As we once again go Off the Post, congratulations go out to the Worcester State University field hockey team, who were crowned the 2019 Little East Conference Field Hockey Champion after a convincing, 6-0, win over Keene State College on Saturday. With the win, Worcester State moves to 18-4 overall on the season and earns the Little East’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Keene State’s season comes to a close at 15-8. Rachel Hopkins had a hat trick in the contest, Olivia Antonelli, Sarah Duff and Alexa Bobbin adding single strikes. Sophomore Jess Hopkins was stellar in net, making three saves to earn the championship-clinching shutout.
We’ll send more congratulations over to Worcester State as the Lancers won the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer tournament to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA DIII tournament. In the clinching game on Sunday, junior Ali Maldonado (Wachusett Regional) scored the game’s only goal five and a half minutes into the second overtime period. With the win, Worcester State improves to 11-7-2 overall on the season, and will face Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., in the the first round of the NCAA tourney. The game will be played at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday.
In other local results, on Tuesday, Nov. 5 the Clark University men’s soccer team outlasted MIT, 2-1, as sophomore Brian Brennan delivered the game-winning goal just 30 seconds into double overtime in the first round of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament. The Cougars took the lead in the 22nd minute on a Griffin Smith header. MIT’s Isaac Perper scored early in the second half to tie it. Goalkeeper Melvin Vincent turned aside seven shots for the win.
Worcester State claimed a 3-0 win over Westfield State University in the first round of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. Lincoln Henry had two goals for the Lancers, while Kristi Shore added a late goal for the 3-0 final. Goalkeeper Henri Guilmette earned his fourth clean sheet of the season, but did not have to make a save.
In field hockey, Assumption scored in the first quarter and then held on the remainder of the game to earn a 1-0 victory earn their way into the NE10 Semifinals. Deirdre Burchill had the only goal in the contest. The Amcats defense and goalkeeper Kylie Gargiulo made that goal stand up as she earned her 11th shutout and 15th win of the season. With three goals in the first three quarters of play, WPI defeated Mount Holyoke, 3-0, in a NEWMAC Field Hockey Tournament quarterfinal. The win marked the first NEWMAC Tournament victory for the Engineers since 2008. Kaitlyn Hess, Carlee Irish and Hannah Larochelle had the Engineers’ goals. With two saves by freshman Gabrielle Acquista and one big defensive save by junior Jackie Cardin, the Engineers held Mount Holyoke scoreless. Top-seeded Worcester State made quick work of eighth-seeded UMass-Dartmouth, defeating the Corsairs, 7-0, in the quarterfinal of the Little East Conference Tournament. Senior Rachel Hopkins scored twice, with senior Olivia Antonelli and junior Coley Hayes also chipping in first-quarter goals, all in the span of 6:23. Sophia Monopoli (Holy Name) scored early in the second quarter for Worcester State, Hopkins completed the first-half hat trick, and the hosts took a 6-0 lead into halftime. Sarah Duff scored midway through the fourth quarter giving the game its final score of 7-0. Sophomore goalkeeper Jess Hopkins did not have to make a save to get her 16th win of the season. Sophomore Kacy Florence made one save in relief in the fourth quarter.
In women’s soccer, senior forward Lauren Kaija and freshman defender Annika Keck each netted two goals in WPI’s 4-0 victory over Wheaton in a NEWMAC Women’s Soccer Tournament quarterfinal. Kaija opened up the score sheet in the 29th minute with a nice finish on a loose ball, and then picked up her second goal on the night following a rebound shot by Ashleigh Matsis in the 44th minute. Keck, who headed in two corners for the Engineers at 60:37 and 79:14. Mandy St. Germain (Nipmonk Regional) finished with three saves on the night over the first 81:37, while Lauren Francis (Natick, MA) worked the final 8:23. In other women’s soccer action, Assumption concluded their regular season with a 1-1 tie with the Franklin Pierce Ravens, finishing their season with a 7-4-5 record. Diana Bruggeman scored the Greyhounds’ tally at the 34:39 mark. Franklin Pierce then tied the game at the 81:04 mark Alexis Nason made eight saves for Assumption.
In men’s ice hockey, Worcester State nabbed a 4-2 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Westfield State University. Westfield State scored the contest’s first goal with just 21 seconds left in the first period, but the Lancers battled back in the second period to take control of the contest. Junior captain Matthew Manning book-ended three Lancer tallies in 7:02 to put the Lancers ahead 3-1 after 40 minutes. Nick Pennucci (Worcester, Mass.) scored the middle goal for the Lancers in the frame. Sophomore Will Ahearn added a goal 4:14 into the third. Ryan Hoff got the win for Worcester State, turning aside 20 of the 22 shots he faced.
