Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week One)


WORCESTER, Mass. – The 2015-16 collegiate basketball season commenced last week with Clark University and Worcester State University competing shortly after midnight on Friday, November 13. And with the initial weekend in the books, it is time to unveil the Worcester Area Collegiate Basketball Association (WACBA) Players and Rookies of the Week, and honor roll.

Men’s Player of the Week: Declan Soukup (Jr.), Assumption (Melbourne, Australia):
In a 2-0 weekend, Soukup led the Hounds with 19.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. He posted 20 points in the win over Georgian Court, highlighted by an 11-for-12 showing at the line in that game. He also chipped in 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest as well.

Patrick Bradanese (Sr.), Anna Maria (Billerica, Mass.): Bradanese averaged 21.5 points per game on a 47.2 percent shooting effort in the opening weekend for Anna Maria. He scored a game-high 26 points on 61.1 percent shooting in Anna Maria’s 76-67 win against Bridgewater State before adding another 17 points against No. 10 Babson. Seven of Bradanese’s 17 field goals over the weekend were hit from beyond the three-point arc. He also averaged 4.0 assists per game.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Marcos Echevarria (Fr.), Nichols College (Peabody, Mass.): Echevarria poured in 33 points in his collegiate debut in a 105-85 win over Becker. Echevarria made 9-of-15 from the field – including 8-of-11 from 3-point range – and also sank 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Echevarria snared seven rebounds and dished out four assists in 37 minutes of action.

Women’s Player of the Week: Allison Stoddard (Jr.), Assumption (East Lyme, Conn.):
In a 2-0 weekend, Stoddard averaged 14 points per game to go along with four rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. Highlighting her weekend was a 21-point performance in a win over Dominican as she earned a spot on the Assumption Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament Team.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Britt Herring (Fr.), Worcester State (W. Brookfield, Mass.): Herring tallied up 36 points in her first collegiate week of basketball at the Worcester City Tournament. She recorded 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and three blocks in the Lancers’ 58-56 setback to Clark University on Friday. She then registered a double-double in the 56-36 win over Becker College, scoring 20 points and notching 14 rebounds. She went 57.1 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. She also had a game-high five blocks against the Hawks.

Honor Roll (Week One)

Robert Champion (Jr.), Holy Cross (Charlotte, N.C.): Champion led the team in scoring with 16 points in the Crusaders’ victory at Marist. He tied his career-high with 16 points scored, and set a new career-high with eight rebounds. With 6.7 left and Holy Cross up 65-64, Champion hit two free throws to give the Crusaders a three-point lead.

Karl Charles (Fr.), Holy Cross (Piscataway, N.J.): In the first game of his collegiate career, Charles totaled six points and four rebounds in the victory at Marist. Additionally, he posted one assist, one block and one steal.

Christina Gauvin (Jr.), Anna Maria (Dudley, Mass.): Gauvin scored 20 points in the team’s season-opening win against Elms. She shot 35.3 percent from the floor with two three-pointers and hit six-of-seven (85.7 percent) from the free-throw line. She also recorded a career-high eight steals in the victory.

Anthony Muccioli (Sr.), Fitchburg State (Nashua, N.H.): Averaged 14.5 points per game and 3.5 rebound per contest for the Falcons. Posted 14 points, four rebounds and one steal in a 87-76 setback to Springfield College in opening round action of the 2015 Hampton Inn Classic on Friday evening before registering 15 points and three caroms in an 86-82 loss to Mitchell College in the Consolation Round of the 2015 Hampton Inn Classic on Saturday.

Erika Schneider (Sr.), Fitchburg State (Rockland, Mass.): Averaged 12.5 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per contest for the Falcons. Registered a team-best 13 points and three boards in a 95-27 setback to Johnson & Wales University on Saturday before adding 12 points, seven caroms and two steals in a 71-40 setback to Colby-Sawyer on Sunday.

Marquez McKreith-Collins (Jr.), Worcester State (Springfield, Mass.) McKrieth-Collins recorded a double-double in the 83-78 setback to Clark University Friday morning. McKreith-Collins scored 22 points and added in 10 rebounds against the Scarlett and White. In addition, he had two assists, one steal, and shot 63.6 percent from the field.

Alex Santos (Fr.), Worcester State (Lawrence, Mass.): Santos scored 19 points for the Lancers in the 83-78 loss to Clark University on Friday. He had 15 points in the first half, and then added in another four in the second. Santos led the team in assists with four, and added in two rebounds and one steal on the evening. He shot 50 percent from the field, 37.5 from the three-point range, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Brianna Hackett (Soph.), Worcester State (Hollis, N.H.): Hackett racked up 31 points in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. She totaled 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in the 58-56 setback to Clark on Friday, and then had 23 points in the 56-34 win over Becker College.

