By Luke Sweeney ’24
The now No. 8 Providence College Friars have been rapidly climbing the national rankings all season. After a huge overtime win this past Saturday, Feb. 12 at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, coach Ed Cooley and his squad look towards March with great hope and unlimited potential. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Friars played the No. 10-ranked Villanova Wildcats at home in a packed house. The Friars fought until the end, but the Wildcats came out with a 89-84 victory. Despite this, PC remains first in the Big East at 11-2.
The No. 20 Friars Women’s Hockey team traveled to Merrimack Tuesday, Feb. 15 to challenge the unranked Warriors for some more mid-season Hockey East play. The Friars have faced Merrimack twice already this season, both times coming up victorious and proving that they belong among the best teams in the nation. Lindsay Bochna ’24 and Hayley Lunny ’21GS lead the team in points this season and hope to make a massive presence in this upcoming matchup. If the Friars can prevail, they should expect to move up in the national rankings once again.
The Providence Men’s Lacrosse team started their 2022 season in the last two weeks with a victory in their opener against Holy Cross. The boys were able to seize victory in their first bout in dominant fashion, winning 16-9. Evan McGreen ’21GS has had an impressive start to the season with six goals in the first game against Holy Cross. The Friars hosted the Bryant Bulldogs this past Saturday, Feb. 12 for their season home opener. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs proved to be too much as Providence lost 19-7. Shots on net, possession time, faceoffs and ground balls were the deciding factors in this loss.
In recent Men’s Hockey news, the Providence College Men’s Hockey team suffered a tough loss to the Boston University Terriers last Thursday at the Schneider Arena here on campus. The Friars currently sit at No. 19 in the nation, and have fought hard through a grueling Hockey East season thus far. In their recent matchup with Boston University, Patrick Moynihan ’23 was the only member of the team to find the back of the net, but there were many areas of struggle for the still young Friars team. They travel to face the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks this Friday, Feb. 18.
A Look at Friar Hockey Before Break
By Luke Sweeney ’24
The Providence College hockey teams have started their 2021-2022 season off extremely well. Both the Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams find themselves securely ranked within the top 20 teams in the nation. PC has been a hotspot for top hockey recruits for decades now, and the first two seasons of the 2020s have been no different. The men’s team, led by NHL draftees Brett Berard ’24 and Patrick Moynihan ’23, have started the season off with a 12-7-0 record.
On Dec. 3 and Dec. 4, the men’s hockey team suffered two losses in a row to No. 16 team, Northeastern University. This loss came as the only smudge on the Friars’ record, since their double-header loss to the also top-ranked No. 12 University of Massachusetts back in early November.
In their most recent face-off against Northeastern, the men’s team lost 4-1 with the only Friars goal coming from Garrett Devine ’23. This was Devine’s first career goal with Providence, coming from a rebound off a Berard shot in the second period.
Before the Huskies made the most of a scoring opportunity and went up 2-0 in the second, the Friars dominated the pace of play for most of the period. Although the final score says otherwise, PC played hard and kept up with their opposition for the entire contest but could not capitalize when it mattered most.
PC outshot Northeastern 35-19, but the Huskies’ goaltender was able to stop 19 attempts. Center Parker Ford ’23 also had a big night by going 17-of-22 on faceoffs.
The middle pack of the men’s NCAA hockey ranking has been wildly competitive recently, with many moving spots and nothing set in stone. Schools such as University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Northeastern University, and Denver University are all battling for the same spots with neck-and-neck records.
The Women’s Hockey team has been successful in their 2021 campaign as well.
In an extremely tough conference, the women’s team started out 7-5-5 with a 4-4-2 in-conference record. With a solid ranking of 11 in the nation currently, the Friars hope to slip past the University of Connecticut, Clarkson University, and Colgate University in the coming weeks to break into the top 10.
Recently, the Women’s team played two tough games against Princeton University, both resulting in a tie. This was following a dominant home game shutout against Merrimack College in which they won 3-0.
In the first bout against Princeton, Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 scored the single and deciding goal of the game on a power play. The play came off an assist from Hayley Lunny ’22GS on a power play with three minutes and 33 seconds remaining in the second period. Another notable moment from the game came from goaltender Sandra Abstreiter ’22GS. She achieved her second shutout of the season with 34 saves and no goals allowed. This was Abstreiter’s eighth shutout of her career.
The second game in a double-header against Princeton on Saturday resulted in a 1-1 draw. In the first period, no goals were scored, but the Princeton Tigers were able to outscore the Friars 10-6.
Princeton took the first lead in the second period and was able to maintain the advantage until there were just 51 seconds left in the game. When it mattered most, the Friars pulled their goaltender, and Caroline Peterson ’22 was able to punch one in the back of the net to force overtime. Goaltender Mireille Kingsley ’24 was able to make four huge saves while a woman down in overtime to save the tie.
It is safe to say that if both the men’s and women’s hockey teams continue to play as they have been this year, neither of the teams should have any trouble making a run in the postseason.
Women’s Soccer Makes History
By Luke Sweeney ’24
Saturday marked the tumultuous end to an excellent season for the Providence College Women’s Soccer team. The summer and fall came with many ups and downs, including big wins against multiple big-time programs.
Although their postseason was cut short, the women’s soccer team received a bid to be selected to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 28 years. This season was monumental for the team, and the chemistry among the girls was noticeable to opposing coaching staff and Friar fans everywhere.
Being matched up against the NCAA champion Hofstra Pride was not an easy task for the Friars, even after gaining momentum in the later parts of the regular season. The girls were able to pull out two huge wins against DePaul University and Seton Hall University in the last two regular season games of the year. After a very close loss to St. John’s University in the first round of the Big East Tournament, the PC Women’s Soccer team was awarded a chance to compete for a national championship in the NCAA tournament.
Members of the Friars women’s soccer team credit the team’s success this year to good team chemistry, an excellent coaching staff, and total dedication from every member of the team. It is rare that the Friars find themselves facing a team with more talent than them, so it was important this year for every member to know that hard work and perfect team-play would win them the games they needed. When asked prior to their game against Hofstra, midfielder Alexis Rothman ’23 gave her thoughts: “Every game is a hard game, and every team is going to be really hard but we just have to stick to what we are used to. Stick to what we do as a team and that’s all that we can control.”
Gillian Kenney ’25 had the first scoring chance of the game but sent the shot wide. Goaltender Emma Bodmer ’24 had her first save of the game in the 21st minute, but it was soon spoiled when Hofstra’s Georgia Brown scored at 27’. Less than 10 minutes later, the Pride hit the back of the net again to make it a 2-0 game. The Friars pressed on into the second half before there was a weather delay due to lightning in the area. At 57’, Hofstra scored once again, making it 3-0 as the final score on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Starter Meg Hughes ’24 had three shots during the game, two of them on goal. Hughes had a terrific second season with the women’s soccer team, remaining one of the Friars’ top threats. When asked about her thoughts on the season, she gave us a positive answer and outlook on next year: “I was happy with the outcome of the season. Really happy to get our first tournament appearance in 28 years. I’m still a little disappointed with the loss, but overall, really pleased with how the season turned out. For next year, some goals would be to make it back to the NCAA tournament and to make it further into the Big East tournament.”
The bond between the girls on the team was crucial to their success and gave them their first postseason opportunity in a long time.