Wildcat Weekly Highlights
Penn College lacrosse season ends; baseball, softball playoffs set
Men’s lacrosse season at Pennsylvania College of Technology ended in the United East semifinals, the college’s softball and baseball teams closed out their regular seasons and enter playoffs this coming week, tennis and esports coaches reflected on their recently completed seasons and The CATS are loose as the 2022-23 school year nears a finish.
When the Wildcats lost to SUNY Morrisville in the regular season, they staged a late comeback that cut a 10-goal deficit to five at the finish. That was not the case on Wednesday.
After a tightly contested first quarter that saw Penn College trailing 2-1, second-seeded Morrisville erupted with seven second-quarter goals and added nine in the second half for an 18-1 win that ended the Wildcats’ season at 11-7 overall and 3-3 in all conference matches.
A goal by Croix Teter, of Mechanicsburg, on an assist by Quinn Caviola, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, gave Penn College the lead at the 11:40 mark in the opening period. But after that, it was all Morrisville as it led in shots, 57-25, and in shots on goal, 37-15.
“It never is a fun thing to lose the way we did in a pivotal game,” coach Jordan Williams said. “We were out-coached, out-executed and outplayed. The better team won and we wish them luck in the championship against another well-coached and talented program in St. Mary’s.
“With that said, we have a ton to be proud of as we look back on the year, reflect on the season and move forward into our third full season as a program. We return a great core group of players, have an incoming class ready to make a splash and we are fired up for the opportunity to continue to build this program on and off the field.
“We look forward to the opportunities in front of us and the opportunity for our guys to show that it is cool to care about Penn College lacrosse.”
Earlier Wednesday, Penn College landed six players on the all-conference team as freshman Camden Elmo, of Hanover, was named to the first team, while juniors Caviola and Michael Stank, of York Haven; sophomores Sam Hills, of Maynard, Massachusetts, and Mason Nester, of Schwenksville; and freshman Colten Hajicek, of Redmond, Washington, were named to the second team.
Elmo finished the season with 28 goals and 16 assists at midfield and recorded eight caused turnovers and 15 grounds balls.
Caviola, an all-conference selection as a freshman and sophomore, finished the season with 24 goals and 23 assists and was a key piece to the team’s ability to stop opponents’ clears with 11 caused turnovers and 44 ground balls.
Nester, a first-team selection last year, caused 17 turnovers and scooped 32 ground balls on defense.
Hills led the Wildcats with 37 goals and added 20 assists. He also caused three turnovers and picked up 18 ground balls.
Stank jump-started the offense at faceoff with a .545 win percentage and picked up 34 ground balls.
Hajicek caused eight turnovers and snagged 34 ground balls.
Penn College lost 4-2 on Saturday at Penn State Berks to wrap up a rain-delayed three-game United East baseball series that began with a split on April 27. Penn College ends its regular season 14-6 in the UE and 20-18 overall and is seeded second when UE tournament play begins Thursday.
Berks held the Wildcats to four hits through eight innings, with two of them leadoff doubles by Tristan Current, of Reinholds, in the second inning and Quinn Hanafin, of Sayre, in the sixth. Shane Price, of Kersey, and Brian Robison, of Quakertown, plated runs in the top of the ninth. Current finished 2 for 4 at the plate. Starting pitcher Ben Bretzman, of Bendersville, went six innings, striking out nine and walking two, while dropping to 4-4 on the season.
Final United East regular season standings: Penn State Harrisburg 19-2, Penn College 14-6, Penn State Abington 13-8, Lancaster Bible College 12-9, St. Mary’s (Md.) College 10-10, Penn State Berks 10-11, Wells College 4-17, Gallaudet University 1-20.
Mackenzie Weaver, of Montoursville (15-4), threw a four-hit shutout, fanning seven, in a 5-0 first-game win of a doubleheader Friday against Penn State Abington. Jordan Specht, of Frederick, Maryland, went 2 for 3 at the plate and knocked in two runs to pace the offense.
Trailing 4-3 in the second game, the Wildcats’ guts and determination never were more evident than in the bottom of the seventh as Madison Shaffer, of Trout Run, reached first on a one-out single. Then, after the second out, Specht doubled to right, scoring Shaffer and tying the score. Specht advanced to third base on an Abington wild pitch before Lexi Snyder, of Hegins, lined a game-ending single to left, scoring Specht and producing a 5-4 win that took the team’s UE record to 20-4 and overall mark to 28-8 and giving it the No. 1 seed in UE playoffs that begin Monday. The 28 wins tie the program’s single-season win mark set a year ago.
Also, this week, Specht, a senior, and Weaver, a sophomore, were named United East Player and Pitcher of the Week (April 24-30), respectively.
Specht finished the week with an average of .600 (9 for 15). Of those nine hits, three left the park. She also collected nine RBIs while crossing home four times herself.
Weaver finished the week with a 2-0 record while also picking up a save. Over 16 innings pitched, she picked up 10 strikeouts.
Final United East regular-season standings: Penn College 20-4, Penn State Berks 19-5, Penn State Harrisburg 15-9, Penn State Abington 14-10, Gallaudet University 10-14, Lancaster Bible College 5-19, Wells College 1-23.
The men’s team finished 2-8 overall, 1-5 in the UE, and the women were 2-9 overall, 0-5 in the conference.
