Stel­lar sea­sons con­tinue at St. Mary’s Col­lege

Tait, Ba­lo­gun tally once as SMCM men’s soccer picks up 12th win; play­offs up­com­ing for fall teams

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­ Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

Through­out the sea- son the com­bi­na­tion of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence has served the St. Mary’s Col- lege of Mary­land men’s soccer quite well and Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon that blend was again on dis­play as the Sea­hawks up­ended vis­it­ing York Col- lege (Pa.), 2-1, in a Cap­i­tal Ath­letic Con­fer­ence reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale.

St. Mary’s (12-3-2, 6-2-1 CAC) got one goal each from se­nior Nick Tait and first-year Khalid Ba­lo­gun and ju­nior goal­keeper Zack Haus­sler stopped ev­ery shot ex­cept for a late penalty kick by York’s Matt Freibaum.

The two teams will play again at St. Mary’s at 3 p.m. Satur­day in the open­ing round of the CAC tour­na­ment. The Sea­hawks picked up the third seed, while York nabbed the sixth and fi­nal seed. The win­ner plays at sec­ond-seeded Mary Wash­ing­ton (Va.) in the semi­fi­nals on Tues­day. St. Mary’s lost to Mary Wash­ing­ton in dou­ble over­time on Oct. 19, 2-1.

“The guys re­ally have been work­ing hard in prac­tice all sea­son and it showed to­day,” St. Mary’s sixth-year head coach Alun Oliver said. “I thought they did a good job of con­trol­ling play in the first half. What it came down to was we were able to cap­i­tal­ize on some good scor­ing chances in each half and we were able to limit them from get­ting equally good chances.”

St. Mary’s, 5-2-1 in Oc­to­ber, clearly con­trolled pos­ses­sion through the early stages of the con­test and Ba­lo­gun gave it a 1-0 lead when he took a cross­ing pass from Tait and de­liv­ered it past York start­ing goal­keeper Char­lie John­son for a 1-0 lead less than four min­utes into the match. Ba­lo­gun, Tait, Sunny Ch­hatani and An­drew Bat­tin all had good shots later in the half but they were ei­ther wide of the tar­get of cra- dled by John­son.

“The way the first 15 to 20 min­utes went, we prob­a­bly could have had at least one more goal,” Tait said. “We had some very good pos­ses­sions, but we couldn’t cap­i­tal­ize on them other than that goal by Khalid.”

Tait, who had the as­sist on the Sea­hawks first goal, later added one of his own when he took a cross from Ba­lo­gun and launched a chip shot past John­son to give St. Mary’s a 2-0 lead with 31 min­utes 43 sec­onds re­main­ing. Less than 10 min­utes later, John­son was re­placed by Jack Pe­bole and the Sea­hawks kept the Spar­tans’ sec­ond goal­keeper busy.

“Get­ting that sec­ond goal was big,” Ba­lo­gun said. “Nick had the as­sist on my goal in the first half and then I fed him for his goal. I’ve re­ally been wel­comed to the team right from the be­gin­ning. It’s def­i­nitely been an en­joy­able first year.”

Fol­low­ing a phys­i­cal sec­ond half in which nu­mer­ous play­ers were tack­led but few fouls (7) were called be­tween the teams, York even­tu­ally was awarded a penalty kick with less than five min­utes re­main­ing when Freibaum was knocked down in the box. With the chance to trim the Spar­tans deficit in half, Freibaum de­liv­ered by drilling a low shot past a div­ing Haus­sler and into the left cor­ner of the net to make it 2-1 with 4:24 re­main­ing.

Un­fazed by the late goal, how­ever, St. Mary’s mounted sev­eral good of­fen­sives in the last four min­utes, two of which forced Pe­bole to make dif­fi­cult, one-handed saves. York had one great chance in the last minute when Nathan Bil­bie crossed the ball into the box where Joel Te­ston one-timed the ball well left of the tar­get.

Sev­eral hours to the north, the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team (96-1, 6-2-1) was not quite as for­tu­nate in drop­ping a 3-2 dou­ble over­time deci- sion to York.

Se­nior for­ward Gil­lian Sawyer and first-year Gabby En­car­na­cion each scored in the first half to give the Sea­hawks a 2-0 lead, but the Spar­tans ral- lied for the win.

In an­other sixth-seed ver­sus third-seed matchup, St. Mary’s will host Sal­is­bury in the open­ing round of the CAC tour- na­ment at noon Satur­day. The win­ner plays at Frost- burg State in the semifi- nals on Wed­nes­day.

