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No Event
No Event
Fri May 25
at NCAA Outdoor Championship
in La Crosse, Wis.
Thu Aug 23
7:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Dominican
Fri Aug 31
3:00 PM
Denison
at RIT
in Rochester, N.Y.
Fri Aug 31
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Fri Aug 31
8:00 PM
Denison
at Mount Union
in Alliance, Ohio
Sat Sep 01
10:00 AM
Mass.-Boston
vs. Denison
@ Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio
Sat Sep 01
12:00 PM
Thiel
vs. Denison
@ Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio
Sat Sep 01
12:00 PM
Centre
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 01
1:00 PM
Nazareth
vs. Denison
@ RIT in Rochester, N.Y.
Sat Sep 01
8:00 PM
Denison
at Southwestern (Tex.)
in Georgetown, Texas
Sun Sep 02
1:00 PM
Denison
at John Carroll
in University Heights, Ohio
Wed Sep 05
6:00 PM
Denison
at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Wed Sep 05
7:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Northern
in Ada, Ohio
Wed Sep 05
7:00 PM
Otterbein
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Fri Sep 07
5:00 PM
Adrian
vs. Denison
@ Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio
Sat Sep 08
10:00 AM
Mt. St. Joseph
vs. Denison
@ Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio
Sat Sep 08
12:00 PM
Denison
at Roanoke
in Roanoke, Va.
Sat Sep 08
1:00 PM
Buffalo State
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 08
2:00 PM
Grove City
vs. Denison
@ Kenyon in Gambier, Ohio
Sat Sep 08
7:30 PM
Denison
at Wilmington (Ohio)
Kiwanis Classic
Sun Sep 09
1:00 PM
Shenandoah
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sun Sep 09
1:00 PM
Denison
at Washington and Lee
in Lexington, Va.
Tue Sep 11
7:00 PM
Marietta
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Sep 12
7:00 PM
Capital
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Thu Sep 13
5:00 PM
Denison
at Oberlin
in Oberlin, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
11:00 AM
Denison
vs. Franciscan
@ Wooster in Wooster, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
12:00 PM
Denison
at Wooster
in Wooster, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
1:00 PM
Centre
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
1:00 PM
Allegheny
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
3:00 PM
Bethany (W.V.)
vs. Denison
@ Wooster, OH in Wooster, Ohio
Sat Sep 15
7:00 PM
Otterbein
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Sep 18
5:00 PM
Wash. & Jeff.
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Sep 18
7:00 PM
Denison
at Heidelberg
in Tiffin, Ohio
Thu Sep 20
4:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 22
12:00 PM
Allegheny
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 22
1:00 PM
DePauw
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 22
1:00 PM
Denison
at Oberlin
in Oberlin, Ohio
Sat Sep 22
2:30 PM
Allegheny
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Sep 25
7:00 PM
Muskingum
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Sep 25
7:30 PM
Denison
at Case Western Reserve
in Cleveland, Ohio
Wed Sep 26
4:30 PM
Denison
at Wittenberg
in Springfield, Ohio
Wed Sep 26
7:00 PM
Earlham
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Sep 26
7:00 PM
Thomas More
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 29
11:00 AM
Earlham
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 29
12:00 PM
Kenyon
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 29
1:00 PM
Denison
at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Sat Sep 29
1:00 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Sep 29
3:00 PM
Kenyon
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Oct 02
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Oct 03
4:30 PM
Denison
at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
Sat Oct 06
11:00 AM
DePauw
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 06
12:00 PM
Denison
at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Sat Oct 06
2:00 PM
Wabash
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 06
2:30 PM
Denison
at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Sat Oct 06
3:00 PM
Denison
at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
Tue Oct 09
7:00 PM
Denison
at Oberlin
in Oberlin, Ohio
Wed Oct 10
7:00 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Oct 10
7:30 PM
Oberlin
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Fri Oct 12
4:30 PM
Wooster
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 13
11:00 AM
Oberlin
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 13
1:00 PM
Denison
at Allegheny
in Meadville, Pa.
Sat Oct 13
1:00 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 13
1:00 PM
Denison
at DePauw
in Greencastle, Ind.
Sat Oct 13
3:30 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Oct 16
4:30 PM
Wittenberg
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Tue Oct 16
7:00 PM
Denison
at Oberlin
in Oberlin, Ohio
Wed Oct 17
4:00 PM
Wabash
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Oct 17
7:00 PM
Thomas More
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Thu Oct 18
4:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Wesleyan
in Delaware, Ohio
Fri Oct 19
6:00 PM
Finlandia
vs. Denison
@ Albion in Albion, Mich.
Fri Oct 19
8:00 PM
Denison
at Olivet
in Albion, Mich.
Sat Oct 20
12:00 PM
Denison
at Wooster
in Wooster, Ohio
Sat Oct 20
1:00 PM
Wis.-Eau Claire
vs. Denison
@ Albion in Albion, Mich.
Sat Oct 20
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 20
2:30 PM
Denison
at Wooster
in Wooster, Ohio
Sat Oct 20
3:00 PM
Denison
at Albion
in Albion, Mich.
Tue Oct 23
7:30 PM
Denison
at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Wed Oct 24
7:00 PM
Wooster
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Wed Oct 24
7:30 PM
Denison
at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Thu Oct 25
4:30 PM
Denison
at Earlham
in Richmond, Ind.
Sat Oct 27
11:00 AM
Kenyon
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Oct 27
1:00 PM
Denison
at Capital
in Bexley, Ohio
Sat Oct 27
1:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Wesleyan
in Delaware, Ohio
Sat Oct 27
1:00 PM
Denison
at Hiram
in Hiram, Ohio
Sat Oct 27
7:00 PM
Denison
at Ohio Wesleyan
in Delaware, Ohio
Sat Nov 03
1:00 PM
Wooster
Denison
in Granville, Ohio
Sat Nov 10
12:00 PM
Denison
at Kenyon
in Gambier, Ohio
No Event
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Taking the Ball and Running

