Once again we go Off the Post to give another shout out to WPI women’s rowing as the Engineers concluded their fall campaign Saturday, Oct. 26 with four gold medals in the inaugural Wormtown Chase Regatta on Lake Quinsigamond.
The varsity eight cruised to a nearly 20 second victory over second=place Wesleyan by reaching the finishing line in 19:39.3. Locals Caitlin Kean (Shrewsbury High) and Olivia Kiristis (Shepherd Hill Regional) row on the varsity eight. The second varsity eight was seventh out of 21 entries with a time of 20:34.9. Josephine Bowen (Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science) rows for that boat. The novice eight tasted gold, besting second-place Simmons by nearly 50 seconds (22:15.2 to 23:04.3). The second novice eight placed eighth in a time of 26:15.5. Also winning for WPI was the varsity four A entry (23:34.7) and the varsity two A boat (24:23.8), which also features Kean, while the varsity four B boat was fifth (26:11.9) and the varsity two B entry (32:19.8). The WPI men dominated fours racing, with the top four times in the 12-boat field. The A entry (20:42.1) edged the D boat (20:43.6) for gold while the C boat was third (21:14.3) and the B entry fourth (21:15.4). Matt Adams was the winner of the singles race in a time of 25:36.8, while the varsity eight was eighth (18:24.0) and the novice eight second (19:53.3) in their respective races. Kalle Asaro (Wachusett Regional) rows for the second novice eights.
Sid Williams and Chris Nelson (St John’s High) garnered major awards as the WPI Men’s Swimming and Diving team won the Worcester City Meet for the eighth straight season last weekend. The two-day event was hosted by Holy Cross. Williams was named the Justin Ferris Swimmer of the Meet and Nelson garnered the Whit Griffith Diver of the Meet award. Both are WPI awards. As a team the Engineers amassed 1,134 points to capture the Paul Parenteau trophy for the 14th time in 19 years. Division I Holy Cross was second with 831 points, Clark was third (556) and Assumption made its debut with 100 points. Nelson took first in the 1-meter dive (214.65) and 3-meter dive (200.40). For the Women, Division I Holy Cross won the title with 1,152 points. Second-place was Division II Assumption (894), WPI was third (775), and Clark (273) finished fourth.
And since we often look at some of the non-major collegiate sports, how about we mention that the Anna Maria equestrian team finished in eighth place out of 12 schools at the UMass-Dartmouth show Saturday morning. Worcester native Isabelle Smith and her first-place finish in walk-trot-canter paced the Amcats on the day. Meanwhile, Jocelyn Trifiro secured third- and fourth-place finishes in the Flat and Over Fences events, respectively. Gina Houghton (Bay Path Regional) was right behind Trifior in the Flat event with a fourth-place finish. West Brookfield native Katie Barnes and Grace Bond rounded out the day for Anna Maria with sixth-place finishes in the Flat and walk-trot-canter events.
On Monday, Oct. 21 in men’s soccer, Liam Setterlund (Wachusett Regional) scored his first career game-winning goal in the 65th minute and Rufus Adams stopped four shots as WPI halted Saint Joseph’s College of Maine regular season unbeaten streak with a 1-0 triumph. It was Setterlund’s second goal of the season, and Adams’ ninth clean sheet.
Tuesday, Oct. 22nd saw Clark University women’s soccer sophomore Jamie Joseph providing the difference in the 43rd minute and the Cougars held on, taking a 1-0 victory against Wellesley College. Keeper Morgan Small earned her seventh clean sheet of the season making three saves. Also in women’s soccer, a second-half goal from Elizabeth Rocco lifted visiting WPI past Wheaton College, 2-1. The Crimson and Gray took an early 1-0 lead on a Kristen McCrea goal in the 17th minute. Mandy St. Germain (Nipmuc Regional) finished the contest with six saves for her 13th win on the season for the Engineers. Becker’s Kyra Teixeira scored a pair of first half goals and added an assist as the Hawks won their third straight game in a 5-0 victory over the Mitchell College Mariners. Kristen Beidleman, Shannon Kelley (BVT) and Chelsea Sedar were the other Becker goal scorers, while keepers Olivia Sherwood and Lyndsey Cobb-Wilkins each played a half, making two saves and one save, respectively. Sherwood took credit for the win, moving to 6-5-2 on the year. In volleyball, Clark University earned its first conference victory of the season as Sophia Torino delivered a season-high 52 assists to help the Cougars to a 3-1 (28-30, 25-20, 30-28, 25-21) victory against Mount Holyoke College. Claudia Rivera continued her string of solid performances, upping her career-high from three days ago as the outside hitter tallied a match-high 31 kills. Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury High) aided the attack for the Cougars with 14 kills of her own while Marimo Oka came away with a match-high 29 digs. Also in volleyball, Catherine Reynolds delivered a double-double of 28 assists and 12 digs, while Suela Miloshi narrowly missed out on a double-double of her own with 10 digs and eight kills as WPI bested visiting Wheaton College, 3-1 (27-25, 12-25, 25-19, 25-10). In field hockey, Bridget Sullivan scored off an assist from Abby O’Sullivan, and Ali Gannon stopped four shots for her fifth shutout of the season as WPI moved back into the win column with a 1-0 victory over visiting Smith College.
Wednesday, Oct. 23 in men’s soccer, Worcester State University played MIT to a 1-1 double overtime draw. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half, and it nearly took the entirety of the second half before the Lancers finally broke the ice. With 10:06 remaining in regulation time, senior Ethan Melia (Shrewsbury High) lofted home a shot from distance that appeared to be sending the Lancers to the victory. However, less than a minute and a half later MIT’s Will Seiple headed home a Noah Faro cross to even the score at 1-1 and eventually force overtime.
