With Thanksgiving around the corner and the end of the on-campus portion of the Fall semester looming, Winter sports are also on the minds of many athletes at USM. Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey, Indoor Track & Field, Basketball, and Wrestling teams are heading into a winter break like no other.
Women’s Ice Hockey
For the Women’s Ice Hockey team, they finished with their best record in eleven seasons with twelve wins, thirteen losses, and two ties giving them a playoff berth in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) where they won their first playoff game in ten seasons.
The victory came in a game against the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass) in which they set a record for the longest game in NEHC history. When the dust settled and 106 minutes and 5 seconds of game-time gone by, then-freshman and biology major Maddy Young fired a wrist shot into the back of the net to win in triple-overtime 2-1, sending the team into the next round of the playoffs.
After such a successful season the Women’s Ice Hockey team was ready to begin on what would have been another successful season, but just like the men’s team, the NEHC has postponed the 2020 portion of the season.
Men’s Ice Hockey
The Men’s Ice Hockey team finished with their best record in four seasons with eight wins, sixteen losses, and three ties. Their season was highlighted with a stunning 3-2 victory against the third-ranked Hobart College. That win was the first time the Huskies have beat the Statesmen of Hobart in seven tries.
The NEHC Board of Directors has already postponed the 2020 portion of the league schedule with an announcement on July 8, 2020. This makes for a different and unusual year as the Men’s Ice Hockey team would normally be gearing up for their first games starting in early November.
Women’s Indoor Track & Field
The Women’s Indoor Track & Field Team finished the season in a way many dream of doing. They won the Little East Conference (LEC) Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship, claiming their 20th LEC title in 22 seasons.
Aside from the team accomplishments, then-senior Adela Kalilwas a health science major, and sophomore (now junior) Sophia Slovenski an exercise science major was going to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-III Indoor Championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Unfortunately, they never got to go and compete at the championships as it was canceled due to COVID-19.
With COVID-19 canceling the tail end of last season, it has now canceled this year’s schedule as well. Junior and health science major, Emily Colby who earned a third-place finish in 600-meter at the LEC Championships last year said, “Personally as we don’t have a competitive season anymore, I think the most important part as an individual is to make a self-care routine. Whether that is doing more runs on the trail that I enjoy more I do that. As far as the team goes we are doing whatever we can to stay together, safely, to continue to build the team chemistry.”
Men’s Indoor Track & Field
The men’s team finished what was an extremely competitive season as the runner-up at the LEC Championships. This was the first time the team has finished out of the top spot in four seasons.
Similar to the Women’s Indoor Track & Field team, the men were sending senior CJ Moody a nursing major, and freshman Carson Gross an accounting major to compete at the NCAA D3 Indoor Track & Field Championships. However, those competitions were also canceled due to COVID-19.
“The team and I are doing our sprint workout and core workouts. We do mobility and strength training too. We are treating this as if we are going to have a season, so we are all prepping and getting ready,” said freshman exercise science major, Jayden Jacques.
Last year’s Huskies Men’s Basketball team finished with a record of eleven wins and fourteen losses and they were looking at going into the offseason ready to improve. Individually, sophomore and athletic training major, Jacobe Thomas led the team in scoring with an impressive 19.9 points-per-game. This accomplishment among others landed Thomas on the LEC Second Team All-Little East Conference.
The USM Women’s Basketball team ended their season with a record of ten wins and fourteen losses. Individually, Victoria Harris, a sophomore and athletic training major, on the team led the Huskies in points-per-game with 12.5. Closely behind Harris is former Husky Hero of the Week, Jackie Luckhardt a senior athletic training major, with 10.9 points per game.
The Huskies Wrestling team finished with a team record of eleven wins and nine losses. The Huskies had a couple of wrestlers rumble their way into the NCAA D3 Northeast Regional Championships. While then-seniors Peter Del Gallo an athletic training major and Brad Beaulieu a secondary eduction punched their tickets to the NCAA D3 National Championships.
Unfortunately similarly to the track seasons, Del Gallo and Beaulieu were unable to compete at the National Championships as they were canceled due to COVID-19.
While this season will be undoubtedly different, it is clear that all Huskies, regardless of the sport they play are still finding ways to keep their competitive edge.