Men’s Hockey Falls to UMass

by Meaghan P Cahill on February 13, 2020

Friar Sports

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's hockey
Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl

 Following a loss at Northeastern University the previous weekend, the 10th ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team had a chance to move themselves up in the Hockey East standings this weekend as they faced off against the 8th ranked University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen. 

Last year, all three matchups with UMass finished with a final score of 3-2 with UMass taking two. The Friars’ lone win came at home against the then top-ranked Minutemen. The two had a chance to meet in the National Championship game in Buffalo, but the Friars fell to Minnesota Duluth University, who would go on to knock off UMass. 

This year, the two teams would only meet twice, and both meetings took place this past weekend. Coming into Friday’s game at the Mullins Center. UMass was tied with Boston College for first place in the conference. The Friars were in a four-way tie for fourth place, just two points off of first place. 

The Friars have struggled over the years playing at Amherst. Before Friday’s game, PC had a 16-15-5 record and had lost three straight games playing at UMass. On Friday, it was no different. UMass outshot PC 17-3 in the first period which featured a goal by Reed Lebster just 5:35 in. The Friars struggled to generate offense for most of this game.

The Friars, who average just under 35 shots per game, were held to just 15 shots while UMass recorded 36 shots. Michael Lackey GS made a series of highlight reel saves in the second period to keep the game at a one-goal deficit, but the Minutemen were too much. Matt Koopman ’21 would score the lone point for the Friars. UMass would go on to win 3-1, although Lackey had one of his best games in a Friar uniform with 33 saves and kept the game closer than what it could have been. Greg Carvel, the UMass head coach said after the game, “That’s as solid a game as we’ve played in this building probably since I’ve been here.” 

Each team resumed their matchup the next evening in Providence where the Friars were seeking to split the series. The Friars came out firing with an early power play opportunity just 35 seconds into the game. Tyce Thompson ‘22 smashed a line drive off the post, sending a booming echo throughout the arena. However, a goal by John Leonard put UMass ahead 1-0 after the first period. In the second period, the Friars were only able to muscle two shots on goal, while Leonard struck again for UMass with a short-handed goal. In the remaining minutes of the second period, Oliver Chau recorded a goal on a hustle play, putting the game seemingly out of the Friars’ reach. However, PC made a push halfway through the third period, as Thompson netted his 18th goal of the season on a  Jack Dugan ‘22 assist. 

Shortly after the goal, the Friars had another chance to gain some momentum on a power play opportunity, but UMass soon shut the door on the Friars with two more goals. Leonard completed the hat-trick for UMass and his four-point night led UMass to a 5-1 victory. The Friars once again did not take advantage of their opportunities, as they went 1-6 on the power play. “It’ll change when we get sick of losing,” said coach Nate Leaman after the game. “We’re a really young group and we’re playing like it.” PC will look to rebound Friday against the University of Vermont. 

More Than Just an Athlete

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 30, 2020

Friar Sports

Davis Bunz ’21 Nominated for Humanitarian Award

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

Davis Bunz providence college hockey humanitarian award nominee
Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl

The term “summer” means something different for every college student. Some spend their days lounging at the beach, others go on vacation with their family, while some obtain an internship and work in their prospective field or work the summer job they have had since high school.

The summers Davis Bunz ’21 has had have been very different than those of most students during   their three-month hiatus from school. Bunz, a defenseman on the nationally-ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team, has been making annual trips to Haiti for almost a decade.

He is currently one of thirteen nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian award, which is handed out every year to “college hockey’s finest citizen—a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism,” according to the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation’s website.

“[Growing up] We always did mission trips as a family and within our church. We would bring a bunch of kids with us; mostly friends and teammates. One year we went to Jamaica and then one year we decided to go to Haiti,” Bunz stated. 

“There was something different about Haiti. They had a little bit less than everywhere else. The connections that we made with the kids, you could see how loving they were and how much they needed a sense of family…it really hit home…we felt we needed to help.”

On January 12, 2010 at approximately 4:53 p.m., a 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred just 15 miles from Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Even before the earthquake, almost a quarter of the country lived in poverty and was one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. The whole country was shaken and international aid was desperately needed.

This incident inspired the Bunz family to help Haiti while continuing their work of giving back. As a result, the Fond Blanc Foundation was established. If you drive about two hours north of Port-Au-Prince, you will stumble upon the village of Fond Blanc nestled up in the mountains.

