Men’s and Women’s Track Prepare for Big East Championship
Both Teams Look to Finish the Year on a High Note
Joseph Quirk ’23
The 2022 Providence College spring track and field season is off to a fast start. Both the men’s and women’s squads have hit the ground running since they opened their season on March 27 at the Raleigh Relays.
The Raleigh Relays are a collegiate track and field event hosted by North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. For the men, the event represented an opportunity for many athletes to achieve new personal bests. Liam Back ’24 and Angus White ’22 both ran personal best times in the 1,500-meter, running 3:43.78 and 3:45.15 respectively. Matt Lepine ’22 ran a PR of 14:27.73 in the 5,000-meters event. But perhaps the greatest bunch of accomplishments from the men’s team at this event came in the 10,000-meters race. Shane Coffey ’24 ran the race for the first time in his collegiate career, finishing with a solid time of 30:11. David McGlynn ’22 ran a time of 29:04.9, which not only was a personal best for himself but also placed him at No. 6 in the College’s history. Abdel Laddjel ’25, from Lucan, Ireland, ran a time of 29:23, breaking the 50-year-old Irish Junior records.
Things were just as historic on the women’s side. Lily Tuck ’23 ran a personal best time in the 5,000-meters with a time of 16:02. With a time of 14.98, Nicole Borowiec ’23 broke the PC program record for 100-meter hurdles. Niamh Gowing ’22 also entered the record books, running a 56.87 second time in the 400-meter which was not only a personal best but good enough to put her at No. 3 all-time in Providence College program history. Hawa Grear ’24 also entered the record books, running a 12.61 second time in the 100-meters, food for No. 2 all-time in PC program history. Taylor Newman ’23 also became No. 2 all-time in program history for her 25.19 second finishing time for the 200-meters. Meg Hughes ’24 set a school record early in her career as well with a 400-meter hurdle time of 63:64 seconds. Along with previous years performances, McGlynn, Back, AJ Ernst ’22, Tuck and Shannon Flockhart ’24 all earned a qualification for the NCAA First Round, which will be hosted in Bloomington, IN from May 25-28.
The Friars continued their hot start when they went to the Black and Gold Invitational, which was hosted across town by Bryant University on April 2. Nicola Calabrese ’22 and Grear both recorded personal bests in the 200-meters. Gowing had a personal best performance in the 400-meters, landing her in second place. In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Meg Hughes not only had a first-place finish and a new personal best time, but also broke her own school record with a time of 61.34. Borowiec also broke her own school record in the 100-meter hurdles, giving her a third-place finish. The Friars men’s team claimed the first four finishes of the 1,500-meter race with Michael Morgan ’25, Patrick Thygesen ’24, Ryan Gallagher ’22, and Josh Lewin ’24 finishing in that respective order. Back and White also claimed the first two finishes of the 800-meters (respectively) with Back setting a meet record with a time of 1:52.21.
Following their strong return to Rhode Island, the track and field team decided to take the heat to their own turf, right at Ray Treacy Track. On April 8, Back ran the first sub-4-minute mile of his career, with a first-place finish and a personal record time of 3:59.06. The time was also the first sub-4-minute mile at Ray Treacy Track and beat the previous record by over 4 seconds. Ernst and White were not far behind him with 4-minute flat miles and third and fourth place finishes. Gallagher took first place in the 5,000-meters, an event which also saw McGlynn and Lepine hit new personal bests. Lewin had a nice first place finish in his heat of the 800-meters. In impressive fashion, Thygesen had a second-place finish, with a time of 8:54.07, in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Brett Lehman ’25 had a second-place finish for himself in the 400-meters. And Chris Johns ’25 had himself a first-place finish in the high jump. As for the women, sophomore Laura Mooney ’24 dominated 5,000-meters, with a personal best time of 16:09.43, which was over 17 seconds faster than the runner up. Flockhart came in second in the mile, Gowing came in third in the 400-meters, and Alex O’Neill ’23 came in first while setting a facility record in the 800-meters. Following the Friar invitational, Back earned a Big East men’s track athlete of the week honor.
