River Plouffe Vogel, Sports Editor
Winter break is over and school is back in session. While many students continue their education with winter courses, or have a full work schedule to maintain, the break still offers a short pause on the stress of classes. However there is an even smaller pause for USM’s student athletes, who continue their practice and play for the majority of the winter vacation. So time to breakdown what our teams have accomplished over the past month.
Men’s Ice Hockey
It’s been a tough season for the Men’s Ice Hockey team, but there is certainly lots to be excited about. After securing only one win in the months of November and December, the team has really stepped up their play. In January they have tailed two win, two loses and one tie. Most notably they took down # 6 rated Umass Boston. On top of that the point differential between their losses has also shrunken significantly. Early in the season their opponents were scoring an average of four goals, that number has dropped to two. This team is young as well, with a huge freshman and sophomore class. Expect nothing but improvement for this team through the remainder of the year. This season the Men’s Ice Hockey is 3-11-4 overall and 3-6-3 in conference play.
Women’s Ice Hockey
The Women’s Ice Hockey team have had an up and down season thus far. They have struggled with consistency and had some big losses, but the team’s roster is deep and they’ve had some really bright moments as well throughout the season. In the past four games they have two wins, one tie and one loss, which has been the hottest streak of the season. However they have rough finish to the season, with the next six games against teams they have gone two and four against. Those same opponents outscored USM twenty-four goals to ten. This season Women’s Ice Hockey is 6-12-1 overall and 2-5-1 in conference play.
The men’s basketball team have had a dismal season. There have been few bright moments for a team that graduated most of its starting lineup from last year and only has four seniors this year. The team’s leading scorer has been senior Christian McCue, who is the lone returning starter, but have struggled to find steady offense from the rest of the team. However freshman guard DJ Anderson has started to come alive in the past several games, leading the team in scoring, rebounding at a high level and getting to the line in high volume, all whiling being very efficient from the field. If the team can find ways to generate more offensive over the rest of the season they could give their remaining opponents lots of trouble. The Men’s basketball team is 2-16 overall and 1-7 in conference play.
The Women’s basketball team has had an average season on overall on paper, but have been fantastic in conference play. However the team started the season with six straight losses but won nine of their last twelve games. A huge part of that success is freshman Kritsan Curley, who leads the team in scoring at just over seventeen points a game. Curley has been nominated LEC Rookie of the week three times now and has anchored this squad through their successful run. It should be really exciting to see how this team finishes their year and they should be expecting to play, and play well in the LEC playoffs. It’s hard to ignore what the Women’s team have been able to accomplish after starting 0-6 on the year. The Women’s basketball team is 9-9 overall and 6-2 in conference play.
Men’s Indoor Track and Field
The Men’s Track team is coming off of a fantastic Cross Country season, taking first in LEC’s. Although the sprint team is just getting started, they’ve performed very well so far in the year, especially the team’s 4×400 team which has put down some of the best time’s nationally. This team’s just getting warmed up and finding its groove, and should be expected to compete at a high level for the rest of the indoor season, including sending some of its athletes to nationals. The team includes Seniors like Ron Helderman, who has the USM’s Pole Vault record. This team is deep and full of talent, expect to see them on the podium for the LEC’s conference championships this year.
Women’s Indoor Track and Field
The Women’s Indoor Track team has won an incredible seventeen consecutive LEC indoor championships and this year should be no different. The team has some dominating seniors like All-American Neka Dias, as well as some fantastic incoming talent. The team had eleven win’s in the USM open and also won the Reggie Poyau Memorial Invitational earlier this month. As the season continues this team should also continue their winning ways, and it’s already seen so many of it’s athletes continue to improve and get PR’s (Personal Records) as the season goes. For s team with such great experience and depth, the sky’s the limit for them this outdoor season.
Wrestling has had a great season so far, and are consistently top ranked competitor at any meet they go too. This season’s biggest success story so far is sophomore Peter Del Gallo, who is currently undefeated an ranked in the top five nationally for this weight class. Del Gallo has been stunning. The Huskies, ranked sixth in the NEWA Poll as a team, have six grapplers, including Del Gallo, ranked in their region. Division III wrestling is especially competitive and the Men’s Wrestling team have been extraordinary over the past several seasons. This success should continue throughout the last half of the year and several members of the team will undoubtedly go on to nationals.