Firebirds Boast Two League-Champion Teams During Winter Season

4 Apr

The Women’s Basketball and Indoor Track & Field teams secured East Coast Conference Championships during the 2013-2014 winter athletics season. Both teams succeeded because of a combination of talent, depth, and a complete team effort. Guided by Head Coach Alton Mckenzie, the Indoor Track & Field Team now has earned back-to-back ECC championships, while the Women’s Basketball team will look to achieve the same feat next season.

 

IndoorECC-Champions2014

Indoor Track & Field

 

The Indoor Track & Field team ran in nine multi-team meets this season, and a majority of the student-athletes displayed consistent improvement. The team was led by Kaydian Jones (Journalism–Kingston, Jamaica/St. Andrew HS) and Shauna-Kay Creary (Accounting–Kingston, Jamaica/St. Andrew HS). Kaydian is a senior who was selected to compete at the NCAA Division II Championships this year in the 200M and 4x400M events. She finished 14th in the country with a time of 25.06 in the 200M and her 4x400M relay team finished 6th in the nation and earned All-American status. Jones was also given All-Region honors for her performances in the 60M, 200M, Long Jump, and 4x400M relay.

 

Shauna-Kay Creary is also a senior, and helped the Firebirds score crucial points in the Field to secure the ECC Championship. She competed in five events, which included a 2nd place finish in the High Jump, 2nd place in the Triple Jump, and 3rd in the Long Jump. (Below is a picture of all the gear she needed to pull this off!)1922466_684459544929121_857717213_n

 

“This year was different because we were defending our title, so the spotlight was more on us in comparison to last year where nobody was really looking at our small team to win the Conference,” Creary said. Defending a championship is never an easy feat, but the Firebirds’ consistent improvement throughout the season helped to defy any challengers. (See below the jubilation on the face of Kaydian Jones as she hugs Coach McKenzie after the Firebirds sealed the championship)

1688876_685067841534958_2139295378_n

 

Throughout the 2013-2014 season, the Indoor Track & Field 4x400M relay team was dominant. In fact, they blew away the competition at the ECC Championship meet then had an excellent showing at the NCAA Division II Championship meet. The Relay Team finished 6th in the nation, good enough to receive All-American honors. These all Americans were Kaydian Jones, Simone Grant (Health Education–Bronx, NY/Pelham Prep Academy), Marlena Wright (Journalism–Bronx, NY/Dewitt Clinton HS), and Jerily Benjamin (Health Education–Queens, NY/Phillip Randolph HS).

 

IndoorAllAmericansPlatform

 

Head Coach Alton Mckenzie was pleased with the effort displayed by the student-athletes, and is already looking forward to continued improvement. “The main feeling I have is one of knowing that there’s always more significant goals to strive for so we cannot rest on our laurels,” Mckenzie said. “My focus never really centered on how I felt about the team’s success or accomplishments, because I know how hard they worked to attain that success. If anything it was reassuring to see that we’re being consistent with our performances.”

 

DSC_1309

Women’s Basketball

 

The Women’s Basketball team finished their regular season with an impressive record of 21-8 (15-5 in the ECC). This was good enough to earn them the 2nd seed in the ECC Championship Tournament, behind only top-seeded LIU Post. UDC was able to defeat LIU Post on their home court to secure the ECC Championship with a final score of 67-57. Telisha Turner (Criminal Justice–Wilmington, Delaware / Glasgow HS) led the Firebirds with 24 points in the game.

 

“We came in as the underdog to win it and Coach was telling us in the locker room that he never won on this court. They beat us last time we played in there, so we definitely had a chip on our shoulders and felt like we owed them one,” Turner explained.

Telisha Turner was named the ECC Tournament MVP.

Telisha Turner was named the ECC Tournament MVP.

 

It was a very emotional win for the Women’s Basketball team and junior Denikka Brent (Mechanical Engineering–Chesapeake, VA/Booker T. Washington HS). “I would say the most memorable moment of the season was the last seven seconds of the East Coast Conference Championship game. We were up, and we had the ball. We basically were stalling until the time ran out. I remember looking at everyone’s facial expression change as it started to sink in that we were conference champs. That moment was the most overwhelming moment of my life,” Brent said.

 

The Firebirds earned a No. 5 seed with their automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament but were defeated in the first round by Stonehill College. This, however, did not detract from their overall stellar season.