Mike Caravana
Mike Caravana

They are next-door neighbors in the Mitchell Center, and so it's not unusual for PJ Soteriades and Mike Caravana to pop into each other's offices from time to time to catch up or compare notes. "When we talk," says Soteriades, "it's usually just, 'How's it going, what are your challenges right now?'" Whatever the topic, if it's even remotely related to coaching, Soteriades values her colleague's input: "He's someone who is incredibly passionate about his athletes."

There's no shortage of mutual respect between Soteriades, the Big Red field hockey coach since 2000, and Caravana, her counterpart in men's lacrosse. That respect exemplifies what Denison expects from all its coaches: leadership and teamwork that go well beyond the confines of any particular team. So, when Soteriades found out that she was pregnant with her second child and would be unable to coach in the fall of 2016, her next-door neighbor, a seemingly unlikely solution, actually made perfect sense. Whatever Caravana lacked in field hockey knowledge, he made up for in acumen, experience, and a commitment to excellence.

"We really work against taking a silo approach to success, so whether it's recruiting strategy, mentoring student-athletes, or just navigating the career of coaching, we share a lot," says Nan Carney-DeBord '80, vice president and director of Big Red athletics. "In talking to PJ, I said, 'Let's think in other boxes—not just outside the box, but really, in other boxes.' That led us to think about some coaches in our department who we thought might be able to help."

The brainstorming session led directly to the desk of Caravana, who fit the bill for a number of reasons. First and foremost: his experience. He has guided Big Red lacrosse for more than 20 seasons, and in the spring of 2016, he became the program's all-time leader with 256 victories.  More important than the milestone, the program advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in eight seasons, won the conference championship and finished the year ranked third in the US Lacrosse top-20 poll after going 18-2.

Caravana's experience at Denison also includes rare versatility: He began his Denison tenure coaching both lacrosse and men's soccer, leading the latter program for seven seasons. For Caravana, handling double duty is nothing new.

But perhaps his most valuable asset is his curiosity—a relentless desire to understand more about his profession, and to challenge himself to do and learn more. "I've always had an interest in women's sports, and in learning from the better coaches on that side," Caravana says. "In my experience, growing professionally is less about the X's and O's and more about methodology: about communication skills, how to teach, how people learn. Nan has created an environment where we're trying to be much more collaborative, work in a much more cohesive way, and at the same time not just be successful athletically, but to help people grow holistically. That's Denison's goal."

Indeed, Carney-DeBord says that one of Caravana's greatest attributes is "understanding you can't live in a bubble and be successful." She adds, "He's a master at leading student-athletes, and he's at his best when the situation is at its most challenging."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Caravana led the Big Red field hockey team to a 14-5 season in Soteriades' absence.

He was grateful to have Kelly Blackhurst, a three-time Division III All-American as a player at Skidmore, as the assistant coach, which "made it a lot easier for me to land on my feet." And Soteriades herself was a resource for Caravana. "He wanted to know everything—what the challenges were with this year's team, what my players are like, their backgrounds, you name it," she says. "He was interested in knowing everything there is to know."

Soteriades' openness to helping ease Caravana's transition speaks to another, less obvious challenge: that of temporarily letting go of a program she built and led for 16 seasons. So much of successful coaching is about setting and maintaining expectations, something that's not easy when another coach is in the driver's seat. But with the support of the athletic department and supreme confidence in her peer's ability, Soteriades was optimistic about the situation. "I knew he would respect the athletes, and I knew he would push them," she says.

As for his lack of familiarity with the sport itself, this was less of an issue than many might expect. Caravana relied heavily on Soteriades and Blackhurst—and on the players, the ones who ultimately executed on the field.

For Soteriades, whose son was born in August, the temporary transition was ever so slightly bittersweet because "I knew I would learn a lot from Mike, and I was bummed I wouldn't be able to experience that on a daily basis." She takes solace in knowing that her program was in highly competent hands, and in the knowledge that she and Caravana are still neighbors, just a short walk down the hall from a chance to compare notes. As for Caravana, he says, "It's PJ's program. I was just the caretaker."

By Ryan Jones

Taking the Ball and Running
December 14, 2016 Taking the Ball and Running
Dee to the Finish!
August 21, 2016 Dee to the Finish!
Ready. Set. Launch!
August 15, 2016 Ready. Set. Launch!