Aaron Todd (Soph.), WPI (York, Maine): Todd earned Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors as the Engineers moved to 2-0 for the 13th straight season by claiming the Rick Martin Holiday Inn Tournament at Westfield State University. The sophomore opened the season with his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, as the Engineers defeated nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut 60-50.  In Saturday’s title game, Todd totaled a career-high 13 points and gobbled up nine rebounds as WPI defeated the host Owls 59-50.

 Yasmeen Luna (Sr.), WPI (North Providence, R.I.): Luna was tabbed the Most Vaulable Player of the 35th annual Worcester City Tournament. She anchored the Engineers’ defense, which limited opponents to just 27 points per game in the tournament.

Hockey East Quarterfinals: Boston University 4, New Hampshire 2

By Elizabeth Thomas 

BOSTON, MA – The Boston University Terries managed to keep their Hockey East playoff hopes alive, thanks to a 4-2 victory on Saturday against University of New Hampshire.

“I am not only happy with the outcome, but happy with how we played compared to last night.  We look like we were actually skating tonight to try and win a Hockey East championship,” said BU head coach Jack Parker.

BU’s offense notched their first goal midway through the opening period on a power play when junior Alex Chiasson and freshman Alex Privitera connected with senior co-captain Chris Connolly at 8:05 to provide the Terriers with a 1-0 lead.

UNH answered roughly two minutes late with a strike from senior Stevie Moses to tie the game, 1-1.

However, the Wildcats equalizer didn’t exactly propel them with enough momentum, as BU responded with a body-slamming goal by sophomore Sahir Gill late in the second period, which gave the men dressed in red and white a 2-1 advantage heading into the third period.

Once in the third session, UNH’s junior Connor Hardowa evened the score at 2-2.

The Wildcats then attempted to build off their matching strike, but couldn’t, and instead watched BU’s sophomore Matt Nieto and junior Ryan Santana double the Terriers lead.

“It was very defeating. [Boston University’s] transitions were just so good tonight. We were just always playing catch up,” said UNH’s Hardowa. “We have to basically come back and play desperate hockey, starting from when we wake up in the morning to the first shift in the game.”

BU and UNH will return to the ice on Sunday for a win-or-go home matchup, which will send the victor to Causeway Street for next weekend’s conference semi-finals. The Terriers have experienced the third game of a best-of-three series over the past six consecutive seasons.

“Its 1-1 and we still have a great shot at winning tomorrow,” said UNH Head Coach Dick Umile. 

BU Rallies to Knock Off UMass In OT, 5-4

By Josh Kummins 

BOSTON, MA – It was a back-and-forth affair between Boston University and UMass Amherst at Agganis Arena on Saturday night, as both teams forced their second overtime appearance this season, which resulted in a 5-4 Terries victory.

“The game was similar to last night’s [2-2 game in Amherst], but not to the same effect,” said Terriers head coach Jack Parker. “We got a goal to make it 3-1 and that ignited us.”

“I’m incredibly disappointed with our inability to sustain the level of play that we worked so hard to create,” said UMass head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon. “BU is a fine team with a lot of really good players. We managed to beat ourselves along with them picking it up.”

Following Friday’s game, BU made some adjustments to the starting line-up, including the start of Grant Rollheiser between the pipes, while the head coach also scratched junior Alex Chiasson and placed rookie Evan Rodrigues on the top line – a move that seemed to pay off as the veteran bench boss said that he was “the guy that really jumped out at [him].”

The Minutemen had a strong start in the first period, as they beat Rollheiser for three tallies in his first start of the season. Redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo potted his first-collegiate goal at the 10:39 mark of the opening stanza, crashing the net to beat Rollheiser from the middle of the slot.

At 14:11, Troy Power was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce off the end boards, as he took a carom and beat Rollheiser, who was out of place on the play.

Conor Sheary made it a 3-0 game on a great individual effort along the boards, as he took the puck away from BU defenseman Charlie Coyle and deposited the puck top shelf on Rollheiser with just 30-seconds to play in the period.

“Everything that we did the first period that was so good and so effective…just went out the window,” Cahoon said. “Things that we work on in practice were not even considered, never mind executed.”

The Terriers offense came back to life – as it tends to do on many occasions – scoring two goals in the second period to cut their deficit to one goal.

At the 14:19 mark of the stanza, Garrett Noonan took a cross-zone pass from Corey Trivino and beat UMass’s Jeff Teglia with a pretty one-timer in the left circle for his fifth goal of the season. Then, less than one minute later, Sahir Gill pounced on a rebound to make it 3-2.

BU’s offense eventually tied the game and took the lead in the third period within two minute’s time. At the 9:51 mark, Charlie Coyle scored BU’s nation-best fourth shorthanded goal of the season, as he crashed the net on a 2-on-1 chance with Matt Nieto.

