This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics

 THIS WEEK IN SAINT MICHAEL'S COLLEGE ATHLETICS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION                                            Contact: Will Rothermel
April 21, 2008                                                                Phone: 802.654.2929

COLCHESTER, Vt. - As the spring sports season draws to a close, both men's and women's tennis locked up home-court advantage for the Northeast-10 Quarterfinals on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.  The lacrosse teams also looked to ensure home-field advantage, teetering on the brink of .500-play as the regular season winds down.  On the diamond, the baseball team began the week with back-to-back one-run victories, but was dealt a pair of one-run heart-breakers on the road over the weekend, while softball suffered four of six losses by two runs or less.

Tennis (Men: 8-7, 7-3 NE-10; Women: 13-5, 10-2 NE-10)

            The women's tennis earned a No. 2 seed in the Northeast-10 Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and will host Saint Anselm by virtue of a tie-breaker held over Bentley.  To start the week, the Purple Knights were caught off-guard by Southern New Hampshire, dropping a 5-4 decision on the road.  Two matches later, Saint Michael's found themselves on top, 5-4, over Merrimack and Stonehill to earn the right to host a post-season match.  In the wins, freshman Marran Ranks (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) won two singles and two doubles competitions to lead the Purple Knights.  Classmate Marybeth Ash (Westborough, Mass./Westborough) would go 5-1 on the week, helping Saint Michael's to their fourth straight 11-plus win season.

            Before the week started, the men's tennis team clinched home-court advantage in the Northeast-10 post-season.  With two of their top hitters out of the lineup on Saturday versus Merrimack, the Purple Knights suffered an 8-1 setback as junior Sean Steigerwald (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) and sophomore Craig Lindaberry (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional) teamed up for the team's only win on the week.  More misfortune followed the Purple Knights on the road to Easton, Massachusetts where Saint Michael's was swept 9-0 by No. 2-seed Stonehill.  Despite the losses, the men will host Bentley-who they previously beat 8-1 on October 14, 2007-on Tuesday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Saint Michael's College outdoor courts.

Men's Lacrosse (6-6, 5-4 NE-10)

            Taking to the road against the winless Yellow Jackets of American International, the men's lacrosse team showed a genuine lack of hesitation, jumping out to a 7-0 first quarter lead and subsequent 16-5 rout on Tuesday.  Senior Greg Lazarus (Evanston, Ill./Evanston) led all goal-scorers with four, including the game-winner, while junior Peter Pikulski (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) chipped in two goals and three assists in Springfield.  Sophomore goalkeeper Zach Jandl (Brookline, N.H./Vermont Acad.) played three quarters of relief to make 10 saves and boast a .667 save-percentage, as senior Jeff Hannon (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) recorded his program-best 30th win in net.

            On Saturday, the men were out-scored 6-2 in the first half by Merrimack before mounting a comeback, but fell short despite winning the second half, 5-2.  Senior Mike Boerma (Concord, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) led the Purple Knights offense with two goals and one assist, scoring consecutive goals to open the second half.  Hannon recorded nine saves in net, six of which were fired in the second period.  With one remaining home game versus Pace University on Wednesday at 4 p.m., the men have secured a post-season berth for the fourth straight season, but could finish anywhere from a four- to an eight-seed.

Women's Lacrosse (7-5, 5-3 NE-10)

            Jockeying for position in the upcoming post-season, the women's lacrosse team knocked off conference rivals Saint Anselm and Bentley College in two- and one-goal games, respectively.  On the road against Saint Anselm, the Purple Knights held on for a 14-12 win as senior Brynne Curran (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) added six points to her team-leading season total with five goals and one assist.  Curran's final goal with 11:38 left in the second half proved to be the game-winner, putting Saint Michael's up 13-8.  The team's second-leading goal-scorer, senior captain Amanda Soule (Hartland, Vt./Woodstock Union), chipped in five goals to help defeat the Hawks. 

The win over Bentley could not be decided in 60 minutes, so Soule and the Purple Knights saved their best for overtime when the senior captain capped off a hat-trick with a game-winner 87 seconds before the final horn.  Curran dazzled the hometown crowd on ‘Senior Day' with four goals on the afternoon, including three straight to cut the deficit to one, 11-10, midway through the second half.  Junior Kim Berlo (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) asserted her presence with three goals and four assists to lead all scorers.  As one of seven senior honored on Saturday, goalkeeper Courtney Wakem (Tiverton, R.I./Tiverton) recorded a season-high 13 saves in the win, improving her record on the year to 7-4.

On Sunday, the Purple Knights found out the hard way, why C.W. Post is the undefeated, reigning Division-II National Champion.  Falling behind 12-1 at intermission, Saint Michael's was under heavy Pioneer-pressure in their own zone for the duration.  When all was said and done, Curran accounted for all three Purple Knight goals in the 22-3 final.  Currently in fifth, the women look to make a case for home-field advantage with two remaining regular season games.

