Tag Archives: Little Three

Wesleyan Football Faces Hamilton On Saturday

In my dad’s email to me about Parent’s Weekend activities, he mentioned that he definitely wanted to catch part of the football game at 1 PM on Saturday. I imagine that many students are in this position this weekend so, for those of you who are less up-to-date with the Wesleyan Cardinals, here’s a brief cheat sheet of what to talk about on the bleachers.

The Myth of the Little Three: Are College Rankings Killing Wesleyan’s Culture?


Do you ever get the feeling Wesleyan is having a little bit of an identity crisis?

There’s a good chance that my ‘ideal’ Wesleyan doesn’t look exactly the same as yours; our concerns and tastes are different, as are our experiences here. But it is likely that the things you love most about Wesleyan are unique to it, are not quantifiable, and are not things that are in step with success as defined by any rankings algorithm. I’m serious about Wesleyan dropping out of college rankings like US News. Reed College president Colin Diver explains in a 2005 Atlantic article that “one-size-fits-all ranking schemes undermine the institutional diversity that characterizes American higher education…(as) The urge to improve one’s ranking creates an irresistible pressure toward homogeneity, and schools that… strive to be different are almost inevitably penalized.” In my opinion, Wesleyan students have been struggling against that subtle pressure in different ways for years now. 

Family Hoops Day at Freeman

If you haven’t noticed–and with today marking the end of winter break, odds are you haven’t–Wes men’s basketball is having a pretty kickass year, currently sporting a 14-5 record with a pair of wins over teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. Friday the 13th proved to be quite lucky for the Cards, who earned their largest win over Williams since 1985 with a 66-43 romp. Wes followed that with a three-point loss to Middlebury–the nation’s #1 team–and then a thrilling 68-67 win over Amherst (#4 nationally) and a 58-57 win over Tufts on Shasha Brown’s ’13 buzzer-beater.

Wes will host Connecticut College this Saturday as part of Family Hoops Day at Freeman; this is one of only two home conference games post-break (the other being a Super Bowl Sunday double-header against Hamilton). Both the Wes men and women (who, at 11-5, aren’t doing too shabbily themselves) will be looking to avenge losses to Conn that effectively did in their playoff hopes last season.

This is both teams’ first chance to play a conference game in front of the home fans this season. Come out and make sure the atmosphere is electric for what should be a great day of basketball!

Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
Time: 2 pm (women’s game)/4 p.m. (men’s game)
Place: Silloway Gym, Freeman

(Photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)

Men’s Soccer Wins Little Three Title

Adam Purdy '13

For the first time since 1992, Wes men’s soccer stands alone atop the Little Three following today’s 0-0 tie at Amherst. Combined with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Williams on Sept. 24, Wes went 1-0-1 in Little Three play to best Amherst (0-0-2) and Williams (0-1-1). (Of note, this was the first time since 1984 that the Ephs went winless in Little Three play.)

Standout goalkeeper Adam Purdy ’13 (photo) had seven saves in today’s game, his 10th shutout of the season and 23rd of his career (he owns the school records in both categories), and now sports a NESCAC-leading 0.29 goals-against average. Wes is the only team so far this season to shut out Amherst, which entered the game averaging 2.58 goals per game and had been held under two goals only three times in its previous 15 games (dating to last season). Wes is now 10-0-3, the best start in program history.

So what’s next? The Cards will host Trinity on Wednesday on Jackson Field, and a win gives Wes the top seed in the NESCAC–and an undefeated regular season–for the second time in the last three years. Wes has also clinched a first-round home game in the NESCAC tournament, to be played next Saturday. GO WES!!

(Photo courtesy Peter Stein ’84.)

Top-Ranked Wrestling Takes NEWA Duals Title

Wes wrestling traveled to Bridgewater State yesterday for the annual NEWA Duals and came away with its first-ever championship in the 11-year history of the event, topping its second-place finish in 2002. After a first-round bye, the second-seeded Cards rolled past Coast Guard 37-6, then trounced second-seeded Williams 28-7 (including a one-point penalty on Williams for unsportsmanlike conduct) and upended Plymouth State 24-12 in the title match.

