Dif­fi­cult spring for St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land

Women’s lacrosse, sail­ing high­light 2017 sea­son

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

Wins were few and far be­tween for St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land this past spring as its base­ball, men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s ten­nis teams strug­gled.

The four teams com­bined for a 34-63 record (14-34 Cap­i­tal Ath­letic Con­fer­ence) and just one team — women’s lacrosse — fin­ished with a con­fer­ence record of over .500. They were 9-9 over­all.

The women’s sail­ing team re­cently placed 12th over­all at the Sperry Top-Sider Col­lege Sail­ing Women’s National Cham­pi­onships May 25 and 26 in Charleston, S.C.

“We were close to be­ing a re­ally, re­ally top team and we had mo­ments,” St. Mary’s head sail­ing coach Adam Werblow said. “Af­ter four races we were win­ning the re­gatta and I think all that proves that we have the ca­pa­bil­ity and we train well and pre­pared well.”

The Sea­hawks fin­ished with 358 points. In Di­vi­sion A, Carolyn Smith and Ju­lia Monro led St. Mary’s to a sixth-place fin­ish with 135 points. Smith was later named All-Amer­i­can hon­or­able men­tion for the sec­ond straight year.

“They sailed their best event of their en­tire ca­reer,” Werblow said. “And it was awe­some.”

The B Di­vi­sion team — which con­sisted of skip­per Greer Watt­son along with Ly­dia McPher­son-Sham­barger, Grace Papp, Kate Bjer­re­gaard and El­iz­a­beth Den­ni­son — placed 14th with 223 points.

“Un­for­tu­nately, to do well in the national cham­pi­onships we need both di­vi­sions to do well at the same time and Greer had a ter­ri­ble fi­nals,” Werblow said. “We just didn’t ex­e­cute enough of the time and we had a couple of other weird things be­fall us.”

The Sea­hawks qual­i­fied for the national cham­pi­onship, in large part by the B Di­vi­sion team’s run­ner-up fin­ish in the semi­fi­nals.

“That was as good a per­for­mance as Greer as ever had in her col­lege ca­reer,” Werblow said of the se­nior. “It was re­ally, re­ally nice.”

Yale Uni­ver­sity won the national cham­pi­onship with 185 points.

The Sea­hawks’ coed team will com­pete in the Gill Coed National Cham­pi­onships, also in Charleston, which runs through Friday.

On the field, courts

The women’s lacrosse team opened the 2017 cam­paign with wins over South­ern Vir­ginia, Vir­ginia Wes­leyan and Dickinson (Pa.) and outscored the op­po­si­tion 43-11.

Three straight losses fol­lowed, but the Sea­hawks added an­other three-game win streak late in the sea­son and fin­ished 9-9 (fourth­place 5-3 CAC).

Of their nine losses, five were to ranked teams and four were by a one or two goals, in­clud­ing an 8-7 sea­son-end­ing loss to Christopher New­port (Va.) in the CAC tour­na­ment quar­ter­fi­nals on April 18 on a goal with 27.6 sec­onds re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion.

Lacey Brown led the Sea­hawks in goals (36) and shots (58). Erika Kopf led the team in free-po­si­tion goals (11, on 20 at­tempts) and as­sists (18) and Macken­zie Ray­burn added a team-best 41 ground­balls and 20 caused turnovers. Kopf and Brown were also named col­lege ath­letes of the month for March and April, re­spec­tively.

Jason Childs men’s lacrosse team strug­gled this sea­son as it opened the sea­son with eight straight losses and fin­ished 1-14 (eighth-place 1-7 CAC).

The Sea­hawks picked up their lone win of the sea­son when it pounded Wes­ley (Del.) 20-7 on March 25 af­ter outscor­ing the Wolver­ines 14-2 in the sec­ond and third quar­ters com­bined.

St. Mary’s lost four games by three goals or fewer, in­clud­ing a pair of 9-8 de­feats to Mary­wood (Pa.) on Feb. 25 and Frost­burg State in the sea­son fi­nale on April 15.

