This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics
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Contact: Tony Bonvechio - Phone: (802) 654-2929
COLCHESTER, Vt. – It’s postseason time and the Purple Knights have already made a splash as men’s and women’s basketball both picked up wins in the First Round of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. Women’s hockey ended its season with its biggest win of the year, and men’s hockey is ready to host an NE-10 Semifinal game as the Purple Knights continue to assemble one of the most successful winter seasons in recent history.
Men’s basketball made its first playoff game in four years a success, as ninth-seeded Saint Michael's won at eighth-seeded Le Moyne, 66-60, in the First Round of the NE-10 Tournament on Saturday. Freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore./Sunset School/Winchendon) scored all 24 of his points in the second half - accounting for 59 percent of the team's scoring after intermission - while senior Chris Hurley (Watertown, Mass./Boston College HS) netted nine points in his playoff debut. Holton - named to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team on Friday - is just seven points away from tying the program record for points by a freshman of 430, set by the late Mark Fizulich '97 in 1993-94. The Purple Knights will look to upset a league-leading Bentley squad for the second time in February - and third time in the last 13 months - in the NE-10 Quarterfinals on Monday.
Women’s basketball won its first playoff game in 19 years - and stretched its winning streak to a season-high six games - with Sunday's 74-59 win versus 10th-seeded UMass Lowell in the First Round of the NE-10 Tournament. Seventh-seeded Saint Michael's hadn't hosted a postseason game since falling to UMass Lowell on Feb. 26, 2006, and hadn't won a playoff game since defeating AIC, 76-48, on Mar. 1, 1992. Saint Michael's - the league's leading free throw shooting team - made a season-high 30 free throws against UMass Lowell, and received three second-half 3-pointers from junior Caitlin Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville). Senior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) - named to the NE-10 All-Conference Third Team on Friday - added 14 points, and is seven points shy of cracking the top-10 in career scoring in program history. Saint Michael's six-game winning streak is the longest since an eight-game run from Nov. 30, 2005-Jan. 5, 2006. The Purple Knights visit second-seeded Franklin Pierce in the NE-10 Quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Women’s ice hockey closed its season with a 9-2 win over Sacred Heart in the consolation game of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Women’s Open Tournament on Sunday. The seven-goal rout was the team’s largest margin of victory this season, largely thanks to junior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets/Rutgers Univ.), who netted a hat trick and an assist to earn All-Tournament honors. Santore became the Saint Michael’s all-time single-season goals leader by finishing the year with 18 goals (seventh in the ECAC East), nine assists and 27 points (14th in the ECAC East and two shy of the Saint Michael’s all-time single season record). Senior goalie Alysia Goldman (Ballston Lake, N.Y./Hebron Academy) made 40 saves and finished her tenure with the program’s all-time best career goals against average (3.93) and is second all-time in career save percentage (.890). The Purple Knights finish the 2010-11 campaign with six wins, their best total since the 2008-09 season and tied for second most in 11 seasons of varsity play.
Men’s ice hockey is poised to host Southern New Hampshire in an NE-10 Semifinal game on Wednesday at Cairns Arena at 7 p.m. The regular season champions will be led by their three All-Conference players: first team senior defenseman Matt Rigtrup (Montclair, N.J./Pickering Panthers), second-team junior forward Reave MacKinnon (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Winnipeg Saints) and all rookie defenseman Kevin Lampron (Dorchester, Mass./Bridgewater Bandits). The trio helped lift Saint Michael’s to its third 10-win season in four years, a perfect NE-10 regular season record, and the team’s most Eastern College Athletic Conference East wins since the 2000-01 season.
The ski team finished the 2011 season on Sunday with an 11th-place finish at the two-day Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championships, hosted by Bates College and held at Sunday River and Black Mountain. Junior Kevin O'Brien (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) led the Purple Knights on Sunday with a 30th-place finish in the men's giant slalom. Sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) was tops for the Saint Michael's women with a 32nd-place giant slalom finish, while sophomore Christina Billotti (Massapequa, N.Y./Green Mountain Valley School) was right behind in 33rd. In Nordic action, freshman Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine/Fort Kent Community) place a team-best 54th in the women's 15-kilometer class mass start, while junior Sam Martell (Georgia, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans/Saint Lawrence Univ.) was next-best in 57th place.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse open their seasons on Saturday, with the women traveling to Keene State and the men scrimmaging Middlebury and Hamilton. Women’s lacrosse first year head coach Ashley Hughes will lead the Purple Knights (picked 11th in the NE-10 preseason poll) in their conference opener at Stonehill next Tuesday, and men’s head coach Paul Schimoler will guide Saint Michael’s (picked sixth in the NE-10 preseason poll) in its home opener next Wednesday when the Purple Knights host Plattsburgh State.
Men’s and women’s tennis resume play this weekend when the squads travel to Pace on Sunday. The women’s team enjoyed an undefeated fall season, and is predicted to finish third in the NE-10 after being ranked ninth in the East region according to the 2010-11 Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) College Tennis Rankings. The men are predicted to place seventh in the NE-10, and will feed off the early success of freshman Nicholas Bosco (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic), who was named the NE-10 Player of the Week in the final week of fall play.
This Week’s Schedule:
|Mon.||Feb. 28||Men’s Basketball at Bentley^, 7 p.m.|
|Tue.||Mar. 1||Women’s Basketball at Franklin Pierce^, 7 p.m.|
|Wed.||Mar. 2||Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Southern N.H.#, 7 p.m.|
Men's Lacrosse at Middlebury, 10 a.m.
Men's Lacross vs. Hamilton (at Middlebury), 11:30 a.m.
Women’s Lacrosse at Keene State, 1 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Saint Anselm/Assumption$, 3 p.m.
|Sun.||Mar. 6||Men’s Tennis at Pace*, 11 a.m.
Women’s Tennis at Pace*, 11 a.m.
*Northeast-10 Conference Game
^Northeast-10 Conference Quarterfinal Game
#Northeast-10 Conference Semifinal Game
$Northeast-10 Conference Championship (if win on Wed.)