2020-21 Athletics Year in Review
The 2020-21 season was a comeback year for the Wildcats. Since the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the spring season in the 2019-20 academic year, and the fall and winter seasons in the 2020-21 academic year, the Wildcats were excited to be able to take to the fields and courts again in the spring of 2021. Four sports competed in a traditional season at SUNY Poly in the spring. Women’s Volleyball played a shortened eight-game season. Baseball was able to play a 21-game season, which included a postseason appearance. Softball played 14 games including a 12-game North Atlantic Conference (NAC) schedule. Men’s lacrosse had their best season to date; competing in 11 games, winning a North Atlantic Championship, and making the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in program history.
2020-21 WILDCAT AWARDS
- 36 Wildcat student-athletes were named to the NAC’s All-Academic Team.
- 10 Wildcats earned NAC Player of the Week honors.
- 14 SUNY Poly student-athletes earned NAC All-Conference awards.
- Tyler Schmitz earned a NAC Men’s Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year.
- Brandon Misiaszek was named the NAC Men’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
- Six Wildcats were named the NAC All-Tournament Teams.
- Edward Rosaschi was named the NAC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament MVP.
The SUNY Poly women’s volleyball season was postponed from the fall to the spring of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were the only Wildcat team that competed outside of their traditional season, competing in eight regular-season games against NAC West Division opponents. The season counted toward overall records and individual career records but did not have an associated postseason. Under fourth-year head coach Juleah Wanner, the Wildcats finished up their season with a 6-2 record with two wins over SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, and Cazenovia. The Wildcats were able to host their annual senior day against Cazenovia. The ‘Cats sent the team’s five seniors out in style with a two-match sweep over Cazenovia on April 23. The Wildcats will compete in their first official North Atlantic Conference season in the fall of 2021. Makayla Hulett led the Wildcats with 80 kills this season. Kaley Pichura had a team-high 23 service aces with 257 assists as the primary setter. Emma Draper and Brooke Taverne led the block with 15 total blocks each. Karlie King had 82 digs and 62 kills.
The SUNY Poly baseball team under second-year head coach Pat Baker had a respectable season. The Wildcats finished second in the NAC West Division and came up just short of a NAC Conference Championship Series berth after narrowly falling to Cobleskill in the NAC Divisional Series. The Wildcats went 8-7 in conference play with a series win over Canton and series splits with Cobleskill and Cazenovia. The Wildcats had two players voted to NAC All-Conference teams. Freshman second baseman Chris Ling was a first-team selection after hitting a team-best .439 in the regular season. He led the Wildcats with a team-high 26 hits, and a team-high on-base percentage of .421. Kyle Liddy was voted the NAC Second Team after having a fantastic senior season in which he led the Wildcats in home runs (4), RBIs (24), slugging percentage (.640), and extra-base hits (13).
In their first season in the NAC, coach Juleah Wanner and the Wildcat softball team got off to a hot start, winning five of their first eight games of the season, including a 4-2 start in NAC play. The ‘Cats went 6-6 in conference play, finishing just narrowly out of post-season contention. The Wildcats had a notable 14-12 win over Utica College to open the season, a conference four-game sweep over SUNY Canton, and an 8-7 win over NAC West Division winner and tournament host Cazenovia. After a monster season, Wildcat senior Ariel Smith was named to the NAC All-Conference Second Team. Smith hit .520 with 26 hits and 21 RBIs, leading the Wildcats in all three categories.
The SUNY Poly men’s lacrosse team, under the guidance of Head Coach Brandon Misiaszek, had the best season in program history. The Wildcats had an incredible regular season, going undefeated with an 8-0 overall record and a 6-0 NAC record. The Wildcats earned the #1 seed in the NAC West Division and the right to host the tournament at Wildcat Field. In the regular season, the Wildcats had notable wins over non-conference opponents Elmira (12-6) and Castleton (9-3) and swept the NAC regular season beating Cobleskill, Canton, and Delhi two times each. In the NAC Postseason, the Wildcats won the West Division Championship game 15-7 over SUNY Canton and won the NAC Championship game convincingly over Husson 25-8. The Championship win gave the Wildcats an AQ bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in program history. The Wildcats would exit in the first round after a tough loss to the eventual national runner-up Salisbury Seagulls.
The Wildcats placed eight players on the NAC All-Conference teams and had two season awards. Brandon Misiaszek was named the NAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. Tyler Schmitz was named the NAC Defensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference Selection. Edward Rosaschi, Brody Guido, Shane Wyman, Robert Pollock, Steven Sullivan, and Matthew Johnson were all voted to the NAC All-Conference First Team. Joseph Fontanella rounded out the Wildcats All-Conference selections as a NAC Second Team All-Conference selection. Dillon May was selected to represent the Wildcats on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
One of the all-time great student-athletes in SUNY Poly history, Edward Rosaschi, ended his career on a high note. The four-year captain led his team to their first Conference Title. Rosaschi, who was already the Wildcats all-time leading scorer, became the first player in Wildcat men’s lacrosse history to surpass 100 career goals and ended his career just three points shy of the 200 point mark. He has left a lasting mark on the program and will be remembered in the record books for years to come.