Men’s rugby team caps perfect regular season, heads to Div. II championships

The Norwich men’s rugby team poses after taking the Div. II regional playoffs.  The team now heads to the                                                                               championships for Div. II.    John Lincourt Photo

The Norwich University Men’s Rugby team has had a perfect regular season, going 8-0, earning them first seed in the Rugby Northeast conference playoffs. Now it’s also perfect in the conference playoffs: The team beat Umass Lowell 36-24 on Saturday Nov. 4, and then took the championship with a thriller over Southern Connecticut State, 35-33, on Sunday.

“I believe that our brotherhood plays a huge role on this team,” said Korbin Wayton, a 22-year old junior accounting and business management major from Southlake, Texas. Wayton’s position is wing and centre. A wing tends to attack and defend up and down the edges of the field. The centre generally possesses a good kicking game and is good at reading the play and directing the attack.

Norwich’s men’s rugby team has had a very dominant season, thanks to the hard work of the athletes. Here’s a quick primer on the sport. A rugby game is a contest between two teams of 15 players, with 30 on the field at the same time, each with their own specific job to do. The game is split into halves of 40 minutes each. [Read more…]

For foreign student-athletes, there are many challenges to overcome

International student-athletes at Norwich University encounter hardships with finances, fitting in, and leaving home, according to N.U. coaches and athletes.

Attending college at Norwich is a “big time and financial commitment for the international student-athletes,” said Adam Pfeifer, Norwich’s head men’s soccer coach. However according to foreign students interviewed, the end product will be worth the all the financial, emotional, and lifestyle changes they are overcoming.

International student-athletes enrolling at Norwich is an increasingly popular trend during the past decade, according to NU coaches. Interviews offer a perspective on the challenges such athletes face and how they overcome them – and also how coaches are trying to adapt to their presence.

“In my 25 years here, having an international student has not occurred very often,” said Paul Booth, Norwich University’s head men’s basketball coach. “Over the last four or five years, we have had several kids that have enrolled from other destinations besides the United States.”
[Read more…]

Women’s hockey skates into the season with high hopes

The Norwich women lined up on the blue line at Kreitzberg Arena.
After a stellar season last winter ended with getting knocked out of the playoffs,
the team hopes to go all the way this year.

The Norwich University women’s ice hockey team is entering its 11th season under head coach Mark Bolding, with hopes to recapture its place at the top of the NEHC conference once again. With a winning record of 23-7-1 that closed out the cadets’ 2016-17 season, they are looking to improve with the advent of the 2017-18 season.“We were a really close group last year. Since we only graduated two seniors, we are fortunate enough to keep that tight bond this year,” said team captain Bryn Labbe, 20, a junior forward from Calgary, Alberta.

The freshman class consists of six players, (one defenseman and five forwards.) The roster will be “abnormally large for a college level hockey team,” Labbe noted, but this is not a bad thing. Numbers are always a plus because numbers mean variety of skills and added depth.

The team has very high hopes this year as the first game is just around the corner. The home opener is approaching quickly as they get ready to host the Lady Hawks of Saint Anselm on Tuesday Oct. 24.

“It really feels like we are working harder than we ever have as a team during pre-season, between workouts and captain’s practices,” said Labbe. “We are going to be more than prepared come game time.” [Read more…]

A military rivalry is reborn at Sabine Field

Players line up and get ready to play for Norwich University vs. US Coast Guard Academy.
Photo by Darwin Carozza

The renewal of a historic rivalry with Coast Guard did not go the way Norwich football hoped, but the team was excited to play another military school. They are already looking forward to revenge next year, players said. The “Little Army-Navy” game “will always be a game we look forward to as they are one of our biggest rivals, and losing to them is hard to take,” said sophomore defensive lineman Ferron Greene.

Leading up to the game, Norwich (0-3) had lost to Castleton in the previous week by a score of 28-14, in the annual Maple Sap Bucket rivalry game. This game however showcased Matthew Chaffee, sophomore quarterback, who saw his first collegiate career action late in the third quarter, where he put up two touchdowns and recorded 148 yards passing. Prior to the “Little Army-Navy” game, Coast Guard (2-1) was coming off a 13-0 shutout win over Nichols College, where its defense only let up 123 yards of total offense, and recorded four interceptions. Coast Guard’s quarterback was off to a quick start this season, passing for 753 yards and four touchdowns.

Norwich has seen some tough opponents early in their season and has had some difficulty overcoming these challenges after a number of key injuries, but were able to build up momentum leading up to the game as they put the previous three games behind them. The excitement was in the air throughout the whole week leading up to the big game. Practices were long and hard, players were determined, and the students’ energy was through the roof.
[Read more…]

Hockey team continued a winning legacy

 

The Norwich University Men’s Ice Hockey Team won big, accomplishing its goal of winning an NCAA Division III National Championship. It is the fourth in school history.

There is no doubt in the minds of Norwich fans that this year’s team is special – but this team was not the first to turn out a championship level performance. Over the course of the program’s history, three other teams have had special seasons and won it all, taking the national title.