At 11:59, Chris Connolly fed a sliding Corey Trivino on the right side as he beat Teglia for his ninth goal of the season to cap off a lengthy offensive zone sequence.

The Minutemen quickly tied the game at the 14:55 mark of the final stanza as Michael Pereira beat Rollheiser in front of the goal from between the circles for his fourth tally of the season before BU picked up its first overtime victory thanks to Nieto’s shot through a screen to beat Teglia from the top of the right circle.

“He’s a real good player,” Cahoon said. “He took care of business when he had opportunities. Mistakes often lead to those opportunities and we made some crucial mistakes and he capitalized.”

“It was a good competitive night for us as far as coming back from being down 3-0,” Parker said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go to become a good, solid hockey team. I certainly liked what happened after scoring the first goal. I liked how hard we played and how smart we were.”

UMass counted on the play of Teglia at many points throughout the contest, as he totaled 34 saves, including 15 in the second period.

“He certainly was following the puck,” Cahoon added. “He was aggressive and he made some big saves. I can not speak to the last goal…but I thought, in general, he made some big saves and gave us credible goaltending.”

In his inaugural start of the season and first since Dec. 11, 2010, Rollheiser was also strong between the pipes for the Terriers as he stopped 29 shots.

“I really give him high marks for really hanging in there,” said Parker. “Especially when he gave up a goal late in a period like that…”

The Terriers return to action next Saturday night at UMass-Lowell before returning home to Agganis Arena on Nov. 11 against Merrimack.


Holy Cross Shocks BU Hockey, 5-4

Holy Cross stunned the BU Terriers on Saturday, as the Crusaders escaped with an exciting 5-4 victory!

By Brian Willwerth 

BOSTON, MA – The Holy Cross hockey team did something Saturday night it had never done before. It beat Boston University, on the Terriers’ home ice no less. Backed by three power play goals, the Crusaders beat the Terriers at Agganis Arena, 5-4.

Don’t let the one-goal margin fool you. Holy Cross outplayed BU for much of the night.

“It’s fantastic for this group of guys,” said Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl. “This is a testament to these guys working hard.”

It was an action-packed first period. BU had the first golden opportunity when Alex Chiasson had a wide-open net on the power play, but hit the post. Shortly thereafter, the goals started coming fast and furious. Holy Cross got on the board at the 6:46 mark when Erik Vos put a rebound past Kieran Millan to put the Crusaders up 1-0.

It only took the Terriers 78-seconds to get the equalizer, as Sahir Gill took a beautiful pass from Adam Clendening and beat Matt Ginn to tie the game, 1-1.  Just 40-seconds later, Chiasson beat Ginn to put BU on top, 2-1. Chiasson extended his point streak to six games.

Holy Cross came right back, taking advantage of a 5-on-3, as Adam Schmidt beat Millan to tie the game. Then with less than three minutes remaining in the period, Schmidt gave the Crusaders the lead for good, once again on the power play.

“I thought defensively, we were pathetic in our own zone,” said BU head coach Jack Parker, who used the word ‘pathetic’ several times after the game.

“When we got the two goals, it was like everyone went selfish….everybody thought ‘oh, this going to be easy, I’m going to go take care of me now.’” Parker said that trend continued throughout the game.

In the second period, Andrew Fox gave Holy Cross a two-goal lead. The Crusaders continued to outshoot the Terriers by a margin of 9-6 in the second period.

“We had one ‘Grade A’ shot in the entire second period,” said Parker.

There was a serious moment in the third. BU’s Wade Megan threw a wicked hit from behind, injuring Shane Stockton. Megan received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The Crusaders took advantage of the ensuing power play immediately, with Brendan Baker scoring to make it 5-2.

With BU still shorthanded, the Terriers closed the gap to two when Chiasson scored a shorthanded goal right off the faceoff. His second goal of the night made it 5-3. When the BU penalty box was finally cleared, Matt Nieto made a beautiful move, coming out of the corner and fooling Ginn to make it 5-4. That brought the crowd of 5,766 to life. But the Terriers never could get the equalizer.

This was only the second-ever varsity meeting between these two schools. The last was in November of 2008, when BU beat Holy Cross, 3-2.  But on Saturday night, the Crusaders were the better team.

“This is by far the most fun game I’ve ever played in my life,” said Schmidt. “This team has been battling all year so far….beating a Top 10 team in the country is something to really scream out, and it feels great.”

The Crusaders travel to Connecticut on Thursday night, while the Terriers will face UMass in Amherst on Friday.

BU Beats Up UNH, 5-0

By Brian Willwerth 

BOSTON, MA – If the Boston University Terriers keep playing like this all season, they’re going to be tough to beat.

