Clark Women’s Basketball ended the season on an optimistic note with a win against Simmons College on Feb. 18 and a close loss against Smith on Feb. 20. The team was down 18 after three quarters but was able to cut Smith’s lead to eight before the team ran out of time. Forward Sami Dokus (‘16) had eight of her twelve points in this quarter, draining two threes.
Dokus wrote in an email to The Scarlet that the team’s ability to claw back into the game was indicative of their will to keep playing hard even when down. “I think our resilience in the fourth quarter is a great example of the progress we’ve made throughout the season,” she wrote.
Dokus contrasted the Smith game to the Connecticut College game early in the season in which the Cougars got down early and struggled to get back in the game. “I think we were put in a similar situation in our loss to Connecticut College, where the other team went on a massive run on us, but throughout the season we’ve learned to not give up so easily,” she wrote.
The senior forward added that the the road to improvement was very rewarding. “This season may have been the most challenging I’ve experienced so far,” wrote Dokus, “but it’s also been my favorite, largely due to the wonderful people who are a part of the team. All of my teammates and coaches have been my favorite part of the season.”
Clark Men’s Basketball wrapped up a year of competitive games, but their record fell short of what the team was aiming for. It was playoffs or bust for the Cougars this year, and they had just enough unlucky bounces in late game situations to disqualify them for this year.
Despite the fact that the team fell short of their goal, this was not a season without exciting and triumphant moments. Clark won tense overtime games against Wentworth Institute of Technology on Dec. 29 and Coast Guard on Feb. 3 in the Kneller, and also beat conference opponents Wheaton and Emerson when both teams came to Worcester.
The team also drew one of the largest fan turnouts in Clark Athletics history during Midnight Mayhem on Nov. 13, in which the Cougars beat Worcester State handily. Guard John Pisacreta (‘18) wrote in an email to The Scarlet that Midnight Mayhem was one of his favorite games of the season. “When [the] student body comes out to support us like that, we feed off the energy and it was such an exciting game to play in,” he wrote.
Pisacreta added that he is optimistic about how the team will look next year after enduring the trials and tribulations of this season. “We had a rough year this year, but are returning a lot of core guys which hopefully will lead to a more experienced and better team,” he wrote.
While the team will enjoy a decent roster turnover next season, they will also have to make up for the departure of Corey Gomes (‘16), Tyler Huffman (‘16), and Luke LaLima (‘17). Huffman and Gomes are graduating at the end of this semester, and LaLima is transferring to Columbia University as part of Clark’s 3/2 Engineering program. “They will be missed. They were great leaders and even better teammates,” wrote Pisacreta.
Men’s Swimming & Diving
This past weekend, Clark Men’s Swimming and Diving team finished in seventh place at the NEWMAC Championships hosted by MIT.
David Powers (’16) and Mark Crisafulli (’16) both came away with admirable performances. Powers advanced to the “B” final of the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2.13.94 time. Powers’ time is the second fastest time in Clark history, and gives him three of the top six spots on the school’s all time list in that event.
Crisafulli joined Powers as a Clark record holder. With a time of 2.00.19 in the 200-yard butterfly, Crisafulli now has three of the top five butterfly times in school history.
Powers, Lukas Leung (’16), Julian Ortega (’19), and Dylan Schrama (’19) achieved a seventh place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3.16.74, which placed them in sixth on Clark’s all-time list.
Clark divers Steven Castiglione (’18) and Tyler Terriault (’16) dove in the three-meter “A” final with Castiglione coming away with an overall score of 317.80, and Terriault with a 240.55.
Diver Marco Moneti (‘19) said he was “proud of the team’s effort this past weekend.” He added, “Over the course of the season we definitely showed improvement, and as much as we’ll miss the seniors next year, we have a lot to work forward to and will continue to get better.”
Clark Baseball played Worcester State for the first time since 2001 this past Sunday, Feb. 21, an unusually early start date to the season due to recent warm weather. Although the Cougars outhit the Lancers 15-14, they left nine runners on base and ended up losing to Worcester State 16-9.
Conor Walsh (’18) was Clark’s starting pitcher, giving up four runs in three innings, all of which came in the first. Teddy Downing (’18) scored the Cougars’ first run in the third inning after hitting a two out triple and being driven home on a base hit by Kyle Bonicki (’18). Bonicki had a total of three hits and three RBIs in the game.
Michael Eglow (’16) had a five-hit game, while Downing had three hits and two RBIs. Combined, Downing and Bonicki went 6-for-9 with six RBIs. The Lancers scored their other twelve runs against relievers Patrick Robinson (’18), Joe Gouveia (’17), and Taylor Serrano (‘15).
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, and there were a lot of things that became clear we still have to work on, but there were also positive aspects that came from it,” Downing said. “Our offense played well, and that’s always a good thing to see at the start of the season, especially in a game that took place so early in the year.”
The Cougars’ next game is at home this Sunday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m. against Elms College. Downing added that the team “expect[s] big things out of this year.”