Celebrate Our Extraordinary Student-Athletes, Coaches

Grace Devanny '23 (at left) was named NESCAC's Player-of-the-Year and Jenna Otaola '22 (at right) was named Defensive-Player-of-the-Year.
At left, Grace Devanny ’23 was named NESCAC’s Player-of-the-Year and Jenna Otaola ’22 was named Defensive-Player-of-the-Year.

As the women’s soccer and volleyball teams prepare for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament this weekend, we can now celebrate some extraordinary honors bestowed on our teams by the NESCAC Conference. First, the coaches:

Geoff Wheeler, head coach of men’s soccer, has been named Conference Coach-of-the-Year. This was Geoff’s 23rd season at Wesleyan, and the third time he has won this honor. The team this year made use of its real depth, with 14 different players scoring goals!

Eva Meredith, head coach of women’s soccer, has also been named Conference Coach-of-the-Year. This was Eva’s 18th season as coach, and it has been a truly magical one. She leads a team that plays with smarts and with passion.

Now, the players:

(Volleyball) Jenna Otaola ’22 was named Defensive-Player-of-the-Year by NESCAC. Jenna is part of an amazing group of athletes, and she is a dominant defensive force with 59 more digs than the next-closest player in the NESCAC leaderboard! Jenna is joined by honorees Brina Kuslak ’22 and Mariko Tanaka ’24, both of whom were named to the all-star second team.

(Women’s Soccer) Grace Devanny ’23  has been named Player-of-the-Year in NESCAC. The engine of the Cardinal’s offense, Grace is a joy to watch as she sets up teammates or curls one of her own shots into the net. Julia Meehan ’22 joins Grace on the first team of NESCAC all-stars, and Sarah Hammond ’22 made the second team.

(Men’s Soccer) Liam Devanny ’23 (yes, a sibling) was named to the all-NESCAC second team for his stellar work in goal. He is joined by Lucas Ruehlemann ’25 on the second team to which he was named for his extraordinary ability to make passes that put teammates in a position to score.

(Field Hockey) Diana Schwarz ’23 was named to NESCAC’s second all-star team. She led the team in goals, the first player in more than a decade to end up in double figures in that stat.

What a fall! There are more matches to play, but please join me in celebrating these extraordinary coaches, and student-athletes.