PCI: Should Students be Allowed to Storm the Court After Upsets?
Yes, They Should Be Allowed To
by Gavin Woods ’22
In light of the recent Providence College Men’s Basketball Team victory over Seton Hall University on Feb. 15, many are questioning whether or not student spectators should continue to storm the court. However, I do not think that this instance should be representative of the policy. Storming the court after a big win is a staple of the college basketball experience and should be continued.
Part of what makes the Dunkin’ Donuts Center such a difficult arena for opponents to face is because the PC crowd is so vocal. The best way to measure a crowd’s effect on the game is to look at how it affects the home team’s performance. Head coach Ed Cooley commented, “I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about how great our crowd was tonight. Our crowd helped us win this game, no question about it. I don’t know what they fed them in here tonight.”
It was exactly this intense excitement that the student section showed for their Friars that made them want to celebrate this conference win. Coach Cooley offered his perspective on the premature court storming: “I know it got out of hand at the end when they thought the game was over. Hopefully we won’t get fined for that. But if we do… I’ll pay for it. It’s worth it if we’re winning.”
When Alpha Diallo ’20 was asked how the sold-out crowd at home made him feel, he replied, “It was a great moment. The storming the court is always fun, especially for the young guys. It was a great atmosphere and we fed off of it for sure.”
Banning the act of court storming would discourage the crowd’s participation. Big wins do not happen often and when they do, students should have the opportunity to celebrate with their fellow classmates. The student body should be free to celebrate with the team however they see fit, so long as it does not interfere with the game as it did this past Saturday.
Storming the court is a longstanding college tradition that has, in some cases, been deemed an essential part of the college experience. To deny students the opportunity to do so takes away the ability for students to make memories of a situation they may never find themselves in again. To put a limit on their celebration is to essentially remove students from the game, which already confines them to mere spectators. Lastly, to reiterate what Diallo said, storming the court not only energizes the fans, but also the players because they feed off the excitement in the stadium and it can be a motivating factor for the team going forward.
Therefore, storming the court, when done correctly, should be allowed because both the fans and players love it. It is a great sports tradition that brings players and fans together.
No, It’s Too Dangerous
by Eileen Flynn ’20
With unexpected outcomes comes unexpected celebrations, and for college basketball an upset at home usually calls for the students to storm the court at the final buzzer.
What might seem like harmless excitement at first can actually turn into mayhem on the court. In addition, large fines can be placed on the institution itself. Some might argue to “let the kids play,” but there have been incidents in the past that should convince any school or league to ban fans from storming the court, with no exceptions.
Student fan sections during the game are expected to get rowdy. Indeed, they are responsible for cheering their team on when it is on a roll, as well as in charge of picking their team up when they need some momentum. Chants, signs, and themed outfits are all encouraged and express the crowd’s commitment to their school’s team. Rushing the court, however, creates a dangerous situation for students and players that can be completely avoidable.
One of the worst cases was in 2004, when a promising high school basketball player, Joe Kay, helped his team beat their rival school with a game-winning dunk. The high school students, who had watched college court storms all their lives, were ready to celebrate the same way. Unfortunately, Kay was a victim of the chaos, being thrown to the ground before suffering a stroke which would later paralyze him on his right side.
The Southeastern Conference and the Big East have started to implement fines for teams that continue to storm the court even after being advised not to do so. However, this does not seem to stop students. A University of South Carolina announcer warned the Gamecock fans prior to their upset victory against University of Kentucky that if the students were to storm the court, the school would be fined up to $50,000. The students charged the court anyways, leaving their school to pay the large fine.
Providence College students are all too familiar with rushing the court after their basketball team comes up with an unexpected win. This season, the team was 0.2 seconds away from beating Seton Hall University, who was sitting first in the Big East and ranked tenth nationally. With an unexpected foul, the students started rushing the court even though the game had not yet ended. Embarrassing the team and the school, the students took their time walking off the court. Providence College was issued a $5,000 fine for the unnecessary fiasco.
