After a 465 day hiatus, I finally was able to pick up a microphone and lend my voice as a backdrop for a local sporting event here in Massachusetts. And it was an amazing feeling.
Being able to announce this morning’s Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Field of Dreams contest between Massachusetts General Brigham and the Boston All-Stars at Fenway Park was exciting — in fact, it was the most fun I have had on the microphone since I started calling sporting events as a student at Wheaton College (Mass.).
Yes, I have announced this event in the past, along with the organization’s “Hoop Dreams” outing at the TD Garden, but this morning’s contest provided me with a sense of hope and renewal for future coverage in the “new normal” — I am already counting the days until to my next PA announcing gig while circling while plotting my return to the sidelines to cover future college and high school sporting events.
Like many, the past 14-to-15 months was a struggle, both mentally and emotionally — to be honest, I was unsure what I would produce for the blog and podcast when various leagues were sent to the sidelines at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But despite so much uncertainty, I remained hopeful and optimistic — I knew I would return to the microphone one day, and that day happened to be this morning: Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
It was just one game, but it was the best game that I have announce in 2021.
It may sound hard to believe, but the New England NCAA D-III lacrosse regular season is slowly approaching the finish line – don’t worry, we still have a few more weeks of games before the conference tournaments commence, so there is still time to watch your favorite teams compete, both this week and later this month.
Ethan Robson highlighted the win for the Seahawks, netting a season-high five goals off 11 shots while Brendan Kelly added four goals and Liam Cooney tallied three assists. Goalies Ryan Chambers and Connor Cunningham combined for 15 saves. Cunningham would conclude the contest with his initial win between the pipes.
The come-from-behind win was the Seahawks’ second-straight victory of the 2021 season – as of this morning, Salve Regina is one of two teams in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) with a 2-1 league mark. Endicott College, which defeated Salve Regina in its season-opener, has won five of six contests, including four-straight conference matchups. The Gulls currently occupy the top spot in the conference standings.
Endicott and Salve Regina are scheduled to compete again on Wednesday, April 14 at 4 p.m.
Staying in the CCC, Endicott remains the top team in the women’s standings with a 3-0 conference mark. The Gulls have won three straight after falling to Trinity College in their season-opener and are currently led by Maya Feigenbaum, who has produced 11 goals and three assists in four contests. Kiana Napolitano, who is in her second season with the Green and White, has recorded 11 points on eight goals and three assists.
Bryce Adam, who played high school lacrosse locally at Newton North High School, secured his first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week honor of the 2021 season yesterday after leading Tufts University to a 29-11 win last Saturday against Colby College. Adam tallied nine points on five goals and four assists against the Mules – the Jumbos’ 29 goal was a school record.
Two days after the impressive win over Colby, Tufts moved up one spot in the Nike/ US Lacrosse Division III Men’s Top 20 to the second position behind Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which remains the top team for the second-straight week. Williams College checked in 15th overall while Bates College and Wesleyan University received consideration for this week’s poll.
The Tufts women’s lacrosse team also beat Colby this past weekend, thanks to Catherine Lawliss, who also earned this week’s NESCAC Player of the Week honor. Lawliss recorded sis points on five goals and one assist while scooping two ground balls in the Jumbos’ second-straight conference win. Tufts is the only team in the NESCAC with a perfect record (2-0) and they will attempt to secure a season-sweep of Connecticut College on Saturday, April 17.
The Babson College men’s lacrosse team commenced their season with a commanding 20-2 win over Wheaton College last Saturday. Ryan Donovan, who played high school lacrosse at Cohasset Hig School, led the Green and White with five points on four goals and one assist while Grey Sunderland and Jack Gregory combined for 20 face-off wins.
Babson will play two more times this month, including this weekend against Emerson College before closing the month of April by welcoming Springfield College to Babson Park. The Beavers and Coast Guard Academy are the only two teams in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) with perfect marks.
As for NEWMAC women’s lacrosse, Coast Guard and Springfield remain the only teams without a loss – both squads boast identical 2-0 records – while Babson sits one game back with a 2-1 record. Wheaton is currently in third place with a 2-2 mark.
Other news and notes from the New England D-III Lacrosse World:
“I had no idea what to expect going into that first game, especially against Babson,” said Sarnacki, who also recorded three caused turnovers and captured one draw control. “I wasn’t sure how their defense would come out, and if we would have to make adjustments if they threw a face guard (at us), but they just let us play and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net.”
While Sarnacki led all scorers with seven goals, Springfield received additional contributions from Taylor Pichel (three goals and one assist) and Katie Martel (three goals). First-year Maddy Roy recorded her first collegiate goal and classmate Colleen Browne picked-up her initial win between the pipes with seven saves.