Moving on to Thursday, Nov. 7, where freshman Francesco Valagussa blasted home a shot from 20 yards out with just 90 seconds remaining to lift top-seeded and host WPI to a dramatic, 1-0, shutout over fourth-seeded Clark in a NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Tournament semifinal. WPI junior netminder Rufus Adams finished with five stops for his 10th shutout of the season and 16th clean sheet of his career. Clark keeper Melvin Vincent collected 10 saves for the Cougars. Clark’s season ended with a 12-7-0 record.
In field hockey, senior Rachel Hopkins scored the game-winning goal 7:30 into the first overtime period as the top-seeded Worcester State Lancers defeated fourth-seeded Southern Maine 3-2 in the semifinals of the Little East Conference Tournament. Hopkins scored her first goal 2:22 into the second quarter to put the Lancers ahead, 1-0. Sophia Monopoli (Holy Name) scored her 12th goal of the season at exactly the 30-minute mark of the contest to make it 2-0 at the half. Southern Maine rallied for two fourth-quarter goals, setting the scenario for Hopkins’ overtime heroics.
On Friday, Nov. 8 Worcester State’s men’s basketball team opened its season defeating Clark University, 78-70, in the annual Midnight Mayhem game early Friday morning at the Kneller Athletic Center. For the second consecutive season, the Lancers are the first team in all of Division III basketball, men or women, to win a game. The Lancers were led by senior Cal Howes who finished the evening with 17 points. Howes was one of four Lancers in double figures, as Tyler Dion (Wachusett Regional) and Erik Bjorn (Wachusett Regional) each finished with 15 points, and Chris Cardoso with 12 for Worcester State. Bjorn and Cardoso were Worcester’s leading rebounders, each finishing one shy of a double-double with nine. Cougars junior Tyler Davern (Bartlett High) tied the game-high with nine rebounds, while local Anthony Grzembski (Bartlett High) six points off bench for Clark.
Also in men’s basketball, Assumption opened their season with a victory over the New York Institute of Technology Bears, 91-74. Malik Brown led the Greyhounds with 20 points and nine rebounds on the night. Branislav Vujadinovic and Saxon Thompson both finished with 14 points to go along with four and three rebounds, respectively. Junior Matthew Kelly rounded out double-digit scoring with 13 points to go along with four assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Colin McNamara highlighted three players in double figures in scoring with 14 points and the WPI defense forced 24 turnovers as the No. 16-ranked Engineers defeated visiting Brandeis 55-46 in the 2019-20 season opener for both teams. It marked the 18th straight season that the Crimson and Gray won its first game of the season for 19th year head coach Chris Bartley. In addition to McNamara’s 14 points, the Engineers received 13 from Reid Walker and 11 from Garrett Stephenson, who led all players with 12 rebounds en route to his fourth career double-double. Becker College opened their season by defeating Bard College, 72-67, in overtime in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Mateus Ribeiro led the Hawks with 17 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists while Jamir Carr scored a career-high 18 points with five assists and three rebounds. The junior shot seven of 10 from the floor. Becker sophomore guard Jordan Rose-Wheatley had a breakthrough performance, scoring 12 points with four rebounds and two steals and Mekhi Chester scored 10 points with three rebounds and two steals. The Hawks had forced the Raptors into 17 turnovers, enjoying a 20-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
In men’s ice hockey, Assumption’s Robert Roche (Holden, Mass.) gave his team a two-goal lead less than a minute into the third period of a back-and-forth game and the Greyhounds defeated the Stonehill Skyhawks, 6-4, to earn their first win of the regular season. Roche’s goal came just 49 seconds into the third. Dante Maribito scored a power play goal to make it 6-4 with one minute left in regulation. Michael Zampanti gave the Hounds a 1-0 lead 3:25 into the game on a pass. Zampanti, who later added an assist, was one of four Hounds to have one goal and one assist in the contest. Rob Holyoke joined Zampanti in the club at the 6:17 mark of the second period, scoring on the power play. Alexander Mavrogiannis, who also gave his team a 2-0 lead in the first, assisted Maribito’s goal in the third to give him his first collegiate goal and assist. David Altman made 24 saves on 28 shots in his first game of the 2019-20 season as Assumption out-shot the Skyhawks 52-28. The Hounds went 2-for-9 on the power play, while Stonehill went 1-for-5.
In field hockey, Assumption and Saint Anselm battled until the final quarter, when the Hawks’ Mary Nee was able to sneak a goal and the Hounds ran out of time to fall, 1-0, in the NE10 Semifinals. Kylie Gargiulo ended her sophomore season with a 13-4 record with two saves in the game, while Assumption’s overall record was 16-4.