How do you distinguish which victory deserves a court storming? Many PC students decided the game was not worthy of storming the court and stayed in their seats at the end of the game, which was a good thing.
Storming the court is not going to get any safer, it embarrasses the school, and in the end, is just not worth it.
Men’s Basketball Weekend Recap
By Gavin Woods ’22
The Providence College Men’s Basketball Team was defeated by Xavier University last Saturday, 58-64. The Friars record has now fallen to 13-11 on the regular season, and 6-5 within the Big East.
Both teams came out of the gates aggressively. The Friars got into an early rhythm, but struggled to slow the Musketeers from inside the paint. The soft coverage down low and lack of communication among the defense enabled the Musketeers to consistently get high percentage looks.
The Friars’ offense seemed to be working effectively, as they maintained the lead for the majority of the first half. However, their issue was not scoring, but rather keeping Xavier from scoring easy layups. As the game progressed, Xavier seemed to find success with their substitutions, particularly with Kyky Tandy, who scored 10 points off the bench.
PC’s offense was led by Nate Watson ’21 with 16 points and seven rebounds. Watson was supported by Alpha Diallo ’20 and David Duke ’22 with 14 and 12 points, respectively. However, the Friars seem to be struggling to find their identity, as these three stars are the only players to consistently score double digits each game. The offensive burden for the Friars must be more evenly distributed among the team.
Another issue currently plaguing the Friars is subpar perimeter shooting. Out of 23 attempted three point shots, only four fell, resulting in a three point percentage of 17.4. It’s entirely possible that PC is simply attempting too many three pointers. Luwane Pipkins ’20 shot a total of nine three pointers only to make two of them. This means that seven possessions were essentially handed to Xavier. The Musketeers attempted only 19 three pointers and landed five of them for a three point percentage of 26.3.
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Friars lies in the way they finish games. As seen several times throughout the 2019-2020 season, including the recent loss to Villanova University, PC’s shot selection in the dying minutes of the second half become erratic and forced. With 8:59 to play in the second half, Providence led 50-47. Xavier then went on to execute a 5-0 point run, leading PC 52-50. Following this run, the Musketeers never gave the lead back, with the Friars making only three shots within the final 10 minutes of the second half.
Head coach Ed Cooley voiced his frustration following the loss saying, “I’m really pissed at my team. I thought we were undisciplined. I thought we took some uncharacteristic shots. I didn’t think we were united the way you have to be on the road in these environments.”
The PC versus St. John’s game was not completed at press time.
PCI: Who Will Win Super Bowl LIV?
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers: a matchup of two of the most consistent teams this season. The team that will be coming out victorious on Sunday will be the Kansas City Chiefs.
It has been 50 years since the Chiefs have made it to the Super Bowl. This has been a long time coming for Kansas City fans and they will be even happier soon. Make no mistake, the 49ers are a great football team with an outstanding running game and a defensive line that will hit you in the face every single snap. However, they do not have that “it” factor the Chiefs have, and that has a lot to do with a man named Patrick Mahomes.
The quarterback out of Texas Tech University has set the league on fire ever since he took the starting role in Kansas City. He has not put up numbers like he did in his MVP season last year, but he is thrown for 4,031 yards with 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions, while also posting the second best QBR (total quarterback ranking) at 76.3.
Needless to say, he has done all of this after coming back from a dislocated kneecap midseason. Mahomes is built for the big stage and he will be excited as ever to show everyone why he deserves to be called one of, if not the best, quarterback in football this season.
There are also some explosive players surrounding Mahomes on offense.
No lead is safe with the Chiefs. Kansas City’s high-powered offense has three Pro Bowlers: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman. They also have the down field threat and speedster Sammy Watkins. It is too much power for a very good San Francisco defense to contain.