Baseball (6-18)

Tuesday showed promise for the Saint Michael's College baseball team, as the class of 2008 knocked off Middlebury, 7-6, for the first time in their final match-up with the Panthers.  Three-for-five from sophomore Matt Beaulieu (Littleton, Mass./Lawrence Acad.) and four RBIs helped Saint Michael's to a 6-0 lead in the fifth before freshman Mike McDonough (East Hampton, Conn./Stetson Univ.) picked up the win in relief.

            On Wednesday, the Purple Knights continued to show resolve, clawing back from a six-run deficit to sneak past Southern New Hampshire, 12-11, in nine innings.  Six runs were scored in the bottom of the eighth, including two from freshman Ben Yodzio (Hinghan, Mass./Hingham), to knot the score, 11-11.  Freshman Pete Estes (Bennington, Vt./Mt. Anthony Union) recorded his first collegiate win, not allowing a Penmen hit and striking out one in relief.

            Riding a two-game win streak, the Purple Knights hit the road versus Saint Rose, but surrendered 11 runs in both games of a doubleheader to help the Golden Knights snap a four-game skid.  In game one, Saint Michael's led 7-3 before allowing seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to drop a 11-8 decision.  In game two, the Purple Knights trailed by as little as one run after giving up five first-inning scores, but fell 11-4, being held scoreless through the final four innings.

            Closing out the week on the road versus Saint Lawrence, the Purple Knights responded well to a pair of double-digit deficit losses to the Saints at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers a month ago.  Despite being swept, Saint Michael's was tied going in the seventh, in both games.  Captains Evan Grenier (Bridgeport, Conn./Notre Dame-Fairfield) and Joe Gil (Andover, Mass./Andover) each knocked in a pair of hits and a pair of runs tie things at five, but a 6-5 final handed the Purple Knights their third straight loss.  In game two, Grenier accounted for three hits and three runs to help the Purple Knights jump out to a 4-0 lead through three innings.  Timely hitting by the Saints and an unfortunate bounce on a wild pitch sealed the sweep in Canton, 8-7.

Softball (7-18, 1-15 NE-10)

            Hosting back-to-back doubleheaders on Doc Jacobs Field versus Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire, the softball team was edged by just over two runs per game during the four-game home stand.  Against Saint Anselm, junior Megan O'Connor (Georgetown, Mass./Georgetown) reached the 100-hit milestone that had only been accomplished by six others in program history.  The junior also pitched two complete games on the week, allowing just three hits and striking out two in a 2-1 loss to Southern New Hampshire. 

On Saturday, the Purple Knights fell to American International on the road by scores of, 10-2, and 8-7 (nine innings).  O'Connor belted a home run in game two for the Purple Knights, but also suffered the loss on the mound in both contests.  Freshman Kelly Rose Losi (Milton, Mass./Milton) went five-for-eight on the afternoon, including a game-tying RBI in the top of the seventh to force extra innings in game two.  Freshman Meghan Colitti (Dover, N.H./Berwick Acad.) knocked multiple hits as well in game two, recording an RBI and run scored in the nightcap. 

This Week's Schedule:

Tue.     Apr. 22             #4 Men's Tennis vs. #5 Bentley &                                 2:30 p.m.

Tue.     Apr. 22             Baseball vs. Stonehill (DH)                                          3:00 p.m.

Tue.     Apr. 22             Softball vs. Saint Rose (DH)*                                        3:30 p.m.

Wed.    Apr. 23             #2 Women's Tennis vs. #7 Saint Anselm &                  2:00 p.m.

Wed.    Apr. 23             Men's Lacrosse vs. Pace*                                            4:00 p.m.

Thu.     Apr. 24             Baseball vs. Southern Vermont                                   3:00 p.m.

Thu.     Apr. 24             Softball vs. Le Moyne (DH)*                                         3:30 p.m.

Thu.     Apr. 24             Women's Lacrosse vs. Stonehill*                                 4:00 p.m.

Thu.      Apr. 24              Men's Tennis vs. #1 Bryant/#8 Le Moyne ^                       3:00 p.m.

Fri.       Apr. 25              Baseball @ Plattsburgh                                                  3:30 p.m.

Fri.       Apr. 25              Women's Tennis vs. #6 SNHU/#3 Bentley ^                      3:00 p.m.

Sat.      Apr. 26              Baseball @ Merrimack (DH)                                            12:00 p.m.

Sat.      Apr. 26              Softball @ Stonehill (DH)*                                               12:00 p.m.

Sat.      Apr. 26              Women's Lacrosse @ Southern Connecticut*                  1:00 p.m.

Sun.     Apr. 27              Softball @ Bryant (DH)*                                                  12:00 p.m.

Sun.     Apr. 27             Baseball vs. Amherst (DH)                                            1:00 p.m.

Sun.     Apr. 27              Men's Tennis vs. TBD %                                     TBA

Sun.     Apr. 27              Women's Tennis vs. TBD %                                            TBA

 

Bold indicates home contests

* denotes Northeast-10 Conference contest

& Northeast-10 Quarterfinal

^ Northeast-10 Semifinal

% Northeast-10 Championship