At 800-win mark, Stevens looks back
Barbara Stevens is in pretty exclusive company, the fifth women’s basketball coach in NCAA history to reach 800 career wins. But shortly after the 25-year Bentley University coach reached the milestone with a 93-60 win over visiting C.W. Post last Sunday, she reflected on her first victory as a head coach.
“I received an e-mail from Elyse Darefsky, one of my first players at Clark University, who had been researching women’s athletics there,’’ said Stevens, “and she told me that my first win was on Dec. 1, 1977, at Western New England College.
“I don’t remember the details, but I’m sure I was scared to death. I was 23 years old and had just one year’s experience as a Clark assistant.’’
Stevens, who coached at Clark and the University of Massachusetts Amherst before accepting the job at Bentley in 1986, was a point guard and two-time captain at Bridgewater State, where she was a member of the class of 1976.
“I had just graduated from Bridgewater State and was teaching in Southbridge when I got into a conversation with Pat Hassett, women’s athletic director at Clark,’’ said Stevens, a native of Southbridge who attended Marian High (now St. Peter-Marian) in Worcester.
“A friend of mine was playing in a tennis tournament in Worcester, and that’s where I bumped into Pat, whom I knew from playing in a summer basketball league she had directed,’’ she said.
“So Pat gave me my start as an assistant coach at Clark under Charlie Hall for $400 for the season. I thought I’d hit the jackpot.’’
After earning number 800, Stevens was presented with a photo collage of her Clark and Bentley teams representing each 100-win milestone. In 34 years, she is 800-236 overall, and 643-145 in 25 seasons at Bentley. She joins Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Jody Conradt (Texas), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), and Sylvia Hatchell (North Carolina) as 800-game winners.
Of those four, only Summitt achieved the milestone in fewer contests than Stevens.
Bentley (7-1), winners of seven straight and ranked 24th nationally in Division 2, resumes its schedule at the Southern New Hampshire University’s Holiday Classic on Wednesday and Thursday.
Reliable Viscomi honored yet again Newton North High grad Alessia Viscomi, a senior back on the women’s soccer team at Wheaton College, is the program’s fifth player to earn multiple National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Performance Subaru All-America honors.
Viscomi, a third-team selection, was one of nine repeat honorees and one of five New England players selected to the three All-America teams. Viscomi was named to the second team after her sophomore season.
This fall, Viscomi anchored a Wheaton defense that posted 12 shutouts while holding opponents to one goal or fewer in 21 games. She was the only player to start all 24 games, and helped the Lyons appear in their 11th consecutive NCAA Division 3 tournament.
She was also among the team leaders for the season with five goals and five assists, and was a starter in 90 of her 92 career games for the Norton school.
Freid captures all-decade honors Needham’s Harry Freid, a senior men’s lacrosse captain-elect at the University of Michigan, has been named to the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division 1 All-Decade Team. Freid was defensive MVP last season for the Wolverines, who won their third consecutive Division 1 national championship in the MCLA, which is composed of nonvarsity programs.
A first-team All-Conference and All-Tournament selection (for the third straight year), Freid was named a first-team All-American for the second consecutive season, and has been an integral part of Michigan’s 59-1 record since his freshman year, when he was a third-team All-American.
Playing lacrosse for Needham High, Freid was a two-time Bay State Conference All-Star, an Eastern Mass. All-Star, and the team’s defensive MVP. He also lettered in basketball and was a football captain.
Here and there Wesley Campbell of Sherborn, a member of the Boxborough-based Colonial Figure Skating Club, will compete at the US National Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C., next month. This year, Campbell was a senior men’s bronze medalist at the Eastern Sectionals, a gold medalist at the Eastern Great Lakes Regional, and a silver medal winner at the Midwestern Sectionals. He also skated at the 2010 U.S. Nationals.
Wheelock College sophomore Keneisha Milton, a Wayland High graduate, shared New England Collegiate Conference Player of the Week honors in women’s basketball after averaging 16.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 4.5 steals in victories over Southern Vermont and Bay Path. She was leading the team with 9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Clark University freshman guard Emily Reilly (Marlborough High) scored a career-high 20 points, including the go-ahead basket and two crucial free throws, in a recent 66-62 victory over Wheaton. She was leading the team with 12.6 points per game and was also averaging 4.7 rebounds. Her teammates include sophomore forward Kelsey Giedymin (Shrewsbury High), who was contributing 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, and freshman guard Annmarie Fransen (Belmont High).
Endicott College freshman shooting guard Bennett Knowlton, a Shrewsbury native and St. John’s High graduate, was off to an impressive start for the Gulls. Knowlton was third on the basketball team in scoring at 10.4 points per game, including a 20-point effort vs. Maine Maritime and 17 points against Gordon College.
Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@ rcn.com.