The flip side of the ball will be the difference maker for the Chiefs. Their defense has been on a steady rise for most of the season and is peaking at the right time thanks to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who knows a thing or two about winning a championship as a defensive coordinator having won Super Bowl XLII with the New York Giants. The Chiefs secondary has been totally revamped compared to last season and safety Tyrann Mathieu has been a leader. The rush defense for the Chiefs is going to have to step up big if the Chiefs want to host the Lombardi Trophy, but with the massive momentum they have created over the past couple of weeks and an offense averaging 43 points per game this postseason, the Kansas City Chiefs will be crowned Super Bowl Champions.
– Liam Tormey ’22
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are primed to win this year’s Super Bowl, coming off of a dominant playoff performance and a remarkably successful regular season. They will face off on the second of February in Miami with the AFC Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 49ers have solidified themselves as a run-first offense from the onset of the season, with the combined forces of Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Deebo Samuel.
Recording an impressive 2,305 rushing yards as a team, as well as averaging 4.6 yards per carry, the 49ers have worn out defenses with their massive volume of rushing attempts. This enabled Jimmy Garoppolo to take the occasional deep looks to their star tight end, George Kittle, who led the team’s receiving corp, recording 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season. This explosive offense, implemented by Kyle Shanahan, led the 49ers to an impressive 8-0 start to the season, before a crushing loss to the Seahawks in overtime.
However, the story of the 2019-2020 49ers has not been the success of the offense, but rather their defense. The statistics speak for themselves: first in scoring defense with 15.3 points allowed per game, third in forced fumbles with 12, ninth in interceptions with 12, 10th in sacks with 23, and first in rushing defense with only 73.2 yards allowed per game.
Their defense is somehow just as star-studded as their offense from Richard Sherman to Arik Armstead and the astonishing rookie, Nick Bosa. Unfortunately, the stats simply do not do Nick Bosa’s performance justice. This is not to say that nine sacks in the regular season for a rookie defensive end is not special, but the most impressive aspect of Bosa’s game is the immense pressure he can put on quarterbacks. Combining his 6-foot-four-inch and 266-pound frame with a 4.79 second 40-yard dash will prove to be a major problem for the Chiefs’ offensive line.
Come Super Bowl Sunday, expect both teams to test their opponents’ defensive backfield, as it is likely the weakest point for each team. This applies particularly to the Chiefs, who will almost certainly struggle to move the ball on the ground against the iron-clad 49ers defensive line. Regardless, this will prove to be a shootout between two talented and young quarterbacks, with possibly the two most explosive offenses currently in the NFL.
– Gavin Woods ’22
Men’s Lacrosse Wins Regular Season Finale
Friars Earn Three-Seed for Big East
By Gavin Woods ’22
Thanks to a 9-8 overtime win over Villanova University last Saturday at Chapey Field, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team is heading to the Big East tournament. Following two tough losses to University of Denver and Brown University, respectively, the Friars bounced back in a big way to become the third seed in the Big East standings. PC will now look forward to their first game of the Big East tournament against Georgetown University.
The name of Saturday’s game was offense. The first goal came less than five minutes into the opening quarter from Villanova. However, the Friars responded with two consecutive goals from Duncan McGinnis ‘19 and Evan McGreen ‘21 at 7:35 and 5:32, respectively. The Friars held their lead until 1:23 left in the quarter when Villanova’s Corey McManus scored an emphatic goal to tie the game at two goals apiece, assisted by Keegan Kahn. The Wildcats won the following faceoff, giving them just over a minute to attempt another goal. McManus fired Villanova’s last shot in the quarter, which was saved by PC keeper, Tate Boyce ‘19. With 14 seconds left on the clock, the Friars had one last chance to clear the ball to the Wildcats’ territory. Following the successful clear, the PC offense worked the ball around until McGreen was able to find David Procopio ‘19 for the buzzer-beater goal.
The Friars continued trading goals with the Wildcats throughout the second and third quarters, until Villanova extended their lead to two goals with 12:51 left in the fourth quarter. This began an eight-minute stalemate between the two teams.