In volleyball on Thursday, Oct. 24 Clark University snagged their fourth win in the last five chances as Sophia Torino’s 32 assists orchestrated a well-balanced attack from the Cougars en route to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22) win against Western New England University. Torino recorded her 17th career 30-plus assist outing during the win. Claudia Rivera found the floor for 14 kills, while sophomore Margarita Perez-Maza collecting nine on a .389 hitting percentage. Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury High) and Torino each recorded five kills to aid the attack.
In local college football on Saturday, Assumption College needed two overtimes to defeat Stonehill College, 40-37, as Patrick May (Tahanto Regional) made a 34-yard field goal in the second extra session and senior Mac-Brian Nkongchu (Saint John’s High) had an end zone interception for the victory. Greyhounds quarterback Jordan McAfee was 19-29 passing for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Kyle Sonnie caught both of the scoring passes. McAfee also rushed for two scores, and Khaleed Exum-Strong added a third score on the ground. WPI’s Julian Nyland threw for a career-high 332 yards, and senior running backs Connor Field and Sean McAllen each ran for 129 yards to power the Engineers past the The Merchant Marine Accademy 66-13. The 66 points is the most all-time in program history, while the 645 offensive yards amassed by the Engineers is the highest single-game output during head coach Chris Robertson’s 10-year reign. WPI amassed over 400 yards of first-half offense for third straight game. Sam Casey and Nick Ostrowski (Shepherd Hill Regional) had seven tackles apiece, to lead a first-team defense, which allowed just 127 first-half yards.
Nationally in college football, Kevin Mensah (Shepherd Hill) rushed for 164 yards and five touchdowns in UConn’s 56-35 win over UMass. Defensive lineman Jake Byczko (Auburn) had two tackles and four assists in the game for UMass, while linebacker Cole McCubrey (Tahanto Regional) added three tackes and two assists. Tight end Noah Gray (Leominster) had three catches for 29 yards in Duke’s 20-17 loss to North Carolina.
In other local collegiate sports on Saturday, in volleyball, Clark University notched its fourth straight victory as the Cougars topped Worcester State University 3-1 (25-14, 20-25, 25-16, 25-11). Junior setter Sophia Torino compiled a match-high 36 assists while Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury, High) pummeled 17 kills to lead all players. Sophomore Margarita Perez-Maza supported the offensive attack with 13 kills. For the Lancers, Natalie Gillis and Leelle Tyler led the change offensively, each recording nine kills for the Lancers. Gillis finished just a kill shy of a double-double, as she recorded 14 digs in the defeat. Leading Worcester State’s was Camryn Burgio, who recorded 22 digs. Burgio also had three of the Lancers’ six service aces. In women’s soccer, Wellesley’s Deyanira Ibarra and WPI’s Leah Beauton traded goals in the opening 10 minutes and then the two teams played 100 minutes of scoreless soccer as the visiting Blue and the host Engineers played to a 1-1 double overtime draw. In a match of few chances, it was a senior Kyra Teixeira that emerged as the hero on Senior Day scoring a 98th-minute overtime goal as the Becker Hawks handed the Elms Blazers their first loss in the conference this season via a 1-0 win. Olivia Sherwood earned her fourth clean sheet making six saves. In men’s soccer, Mark Calnan netted a goal just 3:16 into the match, and Luke Reiniger and Matt Mulligan tallied second-half goals less than a minute apart as WPI knocked off visiting Springfield College, 4-2. David Lapointe had the insurance goal for WPI in the 73rd minute. A goal from senior Alfred Koroma (Millbury High) in the 60th minute was the difference as the Worcester State University men’s soccer team claimed a 2-1 win over Westfield State. Laszlo Dorogi (Wachusett Regional) had the first Lancers’ goal in the second minute of the game. Henri Guillmette made four stops for Worcester State. In field hockey, Rachel Hopkins had two goals as Worcester State posted a 4-0 win over Plymouth State University. Carly Duff (Quaboag Regional) and Coley Hayes had the other Lancers’ goals while Jess Hopkins upped her record to 14-4 with her fourth shutout of the season.
CALLING COLE TRACY
As we head on to today’s topic, Patriots fans are spoiled.
Now I get that’s hardly a hot take, considering New England has won six Super Bowls and could easily have a few more championships were it not for a couple of bad bounces, but those rings happened because of the real reason fans are spoiled.
We haven’t had to worry about our kicker in a long while.
Between Adam Vinatieri and Steven Gostkowski, it’s been 23 seasons since we’ve had to worry about our placekicker missing a kick. Sure they aren’t perfect, but the number of times either missed a pressure kick can be counted on one have and you’d have lots of fingers left.
With Mike Nugent kicking the ball, every field goal and extra point has become an adventure. Even some of the ones he’s made have been in doubt until the ball actually made it through the uprights. Patriots fans now have to hold their breath on every kick. Which makes me wonder why the Patriots signed him when Cole Tracy was available.
The Assumption College alum, who was just about as automatic as a kicker can be in his graduate season with LSU, is reportedly working on leg strength for kickoffs in southern California. With Patriots punter Jake Bailey handling the kickoffs for New England in place of Nugent Tracy’s only weakness is taken care of, so why not give him a chance?
Most college football fans consider the SEC the conference closest to the NFL in terms of playing style and game situations, and Tracy showed time and time again he was up to the challenge. It would cost the Patriots nothing to give a Tracy a look, and yet they didn’t.
There is no negative in giving Tracy a tryout. The worst thing that happens is he’s not good enough and they don’t sign him. Or he could be just as good as he was in college, and maybe even so good that he could challenge Gostkowski for the job next season. The worst thing that could happen is Patriots fans have to worry about a miss when he kicks.
And with Nugent, we’re already doing that.