2022-23 Wildcat Athletics Recap
The 2022-23 year was a fantastic and exciting year for Wildcat Athletics! The year saw the Wildcats compete in postseason tournaments in 10 sports, make appearances in two championship games, and earn the right to host four postseason tournaments, including the Wildcats’ first-ever Softball Championship Tournament, the Men’s Soccer West Division Tournament, the Women’s Basketball West Division Tournament, and the Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals. The Wildcats brought golf back to campus for the first time since 2011, debuting a golf team that finished sixth at the NAC Championships.
During the 2022-23 academic year, 150 SUNY Poly student-athletes earned awards or honors. The list of honors included 40 All-Conference Awards, 64 All-Academic Team honors, 22 Chi Alpha Sigma Honors, one NAC Player of the Year, one NAC Defensive Player of the Year, and one NAC Senior Scholar-Athlete. One Wildcat, Wakeley Banker, was honored with the most prestigious award given to a SUNY student; the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Wildcat student-athletes were chosen as NAC Players of the Week 21 times, and one player, Carter Romansky, earned an All-Region nod.
This season saw a pair of long-standing career records broken. Molly Burdick finished her illustrious career at SUNY Poly with not only her fourth career appearance in a Conference Championship Game but also broke the career points record (1,924) and the career rebounds record (1,103). Burdick, a three-sport athlete at SUNY Poly, also became the seventh player in program history to surpass 100 points for the women’s lacrosse team. She finished her lacrosse career with 125 points.
At the annual Wildcat Athletics Banquet, each team honored their best student-athletes with a Blue & Gold Award and a Most Outstanding Player Award. Joseph Killian and Trinity Critelli won the Scholar-Athlete Awards for the highest GPA amongst student-athletes. Abus Mohamed-Ali won the Play of the Year, and Molly Burdick won the Performance of the Year. Wakeley Banker and Molly Burdick won the Wildcat Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards after completing their careers as two of the best performers at SUNY Poly. The Wildcats also honored the graduating seniors and Chi Alpha Sigma recipients at the banquet.
This season was another solid, hard-fought, competitive season for Coach Peterson Jerome and the Wildcat men’s soccer team. The team finished their regular season with an 11-5-3 record and a 7-0-2 record in NAC play. Their success in the regular season earned them the right to host the West Division side of the NAC Championship Tournament. The postseason berth was Poly’s eighth in the last 10 seasons. The Wildcat’s run ended in the West Division Championship game with a 1-0 loss to the SUNY Delhi Broncos.
The Wildcats were well-represented in the NAC post-season awards. Five players earned All-Conference honors. Wakeley Banker was the Defensive Player of the Year, the Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a First Team selection, and the Wildcats’ representative on the Sportsmanship Team. Abus Mohamed-Ali was the NAC Player of the Year and a First Team selection. Edward Greene and Matthew McCord were Second Team selections. Kevin Ryan wrapped up the Wildcats’ awards with a Third Team selection.
Wakeley Banker not only wrapped up his career with honors on the field but also with one of the highest honors off the field. Banker was named a SUNY Chancellor’s Award winner for Student Excellence. He was one of two SUNY Poly students to earn the honor this year and he is the second SUNY Poly student-athlete in as many years to earn the most prestigious student award in the SUNY system.
The SUNY Poly women’s soccer team had a solid season in 2022. First-year Head Coach Jeff Hallenbeck and the Wildcats went 7-4-4 in the regular season with a 4-2-3 record in conference play to earn the #2 seed in the West Division. In the postseason tournament, the Wildcats lost a close 2-1 game to Cazenovia in the first round to end their season.
The Wildcats were well represented in the NAC post-season awards with five players earning individual honors. Quinlan Gowett earned First Team All-Conference honors. Hanah Shipley and Katelynn Truax were voted to the All-Conference Second Team, Kaitlin Daley was a Third Team selection, and Montana Wolf was the Wildcat’s representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
The SUNY Poly men’s cross-country team enjoyed a regular season in which they won the Wildcat Short Course Invitational and finished in second place at three invitationals (SUNY Canton Invitational, Wildcat Classic Invitational, Cazenovia Homecoming Invitational), and in third place at one invitational (Steven A. Ward Invitational). Joseph Killian paced the Wildcats for most of the season, being a consistent scorer and having multiple high-placing finishes. After Killian, Spencer Daley, De’Von McClendon, and Aidan Brown also enjoyed success, consistently scoring for the Wildcats and helping the team secure high-placing finishes.