The foundation’s goal is to help the orphanage in the village in whatever is needed. “A lot of them have parents, but they can’t afford to have the kids, so they will give them to us,” Bunz added. “We can provide schooling, housing, food ,and medical attention, cater to whatever they need.” The school is one of the few buildings along with a church and other sustainability projects that the foundation has completed since Bunz’s mom, Tia, first went with 22 students in 2012.

“When we first started going down there, there was just a main building where all the kids would stay. They would do all their schooling there, go to church and cook…When you go down there now, it’s completely different than when we started 10 years ago,” Bunz explained.

The orphanage houses kids as young as two years old and up to the age of 18. The school itself started with 60 students at the orphanage and now has amassed 500 students. In an interview from this past October with NBC15, Tia Bunz, who also is the executive director of the foundation, added, “We had to start turning away kids, so we were able to purchase land just down the road from us, and we have five acres and we are going to do a farming project, a school, and have a little medical clinic,” said Bunz. They hope to build a second school.

The full round success story can be seen in one of the orphans himself. 

fond blanc foundation
Photo Courtesy of the Fond Blanc Foundation

His name is Swenson. He is currently 23 years old and goes to college in Wisconsin. He still goes back to Haiti to serve as a translator with some of the people in the orphanage and village as they learn English at the school. Bunz described him as “almost like a brother to me.”

Bunz’s older brother Jake just graduated this past May from the University of Wisconsin where he was also a member of the men’s ice hockey team, a team his dad had played for. Jake not only played hockey at the Division I level, but won the Hockey Humanitarian Award last April in Buffalo during the Frozen Four festivities while Davis and his Friar teammates were trying to bring home the program’s second National Championship.

When asked how he would feel about the possibility of the Bunz brothers winning this award in back-to-back years, Davis really wanted to credit his parents and acknowledged how deserving his brother was of the award.

“It goes back to the effort my mom and dad put in…It speaks volumes to them for me more than it does for me and my brother. It’s nice to get my name recognized but I wish it could be Davis Bunz plus Tia and Gary Bunz.”

After the travel safety ban last summer by the U.S. government, Bunz was unable to go back to the orphanage because of the limited number of planes that could go down to Haiti due to protests. He is looking forward to hopefully heading back to Fond Blanc again this summer, potentially with some of his teammates as well. He opened an invitation to anybody in the PC community to join the effort.

“It’s my favorite part of the year,” said Bunz. “It’s funny because you wouldn’t think that going to a third world country would be the part you are looking forward to most of the year…you are so much more thankful for everything and how lucky we are.”

A Decade of PC Athletics

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 16, 2020

Friar Sports

A Look Back at a Monumental Ten Years 

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

This decade has shown one of the largest growths among every sport at Providence College. There are so many moments to choose from but here are some of the greatest from this past decade:

Coach Ed Cooley holding trophy
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Men’s Basketball Capture 2014 Big East Championship

Ed Cooley and the Friars playing in Madison Square Garden are something Friars fans have begun to enjoy throughout this decade, and it all began back in 2014. This was the first year of the newly aligned 10-team Big East conference and the Friars only championship was back in 1994. The Friars were an NCAA Tournament bubble team coming into the tournament making it vital for them to win. Some had the Friars succeeding and others had them as the first four teams out. Well, the Friars burst a couple of bubbles and downed the Creighton University Blue Jays to punch their ticket. This Creighton team held one of the greatest college basketball players ever to roam the floor, Doug McDermott. The Friars were led by Bryce Cotton ’14 and LaDontae Henton ’15 with a number of other upperclassmen who started the rise of Friar basketball. This would be their first of five straight NCAA tournament appearances and set the standard of what PC basketball is today.

Friars Knock off No. 3 Villanova

Valentine’s Day 2018: The Friars needed a win to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, having already defeated the No. 5/4 Xavier University Musketeers about a month prior in Providence. The holiday featured a Big East match-up against rival Villanova University. The team PC faced is considered by many college basketball critics to be the best team of the decade, as they would go on to win the NCAA Tournament. It was a fast-paced, nail biter of a game as the Wildcats and Friars remained within single digit points of each other over the course of the two halves. Ultimately, the Friars pulled ahead at the end and beat Villanova 76-71 in a game that Cooley cites as “the greatest win” that he has had with the College. Scenes of students storming the court in a matter of seconds have stuck with many Friar basketball fans ever since. The win was a pivotal moment for the team that year as it gave them the momentum they needed to make a push in the Big East Tournament which secured them a spot in the Championship game.