The Friars continued to rack up records in subsequent meets. At the Penn Relays, Mooney broke the Irish U23 National record and placed sixth all-time in Providence College history for the 10,000-meter. A team of Kimberly May ’25, Halle Atkinson ’24, Flockhart, and O’Neill also set a Providence College record for the 4×800 meter relay. In their most recent event, the Brown Springtime Invitational, O’Neill broke a 32-year-old Providence College record in the 800-meters. O’Neill, along with Lewin, made a good case to qualify for the NCAA first round.
The Friars will look to continue their historic record breaking season May 13-14 when they head to Storrs, CT for the Big East championships.
Men’s and Women’s Track Team Aim For Higher Goals
Stephen Foster ’22
The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Track Teams have begun their spring track season. They have participated in two tournaments so far, the Raleigh Relays and the Black and Gold Invitational.
Taylor Newman ’23, who runs sprints for the PC Women’s Track Team, described the team’s goals this year, explaining, “This season, some goals for the team are to support one another every day and push each other to be the best athletes we can be. Continue to break our own personal records as well as school records. We hope to all stay healthy and avoid injury. Moreover, continue to foster the development of positive mental attitudes.”
The teams certainly seem to be on the right track with breaking personal and school records, as many times have been bested already across only two tournaments.
The Friars opened up their season at the Paul Derr Track and Field Facility in Raleigh, NC for the Raleigh Relays.
This season opening tournament was hosted by North Carolina State University on March 24-26.
Notable performances by the men’s team include AJ Ernst ’22 finishing 12th in the 1,500 meters, David McGlynn ’22 setting a personal record and moving into sixth place all-time in PC history with a time of 29:04.9 in the 10,000-meters, and Abdel Laadiel ’25 breaking the Irish Junior record (which has been the same for 50 years) with a time of 29:33 in the 10,000 meters.
Notable performances by the women’s team include Nicole Borowiec ’23 recording a time of 14.98 in the 100 meter hurdles to break the PC record, Niamh Gowing ’22 finishing with a time of 56.87 in the 400-meters to move into third in the College’s history, Hawa Grear ’24 running a time of 12.61 in the 100-meters to rank second in PC history, and Meg Hughes ’24 recording a time of 63:64 in the 400-meter hurdles to set a new PC record.
The Friars had a short break in the action before taking a trip to Bryant University to run in the Black and Gold Invitational this past weekend on Saturday, April 2.
In this tournament, PC had 15 members of their program finish in the top five for their events.
On the men’s side, Liam Back ’24 finished first and set a meet record in the 800 meters with a time of 1:52.21. Angus White ’22 finished second, right behind Back, with a time of 1:53.74. The Friars finished in first, second, third, fourth, and sixth place in the 1,500-meters thanks to Michael Morgan ’25, Patrick Thygesen ’24. Ryan Gallagher ’22, Josh Lewin ’24, and Matt Lepine ’22 respectively. Brett Lehman ’25 recorded a time of 49.64 to place third in the 400 meters.
On the women’s side, Meg Hughes ’24 broke her own school record in the 400 meters with a time of 61.34, just over two seconds faster than her previous time. Nicole Borowiec followed suit, finishing third overall and breaking her own school record in the 100 meters hurdles with a time of 14.90. Niamh Gowing ’22 won first place in the 400 meters with a time of 56.74, and Alex O’Neill ’23 won first place and set a meet record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:09.17. Halle Atkinson ’23 and Kimberley May ’25 ran close behind O’Neill, finishing second and third, respectively.
When asked what her takeaways were from the Black and Gold Invitational, Taylor Newman ’23 emphasized how proud she is of her team for their effort and performance in the meet and how she believes they are only getting started.
Newman detailed, “Some takeaways from the Bryant Black and Gold Invitational are that we showed some real promise with a number of the girls achieving personal best times so early in the season.”
