Clark Athletics and NEWMAC Weekly Round-Up (2/13/23-2/20/23)


Hello, sports fans! Welcome to the final winter regular season recap of the year. Although that may seem sad, just as spring brings fresh flower blooms, it also brings a new array of sports to cover. That means this week is also the first spring regular season recap of the year. Enough with the flower-related symbolism, let’s get right into the round-up. 

This Week’s Competitions 

The festivities for the past seven days opened up on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with both basketball teams taking the court. Clark’s men’s basketball team went on the road to face Springfield College in a win-and-you’re-in situation. 

Despite falling down to the Pride at halftime, the Cougz pulled it back in the second half, winning 84 to 76. With that win, our Clark Cougars are moving on for some postseason action in the NEWMAC playoffs. Four players scored at least ten points in the match, including a game leading 18 from Bruce Saintilus and strong 17 from Jordan Richard off the bench.

Clark’s other Wednesday matchup saw the women’s basketball team take on Wellesley College at home. Clark defended their home turf, holding the Blue to just 33 points in a 55 to 33 home victory. Alaina Schatzabel and Jacqueline Faulise led the squad to this 22 point victory, scoring 37 of the team’s 55 points (Schatzabel 20 pts. and Faulise 17 pts.).

Moving on to Thursday, Feb. 17, both swim and dive teams took part in the first day of the NEWMAC Championships at WPI. The women’s team ended the first day with a total of 30 points, and the men’s squad gathered 32 points after the first day of the competition. 

Both Clark teams greatly improved their point tallies after the second day, with the men’s team having earned 120 total points and the women’s team gathering 109 cumulatively. 

Saturday, Feb. 18 was a busy day for Clark Athletics as both basketball teams, both swim teams, women’s lacrosse and baseball all played. Starting off with day three of the NEWMAC Championships, the women’s team moved up to a total of 144 points. Clark’s men’s aquatic unit garnered a total of 160 points by the end of the third day. 

Women’s lacrosse opened up regular season play for their spring season in a late-morning home game. Despite the match being back and forth until the final whistle, Clark ended up falling to Gordon College 13 to 14. Stand out performers in the team’s first match include Elizabeth Liakos scoring four goals on as many attempts and Sophie Didier assisting on three of the team’s 13 scores. 

Baseball is up next, starting their season off at home as well. The Cougz hosted Salve Regina, who just became an official NEWMAC member in 2023, falling four to zero in the team’s opening game. Regardless of the final score, Clark had a few strong contributions from players; outfielder Samuel Farrell hit a triple and pitcher Maxwell Gitlin sat down 20 of 22 batters faced, giving up only one run over six innings. 

The women’s basketball team is up next, facing off against MIT in the team’s final game of the season. The Cougars lost to the Engineers on the road, 56 to 89. Schatzabel led the team in points per game across the season, averaging 14.4 on the year. The forward also averaged eight rebounds per competitions, nearly a double-double average for the season. Faulise was second on the team for scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game. With these two standouts being returning juniors, Clark should feel hopeful for next season.

Men’s basketball also finished their regular season on Saturday, and also faced the Engineers. The men’s team did not face MIT however, but crosstown rival WPI at the Engineers’ home arena. Clark ended the season with a loss after a tough first half, falling 56 to 86. Four members of the team averaged double digit points during the regular season, chief among them being Isaiah Taylor with 15.6 points per game. All four of these players and all of Clark’s core rotation will be around for the next one to two seasons, placing the Cougz in prime position to continue to get even better. 

Finally for last week’s competitions, both swim and dive teams competed in the fourth and final day of the NEWMAC Championships. The men’s squad ended the championships with a sum of 204 points, and the women’s team accrued 197 total points. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology won their twelfth straight women’s and fourteenth consecutive men’s NEWMAC titles.

With the recap of last week done and dusted, we can move on to the awards section of this week’s edition.

Weekly Accolades

Quick shoutout to every swim and dive team member who earned academic all-conference honors: Gor Bagumyan, Bernave Twyman and Robbie Wilson from the men’s team and Lili Barkow, Robin Bozik, Beiyna Chaparian, Peyton Dauley, Sarah Kersting-Mumm, Sydney Kochensparger, Kenzie Landsittel, Hannah McLeod, Emily Munjar, Hannah Poulos, Carolynn Steffens and Annemaire Walsh for the women’s squad. Great work in and out of the pool!

The athlete of the week honor goes to one of the premier scorers on Clark’s men’s basketball team, guard Bruce Saintilus. Saintilus, a junior who attended Bridgton Academy, averaged 16 points per game over Clark’s two matches last week. The 6’4” guard from Plainville, Mass. led Clark in scoring against both Springfield and WPI. Saintilus’ game against Springfield was particularly strong, scoring 18 on 7-15 shooting.

The game of the week honor will also go to the men’s basketball team once again, this time for their playoff-clinching win over Springfield College. The 84 to 76 victory was vital to Clark’s postseason aspirations, as a loss could have ended a possible playoff run before it even began. The team proved their mental toughness as they did not give in, even when down against the Pride. As mentioned, four Cougars scored at least ten, this propelled Clark to a strong second half – eventually earning them the victory. This win serves as a great reminder of the Cougz playing ability, as well as their resolve, and should be a great confidence boost heading into the playoffs.

Around the NEWMAC 

Two NEWMAC matches stood out as worth noting, both coming from the competitions on Saturday, Feb. 18. First, two top men’s basketball teams finished off their seasons in a game that went down to the very end. Emerson College beat Wheaton College 77 to 75; the Wheaton Lyons had the ball with just three seconds remaining, but were unable to convert a buzzer-beating bucket.

Top scorers for Emerson included Jarred Houston (24 points) and Nate Martin (26 points). Houston made all 12 of his free throw attempts and also collected a double-double after grabbing 13 boards. Despite the loss, Wheaton’s Aaron Williams played lights out, scoring a game-high 27 for the Lyons. Both of these teams are very strong, but in the end Emerson came out on top. 

The second noteworthy NEWMAC Saturday contest was a men’s lacrosse matchup between Coast Guard Academy (CGA) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. CGA won 12 to 11 after breaking the deadlock in overtime with a goal from Caleb Holdridge. Coast Guard’s Taylor Gustafson and Holdridge, as well as Rensselaer’s Cooper Manzi, scored a game-leading three goals each. 

Looking Ahead

The next week of Clark action will see yet another spring team begin its season as the men’s lacrosse team strats play on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at RPI. As for the rest of next week, Clark’s men’s basketball team will travel to Wheaton College on Tuesday, Feb. 21 for a playoff matchup in the first round. Despite Clark losing both regular season games against Wheaton, this game is very winnable for the Cougz, especially when looking at the second regular season matchup. Women’s lax will play at the University of Hartford on Wednesday, Feb. 22. 

As for the weekend, Clark men’s lacrosse is set to host Nichols College Saturday, Feb. 25. On Sunday, Feb. 26, baseball will host a double header against Elms College.

That just about does it for yet another edition of the Clark Athletics and NEWMAC recap. As we look ahead to the playoffs and spring sports season, we have a wide variety of entertaining games to look forward to. Until then however, good luck to Clark in all of their upcoming matches, and as always, roll Cougz!