President's Report Masthead
September 30, 2018

Team/individual accomplishments

Men’s soccer ties 18th-ranked Colgate

Junior forward Haris Brkovic scored the game-tying goal in the 75th minute as Binghamton (1-4-2) played to a 1-1 draw against No. 18 Colgate (3-1-2) in a non-conference men’s soccer game on Friday night at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The deadlock is the Bearcats’ fifth all-time against a ranked NCAA Division I team and gives them a 1-1-2 record in their past four matches.

With the Bearcats down 1-0, Brkovic took advantage of a loose ball just outside the box. He then fired it into the upper right-hand corner of the net for his second goal of the season.

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Men’s lacrosse names new assistant coach

Binghamton men’s lacrosse coach Kevin McKeown announced the addition of Scott Meehan to the Bearcats’ coach staff as an assistant for the upcoming season.

“Scott is an excellent addition to the Binghamton University Lacrosse program,” McKeown said. “He has worked with a number of great lacrosse coaches and programs in his coaching and playing career. Our student athletes will benefit from his ability to communicate and teach the game.”

Meehan spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Mount Saint Mary’s. As the Mountaineer’s offensive coordinator, Meehan guided an offense that ranked 23rd in the country in scoring offense and 18th in both points per game and assists per game. The Mountaineer’s goals per game improved from 8.7 to 11.2 in Meehan’s two seasons.

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Women’s basketball releases 2018-19 schedule

The Binghamton women’s basketball team has released its 2018-19 schedule, which begins with a Nov. 6 home game against Charleston University. The 29-game regular-season slate also includes trips to Notre Dame and Marquette as well as home and away games against the other eight America East programs.

Binghamton’s game against Charleston marks the debut of its new head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. She was hired in June, following a successful seven-year run at the helm of the Weber State program.

The Bearcats’ contest at Notre Dame, which is scheduled for Dec. 16, marks the first time ever that they face the defending NCAA Division I champion. Marquette, who Binghamton travels to face the following day, tied for first in the BIG EAST conference and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last spring.

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Former tennis standout Schwartz passes away

Former No. 1 Binghamton men’s tennis player and team captain Gregg Schwartz, 47, passed away Monday on Long Island after an illness. 

Schwartz played four years (1989-92) for longtime head coach Michael Starke and along with classmate, doubles partner and fellow captain Greg Munoz, set the standard for the elite Binghamton teams that would follow in the mid-1990s. He was an NCAA qualifier in both singles and doubles, advancing to the singles second round in 1992. Schwartz and Munoz captured the 1991 ITA Northeast Regional doubles crown and the pair were ranked as high as No. 15 in the country. Schwartz was ranked as high as No. 45 in the nation in singles, where he held down the number one position in Binghamton’s lineup.

During his tenure, the Colonials went 55-17 (76%) in duals, captured the SUNYAC Championship in 1989 and were ranked in the nation’s top-25 in each of his final three seasons. 

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Women’s lacrosse names new assistant coach

Binghamton women’s lacrosse head coach Stephanie Allen is happy to announce the addition of Courtney Bertolone to the Bearcats’ coaching staff as an assistant coach.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Courtney to the Binghamton Lacrosse family,” Allen said. “She brings a wealth of lacrosse experience to the program as well as extensive knowledge of the America East.  Courtney’s commitment to player development and strong coach-player relationships parallels that of our department and program. In addition, Courtney’s broad recruiting network and connections, especially in New York, are the connections that will help us continue to grow our program.”

Bertolone spent the last two seasons as the assistant coach at Iona College. As the offensive coordinator, she was responsible for creating and implementing offensive practice and game packages. In her first season (2016-17), she was part of a tandem which led to an All-MAAC second-team selection in Gabriella Di Domizio and 16 MAAC All-Academic performers. Last year, Bertolone helped tutor four All-MAAC performers, including All-MAAC First Team defender Gabriella Di Domizio. The Gaels reached the MAAC Tournament for the second time in three years as the No. 6 seed.

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Women’s basketball selects new assistant

The Binghamton women’s basketball program has announced the hiring of Matt Thune as an assistant coach. He has worked the past three years at Weber State, along with head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord, before being hired by Boston College this past June.

While at Weber State, Thune was part of a program that posted two 20-plus win seasons, including two appearances in the WBI Tournament. In the 2015-16 season, Weber won 23 games, which set a new single-season program record for victories.

Thune worked with the post players, assisted in implementing defensive schemes, and offensive special situations. He was also an academic coordinator for the team, helped run the youth and elite camps and oversaw the program’s social media outlets.

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Women’s basketball adds assistant coach

The Binghamton women’s basketball program has announced the hiring of Devan Newman as an assistant coach. She has worked alongside the Bearcats’ new head coach, Bethann Shapiro Ord for the past decade.

Newman was an assistant coach on Shaprio Ord’s the past seven years at Weber State. During that stretch, the Wildcats recorded a pair of 20-win seasons and advanced to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) twice.

While at Weber State, Newman was a key part of the Wildcats’ rise from a struggling program to one that went 57-41 from 2015-18. She developed five players who went on to play professionally after college and was a major part of the program’s recruiting efforts. 

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Women’s basketball names new staff member

The Binghamton women’s basketball program has announced the hiring of “Ki-Ke” (kee-kay) Omowumi Rafiu as its Director of Operations.

Rafiu has been a graduate assistant at Georgetown the past two seasons. The Hoyas advanced to the WNIT both times, including a second-round appearance in 2018.

