A Decade of PC Athletics
A Look Back at a Monumental Ten Years
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
This decade has shown one of the largest growths among every sport at Providence College. There are so many moments to choose from but here are some of the greatest from this past decade:
Men’s Basketball Capture 2014 Big East Championship
Ed Cooley and the Friars playing in Madison Square Garden are something Friars fans have begun to enjoy throughout this decade, and it all began back in 2014. This was the first year of the newly aligned 10-team Big East conference and the Friars only championship was back in 1994. The Friars were an NCAA Tournament bubble team coming into the tournament making it vital for them to win. Some had the Friars succeeding and others had them as the first four teams out. Well, the Friars burst a couple of bubbles and downed the Creighton University Blue Jays to punch their ticket. This Creighton team held one of the greatest college basketball players ever to roam the floor, Doug McDermott. The Friars were led by Bryce Cotton ’14 and LaDontae Henton ’15 with a number of other upperclassmen who started the rise of Friar basketball. This would be their first of five straight NCAA tournament appearances and set the standard of what PC basketball is today.
Friars Knock off No. 3 Villanova
Valentine’s Day 2018: The Friars needed a win to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, having already defeated the No. 5/4 Xavier University Musketeers about a month prior in Providence. The holiday featured a Big East match-up against rival Villanova University. The team PC faced is considered by many college basketball critics to be the best team of the decade, as they would go on to win the NCAA Tournament. It was a fast-paced, nail biter of a game as the Wildcats and Friars remained within single digit points of each other over the course of the two halves. Ultimately, the Friars pulled ahead at the end and beat Villanova 76-71 in a game that Cooley cites as “the greatest win” that he has had with the College. Scenes of students storming the court in a matter of seconds have stuck with many Friar basketball fans ever since. The win was a pivotal moment for the team that year as it gave them the momentum they needed to make a push in the Big East Tournament which secured them a spot in the Championship game.
2014 Men’s Soccer College Cup
Just like the men’s basketball team, 2014 brought great success for the men’s soccer team. The Friars advanced to the NCAA tournament as the 11th overall team. The Friars earned themselves a first round bye and picked up victories over Dartmouth University, the University of California-Irvine and the No. 3 team Michigan State University en route to their first ever College Cup appearance. The Friars faced a tough task with in the No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles Bruins and fell 3-2 in double-overtime. Under the direction of Craig Stewart, the Friars have made six NCAA tournament appearances with a follow-up Sweet 16 appearance in 2016 under future MLS star Julian Gressel ’16.
Women’s Cross Country National Championship
Any time there is a national championship mentioned, it more than likely will be involved as one of the greatest moments. The 2013 National Championship Women’s Cross Country Team is no exception. The Friars were runners up the year prior and would not be deterred the following year. The Friars were led by Emily Sisson ’14 who finished seventh overall. Sisson is now currently competing for a spot on the U.S. National team for this upcoming Olympics and is well known in women’s running. It was the Friars first championship since 1995. Under head coach Ray Treacy ’82, the team has won two national championships and has transformed into one of the best programs in the country.
Men’s Hockey Team Wins 2015 National Championship
Friars head coach Nate Leaman has elevated this program to national prominence once again and brought the Friars back into the spotlight by advancing to the 2015 Frozen Four. The Friars were one of the final teams to make the tournament and used this motivation to their advantage. After the Friars got past the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the Friars faced off against the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA National Championship game at the TD Garden in Boston. The Friars were searching for their first National Championship in program history and, after falling behind 3-2 after two periods of play, needed some magic to secure the win. In what is considered one of the craziest finishes to an NCAA Championship hockey game, the Friars were able to come out on top in last ten minutes of the third period after finding themselves in a tied game when BU accidentally scored on their own net. It was Brandon Tanev ’15 who flicked in the game-winner wrist shot with just over six minutes left of play that secured the program’s first ever NCAA championship. Tanev would go on to become one of seven Friars to play in the NHL from the team.