Kieran Millan stopped all 35-shots he faced, as the Terriers defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats, 5-0, Saturday night before a crowd of 5,148 at Agganis Arena.

The teams played a scoreless first period, due to the stellar play of goaltenders Millan (BU) and Matt DiGirolamo (UNH), but the opening 20-minutes featured several glittering chances on both ends, but both goalies were up to the task.

However, the Terriers got on the board early in the second period on the power play, and when UNH’s Kevin Goumas was in the box for hitting from behind. Wade Megan took a beautiful centering pass and put it pass DiGirolamo to make it 1-0.

Then, exactly two and a half minutes later, they doubled their lead when Corey Trivino took a pretty pass from the wing from Chris Connolly, and knocked it home to make it 2-0. At the other end of the ice, Millan made the advantage stand up, as he stopped all 18 Wildcat shots – including several from the point-blank category.

“Overall, I thought both goaltenders played great,” said BU head coach Jack Parker, who said it could’ve easily been a 4-3 game after two periods.  “All of our players played extremely well… All in all, pretty good deal.”

In the third, Matt Nieto picked up a loose rebound in front off a shot from the point and beat DiGirolamo to make it 3-0.

“That third goal was a killer for us,” said UNH head coach Dick Umile. “I don’t think we played as well as we’re capable of playing in our defensive zone.”

Alex Chiasson added an empty-netter to make it 4-0, and then Kevin Gilroy scored on a wraparound to cap off the scoring.

As for Millan, he tied BU’s all-time record for wins, (62) and hopes to break the record in his next start too.

“It’s pretty nice,” said Millan.  “It’s pretty nice to tie it up in the first game, with a game like that.”

For BU – Saturday was also a rarity in its long, storied hockey history. It was the first time the Terriers’ season opener, home opener and Hockey East opener all happened on the same night since 1989, which is pretty cool, right?

The Terriers travel to Providence next Friday night to face the Friars, while the Wildcats will play at Northeastern, also on Friday too.

Rough Play and Penalties Pay Off, BU Beats Northeastern, 3-2

By Kat Hansenauer Cornetta

Like many Northeastern – Boston University matchups, Friday’s affair was filled with animosity, and therefore, penalties. Players began visiting the penalty box just over four minutes into the first period, and seemed to average a penalty every two or three minutes throughout the evening.

Why the chipiness? Both teams were jockeying for Hockey East playoff position, with the Terriers trying to secure home ice, and the Huskies trying to assert their late season comeback. At the end of the night, it was Boston University that ended up accomplishing their goal heading into the evening, winning 3-2 and ensuring a home ice position for the Hockey East quarterfinals that begin next weekend.

The game began with a penalty shot, as Northeastern Brodie Reid tripped BU senior Joe Periera just five minutes into the first, and was awarded a penalty shot. However, strong Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings wasn’t having any of that, and easily stopped Periera.

It was BU’s second line that stepped up Friday night, with junior Corey Trevino snapping a five game goal scoring draught with his first period tally, with help from leading scorer right winger Alex Chiasson. Northeastern didn’t answer until the second period, where they came right out of the gate after the intermission and scored thanks to their top freshman winger Cory Ferriero.

Despite the prevalence of penalties, neither team was successful on the man advantage. Knotted up entering the third period, the
chippiness elevated, with nine penalties assessed in with in 40-seconds just seven minutes into the frame. Each team had a player go
off on a game misconduct (Northeastern’s Randy Guzior and BU’s Adam Clendening) and multiple players off the ice for seemingly every penalty possible. BU’s second line took advantage with Trivino and Matt Nieto helping out Max Nicastro on a power play goal to put them up 2-1. Northeastern struck back though short-handed, with senior center Steve Silva netting the tying goal just two and a half minutes later with help from fellow senior winger Wade MacLeod.

With Silva’s goal came a slashing call on Terrier defenseman Ryan Ruikka, seemingly the advantage Northeastern would need to take the lead. But their power-play frustration continued, and it was BU who ended up scoring a short-handed goal. Freshman right winger Sahir Gill scored the game-winner with help from Nieto and sophomore defenseman Sean Escobedo.

In the waning seconds, BU’s Nieto took another hooking call, but Northeastern was unable to convert. Terrier fans suffered a scare as the Huskies pressured, as BU starting goaltender Kieran Millan was attended to after a fight in front of his net. He was able to stay in the game.

BU’s 3-2 win secures home ice for the playoffs. It also gives Millan his 60th win, moving him to a tie for second all-time in program history for wins. He needs just 3 more to set the program record. He made 39 saves Friday night. Northeastern netminder Rawlings made 24 saves.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7pm at Boston University to close out the regular season.