March 2, 2009

This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics

COLCHESTER, Vt. - With the winter sports season coming to an end, this past weekend was filled with postseason action. The men's ice hockey team advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals with a win on Saturday, while the women's basketball team saw their season come to an end with a first-round exit in the Norteast-10 Conference Tournament. The men's swimming and diving team finished fifth at the NEISDA Championships, while the ski team ended their season with a 10th-place finish at the EISA Championships. The men's basketball team ended their season on a high note with a 54-53 win on Monday, and the women's ice hockey team dropped both contests in the ECAC Women's Open Tournament over the weekend. The men's and women's lacrosse teams open up their seasons at home this weekend. The men face Dominican College (N.Y.) on Saturday at noon, while the women host nationally-ranked Adelphi University on Sunday at noon as well.

The men's ice hockey team (9-15-2) defeated Assumption College 5-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference Quarterfinals, Saturday evening at Buffone Rink. For Saint Michael's, sophomore Matt Rigtrup (Upper Montclair, N.J./Pickering Panthers) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with just two seconds left in the second period. Senior Chris Healey (Salem, N.H./New Hampshire Junior Monarchs) had two goals and an assist, and classmate Ryan Mero (Peekskill, N.Y./Avon Old Farms) netted a goal and two assists for the Purple Knights. Junior Kyle Marquis (Richmond, Vt./New England Huskies) recorded a goal and an assist for the victors, while senior Tyler Bilton (Penticton, British Columbia/Finlandia University) stopped 34 shots. With the win, the fifth-seeded Purple Knights advance to the NE-10 Semifinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. as they visit second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University. On Friday of last week, five Purple Knights received honors from the NE-10. Rigtrup was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, while Bilton was awarded Goaltender of the Year. Mero was named to the All-Conference First Team, Healey was named to the All-Conference Second Team, and Brady Earle (Columbia, Md./The Gunnery School) landed a spot on the league's All-Rookie Team.

The men's swimming and diving team ended their season with a fifth-place finish at the NEISDA Championships over the weekend and in the process set eight program records. Freshman Tim McGrath (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) recorded seven top-six finishes - and helped set five program records. The freshman set individual program records by finishing second in the 50-yard butterfly (24.28), and third in the 100-yard individual medley (55.34). McGrath helped set program records by finishing third in the 400-yard medley relay (3:43.72), fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:29.66), and sixth in the 200-yard medley relay (1:42.18). He also finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (54.20) and fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay. First-year Dan Healy (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) recorded seven top-six finishes - and helped set four program records. He set an individual program record by finishing third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.42). Healy also helped set program records by finishing third in the 400-yard medley relay (3:43.72), fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:29.66), and sixth in the 200-yard medley relay (1:42.18). The first-year finished fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and sixth in the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Aidan Warhall (New Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) earned a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, yesterday in the final day of the meet. The six program records that were set this weekend were: 200-yard freestyle relay (1:29.66), 200-yard backstroke (Healy, 2:00.42), 400-yard medley relay (3:43.72), 200-yard medley relay (1:42.18), 50-yard butterfly (McGrath, 24.28), 100-yard individual medley (McGrath, 55.34), 200-yard individual medley (Warhall 2:06.23), and 200-yard breast (Hubbard 2:18.18).

The 10th-seeded women's basketball team (14-13, 11-11 NE-10) ended their season with a 66-46 loss at seventh-seeded the College of Saint Rose, yesterday afternoon. For the Purple Knights, senior Anna Florent (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) had a team-high nine points off the bench in the final game of her college career. Sophomore Logan Pintka (Niskayuna, N.Y./Colonie Central) also scored nine points in the loss. Saint Michael's was undone by 29 percent shooting from the floor, including 1-of-15 from beyond the arc, and committed 21 turnovers. Earlier in the week, the Purple Knights ended their regular season with a 57-56 win at the buzzer over Pace University. Freshman Caitlin Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville) banked in a 25-footer with no time remaining, the Purple Knights' only lead of the second half, giving Saint Michael's the thrilling victory. Junior Michelle Otey Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) scored a career-high 24 points, making 10-of-20 shots from the field, and added nine rebounds. Pintka added 13 points, making 5-of-6 free throws, while junior Alexis Keller Harrington Park, N.J./Old Tappan) scored nine of her 12 points in the second half. Florent grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in the final home game of her career, setting a new career high, as the Purple Knights held a 44-38 rebounding advantage.

The ski team finished the six-week Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA) season this weekend by placing 10th at the three-day EISA Championships, hosted by Colby College. Freshman Ryanne Haskell (Holderness, N.H./Holderness School) finished 34th in the Women's Slalom, while junior Brad Harden (McConnellsville, N.Y./Northwood School) placed 11th in the Men's Slalom. With his 11th-place, Harden is expected to earn a spot for the NCAA Championships with the official release of the 17-man roster coming out tomorrow by the NCAA. In the Women's 5K Classic, junior Lauren Fereshetian (Turner, Maine/Leavitt Area) finished 46th, while freshman Robert "Bear" Sitzer (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial) earned a 48th-place finish in the Men's 10K Classic. Fereshetian also finished 52nd in the Women's 15K Free Race, while sophomore Nigel Kinney (Chanhassen, Minn./Eden Prairie) placed 32nd in the Men's 20K Free Race.

The men's basketball team (10-15, 7-15 NE-10) closed out the season with a 54-53 win over Pace University on "Senior Night" on Monday of last week. Sophomore Chris Hurley (Watertown, Mass./Boston College HS) drained a 3-pointer with six seconds left in regulation, lifting Saint Michael's to the exciting win versus pace. Freshman Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka) led a balanced scoring attack with a game-high 13 points and a career-best 19 rebounds, playing all 40 minutes. Classmate Sam Cieplicki (South Burlington, Vt./New Hampton School) added 11 points off the bench. The Purple Knights held a commanding 51-29 rebounding advantage offsetting 16 turnovers and 7-of-28 shooting from beyond the arc. Schilling was also named to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team for averaging 9.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Schilling's 10.2 rebounds per game were good enough for second in the conference.

The women's ice hockey team (6-18-3, 4-14-3 ECAC East) dropped both games this weekend at the ECAC Women's Open Tournament. On Saturday, the women fell to top-seeded College of the Holy Cross, 5-1, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. For Saint Michael's, sophomore Emily Paquin (Bowie, Md./Washington Pride) scored her fourth goal of the season - all on the power play - and was assisted by senior Jess Tourville (Baltimore, Vt./Springfield). The assist was Tourville's 50th career points, just the sixth player in program history to reach that milestone. Sophomore Alysia Goldman (Ballston Lake, N.Y./Hebron Academy) turned aside 28 shots in the loss. The following day in the consolation game, the Purple Knights were blanked by Saint Anselm College, 5-0. In the season-ending loss, Goldman recorded 25 saves.

Upcoming Schedule:

Wed. Mar. 4 Men's Ice Hockey at Southern N.H. # 7:30 p.m.

Sat. Mar. 7 Men's Lacrosse vs. Dominican (N.Y.) 12 p.m.

Men's Ice Hockey at NE-10 Championship TBA

Sun. Mar. 8 Women's Lacrosse vs. Adelphi 12 p.m.

# - NE-10 Semifinals