Tag Archives: Franklin and Marshall Diplomats


This incredibly handsome fellow is George the Whippet, Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: Gentleman George. George lives in the UK with his mum Continue reading


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LANCASTER, Pa. — Franklin & Marshall opened up its 2011 portion of the schedule with a 96-85 victory over Old Westbury in the first round of the 44th Annual Sponaugle New Years Tournament hosted by F&M Sunday evening. The No. 14 Diplomats improved to 8-1 while the Panthers dropped to 2-6.

Georgio Milligan scored 21 points and became the 31st member of F&M’s 1,000- Continue reading

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LANCASTER, Pa. — Two members of the Franklin & Marshall field hockey team were named to the All-Centennial Conference (CC) Team when it was announced Wednesday. Eileen O’Reilly (OFFICIAL BALLADEER’S BLOG NICKNAME: LADY O) was named to the First Team, while Valerie Sauers (OFFICIAL BALLADEER’S BLOG NICKNAME: “SWEET” SAUERS) landed on the Second Team.

O’Reilly started all 17 games at forward for F&M, leading the team in Continue reading

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HAVERFORD, Pa. – Pam Horner had 42 assists and 15 digs to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 3-0 victory over Swarthmore in the Centennial Conference (CC) Volleyball Championship Sunday. The victory gives the Diplomats the conference’s automatic qualifier bid in the NCAA Tournament.  

The title is the fifth in F&M history. The last one was won in 2000, head coach Mary Kate Boland’s senior season.

The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team earned its Continue reading

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YORK, Pa — Franklin & Marshall won its third straight game with a dominant 8-1 victory over the Continue reading


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 We start with the Sioux Falls Cougars as they continue their quest to threepeat as NAIA football champs. The Cougars are 4-0 and this week host a team with one of the coolest logos in the biz, the Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves. NWU is not having a great year so we won’t rub it in, we’ll just remind readers that USF stars like QB Jon “Jonny East” Eastman, RB Chevon “Fire” Walker and K “Brassy” Braden Wieking (Everybody say “MITCHELL!”) will be in action at USF Sanford Complex looking to go 5-0. 

 It’s Wisconsin, so the “UW” part is assumed. The 18th-ranked Eau Claire Blugolds are getting ready for their Homecoming opponent, but they’re not facing the cupcakes a lot of schools like to schedule for Homecoming. No, they’re facing the Stevens Point Pointers, who have won the last 2 in a row in this series. A few weeks after his boys upset St John’s, Blugolds Head Coach Todd “Not Albert” Glaser (fans of bad movies will get it) hopes to keep this season’s positive vibe going in Eau Claire’s 1st conference game of the season. Both teams come into Saturday’s game sporting 2-1 records.  

 Speaking of 2-1 records, that’s also the record held by the Wingate Bulldogs who will be hosting the Catawba Indians this weekend. You could call this game “The Coincidence Bowl” because both teams are also coming off bye weeks and both teams won their previous game. For the Bulldogs it was their upset of the then-ranked UNC-Pembroke Braves. Wingate Head Coach Joe “Joe” Reich is already the winningest coach in the school’s senior college history and his team is burning to keep adding to that win list. 

 The 3-1 Franklin & Marshall Diplomats take it on the road this Saturday to play the Susquehanna Crusaders in a Centennial Conference matchup. The 1st time these 2 schools played a football game against each other was 1898, when Joe Paterno was only in his 3rd year at Penn State and was pushing the virtues of McKinley-nomics. There’s probably no truth to the legend that JoePa had to cut a player named Leon Czolgosz from the team, forever embittering him toward President McKinley. (Obviously the preceding is all just a joke. Paterno was only in his 2nd year at PSU.) Anyway, QB John “The Arm” Harrison lit up the Juniata Eagles defense last week and is no doubt keeping the Crusaders Defensive Coordinator up at night this week.

 The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are finally playing their 1st home game of the season and are planning a Blackout (Does that mean the Long Island Black Birds will be planning a Blueout?) ) so all fans are encouraged to wear black. QB “Hurlin'” Hewitt Tomlin (nicknamed for his prowess at throwing the football, NOT for any unfortunate sickness on a Tilt-A-Whirl) and company host the Muhlenberg Mules. Tomlin can become the all-time winningest starter for the Blue Jays with a victory.

 Generals vs Quakers may sound like a hot new Reality TV Show, but it’s really the team names in the Washington and Lee vs Guilford football game. The Generals are 12-11 all-time against the Quakers and look to even their record at 2-2 with a road win. Head Coach Frank Miriello is trying to get Washington and Lee to their 11th-straight non-losing season under him. There’s still plenty of time left in the season to win the Generals’ 1st Old Dominion Athletic Conference title since 2006, so stay tuned.