In the North Atlantic Conference Championships, the Wildcats finished in 6th place, with Joseph Killian finishing in the top 20 at 28:37.9. In addition to the NAC Championships, the Wildcats also sent seven runners (Joseph Killian, Spencer Daley, Aidan Brown, Caleb McDermott, De’Von McClendon, Noah Breedy, Jack Mohat) to the NCAA Regional Championship hosted by the University of Rochester.
In addition to a strong season, Joseph Killian was also the Wildcats’ representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
The SUNY Poly women’s cross-country team competed in nine races during the 2022 season, highlighted by a second-place finish in the Wildcat Classic Invitational in which the team finished with a score of 60 points. The second-place finish was the highest finish since the 2018 season. In the second-place finish, Lauren Phetteplace finished with a time of 27:71.1 and Ruchika Kilaparty finished with a time of 29:48.3. Phetteplace and Kilaparty would finish in the top two slots in each race for the Wildcats, followed by Roselea Claeys who saw impressive improvements with her times as the season progressed.
In the postseason, the Wildcats finished in 7th place in the North Atlantic Conference Championships, with a team score of 170. Five Wildcats (Lauren Phetteplace, Ruchika Kilaparty, Rosalea Claeys, Lauriana Beras-Burgos, Jennifer Walike) ran in the race, with Phetteplace leading the way with a time of 26:44.6 and recording a top-20 finish. The Wildcats also sent four runners to the NCAA Regionals hosted by the University of Rochester.
After pacing the Wildcats with a strong senior season, Lauren Phetteplace was selected to the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
The SUNY Poly women’s volleyball team showed improvement over the course of the 2022 season, being competitive in NAC play and fighting in matches until the end of the season. The Wildcats did not qualify for postseason play, but look to keep their end-of-the-year momentum rolling into the 2023 campaign.
Emma Draper was named to the NAC All-Conference Third Team for her solid play all year after being the best statistical player for the Wildcats this season. Draper led the Wildcats with 165 kills, a team-high .185 hitting percentage, and 31 service aces. In addition to that, she also had 34 blocks and 107 digs. Sabrina Trimblett was the Wildcats’ representative on the All-Sportsmanship Team.
In the first season of varsity mixed golf competition, the Wildcats competed in eight events in the fall. The team had a solid regular season, culminating in a sixth-place finish out of 11 teams at the NAC Championship Tournament at Waterville Country Club. The Wildcats saved their best for last, recording their best team score (330) of the season on day two of the Championship Tournament. Three players also shot their best rounds of the season at the NAC Tournament. Isaac Falk, James Lynch, and Eric Perricelli each shot a season-best 78 in their last round of the season. The return to varsity golf competition was much anticipated after the program was halted in 2011. Coach Brian Noggle and the Wildcats will look to build on their successes from the 2022 season next year.
The SUNY Poly women’s basketball team once again enjoyed a successful season, finishing above .500 on the season (15-13) and going an impressive 11-3 in North Atlantic Conference play. The Wildcats earned the #2 seed in the NAC Tournament, hosting two home playoff games against NVU-Johnson and SUNY Cobleskill. The Wildcats defeated NVU-Johnson 64-50 before beating SUNY Cobleskill 51-45 in an electric back-and-forth game in front of a packed crowd. The Wildcats would lose in the NAC Championship to Maine Maritime, who represented the NAC in the NCAA tournament, 71-55. Molly Burdick and Lyrik Jackson were selected to the All-Tournament team for their outstanding postseason play.
Three Wildcats were also selected for NAC awards. Molly Burdick was selected to the NAC All-Conference First Team. Lyrik Jackson was selected to the NAC All-Conference Second Team. Allison Osborn-Smith was the Wildcats’ representative on the Sportsmanship Team.
To wrap up Molly Burdick’s exceptional career, she became the SUNY Poly women’s basketball all-time leader in points and rebounds.
The SUNY Poly men’s basketball team had a solid season in 2022-23. The Wildcats went 13-13 overall with an 8-6 record in NAC play. They had some great wins late in the season, especially down the stretch when they beat #1 SUNY Delhi 73-68 at home and avenged an early season loss to Cazenovia with an 82-70 win on senior day to wrap up their regular season schedule. Their strong regular season finish gave them the #3 seed in the West Division side of the bracket. Their first-round matchup with #2 Cobleskill, unfortunately, ended with a 70-55 loss to the Fighting Tigers, who would ultimately fall to the NAC Champions, SUNY Delhi.
Senior Jesse O’Dell had a fantastic senior season, culminating in a NAC First Team All-Conference selection after leading the Wildcats in both points and rebounds. Jarrett Wilbur was the Wildcats’ representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
Jesse O’Dell wrapped up his career by becoming the 9th member of the 1,000-point club at SUNY Poly. He ended his career at SUNY Poly in the top five all-time in scoring (5th), rebounding (3rd), and blocks (4th).
