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Saints Athletics Weekly Recap: Beginning of Season through September 13

Stefano Sainato had a career game on Saturday with two goals and an assist on the game-winner in the closing minutes to help clinch the victory in the men's soccer team's GNAC opener again St. Joseph's (Me.). Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.

Stefano Sainato had a career game on Saturday with two goals and an assist on the game-winner in the closing minutes to help clinch the victory in the men’s soccer team’s GNAC opener again St. Joseph’s (Me.).
Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.

All six of the Emmanuel College fall sports teams are now off and running and the first full week of the season saw the Saints have success on the field, on the court, and on the course.

The team that impressed the most in their first week of competition was the men’s soccer team, finishing the week with a 2-1 record. After dropping the season opener on September 3 at Curry College 1-0, the team rebounded with a 3-1 victory on the road at Lesley University on September 7. In the team’s home opener on Saturday, the team overcame an early deficit to defeat St. Joseph’s (Me.) 3-2 thanks to a late goal from junior forward Colin O’Donnell with 1:36 remaining on the clock. The goal was a layup for O’Donnell as star of the game, senior Stefano Sainato, who tallied the other two Saints goals, played a brilliant ground cross to the junior near the back post, who put it home with ease. The men’s soccer team has a busy week ahead of it and will look to build on their winning ways with home matchups against Wentworth (Tuesday, 7 p.m.), Newbury (Thursday, 7 p.m.), and Albertus Magnus (Saturday, 1 p.m.).

The first Emmanuel College win of the 2015-16 academic year belonged to the women’s volleyball team, which picked up a 3-0 sweep in their season opener against Bridgewater State on September 4. The match featured an impressive second set that the Saints eventually pulled out by a score of 35-33, reminiscent of the men’s team’s program record 42-40 third set victory last season over Emerson on March 3. Following the win, the Saints dropped their next three matches to Springfield, Oneonta State, and Western Connecticut State, but returned to the win column in the first leg of a tri-match in New Jersey on Saturday, a 3-0 sweep over Cairn University. A 3-0 loss to the hosts from Ramapo saw the Saints close out their first full week of competition at 2-4 on the young season. The Saints have received some impressive play from a number of their freshmen in the early going, with Angelica Czercowy (team-leading 2.44 kills per set), Casey Sheehan (team-leading 3.56 digs per set), and Carly Church (second-highest 3.68 assists per set) all leaving their marks on the box score. The team hits the court twice in the upcoming week, traveling to New Hampshire for a matchup with Keene State College on Tuesday before returning to the Jean Yawkey Center Gym for a Thursday night showdown with Babson College. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. for both matches.

The young Saints women’s soccer team, featuring an unprecedented 15 freshmen on its roster, had a tough start to its 2015 campaign, losing its first four games, but closed out an also unprecedented and grueling five games in eight days with a come from behind 2-1 overtime victory over Johnson & Wales on September 10. Immediately after falling behind 1-0 with just over 18 minutes remaining in regulation time, Saints junior defender Ali MacDonald jumped on a loose ball off a corner and unleashed a bomb from 25 yards out past the JWU keeper to knot the score and eventually send the game to sudden death. In the seventh minute of the extra frame, senior Hannah Konicki got past a defender in the box before curling a shot around the keeper and into the cage to secure Emmanuel’s first win of the season and sending the squad into its hard-earned five-day break happy. The 1-4 women’s soccer team has will look to build on the overtime win with three road games this week with trips to Fitchburg State (Tuesday, 7 p.m.), Curry (Thursday, 7 p.m.), and Lasell (Saturday, noon). The matchup with the Lasers is the two teams’ first time going head-to-head since last season’s GNAC title game, a 6-1 Lasell victory. Emmanuel will be out for revenge, so look for the Saints to go into this one with a little extra chip on their shoulders.

The Saints men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their seasons on September 5 at the Roger Williams Invitational in Rhode Island, with the women’s team finishing in fifth place out of 15 teams and the men finishing in 12th out of 14 schools. Freshman Margaret McCaffrey set the pace for the Saints women, finishing the 5K race with a time of 20:16, good for 13th overall out of the 196-runner field. McCaffrey was followed up by senior Chloe Pangonis, who finished in 32nd place with a time of 21:08, sophomore Nicole Varca (42nd, 21:30), freshman Mimi Duncan (49th, 21:37), and sophomore Marwah Haq (60th, 22:00). On the men’s side, junior Ian Chamenko was the top Saints runner, finishing in 29th place with a time of 17:25. Rounding out the top five were freshman Jefferson Zannoni (79th, 18:48), senior Corey Hebert (83rd, 18:55), senior Tom Tallo (92nd, 19:16), and senior Craig Schoaf (110th, 19:55). The Saints return to action when both the men’s and women’s teams compete in the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday. The men’s race will start at 10:30 a.m. with the women’s race to follow at noon.

The men’s golf team was the last fall sports team at Emmanuel to kick off their season when they teed off in a five-team match hosted by Mitchell College at Shennecossett Golf Course in Connecticut on Wednesday. The Saints had a strong showing to open up the season, finishing in second place out of five with a score of 329, five strokes off the pace set by the winners from Elms College. Senior captain Matteo Pocobene fired the low-round for the Saints with a 6-over 77, followed closely by freshman Dave Byrne, who shot an impressive 80 in his first collegiate appearance. One stroke behind the rookie was sophomore Colin Cordero with an 81, while senior Curtis Fraser fired a 91 to round out the Saints top four. The Saints golfers return to action on Monday for their sole match of the week at Putterham Meadows in Brookline against Newbury College, who the Saints bested by nine strokes at Shennecossett.

Curtis Fraser ’16 is a staff writer and sports editor for The Hub. He can be reached at fraserc@emmanuel.edu.

Posted by on September 13, 2015. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.