With only 4:46 left in the game, it began to look bleak for the Friars until Dan Axelson ‘20 delivered a much needed, unassisted goal to reduce the deficit to one goal. Despite losing the following faceoff, PC was playing with all the momentum. Boyce produced a game-saving stop to give the Friars another chance. After successfully clearing the ball to the opposing side, PC’s Tim Hinrichs ‘21 hoped to tie the game with a side-arm shot that narrowly missed, hitting the crossbar.
Following this possession, Villanova recovered the ball and began an attempt to run out the clock. Yet another save from Boyce gave the Friars another chance at redemption.
After turning the ball over once again, a Villanova defender launched the ball to the opposing side with ten seconds remaining in the game. Miraculously, Boyce recovered the ball and sent it to the Villanova side, where the Friars recovered. In the dying seconds of the game, McGreen was able to feed Nick Hatzipetrakos ’19 for a diving goal to force overtime. This goal added tremendously to the Friars’ confidence which enabled Colin Keating ‘19 to score the game-winning unassisted goal just five seconds into OT.
This pivotal conference win gave PC a regular season record of 7-8, 3-2 within the Big East. This win was essential, as it secured their position to play Georgetown instead of the number one seed, Denver. Nonetheless, Georgetown will prove to be a true test for the Friars as the Bulldogs won the previous regular season matchup in a 15-17 shootout. Georgetown boasts an impressive regular season record of 11-4; however, they share the same conference record of 3-2 with PC.
Who Will Win The NHL Stanley Cup?
Tampa Bay Lightning
By Gavin Woods ’22
The 2018-2019 Tampa Bay Lightning are going to win this year’s Stanley Cup. While this is by no means a “hot take,” as the Lightning currently lead the Eastern Conference, the numbers speak for themselves. The Lightning put up a historic regular season tying the all-time record of 62 wins, which was previously held by the 1995-1996 Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning have also shown an impressive clutch factor boasting the second most road wins, 30, in NHL history: one shy of tying with the 2005-2006 Detroit Red Wings.
Because the Lightning finished the regular season as the top seed, they will be facing the wild card Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of playoffs. The Blue Jackets would not pose a major threat to the far sounder Lightning squad, if it were not for the world-class goaltending of Russian keeper, Sergei Bobrovsky, who is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner. The Blue Jackets’ only shot at upsetting this powerhouse is if Bobrovsky can put up a career series. While this possibility seems unlikely due to the firepower of Tampa Bay’s offense, it is not uncommon for a keeper to become hot around playoff time.
Also in Tampa Bay’s favor over Columbus is the fact that during the regular season, the Lightning outscored Columbus 17-3. They also went 6-for-11 with the man advantage.
Barring a miracle from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Tampa Bay lightning will proceed to the second round to play the winner of the Boston Bruins-Toronto Maple Leafs series. This will certainly be an entertaining series, as Toronto will look to extend their tremendous success at home.
The following matchup will likely prove to be the most testing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, where they will face-off against the winner of the Metropolitan Division. After handily defeating the wild card Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals will likely prove they deserve a shot at defending the Stanley Cup, beating either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the New York Islanders. Because of the superior talent within the Eastern Conference, this will probably be the most challenging step of Tampa Bay’s journey to the Stanley Cup finals. If the Lightning can hold out over the Capitals, they will almost certainly defeat the best the Western Conference has to offer: likely, the San Jose Sharks.
Key factors to the Lightning finishing what has been dubbed “one of the best regular seasons in NHL history” by the NHL, rest in the stats of their superstar roster; particularly their first line consisting of Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and this year’s Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov. All three of these players led the team with goals scored (Stamkos had 45 and Kucherov and Point each had 41). All three of these players were key factors in the Lightning scoring the most goals out of any NHL team this year with 325 goals —36 more than the second place San Jose Sharks.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have all of the tools for a successful playoff run, and, as seen by their success during the regular season, no team can really pose a serious enough threat to them. It is for this reason that I believe they will win the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Men’s Basketball Sweeps St. John’s
By Gavin Woods ’22
It has been a busy week for the Men’s Basketball Team. In the span of six days, Providence College played two home games versus St. John’s University and Marquette University, before their matchup at Butler University.
