team as well, earning an ECAC bid and doing consistently well in the 500 and in the relays. Kathryn Knowles and Cynthia Arvizo also contributed to the success of the women’s team during their college careers.
Thank you class of 2008! You all have contributed so much to the athletics program here at UR. Clearly, we have some big shoes to fill.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.
Maystrovsky is a member of the class of 2009.
Wrobel is a member of the class of 2010.