Game On: 2022-23 Seasons
Both the women’s and men’s crew teams are off to strong starts for the 2022–23 season, with the women placing 11th at the Head of the Charles and the men finishing Top 3 in both the Riverfront Regatta and the Head of the Fish.
Wesleyan volleyball completed a historic 2022 season that saw several program firsts. The Cardinals earned the right to host the NESCAC Tournament as well as NCAA Tournament matches for the first time in team history. Their record-breaking regular season concluded with 21 wins, three over ranked opponents, and eventually going back to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season under Head Coach Ben Somera. Wesleyan stayed nationally relevant throughout the year, reaching as high as 12th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) rankings for a two-week stretch in early October. They would finish the year 24-4 (9-1 NESCAC), winning the Little Three title and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The incredible year produced a plethora of individual awards from various Cardinals. Wesleyan finished the season with three All-NESCAC players, including the Player of the Year in Sophia Lindus ’26 who became just the second freshman in NESCAC history to earn the individual honor. The Cards won awards on the regional and national level as well, with four individuals earning AVA All-Region including a sweep of the major awards. Somera won Region 1 Coach of the Year and Lindus took both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year for the region. At the national level, Lindus took home Second Team All-American honors given to her by the AVCA. The first-year athlete stands as the fourth Cardinal in program history to be named an All-American and the only Wesleyan first-year to ever earn the honor.
Men’s Ice Hockey
More than halfway through the season, Wesleyan men’s ice hockey was off to its best start in program history, sporting a 9-2-2 record through January 19. The Cardinals are the only remaining team in the country—including teams competing at both the NCAA Division I and III levels —that hasn’t suffered a regulation defeat.
The Cardinals are an all-around force this season, sporting the highest-scoring offense while also allowing the fewest goals of any team in the NESCAC. Jake Lachance ’23 was the highest-scoring player in the NESCAC (17 points through 12 games) as well as leading all D-III defensemen in points per game. Wiggle Kerbrat ’23 led the NESCAC and ranked third nationally in goals per game.
Big news within the program came in mid-December when defenseman Emmet Powell ’23 was selected to represent Team USA at the 31st annual Winter World University Games. This is the first time Team USA is made up of 23 D-III players from across the country, which means Powell is the first Cardinal to have the honor of competing internationally in ice hockey for the United States.
With the remaining regular season slate featuring key Little Three battles, a weekend trip to Maine, and a home-and-home with annual rival Trinity, Wesleyan looks to prolong an incredible start to the season as the team has its sights set on a second NESCAC title of the past three seasons.
Women’s Ice Hockey
Wesleyan’s women’s hockey team made history on January 8, earning their first-ever national ranking. The Cardinals started the 2022–23 season with a record of 8-2-1, good enough to be tabbed the 15th-best team in Division III according to the United States College Hockey Organization (USCHO). With their win total up to nine as of January 13, the program had already achieved its most victories since the 2003–04 season. A 10th win would clinch the best season the Cards have had in over 24 years.
Wesleyan’s climb to being nationally ranked for the first time in school history is one that has taken time but has been worth the wait. Led by Head Coach Jodi McKenna, now in her 15th season, the Cardinals have made strides over the years including a stretch from 2016 to 2019 where they reached the NESCAC tournament in each of those three seasons. In that 2018–19 season, the Cardinals made it to the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament behind the play of the program’s first All-American in goaltender Allegra Grant ’19.
The 2022–23 edition of the Cardinals is similarly led by one of the top goalies in all of D-III in Rei Halloran ’23. Halloran had a save percentage of .950 as of January 16, which ranks Top 10 nationally among goalies with at least 200 saves. Halloran’s efforts, combined with an experienced defense and a balanced offensive attack, resulted in the best season in recent memory.
Maxx McNall, Director of Sports Information