Clark Athletics and NEWMAC Weekly Round-Up (10/31/22-11/7/22)


William Schechter, Sports Editor

Greetings to all new and returning Clark sports readers for this newest edition of the Clark Athletics and NEWMAC recap. The past seven days of NEWMAC competitions concluded the fall season and crowned each sports’ respective champion. These championships were the culmination of not just the regular season, but also a playoff bracket for each sport. Each bracket saw its own unique matchups, storylines, and upsets. So let’s take a look at these storylines for each fall sport. 

The first day of the NEWMAC playoff week also coincided with the first day of the new month, on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The highest seed (the team that finished the regular season with the best record in NEWMAC play) for each sport earned automatic entry to the second round of the playoffs; as for the remaining playoff teams, they would have to duke it out in the introductory round. 

First up, the Cougar volleyball squadron made a visit to Wellesley, Mass. for a battle against the Babson Beavers at the Staake Gymnasium. Clark ended up with four wins and six losses during NEWMAC play, qualifying the team for entry into the playoffs as the seventh seed. Host Babson College was the two seed heading into the postseason, finishing their regular season with a conference record of eight wins and two losses. Heading into this matchup, Clark had momentum following a victory in the season finale over Wheaton College. Heading into this match in the Beaver’s den, Clark aimed to improve from the result a month prior (the Cougz lost to Babson 3-0 on Oct. 1) 

Even with the momentum that Clark had going into the playoffs, it was not enough to carry them to a victory over Babson College. The first-round match ended with a three-to-one win for the second-seeded Beavers. The competition was far closer than the three-to-one score might lead viewers to believe, however, with each set being decided by six points or fewer. Clark graduate student Marimo Oka was unsurprisingly stellar, recording 21 digs in the playoff matchup. Overall, despite the Cougars’ season coming to a close after their first round exit, the team always managed to show great determination no matter the challenge at hand. 


Moving on, the Clark women’s soccer team also competed on Tuesday, Nov. 1, hosting fifth-seed Springfield College for a first-round bout. Clark earned the fourth seed heading into this game, ending the season with six wins, two losses, and two ties. Visitor Springfield finished fifth overall in the NEWMAC (6-4-0). The Cougar-Pride matchup was especially notable for the close seeding assignments between the teams, in addition to it being a rematch of a previous late-season contest. That contest, which Clark had won (2-1) six days earlier, was still fresh in the minds of both sides by the time they were set to play again. 

The Cougars ended up repeating the result of their prior matchup against Springfield, winning a double overtime thriller. Scoreless until the second overtime period, Clark sealed victory (1-0) thanks to a Siobhan Lounsbury goal in the 104th minute of play. The win was made possible by eight saves from Anabella White, marking the keeper’s tenth shutout of the season. The Cougar win propelled the program forward to its first semifinals appearance in over a decade, set to take on top-seed MIT.

Two days later, on Thursday, Nov. 3, Clark traveled to Cambridge for their second-round match with the Engineers. Here, the Cougars faced defending conference champions in MIT, who had come out on top of the NEWMAC for four straight seasons. MIT finished the 2022 season with eight wins, one loss, and one tie in the regular season. After losing to MIT (2-0) earlier in the year, the Cougars were hungry for revenge in this semifinals game. 

Clark exacted payback on the Engineers, usurping the top team one-nil. This upset win was accomplished through a header to the back of the net from Jamie Joseph just before the half. Despite MIT’s offensive onslaught, Clark held firm defensively, with White recording a team-record 11th shutout of the year. The Cougars’ exceptional second-round win over MIT sent Clark on to their first-ever Conference Finals appearance, where they would face the Emerson College Lions two days later.

Finally we’ve reached championship Saturday, where the Clark Cougars faced three-seeded Emerson in an afternoon matchup in Boston. Emerson gained the home field from their higher seed ranking, earned through a regular season record of (6-1-3). Both sides’ regular season records were nearly identical, with only a tie separating the Cougars and the Lions. Going into this matchup, Clark hoped to duplicate their results from earlier in the year, when they defeated the Lions two-nothing. 

Unfortunately, despite a great showing from Clark, the team ultimately lost (1-0) in the championship game. The Lions grabbed victory off a second half goal in the 76th minute. Although the Cougars did not claim the NEWMAC title, the team soared above and beyond most expectations. The determination of this team to come within one goal of a conference title should not be understated, and the program is poised to put forward a strong team hungry for another title opportunity next season. 

The final Clark competition for the past week was the only non-playoff match Clark competed in, as both swim teams visited Babson College for an away meet. The women’s swim and dive lineup ended up falling to the Beavers 200 to 87. Highlights of this meet include wins in both the one- and three-meter dive events for Clark’s Robin Bozik. As for the men’s side, the Cougars finished with a score of 61, compared to the Beavers’ 219. Despite this loss, Clark still had some race victories to celebrate: Gor Bagumyan won both the 50 meter free and 100 meter free races, posting times of 22.32 and 50.50 respectively. 


