2017 in Review: Hawks Athletics

Saint Anselm Hawks field hockey

2017 saw the 'Hawks soar higher' as several teams earned conference championships, and advanced to NCAA tournament play. Student-athletes welcomed several new coaches to the ranks, while the Department of Athletics resurrected old traditions and established new ones.

Saint Anselm Hawks volleyballHawks volleyball manufactured a historic season on several fronts, including the program's first-ever victory in the NE-10 Tournament, as the sixth-seeded squad outlasted third-seeded Bentley University, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 17-15 in the quarterfinals. Saint Anselm entered the match with an 0-12 record in nine appearances in the NE10 Championship and had never won a match at Bentley, while the Falcons were appearing in the tournament for the 35th time in its 37 seasons.

For the first time in program history, the team earned an NCAA Tournament bid, landing the No. 7 seed in the East Region of the 2017 Division II Women's Volleyball Championship. The historic season drew to a close as Molloy College rallied from two sets down to defeat the Hawks, 23-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9

Senior outside hitter Katy Teets and junior setter Jewel Hays each were named to the All-NE10 Second Team, sophomore middle Madison Sollows was selected to the All-NE10 Third Team and freshman middle Holly Manchester was an All-Rookie team pick.

Saint Anselm Hawks field hockeySaint Anselm’s field hockey team earned an NCAA DII tournament bid for the second time in as many seasons. Led by team captains Emma Kincaid, Katie Neyland, and Erin Collins, the field hockey team closed out their 2017 campaign by clinching the Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season Championship with a home victory against American International College. After qualifying for the NE-10 playoffs for the third consecutive season, the team lost in a double-overtime heartbreaker against division rival LIU Post. The squad entered the NCAA tournament ranked fourth in the nation, drawing a first-round contest against Millersville University. The Hawks battled the Marauders into another double-overtime contest, but were ultimately edged 1-0, ending this year's bid for the NCAA title.

The field hockey team collected several individual honors at the end of their season. Kincaid became the first-ever Hawks recipient of the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II Offensive Player of the Week. Kincaid finished her season one goal and two assists shy of setting two program records. Defensive star Collins and head coach Carolyn King-Robitaille headlined the seven NE-10 individual All-Conference awards collected by members of the field hockey program. Collins was tabbed as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and King-Robitaille collected her second consecutive Coach of the Year award after leading the Hawks to a 17-1 overall and 11-1 divisional record.

Saint Anselm Hawks men's basketballThe men’s basketball team captured the NE-10 championship in a fantastic game against top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University. The Hawks were led by a game-high 26 points from Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player Cody Ball as they overcame an early deficit en route to the 73 – 68 victory. The squad earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament before they fell in the first round to Saint Thomas Aquinas College.

The women’s basketball team advanced to the NE-10 Conference Semifinals for the first time in 17 years. The season was full of program and personal achievements, as seniors Caitlyn Abela and Candace Andrews both cemented their legacies by crossing the prestigious 1,000-point threshold against Assumption College and Southern New Hampshire University, respectively. The team bid farewell to head coach Julie Plant, who stepped down after posting back-to-back 18-plus win seasons for the first time since legendary coach Donna Guimont accomplished the feat in 1993 and 1994. The Hawks welcomed Corey Boilard as their new skipper for the 2017-18 season.

Men’s hockey also bid farewell to a beloved member of their coaching staff as 15-year head coach Ed Seney retired. Throughout his tenure at the Hilltop, Seney’s squad collected an impressive eight NE-10 regular season titles and seven NE-10 tournament championships. Seney posted a final record of 202-162-36 and earned four NE-10 Coach of the Year awards. In his final season, the Hawks earned the top seed for the championship tournament before falling to Assumption College 4-3 in the semifinals. The Hawks tabbed Jim Tortorella to lead them in the upcoming season.

Saint Anselm Hawks women's hockeyThe women’s team won the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open for the seventh time in program history by edging Holy Cross University in an overtime thriller. They finished the season on a 14 – 0 unbeaten streak, tied for the second-longest in program history. Incredibly, the squad was able to add three skaters – Alex StarzykAlison Butler, and Alison Quinn – to the prestigious 100-point club, bringing the membership total up to eight skaters.