 

Head Coach Jay Butler summed up the experience of winning an ECC Championship like this: “It was a special season for us coming off of a 10-win season in 2012-13, and to be able to win the 2014 ECC championship the following year was a great accomplishment.”

DSC_1334

Movember for a Cause: An Inside Look

13 Dec

MLaxMovember

Break out the shaving cream, Movember is over.  The UDC Men’s Lacrosse team grew out their mustaches during the month of November to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer.  The quality of the moustaches themselves varied greatly, but the benevolent feeling of raising money for a good cause was unwavering.

DSC_8154Thanks to the moustaches and generous donations, the Lacrosse team was able to raise $520.  “I am really happy with the amount of money we raised.  I really appreciate all of the people who donated to the cause,” said sophomore defenseman Zachary Kjeldsen (pictured above).  He also added that the team is hoping to participate in Movember again next year, and looking to include other male sports teams at UDC.

Junior attack-man Ben Taylor (pictured below) was the originator of the idea to participate in Movember. “My inspiration for organizing Movember at UDC was that every year back home my friend and I undertake this endeavor to try to raise awareness in our town and raise some money for a good cause.  It seemed like the next logical step to introduce Movember to the UDC community,” Taylor explained.

DSC_8151

Taylor also noted that freshman Josh Norton (pictured below) was able to grow the best moustache by far. (This seems to be the team consensus)  Norton described his Movember experience: “Having a moustache for a whole month to me was pretty easy. I’ve had a ‘stache before just for fun and it wasn’t bad, but this time it was a little annoying to have.  You can only have a moustache for so long.”

DSC_8155

The lacrosse team was even able to convince their head coach, Scott Urick (pictured below), to participate in the facial hair charity.  Although, his moustache became a fu manchu by the end of the month.  Overall, the team is very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this creative fundraiser.

DSC_8161

Taylor sums up the experience well: “I just wanted to say that I had a blast doing this, and when I proposed the idea to the team, I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received.  I was blown away by all of the support from the various administrative and staff workers.  It really was an awesome experience, and I’m excited for next Movember!”

Catching Up With Alumni – Ty Abilla

9 Aug

Tadai (Ty) Abilla graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Television Production this past May. The Galloway, NJ native out of Absegami HS was a four-year standout in two sports at UDC – Women’s Basketball and Women’s Tennis. During her time at UDC, she also volunteered her time as a Video Intern for the athletic department. Upon graduating, she accepted another internship position at the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) that keeps her working right in Washington, DC. Sports Information Director Eric Zedalis caught up with Ty to talk about her new gig and post-college life.

EZ: Tell me about your two internships. Who are you working for? What do they have you do?

TA: I currently work at the Office of Unified Communications (OUC). I also completed an internship with National Institutes of Health (NIH) in May, right before graduation. At the Office of Communications I am the Communications Specialist. I am responsible for carrying out the agency’s internal and external communication plans. They have me monitor and update the social media sites, capture footage and photos of the events, promote their 911 and 311 services, create newsletters, work closely with my supervisor brainstorming ideas for upcoming events, etc.

DSC_6358

Ty with her parents, Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas and head coach Jay Butler.

EZ: How were you able to find these internships?

TA: I found the internship at NIH through indeed.com. A close friend of mine who works at the Department of Human Resources (DCHR) told me about the District Leadership Program (DLP) through her agency. She encouraged me to apply, and after doing so, she put in a good word for me. At the end of the day, it comes down to who you know. Once you get your foot in the door, it’s your job to take control from there and showcase your skills.

EZ: Do you feel as though your educational experience (school/athletics/volunteer work with athletics) at UDC prepared you for the work you are doing now? And how so?

TA: I can relate everything back to sports in some way. So I would definitely say that my athletic experience at UDC has prepared me for the work field. I was also fortunate enough to have great professors to push and challenge me. Playing basketball at UDC has prepared me for working in a team environment and helped me with my leadership skills, and playing tennis has prepared me for working independently and taking ownership of my work.

EZ: Do you enjoy the work you’re currently doing?

TA: I absolutely love the work that I am currently doing. This opportunity has truly been a blessing and has opened many doors for me.

EZ: What are you ultimately looking to get out of this experience? What do you ultimately want to do for a career?