2014 Men’s Soccer College Cup

Just like the men’s basketball team, 2014 brought great success for the men’s soccer team. The Friars advanced to the NCAA tournament as the 11th overall team. The Friars earned themselves a first round bye and picked up victories over Dartmouth University, the University of California-Irvine and the No. 3 team Michigan State University en route to their first ever College Cup appearance. The Friars faced a tough task with in the No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles Bruins and fell 3-2 in double-overtime. Under the direction of Craig Stewart, the Friars have made six NCAA tournament appearances with a follow-up Sweet 16 appearance in 2016 under future MLS star Julian Gressel ’16.

Women’s Cross Country National  Championship

Any time there is a national championship mentioned, it more than likely will be involved as one of the greatest moments. The 2013 National Championship Women’s Cross Country Team is no exception. The Friars were runners up the year prior and would not be deterred the following year. The Friars were led by Emily Sisson ’14 who finished seventh overall. Sisson is now currently competing for a spot on the U.S. National team for this upcoming Olympics and is well known in women’s running. It was the Friars first championship since 1995. Under head coach Ray Treacy ’82, the team has won two national championships and has transformed into one of the best programs in the country.

Cross country team after win
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Men’s Hockey Team Wins 2015 National Championship 

Friars head coach Nate Leaman has elevated this program to national prominence once again and brought the Friars back into the spotlight by advancing to the 2015 Frozen Four. The Friars were one of the final teams to make the tournament and used this motivation to their advantage. After the Friars got past the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the Friars faced off against the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA National Championship game at the TD Garden in Boston. The Friars were searching for their first National Championship in program history and, after falling behind 3-2 after two periods of play, needed some magic to secure the win. In what is considered one of the craziest finishes to an NCAA Championship hockey game, the Friars were able to come out on top in last ten minutes of the third period after finding themselves in a tied game when BU accidentally scored on their own net. It was Brandon Tanev ’15 who flicked in the game-winner wrist shot with just over six minutes left of play that secured the program’s first ever NCAA championship. Tanev would go on to become one of seven Friars to play in the NHL from the team. 

Hockey team celebrating after championship
Photo Courtesy of FTW/USA Today

Women’s Basketball Team Advances it to the 16th Round of the 2018 Women’s Basketball National Invitation Tournament

Women’s basketball had lost its way for a bit after their great success in the 1980s and early 90s at PC. Jim Crowley in his third year at the helm took tremendous strides for the Friars. The Friars made postseason play for the first time since 2010 and just the second time since the Friars advanced to the 1991-92 NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated University of Hartford and University of Pennsylvania to advance to the Sweet 16 of the WNIT and were set to face their fellow Big East foe, the Georgetown University Hoyas. The Friars ultimately fell to them, but this was a special collection of players young and old. Friar fans saw one of the greatest scorers in program history, Jojo Nogic ’19, and featured the Big East Freshman of the Year, Mary Baskerville ’22. Nogic  finished as the 4th all time leading scorer in program history and Baskerville also set the program record for blocks for a freshman and the most by a Friar since the 1999-2000 season. The Friars also won eight games in conference play, the most since the 1996-1997 season. These are just a few of many accomplishments for this women’s basketball program as they look to continue their rise in the rigorous Big East conference.


Men’s Basketball at Wooden Legacy

by The Cowl Editor on December 5, 2019

Friar Sports

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's basketball wooden legacy tournament
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Providence College Men’s Basketball Team wrapped up their west coast swing on Sunday, after competing in the John Wooden Legacy Tournament in Anaheim, California. The Friars went into the tournament with high expectations but ultimately came out with more questions than answers.

After dropping a home game to the University of Pennsylvania, the Friars were defeated by Long Beach State on Thanksgiving Day. The Friars went into halftime with a 37-28 lead and led by as much as 17 in that first half. The Friars offense went stagnant at times which helped Long Beach State chip into the deficit. After shooting 48 percent in the first half, the Friars cooled off in the second half, shooting 35 percent from the floor and just 3-12 from downtown. 

The 49ers pulled within one with under a minute left after Michael Carter III sunk a three to cut the score deficit to one. With the Friars up two with 17 seconds remaining, Alpha Diallo ’20 missed the front end of a one and one to extend the lead. Carter III was fouled again on a three-point shot attempt with three seconds remaining and sunk all three free throws. David Duke ’22 caught a pass on a give and go and his 15-foot runner was short as time expired. The Friars ultimately lost the game 65-66.