 The NAIA’s 14th-ranked Azusa Pacific Cougars leave their California stomping grounds for one of the longest road-trips a team can make, traveling all the way to Florida to play the Webber International Warriors. The Warriors would like to make their own case for a ranking by upsetting the 4-0 Cougars, but Azusa Pacific’s QB, “Johnny V” himself, John van den Raadt, has other plans. Johnny V can kill the defense with his legs as well as his arm, and only Michigan’s Denard Robinson has more rushing yards (for a QB) than van den Raadt! Let that sink in for a minute. Now, for those of you who missed my weekly “Azusa Pacific Rules The World” posts, let me recap their 4 wins for you – In Week 1 they beat NCAA DIVISION FREAKING ONE’S San Diego Toreros! Weeks 2-4 they beat Division 3 teams the La Verne Leopards, the Whittier Poets and the Chapman Panthers. Rumor has it the Oakland Raiders are too scared to play this team!

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 Since many people remain out of the loop on Field Hockey I figured it was time to do an interview with one of the stars of the sport. So far this season few players have made a bigger impression than Eileen O’Reilly, official Balladeer’s Blog nickname “Lady O”. O’Reilly plays Forward for the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats of NCAA Division 3 so, yes, the headline for this piece is a lame play on field hockey and half of her school’s name. (Plus rumor has it O’Reilly is just crazy about Field Marshall Montgomery of World War II fame. I’m kidding!) Eileen O’Reilly and her teammates have led the Diplomats to their highest-ever ranking and have so far compiled a 5-1 record on the season. O’Reilly has been a standout player, often contributing more than one goal or assist per game,  but obviously feels more comfortable staying out of the limelight and adhering to the “team” concept, so in deference to her “It’s not about me” approach I’ll lay off the glowing review I had planned of her stats for this year. (Psst! You can look them up at the F&M athletics site! The link will be at the end of this interview. Don’t tell her I told you!) Anyway, we’ll dive right into the interview with O’Reilly, who proved to be a very articulate representative for the massively underappreciated sport of field hockey.

Balladeer’s Blog:  To put you at your ease about being singled out for attention, right off the bat what complimentary remarks would you like to make about your teammates? 

Eileen O’Reilly: All of the recognition our team has received this season, both national rankings and individual achievements, reflects a collective effort to be a great team. Many teams have one or two standout players that they constantly look to as the playmaker.  At any given moment of a game we have 11 playmakers on the field.  Many of our goals start from a great defensive stop below our fifty-yard line, then shift to flawless passing in the midfield, and end with strong finish on the forward line. I really believe our team has been so successful so far because of this team dynamic.  We have a unique group of girls that want to win and have fun.  We constantly encourage each other to work hard and improve.  I know I can rely on my teammates on and off the field. We’re very supportive of each other whether its field hockey related or not.  

BB: How would you complete this sentence: This year I’m having the kind of season I am because I _______. 

EO: I face tough competition every day at practice. My teammates constantly push me to work hard, which really helps elevate my game.  It’s a huge advantage to face a high level of competition six days a week in practice and in games. This motivates me to play my best in games when it really counts.  Also, Coach Mariano is a major part of why I am able to keep improving this season. She’s a coach that’s very supportive, but at the same time challenges me to try new moves and outsmart the opposing defense.  

BB: What does a typical practice for a field hockey team consist of?

EO: I don’t think there’s ever a typical field hockey practice- it really depends on the team and the coach. For F&M field hockey we start out with a warm up jog and dynamic stretching.  After we run through a few shooting drills to warm up the goalkeepers. The drills throughout practice reflect the things we need to work on for our upcoming opponents. We practice a lot of defensive marking in the circle and scenarios where the offense outnumbers the defense. At the end of practice we always scrimmage and practice penalty strokes.  

BB: What advantages would you say field hockey has over soccer and lacrosse?

EOField Hockey is a game that essentially has no constraining limits on the field.  In soccer the players are held back by the off-sides rule. Similarly, in lacrosse the restraining lines prevent players from moving fluidly throughout the field.  In field hockey players have the freedom to go anywhere on the field at any time.  Without off-sides and restraining lines field hockey is a sport that allows for constant creativity.  The best plays come from the out of the ordinary cuts behind the defense or an entire team working together to clear the ball out of the defensive circle. These moments just aren’t possible in soccer and lacrosse.  

BB: To switch to a more individual look at you, what are you majoring in?

EO: Spanish and American Studies.

