As mercury drops, winter sports move into the limelight

By , and
Friday, November 16, 2007

When the men’s soccer team clinched the Ivy League Championship last Saturday, it ensured the Bears would have at least one team playing into late November in the NCAA playoffs. But with most fall sports teams closing their seasons, winter sports will soon grab the spotlight. Here’s a preview for the season.

Men’s basketball

Men’s basketball was overwhelmed by the University of Rhode Island at home on Wednesday and faces a difficult non-conference schedule that includes games at Northwestern University and Notre Dame University. But once the team hits Ivy League play, it should be able to match up with anyone it plays. Tri-captains and All-Ivy guards Mark McAndrew ’08 and Damon Huffman ’08 provide scoring punch and senior leadership, and power forward and tri-captain Mark MacDonald ’08 will anchor the team down low. With neither Princeton nor the University of Pennsylvania favored to win the conference for the first time in 22 years, Brown will look to establish themselves as league championship contenders.

Men’s ice hockey

This season, the Bears will need to focus on consistency in order to ascend the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference standings. Over last weekend, Brown put forth a spirited effort to beat Colgate University 5-2 last Friday, but Cornell dominated Bruno on the power play to take a 4-1 victory. The team is solid with goaltender Dan Rosen ’10 between the pipes and looks for scoring punch from forward Jeff Prough ’08 and offensively minded defender Sean Hurley ’08. This Saturday, the Bears face off with No.8 Clarkson University in what appears to be the toughest game so far in the team’s young season.

Women’s basketball

Just two years removed from an Ivy League Championship, women’s basketball will look to bounce back from a 1-15 record in the Ivy League last season. The team will battle youth all season, as it has only one senior and two juniors on its roster. Captain Annesley O’Neal ’08 will provide leadership, and Herald Assistant Sports Editor Amy Ehrhart ’09 will look to anchor the team under the basket. The most consistent scorer so far this season has been Shae Fitzpatrick ’10, who is averaging 15.5 points per game. Some of the team’s most important games will come in mid-February. First, the team travels to defending champion Harvard on Feb. 9, then on Feb. 15 hosts Princeton, a team who features All-Ivy forward Meagan Cowher, the daughter of former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher.

Women’s ice hockey

Last season, the Bears struggled to a 6-15-1 league record, but their offense should improve this winter, as the team lost just one player from last year. Leading the way for Brown is captain Hayley Moore ’08, who was the frontrunner on the team in goals with 20 and points with 36. She was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy League. The rest of the Brown offense will have to step up its game as well to protect a young defense that lost four key players from last season and retains just Jenny Cedorchuk ’10 along with four freshmen. Luckily, Bruno has assistant captain Nicole Stock ’09 in goal to anchor its green defense. Though the early going has been rough – the Bears have dropped four of their first five – the team hopes that as its young players get more experience the team will progress and be ready for the heart of its ECAC schedule.

Men’s squash

After losing just two seniors from last year’s squad, the men’s squash team hopes to improve on its 3-9 record this winter. The going will be tough, as it always is in the hyper-competitive Ivy League – especially since the team lost its No. 1 player on the ladder, captain Dan Petrie ’07. Ed Cerullo ’08 will try to fill Petrie’s shoes as captain as well as his No. 1 spot. Supporting Cerullo at the top of the ladder is No. 2 Adam Greenberg ’10, who looks to improve on a solid freshman season. The rest of the Bears are shooting for a strong season that will land them higher than a No. 13 rank, where they finished last season. Bruno will get this season in swing starting today at the Pizzitola Sports Center against Harvard at 5 p.m.

Women’s squash

Last season’s 5-7 record did not do justice to the women’s squash team. The squad finished ranked eighth nationally, and its regular season record was only hurt by the stiff competition it played on a consistent basis. Despite losing No. 1 Erin Andrews ’07 and five other seniors to graduation, the team has high hopes for the season. Megan Cerullo ’08 will, like her brother, step into the role of captain and the No. 1 spot. Bruno opens up this winter’s campaign Friday against Harvard at the Pizzitola Sports Center at 6:30.

Fencing

The fencing team started the 2007-2008 season off strong, bringing home 11 medals from The Big One tournament at Mt. Holyoke College on Nov. 3. Francesca Bartholomew ’11 starred in her collegiate debut in women’s foil. She was one of just four competitors to go undefeated in the tournament. The squad has a chance to improve on its 19th at nationals last season because the men’s team lost only three seniors and the women’s squad lost just two. Next up for fencing is the NFC No. 1 competition at Boston University this weekend.

Track and Field

The track team opens its season at home on Dec. 1 in the Alden Invitational. The team will feature Paul Raymond ’08 and Thelma Breezeatl ’10, the reigning Ivy League champions in the 60-meter dash. Other standouts include distance runner Smita Gupta ’08, who qualified for the cross country NCAA Championships this weekend, and Jamil McClintock ’08, who was second-team All-Ivy in the 100-meter hurdles last season.

Men’s swimming and diving

Unlike the men’s water polo team, the men’s swimming and diving team will have a home pool this season – in the “Bubble” behind the Olney-Margolies Athletic Complex. The Bears will need every edge they can get, as they’ll face very tough Harvard and Yale squads that will be returning several first-team All-Ivy swimmers and divers. The Bears will be led by Brian Kelly ’08, who finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championships in March.

Women’s swimming and diving

The women’s swimming and diving team will open their season with a “home” meet against Dartmouth at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, on Saturday. But the Bears, led by Dillon Delaney ’08 and Bailey Langner ’10, will find out how good they really are in their second meet of the season at Princeton. The Tigers ran away with the EISL Championships last year, and with several returning All-Ivy swimmers and divers, appear to be the team to beat again.

Wrestling

The wrestling team had a tough start to their season, finishing eighth out of nine teams at the Brockport-Oklahoma Gold Classic in New York. But the team did show flashes of brilliance; for instance, co-captain Jeff Schell ’08 placed second in the 133-pounds division, and four others placed as well. The Ivy League looks more wide open this year, with several All-Ivy wrestlers graduating. Look for Schell and co-captain Levon Mock ’08 to lead the Bears into contention this season.