On Saturday in men’s soccer, it was Assumption winning, 2-0, against the Le Moyne Dolphins to earn their first playoff victory in program history. The Hounds controlled play for most of both halves, holding Le Moyne to only two shots on goal, while scoring once in each half. Ruben Faria scored first for the Hounds with just 1:36 left in the first half. Nicolas Cardona added an insurance goal at the 57:59 mark of the second half. Sebastian Jimenez made two saves to earn his sixth shutout this season, improving to 10-7-0. Jimenez is now tied for most wins in a season out of any goalkeeper in program history. It wasn’t such great news as for WPI as Alex Crompton bicycled home a goal with just three seconds remaining in double overtime to give second-seeded Babson a stunning 1-0 victory over the top seeded Engineers in the championship game of the 2019 NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Tournament. WPI, ranked fifth in the most recent NCAA Division III New England rankings, saw its 10-game unbeaten streak (8-0-2) snapped as they were defeated for the first time since late September. The Engineers are now 12-3-4 overall and await word if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. (TOURNEY SEEDING/OPPONENT TO BE ADDED)
In women’s soccer, WPI saw its impressive run in the 2019 NEWMAC Tournament come to an end Saturday evening with a 3-0 loss to nationally-ranked MIT. The Engineers, who were ranked ninth in the latest NCAA Division III New England rankings, are 16-5-1 overall with three of its five losses to No. 1 MIT and No. 3 Tufts. They also await word if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. (TOURNEY SEEDING/OPPONENT TO BE ADDED)
In men’s basketball, Assumption defeated the Caldwell University Cougars, 100-73, on day two of the Assumption Tip-Off Classic. The Greyhounds set the program’s record for three-pointers made in a game with 21. Matthew Kelly led the Greyhounds in scoring with 17 points and added seven assists and six rebounds. Patrick Fleming and Isiah Gaiter each added 15 points while Branislav Vujadinovic finished the night with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Assumption shot 53.3 percent from the field, including 50 percent from behind the arc.
In women’s basketball, the Greyhounds captured a 40-point victory in their season opener on the road as Assumption defeated Concordia University, 81-41. Monica Spain made her career debut to lead the Hounds with 19 points and six rebounds while Brianna Capacchione notched 15 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. Anna Shaughnessy recorded 12 points and six rebounds, and Temi Falayi earned 11 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double while adding three blocks. Melanie Presseau poured in 14 of her career-high 16 points in a third quarter as WPI kicked off their season with a 54-41 victory over Clark in an opening round game of the 39th annual Worcester City Tournament. Presseau was the only Engineer in double digits in scoring as seniors Spencer Vinson and Alana Keating (St. Bernard’s) each added seven points. Vinson led all players with 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks and a pair of steals. Presseau also excelled on the defensive end, adding four steals while Sara Lyons chipped in with two steals and a pair of assists. Clark Junior Hannah Favaloro (Douglas High) logged her 11th career double-double in the setback as the forward tallied a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds while coming away with five steals. Sophomore guard Virginia Benbow finished with 11 points in her first collegiate start. Worcester State opened its season with a 62-44 win over Becker College in the other first round game of the Worcester City Tournament. The Lancers were led by senior Mya Mosley (Wachusett Regional), who recorded a game-high 19 points. Karalyn Gallella chipped in 17 points for a strong showing in her first college game. Natasha Pacheco was the leading scorer for the Hawks, and recorded the game’s only double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Cassidy Harrison added 15 points of her own in the defeat
In men’s ice hockey, Alexander Mavrogiannis netted the game-winning goal with 43 seconds left in overtime to lift Assumption 4-3 over the Post Eagles. Michael Zampanti put the Hounds up 3-2 at the 3:07 mark of the third period. Christopher Stalmok (Paxton, Mass.) gave the Hounds an initial 1-0 lead at the 12:58 mark of the first. Post was able to tie the game at one by the end of the period and then went up 2-1 at the 11:54 mark of the second, but Maribito tied the game at two just 30 seconds after Post’s go-ahead goal. David Altman made 33 saves on 36 shots and improved to 2-0-0 on the year.
In women’s ice hockey, Becker won their 2019-20 home opener, 2-0, over visiting Salve Regina University at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. The Hawks struck first 7:18 into the second period when Becker sophomore defender Gabby Petrisin scored her second goal of the season. Cassidhe Wozniak made it 2-0 10:26 into the third period. Becker freshman goalkeeper Amber Lee picked up her first career win in net, tallying 33 saves in the shutout.