The Friars and Ed Cooley were absolutely shocked at the result as they left the floor. The Friars led the game for almost 37 minutes. “You all saw the game, it wasn’t one of our better finishes,” Cooley added. “You have to give Long Beach a lot of credit. They executed down the stretch and took advantage of our mistakes. Anytime you get in those close games; everything means something.”

Providence failed to record a field goal in the final seven minutes of game action. The Friars also did not help themselves by turning the ball over 21 times. 

After the Friars dropped game one of the tournament, they took on the College of Charleston Cougars. Things did not get much better for the Friars. Many of the same problems seen in the game against Long Beach State reappeared again. The Friars struggled on the offensive end, especially finishing around the rim. For most of the game, PC was held to just one possession on the offensive end as they were outrebounded 25-37. It was the third time they were outrebounded this season. For the second straight game, Providence held a lead at the half, this time 29-27. The Friars shot 43 percent from the field before going 7-28 from the field in second half and a mere 1-8 from behind the arc. Duke led the way with 22 points, 7-8 FG, and five assists. On the other side, Grant Riller scored 29 points, including an impressive 9-10 clip from the free throw line. The Friars also held a lead that was as high as 13. For the first time since 2015, an Ed Cooley squad dropped three straight non-conference games.

Providence then finished out the tournament against the Pepperdine University Waves. Pepperdine took nationally ranked University of Arizona to the wire in the opening game of the tournament before falling just short 97-95. Ed Cooley knew that he would have his hands full and the Friars knew exactly where they needed to go in game three. The Friars needed to work the ball down in the post area and reestablish Nate Watson ’21, who is still working his way back from an MCL injury he sustained prior to the start of the season. Watson finished with a team high 15 points on 7-10 FG, with AJ Reeves ’22, who also netted 15 points on 4-8 shooting from the field. Reeves’ 15 points were the most he has scored since the home opener against Sacred Heart University. The Friars improved on offense in some parts shooting 47 percent from the field for the game while shooting 20-27 from the charity stripe.

According to Kevin McNamara, journalist for the Providence Journal, the Friars have not lost more than four games in non-conference play since 2000. For Friar fans, their schedule does not get much easier with a road game on Friday with their in-state rival University of Rhode Island, and games against the University of Florida and the University of Texas still left on their schedule. For now, PC basketball fans get a sigh of relief but, there is still work left to do. If the Friars want to compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, they will have to get better play from their senior leaders Diallo and Luwane Pipkins ’20G.

PCI: Who Will Win the Men’s NCAA Soccer National Championship

by The Cowl Editor on November 21, 2019


The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia Cavaliers this year alone have won NCAA Championships in men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse. To end 2019, they will also take home more championship hardware in men’s soccer.

The Cavaliers ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the country, and defeated the No. 1 team in the country, Clemson University, to take home the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 17-1-1 record and won their first ACC Championship since 2009. This is a unique feat for a Cavalier team that has a deep tradition of winning. The Cavaliers have now made the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament, also known as the College Cup, 39 years straight and have won seven times. Their most recent victory came in 2014. At the helm of this storied program is George Gelnovatch, who has been in Charlottesville since 1996 when he took over for Bruce Arena. Virginia won the College Cup in 2009, which was the last time they won the ACC. The last time they won 17 or more games was also back in 2009. So, it begs the question, could history repeat itself?

The main reason why the Cavaliers are destined to capture their eighth championship in program history is because of their Rating Percentage Index. The Cavaliers are No. 1 in RPI this year, which takes into account strength of schedule and other external factors. Virginia has capitalized on these opportunities so far this season. They are 8-0 against teams ranked inside the top 25, including a perfect 4-0 mark against teams inside the top 10. They have also knocked off the No. 1 team in the country twice in Clemson and University of Maryland. They hold impressive wins such as  No. 2 Duke University,  No. 21 Notre Dame University,  No. 18 James Madison University and  No. 7 Wake Forest University.

The Cavaliers also faced some adversity in the ACC Championship game. They trailed 1-0 at half and scored three goals in the second half to seal the deal. This past game was only the second time all season that Virginia had trailed at the break.

The Cavaliers were bounced in the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year by the University of Notre Dame. This year will be different. This Cavaliers team is most experienced and holds a school record of players who received All-ACC Honors with seven.