Now that all of the matchups for the previous week of Clark Athletics have been covered, it’s time to dish out some awards. Women’s soccer swept both accolades this week with their three outstanding performances during the playoffs. Game of the week goes to the team’s win over top-seed MIT in the second round of the NEWMAC tournament. Without even taking a look at the statistics of the match, a win over the number one team in their home stadium is exceptionally monumental. After Clark slotted home the game-winning goal off a header just before the midpoint, the Cougz would go on to exhibit their defensive might in the second half. In all, the Engineers attempted 17 shots, six of which were on goal, and yet the Cougz did not concede a single goal. Just to state again, this did not come against any ordinary team, the Cougars held the top team in the conference scoreless for 90 minutes. This profound victory also catapulted Clark to a historic first conference finals appearance in program history.

To go alongside the game of the week, athlete of the week (and first two-time recipient of the award) is none other than Clark goalie Anabella White. The sophomore keeper out of Manhattan Beach, CA recorded her eleventh clean sheet of the season, tying the previous record set in 1998. Alongside tallying two shutouts in three games played, White stopped a total of 19 shots. This equates to an average of over six saves per match. Regardless of the end result of the championship game, Clark Goalie Anabella White left it all out on the field and helped lift the Cougz to the finals. 

Before we examine the championship results across the NEWMAC, now is a good time to honor those who received all-academic honors over the past week. For the men’s soccer team: Connor Fitzgerald, Ryan Lynch, Anyolo Makatiani, Tyler Manley, Daniel Moura, Zeke Palmer, Olivier Pierre, Colin Ruiz, Lucas Saia, and Luke Thomas. On the women’s soccer team: Mia Advocate, Olivia Bandola, Julia Dantzler, Catherine Dow, Isbael Echeverry, Anika Floeck, Jamie Joseph, Siobhan Lounsbury, Andrea Mortimer, Emily Rooney, Carly Slaybaugh, Jamie Stern, and Emma Tziachris. For the volleyball squad: Claire Baker, Camille Flurry, Cameron Gill, Emily Newman, Marimo Oka, Victoria Pastor, Claudia Rivera, Sofia Scherrer del Llano, Ava Spach, and Bailey Vogel. And finally, the field hockey team: Kimberlie Asseng, Abbe Cravinho, Maggie Herlihy, Erin Hynes, Erin Lally, Sydney Lamothe, and Greer McCarty. Congratulations to all of these athletes for their exemplary performance on and off the field/court.


Moving on, there were four championship games that decided the winners of NEWMAC titles this week. As stated above, the Emerson Lion (unfortunately) beat our very own Clark Cougars to capture the first title in the program’s history. Something to note of the Clark v. Emerson finale was that it was the only championship matchup that wasn’t between the one and two seeds, and was the only title game where the victor was not the tournament’s top seed. The other three finals demonstrated some lack of parity within the NEWMAC, as they were all repeat winners. Top-seeded Babson defeated second seed Emerson (1-0) – this was the team’s third straight men’s soccer crown. Babson also took home another title, as their number one seed field hockey team took down second-place MIT (3-1) for the program’s second straight NEWMAC trophy. Finally, MIT got one over on Babson with a three sets to one victory in the NEWMAC volleyball championship. This was the program’s second championship win in as many seasons. 

Before we conclude this playoff edition of the Clark Athletics weekly roundup, let’s take a look at the upcoming Clark competitions for Nov. 7 through Nov. 14. Winter sports season begins this week, as both basketball teams will compete in their first games of the year. Men’s basketball, which was ranked fourth in the NEWMAC preseason poll, will kick off its 2022-23 campaign with an away game against Lesley University on Tuesday Nov. 8. Two days later, the Men’s basketball squad will also take on Division One Merrimack College in an exhibition game that will serve as a great early season test for the Cougz. On Friday Nov. 11, the women’s basketball team opens up their season at the Worcester City Tip Off Tournament against Worcester State. Finally for this upcoming week, on Saturday Nov. 12, the men’s basketball unit will be on the road to take on Bates College. Also on Saturday for those who qualified, the NCAA East Regionals for men’s and women’s cross country will take place. 

This just about brings us to the end of yet another Clark and NEWMAC sports round-up. The past seven days saw the Cougz compete in the playoffs, and produced some truly exceptional outings by Clark Athletics. As we move forward into the winter sports season, all eyes will be on the basketball court. Until then, this has been your weekly Clark recap, and as always: roll Cougz!