Men’s Lacrosse Enters the Second Half of Their Season
Team Already Matches Win Total from 2018
By Liza Sisk ’19
The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team is heading into the second half of the 2019 season with a 5-5 record. The second half of the season ushers in a focus on conference play. Four of the next five games for the Friars are against Big East competitors.
The Friars defeated their first in-conference competitor, St. John’s University, on March 30. The team traveled to Queens, New York and took on the Red Storm in a nail biting game. The Friars secured an impressive 8-7 overtime victory, advancing their record to 5-5 and 1-0 in league play.
St. John’s was first to score, however, Kevin McCordic ’20 quickly answered, tying the game with his third goal of the season. The second quarter showcased the offensive prowess of the Friars with Tim Hinrichs ’20, of Amherst, New Hampshire, scoring back-to-back goals giving the Friars a 3-1 lead.
The third and fourth quarters brought a fury of goals for both the Friars and the Red Storm ending regulation play with a 7-7 score. With 1:12 left in overtime, Hinrichs netted yet another goal, assisted by Matt Grillo ’22 of Setauket, New York.
Goalie Tate Boyce ’19 faced 24 shots on goal, tallying up 17 saves. Boyce was also named as a finalist for the Senior Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School Award. Ten NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse student-athletes are distinguished as candidates for the award. To be qualified for nomination, a player must have notable achievements in community, classroom, character, and competition. Head Coach Chris Gabrielli describes Boyce as “a true game and program changer.” The award is determined by nationwide fan voting, and the winner is announced during the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship in May. Boyce is a three-time captain for the program, pursuing a degree in marketing. When asked about his goals for the team and for himself this season, Boyce said, “I am hoping to do something we have never done in my previous three seasons, and that’s win a Big East Championship.”
The Friars are looking to maintain this momentum as they delve deeper into conference play. The team will be facing Georgetown University on April 6, at home, to kick off this portion of their season. April also brings competition against Marquette University, cross-city rival Brown University, University of Denver, and Villanova University. Other than a trip to Denver on April 20, the Friars will be competing in Providence for the duration of the regular season.
Duncan McGinnis ’19, of Menlo Park, California, said, “The team’s goal this season is to win a Big East Championship and continue playing into the NCAA tournament in May.” He is particularly looking forward to the game against Brown University on April 16.
The road to the Big East Championship will be a tough one for the Friars. The rest of their Big East schedule consists of teams with winning records, which includes Georgetown, who is the first team to seven wins.
Patriots Clinch Super Bowl LIII Over Rams
PC Campus Celebrates Patriots’ Sixth Title
by Liza Sisk ’19
On Feb. 3, the New England Patriots earned their sixth ring during Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins by a single franchise. In an incredibly underwhelming game from an offensive perspective, but possibly one of the most challenging defensive games in Super Bowl history, the Patriots outscored the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.
“We have a lot of great people in the organization. It starts at the top with Robert [Kraft] and his family, he’s given us great support in all the things we need to do to be competitive. Again, we have a great group of players and coaches that work extremely hard to compete the best we can. Happy that things worked out for us this year and we were able to be the best team in football this season,” said Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick to USA Today.
The game was scoreless heading into the second quarter. Perhaps it was inspiration from Belichick or the performance by Maroon 5 and Travis Scott, but the Pats were able to pull off the W in the final quarter. The game was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, succeeding the Miami Dolphins victory over the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII. In addition, a record was set by quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday night. He is the first athlete in the NFL to win six Super Bowls and holds the record for most Super Bowl appearances with nine.
Super Bowl LIII also brought a few firsts for the Rams franchise. Johnny Hekker, punter for the Rams, now holds the record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history after kicking 65 yards. Additionally, the Rams’ head coach received a nod as the youngest NFL head coach to make a Super Bowl appearance. Sean McVay is just 33 years old and is the youngest person to become a head coach in the National Football League since 1938.
