The MVPs of FSU Fall Sports

During their fall season, the FSU Rams brought home two MASCAC Championships, saw four teams qualify for the playoffs, had 15 players acknowledged in their respective conferences, and currently, has one team still chasing an NCAA Division III title.

The varsity fall sports include football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, and field hockey. Each team had at least one player acknowledged by the MASCAC or Little Eastern Conference (LEC) for their game-time performance, making them the MVPs of the fall season.

Football ended their regular season 8-2 overall and undefeated in the MASCAC, allowing them to secure the conference championship.

They are currently on an eight-game win streak, and will travel to Delaware for the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs against Wesley College Nov. 23.

There were several players acknowledged for their performances throughout the season, but two players in particular were awarded MASCAC weekly honors multiple times.

Senior quarterback Adam Wojenski was named the MASCAC Football Offensive Player of the Week three times this season.

“This season has had tons of ups and downs, which makes it one of my favorites in my four years here at Framingham,” Wojenski said. “We returned with only two starters from last year’s offense – me and Andrew Fennelly – and had a huge freshman class, many of whom had to start right away.”

Wojenski averaged approximately 245 passing yards per game this season. Of the 10 games he played, he ended with 2,455 total passing yards and 429 rushing yards.

“Personally, I think this has been my best year performance-wise at Framingham, and I’ve had a great time being part of our championship run,” he said.

His impressive work as a quarterback, alongside the accomplishments of his teammates, secured them the MASCAC Championship and their qualifying spot in the NCAA playoffs.

Wojenski said, “We lost our first two games and didn’t know how the season was going to go, but we came together and won eight straight conference games. We are looking forward to our first-round matchup in the NCAA tournament.”

Alongside Wojenski, freshman running back Devaun Ford had an impressive first season with the Rams.

By the end of the season, Ford totaled 1,003 rushing yards, averaging approximately 100.3 yards per game. He started all 10 games and scored 10 touchdowns by the end of his rookie season.

Ford said, “I want to thank the coaches for trusting me as a freshman to come in and play a big role in the offense – along with my o-line. They make it all happen for me.”

Due to his remarkable stats, Ford was named the MASCAC Football Rookie of the Week five times this fall during the regular season.

“Making the playoffs is a huge accomplishment, but we are not satisfied. We are looking to make history,” Ford said. “It’s been a great season. We’re a family and it shows on the field. We play for each other, and we are ready to make some noise in the tournament.”

Alongside football, the Rams’ Men’s Soccer team also clutched the MASCAC Championship this season for the first time since 2011.

They went 11-9-2 overall and 6-0-1 in the MASCAC. Their 1-0 victory over Salem State allowed them to claim the conference title.

The Rams lost in the first round of NCAA playoffs, but had an impressive season nonetheless. Overall, the team had five players named to the All-MASCAC first team.

Junior Bryce Nardizzi was named the MASCAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

Nardizzi said, “Being voted offensive player of the year for the second straight season is more of a credit to the team and the way we play.”

By the end of the season, Nardizzi scored nine goals – three of which were game winners – and topped the conference leaderboard with 25 points.

“Scoring goals and getting assists is always nice to help the team. If I had to pick my favorite game winner, it would be versus Bridgewater in [our] 2-1 win. The goal was assisted by Leo Sena, who made a huge impact for us in a very tough game,” he added.

Nardizzi also talked about how winning the MASCAC Championship for Framingham is something he has always wanted.

“Winning the MASCAC Championship was a dream come true for me,” he said. “I grew up in Framingham and have been watching the team since I was a little kid. When I decided to play at Framingham, I always had winning a championship in mind.”

He added, “Overall, it was an amazing season, going undefeated in the MASCAC regular season and winning the championship. Lifting the trophy on our field with our fans is something we will never forget.”

Men’s Soccer also found success in a rookie of their own this season: freshman Gustavo Cassemiro.

Cassemiro ended his rookie season at third in the MASCAC for points and matched Nardizzi’s nine goals.

“Coming into the season, I already knew how much my team wanted to win the MASCAC this year because of the unfortunate loss in the finals of the previous year,” Cassemiro said.

“[I wanted] to make sure I was always on top of my game and focused. I worked really hard to improve upon a lot of my skills, and I focused on challenging myself to become a better player,” he added.

