A Few Thoughts Before Break
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 14:03
Thank the lord spring has almost sprung. Nicer weather, outdoor activities, and the resumption of activity on the Hoval will great us all upon our return from spring break. More importantly, however, with the encroachment of warmer weather, spring sports will be in full swing, as Holy Cross and other local teams make their way up north from far warmer climes! WOOOOOOOOOO!!! No longer will our loyal legions of purple people eaters need to endure the sad display of sportsmanship which has so far characterized the winter sports season. After an underwhelming winter sports season, we might once again find reason to cheer!
Starting off fast, the men’s ice hockey team has cooled since January, struggling to gain any momentum. Going 7-8-1 over their last sixteen after a 9-4-2 start, the team has underperformed. Exchanging wins with loses, jockeying to maintain a position in the top four of the Atlantic Hockey Conference, the team’s Jekyll and Hyde performance could not come at a worse time, with the Atlantic Hockey Conference Tournament looming. The Crusaders, who have entered the tournament hot the past two seasons, have been able to ride their momentum deep into the tournament. With the loss to last place Sacred Heart University last Monday, hopefully the team has reached its low point and will be able to regroup before the final three games of the season, three games which should all be wins, given that the team is playing Sacred Heart once and Army twice. While the team’s struggles are far from surprising, given the team’s youth, this squad is far too talented not too make a deep run in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament and possibly beyond if they can play with the consistency they displayed earlier this season.
Wrapping up their season this past weekend, the women’s ice hockey team enjoyed yet another successful campaign in the ECAC under the guidance of Head Coach Peter Van Buskirk. Finishing with an overall record of 16-6-5, and a 9-4-5 record in the conference, the Lady Crusaders thankfully gave many Holy Cross fans something to cheer about during the Winter Session. Advancing to the conference title game, the Crusaders lost a thriller to ECAC champion, St. Anselm, by a score of 4-3, forcing the Hawks to the brink, with the game decided in overtime. A relatively young team, expect the women’s ice hockey team to challenge for the ECAC Open Title yet again next season, and with any luck, for many seasons to come.
Likewise, the women’s basketball team has been playing strong in the final weeks of its season, gearing up for another run at the Patriot League Title and chance to dance in March. Currently sitting at 15-12 with a 7-5 record, good for third place in the Patriot League, the team has been led all season by junior captain Alex Smith and Senior Captain Amy Lepley. With two regular season games left, the Crusaders could possibly slip into the Patriot League Tournament as the number two seed if they are able to win out and get a little help from their friends, which could significantly improve the team’s chances of making a deep run in the Tournament, by holding off a potential match-up with Navy as long as possible, a team which has been Kryptonite to the Crusaders this year. Either way, as staff writer Peter Zona so eloquently put it, “It’s Clobberin’ Time!”
Following the conclusion of an out-of-conference schedule which featured squads from the Big East, ACC, and Ivy League, the team sat at a respectable 8-7. Although the losses of Mike Cavataio, R.J. Evans, Devin Brown, and Charlie Mills to graduation were obviously felt during the early weeks of the season, the team had appeared to regroup and establish a new identity, and just in time too, with the start of Patriot League play looming. By all estimations, the team was rounding into form and would challenge once again for a top four finish in the conference. Since then the wheels have fallen off. Looking like the Washington Generals, the men’s basketball team has struggled to compete since the start of Patriot League play. Similar to Monopoly in which players collect money by passing go, Patriot League teams collect wins simply through passing through the Hart Center, as the team quickly became mired in a five game losing streak, falling far behind in the league standings. The rest is pretty much
history, as the Crusaders have gone 3-9 over its last 12. The team’s play is uninspired, painful to watch, and upsets this writer as much Flaky Herbed Chicken.
While I remind my readers that finger-pointing is rude and should ALWAYS be refrained from, with an ample supply of blame to go around, this is less easily said than done, especially in the midst of a season which has featured multiple drubbings, including one at home to a mediocre Army team which was, to put it ever so tenderly, inexcusable. At this point it is clear that the team has not played great, however; perhaps there is something going on that is far more debilitating, specifically the team’s style of play.