Brewers return to home turf, spring sports stay in stride

Freshman Mike Mullen takes a shot against Salve Regina in Tampa, FL. The men’s lacrosse team will travel to Potsdam, NY, to compete against Clarkson University on Saturday, April 8. / Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Men’s Baseball
VC traveled to Farmingdale, NY, to face off against Plattsburgh State three times over the weekend, earning two wins and one loss. On Saturday, the Brewers nabbed a 7-3 win, while they split Sunday 1-1 with respective scores of 4-3 and 1-3.

On Saturday, the Farmingdale Cardinals were the first to get on the scoreboards with an early run in the top of the first inning. Nevertheless, Vassar answered at the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs from junior captain and infielder Bobby Kinne and fellow junior shortstop Matt Hernandez.

After two more runs from the Cardinals, Vassar bounced back to score five runs in the sixth inning, which came from senior second baseman Denis Shanagher, sophomore right fielder Taylor Smach, freshman third baseman Daniel Bonfiglio and freshman first baseman Matt Martino.

As the Brewers held the Cardinals for the rest of the match, they earned the 7-3 win. The victory was awarded to junior pitcher Derek DeMild for his strong performance.

The squad returned for action against Plattsburgh the very next day for a doubleheader. In the first game of the day, VC clinched a close 4-3 victory, with sophomore Bryan Rubin tabbing the win as pitcher.

Once more, Plattsburgh beat Vassar to the home plate, scoring the first run of the game in the second inning. However, the Brewers responded with unanswered runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take the lead. Vassar’s runs were scored by Shanagher, sophomore centerfielder Jake Doyle and Bonfiglio, respectively.

The Cardinals fired back in the seventh inning as shortstop Stephen Bryant launched the ball passed the Brewers to bring in two runs and tie the game at three apiece. Nevertheless, another run from Bonfiglio, thanks to an impressive hit from Martino, would boost Vassar to victory.

Unfortunately, VC was unable to continue its momentum and faced a 1-4 loss late on Sunday. With Plattsburgh scoring three runs in the second inning, the Brewers could not catch up. However, with a hit from Kinne, Rubin ran to home in the sixth inning to award the team its lone run of the game.

After returning home, the team faced the University of Rochester on Wednesday, April 5 on Prentiss baseball field before hosting heading to Rochester, NY to take on the Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, April 8.

Senior captain Connie Yoo returns a hit on Josselyn Tennis Courts. Her stellar performance against St. Lawrence University, earned her the title of Vassar Athletics Featured Athlete of the Week. / Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Women’s Tennis
To kick off league play, the Vassar women’s tennis team dominated the Saint Lawrence University Saints 8-1 on Saturday, April 1.

The day started off great for the Brewers as they swept all doubles competition. At No. 1, senior captain Shayna Becker and freshman Tara Edwards earned the first victory with a score of 8-3. Next came wins from junior Kate Christensen and sophomore Morgane Flournoy who defeated St. Lawrence’s Alexandra Dadoly and Lia Peterson 8-4 at the No. 2 spot.

At No. 3, senior captain Connie Yoo and junior Dasha Ivenitsky pulled through after an early deficit to earn a 9-7 and finish the Brewers’ domination in doubles.

The squad’s prowess did not stop there, as Yoo came back for No. 5 singles and held the Saints scoreless to earn the perfect 6-0, 6-0 win. Next, Edwards sealed the win for the Burgundy and Gray as she earned the fifth win for Vassar as she finished No. 3 singles with scores of 6-2, 6-2. Right behind Edwards, Flournoy clinched another victory at No. 4 as she defeated Emily Wyman 6-1, 7-5.

Then to wrap up the day, Christensen topped Georgia Comber at No. 1 with scores of 6-4, 6-3 while Ivenitsky captured the victory at No. 6 in a super tiebreaker 6-2, 2-6, 10-1.

VC will next compete in the Seven Sisters Championships in Hadley, MA on Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9. The Brewers will face Bryn Mawr College and Smith College on Saturday before competing against host Mount Holyoke College and Wellesley College on Sunday.

Women’s Lacrosse
In one of the most challenging weekends of the year, the Vassar women’s lacrosse team served a large upset to Union College (10-9) and faced a tough loss to William Smith (4-14). The win over the Union Dutchwomen is the program’s first win in three years.

On Friday, the Brewers fell into a quick deficit as the Dutchwomen notched off four goals in the first 13 minutes. Freshman Kelly Pushie put Vassar on the boards as she scored an unassisted goal with approximately 10 minutes left in the first half. Up next, Union added two more goals to take a 6-1 lead going into halftime.

After the break, the Dutchwomen continued their run to extend the lead to seven goals with a score of 9-1. Freshman Tessa Waters then reached the back of the net in attempt to decrease the deficit. Union would score one more before the momentum would shift in Vassar’s favor. With 22 minutes left in the contest, Vassar battled back.

Waters scored her second goal to start Vassar’s run, followed by one from senior captain Julia Trudell merely 26 seconds later. Trudell and Waters continued their domination as Trudell tallied her second goal of the day with an assist from Waters, pushing the score to 5-9.

Junior Amelia Rivoir assisted the next two goals, one from fellow junior Hannah Cho and another from Pushie. Pushie then completed her hat trick to make the score 7-9 with just over 14 minutes to play.