The team also recorded 14 clean sheets this year. Six of those clean sheets came against top 25 ranked teams as well, which could prove beneficial down the stretch in the NCAA Tournament. Out of all the teams to make the NCAA Tournament, the University of Virginia has the best chance to bring home another trophy to Charlottesville.

– Thomas Zinzarella ’21

   Sports Staff

Georgetown University

There are a number of teams heading into the NCAA men’s soccer tournament with the goal to win it all. Because there will only be one team holding the trophy high in just a couple of weeks, I am going with the Big East champions from Georgetown University as my pick for the winners of the NCAA tournament.

To back my pick up, let’s first look at Georgetown’s successful season. The team finished overall with a 15-1-3 record, resulting in a .868 winning percentage. In conference play alone, Georgetown went 7-0-2, finishing with a .889 winning percentage. In the Big East tournament just this past week, the Hoyas defeated tough teams from Butler and Providence College.

In the final match-up against the PC Friars, Georgetown was originally down 1-0 after the first half. Jacob Montes changed the pace of the game by battling hard in the penalty box and drawing a foul. Dante Polvara finished the job by finding the back of the net with the penalty kick. After that, the gates opened up and Georgetown scored another two unanswered goals before the final buzzer. This marks Georgetown’s third consecutive Big East Championship title, the only school to do so besides St. John’s University and Seton Hall University. 

First, you have to acknowledge the depth of the talent throughout this year’s roster. Throughout the Big East tournament there were several players for Georgetown that stood out. Three of the Big East awards were given to Georgetown players, Montes, Dylan Nealis, and Giannis Nikopolidis. Showing their strength throughout the field, the players were rewarded for the midfield, defense, and goalie positions.

Now the Hoyas have earned their tenth NCAA tournament bid, this time as the No. 3 seed. Experience helps any team play at their best level, and the Hoyas are no strangers to the pressure of the national tournament. The team has gone as far as the finals once, quarterfinals twice, and the Round of 16, six different times. Their No. 3 seed this year ties the highest rank Georgetown has received since their runner-up performance in 2012.

It definitely will not be an easy road trip to the championship, first the Hoyas will face the winner of the Univesity of Pittsburg versus Lehigh University game on Nov. 24. Their biggest competition, however, might be University of Virginia who was assigned the No. 1 seed for the tournament. Virginia also clinched their conference title by defeating Clemson University, 3–1, a very similar game to the Georgetown/PC game. Although the regular season and conference play helps teams prepare, it all comes down to how each team shows up to play in the upcoming weeks. I believe Georgetown is ready to finally clinch the NCAA championship title.

– Eileen Flynn ’20

   Sports Staff

Jack Dugan Sets High Goals for Season

by The Cowl Editor on November 7, 2019

Friar Sports

Sophomore Wants to Bring National Title to PC

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's hockey Jack Dugan
Brianna Colletti ’21/The Cowl

“I just want to be the best player in college hockey.” That’s the personal goal that Jack Dugan ’22 has this year as he takes the ice for the nationally ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team.

Dugan was most recently awarded the Hockey East Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 28 and was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Dugan has been one of the most electrifying players to watch in college hockey this year, and he currently leads the country in assists (13) and points (18).

The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick has caught the attention of hockey fans including ESPN broadcaster and SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross. Buccigross, who coined the term ‘Cawlidge Hawkey,’ religiously follows college hockey and broadcasts the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four every year for ESPN. Buccigross attended the game on Saturday night at Schneider Arena against Boston College and went onto Twitter after the game and tweeted this:

“I enjoy watching @GoldenKnights draft pick #12 Jack Dugan play hockey. He is hard nosed, confident, has a good release & works well with his linemates. He digs deep & works to make a play even when he’s tired. The PC Friars are very young, so they need his example and consistency.”

Dugan would finish the game with a goal and an assist, and has now recorded points in seven of the eight games this year. In all seven of those games he has recorded at least two points.

The sophomore forward is coming off a promising freshman season during which he skated in 41 of 42 games and was an active part of the Friars offense. He notched a team high 29 assists which led all NCAA freshmen during the 2018-2019 season.

Dugan was a key part of the Friars’ run to the Frozen Four last year. He put up five assists in the Hockey East quarterfinals against Boston College and had two assists throughout the NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated the top-seeded Minnesota State University in the opener of the tournament and rolled over 3-seed Cornell University to advance to their fifth ever Frozen Four.

