By Nick Pantages
Men’s Basketball: Coach Michael McClendon started off his second season with a 1-2 record. It was a one-point game late against Western New England, but the Golden Bears pulled away, winning 69-62. Newark, N.J., was the site of the Pride’s next two games. They defeated Rutgers-Newark 71-64 for their first win behind Gary Bess’ team-high 13 points, before falling to Wesleyan 83-51.
Women’s Basketball: Angela Czeremcha’s strong week powered the Pride to a 2-1 start. They began their season with a 74-56 win over Western New England, with Czeremcha and Rachel Vinton scoring 19 points apiece. Next was a 73-46 loss to Bowdoin, but they bounced back, winning 61-56 against Endicott. Amanda Leary’s 19 points topped Springfield, while Vinton and Lindsay Laughlin collected double-doubles.
Men’s Cross Country: The Pride finished 17th of 26 at the NCAA Regional Championships in Westfield, Mass., on Nov, 11. Chris Vayda led the way for the Pride, finishing in 75th place. Joe Wong and Adam Mula also finished in the top 100, in 84th and 94th, respectively.
Women’s Cross Country: The season wrapped up with a 12th place finish at the 24-team NCAA Regional Championships. Maddie Shea was the top finisher for the Pride in 65th. She was followed by Sophie Curcio in 70th and Kate Bonanno in 78th.
Football: A NEWMAC championship and an NCAA tournament berth were clinched in a 51-6 win over SUNY Maritime on Nov. 11, as the Pride ended the regular season with a 9-1 record. Defensively, Will McKay picked off two passes. Blane Hart scored twice, while Arsen Shtefan, Jacob Silvester, Dante Vasquez and Sean Brown all found the end zone on the ground, and Silvester connected with Noah Wagnblas through the air for his first touchdown this season.
Men’s Swimming and Diving: Jonathan Chan and Christian Butler earned NEWMAC honors as Springfield beat Keene State and lost to Wheaton. Chan was named the conference’s Men’s Swimmer of the Week after winning the 200 free, 200 fly and 200 IM. Dan Backlund was first in the 100 free, while Butler, the Men’s Diver of the Week, won both the one- and three-meter competitions.
Women’s Swimming and Diving: Kay Shen’s stellar meet propelled the Pride to a split, as Springfield defeated Keene State but fell to Wheaton. Shen earned NEWMAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week honors, winning the 50, 100 and 200 free. Nina Lamb also won a pair of races, the 100 and 200 breast.
Women’s Volleyball: The Pride were reverse swept in the NEWMAC championship by No. 20 MIT. Springfield took on Coast Guard in the semifinals, and pulled out a tough, 3-1 victory, led by Natalie Billet’s 15 kills. In the finals, Riley Donahue and Maeve Voltz topped the Pride with 21 and 15 kills, respectively, while Ally Townsend collected 43 digs in the two contests. The Pride did enough to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, entering with a 26-4 record.
Wrestling: Ben Katz’s pin in the final match of the day helped Springfield secure its fourth consecutive victory at the City of Springfield Championship, hosted by American International College. The Pride cruised past Springfield Technical CC 51-0 and AIC 48-3, concluding the day with a 28-15 victory over Western New England. The Pride split the 10 matches with the Golden Bears, but their four pins by Gianni Manginelli, Jacob Deguire, Casey Allen and Katz led the Pride to the title.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics.