Monday, February 28, 2011

This Week in SMC Athletics

It’s postseason time and the Purple Knights have already made a splash as men’s and women’s basketball both picked up wins in the First Round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. Women’s hockey ended its season with its biggest win of the year, and men’s hockey is ready to host an NE-10 Semifinal game as the Purple Knights continue to assemble one of the most successful winter seasons in recent history.

Men’s basketball made its first playoff game in four years a success, as ninth-seeded Saint Michael's won at eighth-seeded Le Moyne, 66-60, in the First Round of the NE-10 Tournament on Saturday. Freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore./Sunset School/Winchendon) scored all 24 of his points in the second half - accounting for 59 percent of the team's scoring after intermission - while senior Chris Hurley (Watertown, Mass./Boston College HS) netted nine points in his playoff debut. Holton - named to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team on Friday - is just seven points away from tying the program record for points by a freshman of 430, set by the late Mark Fizulich '97 in 1993-94. The Purple Knights will look to upset a league-leading Bentley squad for the second time in February - and third time in the last 13 months - in the NE-10 Quarterfinals on Monday.

Women’s basketball won its first playoff game in 19 years - and stretched its winning streak to a season-high six games - with Sunday's 74-59 win versus 10th-seeded UMass Lowell in the First Round of the NE-10 Tournament. Seventh-seeded Saint Michael's hadn't hosted a postseason game since falling to UMass Lowell on Feb. 26, 2006, and hadn't won a playoff game since defeating AIC, 76-48, on Mar. 1, 1992. Saint Michael's - the league's leading free throw shooting team - made a season-high 30 free throws against UMass Lowell, and received three second-half 3-pointers from junior Caitlin Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville). Senior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) - named to the NE-10 All-Conference Third Team on Friday - added 14 points, and is seven points shy of cracking the top-10 in career scoring in program history. Saint Michael's six-game winning streak is the longest since an eight-game run from Nov. 30, 2005-Jan. 5, 2006. The Purple Knights visit second-seeded Franklin Pierce in the NE-10 Quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Women’s ice hockey closed its season with a 9-2 win over Sacred Heart in the consolation game of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Women’s Open Tournament on Sunday. The seven-goal rout was the team’s largest margin of victory this season, largely thanks to junior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets/Rutgers Univ.), who netted a hat trick and an assist to earn All-Tournament honors. Santore became the Saint Michael’s all-time single-season goals leader by finishing the year with 18 goals (seventh in the ECAC East), nine assists and 27 points (14th in the ECAC East and two shy of the Saint Michael’s all-time single season record). Senior goalie Alysia Goldman (Ballston Lake, N.Y./Hebron Academy) made 40 saves and finished her tenure with the program’s all-time best career goals against average (3.93) and is second all-time in career save percentage (.890). The Purple Knights finish the 2010-11 campaign with six wins, their best total since the 2008-09 season and tied for second most in 11 seasons of varsity play.

Men’s ice hockey is poised to host Southern New Hampshire in an NE-10 Semifinal game on Wednesday at Cairns Arena at 7 p.m. The regular season champions will be led by their three All-Conference players: first team senior defenseman Matt Rigtrup (Montclair, N.J./Pickering Panthers), second-team junior forward Reave MacKinnon (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Winnipeg Saints) and all rookie defenseman Kevin Lampron (Dorchester, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits). The trio helped lift Saint Michael’s to its third 10-win season in four years, a perfect NE-10 regular season record, and the team’s most Eastern College Athletic Conference East wins since the 2000-01 season.

The ski team finished the 2011 season on Sunday with an 11th-place finish at the two-day Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championships, hosted by Bates College and held at Sunday River and Black Mountain. Junior Kevin O'Brien (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) led the Purple Knights on Sunday with a 30th-place finish in the men's giant slalom. Sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) was tops for the Saint Michael's women with a 32nd-place giant slalom finish, while sophomore Christina Billotti (Massapequa, N.Y./Green Mountain Valley School) was right behind in 33rd. In Nordic action, freshman Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine/Fort Kent Community) place a team-best 54th in the women's 15-kilometer class mass start, while junior Sam Martell (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans/Saint Lawrence Univ.) was next-best in 57th place.

