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.
Men’s Lacrosse Back Underway
Taking It One Day At a Time with Big Goals in Mind
By Justin Bishop ’24
The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team is beginning their season and looking to rebound after last year’s Big East Conference tournament semifinal exit to the then-ranked No. 9 in the country, Denver University. The team is entering this season with 33 returners from last season, along with 16 guys representing the black and white jerseys for the first time. Head coach Christopher Gabrielli named Matt Grillo ’22, Evan McGreen ’21GS, and Mike O’Grady ’22 captains for the 2022 season. Grillo was named to the Preseason All-Big East Team as an attackman. The attackman is a critical piece in the Friars’ offense, as Grillo led the team in goals last season with 22. The Friars are projected to finish fifth in the Big East this year from the Big East Coaches poll, whereas Georgetown University is projected to finish first in the conference. “You always come into the season with those lofty goals of winning that Big East title and making the national tournament,” said coach Gabrielli, “but we take a daily approach to goal setting where we take it one day at a time.”
The team has already played two games this season as of Thursday, Feb. 17 and currently has a 1-1 record. The first game was a 16-9 win over the College of the Holy Cross, in which captain, McGreen, had six goals and two assists, responsible for half of the Friars’ total points. “We have great leadership from Evan McGreen,” coach Gabrielli added. “Evan is one of the best midfielders in the country and a little bit underappreciated.” Another player who lit up the score sheet was Ryan Bell ’25, who tallied two goals and five assists. Coach Gabrielli said, “Ryan Bell is as talented a freshman that we have had around here since Tate Boyce ’19.” The comparison of Bell to Boyce says a lot about the potential of Bell, as Boyce earned All-Big East First Team in his freshman year. The ceiling is high for the high school All-American freshman out of Port Jefferson, NY.
With regards to the Feb. 5 game against Holy Cross, the Friars were “ultra-aggressive” according to coach Gabrielli and captain McGreen “set the tone for the rest of the team” with his play. “We needed to be tougher on ground balls,” coach Gabrielli added, saying that Holy Cross played more resilient in the second half. He continued, saying, “We need to execute clearing the ball better, we failed five times in the third quarter.” This is something the team will work on in practice.
The Friars had their home opener at Chapey Field on Saturday, Feb. 12 with an Ocean State rivalry against No. 20 Bryant University, who coach Gabrielli described as “a very exciting opponent.” The Friars got out to a 2-1 start, and it went downhill from there, resulting in the Bulldogs strong-arming the team to a gut punching 7-19 loss. A bright spot for the team was when seven individual Friars scored. Bell led the team in points with two (assists). Despite the 10-4 score at the end of the first half, Providence played a solid technical game. The team went 11-12 on clearing the ball, something that coach Gabrielli said they needed to work on, along with only turning the ball over six times, compared to Bryant’s nine.
This is Gabrielli’s 10th season as head coach for the Providence Friars, and he has nothing but good things to say about his team. He spent six years with Duke University’s lacrosse team as their defensive coordinator and helped them reach the Final Four six times, the national title game twice, and total victory in 2010.
It is safe to say that Gabrielli knows how to win and what a winning culture looks like. He has had plenty of good lacrosse players come through Huxley gate, but the two that stand out are Jared Neumann ’17 and Boyce, who both play professional lacrosse in the Premier Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League.
Coach Gabrielli and the team have been itching to play, with him saying, “We’ve had 40-something practices and you only get 14 games, and we just want to play the game.”
Gabrielli is looking for leadership that starts with the older guys: “guys like Evan McGreen, Drew Edwards, Mike Harris, Mike O’Grady, Matt Grillo, and Matt Gould who are really great leaders.” These are names to watch out for this season to see the impact they make on the field and the interactions they have with the rest of the team on the sidelines during games.
