In many repsects, today seemed like a sure sign that Spring was beginning: the snow decided to melt a little, a few bold patches of grass made an appearance around campus, and the lacrosse teams’ seasons started off (both teams beat Bates). Two teams, however, are refusing to let the winter end. This evening, both the Men’s Basketball team and the Women’s Hockey team found victories in their NCAA games, thus moving them further along in their respective brackets.
The Panthers beat Manhattanville at Kenyon Arena, with a 1-0 victory. The Women’s Hockey team has had an impressive season, boasting a 22-4-1 record, complete with a NESCAC Championship Title. Individually, Lexi Bloom and Madison Styrbicki were both named to the NESCAC First Team, while Julia Ireland received honors for the NESCAC Second Team. Moreover, Coach Bill Mandigo was the recipient of the NESCAC Coach of the Year Award. Coach Mandigo has 426 career wins to his name, making him the winningest women’s hockey coach in the history of women’s hockey. Needless to say, this star studded team has the potential to do very well in the semifinals, where they will challenge the strong team from RIT next week.
While the hockey team was being cheered on by the home crowd, the Men’s Basketball team was continuing their dominant season by beating St Mary’s 65-50. This is the first season that a Middlebury Men’s Basketball team has found its way into the Sweet 16 of the DIII NCAA tournament, making their winning streak all the more impressive. But their success in the NCAA tournament is no accident: they’ve had the season to back it up. The team’s record of 28-1 is a feat in and of itself. That, coupled with a NESCAC title, defensive player of the year Andrew Locke, NESCAC first team member Ryan Sharry, and Coach of the Year Jeff Brown, proves that this team is a force to be reckoned with. We’ll be cheering as they ride the momentum they’ve built, and travel to Virginia to take on St Thomas in the semifinals.