She also added, “We have time to improve in some areas, but it was a great start. As the weather gets warmer and we continue to train hard and put the time in, the team has the potential to make even more improvements on race times as the season continues.”
The PC Men’s and Women’s Track Teams will host and participate in the Friar Invitational this Friday, April 8, held on Ray Treacy Track at Hendricken Field.
This will be their only home meet of the season, and the Friars are looking to defend their home turf with vigilance.
Newman shared her excitement for the tournament, explaining, “It will most likely be 10 to 12 of the top teams in New England and New York. The team hopes that everyone competes to the best of their ability, while supporting one another. It should be a great night in Friartown!”
Track enthusiasts and fanatics can head down to Hendricken Field or tune in to FloSports (found on the Providence College athletics website) on Friday night at 5:00 p.m. to see the PC Track Team in action.
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.
Women’s Soccer Recap
Reflecting on the Friars End to the Season
Stephen Foster ’22
The Providence College Women’s Soccer Team finished their season in heartbreaking fashion this Sunday, Oct. 31, suffering a disappointing 2-1 overtime loss to St. John’s University in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Amber Birchwell ’21 scored the lone goal to force OT for the Friars. Despite outshooting St. John’s 16-3 in the contest, the team let up the game-winning goal to the Red Storm within the first 25 seconds of the extended period. PC Women’s Soccer finishes the season with a 10-6-3 record, and a 5-4-2 record in the Big East competition.
For the 2022 season, the Friars will be hurt by the loss of fifth-years Amber Birchwell ’21, Hannah McNulty ’21, and Jana Braun ’21, as well as graduate student Christina Rodgers ’21.
Birchwell finished second in total points (two points per goal, one point per assist) on the season with 13 points, composed of four goals and a team-leading five assists. She has started in 82 of her 86 games played for women’s soccer over her five years in Friartown.
McNulty finished fifth in total points on the season with eight points, including two goals, and tied for second on the team in assists with four. Similar to Birchwell, McNulty has been an integral part of the Friars lineup for the entirety of her five years at PC. She started 72 of her 89 games in her college career.
Braun was a significant part of PC’s midfield this season, starting 14 of 19 games with 1,111 total minutes. Her returning teammates will miss her skills in advancing the soccer ball down the field and distributing to her teammates.
Rodgers was a defensive anchor for the team this season, playing in a team high 1,808 minutes and starting every game. She did the same in the 2020 season, playing all 1,140 minutes across all 12 games. Rodgers started in 82 of 88 games for the Friars across her five years on the team. Her defensive presence on the back line will be greatly missed next season.
Although the women’s soccer team will be hurt by the loss of their graduating players, there is a silver lining in the performance of several underclassmen who stepped up this season and will continue to improve for the 2022 season.
The Friars were led in points by Meg Hughes ’24, who scored nine goals and tied for second in assists with four. This is her second season in a row leading in scoring, as she led the team in goals and assists in 2021. She looks to continue her pattern of dominating offense for her junior season, as well as stepping into a leadership role.
Continuing on the offensive side, Gillian Kenney ’25 impressed in her freshman debut. She started in 10 of 19 games and recorded the third most points, finishing tied for second in both goals and assists with four in each category. She has much room to grow in the offseason and could become the spark the Friars need in 2022. Kyla Gallagher ’24 also contributed to the bottom line, adding in four goals and two assists for 10 total points, which is good for fourth on the team.
The defensive line relied on the skills of Alexis Rothmann ’23 and Chloe Ortolano ’23 to keep the opposing offense out of the net. They will be seniors next year and likely will be called upon to lead the Friars with their experience. Sophomore midfielder Avery Snead ’24 is also a name to remember for next season as she looks to take a step forward in her responsibilities. In addition, goalkeeper Emma Bodmer ’24 thrived in her second season this year, picking up three Big East weekly awards.
Providence College Women’s Soccer may have ended their season without a Big East Tournament victory in 2021, but they have high hopes for next season with a mix of proven and promising returning players set to fill the minutes vacated by those who close the door on their admirable college soccer careers.