The Patriots, led by Brady, were able to turn on the heat in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Two crucial passes from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski and a successful drive by Sony Michel led to the first and only touchdown of the game. A field goal by kicker Stephen Gostowski sealed the win.
Following the win, Brady told USA Today, “We couldn’t take our foot off the gas pedal, we were playing a great football team. They’re explosive in all areas. They got the one turnover. They have a great team.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman earned the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award. Edelman made 10 catches, earning 141 yards during the game. His performance alone accounted for over half of the Patriots’ total receiving yardage, 262. He was the first wide receiver to win the award since Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. After a rocky start to the season, he was able to tally up 74 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Edelman said,“I wasn’t focused on that (MVP). I was just trying to go out and have a good week of practice and do my job. And sometimes, the cookie crumbles that way.”
Following the win, there was an undeniable buzz in the air at Providence College. The majority of students hailing from New England, it is no surprise that the sixth Super Bowl victory for the franchise brought so much excitement.
“This is the greatest sports dynasty of all time,” said Francis Figueroa ’20. Similar sentiments were shared by other students as Providence College students shipped it up to Boston on Tuesday, February 5 to watch the victory parade.
Providence College Investigates
The New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl LIII
By Liza Sisk ’19
In signature New England Patriots fashion, a nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching birth into Super Bowl LIII was earned on Sunday, January 20. Their triumphant defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs marked their third consecutive American Football Conference (AFC) championship. An overtime victory kept fans holding their breath for the entirety of the second half. We are living during a time of a New England Patriots dynasty and the Super Bowl is theirs for the taking. They will face the Los Angeles Rams on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Despite starting the season with a 2-1 record, the Patriots were able to turn things around and dominate the regular season ending the year with an 11-5 record, blowing the rest of the AFC East out of the water. There is no doubt that much of this success can be attributed to the managerial leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and the on-field leadership of quarterback Tom Brady. Together they have built a legacy racking up five Super Bowl wins and eight Super Bowl berths. Their accolades alone, three Coach of the Year awards and four Super Bowl MVP awards, respectively, speak for themselves. This dynamic duo separates the Patriots from every other team in the National Football League (NFL).
The tenacity of Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski will contribute greatly to a Patriots win on Feb. 3. Gronkowski’s ability to assume a unique role on the team game to game is especially key. He is able to channel his brute force and strength to serve as a blocker in one play and then showcase his athleticism and hands catching anything Brady throws his way. Gronkowski was an incredibly valuable player in the Patriot’s victory against the Chiefs. Recorded by Kevin Patra, writer for the NFL, Brady commends Gronkowski for “[catching] the fade on Eric (Berry) and then [catching] the slant (NFL).” With the Lombardi Trophy up for the taking, there is no doubt that Gronkowski will perform in February.
The list of athletes on the Patriots that contribute significantly to their success is not short. Wide receiver Julian Edelman was an essential component to their victory over the Chiefs; however, the leadership from rookie Sony Michel proved the Patriots talent runs deep. Michel executed a 10-yard rush for a touchdown and his five postseason rushing touchdowns has distinguished him in the rookie class.
After defying the odds and persevering through overtime against the Chiefs, the Patriots will be victorious come Super Bowl Sunday.
Men’s Swim Wins Harold Anderson Invitational
By Liza Sisk ’19
The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams are making waves in competition this season. The teams are in the midst of their seasons, working towards the Big East Swimming & Diving Championships Feb. 20-23.
On Nov. 16-18 the Friars traveled to Kingston, Rhode Island to participate in the Harold Anderson Invitational. The competition was hosted by the University of Rhode Island at the Tootell Aquatic Center.
The women secured third place, and the men took home first. The weekend also brought a personal record for a swimmer on the men’s team. Justin Viotto ’22, had a record-setting performance in the 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard IM. His performance in the 200-yard butterfly earned him a 1:50.20 time, beating the school record previously set by Sebastian Melendez ’21 in 2018. Viotto also topped the previous school record for the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:00.70. The previous IM record was held by John Fatigati ’15, earned in 2014.