Women’s Basketball Team Advances it to the 16th Round of the 2018 Women’s Basketball National Invitation Tournament
Women’s basketball had lost its way for a bit after their great success in the 1980s and early 90s at PC. Jim Crowley in his third year at the helm took tremendous strides for the Friars. The Friars made postseason play for the first time since 2010 and just the second time since the Friars advanced to the 1991-92 NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated University of Hartford and University of Pennsylvania to advance to the Sweet 16 of the WNIT and were set to face their fellow Big East foe, the Georgetown University Hoyas. The Friars ultimately fell to them, but this was a special collection of players young and old. Friar fans saw one of the greatest scorers in program history, Jojo Nogic ’19, and featured the Big East Freshman of the Year, Mary Baskerville ’22. Nogic finished as the 4th all time leading scorer in program history and Baskerville also set the program record for blocks for a freshman and the most by a Friar since the 1999-2000 season. The Friars also won eight games in conference play, the most since the 1996-1997 season. These are just a few of many accomplishments for this women’s basketball program as they look to continue their rise in the rigorous Big East conference.
Men’s Soccer Advances to Championship Game
Team Will Take on Top-Seeded Georgetown University
By Liam Tormey ’22
Since making it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament in 2016, the Friars have not been back. This season, the Friars are looking to get right back into it—and now they have a very good chance to do so.
Before the Big East Tournament started last Saturday against Marquette University, the Friars finished the regular season with a record of 12-5. Head Coach Craig Stewart led the team to a 6-3 record in Big East conference play and was able to protect Chapey Field, finishing the regular season at 8-2.
The Friars went into the Big East Tournament last Saturday at home as the No. 3 seed in the tournament facing off against No. 6 Marquette. Earlier in the season, on Oct. 12, the Friars beat Marquette 2-0 with goals coming from Davis Smith ’21 and Esben Wolf ’23.
This past Saturday, the Friars held another shutout in the first round of the Big East Tournament, winning 3-0. Goals in this game for Coach Stewart’s team came from Wolf, Trevor Davock ’20RS, and Paulo Lima ’22. The Friars held Marquette to only two shots on target last Saturday with goalkeeper Austin Aviza ’20RS picking up his eighth shutout of the season
In the game this past Wednesday, the Friars continued their fight in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament against the No. 2 seed and the No. 8 ranked team in the country, St. John’s University. St. John’s had a bye in the first round of the tournament but played the Friars at home in Queens, NY
In the final Big East game of the regular season on Nov. 6, the Friars shut out St. John’s in a 2-0 victory at home with goals again from Lima and Wolf.
The semifinals on Wednesday may have been one of the most entertaining games of the season for the Friars. PC went down early to the Red Storm with a 1-0 deficit at the half. Five minutes into the half, Lima scored a header off a corner from Joao Serrano ’20RS to make it 1-1.
The second half was controlled by the Friars, and with just under four minutes to go, Smith put a rebound in the back of the net to take the lead. The game was not over yet as Aviza came up with one more big save with less than 20 seconds left to secure a 2-1 victory in Queens.
Due to the Friars’ great performances throughout the season, five Providence College players received postseason honors. Tiago Mendonca ’20RS and Serrano were both named to the Big East First Team All-Conference. Lima was named to the Second Team All-Conference while Aviza and Danny Griffin ’20 were named to the Third Team All-Conference.
In the season as a whole, Lima led the Friars in scoring with eight goals along with an assist. Serrano led the team in assists with eight and also tallied four goals. Both players have appeared in every single game for PC. Davock and Smith both shared the same stat line after the season’s end with four goals and four assists.
After going to a shootout in the game earlier in the day, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and No. 3 ranked team in the country, Georgetown University, won in penalty kicks over Butler University. The Friars will now travel to Washington D.C. to play in the Big East Tournament Final at 12 p.m. on Nov. 17.
Cross Country Takes on Big East Championship
Maria Coffin ’21 and Marcelo Rocha ’21 Finish Big for Friars
by Joseph Quirk ’23
This past weekend the Providence College Cross Country Teams headed up to Kenosha, WI to compete in the Big East Cross Country Championships. While neither the men’s nor women’s team came in first, there were plenty of positives. Both teams were optimistic heading into the weekend.