A group of younger players that Gabrielli says are “poised to fill the shoes of” key pieces of last year’s team of Ryan Nawrocki ’20, Tim Hinrichs ’20, and Daniel Axelson ’20, are “Chris Cusilito ’24, Michael Chabra ’24, Ryan Bell ’25, and Wynton Bastian ’23,” coach Gabrielli stated. Nawrocki led the team in points last year and Axelson, Hinrichs, and Nawrocki were all selected to All-Big East teams. “Chabra and Cusilito got a ton of experience and learned a lot playing with [Axelson, Hinrichs, and Nawrocki] and their ceilings are tremendously high” coach Gabrielli said, praising the sophomores for their play last year and their expected play this season. PC may not have the heaviest bodies on the field, but something that they use to their advantage is their speed in the midfield. Coach Gabrielli said the speed of the players allows the team to control and adapt to the speed and tempo at which each game is played.
Coach Gabrielli also praised the athletic department and the College for highlighting not just basketball or hockey, but all sports in their new athletics commercial. “Most people think that it’s just people in Rhode Island that see that commercial, but that’s a national commercial,” Gabrielli explained. “I think it’s a statement for how our athletic department highlights all athletics, and it’s really cool we were included in that.”
For context, McGreen is depicted in the commercial in lacrosse gear, standing next to Friars volleyball player Sammie Ruggles ’24, in front of the Ruane building.
PC lacrosse takes on Siena College in New York on Saturday, Feb. 19 and then is back at Chapey Field to play St. Joseph’s University on Saturday, Feb. 26. Tickets to the home games are free, so be sure to come support your Friars.
Men’s Lacrosse Takes on Denver
With Big East Tournament on the Horizon, PC Prepared
Margaret Maloney ’23
The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team has risen to the occasion in this difficult spring 2021 season, and are ready to continue the momentum they had at this time last year before COVID-19 struck. Last year, the Friars started their season 5-1 and were ready to dominate in the Big East tournament. This year, they have used their disappointment as a motivator and now aim to make some noise in the Big East tournament.
The Friars, the fourth seed in the tournament, will take on top-seeded University of Denver on May 6 right here on the PC campus. The Friars have lost their two matchups this year against a talented Denver squad and will look to pull off the upset in their semifinal matchup.
Head coach Chris Gabrielli shared how proud he was of his team for pushing through all sorts of COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, explaining that the adversity has made the team better overall and more committed to the sport. He especially emphasized their win against Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.
Gabrielli explained that the trip to Milwaukee entailed taking “multiple flights and buses, wearing masks, isolating in our hotel rooms…It was an in-and-out trip, leaving the day before, and it was a very quick turnaround to play the next morning, and we just played great.”
He then spoke about how hard it has been mentally for his players to stay healthy, get tested multiple times a week, and also stay focused on the fact that they play the game because they love it. All of the protocols and restrictions have made the season a difficult one, but that all seems to go away when they step on the field to practice or play in games. Gabrielli has made the extra effort to ensure that his players remember this feeling of normalcy.
When talking to coach Gabrielli about preparing for the tournament this season, he explained how important it is to have fun. While the Friars are sticking to their regular practice schedule with extra shooting sessions heading into the tournament, there was an organized “inter-squad scrimmage to make it competitive and fun” for the team the week before the tournament. Gabrielli emphasized that the team is putting in hard work to succeed in the postseason, but it is also important to stay loose going in.
This year, the Friars had eight returning graduates who decided to take advantage of the opportunity given to them by the NCAA to play one more season. When asked about what winning the Big East tournament would mean to him as a coach and what it would mean to his players, Gabrielli responded that “a Big East championship would mean the world to us, especially for all of our fifth year athletes who came back with the goal of competing for a Big East championship on Chapey Field.”
Indeed, PC is lucky enough to host the Big East championship this year, giving the Friars home-field advantage. As they approach their first game in the tournament on May 6, the men’s lacrosse team is fully prepared to excel in the tournament and earn back what they lost last year.
End of April Sports Shorts
Week of April 16-21
By Scott Jarosz ’21
On April 17, The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team played a thrilling game against the Marquette University Golden Eagles. Unfortunately, it ended with a heartbreaking loss for PC. The game was back and forth throughout and featured an impressive fourth-quarter comeback from PC to send the match into overtime. After three scoreless overtime periods, MU finally recorded a goal in the fourth overtime period to win the game 7-6. The loss dropped PC’s record to 4-7 on the season. The team now looks ahead to its next contest at Georgetown University on April 24.