TA: Through my experience at OUC I am ultimately looking to network with experienced

DSC_6996

Ty with her women’s basketball teammates at this year’s graduation reception.

professionals, gain contacts, and possibly land a permanent job. My ultimate career goal is to become a sports broadcaster, but working at OUC has definitely opened up my eyes to a new found interest.

EZ: How is “post-college” life? Do you like living in the city on your own?

TA: Post college life is great! Besides playing sports, I can’t really say that I miss college…but it’s still early, so I’m sure that may change later on (laughs). During college, just about everything was taken care of for me; now that I’m on my own, it’s all about making money and being able to support my own lifestyle. I fell in love with DC so much that I decided to get my first apartment out here. I enjoy living in the city on my own. It gives me a sense of freedom and independence.

EZ: Have you kept in touch with teammates/classmates?

TA: I keep in touch with several of my former teammates via call/text or through social media.

EZ: Will you continue to follow UDC Athletics!?

TA: I will most definitely continue to follow UDC Athletics. I’m a proud alumni, and I will forever be a Firebird! Hopefully I can collaborate with UDC in the future :)

DSC_6354

Members of the women’s tennis team – aka, Ty’s fan club!

 We’d like to encourage all student-athlete alumni to let us know what you’re up to by e-mailing Sports Information Director, Eric Zedalis at eric.zedalis@udc.edu.

Greatest Games of 2012-13: Week 5 – Women’s Track & Field

18 Jul

East Coast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships

February 23, 2013

South Huntington, NY

9

 

On February 23rd, 2013, the Firebirds captured the inaugural East Coast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship in an improbable upset of heavily favored Georgian Court. Recently, Sports Information Director Eric Zedalis caught up with ECC Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year Alton McKenzie to reminisce about that historic day.

EZ: Going into the meet, did you think that the order of events was in your team’s favor?

AM: I wouldn’t say it was in my team’s favor…I just knew that if we planned meticulously we could pull off having a few people compete in several events despite the meet being one day and having a very tight schedule. We trained to deal with competing multiple times in a Championship meet so we were prepared for the challenge of competing with very little recovery time.

EZ: Given the results, it is safe to say that it worked in your athletes’ favor that they knew they would have to FIGHT for every point they possibly could get since Georgian Court was bound to win all the throwing-based events. Were you at all concerned going in that your athletes might put TOO much pressure on themselves because of this?

AM: Not at all. Matter of fact, we felt little to no pressure…that is, until the 200M when we were actually in a position to win! (laughs) But all jokes aside, I was of the opinion we had nothing to lose as having such a small squad of 13 athletes, it was going to be tough to pull out the win. BUT, leading up to the meet, [Coach Kevin Bembridge and I] just kept instilling in them that we could in fact pull it off. And with Track & Field, nothing is guaranteed. You have to line up and compete. So we never focused on what anyone else would do….we knew what we could do, which was go out there and compete to the best of our ability.

EZ: What was your thought process/strategy going in?IMG_20130223_230152

AM: I figured out that the way for us to win a Championship would be by maximizing all the points in every event we entered our athletes. We only have sprinters and jumpers, so our only chance is to have them compete in multiple events – and they’re trained to do just that. Shauna-Kay was in 5 events, Kaydian 4, Simone 4, Jerily 3, Callister 3, Rochelle 3. THAT is how UDC has to win a Championship. (Smile)

EZ: Talk about your key performers – and obviously Shauna-Kay’s impact on the meet.2

AM: Well, we had the performer of the meet in Shauna-Kay who had the meet of her career in my opinion. Winning the Long Jump and High Jump, finishing 2nd in the Triple Jump and 200M, then 3rd in the 60M pretty much sums up that exceptional day she had, and this is all in a three or four hour span. Keep in mind, she was competing in the Long Jump and High Jump at the same time. Her performance in those two events, which were the first two events of the day, set the tone for what we did the rest of the meet. Kaydian was in four events (4th in the Long Jump, part of the winning 4x200M relay team, 2nd in the 60M and winning the 200M) and Simone (winning the Triple Jump, 4th in the Long Jump, 3rd in the 200M and part of the winning 4x400M relay team) certainly played huge roles in helping us come out victorious. But it was truly a team effort as everyone contributed…if not in points, in how hard they competed and rallied around their teammates. Almost the entire time ran the 200M, and like I said, that’s the only time I spoke to them and gave them a point standing and actually explained what we would need to do to win. They went out there and placed 1-4, and 6th in the 200M.