Four Cardinals were undefeated on the afternoon: 125-pounder Chris Alvanos ’11 (top-left photo), 133-pounder Maika Nagata ’13 (top-right photo), 149-pounder Howard Tobochnik ’13 (lower-right photo), and heavyweight Dan Conroy ’11 (lower-left photo). Alvanos, who is 12-0 in dual matches this season and ranked fifth in New England, beat the third- and fourth-ranked wrestlers in the region. Nagata had Wesleyan’s only pin in the championship match, and Tobochnik defeated the top-ranked 149-pounder in New England. Tobochnik currently holds the #4 spot in New England, and Conroy is ranked second.

Wesleyan is now the top-ranked team in New England and stands 9-2-1 on the year, and has established a new school record for consecutive wins (nine). The Cards have four matches this week: Friday at Western New England (which Wesleyan defeated 55-0 last season) and Saturday against Rhode Island College, Norwich, and Springfield, which had been ranked #1 in New England. The following Saturday, Wes travels to Williamstown for rematches with the Ephs and Plymouth State. Make us proud, gents!

People Write about Wes

If the Shoutbox is any indicator, people are interesting in seeing Wesleyan’s popularity play out through history.  Google’s new Ngram Viewer shows trends of how often a phrase has occurred over time in a certain corpus (e.g. American English, English Fiction, Russian) of texts.  They’ve yet to scan every book ever, but they want to.

Wesleyan does pretty well, especially in recent times.  Here’s how often “Wesleyan University” appears in “English”:

Google Ngrams: Wesleyan v. Williams. v. Amherst

Look at Who’s a Little Nervous

Over on the EphBlog, Williams’ version of Wesleying, there seems to be some excitement about the upcoming Wesleyan-Williams football match.  The following is excerpted (although the emphasis is by me):
The main attraction, of course, is homecomingUsually, the focus when Wesleyan is the opponent is on the festivities, rather than the game, which is in most years a foregone conclusion.  This year is a different story. First, the Ephs will be looking for redemption after last year’s loss vs. Amherst, their first homecoming non-win (and hence, first time they haven’t enjoyed The Walk) since 1995 (!).  Second, a potential NESCAC title is on the line — if Williams wins Saturday, they are guaranteed the title with a win vs. Amherst (and if Amherst loses to Trinity, they are guaranteed a share of the title even with a loss vs. Amherst).  Third, and most intriguingly, is of course the return of former Eph head coach Mike Whalen, assistant coach Dan Dicenzo ’00, and quarterback Matt Coyne ’12.  Needless to say, there will be no shortage of motivation for either side, in this one.  Williams will be looking to show Whalen, Dicenzo, and Coyne just how big a mistake they made leaving the friendly confines of the purple valley.  Coyne and Dicenzo, on the other hand, will be aiming to prove that, perhaps, their talents were not sufficiently appreciated in Williamstown. And a solid 4-2 Wesleyan squad will also receive plenty of help from Shea Dwyer ’10 (he’s a grad student), who is leading the nation in rushing.  Looking to slow Dwyer down will be an Eph defense led by local legend Dylan Schultz ’11.  Of course, all of the public pre-game talk from both sides will surely claim that this is “just another game,” among other sports cliches.  It isn’t. Watch the game, for free, here.
I must admit, seeing Williams worry is making my support for Wesleyan Football stronger.  The commenter in the ShoutBox who submitted this tip pointed out that this is just more proof of how much of a jock school Williams is.  Speaking of things they need to worry about:
Men’s soccer was stunned by Wesleyan last weekend, and is waiting to hear if it will receive an NCAA bid to continue its season.
The best part is, if Wesleyan loses we’ll just say we didn’t care anyway.  If we win, we can be happy.  We can’t lose! You’ve just got to love good old hipster irony.