Seniors Alex Pacitti and Mark Vitello were both named 2017 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)/Nike Division II Scholar All-Americans. The duo also received academic honors through the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) when they were named to the All-New England teams. The team finished their season ranked fourteenth nationally in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Pace University in the first round of the NE-10 Championship Tournament.

Saint Anselm student-athletes excelled both on and off the field this year, as 144 students representing all 20 intercollegiate teams were named to the 2017 Spring Dean’s List.

Behind the scenes, the Department of Athletics was busy in the past year re-establishing old traditions, and implementing new ones as well.

After reestablishing the Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2016, the Saint Anselm College Department of Athletics announced two inductees, former athletic director Dr. Jo-Ann E. Nester and men’s lacrosse standout Kevin DeBenedetto ’10, to the class of 2017 in January. In early November, the department announced seven alumni will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

First issued in September 2017, the "Hawks Soar Higher" Award was created to allow the Department of Athletics to recognize individuals that are instrumental to the College's efforts to offer a first class, transformational student-athlete experience. The award is issued each month during the academic year to two individuals employed by the institution outside of athletics.

Recipients will be colleagues, faculty, staff or administrators that advocate for Saint Anselm student-athletes and who go above and beyond in their contributions each day on the Hilltop.

2017 Fall Club Sports Update

WomensRugby

Saint Anselm’s club sports teams are student-run organizations that enable students to participate in competitive intercollegiate games while enhancing member’s social and educational experience on the Hilltop. Clubs that are recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA) are overseen by the SGA Secretary of Club Affairs with advisement from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs.

Clubs offer a venue for students seeking to supplement their academic experience at Saint Anselm with athletic achievements. Hawks form lasting bonds with their teammates while enjoying one or more of many creative physical outlets suited to their individual athletic interests. In addition to fostering a sense of community, club sports provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills.

We spoke with five of the fall semester’s active club teams, and highlight their seasons here.

ClubHockey

Club Hockey (Men’s)

Club Hockey most recently hosted University of Massachusetts Lowell, recording a 5-4 victory in an overtime thriller. The win brings the Hawks to a 7-1 record on the season, firmly entrenching their hold on the top position in the NECHA American Conference Northeast division. With 13 games left in a regular season that stretches into February, there will be plenty of opportunities for fans to watch playoff-hopeful Hawks club hockey.

The Hawks upcoming features include two home bouts against Boston College and Bentley University this weekend (November 4 at 4:30 p.m. and November 5 at 5 p.m., respectively). Next weekend the club will host the University of Vermont and the University of Maine.

The men’s team is led by President and Captain Samuel Buran. He is assisted by co-captains Thomas Royer (the club’s vice president) and Michael Doyle. There are 28 players on the club roster.

Club Hockey (Women’s)

Women’s Club Hockey has 22 skaters on their official roster, headed by co-captains and co-presidents MaKayla Sterling and Marisa Gervasi. They will finish off their 2017 campaign with a busy slate of home matchups against various DI and DII colleges and universities.

On November 5, the Hawks will host the University of New Hampshire in a Sunday afternoon tilt in Sullivan Ice Arena at 2 p.m. After the Wildcats come to town, the Hawks will finish their final home games against the University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, and Westfield State before hosting Boston College on November 19 at 2 p.m. to wrap up the regular season.

WomensRugby

Club Rugby (Women’s)

Women’s Club Rugby is concluding a great fall campaign. Led by President Jacqueline Glendye, Vice-President Emily Lowe, and captains Sarah McAndrews and Morgan Brady, the Hawks have battled numerous colleges, including Stonehill and Roger Williams College.

The 28 members will have one more home game this season at 12 p.m. on November 4 against Providence College. Glendye encourages anyone who is interested in rugby to attend, as “new members are always welcome throughout the season and the school year.”

Club Soccer (Women’s)

Under the direction of fifth-year coach Chad Burroughs, women’s Club Soccer turned their nine games this season into a 3-2-4 record. Alongside President Samantha O’Neil, club Captains Meghan James, Kayla Wilson, and Erin Connelly lead the 26 members of the squad. The team finished their season at home against Brandeis University, recording a tie in the contest.

Next spring, the club will host an exhibition tournament and a free soccer clinic for local children. By providing an opportunity for Manchester youth to learn how to play soccer, the club hopes to actively engage with the community while promoting their sport as a fun and healthy outside activity.