The Friars started the week with a home game against St. John’s, who is currently third in the Big East. To say that St. John’s had the momentum going into the game would be an understatement, especially coming off staggering wins against Marquette, Butler, and most recently, Villanova. However, the Friars had won their last matchup just two weeks prior, and they showed no signs of backing down.
PC came out hot at the start of the game, scoring an early three from Makai Ashton-Langford ’21. The name of the game for Providence, however, was defense. The Friars did not give up a single point until 7:49 into the game, with a lead of 9-2. Perhaps even more impressive, PC was able to almost completely shut down Shamorie Ponds, the leading scorer for St. John’s, who averages 19.7 points per game. Ponds finished the night with two points, well below his season average.
The Friars were able to hold on to their decisive lead, finishing with a final score of 78-59. There was not a single lead change throughout the game.
Next, PC faced the Golden Eagles of Marquette, who are currently at the top of the Big East standings. Marquette boasts a win percentage of .85 and a conference record of 12-2. Marquette certainly came into the game with confidence, as they won their last matchup against Providence.
The Golden Eagles began the game scoring early and often. They led at the half by 11 with a score of 31-20. Providence seemed to be containing Marquette’s star guard, Markus Howard, who averages 25 PPG, holding him to only 14 points. However, this enabled Marquette to adapt, using their other weapons including Sakar Anim and brothers Sam and Joey Hauser. Marquette had a total of five double-digit scorers, compared to Providence’s three.
The biggest difference between PC and Marquette was shooting accuracy. The Golden Eagles sank 54.9 percent of their field goals, 47.6 percent from three and 76.9 percent of free throws. This is compared to the Friars’ percentages of 28.6 from the field, 30 from three, and just 50 from the free throw line.
The game’s lead scorer was Alpha Diallo ’20 who dropped 19 with six rebounds. However, it was Marquette’s Sam Houser who stole the show with an impressive 18-point 13-rebound double-double.
Their next game proved to be the closest for Providence, as they traveled to face off with Butler. Of the three games, this was the closest matchup, with both Providence and Butler having an overall record of 15-13. This was the first meeting between the two teams during the 2018-2019 season, and both teams were desperate to improve their conference record.
Though the game was tight throughout, Providence seemed to have the slight edge. The Friars’ largest lead was 14 points with 7:15 left in the first half. However, a rapid comeback from the Bulldogs resulted in a Providence lead by just five points at the half. The battle continued through the second half, with a total of four lead changes. Providence continued their offensive game plan, facilitating the ball through Nate Watson ’21. Watson led the Friars in scoring with 21 points.
Towards the end of the second half, PC began to build their lead over Butler. The Friars were up by seven points with less than a minute left to play. However, Cooley elected to continue his strategy to not foul the other team until the end of the game. This enabled Butler to come back from their deficit and tie the game, due to several Providence turnovers. This gave PC one last chance to end the game, with 10 seconds left in the second half. A failed open three point shot from David Duke ’22 sent the game to overtime, where the Friars outscored Butler 11-5.
Though the Friars seem to have found themselves in a late season slump, with a record of 6-10 in the Big East conference, these two conference wins will certainly help PC in their placement for the Big East tournament.
If the Big East Could Add One Team, Who Should It Be?
By Gavin Woods ’22
The Big East conference has produced nail-biting matchups between rival schools along the east coast since 1979. It is hard to imagine the conference with any other teams, as the current teams have long been associated with one another. However, if the Big East were to add another team to their list, who would it be?
Several factors are involved when deciding a conference configuration. Perhaps the most important of these factors is the school size. Roughly all schools in the Big East are categorized as medium-sized schools, ranging from 4,000 to 16,000 undergraduate students.
Another variable in this decision is location. This factor, however, does not hold as much value as the size, as Marquette University is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yet still participates in the Big East. Nonetheless, the majority of Big East schools are located relatively close to the east coast region.