Jack Dugan providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Friars unfortunately fell to Minnesota-Duluth, who would go on to win the National Championship. Going to the National Championship is one of the goals that Jack Dugan and this Friar team have their sights set on. 

Dugan also alluded to a Hockey East championship, since the Friars did not make it past the Hockey East Quarterfinals last season after being bounced by Boston College on their home ice. 

“We were close last year…obviously came up a little bit short.” Dugan added, “We played a really good team that ended up winning the whole thing. Our focus hasn’t changed. If anything it’s a little more focused on ‘alright we know can get there…now what are the little things we have to do to break through and actually win it.’”

It is still very early in the season but so far Head Coach Nate Leaman’s squad has amassed a 4-3-1 record, including a 2-2 mark in Hockey East play. The Friars opened up their season with a thrashing of Maine 7-0 and followed it up with a sweep of St. Lawrence and No. 9 Clarkson. It will take until December-January for the Friars to try and hit their stride. Under the tutelage of Leaman and with promising play from Dugan, the Friars can only get better from here and boast one of the best scoring offenses in the country.

PCI: Who Will Win the World Series?

by The Cowl Editor on October 24, 2019


Washington Nationals

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

Washington nationals 2019 World Series
Photo Courtesy of Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series to advance to their first ever World Series since moving from Montreal to Washington, D.C.

For many fans, it has been a long time coming since the Nationals came into formation in 2005. After winning the NL East four times in five years from 2012-2017, the Nationals were unable to advance past the NLDS every year. This led to the Nationals losing their coveted All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper to free agency. Many people wrote them off but, the Nationals were able to rebuild without Harper and improve their team for the better.

The Nationals finished the season hot and made it into the Wild Card game where they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers.

Because the Nationals have been underdogs the whole way and because they have certain key players, I believe they will win the World Series.

The Astros do have a superior roster in some ways, but the Nationals are not far off. Again, this is Washington’s first World Series in franchise history. The Nationals were able to overcome the Phillies and find a way into the playoffs. As of this past weekend, the Houston Astros are the largest favorites in a World Series since the Boston Red Sox in 2007 against the Colorado Rockies. The Nationals were underdogs to the Dodgers in the NLDS, then were slightly favored in the St. Louis Cardinals series even though the Nationals were just 2-5 versus the Cardinals this year.

The Nationals have that “October Clutch” factor that not many teams have. Just go back to Game Five of the NLDS where they were trailing on the road 3-1 facing  arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball history in Clayton Kershaw. Back-to-back home runs by Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon tied the game and sent the game to extra innings, where Howie Kendrick blasted a grand slam. 

In 38 at-bats in this postseason, he has hit two homeruns and has driven nine runs. Those nine runs are the most by a Washington National in postseason history. Kendrick is boasting himself for an early WS MVP award if the Nationals keep going on this track. 

Let’s not forget the other stars on the Nationals. Their rotation will include Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Aníbal Sánchez. Strasburg, who is now Top-10 All-Time in postseason ERA with a 1.10, has been phenomenal this October. Sánchez took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in the  first game of the NLCS is not something to undermine.

With the Houston Astros lineup holding the likes of Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and José Altuve; it is going to be up to the Nationals pitching to keep them in it. I believe that with the Nationals having the extended break, especially for pitching, they will be rested and have a shot at knocking off the heavily favorited Houston Astros.

Houston Astros

By Marc DeMartis ’21

Sports Staff

houston astros 2019 World Series
Photo Courtesy of Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

The Houston Astros are headed back to the World Series for the second time in the last three seasons. Coming off a six-game series with the New York Yankees, they show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Although the Washington Nationals have quite the batting lineup to compete with the Astros’ strong pitching staff, the Astros easily match the Nationals firepower with a stacked batting lineup of their own. There is no reason why they will not continue their dominance into the World Series.

The Astros were already having a fantastic regular season with a pitching rotation that included two of the best pitchers in the game, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole (both of whom are coming off of 300 strikeout seasons). Then, making the trade for star pitcher Zack Greinke towards the end of the season was the final piece to the puzzle for the Astros. With a pitching rotation that includes three of the MLB’s best pitchers, it is going to be hard for the Nationals to hit as well as they have been all year. In terms of Washington’s weaknesses, their bullpen is not nearly as deep as Houston’s. With relievers like Will Harris and Ryan Pressly, the Astros have the depth necessary to go deep into games whereas the Nationals relievers are not nearly as reliable.

