This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Vassar's men's soccer team celebrates winning the Liberty League Championship. Photo © Vassar College / Shane Donahue.

The Sports Page

With many fall sports coming to a close, and winter sports starting up, the Brewers posted strong performances across many programs.

On November 2, the men faced unbeaten, untied, No. 1 nationally ranked St. Lawrence in the Liberty League semifinals. With the score tied 0-0 at the end of two overtime periods of play, Vassar advanced 3-1 on penalty kicks. The victory advanced them to the Liberty League Championship (pictured), where they earned a 3-2 win over the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was the Brewers’ first Liberty League championship in program history. The result earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships, where they contended for the first time since 1999. Vassar lost to Dickinson College 2-1 in the first round of play. The women’s season ended with a loss to Union College in a home game that was called early due to snow.

Watch highlights from the men's soccer NCAA National Championships matchup against Dickinson:

Men's Soccer Video


The men’s team split its first two games of the season, winning 69-66 over St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn and losing 78-56 to Mount St. Mary in mid-November. The team got back on track in a big way with a 104-34 win over the Culinary Institute of America on November 20. The women’s team has fared even better. After winning its first game of the season against Mount St. Vincent 74-54, it defeated both Cedar Crest College (87-40) and Wellesley College (64-51) to win Vassar’s Tip-Off Tournament on November 19-20, improving its record to 3-0.

Cross Country
Junior Kelly Holmes (pictured, below) went to the NCAA Division III National Championships, held this year in Wisconsin on November 19. It marks the second time in as many years, the third time in four years, and the fifth time in school history that the Brewers have sent a runner to the National Championships. Holmes qualified for the meet by taking 19th place out of 256 runners at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships on November 12. She was one of just seven individual runners from the region to qualify. As a team, Vassar’s women took 6th out of 36 teams, one slot shy of a team qualification for nationals. The men had a tougher day, placing 13th out of 40 teams. Senior Will Healy was the Brewers’ top finisher, placing 45th out of 272 runners.

Kelly Holmes

The men and women both opened their season with the Big One meet at Smith College on November 5. On the men’s side, senior Nicholas Johnson and junior Tavish Pegram medaled in epee; sophomore John Arden medaled in sabre. On the women’s side, junior Katie LeClair medaled in foil; senior Veronica Weser medaled in epee. At the Vassar College Invitational on November 14, the men went a respectable 4-2 against opposing teams. The women had a more difficult day, earning a 3-5 record. One week later, though, both the men’s and women’s team rose to the occasion for the Matt Lampell Hudson Valley Fencing Invitational, named in honor of Vassar’s former head coach and held at Vassar’s Walker Field House. The men swept their competition 5-0, including victories over RPI, SUNY Albany, Cornell, Marist, and SUNY New Paltz. The women similarly went a perfect 6-0 against CCNY, Queens, Marist, Yeshiva, RPI, and Bard. Senior Brooke Schieffer was a flawless 17-0 on the day in sabre.

The women kicked off the Northeast Rugby Union playoffs with a quarterfinal win over the University of Rhode Island on November 5. One week later, Vassar edged Rutgers 20-19 in a Final Four win at the Vassar Farm. The Brewers earned the win in dramatic fashion, taking the lead on the final kick of the game as time expired. Unfortunately, their winning streak came to an end one day later in the NRU final, when the Brewers suffered a 46-0 shutout against an impressive Norwich University team. The men saw their regular season come to a close with Vassar atop the league standings with a 6-1 record. After receiving a bye through the quarterfinal round, they faced Fairfield University on November 12 in the semifinal. The Brewers previously defeated Fairfield earlier in the season, but despite going into halftime with 20-5 lead, Fairfield upset top-seeded Vassar in a 43-35 loss.

The women opened their season at the beginning of November with wins over Smith and Haverford at the Guy Fawkes Challenge at Kenyon Hall. One week later, they improved their record to an undefeated 4-0 with a 7-2 victory over St. Lawrence and an impressive 9-0 sweep against William Smith. The men similarly opened their season with a pair of victories (against Ithaca College and Haverford) at the Guy Fawkes Challenge. Again at home at Kenyon on November 13, they improved their record to 3-1 with a win over Bard and a loss to Fordham. The weekend of November 19-20 the men finished fourth in the Liberty League Championship tournament, falling to both Hobart and St. Lawrence on the second day of competition.

Swimming and Diving
The men and women had identical starts to the season, which kicked off with a win over Worcester Polytechnic Institute at Vassar's Kresge Pool. They followed up with a win over Skidmore, but then lost to RPI and SUNY New Paltz in mid-November, giving both the men’s and women’s team 2-2 records so far. On the men’s side, diver Greg Sullivan ’12 has posted several NCAA provisional qualifying scores and broke his previous program record in the 3-meter dive.

On November 1, the women’s team swept Kean University 3-0 in the final home match of the season, ending with a record of 17-12. Days later, the women entered the Liberty League Championships as the No. 4 seed. After taking the first set, they seemed poised to upset No. 1 seed Clarkson, but their opponents rallied, winning the next three sets. Freshman Marie Pitre tallied 10 kills and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Alumni swim meet pumpkin relay

Alumnae/i Matches
Not to be outdone by the current generation of student athletes at Vassar, alumnae/i from the swimming and diving team returned to campus to face off against the current Brewers in a first-ever alumnae/i-student swim meet. On October 29, 19 alumnae/i from class years 2000 ­– 2011 entered the water against 30 members of the current team. They competed in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, medley, and relay races at the 50-, 100-, and 200-meter distances. The highlight of the day came at the conclusion of the events, when head coach Lisl Prater-Lee surprised the teams with a last event…a pumpkin relay (pictured). The first team to have all of its swimmers complete a lap (one 25-meter length of the pool) while pushing along a floating, bobbing pumpkin would win. “The alumnae/i won handily, but we had a serious advantage,” says Alan Neuhauser ’09, noting the disparity in the number of swimmers per team. A post-meet cookout with chili, pulled pork, and more offered a further bonding experience to unite current and past generations of Vassar swimmers. (To see photos from the event, check out the Vassar College Swim and Dive Alumni Facebook page.)

Compiled by Peter Bronski with Shane Donahue

Kelly Holmes photo courtesy Stockton Photo, Inc. Men's soccer photo © Vassar College / Shane Donahue. Swimming photo courtesy Alan Neuhauser '09.

December 2011

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