Men’s and women’s lacrosse open their seasons this weekend, with the women traveling to Keene State on Saturday and the men scrimmaging Middlebury and Hamilton on Sunday. Women’s lacrosse first year head coach Ashley Hughes will lead the Purple Knights (picked 11th in the NE-10 preseason poll) in their conference opener at Stonehill next Tuesday, and men’s head coach Paul Schimoler will guide Saint Michael’s (picked sixth in the NE-10 preseason poll) in its home opener next Wednesday when the Purple Knights host Plattsburgh State.

Men’s and women’s tennis resume play this weekend when the squads travel to Pace on Sunday. The women’s team enjoyed an undefeated fall season, and is predicted to finish third in the NE-10 after being ranked ninth in the East region according to the 2010-11 Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) College Tennis Rankings. The men are predicted to place seventh in the NE-10, and will feed off the early success of freshman Nicholas Bosco (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic), who was named the NE-10 Player of the Week in the final week of fall play.

This Week’s Schedule:

Day Date Event

Mon. Feb. 28 Men’s Basketball at Bentley, 7 p.m.

Tue. Mar. 1 Women’s Basketball at Franklin Pierce, 7 p.m.

Wed. Mar. 2 Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Southern N.H., 7 p.m.

Sat. Mar. 5 Women’s Lacrosse at Keene State, 1 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Saint Anselm/Assumption, 3 p.m.

Sun. Mar. 6 Men’s Lacrosse at Middlebury, 10 a.m.
Men’s Tennis at Pace, 11 a.m.
Women’s Tennis at Pace*, 11 a.m.
Men’s Lacrosse vs. Hamilton (at Middlebury), 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Middlebury Carnival 2011

Hey Superfans!

This weekend, the SMC Alpine and Nordic teams headed to Middlebury, VT. I'm writing for the Alpine side, but check out the Nordic blog (link above) to see the details on their race.

The alpine team ripped up Middlebury Snowbowl on Friday and Saturday, while battling rain, snow, wind, sunshine, flat light, soft snow, hard snow, and EVERYTHING in between. Please believe me when I tell you that the weather has gone from Spring back to Winter in less than 24 hours. It's a little crazy. For this carnival, I decided to do a video compilation to show the race rather than write about. It's something different for both you and me and I hope you enjoy it.

To see full results: Middlebury Carnival Results

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Week in SMC Athletics

Saint Michael’s women’s basketball defied the odds and men’s basketball nearly knocked off another regional superpower as the hoop squads continued to push toward the postseason last week.

Women’s basketball, originally predicted to finish 15th in the conference according to the Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, finished a 2-1 week by clinching a playoff spot with the squad’s first win over Stonehill since 2002. Saint Michael’s snapped a 12-game losing skid against the Skyhawks and sealed back-to-back wins by 20-plus points for the first time since Feb. 13-18, 2004. Four Purple Knights played their final regular season home game on Saturday’s Senior Day: Marilyn Ferreira (New London, N.H.), Meghan McCormack (Barrie, Ontario), Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Mandy Scott (Vergennes, Vt.). Pintka averaged 15.3 points during the week while surpassing the 1,100 career point mark and moving into 11th place all-time in program scoring, and Ferreira moved into the top-10 in program history in career assists. Saint Michael’s starts its final road trip of the season at Southern N.H. on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Men’s basketball followed its upset of Bentley with home wins over Franklin Pierce and Merrimack before falling to Stonehill 59-51 on Saturday. In Thursday’s besting of Merrimack, freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore./Sunset/The Winchendon School) had a game-high 26 points and junior Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka) tied his-career best total with 19 rebounds. Saint Michael’s honored its four seniors during pre-game ceremonies on Saturday: NE-10 assists leader Nate Birr (Burnsville, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy), Sebastian Brandstetter (Newport, Vt./North Country Union), Chris Hurley (Watertown, Mass./Boston College High School) and Matt Natoli (Fayetteville, N.Y./Jamesville-Dewitt). After finishing 8-4 at home this season, the Purple Knights are tied for the eighth and final home playoff spot with three road games remaining. Saint Michael’s returns to action at Southern N.H. on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Skiing finished in 10th place on Saturday at the two-day Dartmouth College Carnival. Freshman Carl-Oscar Bredengen (Reistad, Norway/Donski VGS) had a strong showing on Saturday, placing 21st in the men's slalom. On the women's side, junior Ashley Langlands (Shelburne, N.H./Gorham Middle) had the best Saint Michael's slalom showing, placing 33rd. In Nordic action, junior Robert Sitzer (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial) finished 47th in the men's 10-kilometer classic, while in the women's 10-kilometer classic, junior Samantha Martell (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans (Saint Lawrence)) had an impressive 55th-place finish. Saint Michael's is back in action next Friday and Saturday at the Middlebury College Carnival.