EZ: Down by 30 points after GCU dominated  the shot-put and the weight throw, what was your mindset at that point with the 60M, 500M and a couple other sprint events still to come?

AM: That we were right where we needed to be. Because I felt we overachieved in the Long Jump, Triple Jump and High Jump. The East Coast Conference has some very competitive jumpers so once we were able to come away with wins in those three and multiple scorers in both the Long Jump and Triple Jump, I knew we’d take care of business on the track in the sprints. We couldn’t do anything about what GCU would do in the Throws, as they’re truly just dominant in those areas, so our job was to make sure we played to our strengths in the sprint events, and I felt confident we’d do just that. And we certainly did.

EZ: Which do you think the team was more happy about: that they won a championship, or that you had to dance in the infield after?

AM: Well, considering how many said, “Coach we have you on camera!” I think they were more thrilled that they gave me a reason to dance. It was my pleasure to have them enjoy the moment, and I enjoyed it as much as they did. I had to give them a reason to forget how tired they all were after putting in such an amazing effort to win UDC’s first Indoor Track Championship!

Greatest Games of 2012-13: Week 4 – Men’s Basketball

28 Jun

Dowling College @ University of the District of Columbia

February 16, 2013

Washington, DC

Video

By the month of February, the University of the District of Columbia men’s basketball team was bruised and battered, decimated by injuries and misfortune, and unrecognizable to itself, the staff, and those who predicted a potential return trip to the NCAA East Regional.

But anyone who watched the Firebirds play their final four home games of the season saw a different UDC team than the one up to that point – perhaps the real one.

We chose to highlight the Firebirds’ 3rd straight home win in the month of February, and the 3rd of four straight home wins to end the season. The game, against East Coast Conference foe Dowling, fell on UDC Hall of Fame Weekend and was also featured as the ECC Game of the Week and web-streamed live in HD via the conference website. In stunning fashion, the Firebirds erased an 84-80 deficit with a 6-0 run in the final 41 seconds of regulation to defeat Dowling, 86-84.

District of Columbia came into this game having won two of their last three games, with both wins coming against two of the upper-tier teams in the ECC. In their most recent outing, the Firebirds completed a remarkable comeback from a 10-point deficit with under six minutes to play to beat defending ECC champions LIU Post, 83-79 at home.

Dowling, meanwhile, had also been successful of late, winning their last two consecutive games against league foes Molloy (73-53) and Roberts Wesleyan (67-61). The Golden Lions entered the game with one of the league’s most vaunted defenses, allowing just 64.3 points per-game.

The last time these two teams met was January 16th, and Dowling cruised to an 83-67 victory at Dowling Gymnasium on the strength of a 23-4 surge in the first half. Guard Darien Davis led the Golden Lions with a game-high 17 points.

The Firebirds opened the game on a 10-3 run culminating in a Michael Terry three-pointer near the 15-minute mark. They would open up an 11-point advantage (20-9) after a pair of free-throws by Terry with 12:27 left in the first half, but a 16-5 Dowling surge forced a 25-all tie with just under nine minutes to play. The Golden Lions took only their 2nd lead of the first half, 31-30 with a three-pointer by Davis at the 7:42 mark, but a pair of free-throws by Brandon Ennis put the Firebirds back in the lead to stay for the remainder of the first half. In fact, the Ennis free-throws jump-started a 10-0 Firebirds surge which put District of Columbia in front, 40-31 with just over five minutes left to play in the half. Dowling went on to score 12 of the final 19 points of the half though as the Firebirds settled for a 47-43 halftime lead.

When play resumed, the Golden Lions out-scored the Firebirds 8-4 in the first 4:14 of the second half to force the 5th tie of the game, 51-all. Dowling would take its first lead of the closing period at the 14:30 mark after a layup by Davis. Four lead changes and three ties would ensue before the Golden Lions would break a 61-61 deadlock with a 5-0 run to go up 66-61 with just under 10 minutes to play. The Firebirds would then answer with a 15-6 run which gave them a 76-72 lead at the 4:05 mark.

UDC_20130216_0311

Ralph Watts converts an and-one layup to put the Firebirds in front to stay.

