As we once again go Off the Post, congratulations are due WPI’s Ben Rickson, who became the first Engineer men’s soccer player in 27 years to be named an All-America when he was recognized as a Division III first team back by the United Soccer Coaches. The senior becomes just the 11th player in program history to be selected an All-America and first since Ryan Burke was selected to the second team in 1992. Rickson was the NEWMAC’s Defensive Athlete of the Year as the center back back-boned a defense that leads all of NCAA Division III in goals against average (0.452). The Engineers posted 13 shutouts in 21 contests in 2019 and had six other matches allowing just one goal. The senior proved his versatility with a pair of goals against Emerson and assists versus Worcester State and Mass Maritime. Rickson has had a busy awards season: in addition to being named to the NEWMAC’s Defensive Player of the Year, he was tabbed to the conference’s first team, drew first team All-New England honors and was selected to play in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League (NEISL) Senior All-Star Game.
In more awards for WPI student-athletes, the duo of Shannon Hynes (Auburn High) and Abby O’Sullivan were selected All-New England East this week by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). It marked the first time the Engineers had a pair of players named to the squads since Hall of Famers Nicole Maglione ’09 and Kelly Johnson ’10 accomplished the feat in 2006. Hynes was named to the first team after earning second team accolades a season ago. The back joins Johnson (2006 and 2009) as the only player to earn all-region honors twice since 2000 while O’Sullivan earned a second-team spot at forward. O’Sullivan was a goal-scoring machine as she traded in her second team All-NEWMAC honor last season for first team distinction in 2019. The forward led all NEWMAC players with 21 regular season goals. The junior reached the 100-point milestone during the season and posted back-to-back games where she had a hat trick in a conference victory over Wheaton and then four goals the following contest at Conn College.
For some local collegiate results of note, on Tuesday, Dec. 3 in men’s basketball, WPI got a game-high 21 points from Garrett Stephenson and never trailed as the Engineers defeated Tufts University, 72-62. The win, WPI’s seventh straight, improved their record to 8-1 on the season. Stephenson paced the Engineers with 21 points on eight-of-11 shooting from the floor to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Junior Colin McNamara chipped in with 13 points and eight boards, all on the defensive glass, while Reid Walker added 10 points. Becker junior forward Mateus Ribeiro scored a career-high 22 points with a career-high 15 rebounds as the Hawks prevailed, 69-54, over visiting Clark University in a match-up of crosstown rivals. Ribeiro shot eight-of-15 from the floor and five-of-six from the line. Sophomore guard Mekhi Chester came off the bench to score 14 points with four steals and three assists. Jamir Carr dished out five assists to complement his 13 point, six rebound performance, shooting six-of-10 from the floor. Clark junior guard Biko Gayman led the Cougars with 15 points, five assists and five steals. Sophomore guard Joel Arteaga added seven points and five rebounds while sophomore guard Zackary Mittelstadt had seven points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
In women’s basketball on Wednesday, Dec. 4, Worcester State erased an eight-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat MIT, 62-59 . With the win, Worcester State improves to 5-4 overall on the season. Lancers freshman Charlotte MacMillan led all players with 21 points. Senior Mya Mosley (Wachusett Regional) was the only other Lancer in double figures offensively, scoring 12 points off the bench for the hosts. Senior Catherine Sweeney had a strong showing at both ends of the floor, finishing with seven points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Junior Colleen Cutting (Auburn High) hit a pair of clutch free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining to seal the deal.
Thursday, Dec. 5 saw four Hawks finishing with double-digit points as a balanced attack by Becker led to a 66-56 victory over the Anna Maria Amcats in men’s basketball. Mateus Ribeiro led the Hawks with 16 points on seven-of-10 shooting. He grabbed nine rebounds to go with five assists in a full 40-minute effort. Juniors Guney Kilitcioglu, Jamir Carr, and sophomore Mekhi Chester each scored in double-digits for Becker. Sophomore Jordan Rose-Wheatly pulled in a game and career-high 11 rebounds. For Anna Maria, Bobby Perette led all scorers with 20 points on eight-of-19 shooting. Senior Mike Rapoza (Shepherd Hill Regional) had the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
In men’s ice hockey, Anna Maria tied with Plymouth State, 3-3. Sophomore Jack Sitzman led the AmCats with two goals. Mike Padgeon had the third Anna Maria goal, while Sam Cyr-Ledoux assisted on all three tallies. Julius Huset had 33 saves for Anna Maria.
Friday, Dec. 6 was hockey night, and in ,en’s action in Manchester, New Hampshire the Saint Anselm Hawks held off the Assumption Greyhounds, 5-3. After falling behind, 2-0, Robert Holyoke scored at the 16:45 mark of the first to bring the Greyhounds back within one by the end of the period. Liam O’Sullivan put the Hawks up, 3-1, just 40 second into the second. John Pigott brought Assumption back within one at 3-2 at the 4:58 mark but Saint Anslem scored again at the 9:40 mark to go back up by two by the period’s end. Robert Roche (Holden, Mass) pulled the Greyhounds back to within one, 4-3, just 1:08 into the third. Assumption fought hard, putting six shots on net in the period and even pressed by pulling goaltender David Zulauf, who made 23 saves on 27 shots, with 32 seconds left in the game. Ferraro scored on an empty net with nine seconds left to reach the 5-3 final.