Men’s hockey posted back-to-back losses to Skidmore and Castleton to see its losing streak reach four games this week. The NE-10 regular season champions rallied to a 4-4 third period tie with the nationally-ranked Spartans on Saturday before Castleton picked up two goals to win 6-4. Junior Reave MacKinnon (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Winnipeg Saints) scored twice, and freshmen Ryan Arsenault (Reading, Mass./New Hampton School) and Nic McIntyre (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec/Kent School) both scored their first collegiate goal. Saint Michael’s closes the regular season with three games this week, and has a chance to post a perfect NE-10 regular season record when the Purple Knights face Stonehill on Tuesday.

Women’s hockey suffered back-to-back losses at UMass Boston and Saint Anselm this week. Junior Kiera Nelligan (Melrose, Mass./Arlington Catholic) extended her season-high point streak to five games with a goal on Friday, and leads the squad with 10 assists this year. The Purple Knights close the regular season with two home contests this week before hosting the Eastern College Athletic Conference East Open Tournament the following weekend.

Diving senior Alex Stott (Plymouth, Mass./Sturgis Charter Public School) recorded a seventh-place finish in the men's one-meter dive on Saturday at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Diving Championships, hosted by Bentley University. Stott finished with 276.1 points in his series of six dives. The swim team is poised for the NEISDA Swimming Championships which begin next Friday at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Jct., Vt.

Over 60 percent of Purple Knight athletes made the Northeast-10 Conference Fall 2010 Commissioner's Honor Roll, it was announced on Thursday. The Commissioner's Honor Roll recognizes NE-10 athletes who earn a grade point average of at least 3.0. Of the 311 NE-10 athletes at Saint Michael's, 188 made the honor roll, equating to 60.5 percent. The Purple Knights were just shy of making the top three NE-10 institutions for honor roll representation, as Adelphi (71 percent), Bentley (63 percent) and Stonehill (61 percent) claimed the top three spots. The NE-10 honored a total of 2,917 athletes this fall, 93 of which had a 4.0 GPA. Ten Purple Knights earned a 4.0, and Saint Michael's was one of 11 NE-10 institutions to have over half its athletes recognized on the honor roll. Eighty-three Purple Knights had a GPA between 3.99 and 3.5, and 95 athletes had between a 3.0 and 3.49.

Women's soccer and women's cross country tied with 20 athletes apiece for the most honored Saint Michael's sport, and men's ice hockey was the most decorated men's sport with 18 athletes on the honor roll.

Men's lacrosse was picked to finish sixth in the NE-10 this season according to the head coaches preseason poll, it was announced last Monday. The Purple Knights received 58 votes, eight short of Pace University in the fifth-place slot. 2010 national runner-up Le Moyne College was selected to repeat as regular season champions with eight first-place votes. The Purple Knights narrowly missed the playoffs last season with a 5-5 conference record, and lost the tie-breaker with Saint Anselm for the sixth and final postseason spot

Women's lacrosse was voted by the head coaches to finish 11th in the NE-10 according to the conference preseason poll, it was announced last Monday. The Purple Knights finished 3-8 in conference play last year, and enter their first season under head coach Ashley Hughes. Saint Michael's received 31 votes, 21 behind behind Saint Anselm College and three above Assumption College. All three aforementioned schools will be led by first-year head coaches in 2011. Adelphi University was picked to repeat as conference champions, as the defending national champions received nine first-place votes.