Club Ultimate (Co-Ed)

Under the new leadership of President Randy Jack, Club Ultimate continues to be one of the most popular options for students seeking fun athletic competition. With an official roster of 38 members, the co-ed club provides an engaging opportunity for participants to learn the fundamentals of the sport while bonding as a team and competing in numerous intercollegiate events.

Captained by Madeline Dunn, Margaret McNeil, Zachary Demas, and Gregory Williams, Club Ultimate is concluding a busy fall semester with multiple tournaments, including an October 28 matchup against the Panthers of Plymouth State University. The club will host a tournament on November 11, so be sure to check out the action and support the Hawks.

Other clubs teams that compete during the fall semester include Men’s Rugby, Golf, and Men’s Soccer.

 

Student Government Association Inauguration Ceremony

Bishop&Pratt

On Sunday March 26, the Student Government Association (SGA) held an inauguration ceremony to induct the new administration and class councils. The proceedings opened with an awards ceremony that honored students, professors, and faculty who contributed positively to the betterment of the college. Incumbent President Emily Bishop ‘18 and Vice President Brandon Pratt ‘18 were then sworn in after a successful campaign hinging on their ability to fulfill past and future promises to the student body.

Bishop&Pratt

Dean of Students Alicia Finn helped open proceedings with an extended metaphor about leadership and geese. She discussed how geese “travel on the thrust and trust of one another” in their famous V formation. According to Dean Finn, a whole flock of geese flies 71 percent further by working together. As each goose flaps its wings, they create lift which propels the geese following it.

“Each one gets to experience and dynamically draw on the energy of the whole flock,” Finn noted. “If we have the same good sense of a goose… we will accept [each other’s] help.”

She continued that, “each goose stands ready to take the lead spot, or drop out and support those that fall behind.” The ability to adapt to different situations and to work for the common good are hallmarks of strong leadership and are exhibited daily by the officers and members of SGA, according to Finn.

Dean Finn also addressed the senior members of SGA. She praised the Class of 2017 for modeling “critical thinking interwoven with compassion,” adding that the Class of 2018 had “much to live up to.” Finn emphasized that the senior SGA members exemplified the school’s mission while revealing the true meaning of being Benedictine and Anselmian.

As part of the ceremony, several awards were distributed to honor members of the Saint Anselm community who have had a tremendous impact on the school and student body. From SGA members to faculty and staff, the ceremony commemorated the recipients’ unwavering commitment to bettering Saint Anselm to the best of their unique capabilities.

Emily Mazza ‘17 began the awards ceremony by presenting the Abbot Gerald McCarthy Award to Professor of the Year Peter Cordella. Mazza gave a touching speech that commemorated her personal connection to the chair of the Criminal Justice department. She noted that Dr. Cordella was essential in her decision to attend Saint Anselm College, and that they grew close over the course of her work study with the department, a job he offered to her.

The Dr. Constance Richards and Dr. Alicia Finn Awards were co-presented by President Bishop and Vice President Pratt to Laura Manning and Don Moreau, respectively. Manning, who works in the Coffee Shop, was recognized for her “selflessness and unwavering dedication” to the student body. Moreau received his award for his tremendous assistance in coordinating with the SGA regarding student requests for the new Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex.

Andrew Keyes ‘18 and Andrew Shue ‘18, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Club Affairs, presented the Fr. Peter Guerin Award to the Dance Club for their commitment to their club and to the Saint Anselm community. Keyes noted that from cheering at football games to community service, Dance Club worked hard to have a positive impact at Saint Anselm College.

The portion of the evening dedicated to awards concluded with the Dr. Jospeh Horton SGA Member of the Year Award. Dr. Joseph Horton, Mazza, and Robert Merritt ‘17 co-presented the prize to Amy Vachon ’17 for her meritorious contributions to the organization. Vachon has been a member of the association for all of her four years at Saint Anselm’s, and served as the Chief of Staff this year as well as Vice President of the Class of 2017.

In his post-inauguration speech, Vice President Pratt described Vachon as “the rock of SGA.” He thanked her for her friendship and for her presence as a role model during his first term in office.

Both Pratt and Bishop used their inauguration speeches to detail their achievements from the past year, emphasizing their campaign slogan “Promises made, promises kept.” They described the administration’s efforts to clean up campus with the Respect the Nest campaign, which advocates for more recycling and for students to take more responsibility in the upkeep of Saint Anselm. The reelected duo also spoke about their involvement in creating a council for college president Steven R. DiSalvo, revamping the Hawks Advantage program, and in renewing Saint Anselm’s ties to the New England Alliance Conference.

