Weekly Recap: Oct. 7, 2016
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Women’s Cross Country by Jay Sundar Rajan
Clark Women’s Cross Country continued their season of stellar performances. The Cougars placed seventh out of 13 teams in the Saratoga Invitational this past Saturday.
The team’s best performances were by Nicolina Braccio (‘20), who placed in 20th with a time of 18:50, and Kristen Glennie (‘18), who placed 23rd with a time of 18:56. The two made the record books as the second and third fastest times in Clark history. “Everybody got a season personal record and Nicolina was just featured as the NEWMAC runner of the week,” said Glennie, “There was a lot of competition, and nobody was afraid to really go for it and mix things up a bit.”
The team races next in the James Earley Invitational this Saturday, Oct. 8 at Stanley Memorial Park in Westfield, Mass. at 11 a.m.
Volleyball by Aaron Trachtman
Clark played in a tri-match on Saturday against Rhode Island College and Mount Holyoke. Underneath a large crowd, Clark won both matches 3-0. They beat Mount Holyoke 25-13 in the first, dominating play overall. The next two sets were closer, but Clark enjoyed timely kills from Marina Ramos (‘18) and a few others to seal both sets.
Clark beat Rhode Island College 25-11 in the first set. The Cougars followed it up with a solid 25-18 win in the second set. The third set went to extra points; Clark won 31-29 in a thriller.
Clark lost 3-0 to Springfield College on the road on Tuesday in heartbreaking fashion; they lost the second set 25-21 and the third set 25-19. They followed this up with a 3-1 win against non-conference opponent Fitchburg State on Thursday. Clark continues conference play at home against Wellesley College on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
Women’s Tennis by Lynn Pescaro
Clark Women’s Tennis lost to undefeated Mount Holyoke on Saturday. Clark co-captain and No. 1 singles player Isabelle Long (’18) did not play against Mount Holyoke.
Given the absence of Long, Emily Shuman (‘19) played No. 1 doubles with Adrien Horowitz (‘19) and No. 1 singles. She and Horowitz lost 8-1, and Shuman lost 6-1 and 6-3 in her singles match. Shuman’s injury may have been a factor. Head Coach Dan Herbst sat her out of singles the previous week against MIT so she could recover her leg to be fit for Mount Holyoke.
Shuman was positive about the loss. “Even when we lose 9-0, we go down fighting just about every match,” she said. Co-captain Amy Fallon (’17) had two close losses against Mount Holyoke, losing 8-3 in No. 2 doubles with partner Anna Gates (‘20), and dropping her No. 5 singles match 6-1, 7-5.
Fallon found her stride in the 6-3 loss to Smith on Wednesday, winning the No. 6 singles match with an 10-8 victory in the third set. Long was back for this match and won at No. 1 singles. Shuman and Horowitz won at No. 2 doubles.
Clark plays Wheaton at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. Graduate Assistant Coach Rebecca Kravetz (‘16) said she encourages Clark students to “come out and support us … that’ll be a tough one, but there’s potential we could win.”
Women’s Soccer by Kayleigh McHugh
Clark Women’s Soccer made the trek to Henniker, N.H. to surge past New England College 3-0 on Sunday.
Midfielder Simone McGuinness (‘18) was the first to light up the board in the first half, blowing past a Pilgrim defender in the corner for the goal. Forward Kara Fischer (‘17) tacked on two more in the second half, securing the lead for the Cougars.
Forward Eliza Meltzer (‘19) reflected on the team’s offense on Sunday: “We felt good. It was a non-conference game, so we were able to try some things out. Kara was killing it. At one point, she beat five defenders in a row, which was just smokin’, so she definitely earned those two goals.” Meltzer added that Clark’s strong defense was important in the shutout as well. Goalkeeper Julianna Christy (‘20) made four saves for the Cougars.
Clark then lost 1-0 at Mount Holyoke on Wednesday despite recording more shots and shots on goal than the Lyons. The game was even at 0-0 until the 80th minute when a Mount Holyoke forward snuck one past Christy. The team is now 1-2 in the conference and 7-3-1 overall.
Clark looks to regain their footing in the conference against MIT on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. Clark will wear pink to promote breast cancer awareness.
