School has begun on the River Campus, and so has the 2015-16 University of Rochester athletic season.
Seven teams will represent the Yellowjackets this fall, and here’s a quick look at them.
The men’s team finished 11th at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Run last season and return junior Eric Franklin (Mount Laurel, N.J.), who earned All-University Athletic Association and All-Region honors. The women’s team will be led by senior Katie Knox (Worcester, Mass.), who earned All-UAA and All-Region honors as well.
Eddie Novara takes over as coach of both teams. The 2012 SUNY Geneseo graduate spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Binghamton University.
Novara made quite a mark on the Geneseo track. He earned three straight All-America honors in cross country (2009-11) as well as All-Region honors in each of those seasons. In his senior year, he helped the Knights to a runnerup team finish at the NCAA Atlantic Regionals and a fourth place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Head coach Wendy Andreatta has her team on the rise. Rochester won the Liberty League title last year for the first time ever and returns All-Americans Tara Lamberti (Penfield) in goal and Michelle Relin (Lititz, Pa.) on the forward line. Relin is Rochester’s all-time leading scorer, with 57 goals in 64 games.
The Yellowjackets return the majority of their starters from last season’s 5-4 club, including the eight players who earned All-Liberty League honors.
Junior running back Myles Allen (Bethesda, Md.) and sophomore quarterback Daniel Bronson (Lockport) are among the top players back. The Yellowjackets have five home games this fall. The first is Saturday, Sept. 19 against Alfred State College. Kickoff is at noon at Fauver Stadium.
The Yellowjackets made the NCAA Division III Tournament for the ninth time in 10 years last fall, reaching the second round and finishing 10-5-4. They were ranked 20th in the preseason poll of the National Soccer Coaches of America. Senior defender Jeff Fafinski (Rochester/McQuaid Jesuit) keys a defense that posted nine shutouts and held four other teams to one goal.
Head coach Chris Apple is 177-49-38 entering his 15th season. Rochester enters the season five victories shy of 600 all time.
The Yellowjackets finished 6-8-4 with a stingy defense that held 13 foes to one goal or fewer.
They return sophomore forward Laura Cowie-Haskell (Marshfield, Mass.), who led the team in scoring with 10 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in her first college season.
Three of her four goals were game-winners.
Another key returnee is junior midfielder Kim Stagg, a first-team All-UAA selection last fall. Stagg started all 18 games for Rochester and finished second in scoring with three goals and two assists for eight points.
Fifth-year coach “Sike” Dardaganis said he placed a premium on fitness during preseason practices. He believes this team is the fittest in his tenure at Rochester.
With six wins in their last eight matches, the Yellowjackets stormed to a 17-19 finish overall, including a sixth place finish at the UAA Tournament. Rochester will host the conference championships at the Palestra and Zornow Sports Center on Nov. 6-7. The UAA champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. Senior outside hitter Jennie Ford (Webster) led the team with 279 kills last season and was first in the UAA in service aces (60) and 75th in all of Division III.
For schedules, results, rosters, statistics, player and coaches bios, photos and much more, go to uofrathletics.com