One school that satisfies both of these requisites is Boston College. With an undergraduate class of roughly 9,300, as well as its location just outside of the city of Boston, the Eagles would be an appropriate addition to the Big East conference.
While size and location help to categorize colleges and universities in their respective conferences, it is ultimately the caliber of the program that will determine whom they should play. The overall ambition of a conference is to produce a highly competitive tournament for the conference title. This begs the question, “Can Boston College compete with the Big East powerhouses?”
The answer to this question is complicated, as it is difficult to compare the teams in the Big East to Boston College, which is included in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). However, it helps to look at non-conference games between Boston College and some of the Big East teams to see their compatibility. An example of this can be seen in the most recent meeting of Providence College and Boston College in basketball.
This game took place on Tuesday, December 4, and it proved to be an exciting match-up. The two teams were neck-and-neck throughout the game, yet BC seemed to have a slight edge with a lead of four points at the half. Boston College continued their success in the second half, but the Friars were right behind them. Towards the end of the second half, Boston College led by three with one PC possession left in the game. If it were not for A.J. Reeves ’22 scoring the last-second deep three point shot to take the Friars into overtime, Boston College would have walked away with the win.
If nothing else, this meeting proved that Boston College has the potential to compete with the best the Big East has to offer.
Athletes Visit PC to Teach Students That We’re All A Little “Crazy”
Former NHL Player Dowd, Boxer Kelley, and Runner Brown Share Their Stories
by Gavin Woods ’22
Providence College hosted a former NHL player and Stanley Cup winner, a former track and swimming star, and a four-time national championship winning middleweight boxer at the #SameHere Sit-Down event on Feb. 4. One common thread between these three incredible athletes is their participation in the We’re All a Little “Crazy” Foundation with the Global Mental Health Association.
The founder of this program is Eric Kussin, a former sports manager, who has previously worked with the Florida Panthers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Phoenix Suns. The primary focus of the We’re All A Little “Crazy” program is to expand public awareness about mental health, especially with respect to athletes. While the program is by no means limited to exploring mental health in athletes, it works specifically to breakdown the stigma around problems with mental health amongst athletes.
One of the main messages of the event is encouraging vulnerability. We’re All A Little “Crazy” emphasizes this message with the help of professional athletes. Each of the three guest speakers shared their stories and their own respective lessons from their life experiences.
The first guest speaker following Kussin’s introduction was Eric Kelly, once the top pound-for-pound boxer in the United States. Kelly’s stardom began at an incredibly early age. By 16-years-old, Kelly had already won his first Junior Olympic Boxing Championship. He then received a full scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan, to train at their U.S. Olympic Training Center. It was then that Kelly received the news that his father, who had been his primary caretaker for as long as he could remember, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. This was devastating to Kelly; due to his grueling workout and travel schedule, he could not be there by his father’s side.
Athletes have historically been private about the states of their mental health. Many athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, feel as though they are not allowed to show weakness. This was the case for Kelly. His father’s illness, mixed with his unrelenting workload, brought up many feelings. However, Kelly’s coaches and training staff did not encourage him to work on these issues that he was dealing with. Instead, they encouraged him to keep fighting. As a result, Kelly was forced to repress these emotions, which affected his mental health tremendously. Kelly soon found himself channeling these emotions into negative activities. He then lost his scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan, following his arrest for assault charges.
Looking back, Kelly deeply regrets not dealing with or even acknowledging his feelings. This is precisely what We’re All A Little “Crazy” is trying to remedy. It is their hope that by traveling the country and sharing so many professional athletes’ experiences, young athletes and people alike will feel more comfortable discussing the topic.