District of Columbia still led 80-76 after a three-pointer by Quasim Jones at the 1:45 mark, but an 8-0 run by Dowling, highlighted by five consecutive points from Davis, pushed the visitors ahead, 84-80 with just 41 seconds left in regulation. Jones got to the free-throw line and knocked down both with 33 seconds left to bring the Firebirds within two, 84-82. Then, following a steal by Ralph Watts on the defensive end, Watts gathered an offensive rebound off of a missed three-pointer by sophomore Florent Pontens, and converted an and-one layup to tie the score. He then got his free-throw to roll in to complete the three-point play, and put his team up, 85-84 with 25 ticks left.

Back on the defensive end, the Firebirds forced Davis to take too many steps in the paint resulting in a travelling violation and return of possession. The Golden Lions quickly fouled Terry after the inbounds pass, and Terry made the 2nd of his two free-throw attempts after missing the first to give the Firebirds an 86-84 lead with only nine seconds remaining.

On the ensuing Dowling possession, Davis tried to put up a running jump shot in the paint, but Pontens sent his shot right back with a potential game-saving block, and the Firebirds ran off the final seconds of the clock in jubilation.

After the game, Watts talked about how the Firebirds had been able to turn things around so quickly.

“I think after those string of losses to start the season and in the middle of the season, guys just started relaxing a little bit, let the game come to them, and we’re just knocking shots down,” he said.

This marked the first time of the season that District of Columbia earned back-to-back wins and helped the Firebirds improve to 5-5 at UDC Gym. They would go on to win their season finale at home as well (106-86 vs. Mercy), to finish the season 6-20 overall and 6-5 at home.

The Firebirds will begin a new era under newly appointed head coach Mike Riley in 2013-14. Among the players returning are starting back-court mates Michael Terry and Quasim Jones.

Greatest Games of 2012-13: Week 3 – Women’s Basketball

20 Jun

Roberts Wesleyan College @ University of the District of Columbia

December 15th, 2012

Washington, DC

Video

The last women’s basketball game before the winter holiday season saw two very evenly-matched East Coast Conference foes duke it out in our nation’s capital, and ultimately, the Firebirds’ senior co-captain, Janelle Junior, stepping up in the clutch to secure a 59-56 UDC victory.

District of Columbia entered the game with an overall record of 4-5 (0-1 ECC) and was coming off two consecutive lopsided losses at Bridgeport (58-43) and against No. 17 Nova Southeastern (78-50). Their two leading scorers, Junior and sophomore guard Denikka Brent, struggled in those two games, shooting a combined 2-of-24 from the field for a total of 14 points.

Meanwhile, ECC newcomer Roberts Wesleyan had won four of its last five games, including its last three. The Redhawks were coming off a 73-43 thrashing of Mercy in their first-ever ECC league game a week prior.

With the holiday season approaching, both teams were hungry for a victory to sustain them for the two-week break. Roberts (6-2, 1-0 ECC) was looking to improve to 7-2 and stay unbeaten in league play, while UDC wanted to put the brakes on its two-game losing skid and even its overall and conference record.

“We really wanted to get our first ECC win, and above all else, play well at home going into the Christmas break,” head coach Jay Butler said.

In a game that was full of ebbs and flows, the Firebirds raced out to a 9-1 lead in the first three-and-a-half minutes of play, but the Redhawks answered back with a 14-0 run over the next five minutes to pull in front, 15-9. The next five minutes, however, belonged to UDC, as the Firebirds mounted a 16-0 run, helped along by junior reserve guard Julissa Anderson’s eight points. District of Columbia led 25-15 with about six minutes left to play in the half. This time, Roberts responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 25-22, and ultimately, the Firebirds would only take a 29-24 lead into intermission.

The Firebirds outscored the Redhawks 8-4 in the opening four minutes of the second half to take a 37-28 lead, but Roberts Wesleyan rattled off the next nine straight points to force a 37-all tie with 13:38 left to play. A pair of free-throws by Junior and a jumper by Shaw gave the Firebirds a four-point lead at the 12:30 mark, but RWC went on an 8-0 march to take its own four-point lead, 45-41 with 8:37 remaining.

Back came the Firebirds with a 6-0 run to pull in front, 47-45 after a pair of free-throws by Anderson, but RWC’s Lakiah Huff connected on an outside jumper to knot the score at 47-apiece.