Springfield’s opening-day win should certainly provide the Maroon and White with some momentum heading into their next few games – Springfield, as well as the Beavers, are playing a conference-only schedule this spring with each team competing in five contests. The Pride are currently one of three teams in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) that boasts a 1-0 record as both Coast Guard Academy and Wheaton College captured their initial contests of the 2021 season last weekend.
With four games remaining, Sarnacki, along with her teammates, know each matchup is critical in accomplishing their overall goal of winning a conference championship.
“I think it’s even more important with a shortened season because it sets the tone,” said Sarnacki, who has netted 115 goals in 44 contests with the Pride.
“In a normal season, the first half of your schedule is against non-conference opponents so you have time to figure out what works and what you need to adjust to prepare for conference play. This year, we don’t have that time or luxury, so scoring an opening-day win boosts our confidence as a team, but also fuels us to keep getting better every day because we know what we are capable of (doing on a weekly basis).”
Said Sarnacki, “We will definitely work to improve our transition game a little bit, and focus on discipline so we can limit our yellow cards on Saturday. Our main focus will be to continue improving all over the field while continuing to enjoy this opportunity to play together.”
After starting their season last spring by winning three of four contests, the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team has continued that momentum, winning back-to-back games this month against Castleton University and Endicott College. Dane Crowley highlighted the Bantams’ second win on Wednesday against the Gulls by capturing 22 of 28 face-offs while Reid McDonald recorded a season-high three goals and four points. Trinity will host Union College in a non-conference clash on Sunday, March 28 with face-off scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Gettysburg College women’s lacrosse team will attempt to score its second-straight win on Saturday when they host Muhlenberg College – the Bullets opened their shortened season last weekend with a 16-8 victory against Washington College. Bri Stokes, who played lacrosse locally at Lincoln-Sudbury, recorded her 100th career point in her team’s 2021 season-opener.
The 2021 season is off to a roaring start for the Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team, which has tallied 56 goals in two contests.
The 56 tallies is the most the any team in program history has recorded in their first two contests, erasing the original mark of 55 goals from 2018.
Rick Smith has been one of many players to watch thus far – the Frankfort, Illinois native highlighted his team’s 24-7 win against the Milwaukee School of Engineering by netting a school-record nine goals on 17 shots to go with two assists. Smith also led the team in shots on goal (14) while scooping four ground balls.
In addition to Smith, IWU’s attack has been powered by Charles Hildestad and Griffin DeMilt, who have combined for 14 goals and seven assists.
IWU’s fast start is identical to previous seasons, which have culminated in a trio of College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) tournament titles, along with three trips to the NCAA D-III Tournament.
The Titans are currently one of three teams in their conference that boast a 2-0 record – the Green and White will attempt to win their third contest of the 2021 season on Sunday, March 14 when they visit Rhodes College.
Keelan, who is in her fifth season with the Red and White, has guided the Lynx to 57 wins. Prior to arriving at Rhodes, Keelan coached Shepherd University (NCAA D-II) for four seasons.
The Washington & Lee women’s lacrosse team will return to the field literally one year after beating Gettysburg College on March 8, 2020.
The Generals, who enter the season ranked fourth on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA), will commence their 2021 campaign when they visit Ferrum College next Tuesday, March 9.
Three New England D-III conferences – Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), and New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) – have announced plans to play spring sports this season. Games are expected to begin later this month, but we do know the Wheaton College women’s lacrosse team will kickoff their campaign on Saturday, March 20 when they visit Clark University, according to their schedule release on Instagram.
The Lynchburg University men’s lacrosse team will attempt to win their third-straight contest of the 2021 season on Saturday, March 6 when they entertain Salisbury for a 12 p.m. face-off.
The Hornets have won back-to-back contests this season against Randolph and Southern Virginia – the team is averaging 21 goals per game.
We recently caught up with Jake Wisniewski to discuss his four-year career with the Engineers, as well as his future plans after graduation later this spring.
What will you remember most about your final season with the Engineers?
Conference play, but also getting to play with my classmate Lou Doherty.
Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?
Before our senior season tipped-off last November, I would say our NEWACsemifinal contest against MITlast winter when Colin McNamara sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer.
As for this past season, I would say our home games against Emerson College and Wheaton College. Against Wheaton, I got into a rhythm (and scored 23 points), but the best part of both games (as well as other home contests) was getting to spend time with our families and friends after the final buzzer sounded.
What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation?
I will miss battling and competing with these guys on a daily basis. I will miss the games because there probably will never be another contest I play that I can get as competitive as I did with the Engineers these past four years. But most of all, I will miss my teammates and hanging out with them off the court.
Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach?
Definitely. I want to stay involved with basketball in some way, and I am certainly interested in being a coach in the future.
Tell me about your major/concentration. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation?
I chose to concentrate on project management because I like to work with people to solve problems.