At the 6:19 mark of the third period, under the lights of the Utica Memorial Auditorium, Paul Russell scored the most important goal of his career by giving the Norwich Cadets Men’s Ice Hockey team a 3-1 lead over the Trinity College Bantams in the title game of the NCAA Division III Frozen Four. In seconds, the lights flashed red, the train horn sounded, and the building shook with the cheers from the hundreds of Norwich fans in attendance. [Read more…]

In men’s hockey, forward Kevin Salvucci has found his stride

Kevin Salvucci at practice in Kreitzberg arena.

As the Norwich University men’s ice hockey team heads into playoffs for the 2016-2017 postseason, many players have contributed to a fine season and had an impact on the team. Each class year has had players that have been key components to the Cadets’ impressive 21-1-3 record. But few on the Norwich roster have stood out to students, community members, and hockey fans as much as Kevin Salvucci. [Read more…]

For 10 men’s hockey seniors, camaraderie and high hopes for playoffs

William Pelletier, #20, one of the 10 seniors on the men’s hockey team, celebrates a goal with fellow senior Tyler Piacentini, #21. A close-knit senior class has matured to create a dynamic and powerful offense for the Cadets.

The Norwich University Men’s Ice Hockey Team has clinched three regular season championships over the course of the last four years. This kind of success is largely unheard of in NCAA Division III hockey and showcases the impressive ability Norwich puts on the ice every game.

Much of this success over the last four years has come from this year’s current senior class of ten players who have dedicated thousands of hours to building a successful team over the course of their four-year Norwich career.

“We’ve got nine four-year players that [were honored] on Senior Night, and one three-year transfer player,” said head coach Mike McShane. “We’ve all had our ups and downs, but this has got to be one of my absolute favorite classes.”

McShane added that good team leadership was a natural byproduct of this veteran crew, and a key element to winning any games. [Read more…]

Men’s lacrosse ready to make another GNAC title run

After leaving the season with a loss to Lasell College in the GNAC semifinals last season, Norwich University men’s lacrosse team has been preparing for this upcoming season unlike ever before.

“We try to hold ourselves to a little bit higher of a standard each year and this year especially,” said midfielder Jimmy Warden, 22, a senior elementary education major from North Andover, Mass.

Warden is one of this year’s team captains – a role he tries to fill both on the field and in the classroom. “As a captain, I just wanted to take some of the nuances that previous captains have instilled into the program,” Warden said, things like stressing to his fellow teammates that academics do in fact come before lacrosse. He believes this creates a culture for the players to manage their time better and a healthy balance between lacrosse and academics.

While most of the team has carried over from the previous spring, some key players left at the end of the 2016 season. “We lost an all-around great team player, Ryan Dart, who was a fantastic captain,” said Joshua Jenkins, a junior health sciences major, from Denver, Co. “He was just a great fundamental player, and who was a pronounced player defensively and truly knew how to encourage the other teammates.”

Many new players from the freshmen class are expected to step up this year. “I am looking to get on the field and gain the experience needed to be able to play college lacrosse,” said Russell Gilligan, a freshman computer security and information assurance major from Fountainhills, Ariz. “Being a part of a team that has a chance at winning the title is a great deal of pressure but I hope I will succeed.” [Read more…]

Women’s swim team breaks a long drought, hopes for more

Record-breaking freshman Elaine Dudley concentrates before a race in a swim meet against St. Michaels. She has been one of several freshmen who are bringing a new attitude and working to change the fortunes of the women’s swim team. Norwich Athletics Photo

Record-breaking freshman Elaine Dudley concentrates before a race in a swim meet against St. Michaels. She has been one of several freshmen who are bringing a new attitude and working to change the fortunes of the women’s swim team.
Norwich Athletics Photo

For the first time in six years, the Norwich University women’s swim team pulled off a win, 120-110, against Babson College. It was the women’s first win since 2009, and it was greeted by surprise and elation, spurring hopes of a turnaround for the program.

“I was double, triple checking the results after (the) meet…I was really surprised we won,” said the head coach of the Norwich University swim team, Andrew Bretscher. “The score was very close coming down to the end there in the points and I wasn’t sure till the very end if we won or not … Figuring out the points was challenging first, I thought we had it won but I didn’t want to tell the team and end up being wrong.”

Then the final score came up and it had the women’s swim team beating Babson by 10 points.

“The win definitely provides momentum moving forward,” said Bretscher. “This was one of the team goals this year, and being able to do it this early at this point in the season really helps providing confidence,” Bretscher said, adding that it would give the team a boost to “go out there compete against some of the top teams we compete against.” [Read more…]

Men’s and women’s cross country teams reflect on dual championships

The men and women’s cross country teams both took home the conference championship title for this year’s cross-country season, a remarkable accomplishment, according to head coach Nicholas Cooper.

“Both our men’s team and our women’s team each won their conference championship this year. It was the first time that Norwich had won a men’s and women’s GNAC cross country championship in the same year, which was one of our team goals for the year.”

According to Cooper, the men’s team ran over a total of 12,000 miles during the 13-week season and the women’s team ran over 7,000 miles – in addition to lifting and fulfilling the needs for their Corps of Cadets and ROTC training.

When it comes to conditioning for the sport, the runners need to prep for longer than just a preseason. “The cross country team prepares for their season by running a lot. Running is a sport that you can only get better at by putting in the work and in general the more work you put in the faster you will be. So we plan in terms of years and not in terms of seasons or weeks,” Cooper explained. [Read more…]