The women proved to be competitive in the Invitational as well. Lauren Zawacki ’21 earned a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a 52.91 finish. Madeline Snow ’19, earned a second place finish in the 200-yard butterfly with a 2:07.26 time. Zawacki also took home third place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.28. The success of the Lady Friars was also propelled by a first place relay finish. The 200-yard freestyle relay consisting of Jennifer Bankes ’22, Katie Thornton ’21, Margie Keennan ’21, and Zawacki topped the other relays with a time of 1:36.73. The 800-yard freestyle relay win also contributed to the success of the Friars during the Invitational. Keennan, Zawacki, Thornton, and Snow earned an impressive 7:47.93.
Following his performance during the Invitational, Viotto was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. The freshman received the award on Nov. 21. His record breaking performances and consistency in competition earned him this award.
Star breaststroker Ryan Trammell ’19 is competing at the Winter National Championships on Nov. 30 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The meet is hosted by USA Swimming and is held in a long course pool to allow for swimmers to compete for 2020 Olympic Trial cuts. Following this meet, the Friars will take a break from competing until Jan. 2 when the men return to face Brown University. The Friars will then head to their winter training trip in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
USA Gymnastics Out
By Liza Sisk ’19
USA Gymnastics has been at the center of significant controversy this year. Last winter, more than 100 female athletes joined together to testify against Lawrence Nassar, the longtime national team doctor. The group of women was led by Olympians Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and McKayla Maroney. The athletes shared stories of sexual abuse and institutional neglect. Their testament served as a catalyst for conversation around sexual assault, institutional corruption, and the protection of young athletes in these organizations.
The strength these athletes showed through stepping forward to expose the corrupt nature of USA Gymnastics at the institutional level was recognized internationally. Nassar’s sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison from Eaton County Michigan and 175 years from Ingham County seemed like a victory for the athletes, and for individuals affected by sexual assault across the country. The courage and perseverance as champions for women’s rights in gymnastics displayed by the over 100 athletes who shared their stories was recognized through the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is named after the American tennis player and is presented annually to an individual, or in this case a group, whose contributions “transcend sports” according to ESPN. The gymnasts received this award for their courage in standing up against demons from their past, and serving as ambassadors for the #MeToo movement, creating a community of survivors in a world where so many are silenced. They served as statues of empowerment and faced an institution that perpetuated abuse for far too long.
In June, USA Gymnastics named Tom Forster the new high-performance coordinator of the Women’s National Team. This hire came with backlash from stakeholders, specifically the athletes.
Forster had a history of defending Nassar and an alleged reputation among “many former gymnasts for pushing athletes to unnecessary extremes and haranguing them about their weight” according to an article in the New York Times written by Juliet Macur.
Many athletes pushed back against this appointment with complaints of not being consulted in this attempted rebranding of the organization after a tumultuous year exposed an empire of abuse. This appointment was an effort to create a new face for USA Gymnastics in hopes of reestablishing their credibility as a governing body.
In a culture of victim blaming and attempts to brush allegations and controversy under the rug, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) took a step in the right direction on Nov. 6. The USOC announced that they would begin the process of stripping USA Gymnastics of its power as a national governing body.
Sarah Hirshland, chief executive officer of the USOC, announced the news in her letter to USAG gymnasts and the gymnastics community in the United States. She explained that the committee’s decision was “not a conclusion that we have come to easily” and that “this is a situation in which there are no perfect solutions.” The Olympic Committee will assume control of the national governing body “on the grounds that the federation had proven incapable of running itself properly” according to the New York Times.
Hirshland addressed the athletes in the gymnastics community by explaining “you deserve better” and that “in the short-term, we will work to ensure that America’s gymnasts have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play.” The USOC decision sends a strong message against abuse and can be considered a victory for the movement as well as the sport as a whole.