A similar lesson was learned when the second guest speaker, former New Jersey Devils star Jim Dowd, spoke briefly about his own experience. Stemming from his rather difficult childhood, including struggling with his parents’ divorce as well as being molested by his cousin, Dowd also had to repress his feelings. Throughout his entire professional career, Dowd was intent on never revealing to anybody what happened to him or expressing how it made him feel. However, repressing these feelings only came back to haunt Dowd, when last August he began experiencing thoughts of suicide. Now retired, Dowd finally saw a specialist and began communicating his feelings to his family and friends. Above all, Dowd stressed the importance of forgiveness.
The topic of anxiety was covered in Asheton Brown’s story. Before she became a successful track star and swimmer, Brown struggled with anxiety. The source of the problem dates back to her childhood, when Brown suffered physical abuse from her father, as well as being raped in her teenage years. These atrocities significantly impacted Brown, causing her to fear practically any human contact. She recalls that she would not give or receive hugs to anybody, family or otherwise. Her crippling anxiety constantly made Brown wonder, “What can I do to get off this hamster wheel?” Brown eventually saw improvement with her anxiety, as she became more confident in herself and in her relationships with others.
Much of the discussion involved the rhetoric used when speaking about mental health. Kussin called attention to the commonly used statistic by the media, “one in five people experience issues with their mental health.” Not only is this incorrect, as nearly all humans experience changes in their mental health, but it also encourages marginalization. For example, saying only one in five people experience issues with their mental health alienates the one in five who are experiencing it. Also, it creates a false sense of comfort for those who are not experiencing it yet.
The event ended with a Q&A session with Kussin and the athletes. Many insightful questions were shared from prior We’re All A Little “Crazy” events, including, “What is the best way a peer can help?” Kussin responded by saying, “The first step is the acknowledgment that what they’re going through is real. Because there’s so many of us who go through things, like depression and anxiety, but nobody can physically see it, a lot of people don’t understand. Acknowledging, ‘Hey, I know you’re going through something right now, but I’ve got your back and I believe in you,’ that’s one way you can be there for your friend.”
New Season for Softball
By Gavin Woods ’22
As the winter season rages on, we begin to look forward to the start of the spring and the collegiate sports that come with it. Perhaps the most notable is the Providence College Softball Team, led by new Head Coach Jill Karwoski. The Friars are looking to bounce back from a somewhat underwhelming 2018 season, ending with an overall record of 13-32.
The primary change from last season is the difference in team management. The Friars said goodbye to longtime prior Head Coach Kerri Jacklets, who served in the position for a staggering total of 13 seasons with the College. In her time as head coach of the Friars, Jacklets was able to produce 15 All-Big East selections, one All-Big East Tournament Team player, three All-Northeast Team selections, one College Sports Madness Big East Rookie of the Year, and one NFCA All-Region Team player.
However, Karwoski is no stranger to the job; this will mark Karwoski’s return to Friartown as she formerly served as volunteer-assistant coach for the Friars’ 2012-2013 season, ending with an overall record of 23-28-1. While she looks forward to bringing her new head coaching experience back to PC, Karwoski insists, “I am still the same person and coach as I was when I volunteered with the Friars. The biggest difference now is that I feel I am able to invest all of my time and energy into building relationships with each player equally and play a more significant role in enhancing their overall student-athlete experiences.”
Karwoski returns to PC after serving five years as head coach for the Quinnipiac University Bobcats. Coach Karwoski values her time with the Bobcats and looks forward to following their next season, this time as a fan. As far as carrying over her experience from Quinnipiac to PC, Karwoski maintains, “With me I have already brought my love for the game as well as my coaching philosophy that has allowed our team to frame out the program’s new core values. It’s through these core values, every player, no matter what program, can be guided when making decisions on and off the field and long after they’ve received their hard-earned degree.”
When asked how she feels about her return to the PC program, Karwoski replied, “Words can’t express how grateful I am to be back in Friartown. Previously, when I was with the program, the Friars were able to leave a positive impression that I still cherish to this day.”
Another development from last season is the change in experience. Last year, the Friars had a relatively young squad. With only four seniors on the roster, PC fielded as many freshmen as they did seniors. This year, however, PC’s softball team features a total of seven seniors. This increase in experience will, no doubt, assist the Friars in improving their overall record.
