Men's lacrosse went to the postseason for the first time in three years, while women's lacrosse continued to make improvements by posting its first winning record in four years.
The softball team had a rough season that did, however, reveal some prospects. The baseball squad was unable to defend its Eastern Athletic Conference title.
The men's tennis and outdoor track and field programs also had some highlights.
The Oswego State men's lacrosse team finished the 2009 season with an 8-9 record, posting its best record in seven seasons in SUNY Athletic Conference play with a 5-2 mark.
The team reached the conference playoffs for the first time in three years and third time overall since the conference reinstated men's lacrosse as a championship sport.
Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, the Lakers dropped games to six opponents that were ranked among the top 25 in NCAA Division III throughout the season, with five qualifying for postseason play in reaching their respective conference tournaments and three reaching the national tournament. Dan Witmer '82 who completed his 27th season as mentor of the Lakers' lacrosse program, was honored by the SUNYAC as Coach of the Year.
Senior midfielders Mike Brewster '09 and Mike Recor '09 were the leaders on offense for Oswego. Brewster led the team in scoring for the second straight season with 47 points on 19 goals and a team-leading 28 assists. He ends his collegiate career tied for 19th on the all time points list with 52 goals and 65 assists for 117 points. Recor finished second in scoring with 43 points, scoring a team-high 37 goals with five coming on man-up situations. He completed his three-year collegiate career at Oswego State with 75 goals and 12 assists.
Cam Davoy '11, Dan Scarazzo '10 and Dan Rogers '09 were also key contributors to the Oswego offense. Davoy finished tied for second in goals scored with 19 and registered 29 points, while Scarazzo collected 13 goals, 25 points and 23 ground balls, and Rogers totaled 10 goals and a team-high 85 ground balls while winning 109 faceoffs. Goalkeeper Judd Robinson '10 started in all but one of the Lakers' 17 games, turning away 244 shots for a .588 save percentage and posting a 10.92 goals against average.
Brewster and Recor were among six Lakers earning All-SUNYAC accolades. Recor garnered first team honors, while Brewster, Robinson and Dan Wilcox '10, Rogers, and Eric Zerrahn '11 were second team selections in the conference. Brewster and Recor also received additional accolades from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. Brewster was among 33 seniors to compete in the 67th annual North-South All Star game, while Recor claimed honorable mention All-America accolades, becoming the sixth All-American in the program's history.
First-year head coach Brandi Ostrander brought a new attitude and playing style to the Oswego State women's lacrosse team in 2009, and it paid off big for the Lakers, who posted their first winning season since 2005 with a 9-8 mark, nearly doubling their win total from the last three seasons.
While everyone on the 25-player roster contributed to the team's success this season, no one stood out more than attack Rachel Ventresca '09, who completed her three-year career with the Lakers as one of the top performers in the program's history. In only 47 career games, Ventresca finished third on the all-time scoring list with 188 points (130 goals and 58 assists), trailing all-time leader Kat Stead '05 and 2008 Oswego State Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Kim Pace '97. This spring, she was the team leader in every offensive category, scoring 58 goals to go with single-game school records of 36 assists and 94 points. She also owns the single-game school record for goals and points, tallying nine goals and 14 points in a win over Keuka College.
Team depth was not an issue as 10 of 17 players registered double-digit goals en route to tallying 268 goals on the season, a 79-goal increase from last season. Freshmen Rachel Raffa '12 and Kristen Darcy '12 finished second and third respectively in goals scored, tallying 39 and 32 points on the season, while Shannon Brown '09 picked up a team-leading 42 ground balls. Colleen Ventura '09, the Lakers' lone selection on the All-SUNYAC team in garnering second team accolades, registered 14 goals and 17 assists, won a team-high-tying 32 draw controls, and added 40 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers.
Shannon O'Brien '09 and freshman Nicole Nalle '12 shared goalkeeping duties for most of the season. O'Brien, who played nearly every minute in goal during her sophomore and junior seasons, turned in her first winning season with a 6-6 record, making 109 saves in 16 games played. One of only two seniors to play all four seasons, O'Brien also broke the career school-record for saves with 388 stops in 47 games.
With only three seniors among a group of 16 players on the roster, the Oswego State softball team went through a rebuilding season. With four freshmen and an additional three newcomers, the Lakers finished with a 9-21 record and a 4-16 mark in SUNYAC play.
Still, a number of players produced outstanding efforts, which are signs for a promising future in the years to come. Shannon Baker '12 and Eileen Joyce '12 were two of four players with a .300 or better batting average. Baker was the team's top hitter with a .330 batting average on a team-high 30 hits with 13 runs scored and eight runs batted in, while Joyce batted .310 on 22 hits, with 13 runs scored, five RBI and team highs of six doubles and a .423 slugging percentage.
Ellen Dungey '10 registered a .324 batting average in 14 games with six RBI, while Erin Tracy '10 started every game and posted a .260 batting average on 22 hits with four doubles, a triple and a home run.
Melissa Ryan '09 hit .300 on 12 hits with a .375 slugging percentage and a .950 fielding percentage, while Keri Starr '09 batted .261 on 23 hits, which included four doubles, two triples, and a home run, and drove in a team-leading 17 runs. Pitcher Michelle Jackson '09 was one of two hurlers for the Lakers this season, winning five games with a team-high 83 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched. She finished her career with 23 victories and a 3.26 earned runs average with 332 strikeouts.