The first gymnast to accuse Nassar of abuse, Rachael Denhollander, reveled in the decertification of the organization. She tweeted, “Thank you. After overseeing the abuse of 100s of children by Larry [Nassar], national coaches and club coaches, it is high time for this organization to end and a new one, truly dedicated to athlete safety to begin.”
Although the news comes as excitement to many, the critique still stands that this move is not enough. Lawyers of Olympian Tasha Schwikert and her sister Jordan shared a statement that read “[the] announcement by USOC seeks only to deflect from their total failure over decades to protect gymnasts in their care.”
Providence College Investigates
The Men’s Ice Hockey Team Will Have The Best Record This Season
By Liza Sisk ’19
The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team is speeding towards what already looks like an incredibly successful season. The Friars are currently ranked third in the United States College Hockey online polls, and are dominating with a 5-1-1 record.
PC has been able to dominate its competition to this point in the season as their only loss was against the #2 nationally-ranked University of Notre Dame early in the season. The Friars have crushed Hockey East rivals such as Boston University and the University of Connecticut by scores of 5-0 and 7-2 respectively.
If these scores are any indication for the future, the Friars will have a good chance to find themselves on top of the Hockey East standings.
The Friars only graduated five players last year, leaving their underclassmen powerhouses and strong goaltending to carry on the legacy. The team is led by six seniors this year and welcomed six freshmen to the squad.
This team is loaded with talent at every position and the team’s strong depth separates themselves from the rest of the league. The Friars have multiple players who can score at any moment as 13 have already found the back of the net.
Assistant Captain, Vincent Desharnais ’19, will be the leader on the defensive side of the ice and is one of the top defenders in the conference. Desharnais currently is tied for third in the Hockey East with 14 blocked shots. The 2016 NHL Draft pick, has played in at least 19 games in every season during career at PC.
An asset that separates PC Hockey from other teams is the consistent goaltending of Hayden Hawkey ’19. Hawkey just claimed his third shut-out of the season in a 3-0 victory over the College of the Holy Cross on Nov. 3 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Hawkey tallied 27 saves contributing to his 0.955 save percentage this season. Hawkey’s consistency allows for the Friars to excel both defensively and offensively. He leads from the crease and can be relied on to perform in every game.
In addition to their competitive goal tending, the strength of the freshman class is solidifying the season for the Friars. Jack Dugan ’22 was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month for October. Dugan is the first Friar to earn this honor since Anthony Florentino ’17 in March 2014. He is a fifth-round draft pick for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and has already proven himself to be an incredible asset to the Friars.
The Friars will continue their legacy of success and make a competitive run for the NCAA Frozen Four Championship title, largely because of the reliable goaltending and strong underclassmen assets. Providence men’s ice hockey will be the most successful team this season, and will hopefully bring a championship back to Friartown.
Field Hockey Looking to Make Big East Appearance
By Liza Sisk ’19
The Providence College Women’s Field Hockey Team is powering through to the end of the season. On Friday, October 26, they will play their last regular season game against Liberty University at home. Then they break until Nov. 2 when they will head down to Lynchburg, Virginia to the Big East Tournament. The Friars are currently sitting with an 11-6 record on the season, and are 4-2 in conference play. Izzy Mendez ’20 is leading the team with seven goals. Allyson Parker ’20 is leading the team in points with 17. These are comprised of six goals and five assists. Goalkeeper Lydia Rice ’19 is tough in the goal with a 0.744 save percentage, 11 wins, and five losses in her 16 games played this season.