Women’s Field Hockey:
The field hockey team had a tough final week of the season, falling in each of its three games. On April 14, PC hosted Boston College. The visiting Eagles spoiled PC’s senior day, winning the game by a score of 2-0. Next, the Friars traveled to Old Dominion University for a two-game series. In the first game of the series on April 16, ODU shut out PC by a score of 3-0.
PC then went on to play ODU again on April 17 for its final game of the season. The visiting Friars put up a strong fight against No. 17 ODU, but ultimately fell by a score of 2-1. The loss ended the season for PC, who finished with a record of 2-9.
The softball team traveled to play Villanova University this past weekend for a three-game series. The series opened with a doubleheader on April 17. Villanova came ready to play. The Wildcats struck for three runs in the first inning of game one and did not look back. Villanova beat PC by a score of 6-1 in the first game of the doubleheader.
In the second game of the doubleheader, PC held the home team to just two runs but were unable to put any runs on the board and lost 2-0. The final game of the series was a hard-fought, low-scoring battle. Jacque Harrington ’24 hit a home run for PC, but it was not enough to earn a victory, as the Wildcats would go on to win by a score of 2-1.
Despite the loss, Daniela Alvarez ’22 pitched a phenomenal game, allowing just three hits and striking out five batters. PC now looks ahead to its next series against Butler University, which is scheduled to start on April 24.
Sports Shorts Week of 4/8-4/15
By Liam Tormey ’22
Sports Assistant Editor
Over the weekend, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team hosted St. John’s University at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium in a Big East matchup. The Friars dominated the contest, winning by a score of 19-9. Matt Grillo ’22 and John Hoffman ’23 led the way for the Friars. Grillo finished the evening with five goals, putting his tally up to 20 for the year, while Hoffman was right behind him with four. Toby Burgdorf ’21 recorded 15 saves in the contest. The Friars are now 4-6 on the year and 3-5 in Big East play.
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field:
Last Friday, the PC Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams competed at the Ocean State Invitational. For the men, AJ Ernst ’24 won the mile run with a time of 4:00.64, a facility record. Marcelo Rocha ’21 also set a facility record, in the 5,000-meter contest. Rocha won the race and finished with a time of 13:55.98. For the women, Abbey Wheeler ’21GS and Lilly Tuck ’23 won their respective races. Wheeler set a personal best and won the mile with a 4:41.93. Tuck set a personal best in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:24.11.
Swimming and Diving:
The PC Swimming and Diving Teams competed in the Big East Championships in Geneva, Ohio. On the men’s side, Justin Viotto ’22 won the 200-yard butterfly event to secure the conference title. After being in third for the first 150 yards of the event, Viotto used the last 50 yards to claim a victory by one one-hundredth of a second with a time of 1:48.23. Kevin Hood ’23 also won a title, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 55.52. On the women’s side, Sally Alrutz ’23 recorded a personal record in the 100-yard backstroke at 55.91, finishing fifth. Overall, the women’s team came in fifth while the men secured fourth to wrap up the season.
To finish out the regular season of Big East play, the PC Women’s Soccer Team traveled to Queens, New York to face St. John’s University. After being down 1-0 going into halftime, the Friars were awarded a penalty shot with just 10 minutes left to play. Christina Rodgers ’21 stepped up to the spot and recorded her first goal of the season to level the Friars at one. The game went into overtime, during which neither team would score, and the game concluded in a 1-1 draw. The Friars finish the regular season 7-2-3 overall and 5-2-3 in Big East play.
February Sports Shorts
Weeks of 2/12-2/24
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
Heading into their Feb. 16 matchup at the University of Connecticut, the Providence College Men’s Basketball Team was looking to build up some momentum in the month of February as they usually do. Unfortunately, it appeared they ran out of energy. The Huskies returned multiple players back from injury including James Bouknight and Akok Akok in their 73-61 victory. Alyn Breed ’23 led the Friars in scoring with 14 points. PC’s interior defense struggled against a juggernaut UConn front court that torched the Friars with 46 points in the paint.