“It was a good year for our tennis players,” interim coach Britni Mohney said. “With so many first-year players coming in and out of the order, the team was able to adapt well and compete at the highest level throughout the spring. The players worked hard to push themselves daily, creating some memorable matches against their opponents.
“We lose some important pieces to the puzzle after graduation but are excited to see what next season holds.
“The men return a solid core next season, with a lot of experience. Losing sophomore Paul Langbein, of Carnegie, is a big loss, but we are excited to see who steps up upon his graduation.
“The women look to build on the first year of competition for many of our athletes, returning some veteran leadership for the coming season. Junior Kassidi Lenhart, of Muncy, will be missed, but we know the players will step up in her absence.”
“This spring, we competed in iRacing, Overwatch, Rocket League and Valorant in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) and Collegiate iRacing League (CIL). While our records don’t show it in Overwatch, Rocket League and Valorant, every match was a close-fought battle where we came up just short on the wins,” coach Joshua Young said.
“Our iRacing drivers of juniors Austin DeLong, of Pittsburgh, and Michael Sydor, of Reading, had some great performances with consistent top 5 and top 10 finishes in the CIL,” Young continued.
“The good news is that most of our starting rosters will return for our six team sports in the fall,” Young said.
Managers who Young said took care of the day-to-day aspects of the teams were sophomore Joey LaCerra, of Williamsport; sophomore Alex Nazarchuk, of Lebanon; junior Drew Thomas, of State College; freshman Frankie Gagliardi, of Pottstown; freshman Zackary Rhodes, of Shippensburg; and freshman Joe Hartland, of Montoursville.
THE CATS AWARDS
Honored at The CATS (Celebrating Athletic Triumphs and Successes) awards ceremony last Sunday were:
Male Athlete of the Year: Gavin Barrett (Roselle, New Jersey/men’s basketball).
Female Athlete of the Year: Mackenzie Weaver (Montoursville/softball).
Male Newcomer of the Year: Isaac Cory (Montoursville/wrestling).
Female Newcomer of the Year: Lexi Troup (Huntingdon/women’s basketball).
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni (Blairsville/wrestling).
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jordan Specht (Frederick, Maryland/softball).
Barrett, a sophomore, became the first player in NCAA era program history to earn first-team all-conference honors. He recorded a pair of triple-doubles and led the United East in both points and assists.
Weaver, a sophomore, finished last year as a first-team all-conference selection and is on track to repeat that performance. She leads the conference in ERA and opponents’ batting average, and she tossed a perfect game this season. Weaver also plays second and is third on the team with a .387 batting average.
Cory, a freshman, became the first wrestler in program history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament after taking silver at the NCAA Mideast Regional. He was the only freshman in the 184-pound bracket at nationals and was named to a national all-freshman team. Cory was regionally ranked for most of the season and won at the prestigious Ned McGinley Invitational.
Troup, a freshman, led her team with 249 points, averaging 9.6 per game. She started in 22 games and played in all 26, averaging 28.9 minutes a game. She scored double-digit points in 14 games.
Kennedy-Citeroni, a junior, has a 4.0 overall GPA as a civil engineering major, has been a dean’s list selection in every semester, and is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma. He won 17 matches last season and is a cadet in the ARMY ROTC Bald Eagle Battalion.
Specht, a senior, has a 4.0 overall GPA in nursing and served as a medical missions Intern on a global trip to Guatemala. She is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma and is a two-time all-region selection in softball.
Also earning awards were Devon Sanders (baseball), who was named Assistant Coach of the Year; Matt Blymier and Britni Mohney, who shared Staff Member of the Year honors; and the men’s lacrosse team, which took the Community Service Award.
(Home games at Bowman Field)
Saturday, May 6 — at Penn State Berks (UE), L, 4-2
United East Tournament
(All games at Penn State Harrisburg)
Thursday, May 11 — Penn State Harrisburg (1) vs. Lancaster Bible College (4), noon
Thursday, May 11 — Penn College (2) vs. Penn State Abington (3), 3 p.m.
Friday, May 12 — Game 3, TBA
Friday, May 12 — Game 4, TBA
Friday, May 12 — Game 5, TBA
Saturday, May 13 — Game 6, TBA; Game 7, if needed, TBA
Sunday, May 14 — Rain date, if needed
(Home games at Elm Park)
Friday, May 5 — host Penn State Abington (UE, 2), W, 5-0; W, 5-4
United East Tournament at Elm Park
Monday, May 8 — Penn College (1) vs. Penn State Abington (4), 10 a.m.
Monday, May 8 — Penn State Berks (2) vs. Penn State Harrisburg (3), noon
Monday, May 8 — First-game winners, 2 p.m.
Monday, May 8 — First-game losers, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9 — Games 5, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, May 9 — Game 6, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9 — Game 7, 3 p.m., if necessary
Wednesday, May 10 — Rain date, if needed
Final overall: 11-7
Final UE: 3-3 (3-2 regular season)
Wednesday, May 3 — United East Semifinals, Penn College at SUNY Morrisville, L, 11-7
Tuesday-Friday, May 16-19 — NCAA Division III Championships at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Friday-Sunday, May 19-21 — USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals at Statesboro, Ga.
For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website.