The 2023 men’s volleyball season was solid for the Wildcats despite tough circumstances. The team rallied behind two former players, Max Szuba and Garrett Hassard who stepped in to coach the team. The team went 9-15 overall in the regular season, but their 4-4 record in NECC play was enough to give them a playoff berth. The ‘Cats lost a hard-fought match in the first round to Potsdam to end their season.
Nathan Farnham and Jacob Wicher earned All-Conference honors. Nathan’s performance in the regular season led him to a spot on the NECC All-Conference Second Team. He had 697 assists 25 aces, and a team-high 151 digs as the Wildcats setter. Wicher was the Wildcats representative on the Sportsmanship Team.
The SUNY Poly men’s baseball team had a 2023 season with ups and downs. After a slow start, the Wildcats strung together a few wins in their Florida trip to come back with a 4-7 record. While conference play also had a slow start, the Wildcats went 5-5 over their last ten conference games to finish in 3rd place in the West Division of the conference, which also ended the Wildcats’ season on a three-game winning streak. With the wins at the end of the season, the 2023 Wildcats won their most games since the 2016 baseball campaign, finishing with 13. The Wildcats missed the NAC playoffs and hope to build on their momentum going into next season.
The Wildcats placed two players on the West Division All-Conference Team, and one on the All-Sportsmanship team. Freshman pitcher Jack Montanye finished the season with a team-high 5 wins on the mound, while also leading the team in strikeouts with 45 while pitching just over 40 innings. His 4.69 ERA was good enough to rank seventh in the NAC, and he finished third in the NAC in strikeouts. Sophomore Don Vento was again selected to the All-Conference team, hitting .356 in NAC play and having a .431 on-base percentage. Don scored the most runs on the team in NAC play, 14, and also led the team with eight stolen bases in NAC play. Zackary Morrison was the Wildcats’ representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.
The SUNY Poly softball team had one of the best seasons in the history of the program. The Wildcats opened their season with five wins in Myrtle Beach followed by a 10-game winning streak that stretched into mid-April. The ‘Cats swept Utica, Wells, Cobleskill, Canton, and Delhi in the regular season. Their only loss in NAC play was to Cazenovia in a series that they won 2-1 to clinch the #1 seed in the NAC West Division. The #1 seed gave the Wildcats the right to host their first-ever Conference Championship Tournament. In the Tournament, the Wildcats lost their first-round game to Thomas but bounced back with a 12-2 win over Presque Isle on Day 2. In their last game of the season, the Wildcats lost a barn-burner to Cazenovia who took a lead in the bottom of the sixth to earn a spot in the NAC Championship Game.
Five Wildcats earned spots on the NAC All-Conference Teams. Trinity Critelli and Kimberly Birmingham were First-Team selections. Seniors Gabriella Ellixson and Maddelyn Hoehn wrapped up their collegiate careers with Second Team honors. Joy Stevens was the Wildcats’ representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
Wildcat pitcher Trinity Critelli had a historic season on the mound for the Wildcats. She broke her own single-season strikeout record with 189. She was second in all of Division III with 11.3 strikeouts per seven innings. She also set the single-season wins record at SUNY Poly with a 16-4 record. She also threw three no-hitters this season, all in NAC play.
The Wildcat women’s lacrosse team took a step in the right direction in 2023. The team went 3-11, adding two wins to last season’s total. Two of the team’s wins were in NAC play. They had a 15-12 win over Farmington and a 21-5 win over NVU-Lyndon.
Molly Burdick wrapped up her career with a spot on the NAC’s All-Conference First Team after leading the Wildcats with 64 points on 53 goals and 11 assists. Kaitlin Kopcza earned a spot on the NAC Second Team after a solid first season with the Wildcats. She had 52 points on 43 goals and nine assists. Bridget Mooney was the Wildcats’ representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.
The SUNY Poly men’s lacrosse team had a great 2023 campaign. The team got off to a solid 4-2 start in March with a pair of NAC wins. They stayed hot in April, winning six more games, including five more conference games. The Wildcats ended their regular season with a 7-1 record in NAC play, earning the #2 seed in the tournament and the right to host the NAC Semi-final at Wildcat Field. Poly lost that semifinal game 9-6 to the SUNY Delhi Broncos.
Seven Wildcats earned All-Conference honors at the end of the season. Lyle Beeman, Luke Taylor, and Ryan Sparacino were First Team Selections. Andrew Maycock, Steven Sullivan, and Joseph VanZandt were Second Team selections. Michael Baker was the Wildcats’ representative on the NAC Sportsmanship Team.