BB: What is the one thing you would like people who aren’t familiar with you to know about you?

EO: Last spring I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain.  As a Spanish major this was an awesome opportunity to improve my language abilities and truly immerse myself in a different culture.  I lived with a host family, studied with professors from the University of Valencia, and even got to play some field hockey. 

BB: Outside of sports, what is your greatest passion?

EO: My greatest passion outside of sports is candy, I have an intense sweet tooth!

BB: My blog keeps it on the light side. If you could tolerate a few oddball questions I’d like to throw a few at you. First off, what is the most laughably bad movie you’ve ever seen?

EO: Its hard to pick one…most recently I watched Hot Tub Time Machine. Parts of the movie were funny, but the whole idea was just bizarre.

BB: What is your favorite book?

EO:  My all time favorite is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m currently hooked on Stieg Larsson’s trilogy series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc).    

BB: If you were a singer what would you title your debut CD?

EO:  The Alpha Shewolves.  My teammates and I are very fond of Shakira’s song SheWolf.  

BB: You express yourself very well. In closing, if you could suggest 1 thing to the NCAA and the NAIA to raise the profile of field hockey what would it be?

EO: Field Hockey is a tough sport to market because it lacks a partner sport ( such as softball- baseball) and in the United States it has not developed as a co-ed game.  I think the NCAA and the NAIA can raise the profile of field hockey by promoting the international prominence of the sport.  Worldwide, field hockey is an extremely popular sport for women and men.  Similar to soccer, field hockey has a World Cup every four years.  Field hockey is the highlight of the Summer Olympic games for many European nations.  I think that by exposing the international popularity of the game the NCAA and the NAIA can attract more attention to field hockey in the US and gain fans.  

With such eloquent and self-assured young women as Eileen O’Reilly participating in this sport Balladeer’s Blog feels it would be a natural for television audiences.  Here’s hoping the unfortunately low profile on the sport gets raised in the near future. 

To read Eileen O’Reilly telling me how she really feels about her official Balladeer’s Blog nickname click here:   http://www.godiplomats.com/landing/index

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions. 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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 “Hurlin'” Hewitt Tomlin, QB for the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, has been named the Centennial Conference Offensive Player Of The Week following his performance in Saturday’s win over the Gettysburg Bullets, 29-21. He was 22 of 31 for 326 yards with 3 touchdowns. He set 2 more school records for consecutive 200-plus yards and 300-plus yards passing games at 16 and 4, respectively. If you prefer a different nickname for him, how about Hewitt “Threw It” Tomlin? Okay, forget it.  

The Saint Ambrose Queen Bees (their name for their women’s teams) crushed the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers 6-nil. If you follow soccer you know that 6 goals is more than some teams score over the course of 6 games! 3 of the Queen Bees’ goals came from Ashley Dexter, 1 each from Courtney Seffrood and Alex Hemmen and Nikki Boland’s penalty kick in the 83rd minute added the 6th goal in this rout. Goalie Lauren Gunawen picked up the win.  

 The Franklin and Marshall Diplomats volleyball team improved to 7-4 on the season after winning  matches against the Marymount Saints and the Catholic Cardinals. The win against the Saints came on scores of 25-17, 25-14, 21-25 and 25-16. Against Catholic the Diplomats won in straight sets 25-14, 25-17 and 25-18. Up next for the ladies will be the Lancaster Bible College Chargers and the Penn StateHarrisburg Lady Lions

 The NAIA’s seemingly perpetually top-ranked Sioux Falls Cougars football team moved to 3-0 in style this past Saturday, devastating the Doane Tigers by a score of 66-13. The USF nation-leading winning streak has now been extended to 32 games. Senior quarterback Jon “Jonnie East” Eastman was 10 of 14 for 292 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Chevon “Fire” Walker rushed for 103 yds and 1 touchdown. The Cougars’ quest to threepeat as National Champions will continue this Saturday as they go on the road against the 23rd-ranked Hastings Broncos.  

 Moving to women’s college tennis, the Alverno Inferno avenged last year’s loss to Wisconsin Lutheran by defeating the Warriors 5-4 this past weekend. The 2 teams split 3-3 in singles action but the Inferno had taken a 2-1 advantage in doubles play earlier. Alverno’s Gabby Allen tipped the win to her team by winning her singles match 6-2, 3-6 and 6-4.

 Wingate University Bulldogs running back “Knockout” Nelson Woods has been named the South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player Of The Week. Nelson rushed for 123 yds and 2 touchdowns in Saturday’s upset victory over the 14th-ranked UNC-Pembroke Braves 28-23. Woods is just 15 yards shy of the 3,000 mark for his career. His greatest individual game came against the Mars Hill Lions in 2008 when he had 205 yds and 3 touchdowns.