Men’s Soccer by Scott Levine
Clark Men’s Soccer was handed its first loss on Saturday against Springfield College. The Pride were the other undefeated NEWMAC team going into the game. Clark lost 3-2 after Springfield scored their third goal in the 83rd minute.
After Springfield tied the game at 1-1 in the 16th minute, Clark switched to a three-defender formation instead of their usual four so that they would have a stronger attack. Midfielder Charlie Lane (‘20) came in for defender Greg French (‘18). Lane played a hybrid role between the midfield and defenders.
Jonathan Guilherme (‘20) and Alberto Polo-Herrera (‘18) also came off the bench to provide depth to the midfield line. Co-captain defender Mike Spanos (‘17) said they would not have been able to deploy this strategy in the past. “This was the first year that we had the speed and the number of players off the bench to keep up that level of play,” he said.
Having a three-back line led to a stronger offense – Clark recorded four shots on goal against what might be the strongest defense in the conference. However, the team also dealt with the downside of playing only three defenders.
Springfield’s last goal came off a wide cross to a Springfield forward who was left unattended and headed it in. “We got caught sleeping on the far post,” said Spanos, who sat out the game due to injury, “ … and when you play three backs it’s tough to keep looking over your shoulder and mark up all the people on the far post.”
Spanos said the three-back formation helped Clark stay in the game because of the pressure it puts on opposing defenses, but does not think it will be common going forward for Clark.
Despite the loss, Spanos said that the team still has no reason to believe they cannot win the conference this year. They take on another tough NEWMAC opponent at Babson this Saturday, and return home Saturday, Oct. 15 to play MIT at 1 p.m.
Field Hockey by Scott Levine
Clark Field Hockey lost 5-1 to a formidable Mount Holyoke squad on Saturday.
Mount Holyoke’s unorthodox four-forward formation stifled the Cougars. Clark usually plays defense with co-captain Alyssa Williams (‘17) at sweeper covering the area in front of the goal. But Williams had to mark someone since Mount Holyoke played an extra forward. This meant there was no last line of defense for the Cougars. Clark midfielders had to defend more to accommodate for having no sweeper.
Co-captain midfielder Olivia Cotton (‘16) attributed Clark’s slow start to this change. “I think that’s where we struggled a little bit, but it’s an adjustment we have to get used to and going forward it’s something we’ll work on,” said Cotton.
In the 3-1 win against Becker the previous week, star forwards Olivia Barksdale (‘19) and co-captain Lauren Mackey (‘17) were able to create separation for shots individually. Against Mount Holyoke, they had to work as a team. They rose to the challenge in the second half; Mackey found the back of the net off an assist from Barksdale in the 58th minute to put the Cougars on the board.
Mackey said that she has noticed more cohesiveness on offense this season. “One of our goals this year is really getting rid of that individualism, and playing as a team, so that’s what you’ll see this year,” she said.
The team fell 4-1 to WPI on Tuesday after late goals by the Engineers. Clark then lost in a close 3-2 game on Thursday at Worcester State. The Cougars scored two unanswered goals to start the first half, but Worcester State struck back by scoring three goals before halftime, the first off a penalty shot.
Clark is 0-3 in the unforgiving NEWMAC and aims to get their first conference win at home against MIT on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m.
Men’s Cross Country by Scott Levine
Clark Men’s Cross Country had one of their best showings all season at the Saratoga Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. against some tough non-conference Division III teams. Clark had only one runner break the top 100 of 172 runners with Alex Hull (‘18) finishing 66th with a time of 28:03. Sam Smith (‘17) ran one of his best races, finishing 121st with a time of 30:02. He finished fourth for the Cougars.
While strong Division III opponents at the race such as RPI, Vassar and Hamilton had much lower times on average than the Cougars, Ethan Winslow (‘17) said he felt like the race was a great experience for the team with the NEWMAC Championships approaching at the end of the month. He also enjoyed the two-day trip from a non-racing standpoint as well. “It was good get out of the area for a weekend, and it was definitely a great team building experience,” he said.
Clark races next in the James Earley Invitational at Stanley Memorial in Westfield Mass. on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m.