On Feb. 20, the Friars faced off against Seton Hall University on the first day of their tri-state weekend series. PC held an early 14-11 lead in the first quarter, but Seton Hall would come roaring back in the second quarter, outscoring the Friars 23-11. The team never quite got their momentum back and fell to the Pirates 67-55. Alyssa Geary ’22 paced the scoring for the Friars with a team high 17 points and nine rebounds. On Feb. 21, PC went down to Queens, NY to take on St. John’s University. Coach Crowley’s team was looking for the season series sweep. Although it was close at the half, the Johnnies ended the third quarter on a 7-1 run, propelling them to a 65-47 victory over the Friars. Geary once again led PC in scoring with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
In their first Big East game of the season, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team downed St. John’s 16-8. PC led from start to finish in this one thanks to early goals from Dan Axelson ’21GS and Matt Leader ’21. Both would finish with three goals in the afternoon. The Friars now look to improve to 2-0 in Big East play as they take on Denver University on Feb. 27.
The PC Women’s Soccer Team has started the season strong, thanks in large part to their defense. After pulling off a 2-0 over the University of Rhode Island in their first game of the season, the Friars downed their other in-state foe, Bryant University, 4-0 on Feb. 21. The Bulldogs did not even record their first shot on net until the 67th minute of the game. The Friars outshot Bryant 10-0 in the first half, although the scoring did not start for the Friars until Kyla Gallagher ’24 buried one off a cross to start the second half. PC is now 2-0 on the season and starts Big East play at home against UConn on March 4.
Men’s Lacrosse: Road to Redemption
Coach Gabrielli, Friars Finally Return
Liam Tormey ’22
Sports Assistant Editor
In 2020, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team started the season 5-1. Wins against Boston University, the College of the Holy Cross, and a 13-12 victory in the Ocean State Cup over Brown University seemingly marked the start of a fantastic season. But then, COVID-19 struck.
Head coach Chris Gabrielli admitted to how crushing it was to have the season cut short when his team was just getting started. “It was devastating, it was one hundred percent devastating,” Gabrielli said. “We were playing well in all phases.” He lamented, “Any end to the season is brutal, but to end in mid-March so abruptly was tough.”
Heading into a 2021 season still marked with difficulties, Gabrielli can take some solace in the NCAA’s decision to allow for an extra year of eligibility for any player who missed out on last season. The decision gave Gabrielli, his coaching staff, and his players an idea of what things would look like this year. “I’m thankful for all the people on campus who have helped in making this process for myself and my players easier.”
Eight of the 11 seniors from last season took advantage of this opportunity and will be returning. It was a long process, but Gabrielli tirelessly pulled out all the stops to make sure his graduated seniors were prepared: from getting information for them about PC’s MBA program to helping them sign up for the GMAT exam. The process was made more difficult by the fact that many of the seniors already had jobs or were accepted to other graduate programs. However, in the end, a key group of players will be returning.
That includes returning captains Tim Hinrichs ’20GS and Nick Shaw ’20GS. They are joined by new captains, Toby Burgdorf ’21, Matt Grillo ’22, Evan McGreen ’21, and Mike O’Grady ’22. “Certainly an older team is typically a better team,” Gabrielli said. With 16 seniors and graduate students, the Friars will indeed be an older team this season. “They’ve seen it all, they’ve been through a lot, and they know how to handle certain emotions.”
With the new additions to the captain list, Gabrielli wants his main guys to “continue to be themselves, but don’t be complacent and don’t be satisfied.” He knows his captains will continue to perform on the field, but “I now challenge them to elevate their leadership role. It’s the next challenge, you have established yourself on the field and now I want you to be a leader, and we wouldn’t give that title to anyone if they didn’t deserve it.”
Last season, Grillo led the way for the Friars with 25 total points. In just six games, Grillo put up an astounding 21 goals and four assists. In PC’s win against Sacred Heart University, Grillo scored seven goals and added one assist.
