By Brian McLoughlin & Brian Cohen – Sports Editor and 1851 Staff
The field hockey team had another strong season, despite coming up short
in the GNAC Championships to the Saint Joseph’s Monks. The Lasers finished with an overall record of 14-7 while posting a strong 6-1 record in GNAC play. “Getting to the conference championship is where we want to be,” said head coach Caitlin Connolly. “I was really proud of the team for working hard over the season to get there.”
This is the second year in a row the Lasers have been defeated by the Monks in the championship game and junior Mindy Esposito is making sure that won’t happen again. “We need to work hard in the off-season and we need to put in the extra effort to get to that point where we can beat them to win that championship,” she said.
Freshman goalkeepers, Makena Leazer and Sophia Rodriguez stood tall, contributing to strong play by the underclassmen. “It’s tough taking over for a senior goalkeeper, but they worked very hard in practice and our defense is led by mainly upperclassmen so having them to support and encourage them was really helpful,” said Connolly.
The Lasers are graduating a few key players on offense, including leading goal scorer Cailin Flannery and mid elder Julia Franzik. “I’m looking forward to seeing who is going to step up and ll those shoes,” said Esposito. The Lasers will head into the offseason coming off a strong year.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams are just finishing up a season of competition. The men’s team finished in seventh place in the GNAC Championships at Saint Joseph’s College on Oct. 28. The women’s team finished in ninth place in the GNAC Championships and placed 52nd in the Division III Regional Championships on Nov. 10.
Senior Stephanie Seedorf said, “My biggest highlight of the season was watching everyone improve each week. Every race each girl was getting faster and faster which was super impressive.”
Senior runner Ben Lane said this season went pretty well, despite inevitable injuries. Next year, the Lasers will have a lot of returning runners looking to sprint to a GNAC Championship.
The women’s soccer team had another outstanding year. The Lasers were defeated 1-0 by the Saint Joseph’s Monks in the GNAC Championship at Taylor Field on Nov. 4. This marked the end of an incredible run of eight consecutive GNAC Championships under head coach Vito La Francesca.
The Lasers finished with an overall record of 14-6 and a conference record of 11-1. After starting the season off 0-3, they stormed back winning seven in a row before taking their next defeat. Senior Erika Badger said, “I think one of our biggest highlights of the season was beating [Johnson and Wales University] early in the year 4-1. It got everyone excited for the rest of the year.”
In the postseason, the team defeated Saint Joseph College in Connecticut during the GNAC quarter final and Emmanuel College in the semi-final before meeting defeat in the championship game. When talking about the end of the season, senior Emma Papile said, “I understood that not everything works out in your favor and that the outcome of one game does not take away the success that this team has had for the past eight years.”
The Lasers will be graduating five seniors and will look for the next wave of great players to come in and start a new streak of GNAC Championships. “Every year the team changes and new faces are added, but the mission remains the same,” said Papile.
Men’s Soccer wraps up the 2018 campaign with a 4-12-2 record, including a 3-6-2 in GNAC action.
Sophomore Simon Nigro had a team-high eight points this season, spread between three goals and two assists. Senior captain Connor Wall had seven points, while Sawyer Geelan and Jake Oullette each knocked in six points each this season.
In 2019, the Lasers will try and return to the GNAC Tournament, with hopes of contending for championship with their youth movement.