The women’s team has had a fairly up-and-down 2019 season that began with a third-place finish (out of three) at the University of New Hampshire Tri-Meet to start the season. They rebounded later on in September at the Coast-To-Coast Battle in Beantown meet hosted by Boston College. The meet featured several nationally ranked teams, and the Friars showed up with an eighth-place finish (out of 22). The women’s team followed that up with a 26th place finish (out of 36) at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational at the University of Wisconsin.
The men’s team entered Kenosha following a strong 2019 season in which they have had two first place finishes (UNH Tri-Meet and New England Championships) and a 12th place finish (of 21) at the Battle in Beantown meet.
Both squads placed well in the Big East championships, despite not winning the whole thing. The men’s team placed fifth out of nine and the women’s team placed fourth out of 10. The women’s team was led by Maria Coffin ’21 who placed fourth overall with a time of 21:56.5. Coffin was followed by 2018-19 All-American second teamer Abbey Wheeler ’20 who finished seventh at 22:06.2, and Lilly Tuck ’23 who finished 11th with a time of 22:19.0. Because of their incredible effort, both Coffin and Wheeler received All-Big East honors. This is the first All-Big East honor in Coffin’s career and Wheeler’s fourth.
For the men, Marcelo Rocha ’21 led with a 22nd place finish overall and a time of 26:46.0. The next two Friars to cross after Rocha were Ryan Gallagher ’21 who finished 26th with a time of 26:58.4 and Nick Carleo ’20 who finished 29th with a time of 27:10.0.
While the Big East Championships are over, the cross country season is not. Both squads will next compete Friday, November 15 in Buffalo, NY in the NCAA Northeast Regionals. If both teams have a strong showing, they will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA championships later this November.
Track Team Finds Success at Big East Championship
By Christian Rada ’22
This past week, the Big East Conference announced the All-Big East Conference squad; which is comprised of competitors who finished in the top three of any individual or relay event in the championships. Fifty-nine women and 61 men complete the list. A total of 31 student-athletes—17 women, 18 men—earned all-conference for multiple events. This year many Friars qualified for the Big East team including Jack Carleo ’21, Nick Carleo ’20, Trevor Crawley ’19, Ryan Jendzejec ’21, Michael O’Leary ’19, Daniel Rooney ’21, Maria Coffin ’21, Alex DeCicco ’20, Mariah O’Gara ’20, Millie Paladino ’19, Catarina Rocha ’19RS, and Abbey Wheeler ’20.
On Feb. 23, the Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track Teams competed in the Big East Tournament with the women’s team finishing seventh overall with 51 points and the men’s team finishing sixth with 33 points. Paladino blew the crowd away making huge strides from the beginning. She and her fellow teammate Briana Ilarda ’19 were in the leading front three bombing for the finish line. By the last 200 meters, it was a race for first between the two Friars and a Villanova athlete. Paladino would finish first overall in a time of 9:24.29. This resulted in back-to-back 3,000-meter titles for Paladino. Ilarda would finish second overall with a time of 9:26.34, and Regan Rome ’GS would come in fourth securing points for the Friars.
For the men’s indoor team, Rooney had a strong showing for the Friars in the 60 meter hurdle finals and would place eighth overall in a time of 8.68 which was .02 seconds less than his previous record making a new personal record. Rooney’s time is now the second all-time fastest in the school’s history. Michael Bittner ’20 took eighth place in the high jump with a height of 1.85 meters. The men’s 4×800 meter relay team of Carleo, Jendzejec, Carleo, and Michael Wyman ’GS took the lead for the first two legs of the relay. On the third leg it was a battle between the Friars and the Wildcats. The team finished with a silver medal with a time of 7:32.54, only four seconds off the school record.