Once again, Burgdorf will be in the net for the Friars. Last season was his first year as the starting goaltender and he did not disappoint. In just six games, Burgdorf ranked second in the country in save percentage, third in goals against average, and 13th in saves per game. As a result of his performance, Burgdorf has been named an Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American Honorable Mention.
In five games last season, McGreen recorded six points with four goals and two assists. O’Grady added two goals in six games for the Friars as well.
Gabrielli was adamant that the opportunity to have an older team bodes well for the future of the program. “These guys are all tremendous leaders,” he said. “Having the graduate students back and the freshman class being able to learn from them, it’s great for us. They are going to learn how to work, how to lead, and how to get better.”
Learning from the graduate students will be 13 incoming freshmen. Gabrielli is aware that this situation is not unique to PC. Many teams will welcome back seniors from last season, as well as a new freshman class. “This isn’t just happening to us,” said Gabrielli, “but it’s happening all around the country, and the competition is just going to be fiercer.”
Gabrielli expects a handful of these freshmen to have roles right out of the gate. Some of the players Gabrielli mentioned as standout freshmen to watch are Michael Chabra ’24, Ty Thureson ’24, Chris Cusolito ’24, and Tom Fegley ’24. All four will be seeing playing time in the upcoming season.
Channeling the frustration of how last season ended, Gabrielli has made it a focal point that the Friars now get to complete the season they thought they would have had last year. Gabrielli said, “Our team has to be tremendously disciplined, tremendously committed, use common sense, and the sacrifice level has to go to a whole new level this year.”
Indeed, it will be a year of sacrifice if things are going to go smoothly for the Friars. Gabrielli knows that with what his team has been through already, they are all ready to make sacrifices for the benefit of the team.
Gabrielli mentioned how his expectations are high every year, but this year, his expectations are “higher than ever.” With his top players returning, there was always the belief that this season will be a successful one, but “we know how challenging it is to be successful and this year with the pandemic makes it a challenge.”
Now, at the end of a difficult offseason, Gabrielli explained how his team has only been able to practice together just a handful of times as a whole unit. For most of the time, they were working in pods. With no outside scrimmages able to be played, the preparation has been different and difficult.
On Feb. 13, the Friars will travel to Bryant University for their first official game of the season. Without any of the outside scrimmages to prepare, “the sense of urgency is so great for us right now, we can’t take shortcuts and we have to be disciplined,” said Gabrielli. “The Big East games are so critical and Feb. 20, boom, we’re in it.”
That Feb. 20 game will see the Friars begin Big East play by traveling to Queens, NY to take on St. John’s University. Their first home game of the season will not be until March 3 against Fairfield University.
Gabrielli is still unsure about the status of spectators for the upcoming season, though, there may be the potential for students to come to the games. He emphasized, “If you are able to come out and not be stuck in your dorm room anymore, we would love for the students to come out and support us.” If they are allowed, fans will have plenty to look forward to, as Gabrielli and the Friars, motivated and talented as ever, are finally back.
Sport Shorts Feb. 27-March 5
Sport Shorts Week of 2/27-3/05
by Cam Smith ’21
Sports Assistant Editor
Indoor Track and Field:
The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track Teams turned in impressive performances over the weekend at the Big East Championships in Geneva, OH. Day one of the competition featured an Abbey Wheeler ’20 women’s 5,000-meter victory, the first Big East Championship in her storied PC career. Wheeler maintained her positioning in the lead pack for most of the race before pulling away from the rest of the runners with five laps to go. Day one also featured a remarkable first place finish in the distance medley relay by the grouping of Tessa Hunt ’23, Niamh Gowing ’22, Alex O’Neil ’23, and Lilly Tuck ’23. The foursome started off strong thanks to an explosive push out of the gates from Hunt. The squad never relinquished the lead from that point on. Day two of the event saw Wheeler achieve another Big East Championship, this time in the women’s 3,000-meter. Tuck and Maria Coffin ’21 also finished strong in the same race, placing second and fifth respectively. Day two also saw Michael O’Leary ’19GS finish second in the 3,000-meter on the men’s side due to a strong push on the final lap. The weekend was made all the better for the Friars as it was announced that Wheeler had been named Co-Most Outstanding Track Performer, putting the perfect finishing touch on her Big East career.