“We are thrilled to have ‘Ki-Ke’ join us at Binghamton,” first-year head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord said. “She was part of a successful program at Georgetown both as a player and coach. Because of her career-ending injury, she was able to see the game from a coach’s eyes early and help her teammates on and off the court with her leadership. Ki-Ke is an inspirational person who will relate very well to our players.”

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Women’s basketball names new assistant

The Binghamton women’s basketball program has announced the hiring of Megan Shoniker as an assistant coach. She is the first coach to officially join the staff of Bethann Shapiro Ord, who was hired as the Bearcats’ new head coach on June 22.

Shoniker comes from Canisius, where she was a member of the Golden Griff staff the past four seasons. She was promoted to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2017-18 season and also served as the recruiting coordinator.

From 2012-14, Shoniker was a staff associate at St. John Fisher College. She assisted with player development, recruiting and video operations while also completing her Master’s degree in special education.

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Fall sports teams hold Media Days

The Binghamton men’s and women’s soccer teams and volleyball squads held their annual preseason media days on Thursday and Friday afternoons as they begin preparations for the 2018 campaign.

The women’s soccer squad, which kicks off the season at St. Bonaventure on Aug. 17, reported back to campus last week. The men’s soccer and volleyball teams, meanwhile, arrived back at Binghamton this week and will both begin their seasons on Aug. 24. The men’s soccer team will be at Drexel while volleyball travels to the Cleveland State Invitational.

At the men’s soccer media day on Thursday, head coach Paul Marco was joined by senior back Kevin Flesch, senior midfielder Harrison Weilbacher and last season’s America East Rookie of the Year, Noah Luescher.

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Men’s basketball releases 2018-19 schedule

Binghamton men’s basketball will face two Big Ten schools and an ACC opponent, highlighting the 2018-19 schedule, which was released today. Head coach Tommy Dempsey’s squad will play reigning NCAA runnerup Michigan (Dec. 29), Northwestern (Nov. 16) and Notre Dame (Dec. 18) in a daunting 15-game non-conference slate that also includes reigning Northeast Conference champion LIU, CBI participant Colgate and first-time Horizon League foe Youngstown State.

The Bearcats will open their season with three straight home games as part of the CNY Hoops Classic. Binghamton will host Cornell on November 6 at the Events Center. After home games against NJIT (Nov. 9) and Misericordia (Nov. 12), BU heads to Evanston, Ill. to face Big Ten member Northwestern for the first time. For the ninth straight year, BU will square off against Patriot League member Colgate (Nov. 19), which won 19 games en route to a CBI berth last season. After continuing series’ against Sacred Heart (Nov. 24), Army (Nov. 28), Morgan State (Dec. 5) and Loyola (Dec. 8), the Bearcats will face new opponent Youngstown State in the Events Center on Dec. 15.

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Softball adds assistant coach

The Binghamton softball program has announced the hiring of Sydney O’Hara as an assistant coach. A 2017 NFCA All-American at Syracuse, she was an assistant coach this past season at LeMoyne College. With the Bearcats, O’Hara will work with the pitching staff, assist with the offense, and will have recruiting and scouting responsibilities.

During her illustrious career at Syracuse, O’Hara was a third-team All-American her senior year (at the pitcher/utility player position) and was a 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year Top 10 finalist. She was also named to the NFCA’s Mid-Atlantic All-Region team three times and was chosen first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) twice.

At LeMoyne, O’Hara was part of a program that advanced to the NCAA Division II Regionals. She worked with a pitching staff that produced a pair of NFCA All-Region selections.

“I couldn’t be more excited about adding Sydney to our staff. She has great experience both as a player and coach. Sydney’s versatility and knowledge to assist with both pitching and hitting is going to be a tremendous asset to the program.”
O’Hara earned her bachelor’s degree in 2017 from Syracuse. In addition to majoring in human development, she earned a minor in coaching.

Women’s soccer solidifies coaching staff

Binghamton women’s soccer has firmed up its coaching staff for the 2018 season. Third-year head coach Neel Bhattacharjee announced (Wednesday) that assistant coach Jackie Firenze will return for her third season and is being promoted to the lead assistant role, replacing Taylor Schram, who departed in the off-season. Jackie’s younger sister, Emma Firenze, also has been hired as the team’s second assistant coach.

“I am very excited to continue to work with Jackie in her new role,” Bhattacharjee said. “She has played a significant role in our development and rise as a team the last two years and will have a big influence on continued growth of our program.  Her work ethic, passion for the game, and set of values that align with mine will play significant dividends for our group.  I am also very pleased to be adding Emma along to our staff.  Emma has played at a high level which includes tournament postseason play and will be able to relate to all of current players though her experiences. I was fortunate to have previously worked with Jackie and Emma and I know they will be very positive role models for our student-athletes, and will bring their attacking and possession mindsets to our group this fall.”

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Women’s lacrosse adds assistant coach

The Binghamton lacrosse team has added a new member to its coaching staff for the 2018-19 season. Head coach Stephanie Allen has announced the hiring of Danielle Mastro, who previously played lacrosse at Brown University.

“We are so excited to welcome Danielle to the Binghamton Lacrosse family,” Allen said.  “She brings a ton of energy and passion to our staff and we cannot wait for her to impress that upon our student-athletes. Her experience at Brown and as one of the leading offensive threats in the Ivy League will certainly bolster our attack unit and help our entire team elevate their game.  We are very lucky to have her joining us and soon begin work with our players.”

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