Cassemiro was named MASCAC Rookie of the Week four times this season, as well as Men’s Soccer co-player once.

“I could not have done it without the help of my teammates,” Cassemiro said. “I’m really happy and blessed to be a part of this team, and I am excited to see what else we’ll accomplish together.”

The Rams’ Volleyball team also successfully made it through their first round of MASCAC playoffs.

They went 18-12 on the season and 6-1 in the MASCAC. They knocked out Bridgewater State in the MASCAC tournament semi-final game but fell to Westfield State in the championship round.

Volleyball had three players voted to the All-MASCAC teams, including sophomores Brandee Thomas and Alyssa Cafarelli.

Thomas led the MASCAC in kills with a total of 304 and 904 total attempts. During the regular season, she averaged 12.2 kills per match.

Thomas said, “Leading the conference in kills was awesome, but obviously, without the hard work from everyone on the team, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

The MASCAC also voted Thomas the 2019 Volleyball Player of the Year for her second season with the Rams. Last year, she was voted 2018 Rookie of the Year.

“I’m honored to be named MASCAC player of the year, and I was surprised when I received this award, but our team played really well all season,” Thomas said. “Honestly, all of my success as a hitter came from the defensive ability of my teammates. Without them, there wouldn’t be an opportunity for me to score.”

Alongside Thomas, Cafarelli was also voted to the All-MASCAC first team. By the end of the season, she was second in the league for digs with 504.

Cafarelli said, “I was extremely happy with my ranking in the MASCAC for digs. It would not have been possible without my amazing coaches continuing to make me a better player each day, along with the encouragement from my teammates.”

She also ended the season with an impressive 67 assists and 49 service aces, securing her spot on the first team.

“I was extremely pleased with my performance this season,” she said. “Making first team for the MASCAC is a great honor.”

Both Thomas and Cafarelli are only sophomores, and they are looking forward to what the next season brings.

Thomas said, “Our hard work all season showed in the end result. Although we definitely wish we were able to capture the title rather than [being] the runner up, this just motivates us more for next year!”

Cafarelli said, “Although we ended in a tough loss … this season has been one of my favorite volleyball seasons ever. We have a special relationship … I am thankful this sport has given me a second family away from home.

I am super excited to work in the offseason and hopefully, win it all next year.”

Women’s Soccer also qualified for the MASCAC playoffs. They had a rocky season, ending 2-14-1 overall and 2-5 in the conference.

Despite their record, their two conference wins allowed them to qualify for playoffs, and many of their players set career records for goals.

Juniors Jasmine Lees and Casey Good led the team in goals this season and had impressive performances throughout.

Lees, who led the team in goals with five, said, “I’m really proud of myself for how well I did this season. I worked hard over the summer, and I could see the results during the season, which motivates me to do better next season.”

Good followed closely behind Lees with four goals and 35 shots on net. She defended so well that she lost a tooth against Bridgewater.

Good said, “It was fun to score more goals this season than I have in previous seasons.”

Both Good and Lees were elected to be captains of the Women’s Soccer team for their senior year.

“I thought I improved to become an overall better soccer player this season. I can’t wait to see what we will do next season,” Good said.

Lees said, “It was an honor to be picked as one of the captains. I’m hoping we can all bond as a team, which will make us stronger and make my last season the best one.”

Field hockey, much like soccer, had a rough season. They ended the year 5-13 overall and 3-9 in the LEC.

Despite their record, they still had athletes who put up impressive stats this season.

Freshman Mallory Weir had a memorable first season as a Ram. she had nine goals, two assists, and 40 shots on net. She was also named LEC Rookie of the Week twice.

Sophomore Jordyn O’Boyle also had a good season. She totaled four goals and 13 shots on net.

O’Boyle said, “Every goal was an amazing feeling, and I loved the celebrations and hugs from my teammates. But none of them would have happened if it wasn’t for the hard effort and teamwork everyone put in to get the ball down the field.”

Though the season may not have gone the way they wanted it to, the team is optimistic moving forward.

“As far as the season goes, we all improved so much this season as a whole, learning to work and gel with one another,” O’Boyle said. “Our team is young and still continuing to grow, and I really think we proved something this season and left our mark on the LEC.”