By Braedan Shea
On Jan. 21, Springfield College’s senior forward Sam Hourihan added yet another accolade to her ever-growing list. With just 2:49 left in the fourth quarter of the Pride’s matchup against Wellesley College, and sitting on 999 career collegiate points, Hourihan drove hard to the basket, and released a layup at the apex of her jump. As the ball kissed the backboard and began falling through the net, Hourihan had successfully notched her 1000th career point. Springfield later defeated the Blue 64-38. But, even for as well as Hourihan has been playing, it has not been translating to wins as of late. The Posse is just 3-4 since winter break, including a three-game skid for the first time since the 2019-2020 season – a stark contrast from the 9-1 record they carried into the intermission.
Leading up until the winter break, it was clear that the Springfield College men’s basketball program was still searching for its identity. With new coach Mike McClendon at the helm, and a roster primarily made up of underclassmen, the Pride started the season flat – sporting a 2-8 record. But since the break, Springfield looks as if they have begun to find themselves a bit. The Pride have more than doubled their wins in the last eight games, including back-to-back victories over Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Coast Guard, their first time winning consecutive games this season. The Pride are led by fifth-year senior Daryl Costa (10.9 points, 2.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game) and first-year John Paulino (8.8 points, 3.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 29.1 minutes per game).
Women’s Track and Field
Although having just one actual scoring meet under its belt, the Springfield College women’s track and field team is geared up for a very successful season. In their first return to action on Jan. 14, the Pride held their own, totaling 142 total points and finishing second overall amongst a field of seven teams – despite having just one first place finisher. More recently, in a non-scoring meet against Westfield State, Lasell, Trinity and American International, Springfield dominated. Names of the Pride littered the top of every event, including nine first-place finishers. Senior jumper Matlyn Gross has been on a tear lately, nabbing three first place victories in the long and triple jumps in the two meets; the latter of which she achieved a personal best of 11.81 meters – good for third in the country.
Men’s Track and Field
Much like the women’s program, the Springfield College men’s track and field team has gotten off to a fast start in 2023, and shows no signs of slowing down. Also having just one scoring meet so far, the Pride finished second of seven teams with 130 total points behind a strong performance from the sprint team. In the 60 and 200 meter dashes, Springfield had 10 top-eight finishers, five in each race. In the team’s most recent performance at the Massasoit Classic, the Pride had a similar dominance shared by their female counterparts, totaling five first-place finishes.
In what is generally considered the hardest point of the year for the Springfield College wrestling team, as it has to get back into strict diets and strenuous training regimes following a short break, the journey of the season has become a bit bumpy. After ending the first half of the season undefeated in duals, and grabbing four-straight third place or better finishes in tournaments, the Pride have started the second half of the season not quite as strong. In the nine duals since the break, Springfield is 5-4. But that stretch hasn’t been entirely grim. On Jan. 22, the Pride demolished Norwich 50-0 in the NEWA Dual Championship on their way to a fourth-place (out of 16) finish, the second time this season Springfield has beaten an opponent by 50. Another bright spot on the team has been the resurgence of Gianni Manginelli, who bounced back from a slow start – by his terms – to the season, and was announced to the NEWA Duals All-Tournament Team.
Men’s Swim and Dive
It appears that the mid-season break has helped the Springfield men’s swimming and diving team a lot. After getting off to an undesirable start, with just a 2-4 record in team matches and a fourth-place finish out of nine teams in the Gompei Invitational, there has been quite the turnaround. To begin the second half, the Pride came out on fire, winning all four of their matches. The most impressive of the performances came as they powered past Union and Hartwick for a tri-meet sweep on Jan. 11. The Pride bested Union, 180-111, and eased past Hartwick, 211-89. Springfield is led by the two record-breaking brothers, James and Jonathan Chan.
Women’s Swim and Dive
For as hot as the Springfield College men’s swimming and diving team has come out to start the second half, the women’s team has a leg-up. After also getting out to an unfavorable 1-6 start in team matches and a similar fourth-place finish out of a nine-team field, the Pride have been on a tear. Over the course of the past three Saturday’s, Springfield has won six straight matches, getting back over the .500 mark at 7-6
Photo courtesy of Springfield College