The Sea­hawks, also 5-21 in Oc­to­ber, de­feated Frost­burg State 2-1 on Oct. 1, then beat Sal­is­bury in its game Oct. 5, 2-0.

The St. Mary’s volleyball team (21-9, 5-2) now has a per­ma­nent head coach as Kelly Martin was named to the helm Oct. 20, tak­ing over from in­terim coach Au­tumn Fisher.

St. Mary’s, 9-2 in Oc­to­ber, fin­ishes out the reg- ular sea­son with home matches ver­sus Christo­pher New­port at 7 tonight and Mary Wash­ing­ton at 1 p.m. Satur­day.

“We have found some­one in Kelly Martin who is a tremen­dous fit on our cam­pus, in our de­part- ment and as the new leader of our volleyball pro­gram,” said Scott Devine, St. Mary’s Di­rec­tor of Ath­let­ics and Re­cre­ation, in a col­lege news re­lease. “She had a great deal of suc­cess as a for­mer D-II col­lege volleyball player at West Ch­ester (Pa.) and has had im­pact­ful coach­ing stops at the D-I and D-III lev­els.”

Martin brings six years of coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence plus four years of play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at the NCAA Di­vi­sion II level to St. Mary’s. She was most re­cently the in­terim head coach and grad­u­ate as­sis­tant for the McDaniel Col- lege volleyball team for two sea­sons, help­ing the Green Ter­ror claim the Cen­ten­nial Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and earn­ing a berth in the NCAA Di­vi­sion III tour­na­ment.

“I want to be­gin by thank­ing Scott Devine for mak­ing this hap­pen,” said Martin, a na­tive of Whit- by, On­tario, Canada, in the col­lege news re­lease. “The time and ef­fort he put into fill­ing this posi- tion does not go un­no­ticed and proves the sup­port that he has for the ath­letic depart­ment. St. Mary’s is such a spe­cial place where stu­dent-ath­letes are able to ex­cel ac- adem­i­cally as well as ath­let­i­cally.”

Se­nior Mimi Graf was named the con­fer­ence’s volleyball co-player of the week for the week of Oct. 24. It is Graf’s sec­ond ca- reer weekly award.

The St. Mary’s field hockey team (4-11, 2-4), as the fifth seed, will travel to York to face the fourth-seeded Spar­tans in an open­ing round game of the CAC tour­na­ment at 1 p.m. Sun­day. The win­ner plays at top-seeded Salis- bury in the semi­fi­nals on Wed­nes­day.

The Sea­hawks, headed by Calvert High School grad­u­ate and Port Repub­lic res­i­dent Jes­sica Seay, lost to York 3-0 on Oct. 15, then a week later lost to Sal­is­bury, 4-0.

The women’s cross coun­try team took third, while the men fin­ished sixth at the Hood In­vi­ta­tional in Fred­er­ick on Oct. 15.

In the women’s race, sophomore Hal­cyon Ruskin was the first Sea­hawk to fin­ish, tak­ing 22nd over­all in 25:27. Sophomore Marisa Mc- Cormick, a Calvert High School grad­u­ate from Prince Fred­er­ick, was the next St. Mary’s run­ner to cross, plac­ing 31st over­all in 25:49.

For the men, the first Sea­hawk to fin­ish for the day was se­nior Eric Or­tiz who placed 25th in 27:53. Sophomore Adam Scrivener, a Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Prince Fred­er­ick, was the fourth St. Mary’s run­ner to cross the fin­ish line, tak­ing 44th over­all in 28:40.

The teams will par­tic- ipate in the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships on Satur­day in Her­shey, Pa.

The women’s sail­ing team won their con­fer- ence cham­pi­onship, nar- rowly edg­ing Ge­orge­town by three points.

Skip­per Carolyn Smith fin­ished sec­ond in A Di­vi­sion and Greer Watt­son tied for first in B Di­vi­sion.

The team re­ceived a berth to the Women’s At­lantic Coast Cham­pi­onship at Col­lege of Charleston.

The men’s and women’s row­ing teams opened up their first sea­son as a var­sity sport on Oct. 15 at the Navy Day Re­gatta hosted by St. Joseph’s Univer­sity (Pa.) on the Schuylkill River.

The Sea­hawks took 15th in the women’s fresh­men/novice eight, 16th in the women’s ju­nior var­sity eight, 30th in the men’s var­sity eight and 24th in the women’s var­sity eight.

The teams re­turn to Philadel­phia on Satur­day for the Head of the Schuylkill Re­gatta.

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