 The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish volleyball team remains perfect, improving their record to 10-0 after a win over the Southeastern Fire. Freshman setter “K-O” Katie Lindstrom stepped up in the absence of Jessica Way, who was out with a back injury. “Jumping” Janeen McCormick led the way offensively with 10 kills, followed by Christina “The Crusher” Alessi with 9 and Mariela Quesada, “The Q” herself, with 8. The defense was led by Allie “The Lethal Libero” Warren who had 19 digs, while Lexie “Grizzly” Grizzle came off the bench for a career-high 11 digs. Up next for the Sailfish will be the Florida Tech Panthers and the Lynn Fighting Knights

 The Cumberland University Bulldogs (no, not the Winged Bulldogs, just the Bulldogs) mauled the Kentucky Christian Knights on the gridiron Saturday by a score of 35-6. Christian “Burnin’ Love” Burnett was 20 of 28 for 184 yards and 1 touchdown. The Bulldogs couldn’t get out of their own way at times in a game marked by uncharacteristic misfires, but their defense kept the Knights from capitalizing much on CU mistakes until the offense righted itself for the authoritative win.


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“Getcher Popcorn Ready” Dept – In the NAIA 6 of the 23 remaining undefeated football teams square off against each other this Saturday (Week 4 for NAIA football) – the # 2 Lindenwood Lions host the #8 Missouri Valley Vikings, the 7th-ranked Ottawa (KS) Braves travel to the 9-th ranked  McPherson Bulldogs and the #11 Saint Francis (IN) Cougars host the #17 St Ambrose Fighting Bees. Like the cliche says, “Someone’s 0 will go!”

Volleyball Warriors: Taken By Force – The Lewis-Clark State Warriors volleyball team, ranked 11th in the latest NAIA poll, breezed past the Montana Tech Orediggers in a sweep by scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-9. The Warriors are now 12-1 and a perfect 3-0 in Frontier Conference play. The majority of the team’s kills came from 3 players: “Killin'” Kelli Tikker had 11 and hit .458; “The District Attorney” herself, Deddiy Alaimaleata had 10 kills and hit .400 and Nicole “The Gray Seal” Graybeal had 8 kills and a .467 mark. The next game for the Warriors is tomorrow against the Montana Western Bulldogs. To benefit the YWCA, anyone who brings 2 items of canned food gets in free.

Triumph Of The Tritons – UC-San Diego, cool team name, The Tritons, has been ranked the number 1 Division 2 institution in the country in the NCSA’s Collegiate Power Rankings. Not only that, but they were ranked # 23 overall, in a system that evaluates a college or university‘s student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess. If you’re wondering they placed 6th in my list of NCAA Division 2’s 20 Coolest-Named College Sports Teams.

The Legend Of Brassy Braden ContinuesSioux Falls Cougars football kicker Braden Wieking (official Balladeer’s Blog nickname: Brassy Braden) was named the NAIA’s National Special Teams Player Of The Week. In the Cougars’ win last Saturday over the Midland Lutheran Warriors The Brassy One had 3 field goals, all from 40 yards or more, plus 4 extra points. Wieking holds the national record for consecutive PAT’s at 109 and also handled kickoffs and punts in Saturday’s game. The Fred Mitchell Award people have no doubt taken note. 

Don’t Mess With The Q – Mariela “The Q” Quesada, of the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish volleyball team, was named the National Christian College Athletic Association Player Of The Week. The Q turned in an outstanding performance at the Cedarville University Invitational Tournament and was even named Tournament MVP with 51 kills, 16 digs, 6 blocks and 6 service aces. Mariela is a native of San Jose, Costa Rica.   

Diplomats Immune To Green Terror – Yes, it’s an incredibly lame play on the expression “diplomatic immunity” to headline this bit on the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats women’s field hockey team. The Diplomats won 4-0 over Centennial Conference rivals the McDaniel Green Terror. F&M goalkeeper Sarah Dileo picked up her 4th win of the season. “Blastin'” Becky Willert scored the 1st 2 goals of the game by the 24th minute. Valerie “Sweet” Sauers made it 3-0 and the final goal of the game came from “Lady O” herself, Eileen O’Reilly, who also assisted on the 2 Willert goals. O’Reilly (who got the final goal off a pass from Diana Aulisa) has been having a stellar season so far and will be the subject of an upcoming interview here at Balladeer’s Blog.