This past weekend both the PC Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track Teams competed in the IC4A Championships at Boston University. The Friars excelled in many races in just the first two days, some even breaking their own personal records. For the men’s indoor track team, Jendzejec started his race in the 1,000 meter finals. Jendzejec placed eighth overall and ran a PR of 2:27.33, which is almost seven seconds faster than his previous race. Veteran runners, Marcus Karamanolis ’19 and Marcelo Rocha ’21, both competed in the 3,000 meter finals. Karamanolis ran his heart out as he finished ninth in the seeded heat in a time of 8:19.55. For the women’s indoor track team, six Friars competed in the preliminary heats. DeCicco raced the preliminaries of the 1,000 meters and finished eighth in her heat with a time of 3:02.55.
Swim Season Comes to an End
Men’s and Women’s Teams Break Many School Records
By Sullivan Burgess ’20
Last weekend, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams competed in the 2019 Big East Swimming and Diving Championships held in East Meadow, New York. The four-day event provided the Friars with the opportunity to set over 12 new program records.
Beginning on the first day, four students raced in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay, which held a previous record time of 6:49.12 set in 2014. Justin Viotto ’22, John Freeman ’21, Andrew Ferrell ’21, and Liam Straker ’19 finished the race with a time of 6:46.69, putting the Providence men in fifth with 28 points.
For the women, the top finishers came from two events of the day—the 800-yard and 200-yard freestyle relays. In the 800-yard relay, the Friars placed fifth at 7:41.17, led by Jennifer Bankes ’22, Lauren Zawacki ’21, Margie Keenan ’21, and Madeline Snow ’19. For the 200-yard relay, however, the Friars were able to beat their time from 2017, 1:47.12, by nearly two seconds, coming in at 1:45.63 and ending in fifth place. The event was raced by by Juliet McGlaughlin ’19, Abigail Czernieki ’19, Katie Thornton ’21, and Zawacki. This tied the Friars for fourth with Butler at 56 points after day one.
On the second day of the championships, Zawacki set another program record in the 50-yard freestyle when she touched the wall at 23.88 seconds. Ferrell also set a new program record with a time of 1:51.28 in the 200-yard IM. Additionally, the team of Bankes, Thornton, Keenan, and Zawacki set a school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:35.92. At the end of the second day, the men were still in fifth place at 88 points, and the women dropped to fifth at 93 points.
On the third day of the championship, the Friars were able to set four more program records, beginning with Zawacki’s improved time of 57.20 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle. Viotto bested the program’s 400-yard IM record with a 3:58.09 mark. The team of McGlaughlin, Czerniecki, Thornton, and Bankes was also able to set a new record in the 400-yard medley relay at 3:53.16. Lastly, Ferrell was able to touch the wall in his race at 50.25, which was not only allowed for a fourth-place finish, but also a new school record.
In the fourth and final day of the championships, the Friars set three new program bests. The first record was set by Amanda Gaccione ’20 by finishing the 200-yard breaststroke with a time 2:22.78. Viotto set a best time of 1:50.12 in the 200-yard fly, and senior Ryan Trammell ’19 bested his own mark in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing at 2:03.17.
Despite breaking 12 records, the men and women were unable to place due to stiff competition. The men came in last with 227 points and the women placed last with 220 points. Xavier University won the men’s competition with 779.5 points, while Villanova University won the women’s side with 1007.5 points.
After a back and forth season with most Big East competitors, the Friars were happy to set these 12 new program records and improve on their times. They are looking forward to what the future has in store for them.
Men’s Basketball Fights Hard in Big East Championship
PC Falls to ‘Nova in the Big East Final
by Sullivan Burgess ’20
It is only two weeks into March and needless to say it has been a crazy few weeks for the Providence College Friars Men’s Basketball Team and for Friar fanatics.
The month began for the Friars with a trip to the Big Apple for the Big East Tournament held annually in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
The Friars began the tournament as a fifth seed in the Big East standings, playing against the third seed Creighton University Bluejays. This season the Friars went 1-1 with Creighton, so expectations were high coming into the game.