Softball was predicted to finish 16th in the NE-10 according to the Preseason Coaches Poll, it was announced last Thursday. Southern Connecticut State University was picked to repeat at regular season champions and received nine first-place votes.

This Week’s Schedule:

Tue. Feb. 15 Men’s Ice Hockey at Stonehill*, 6 p.m.

Wed. Feb. 16 Women’s Basketball at Southern N.H.*, 5:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball at Southern N.H.*, 7:30 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 18 Skiing at Middlebury Carnival, 9 a.m.
Swimming at NEISDA Swimming Championship, 10 a.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey vs. Manhattanville^, 4 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Tufts^, 7 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 19 Skiing at Middlebury Carnival, 9 a.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey vs. Nichols^, 1 p.m.
Women’s Basketball at Merrimack*, 1:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball at Merrimack*, 3:30 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Connecticut College^, 4 p.m.
Swimming at NEISDA Swimming Championship, 10 a.m.

Sun. Feb. 20 Swimming at NEISDA Swimming Championship, 10 a.m.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spring Tennis Season Underway

Week one of practice is in the books and things are starting to look good for the upcoming season. The fact that our record is 1-2 going into the Spring seems to be giving us that extra motivation to work harder to reach the top. It is nice to have Jr. Bryan Healey back on the courts with us after being in Spain this fall as well as first year Sophomore Eric Parziale with us full time now(coming from soccer). Once hockey season is over we will have first year Sophomore Petr Soustal on the courts again and the team will be back to 100%. We had a recruit from local Essex High School come out and hit with us this week and we were all impressed with his talent, he could be a nice addition to the team next year.

It looks to be a promising season and I think we can earn our best finish in my time here on the team.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

University of Vermont Carnival 2011 - Stowe, VT

Day One: Giant Slalom
Main Street, the race trail at Stowe, has become a familiar place for the Saint Mike's Ski Team. Unlike last season, the team has been able to train at Stowe at least once a week for most of the season. That meant that the team was confident coming into Friday's Giant Slalom and they certainly put the hammer down!

The team saw some of the best conditions on the circuit so far despite recent snowfall of up to 18 inches. Athletes were able to see the course, which is always hugely helpful and snow allowed athletes to attack from the back.
On the women's side, Christina Billotti led the pack in 31st place, moving up 40 spots. Kelly Waddle, Ashley Langlands, and Kerstin Middleton were close behind in 37th, 38th, and 39th. Kelsey Locke and Kelsey Redden were unfortunately DNFs.

Tim Spangler headed up the men in 24th making a 34-spot jump. Kevin O'Brien was hot on his heels in 26th making a 42-spot jump. Matt Beers had a solid 38th place finish at his carnival debut. Carl Bredengen was 41st, JD Levine was 43rd, and Andrew Keating was 55th.

Kevin O'Brien
Day Two: Slalom

When it comes down to it, a ski racer can't ask for much more than good weather and snow. It was a beautiful blue-bird day without a cloud in the sky (until the women's second run).

The courses were challenging putting every racer to the test and no one breezed on through. Despite that, the Purple Knights rose to the occasion and posted some fast results!

Carl Oscar Green Bredengen was our top finisher posting a 17th place in the collegiate results! John David Levine was 25th and Kevin O'Brien was 27th. Matthew Beers was 44th. Timothy Spangler and Andrew Keating were DNFs.

On the women's side, Ashley Langlands came down in 29th after a solid run down a particularly challenging course and some flat light. Kerstin Middleton was 36th. Christina Billotti was 39th. Kelsey Locke, Kelsey Redden, and Kelly Waddle were all DNFs.

The team ended up 10th in the overall rankings. To view, all results head to the EISA website. The next carnival will be a at Dartmouth Skiway next Friday and Saturday! We hope to see you all there!