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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Westfield Winter Sports Preview


After an incredible fall season that saw three teams play in the postseason, two making the MASCAC championship game, and one champion crowned, all eyes shift to the winter sports season. Here is what to expect from the action at theWoodward Center and Amelia Park Ice Arena this winter:

Women’s Basketball:

On one of the greatest runs in program history, these Owls come into the 2018-19season as the defending three-time MASCAC champions. Ever since head coach and former WSU great Andrea Bertini implemented a new system of constant substitutions, aggressive defense, and a faster-paced offense, her teams have been dominant heading into her fourteenth year.

TheOwls led all eligible Division III schools nationwide in points per game (87.2),steals per game (19.8), and turnover margin (15.89). This system also allows the Owls to shoot the lights out from beyond the arc, as they broke their own shooting record, set the year before for three-pointers made and attempted (282-972).

Expect for seniors Lucy Barrett and Kierra McCarthy to lead the team in scoring, but a strong presence will be felt by Junior Chelsea Moussette and Sophomore MelissaGray. The only downside to see in the Owls is the loss of center Rebecca Sapouckey. Sapouckey’s presence at the center spot was a huge factor and one may wonder now that she has graduated, who takes that role. Either way, there is no question that the Owls should be favored to win it all for the fourth time in a row considered how well they have dominated conference play.

Men’s Basketball:

A lot of new faces take over this Owls team who finished 11-15 overall and 5-7 in conference play. Last season, the men locked up the fifth seed in the MASCAC tournament, but got bounced in the quarterfinals against Fitchburg State. Since that game, the Owls return most of their starting lineup, but the bench has a completely new look.

A total of nine new players will wear the blue and white for the men’s team and they all will be led by senior First-team All-conference forward MarcusCollins. Collins nearly averaged a double-double last season (15.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG)and should lead in each statistical category for the Owls.

The improvement this team has to make is their timeliness on making and defending shots. They were second to last in 2017-18 in field goal percentage (39.7%) and last in defensive field goal percentage (46%). If Westfield can clean up that part of their game, head coach Rich Sutter will have a very dangerous team to work with. With the veteran leadership of Seniors Collins, Peter Mafo, and Dan Lanoue, the Owls could capture their first league title since 2014-15.

Men’s Ice Hockey:

TheseOwls probably had the toughest end to a season in 2017-18 losing their last two conference games, then dropping their quarterfinal matchup to UMass-Dartmouth in overtime. Finishing with a 10-14-1 overall and 8-10 conference record, this is a team that may have been more talented than what the records showed.

The biggest struggles this team faced were defense and penalties while trying to keep up with their high-powered scoring attack. A team that scored 3.29 GPG and put up 30.6 shots-per-game couldn’t translate those numbers to some victories finishing second to last in goals-against-average with 4.44.

As for the penalties, while they did not commit the most, their penalty kill defense was statistically the worst in the MASCAC (84/120, 70%). That defense will be focused on all season with their top defenders senior Lenny Caglianone and junior Gerard Colpoys. The scoring from the Owls won’t change that much with senior Aaron Clancy and junior FX Girard leading the way each with 26 points from a year ago.

A team that feels like they left a lot on the table is ready to right the wrong that happened nearly ten months ago.

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  • R

    RileyNov 15, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    You do know that there are also track teams right???

    • C

      Chandler HutchisonNov 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

      He may not have had time to reach out to every tea and their athletes, but if you would like to write something about the track team(s), we would love to have it!

      • C

        Chandler HutchisonNov 16, 2018 at 11:11 am