Shea Dwyer ’10 reaches 1,000 career rushing yards

It’s the weekend, so you know what that means. The incomparable Shea Dwyer ’10 broke the Wes single-season rushing record and became the first Cardinal to reach 1,000 career rushing yards with a 164-yard performance in a 41-7 Wes victory over Bowdoin on Saturday. Dwyer broke the millennium barrier with a 12-yard run with two minutes left in the third quarter (pictured) and now has 1,015 yards on the season. He entered the game as the leading rusher in the country (in all NCAA divisions) with a 170.2 yards-per-game average.

It was a great day all around for Wes, which posted its second-largest margin of victory ever against Bowdoin. The Wes defense had a pair of interceptions, two forced fumbles (both of which were recovered by Wes), and blocked a 26-yard field goal attempt. Wes finished the game with 531 total yards, and five different players found the end zone, including Kevin Hughes ’14 (photo inset), who had two TD catches, and Dwyer, who has a rushing TD in all six games this season.

Next up for Wes: a Little Three showdown at undefeated Williams, which marks the first return to the Purple Valley for head coach Mike Whalen ’83 and QB Matt Coyne ’12. Wes last won at Williams in 1984, but as we saw today, the Cards are no stranger to big wins in Williamstown

(Photos by Brian Katten ’79)

Men’s soccer shocks Williams in NESCAC Tournament

Back in 2005, Wesleyan men’s soccer entered the NESCAC tournament as the seventh seed. Wes went on to crush Bowdoin 4-1 in the first round, then won at top-seeded Williams 1-0 and took down Amherst 3-2 to win its first NESCAC title. Fast forward to 2010, when the Cards are again seeded seventh. Wes traveled to Williams–which stood 11-1-2 on the season going into the game–for a first-round contest today and pulled off another upset for the ages, taking down the Ephs 2-1.

Williams jumped on the board first when a Wesleyan midfielder inadvertently knocked the ball into the Wesleyan net (interestingly, Williams beat Middlebury last fall to win the NESCAC title in the exact same fashion), but Wes tied the game with 7:38 left thanks to Zach Dixon ’12. That set the stage for Walter Rodriguez’s ’13 (right photo) overtime heroics. Rodriguez found the back of the net 4:23 into overtime to make Wesleyan a 2-1 winner and send the Cards into the NESCAC semifinals. Their semifinal opponent? None other than Bowdoin.

Wes made it into the tournament thanks to Steve Paresi ’12 (left photo), who had the game-winner against Conn. College on Friday. With Wes needing a win to make it into the tournament, Paresi scored midway through the second overtime period to give Wesleyan a 3-2 win and keep the Cards undefeated against the Camels under head coach Geoff Wheeler (12-0-0, dating back to 1999).

Wes takes on Bowdoin this Saturday at 11:00, and the game will likely be webcast. Keep it going, boys!

(Photos courtesy Peter Stein ’84.)

Debt to Die With

With all this talk about rankings and all the fire that for-profit schools have come under recently, Gawker decided to try and rank the ‘real’ colleges whose students have amassed the most debt.  They took total debt, which made bigger schools come out on top, giving NYU a not-so-surprising win.

But what about Wesleyan? What about debt per student, which is probably a better measure in the first place? We’ve always know that Wesleyan is an expensive place to go to, with one of the highest tuitions and comprehensive costs in the nation, but let’s take a look at the debt burden it places on the students.  The “Median Federal Debt for Those Entering Repayment” for Wesleyan was $11,384.

Estimated Repayment Rates by Institution -- FY 2009 Wesleyan and Comparable Institutions

Yes, Wesleyan’s $11,384 median looks meager compared to NYU’s behemoth of $28,649 (which isn’t even the highest).  But what about comparable institutions? Our Little Three ‘frenemies’ Williams and Amherst have nearly identical medians at about $7,700 (are they even distinguishable schools anymore?), over $3,500 less than us.  Nearby Connecticut College, however, has a similar if higher load.  Vassar, who we seem to be compared to a lot, is also essentially similar to us in Median Federal Debt.  Our “Estimated Repayment Rate” is lower than any of our peers though.

The source information comes from the US Department of Education’s ED.gov, which has other useful information.  Click here for the relevant statistics directly from them.  Click here for Gawker’s Top Ten Universities for Student Debt.

Sorry for the awfully Argus-y post.