In their second year of leading SGA, Pratt and Bishop promised to continue advocating for more pass/fail classes. According to Pratt, implementation of pass/fail classes would encourage students to enroll in classes out of their “comfort zone,” which would enhance Saint Anselm’s liberal arts learning experience.

The duo also vowed to work on making the campus more handicap accessible and to work more closely with the Multicultural Center. “We believe in making this a campus for everyone,” Pratt said. “Differences make us beautiful.”

“We will continue to put students first, plain and simple,” Bishop added.

The newly reelected president also took time during her speech to address the new and returning members of SGA. She emphasized that their contributions and efforts “have never gone unnoticed,” and that the success the administration enjoyed was largely a result of the cohesion and collaboration within the association.

After the inaugural addresses of Vice President Pratt and President Bishop, the class councils were all sworn into office. The ceremony marked the representatives’ official acceptance of their positions and acceptance of their duties for their respective classes.

The ceremonies concluded with a prayer led by Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B. and a brief reception for the student officers and their families.

Winter Club Sports Update

Saint Anselm Dance Team

Saint Anselm College is gearing up for a host of club-level athletic events this semester. Club sports provide the perfect outlet for competitive students seeking the thrill of intercollegiate competition without the time commitment of a varsity sport. These student-run organizations rely on physical activity to help develop leadership skills and promote lasting social bonds.

Student Activities reports that there are ten club sport teams active during the semester. Although the majority of these athletes will be active later in the spring when temperatures are warmer and fields are greener, a few dedicated clubs remain active throughout the winter months.

Saint Anselm Dance TeamDance Club

The Dance Club is also gearing up for a busy semester full of performances. Under the tutelage of President Brittany Voto, the club practices four times a week in order to rehearse for their big finale – the end of semester dance showcase.

The showcase will be held on April 9 in the Dana Center, and is open to all students. The theme for the showcase is Party like Gatsby, and 35 members of the club are signed up to participate. With routines ranging from tap to hip hop to lyrical, the show promises to be both diverse and entertaining.

On top of the club practices, Captains Maggie Walker, Emma Bishop, and Emily Wojtowicz are responsible for leading Dance Team rehearsals. The squad is composed of 16 Dance Club members, and they run separate practices three days a week in order to prepare for their “jazz and high kick pom routines” at home basketball games, according to Voto.

Club Ultimate

One of the most popular groups on campus is Club Ultimate (Frisbee), which boasts a membership of around 40 students drawn from all four grade levels. With four tournaments already planned for the semester, the team is set for their busiest season yet.

Nine members of Club Ultimate recently represented Saint Anselm in a ‘magic hat’ tournament at Brandeis University. The Hawks were split up and mixed with players from other colleges to form diverse teams.

Club President Gregory Williams said that the tournament was an excellent opportunity for the team to meet new people. As a relatively new club, contests like Brandeis’ provide an invaluable opportunity to network and coordinate future matches.

The club also plans to participate in a tournament on February 25 in Portsmouth, NH. The tournament (aptly named Live, Freeze, or Die) will be played against local teams, including UNH and Franklin Pierce.

After February, the team does not plan to compete again until April, when they will participate in two tournaments. One of those competitions will be the New England Open, a large-scale contest against a host of teams in the region, including Boston College, Tufts, and Northeastern University.

Men’s Club Hockey

The Men’s Club Hockey is currently closing off a terrific 2016-2017 campaign. The team, which competes in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), has accrued an impressive 13-3-1-1 overall record.

Sophomore Thomas Royer has paced the team offensively this season. The forward has tallied 34 points from 16 goals and 18 assists (both team-highs) across 18 games played. His presence on the ice has played a key role in the club’s victories this year.

The 29 members of Club Hockey compete in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association (NECHA) Conference. The conference is composed of 38 teams from schools across the region, including Boston University, Providence College, and Harvard University.

The Hawks have clinched first place in their division (American North), and are currently ranked fifth overall in the ACHA. Club Hockey returns to competition on February 10 with an away match against Boston College.

Other clubs that will compete during the spring semester include Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Track, Women’s Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Rugby, and Softball.