The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team took home the Ocean State Cup on Feb. 29, defeating Brown University 13-12 in a thrilling overtime contest. The Friars dominated the first half of the game, outshooting Brown 23-14 on their way to a 7-4 halftime lead. The start of the second half would be much of the same, as John Hoffman ’23 started a scoring onslaught for PC that netted three more Friar goals. The Bears would claw their way back into the game, scoring three goals in the final 2:27 minutes of the game to knot the contest up at 12 a piece heading into overtime. PC would escape with the victory on a Sean Leahey ’20 game-winner, a shot that would give him three goals on the day and his second hat trick of the season.
The Providence College Men’s Hockey Team got a much-needed win on Feb. 29, as they took down the fifteenth ranked University of Maine Black Bears. Jack Dugan ’22 got the scoring going for the Friars, as he exploded out of the box to snag the puck at the blue line before sneaking a backhander past the Maine goalie. Goals by Jason O’Neill ’21 and Greg Printz ’21 would add to the lead, although Maine would keep it close in the third period. In the end, the play of Friar goalie Michael Lackey ’20GS would allow PC to hold on in the third, as he turned away 13 shots in the period on the way to a 3-2 PC victory.
Weekly Winners: Friars Dominate February
Four Friars Nab Weekly Big East Awards
by Cam Smith ’21
Sports Assistant Editor
The second week of February was a great one for Providence College athletics, as four Friars took home weekly awards for their outstanding play. Besides putting up great stats, Alpha Diallo ’20, Alyssa Geary ’22, Lauren DeBlois ’23, and Toby Burgdorf ’21 all played key roles in leading their respective teams to pivotal victories.
The Big East Player of the Week went to Diallo, who became the first PC Men’s Basketball Team player to receive the award since Rodney Bullock ’17 in 2016. The senior forward averaged 27 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while leading the Friars to a 1-1 record for the week.
Certainly contributing to his achievement is the fact that Diallo set single-game career highs in both points and rebounds during the week. On Feb. 13, Diallo grabbed an impressive 17 rebounds to go along with 19 points in a loss to St. John’s University. He followed that performance up by pouring in 35 points on 5-5 shooting from the three-point line in a statement win against tenth-ranked Seton Hall University.
Diallo’s outburst from downtown came as a bit of a surprise due to the fact that he attempted zero three-pointers in the previous game against St. John’s University. Even so, there was little hesitation in pulling the trigger against the Pirates. “I just tried to do whatever it took to help us get the win,” said Diallo after the game. “My teammates were finding me in open spots. I make those shots a lot in practice, so they knew to have confidence in me.”
Further sweetening Diallo’s triumphant week is the fact that his scoring outburst against Seton Hall pushed him past 1,500 career points. Diallo now sits as one of just 17 Friars in school history to pass the scoring milestone.
Meanwhile, on the women’s basketball team, Geary was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. In a week that very much mirrored Diallo’s, Geary helped lead her team to a 1-1 record while posting a team high in points against Seton Hall.
“It felt pretty good to receive the weekly award,” said Geary when asked about the honor. “I did not expect it at all and was shocked that I was even considered, let alone picked as a recipient.”
Geary credited her teammates for allowing her to play at such a high level in recent weeks. “I owe it all to them. They have the confidence to constantly feed me the ball in the post or kick it out to me believing that I can knock that shot down.”
Geary played a crucial role in the Friars’ defeat of St. John’s on Feb. 16, posting 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one block to go along with a game-saving three pointer to tie the game with 1:36 left in regulation. “I knew I was feeling the three,” Geary said of the shot following the game. “I knew I was going to knock that down and my teammates gave me the confidence to do it.”
Geary would later add, “The three was a great play because of the way my teammates hustled down the floor and found me. Mary [Baskerville ’22] could have easily tried and scored as soon as she got the ball, but she gave me that extra pass we practice with one another and I was able to knock it down.”