Over the next six minutes, neither team would lead by more than one point as there were seven lead changes and two more ties. The final lead change came on a running jumper in the lane by Shaw to give the Firebirds a 55-54 lead at the 1:18 mark.

JanelleStill clinging to a one-point lead with the ball and under a minute left to play, junior point guard Teara Shaw was dribbling around the three-point line and could not seem to find any of her teammates open. But with the shot clock winding down, she floated a pass deep into the corner for Junior, who buried a long-range three-pointer with a hand in her face to make it a two-possession game. That was the only made three-point field goal of the second half for District of Columbia, but it could not have come at a better time as the Firebirds would ultimately hold on to win, 59-56.

“The three-pointer by Janelle was huge for us,” Butler said. “Roberts Wesleyan had fought hard to get back in the game, and our offense was really struggling down the stretch until Janelle hit that big shot.”

Butler, who’s team consisted of six underclassmen and just two seniors, said that particular win was very important for his team.

“The win was definitely a confidence builder for a young team,” Butler said. “We wanted to get backt o .500 before the break, and we really needed that win against a feisty Roberts Wesleyan team. And that day we proved to ourselves that we could do it.”

District of Columbia went on to finish the 2012-13 season with an overall record of 10-18 (5-13 ECC). The Firebirds won their two final games of the season and have lofty expectations for 2013-14 as Butler returns 10 of the 13 players on this year’s roster, including ECC All-Rookie selection Tatyana Calhoun.

Junior, who graduated from University of the District of Columbia this spring with a degree in Administration of Justice, recently was named the ECC Women’s Basketball Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. She finished second on the team with a 10.5 points per game average and also ranked in the top-10 in the ECC with a 35.7 three point shooting percentage. She also excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.72 GPA.

Greatest Games of 2012-13: Week 2 – Men’s Soccer

13 Jun

Mercyhurst University @ University of the District of Columbia

September 7th, 2012

Washington, DC

The Firebirds men’s soccer team’s most poignant victory of the 2012 season came at UDC Field on September 7th against Mercyhurst. In an early season game where both teams were eager to impress, it took some outstanding link-up play, coupled with raw pace from Byron Brown, to separate two very evenly matched teams. Ultimately, Brown’s goal lifted the Firebirds to a 1-0 victory over a Lakers team that eventually advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

UDC entered this game with a record of 2-0-1 and a “Points Champion” title at the Shippensburg Tournament, but with eight new additions to the team at the start of the year, the Firebirds were still trying to find team chemistry. However, according to assistant coach Danny Wadeson, UDC was just starting to find its identity at around that time.

“There was a distinct cohesion to the team with the balance and creativity of [midfielders] Ben Diaz and Jose Garcia, aligned with the speed and power of [forwards] Bakary Coulibaly and Byron Brown,” Wadeson said.

Meanwhile, Mercyhurst had entered the season with lofty expectations after advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons, but was struggling to find its footing as the Lakers (0-2) came to the nation’s capital still searching for their first win.

Scoring chances were very scarce in the first half, with a concerted effort on the part of both teams not to give up the middle of the field. A mixture of excellent defending and quality saves by Mercyhurst’s Diego Gustin and UDC’s Omar Gonzalez ensured a scoreless tie at halftime.

529170_144743959037381_148574049_nIn the second half, with the nature of the field dictating more towards Mercyhurst, Brown began to make the Lakers look suspiciously susceptible on the counter attack. Almost 15 minutes into the closing period, Brown broke from the edge of his own box as teammate Adriel Garcia pushed the ball in full flight beyond the Mercyhurst back four. This would invite Gustin out of his goal for what was an ill-advised decision as Brown confidently toe-poked the game-winner beyond his grasp.

District of Columbia closed out the remaining 30:15 of regulation in a professional manner, paying close attention to Mercyhurst’s key attacking players – Alex Manea and Fernando Martinez.

Such a narrow victory against a quality team not only brought the Firebirds closer together, but taught them a valuable lesson, according to Wadeson.

“The result simply highlighted the fine line between success and failure,” he said. “A respectable result against a team with such great tradition as Mercyhurst put us on an excellent run at home, as our guys learned they could go toe-to-toe with anybody and show the discipline to emerge victors.”

The University of the District of Columbia went on to finish the season 6-9-2 overall, which included a 5-2 mark on its home field. The Firebirds also won two conference games as first-year members of the East Coast Conference.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.