Not only is the Astros pitching dominant, but with a batting lineup that includes stars such as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley it’s hard for any team to stop their hitters. Five out of nine players in the Astros starting lineup hit .296 or above during the regular season which just goes to show how hard it is to pitch to this team. Players like Jose Altuve have been red hot for the Astros this postseason, posting a team-high .315 batting average with two home runs, the second one being his walk-off that sent his team to the World Series over the Yankees in Game Six.

With regards to World Series experience, Houston’s roster carries six position players who were a part of their World Series win back in 2017, which is more than the Yankees, Cardinals, and Nationals combined. With experience on their side, the Astros look to earn their second ever World Series trophy while the Nationals continue to fight for their first ever World Series title.

Another important aspect of this series that must be mentioned is the fact that the Astros will have the home field advantage for this series. Considering the Astros were the best home team in the MLB this season and have only lost one home game this postseason, it seems highly unlikely for the Nationals to pull this one out.

Providence College Investigates

by The Cowl Editor on September 12, 2019


Going Overseas Compensates The Players

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

Brandon Jennings professional basketball nba going overseas
Photo Courtesy of Luca Sgamellotti

Top high school basketball players are caught in limbo in the fall and winter months of the year as they decide where they want to spend their college career and play basketball. But athletes looking to be paid for playing have another option—playing overseas.

For years, players could choose to come out of high school and go straight into the NBA or spend four years in college and play basketball. This changed in the 2005 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement after a group of players from 1995-2005 headed straight from walking around their high school to making millions in the NBA Draft. The likes of Kevin Garnett, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and others all followed this route.

In 2005, the one-and-done rule was created in which players only had to play one year in college before entering the draft. The rule was created to deter players from going straight to the NBA after high school. The minimum age to enter the NBA was also increased to 20 years old. 

Playing overseas is far better than playing in the NCAA for many reasons. Players want to be compensated for their efforts rather than feel cheated from the system that is the NCAA.

Many college basketball players come from poor urban areas and want to make money playing professional basketball. For many players, the biggest problem is that the NCAA makes an estimated $700 million every time March Madness rolls around. Forty percent of these profits are kept by the NCAA and the rest is given to the schools who participated. Just for making the NCAA tournament, a school receives a check of $1.67 million. A Sweet 16 run gives a school a $5 million dollar bonus. A Final Four run yields the most: $8.3 million.

After all the celebration is done, a handful of players come away with a championship and some memories made (along) the way, but their wallets are still empty, while their school profits on their talents.

According to the NCAA’s website, an athlete is not eligible to participate in a sport if they have “taken pay, or the promise of pay, for competing in that sport. [Bylaw 12.1.2] or agreed (orally or in writing) to compete in professional athletics in that sport.”

Rules such as these have prevented many athletes from playing. Some players have taken matter into their own hands and gone into professional leagues in hopes of jumping to the NBA.

Mitchell Robinson, a McDonald’s All-American in high school, played a few months with Western Kentucky University before dropping out and preparing for the NBA Draft. Robinson averaged 7.3 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game this year for the New York Knicks in his rookie campaign.

Anfernee Simons chose to play five years in high school and was drafted in first round by Portland Trail Blazers. There have been a number of stories in the last four to five years of players skipping college in favor of going professional right away in other countries.


by The Cowl Editor on May 2, 2019


Men’s Soccer Upsets #8 Southern Methodist

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's soccer
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

One of the best moments in Providence College Athletics this year came before many students stepped foot onto campus. In their first game of the season, the Providence College Men’s Soccer Team went on the road and knocked off the 8th-ranked Southern Methodist University Mustangs 2-1 in double-overtime. The Friars were coming off a 5-8-5 season in 2017 where they made a big splash to open the 2018 season.

In the previous season, SMU had a lot of success on the field. The Mustangs captured the American Athletic Conference regular season and conference title. The Mustangs would also go on to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. They had compiled a 17-3-1 in 2017, including a perfect 13-0-0 record on their home turf.

The Mustangs returned one of the best players in the AAC, Garrett McLaughlin, who lead the conference in scoring with 14 goals and 31 points.

After a scoreless opening forty-five minutes, the Friars began the scoring in the 52nd minute when Tiago Mendonca ’20RS netted the Friars first goal of the season. Brendan Constantine ’19 came close to doubling their lead with a chance in the 55th minute. With just over ten minutes to go in game, SMU would tie the game up.