While PC softball only lost four seniors to graduation, they will certainly be missed. Such talents include Julianne Rurka ’18, who held the Friars’ highest batting average at .333, and Brittney Veler ’18, who led the team in RBIs, home runs, and second to most runs. While these are enormous losses for the program, PC softball has much to look forward to with this relatively older team. Emma Lee ’19 looks to improve her already-stellar reputation from last season with the most hits, runs, and second to highest batting average on the squad. On defense, the Friars pitching staff features four relatively young players. The oldest of which is Miranda Trinidad ’20, who held the lowest ERA of all pitchers last season.
Coach Karwoski remains poised and eager to make her mark on the Big East conference, this time as head coach. She is especially enthused over one match-up in particular, “New to the Big East, every opponent will be an exciting match up for both our players and coaching staff. Having grown up in a suburb just northwest of Chicago, I am particularly excited to travel to DePaul to see some of my family and friends in the stands cheering for the Friars!”
Women’s Hockey Clinches Mayor’s Cup
By Gavin Woods ’22
On Dec. 4, the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team added to their already impressive record with a staggering 8-0 road win over the Brown University Bears at the 24th Mayor’s Cup. The Friars are now 14-3 and hold the eighth position in the top 10 Division I women’s team standings.
Providence bounced back in a big way, following their disappointing 1-2 loss to the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Friars first found the back of the net with an unassisted goal with 10:53 to go in the first period by Emily Landry ’19. Providence then followed up with a beautiful assist from Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 to Cassidy MacPherson ’19 before the end of the period.
The Friars continued to push the puck early in the second period, resulting in Hayley Lunny’s ’21 rebound goal from Annelise Rice ’21. Roughly four minutes later, PC capitalized on a powerplay when Meaghan Rickard ’20 found Kate Friesen ’19 to extend their lead to 4-0 with 12:21 left in the period.
The Friars showed no signs of slowing as the final period began. MacPherson secured another goal, this time unassisted, just 1:59 into the third period. Maureen Murphy ’21 was next with a goal, assisted by Christina Putigna ’19 with 9:25 left in the game. In the final five minutes, Ciara Barone ’22 scored, and Caroline Peterson ’22 scored her first career goal for PC off an assist from Murphy.
For the Friars, the story of the game was possession. Head Coach Matthew Kelly emphasized, “Moving our feet and moving the puck–that was the biggest thing. We were working the puck low to high.” When asked how the team was able to shut out Brown’s leading scorer, forward Sena Hanson, Kelly responded, “We were definitely playing more offense than defense, and I think that helps. It also limits the chances that a player like that can get.” Even when PC was on defense, they remained composed and dominant throughout the game. Obviously, the shutout points to an impressive display by both the defense and goalkeepers Madison Myers ’19, with 12 saves in the first two periods, and Clare Minnerath ’20 with three saves in the third.
Despite the contradictory final score, Kelly did have praise for the Bears of Brown, saying, “They’ve had some big wins this year. Look at some of the teams they beat: Cornell University, Colgate University, and the University of Connecticut. They are a team that, if you give them time and space, will be opportunistic with their chances.”
This was no ordinary game, however. The Friars faced off with the Bears for the 24th installment of the annual Mayor’s Cup. The Mayor’s Cup was created to celebrate the exciting rivalry between two talented teams in Providence. Brown took the first Mayor’s Cup in 1966, with a 4-3 win. The Friars, however, have now won the last five meetings, and lead the Bears 11-10 in the series. Kelly seems to think the trophy on the line may have contributed to success for the Friars, “Definitely different when you’re playing for a trophy. It always amps everybody’s focus and attention to detail. It’s fun. We had one of these opportunities back in the Nutmeg Classic, and we won that. So, we had some experience, going for a trophy. ”
The Friars look forward to the Crusaders of the College of Holy Cross, facing off with on Friday, Dec. 7 at Schneider Arena.