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The University of Science and Arts Of Oklahoma Drovers men’s soccer team is 4-0 and is now ranked #10 in the NAIA, the team’s highest ranking ever. This past weekend the Drovers defeated the Brescia Bearcats 3-1 and the St Thomas Celts 8-2. Nicolas “The Frenchman Freshman” Alberto (as I like to call him) has had 4 goals already on the season followed closely by the “NC Hammer” duo of Nikola Cakarevic and Niall Crick who have 3 goals each. Last year’s leading scorer David “Dr Drover” Otieno has had 2 goals and 4 assists in this young season. Goalkeeper Ryan “Force Field” Mcentee has played every minute of all 4 games so far and has allowed only 3 goals. The Drovers are the only Sooner Athletic Conference team in the NAIA Top 25 and are #1 in the conference standings.

You can’t cut it much closer than “Close Shave” Shelby Cummins did as she scored the winning goal for the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats women’s soccer team 3-2 over the Elizabethtown Blue Jays. Cummins scored the goal off an assist from “Kickin'” Carley Nicholson with just .9 of a second left in the game. The Diplomats are now 3-1 on the season. F&M had a 2-nil halftime lead which held up until the 71st minute of the game when the Blue Jays got on the board. They scored again less than 5 minutes later to knot the game up at 2 all and setting the stage for Cummins’ heroics. Diplomats goalkeeper Katie “Fort Katie” Golding had 4 saves and improved her personal record to 3-1. The ladies next play the Ursinus Bears on Sept 21st.***On the men’s side for the Diplomats Zach “Dr Z” Zamek became the all-time shutouts leader for F&M with 19 following a 3-nil win over the Lycoming Warriors. Dr Z is now tied on the all-time wins list for the Diplomats, too and can try to set the new wins record on the 19th against the Muhlenberg Mules.

For the 2nd straight week, Saint Xavier Cougars’ goalkeeper “Wild” Kyle Held has been “held” over as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player Of The Week. Wild Kyle had 8 saves in SXU‘s only game of the week, a 2-nil victory over the Goshen Maple Leafs. Held has had 26 saves and 2 shutouts for the season. He has a Goals Against Average of just .82 per game and the Cougars are 3-2 overall. SXU opens conference play this Friday on the road against the Saint Francis (IN) Cougars.

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays women’s soccer team shut out the Stevenson Mustangs 2- nil this afternoon at Caves Athletic Complex. Sarah “The Sentinel” Gieszl scored her 1st career goal and “Power Puff” Pamela Vranis had the other JHU goal plus an assist. The Blue Jays have now posted back-to-back shutouts and at 5-1 are ranked 8th in the D3 women’s soccer poll. With the loss the Stevenson Mustangs drop to 3-3.

 The St Ambrose Fighting Bees men’s soccer team won in overtime against the St Francis (IL) Fighting Saints 2-1 at the Davenport Soccer Complex. The Fighting Bees went into halftime leading 1-nil on a KEndrick Tyson goal but gave up the tying goal in the 2nd half. St Ambrose goalie “Mighty” Matt Tucker had 5 furious saves in the 2nd half which kept the FIghting Bees’ hopes alive. Wes Erickson fulfilled those hopes 4 minutes and 6 seconds into OT by slamming home the winning goal for the home team.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams for the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters registered wins today! The Lady Railsplitters improved their record to 4-0 with a road win over the King College Tornado (singular) by a score of 2-nil. Sarah “The Midfield Maniac” Taylor had both LMU goals, one in the 25th minute off an assist from Becky “Tigress” Thompson and the other barely 11 minutes later off an assist from “Lethal” Leslie Wilson. 3 of the ladies’ team’s 4 wins have been shutouts. ***The men’s Railsplitters team beat out their counterparts from King College 1-nil to move to 3-0 on the season. Just like the ladies’ team all but 1 of their wins have been shutouts. “Gentleman” Jimmy Vandenhurk scored the lone goal of the match 5 minutes in off an assist from Mackenzie “Aces” Wilde. Railsplitters goalkeeper Michael “Brick Wall” Watkins then did his part by crushing every Tornado scoring attempt.

Kelly “Sunstorm” Sunstrom propeled the Alverno Inferno soccer team to a 1-nil victory over the Robert Morris (IL) Eagles today. Sunstrom scored in the 80th minute off an assist from “Kosho” Kelsey Koshanowski (Fans of The Prisoner will get it). It was Sunstorm’s 1st goal of the season and Kosho’s 2nd assist. The Inferno are now 3-0 and will try to burn the feathers off another Eagles team this Saturday at Wisconsin-Lacrosse.


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