It would remain a deadlock at one until the 104th minute in double-overtime when Alex DaCosta ’20 scored the game winner. DaCosta would be named to the All-Tournament team.

A key factor in the Friars’ victory was netminder Colin Miller ’19, who recorded eight saves for the Friars, including a couple down the stretch of regulation. Even though SMU outshot the Friars 24-8, SMU only had nine on target.

The Friars opened the 2018 season in a big way that would help set up their success for the rest of the season. The Friars would go on to finish 10-7-2 on the year, including a 6-2-1 record in conference.

Although many of the teams in Friartown had knocked off nationally ranked opponents, I believe this men’s soccer victory over SMU at the start of the season was by far one of the biggest moments in PC sports this year.

Mary Baskerville Reflects on Freshman Year

by The Cowl Editor on April 11, 2019

Friar Sports

High School Experience Paying Dividends in Freshman Year

mary baskerville providence college women's basketball
Cameron Villaruel ’21/The Cowl

“Take every day to become better as a whole.” That was one of the main goals that Providence College Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Crowley preached to his players throughout the 2018-2019 season. This season for the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team has been one filled with exceeding expectations.

Coming into this season, the Friars were tabbed to finish ninth in the Big East preseason poll. “We wanted to prove that we deserved higher than that,” Mary Baskerville ’22 stated. “We knew that this year we wanted to be the start of an era that would begin to do things that have not been done in a while.”

Baskerville was just one of the six players to join Crowley’s squad this year. However, the first sport the 6’3” forward came across was track and field. Baskerville ran for the Hershey Track and Field organization where she competed in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and the long jump event. Baskerville first picked up basketball from her older sister.

“Anything she did, I wanted to do too. Once we were able to play basketball together I would only play if she played with me.”

The Baskerville sisters would team up at Enfield High School where winning was not always a tradition. In 2010 and 2011, Enfield High School girls basketball did not win a game. In 2012, they picked up three wins. In the final three seasons of Baskerville’s high school career, they made the state tournament semifinals.

Throughout her high school career, Baskerville would go on to earn four All-Conference selections, two All-State selections, and holds the record for the most career points between both the boy’s and girl’s program with 1,870 points.

Baskerville was proud to leave such a significant footprint on the program and hopes that “somebody as passionate about this sport like I am will look at that as a challenge to one day want to try and beat my scoring record. For me to be able to leave such a tremendous impact on my high school basketball organization is something that I will never forget.”

In November 2017, Baskerville signed her letter of intent to play collegiate basketball at PC.

Baskerville’s impact was immediately felt when she pulled down 13 rebounds against Yale University in her fifth game of the season. Baskerville and the Friars enjoyed success from all over. The Friars finished their season 19-16 with an 8-10 record in Big East play. The Friars picked up their most Big East wins since the 1996-97 season and their first Big East tournament win since 2001. To top off the season, the Friars made their first postseason appearance since 2010 and advanced all way to the 16th round of the WNIT before falling to fellow Big East team, the University of Georgetown Hoyas.

mary baskerville providence college women's basketball
Cameron Villaruel ’21/The Cowl

Baskerville was grateful to play in the postseason during her freshman year and reminisced to her high school basketball days. “I feel that playing postseason in high school kind of set a standard for me as a player…Not only that I wanted to play as much as I could, but to also take every game as an opportunity to better myself and my teammates.”

Baskerville also enjoyed success throughout her first season in a Friars uniform. She led the Friars with six double-doubles including four during Big East play. Baskerville now holds the program record for blocks by a freshman and recorded the second highest field goal percentage in program history. Baskerville finished her freshman season with 9.5 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game.

After her rookie season success, she became the second Friar ever to win the Big East Freshman of the Year award and was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team. Baskerville was joined by fellow Friar Kaela Webb ’22 on the All-Freshman Team.

Baskerville and the rest of the Friars squad have bigger aspirations over the next few seasons; “Getting the women’s basketball team more recognition for all of the hard work that we put in every day on and off the court… Another goal that my teammates and I hope to achieve is to be known as a team that works hard, sticks together through tough times, can bounce back from just about anything…a team that will never give up and fights to the very end.”

With the talent that this Friars team boasts, this program under control by Coach Crowley is sure to be on the rise and one that will be fun to watch in the future. “We want to take this program as far as we can every season,” Baskerville concluded. With the taste of postseason experience this year, the Friars can build off of this season and work to compete for a Big East Championship and a NCAA tournament bid next season.