Team lead­ers were Max Groen in goals (25) and as­sists (16), Michael Bucci in face-off wins (148) and ground­balls (71, 41 more than the next clos­est team­mate), Steve Jones in shots (54), Brendan Steele in man-up goals (6) and Conner Campbell had a team-best 24 caused turnovers. Jones also set a school record with eight goals in a 26-18 loss against Illi­nois Wes­leyan on March 12.

Mid­fielder Brendan Rollins was later named the col­lege’s men’s Scholar-Ath­lete of the Year.

Ray LaPlaca, a grad­u­ate of The Calver­ton School from Owings, had 18 goals, seven as­sists and 15 ground­balls and had a ca­reer-best four goals and five points in the loss to Illi­nois Wes­leyan. Connor Quinn, a grad­u­ate of The Calver­ton School from Lusby, had 16 points and 19 ground­balls and Dan Long, a St. Mary’s Ryken High School grad­u­ate from Me­chan­icsville, had 12 goals, 10 as­sists and 24 ground­balls.

St. Mary’s base­ball strug­gled un­der first-year head coach Bernie Stratchko as it com­piled a record of 9-22 (10th place 3-15 CAC). The Sea­hawks were 8-8 at home but failed to win a game in 13 road games.

Af­ter be­gin­ning the sea­son with losses to Ran­dolph Ma­con (Va.), the St. Mary’s took three games from Mount St. Mary (N.Y.) while outscor­ing them 21-11. But the Sea­hawks won just three of the next 13 games, which included a five- and a sixgame los­ing skid.

St. Mary’s bat­ted .247 and slugged .325 and scored just 152 runs (4.9 per game).

Jay Ham­mett, a Chop­ti­con High School grad­u­ate from Coltons Point, led St. Mary’s in most of­fen­sive cat­e­gories in­clud­ing hits (38), dou­bles (10), RBIs (28) and bat­ting av­er­age (.345). He also hit three of his team’s five home runs.

Bran­don Snow, a North­ern High School grad­u­ate from Owings, scored a team-high 20 runs and Lu­cas Kraft stole a teamhigh 10 bases in 12 at­tempts. Pitcher Zach Thomp­son had a team-high four wins, in­clud­ing a com­plete game.

The men’s ten­nis team was 8-9 (sixth-place 2-5 CAC) this sea­son and had one of their best stretches of the sea­son when de­feated Steven­son, Thomas Col­lege (Maine) and Ma­ri­etta Col­lege (Ohio) dur­ing the PTR Spring Ten­nisFest March 13 to 15 in Hil­ton Head, S.C.

Ron Stith, a Lackey High School grad­u­ate from Chel­tenham, had a team-high 10 sin­gles wins and James Loftis and fresh­man Ethan Gar­ren each won a team-best seven dou­bles matches. Jack Bran­den­burg won his last four matches of the sea­son and fin­ished 6-4. Fresh­man Jon Gorel, who with Gar­ren held down the top two spots, broke his wrist late in the sea­son but was still named to the All-CAC sec­ond team.

Connor McKis­sick, a Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate from Leonard­town, was 9-9 in sin­gles play and 5-14 in dou­bles.

The women’s team was 7-9 (fifth-place 3-4 CAC) this sea­son, in­clud­ing wins over Steven­son, Olivet (Mich.) Col­lege and Ma­ri­etta at the PTR Spring Ten­nisFest.

Raziela Manan­gan and Claire Bo­dine, who was later named the col­lege’s fe­male rookie of the year among all sports, each had 10 sin­gles wins and Marissa Ro­manek (a Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Sun­der­land), Sa­van­nah Ber­gen (a Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate from Leonard­town) and Melissa Bar­all each won seven matches. Ro­manek was 8-9 in dou­bles play and Ber­gen was 6-9.

“Both our men’s and women’s teams were very young this year,” said head coach Tyler Robinson, a Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate who re­turned just one starter on the men’s team and two on the women’s side. “Melissa had an­other solid sea­son at No. 1 sin­gles and Connor re­turned to the No. 1 dou­bles spot, but stepped up his per­for­mance in sin­gles with a very solid sea­son at No. 3. Our vet­eran play­ers brought great lead­er­ship and ex­pe­ri­ence while the fresh­men re­ally im­pressed me with their pos­i­tive en­ergy and hus­tle.”

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