Head coach Frank Paino and his Oswego State Baseball team came into the 2009 season looking to defend its Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Upstate Championship. While the Lakers finished with their eighth winning season in nine years, sporting a 20-14 record, they were not among the four teams receiving an ECAC berth. While sporting a 16-3 record in non-conference play, the team struggled in the always competitive SUNYAC conference this season with a 2-10 mark.
Eight players finished the season batting .300 or better, led by infielder Mike Levy '10, who garnered first team All-SUNYAC accolades. Levy started in all 34 contests for the Lakers, hitting .367 on 44 hits in 120 at bats, with team highs of 38 runs scored and seven doubles. He is also the team's leading base stealer with 15 steals in 16 attempts.
Levy also showed his success in the classroom as well, being named a SUNYAC Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award winner as the top baseball player in the conference with the highest cumulative grade-point average. A dual major in marketing and public justice, Levy carried a 3.69 GPA coming into the season.
Bryan Stark '10, Casey Rice '09 and Josh Stoetzel '09 were also key contributors on the Lakers' offense. Stoetzel batted .353 with a team-leading 49 hits (seven doubles, three triples, three home runs) to go with 29 RBI and a .511 slugging percentage, while Stark finished with a .351 batting average on 39 hits with five doubles, six triples, 20 RBI, and a.505 slugging percentage en route to second team All-SUNYAC honors. Rice posted a .371 batting average in 21 games played, tallying 23 hits with 15 runs scored, eight RBI, and a .435 slugging percentage.
On the mound, Marc Peterson '11 highlighted a young and talented pitching squad, posting a 5-3 record and a 2.56 earned run average with 33 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched. Brady Farkas '12 finished the year unbeaten with a 4-0 mark with 22 strikeouts in eight appearances, while Andy Salvatore '10 and P.J. Cowie '12 each registered a team-tying 36 strikeouts.
The only thing tougher for the Lakers than their opponents was Mother Nature. With inclement weather hitting the area at the most unlikely times, the Lakers and their 12-player roster were able to squeeze in five matches in a rain-shortened schedule, competing against teams from Elmira College, Onondaga Community College, Roberts Wesleyan College, RIT and St. John Fisher College.
Despite being outmatched in most of their contests, Oswego saved its best effort in its season finale versus Elmira, playing even with the Soaring Eagles before dropping the final match of the day en route to a 5-4 loss.
Outdoor Track and Field
After a productive indoor season, the Oswego State Track and Field team jumped straight into its nine-meet outdoor schedule on the first weekend of March in Salisbury, Md.
For the women, sprinter Christine Ripple '12 was the most consistent performer on the season, reaching the finals in every meet she has entered at 100 and 200 meters as well as the 400-meter hurdles. Ripple highlighted a talented sprint lineup which included Khrystine Tschinkel '12, Megan Boggan '10 and Danielle Washington '09. Each posted top five finishes in their respective events during the year.
Erin Kain '09 was the team's top performer in the throws, finishing among the top eight in the hammer throw in five meets during the year. She broke her own school record in late April at SUNY Geneseo, finishing sixth with a toss of 41.14 meters.
At the SUNYAC outdoor championships in Oneonta, the Lakers received point-scoring performances from three individuals en route to helping the squad to an eighth-place finish as Ripple finished seventh in the 200-meter dash (27.07 seconds), Boggan seventh at 400 meters (1:01.51), and Liz Weatherby '11 placed seventh in the javelin (27.02 meters). In the relays, the quartet of Washington, Boggan, Ripple, and Tschinkel placed fifth in the 400-meter relay (:51.86), while the team of Ripple, Boggan, Renee Coe '09 and Tschenkel finished sixth in the 1,600-meter relay (4:10.69).
The men's squad featured a number of outstanding efforts as well, led by Mike Chamberlain '12, who picked up where he left off from the winter season with top-five finishes in the long jump, triple jump, and high jump in four meets. As in the indoor season, Chamberlain was also a multi-event place finisher at the SUNYAC meet, finishing third in the long jump (6.52 meters - 21 feet, 4.75 inches), sixth in the triple jump (13.40 meters - 43 feet, 11.75 inches) and ninth in the high jump (1.82 meters - 5 feet, 11.50 inches).
Among the sprinters, AJ Carapella '10, Andrew English '10 and Josh Galletta '10 were key contributors in the sprint events, each posting top-five finishes throughout the season in events from 100 meters to 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles. The trio joined Geoff Kobuszewski '10 in setting a school record in the 400-meter relay at SUNY Geneseo with a time of 43.66 seconds. A week later, the same foursome finished fourth in the event at the SUNYAC Championships. Galletta also finished among the top eight at SUNYACs with a seventh-place effort in the long jump (6.37 meters - 20 feet, 10.75 inches).
Other individuals turning in solid efforts throughout the year were Frank Risole III '12, who competed in multiple running and field events throughout the season, paying off with a seventh-place effort in the decathlon at SUNY Cortland, and finishing fifth in the javelin at the SUNYAC meet. Sean Bereza '12 also came through with strong performances in the throws, culminating with an eighth-place showing in the shot put at the SUNYAC Championships with a toss of 12.86 meters (42 feet, 2.25 inches).
-- Mark Coley
Rachel Ventresca '09, top, and Mike Levy '10, bottom, were standouts on their respective teams.
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