For the next 13 minutes, the game was deadlocked and the Brewers remained down by one. To lift the team to a tie game, Waters earned a hat trick for herself with another unassisted goal at 0:58.

With both teams expecting to go to overtime, freshman Grace Goodwin-Boyd launched the ball past Union goalkeeper to give Vassar the win! With this victory, the Burgundy and Gray headed into its second game of the weekend versus the Herons of William Smith.

Although the Herons scored the first goal of the day, Pushie answered with a free-position goal at 25:41. William Smith then went on a nine-goal scoring streak, leading 10-1 at the half.

However, in the second half, Pushie was back for more as she netted another unassisted goal. Then, after more back-and-forth, Vassar scored two more goals during the match: one from sophomore Emily Hamburger and the final from Waters.

Despite the result, junior goalkeeper Emily Chancey earned a strong 12 saves on the day.

The Brewers now have the week to prepare for their next Liberty League doubleheader against the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8.

Men’s Lacrosse
The Brewers made history on Saturday, April 1 as they took down No. 19 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 11-9 and captured the program’s first victory against the Engineers. The game was a battle, and it was not until the fourth quarter that Vassar ran away with the win.

Sophomore Dekker Stebel was the first to reach the scoreboards as he scored an unassisted goal with 11:41 left in the first quarter. After RPI answered with two goals, fellow sophomore James Thomas scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at two apiece. Senior Sam Houston-Read then lifted VC to a 3-2 lead with another goal, assisted by fellow senior Liam Moriarty.

After more back-and-forth, senior captain Brandon DeStasio then netted two unassisted goals to tie the game 5-5.

Things turned scary for Vassar as RPI took a two-goal lead 7-5 heading into the fourth quarter. With 15 minutes to turn things around, the Brewers gained momentum with the help of man-up opportunities. Moriarty had the first goal of the fourth quarter to lessen the deficit to one.

RPI then committed multiple fouls to send two Engineers to the sideline and give VC man-up opportunities.

Freshman Michael Mullen started Vassar’s string of goals as he reached the back of the net after a pass from Stebel. VC then took the lead with goals from senior Chris Billups with an assist from Houston-Read, followed by another one from Mullen assisted by DeStasio.

In between two goals from the Engineers, Thomas reached the back of the net once more at 3:07. Earning a hat trick, Mullen had the final goal of the game with another assist from Moriarty, lifting the team 11-9.

After this monumental victory, the Brewers will continue Liberty League play as they take on Clarkson University on Saturday, April 8 in Potsdam, NY.

Men’s Rugby
After a previous postponement, VC finally battled and defeated Poughkeepsie foe Marist College 34-12 on Saturday, April 1. Sophomore wing Stephen Kpundeh was a standout performer on the day as he tallied 14 points off of two tries and two conversions.

Kpundeh scored the first points of the day as he snuck passed Marist’s defense to convert his own try. However, Marist fought back and scored a try to even the score at seven apiece. Kpundeh came back for more points, scoring another try to boost Vassar to a 12-7 lead. Once more, Marist answered and tied the score 12-12.

The Brewers scored the remaining points of the match and ran away with the victory. Sophomore lock Tony Varghese initiated Vassar’s scoring streak with a try, followed by fellow sophomore Robert Eder to give Vassar a 22-12 lead heading into halftime.

After the half, Eder and freshman flanker Ankit Khosla each scored a try to clinch the 34-12 victory for the Brewers.

The squad will next head to Colchester, VT to face Saint Michael’s College on Saturday, April 8.

Men’s Tennis
On Sunday, April 2, the Vassar men’s tennis team handedly defeated the Coast Guard Academy Bears 8-1. The Brewers victory was largely earned due to their sweep of singles play.

The Nick duo of senior Nick Litsky and sophomore Nick Zuczek demonstrated its prowess once again as the pair earned a 8-2 victory at No. 3 against Mike Melampy and Arthur Wicke. Up next, senior Juan Felipe Laso and freshman Allen Sokolov tallied another VC win as they topped John Hu and Adam Bahney 8-4 at the No. 2 spot.

Unfortunately the Brewers were unable to earn the win at the No. 1 spot as the Bears inched by freshmen Jeremy Auh and Dom Demeterfi 8-6.

With Vassar up 2-1, the teams headed into singles play. At No. 2 singles, Sokolov clinched his second win of the day as he topped Melampy 6-0, 6-1. The next VC victory came at the hands of Litsky, who defeated Tom Hackett 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot. With this win, Litsky tallied a team-high 14 wins in singles in addition to earning Liberty League honors for his strong performance.

Sealing the victory for the Brewers, sophomore Jamie Anderson kept the success rolling at No. 4 as he knocked off Adam Bahney 6-3, 7-6 (7-1). Then, ready for revenge, Auh earned his first collegiate three-set win at No. 5 as he surpassed Jack Phillips 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

Laso earned another Vassar three-set victory as he battled and defeated John Hu 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Finally, at No. 6, freshman Zamir Birnbach wrapped up the wins as he topped Wicke 6-7, 6-4, 10-6.

Next weekend, the Brewers will head to MA as they face MIT on Friday, April 7 before taking on Babson College on Saturday, April 8.

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