The Friars clinched their playoff berth in a tight game against Georgetown University on Friday, October 19, in Washington, D.C., the game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation play when overtime commenced. After two scoreless overtime periods, the Friars and the Hoyas took to the stroke mark to begin a shootout. The grit of the Friars was shown through spectacular goaltending and quick, accurate shots. The Friars walked away with a 3-0 win in the shootout, earning them not only the win over Georgetown, but also a berth into the post-season. Rice protected the net for the Friars, and Maddie Babineau ’21, Amanda Collins ’22 and Mary O’Reilly ’20 scored the three shootout goals. O’Reilly ’20 set the tone for the game with the sole regulation time goal of the game, her fourth of the season.
After the victory, O’Reilly was recognized for her part in catalyzing the success of the Friars by being named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. She received this acknowledgement on Oct. 22. It is the first time this season and the third time in her collegiate career that she received the honor. O’Reilly is making her mark this season with a collegiate career high of 10 points thus far. The points are tallied from her four goals and two assists. In her career she boasts an impressive 22 points on seven goals and eight assists.
The success of the Friars this season is a product of tradition, hard work, and leadership. This year the Friars are led by Kari Moyer ’19, Corinne Kenney ’19, Maura Ingraham ’19, and Rice. Kenney has been selected to play in the 2018 Victory Sports Tour/NFHCA Division I Senior Game. 38 student athletes were selected this year to compete amongst their peers while representing their home university. The game is scheduled to take place at the University of Louisville’s Trager Stadium on Nov. 16.
The Friars look to be contending in the Big East Tournament. Liberty University, University of Connecticut, and Providence College are holding three of the four spots. The last will be determined this week.
Wheeler Wins Battle in Beantown
By Liza Sisk ’19
Abbey Wheeler ’20 is sprinting into a successful third year, leading the Providence College Track and Cross Country teams to glory. Wheeler, a native of Elmira, New York, was recruited by the Friars her senior year of high school and has been an asset to the team ever since.
Wheeler proved that she will reach new heights this season as she earned first place in the 5K at the Cross Country Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown hosted by Boston College on Sept. 21. This was the first time Wheeler won an event at an invitational at the collegiate level. Wheeler said, “[the win] gave me a lot of confidence and I think it was a great learning experience.” She credits the culture of Friar cross country, her teammates, and the coaching staff for her success in the race.
“I am fortunate enough to be at a place, in a program, and surrounded by the right coaching staff and teammates that can help me make improvements from season to season. It always feels good to be moving forward,” said Wheeler.
Last season, Wheeler came in sixth place in this race while battling an iron deficiency. Her health has since been restored as she took the top spot this year, finishing the 5K in 17 minutes and 10 seconds.
Although her season is off to a successful start, Wheeler reflects on the difficulty that comes with losing powerful runners and leadership to graduation each year. When asked about her goals for the team this year she explained, “The girls before us have created high expectations and standards for the program and we hope to continue in that tradition.”
On Sept. 28, the Friars competed in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin. The women’s team placed 20th overall, with Wheeler leading the pack for the Friars. She placed 37th overall in the 6k, improving significantly from her 67th place finish in the race last season.
The Friars will take a short break in competition, returning with a Mini Meet at Central Connecticut State University on Oct. 19. This is their last meet until the Big East championships and NCAA tournament season begins.
Wheeler believes the secret to Friar cross country success is consistency. “The success and history behind the cross country and track programs here was why I committed to PC to begin with,” said Wheeler. Led by Wheeler, Friar cross country will undoubtedly continue the historical success of the program.
Colin Kaepernick Nike Ad Stirs Controversey
By Liza Sisk ’19
Earlier this month, Nike debuted a new commercial featuring former National Football League (NFL) quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and other popular athletes. The campaign encourages Nike customers to “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrficing everything.” This advertisement is a part of Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It.” campaign.
In 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling during the pre-game performance of the National Anthem in peaceful protest of violence, specifically police brutality against people of color. His actions received national attention in both the forms of support and anger.
The polarized opinions of individuals generated controversy around Kaepernick and sparked conversation in regard to freedom of speech, the right to demonstrate peacefully, and the disrespect of the American flag.
