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Weekly Recaps: Sept. 23, 2016

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Women’s Tennis

Despite losses to three top conference teams Babson, Wellesley, and Springfield Clark Women’s Tennis Head Coach Dan Herbst said he is “very pleased with how the team competed and accepted the [challenges]” of these matches. Herbst said the tough losses will help the team this coming week as they face Emerson and MIT.

Coach Herbst said his goals are to “help the team improve each day, always give one hundred percent, and be positive with themselves and teammates on the court.” The team’s work paid off against Anna Maria, Becker College, and in their season opener against Simmons. Clark won this game 5-4, marking the first time they beat the Sharks in 13 matches.

In his first year, Coach Herbst led last year’s team to a record-breaking number of wins. Herbst brought back Rebecca Kravetz (‘16) as a Graduate Assistant Coach. Kravetz was a key player from last season and a three time NEWMAC All-Conference selection.

Clark will play its next home match on Saturday against MIT at 4 p.m.

 

Volleyball

Clark Volleyball has played a tough schedule so far in order to better test themselves in preparation for conference play. They are 8-5 after thirteen games. Last year they were 12-1 at this point.

The Cougars took off against New England University in Clark’s first match of the season. After losing their first set, they took control in the second half to win the last three games by cutting down on its unforced errors and winning long rallies.

Clark also did well in the Haverford Invitational; they beat Arcadia and Marymount. They lost a tightly contested match to nationally ranked University of Mary Washington losing the fifth set by just two points.

On September 7 Clark played at Tufts and lost to the home team in a four game match, but followed up with a 3-0 win against a different NESCAC school at the Trinity Invitational in Hartford, Conn the next week.

Defensive specialist Rayme Quiban (‘19) said that the team is not worried about the five losses so far and is optimistic to dive into conference play. “Being a team is everything, and family will help us get the wins,” said Quiban.

On Saturday, the team will take on another team from the formidable NESCAC conference in Amherst 11 a.m., and then play the defending conference champions Babson at 3 p.m. Both games will be at home in the Kneller.

 

Women’s Cross Country

Clark Women’s Cross Country started their season off with a bang as two of their runners placed in the top 25 of the Franklin Pierce invitational in Hopkinton, N.H. last weekend.

Both Kristen Glennie (18’) and Nicolina Braccio (‘20) placed among the top 25 runners who competed, and many Clark runners reached personal records in the course. “There were a lot of DII schools, and we are a DIII school, but that didn’t stop anybody from doing their best” said Liza French (‘19).

The team will race next in the Worcester City Championships today at Moore State Park in Paxton at 4 p.m.

 

Men’s Soccer 

Clark Men’s Soccer won 2-1 against WPI on Saturday to improve their record to 6-0. This was the first time they beat the Engineers in six years.

Forward Evan Jurkowski (‘20) scored the clinching goal off an assist from defender Greg French (‘18) in double overtime. Jurkowski is not the only first-year who has provided an offensive boost this season. First-years were responsible for all goals and assists in the wins against Roger Williams and Western New England. Forwards Sean Munroe (‘20), Zack Blais (‘17), and co-captain midfielder TJ Zirkman (‘17) are the team’s leading scorers with three goals apiece.

Co-captain center back Mike Spanos (‘17) credited part of the team’s success to the ten deep first-year class. “When we bring these new freshmen along, they definitely aren’t bringing down the level, and they’re really helping on the attack,” said Spanos.

This offensive help combined with a solid defense led by goalkeeper and NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week Connor Maguire is why the team is undefeated. They will try to stay that way against Coast Guard at home on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m.

 

Women’s Soccer

Clark Women’s Soccer lost their first conference 4-0 to Smith on Saturday, marring their undefeated record in the process. The team is now 5-1-1.

Nevertheless, co-captain defender Emma Deneault (‘18) said she is optimistic about the team’s chances during the rest of the conference schedule because of the team’s improved depth. “Something we’ve struggled in the past with is not having enough players, so to have depth that we’re confident in is a big change for us, and all of our players are doing great,” said Deneault.

This improved depth comes from the twelve strong first-year class, which has bolstered the team at all positions, and has allowed the team to remain strong defensively. Last year, teams punished the lack of depth of Clark’s defense by substituting fresh legs. Because of this, the team lost two conference games in overtime last season. They have won all three of their overtime games this season.

Julianna Christy (‘20) has filled the void at goalkeeper left by Graduate Assistant Coach Gabby Paolini (‘16). Prior to the Smith game, Christy let in only two goals all season. She earned the NEWMAC Women’s Soccer Defensive Athlete of the Week award for Clark’s first week of match play.

The team will play its next home game against Coast Guard on Alumni Day this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The contest is an Alzheimer’s Awareness Game.

 

Field Hockey

Clark Field Hockey beat Daniel Webster 7-1 on Tuesday after losing to Babson 4-0 in the team’s first conference game last Friday. The 3-3 team has won or lost all but one of their games by a margin of at least two goals.

The exception happened against Anna Maria in the team’s first game. Clark was down 3-4 early in the second half, and scored three goals to win 6-5. Co-captain forward Lauren Mackey (‘17) said the team’s renewed toughness helped them pull out the win. “In years’ past we might have lost our momentum, but the win showed the areas that we’re really progressing in,” said Mackey. “After the halftime conversations, we’ve been really good at coming out and performing.”

Mackey credited the team’s resilience to new Head Coach Callie Lekas, who Mackey said has established a new culture that has given the team a boost. “She’s brought a lot of new ways of thinking, and this new mentality has helped everyone focus, and pay attention to detail, not get ahead of ourselves,” said Mackey.

The team will play its next home game on Tuesday, Oct. 4 against WPI at 7 p.m.

 

Men’s Cross Country

Clark Men’s Cross Country competed against a few Division II and III schools in Hopkinton on Saturday. Franklin Pierce, a Division II school, hosted the event. Emerson narrowly edged out Clark for the tenth spot, and the Cougars fell just behind the other schools to finish in last.

Not only was the competition tough, but the course was especially hilly according to Ethan Winslow (‘17). “It was kind of a slow course,” said Winslow. “It was the same 2,000 meter loop four times in a row, and there was a hill marked “big ass hill” on the map, and it didn’t seem that big until you had to run up it four times, and then it was tough.”

Co-captain Alex Hull (‘18) finished first for the Cougars and 41st overall with a time of 28:17. Thomas Alden (‘20) and Satchel Smith (‘20) finished second and third respectively for Clark with times of 30:48 and 30:59.

While Winslow said some were slightly disappointed with their time on the course, it was good practice for having to run against conference opponents later in the season.

The races don’t stop coming, and so Clark Men’s Cross Country will hit the ground running today at 4:45 p.m. in the Worcester City Championships at Moore State Park in Paxton.

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Weekly Recaps: Sept. 23, 2016