A Year in Review: Changes in the Drew Athletics Staff

Alexa Fitzgerald

The Drew Rangers began the 2017-2018 athletics season with a new leader at the helm of the department. New Athletic Director Christa Racine continued coaching the women’s soccer team in her 24th season in addition to taking on her new duties as AD. She reflects on her first year in her new position, stating, “As my first year as AD winds down, I am absolutely amazed at how the year flew. I am honored to be part of the Drew Athletics team.” She also credits her coaches and the athletes as part of what has made the season so successful. “I am fortunate to work with many talented coaches that are committed to providing a positive experience for our student athletes. I am excited about the potential of our programs moving forward.” This year has made it clear that Drew Athletics will have another successful season next year and will be able to build on their momentum, as many of the programs enjoyed historic successes.

The men’s soccer team concluded the regular season undefeated with a 21-0-1 record, winning the Landmark Conference Championship. They advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA DIII  National Championship, snapping their 18-game winning streak, the longest in the country at the time. In the final United Soccer Coaches poll they earned the No. 12 ranking. Aidan Cserhat (‘20) earned first team All-American honors, along with Rookie of the Year in both the Landmark Conference and ECAC, as well as Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Tournament MVP. Head coach Lenny Armuth reflected on his team’s performance saying, “This years soccer team had one of the best years every in Drew history. Not to lose a game until the round of 16 is awesome! That means you do not have a slip up or a bad game. You had to come every day and do well. It took the whole team to do this feet. You have injuries throughout the season and the reserves push the starts to be their best all the time.”

Women’s soccer and field hockey are looking forward to build on both of their momentums from last season to qualify for Landmark Conference playoffs. Cross country had a successful season under first year head coach Zach Mower, and the young team will look to bolster their roster further next year.

The women’s swimming and diving teams had a successful season placing 4th at the Landmark Conference Championships. Jenny Stein (‘18) qualified for the NCAA Division III Diving Regionals for the second straight year. The Landmark Conference Co-Diver of the year, Stein finished 16th in the 3-meter competition, while notching 18th in the 1-meter competition ending her sensational career at Drew. Mal Vishwanath (‘20) finished 23rd in the 200 freestyle, 22nd in the 500 freestyle, and 15th in the 1650 freestyle at NCAA Division III Championships at the University of Indiana. Her performance landed her honorable mention All-American honors to go with her Landmark Conference Swimmer of the year accolade. Men’s swimming and diving also placed 4th in the Landmark Conference Championships in the men’s diving teams’ inaugural season. Men’s basketball advanced to the ECAC playoffs, after narrowly missing the Landmark playoffs. Women’s basketball did well and is looking for continued success next year after they narrowly missed out on conference playoffs.

Men’s and women’s fencing sent 12 fencers, half of whom were freshman, to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regionals. Michael Rotondo (‘21) was the highest finisher for the men’s side, he made it to a semi-final match, eventually placing 18th in the final epee standings. Nathan Miligram (‘21) also was a higher finisher, placing 19th in the final saber rankings. Pearl Sutter (‘18), a saber, and Caitlin Kotz (‘19), a foil, both finished 26th in their respective rankings. The programs future is bright, as two of six freshman competing in the tournament advanced from opening pools to the advanced rounds of regionals.

Women’s and men’s golf had a very accomplished inaugural season under the guidance of Maura Ballard. After each of the women’s seven tournaments this season, Lucy Lamb (‘21) or Marissa Broderick (‘21) snagged Landmark Conference of the Week honors. Ballard said, reflecting on her first season in the Forest, “We are young teams and have learned a lot this year! The team is very much looking forward to our conference championships these next two weeks!” Lamb and Broderick are both favorites for the overall women’s title and the team is favored to come in second overall.

Baseball and women’s lacrosse are both hopeful for Landmark playoff berths, they each need to win their upcoming conference games to secure their spots in playoffs. Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, softball, and men’s lacrosse are enjoying new head coaches. The new softball head coach, Erica Mehalik, is a Drew alum who graduated in 2003. She is perhaps best known for pitching a five-inning perfect game against Delaware Valley on March 21, 2008, in a 9-0 victory. In fact she pitched the first two no-hitters in program history. Equestrian Kristen Gagliano (‘20) finished 10th in walt trot at the IHSA Zone 3 Championships.

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