Geary and the Friars would go on to seal the victory on a miraculous Earlette Scott ’22 and-one from the top of the key with four seconds remaining.
Representing the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team, DeBlois continued PC’s success by being named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. She and the rest of the squad took down third-ranked Northeastern University on Feb. 14 in a game that featured two goals from DeBlois.
Her first goal came off a Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 faceoff win that was flicked back to Whitney Dove ’20. Dove slid it over to DeBlois, who placed a perfect wrister through traffic into the back of the net at 16:04 in the second period.
DeBlois’ second goal just so happened to be a game-winner, as she sent the Huskies packing with a wrister from the point with 1:03 remaining in overtime. The goal would secure a 2-1 Friar victory and the second game-winner in Deblois’ young career.
Finally, Burgdorf wrapped up a phenomenal week for Friar athletics by being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week for men’s lacrosse. Burgdorf picked up a career-high in saves versus Bryant University in the Ocean State Cup, stifling 15 shots on a .625 save percentage. In the fourth quarter alone, he turned back seven shots compared to a measly two by the opposing goalie.
It was the second time this year that Burgdorf has been named Defensive Player of the Week, with both honors due in large part to the goalie’s impressive 3-0 record in his first three career starts for PC.
Diallo, Geary, and DeBlois look to continue their success as their respective teams make late-season pushes for the postseason. Burgdorf, on the other hand, looks to maintain his status as a defensive stalwart as the men’s lacrosse team continues to start the season strong. Regardless of the status of their season, all four athletes have shined so far this year for the Friars, and their long list of accolades is a testament to their hard work.
Sport Shorts 2/20-2/27
Sport Shorts Week of Feb. 20-Feb. 27
by Sullivan Burgess ’20
Men’s Ice Hockey:
This weekend, the Providence College Men’s Hockey Team played a home-and-home series against Hockey East rival Merrimack College. The first game occurred on Friday, February 21 in Providence, where the Friars lost to Merrimack 0-2; this was their tenth loss of the season. While goalie Michael Lackey ’20GS recorded 21 saves for the Friars, nothing could stop Merrimack’s goal in the second period, which put Merrimack up 0-1. Merrimack then closed the game on an empty net goal late in the third period, to win 0-2. The next night at Merrimack, the Friars did manage to score but lost again—this time with a score of 2-3. Patrick Moynihan ’23 started the game off for the Friars with a pair of goals, making the score 2-1 by the end of the first. However, Merrimack scored the tying goal on a power play during the second period. The winning goal came for the Warriors at even strength during the third period.
The men’s basketball team won a 84-72 victory against the no. 26 seed Marquette University this past weekend. The win puts the Friars at a 16-12 record overall 9-6 in the Big East. It was their fourth win over a ranked team, as well as the Friars’ third straight win. While Marquette’s Markus Howard dropped 38 points on the Friars, nothing stood in the way of the overall outstanding defense played by the team throughout both halves. Six Friars broke double digits in scoring, including Luwane Pipkins ’20GS with a team high of 24 points. David Duke ’22 scored 15 points, which included a pair of alley-oops to ignite the crowd. Coach Ed Cooley was beyond proud of the team as the season ends soon and the Friars desperately work to make the NCAA Tournament.
On Saturday, men’s lacrosse found themselves in Pennsylvania for a non-conference matchup against Saint Joseph’s University. Sadly, the team came up short in their matchup, losing 8-10 for their first loss of the season. SJU started the game with a 3-2 lead throughout the first quarter. Three players from the Friars, Dan Axelson ’20, Ryan Nawrocki ’20, and Sean Leahey ’20 each had three points in the outing. This marked Axelson’s first hat-trick of the season and third of his career. Goalkeeper Toby Burgdorf ’21 had 11 saves with an overall .524 save percentage, recording three more saves than SJU’s goalie. This puts the Friars at an overall 3-1 record for the season as they continue their non-conference games for the beginning of the season until Big East play comes into effect in late March. The Friars will look to secure the Ocean State Cup against Brown University next weekend.