The game came down to the wire and ultimately had to be decided in overtime after battling back and forth over each half. The victory was handed to the Friars as they took over in the last few minutes to secure the win 72-68.
Small forward Alpha Diallo ’20 led the game in scoring for the Friars with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Point guard Kyron Cartwright ’18 after the game said he was excited about the atmosphere of the Garden and stated to the press, “It’s like, feels like our second home sometimes. We got a lot of great alumni who come out, a lot of great fans, a lot of students here from the New York area. They always come out. They support us. They’re really loud out there and we feed off their energy.”
The Friars played the next day in the semi-final against the one seed Xavier University, who came off of a strong victory against St. John’s University.
Again the game went back and forth throughout each half and overall had to be decided again in overtime. In overtime, the Friars played with confidence and strength and defeated Xavier 75-72 to secure a spot in the championship game.
Cartwright and Rodney Bullock ’18 came in clutch as they made many great plays to win the game, including 15 and 17 points, respectively.
The time had then come to show the world what the Friars are really made of as they entered the championship game against conference rivals, the two seed Villanova University Wildcats. To match the common theme throughout the tournament for the Friars, the game had gone to overtime, after the Friars came back in the second half.
Unfortunately, overtime went to the Wildcats as they out-scored the Friars 16-6 in overtime resulting in a final score of 76-66. In the end, Cartwright and Diallo were named to the All-Tournament Team in the guard and guard/forward position.
Despite the loss, Coach Ed Cooley stated to the press after the game “I thought we played great. I thought we played tough. I thought we played together.” These strong words were enough to boost the spirits of the fans and students.
The next day after the championship was more nerve-wracking than the championship, as it was Selection Sunday for the NCAA March Madness Tournament.
While fans were tense throughout the day, they were anxious to see the placement of the Friars in the tournament. The performance of the Friars in the Big East Tournament was definitely able to push the team from on the bubble to either a seventh, eighth, nineth, or tenth seed.
The team was ultimately placed in the west region at a 10 seed, playing against seven seed Texas A&M. Providence was one of the six teams from the Big East that made the March Madness Tournament, along with Villanova and Xavier at one seeds, Creighton and Seton Hall University at eight, and Butler University at No. 10. Overall the Friars are ready to go dancing this March.
Cross Country’s Big East Standouts
By Meaghan Cahill ’20
Despite the cold and the wind on Oct. 28, both the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams competed at the Big East Cross Country Championships. It was a successful day with the women’s team clinching the second place spot and the men’s team coming in fourth place.
However, while the teams had great success as a whole, there was also great individual success for each of the teams.
Catarina Rocha ’17GA won the entire women’s race with a time of 19:59.0, which also earned her All- Big East First Team Honors.
On Rocha, Head Coach Ray Treacy stated, “I am especially proud of Catarina for winning the individual title. She has been a standout runner for us.” Rocha is the ninth Friar in history to win the individual Big East title and the second in her family–her father won it for Boston College in 1987.
Rocha’s individual success was joined by Brianna Ilarda ’18, who had a time of 20.12.0, and Millie Paladino ’18, who had a time of 20.27.9. Ilarda and Paladino came in second and fourth place respectfully. “Great running up front from Catarina, Bri, and Millie,” Coach Treacy declared at the end of the race.
Abbey Wheeler ’20 rounded out the list of Friars who came in the Top 10 by finishing in tenth place with a time of 20:53.7.
The men’s team finished fourth behind Georgetown University, Butler University, and Villanova University. While they had no runners finish in the Top 10, they just missed it with runners Marcus Karamanolis ’19, who finished in eleventh place, Aaron Hanlon ’18, who finished in thirteenth place, and Liam Harris ’20, who finished in eighteenth place.
On the men’s team, Coach Treacy had a positive outlook on their appearance and the future of the team by saying, “The men had a much improved performance today…We will look for them to improve over the next two weeks and compete well at the Northeast Regional in Buffalo.”
Two weeks from now, on Nov. 10, both cross country teams will compete in the Northeast Regional Championships in Buffalo, New York, where they will be looking to clinch a spot in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.