In women’s ice hockey Kayla Currin (Hudson, Mass.) had the only goal of the game as Nichols College defeated Becker 1-0 at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in Worcester. Jordyn McGuire and Kaci Johnson assisted on the tally. Becker freshman goalie Amber Lee had a strong performance between the pipes, tallying 28 saves. Nichols sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Runciman recorded 21 stops on the night.
On Saturday in women’s basketball, Clark lost to Nichols as Isabella Nerney and Alexis Finnerty combined for 50 points to propel the Bisons to a 70-62 final. Cougars junior Hannah Favaloro (Douglas High) logged her fifth double-double of the season and 15th in her career, leading Clark with 16 points and tying the game-high of 12 rebounds. Hallie Johnson (Wachusett Regional) joined forces with Favaloro to record a double-double of her own, notching 12 points to go with 12 rebounds and two steals. It marked the second time this season that Johnson and Favaloro logged double-doubles in the same contest. Cam Richey (Whitinsville Christian) had a career-high seven assists in the setback while adding three steals. Nichols finished 21-of-63 from the floor (33.3 percent) while Clark shot 24-of-75 (32 percent). Becker defeated Bay Path University 68-23 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action. Hawks freshman guard Kira Clinkscale led Becker with a career-high 11 points with two steals and two assists, shooting fifty percent from the floor. Senior guard Cassidy Harrison finished with nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Freshman guard Jamie Woods (Charlton, Mass.) came off the bench to eight points with four rebounds. Natasha Pacheco finished with six points and a team-high seven rebounds, to go along with three assists, two steals and a block. Riley Berry added seven points, five steals and three rebounds.
In men’s basketball, Clark put together its best offensive game of the season so far to pick up a non-conference victory at Framingham State as junior Biko Gayman dropped a season-best 28 points and nine assists to lead a quartet in double-figures in an 81-73 final. Gayman was nine-of-16 from the floor (56.3 percent) and four-of-six from beyond the arc (66.7 percent) for the game-high 28 points. He also added nine assists while recording five rebounds, three steals, and one block. Joel Arteaga posted his third game of ten or more points, providing support with 14 points and six rebounds while junior Charles Stevens led all bench scorers with a season-high 13 points coming on four-of-eight shooting while setting a new career-high in steals (3) and adding a block. Matthew Waggett also put together a memorable effort as the forward posted his first collegiate double-double with 12 points on a pair of three-pointers while also corralling a career-high ten rebounds.
In men’s ice hockey, Assumption earned a win against second-place SNHU, 5-1, in a Northeast-10 Conference match-up. John McDonagh scored first for the Hounds at the 10:13 mark of the first period and never trailed the rest of the way. Dante Maribitio scored on the short-hand just 3:34 later, putting the Hounds up, 2-0, by the period’s end. Tim Usalis scored Southern N.H.’s lone goal at the 10:08 of the second to pull within one at 2-1 with his first goal of the season. Michael Zampanti put the Hounds back up by two, 3-1, to end the second. The Hounds then scored two goals within the final two minutes of play and only 1:04 apart. Robert Holyoke scored first at the 18:28 mark to put his team up, 4-1. William Smith then scored an empty net, shorthanded goal at the 19:32 mark to put Assumption for his team’s fifth tally of the game. The Hounds outshot SNHU 40-26. Assumption went 0-for-6 while on the power play and the Penmen went 0-for-7. David Altman made 25 saves on 26 shots and improved to 4-1-1 on the year. Becker scored three third period goals to prevail, 5-2, over visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in Worcester. The Hawks goals were scored by Colby Audette, Jake Cagnina (shorthanded), Josh Mead, Luke James, and Andrew Dreher. Becker senior goalkeeper Cody Foster finished the day with 41 saves between the pipes to pick up the win. Anna Maria put together a six-goal second period to topple Post University, 6-3. Jack Sitzman had a hat trick for the Amcats while Michael Padgeon, Sam Cyr-Ledoux, and Patrick Manning added a goal each. Cyr-Ledoux and Maning added three assists. Julius Huset ( 4-0-2) remains perfect in net as he picks up his fourth win of the season. Huset faced a total of 37 shots and made 34 saves.
In women’s ice hockey, Becker sophomore Julia Ravenelle scored the game-tying goal and freshman Shelby Reaugh netted the eventual game-winner as the two goals in the span of 3:00 made the difference in the Hawks’ 4-2 win at Nichols in Colonial Hockey Conference play. Nikki DeCola and Cassidhe Wozniak had the other Becker goals while Mel McAleer had both Bisons goals. DeCola’s goal was the first in her collegiate career. Madelyn Morgan had 45 saves for Becker, Abby Bassett had 23 for Nichols.
On Sunday in women’s hockey, Meghan Sonia and Anna Maria College defeated the Wilkes University Colonels, 1-0, in an afternoon thriller. Both schools played strong first period and then finally 12:05 into the second period, the Amcats broke the scoreless drought. Kaitlyn Korpach sent a pass from behind the net to an open Sonia. From there, she squeaked a shot past Colonels goalie Alexa Rango for the eventual game-winner. Gabrielle Ohanesian made 29 saves on the afternoon to preserve the shutout. Ohanesian faced her most shots in the second when Wilkes peppered her with ten. Ohanesian saw just six shots in the third period including a shot by Cally Erikson with 11 seconds left but was turned away by Ohanesian to seal the 1-0 victory. It was Ohanesian’s first win of the season, and Sonia’s first collegiate goal for Anna Maria.