This controversy became central to the dialogue surrounding professional sports and gained a lot of momentum through attention from various media outlets. In late May, NFL owners “unanimously approved a new National Anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer.” Teams will receive fines if any players or personnel on the field refrain from standing during the National Anthem.
Nike took a risk by producing this commercial, and entered a politically and socially active conversation. Matt Powell, a sports retail analyst at market research firm NPD Group, explains that “the campaign sent a strong message to Nike’s core customers: Millennials and younger men in cities. Two-thirds of the company’s sneaker customers are younger than 35.” Wedbush analyst Christopher Svezia analyzed the approach as increasing core customers’ loyalty because “[Nike] communicated to them in a way that is authentic, culturally relevant, experiential and emotionally engaging.”
This advertisement, and the backlash and support that Nike has received because of it, continues to demonstrate the unique complexity of the intersection between the sports world and the political and social realms.
PC Swimming and Diving Makes Waves to Fight Cancer
Team Raises $30,101 for Cancer Research
By Liza Sisk ’19
This past weekend, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams left the comfort of their home pool, the Taylor Natatorium, and braced the cold ocean current in the waters of Narragansett, Rhode Island. Their venture into the open water was motivated by their determination to raise money for cancer research.
On Sept. 8, the Friars participated in the annual Swim Across America (SAA) event. The race is hosted by the SAA organization as a fundraiser to support doctors with ideas to fight cancer who are struggling to receive funding for clinical trials and research. The organization holds races nationwide. The swim is open to athletes of any age and skill level and typically offers both a half mile and a 1-mile race.
This season, SAA hosted 18 open-water swims at locations across the United States. They also offer the opportunity for individuals to hold pool races to contribute to their cause.
The beneficiaries of the funds raised during the respective races are cancer research facilities in the direct community where the race took place. The goal of SAA is to “fund $100 million in the next decade, to speed up cures for cancer.”
Saturday’s event took place at the Roger Wheeler Beach in Narragansett. The Friars participated in the one-mile swim. This year, the event attracted over 600 participants, many of whom represented collegiate swim teams across New England. The Narragansett-based event raises funds specifically for gynecological and breast cancer research at the Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.
Providence College has been participating in the event since its inaugural year nine years ago. Coach John O’Neill is on the commitee that brought the event to Rhode Island and is committed to cultivating it into one of the largest SAA events in the nation. Each year the team promotes the event amongst family and friends, and on social media, and where they raise money to contribute to research.
This year, as a program, the Friars was the highest fundraising team, raising $30,101 to support the local hospital. The swim itself collected $204,641 nearly reaching their goal of $210,000 with time still left to donate. In the nine years that the Friars have been involved with SAA, they have raised over $175,000.
The event not only attracted 600 participants, but four Olympic swimmers also made appearances at the race. Craig Beardsely (1980), Elizabeth Beisel (2008, 2012, 2016), Alex Meyer (2012), and Clara Walker LaMore (1948) supported the Rhode Island race and were available for photos and additional inspiration. These four Olympic athletes along with over 100 Olympians promote SAA events annually, generating awareness and raising donations for the beneficiaries of the races.
O’Neill made the following statement after the meet: “We would like to again thank the leaders of every college program for continuing to join us helping in the fight against cancer. The big winners on this day each year are the patients who will benefit from the outstanding doctors and research specialists at Women and Infants Hospital.”
Liam Straker ’19 is serving as a captain for the Friars. He reflected upon the significance of the program’s participation in such a powerful event and explained that “it’s important to take a step back and appreciate how lucky we are to have our health. It’s something I know I take for granted almost every day.”
Straker shared that the event is particularly important because “everyone’s life has been touched by cancer, so it’s really something that hits home for all of us.” Straker expresses his pride in the program for “making the commitment to this event year after year,” and is “grateful for the support [they’ve] received along the way.”