Worcester, Mass. – As the regular season portion of the fall season begins to wind down for some Clark teams and the winter season for other squads start to ramp up, this weekend will serve as an excellent precursor for some and a chance to make a final push towards postseason play for others.
Men’s and Women’s rowing head into Cambridge, Mass. to take part in one of the most prestigious races on American soil when they drop their oars in the Charles River on Saturday and Sunday at the 43rd annual Head of the Charles Regatta.
The men’s collegiate four will open up action on Saturday at 3:40 p.m., followed by the women’s four at 3:55 p.m. Then on Sunday, the women’s eight will race at 4:00 p.m.
Swimming and Diving will make their official season debut with a visit to Babson College on Saturday. On the women’s side, Clark returns a wealth of experience including seniors Mollie Kleyboecker (Albuquerque, N.M.), Emily Newton (East Lyme, Conn.) and Sarah Petrini (Bellevue, Wash.), while mixing in standout underclassmen led by Natalie Omary (New York, N.Y.).
The Cougars’ men’s team returns six seniors and welcomes eight freshman to the squad. Seniors Tim Sistare (Westford, Mass.) and Zach Eaton (Kittery Point, Maine) lead the charge for Clark, while junior Clive Green (Portmore, Jamaica) and sophomore Jack Hall (McLean, Va.) highlight a talented group of relay record holders. The Cougars and Beavers will renew their rivalry beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Fresh off their first NEWMAC win, women’s tennis heads to Wheaton for a showdown with the Lyons. Playing in their second to last match of the season, Clark will look to play spoiler in Wheaton’s bid to make the conference tournament. Clark, at 6-8, has already won more matches this season than it has since the 1991-92 season. The Cougars are led by junior Gaby Suriano (San Salvador, El Salvador) who has a 10-2 dual match record this season at No. 1 singles.
Field hockey plays its final home game of the season on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against league rival Smith College. The Cougars are coming off of a thrilling last second win over Mount Holyoke College on Tuesday. In that contest, the team’s two seniors – Madeleine Lutts (Salem, Mass.) and Mel Melkonian (Worcester, Mass.) connected for the game-winning goal in the final minute to keep the Clark playoff hopes alive. With two games left against NEWMAC opponents, a pair of wins would assure the Cougars a trip to the conference tournament for the third time in the last four years.
Women’s soccer has won four straight matches and has evened their record at 7-7-1. Sparked by excellent goalkeeping from freshman Gabby Paolini (North Potomac, Md.) and some timely scoring from juniors Emma Lynch (Pawtucket, R.I.) and Janelle Pasternack (North Brookfield, Mass.), Clark has outscored its opponents 11-2 during their winning streak. The Cougars enter their weekend showdown with Smith with 12 total points – three behind Babson and three ahead of the aforementioned Smith and Wellesley. A win on Saturday in Northampton would go long way in securing a postseason berth for the second consecutive season.
Men’s soccer, meanwhile, needs some help to get into the postseason but at 7-8 have a chance to be .500 under first-year head coach Matt O’Toole. In addition, a win over the Lyons would snap a five-match losing to Wheaton that dates back to the 2008 season.
The Cougars enter the meeting with two of the top five scorers in the league in Will Van Noppen (Providence, R.I.) and Oscar Zapata (Lima, Peru). That duo has combined for 17 goals on the season, but as of late the scoring for Clark has come from Gianluca Ranallo (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Kenny Vera (Franklin Square, N.Y.) and Kent Vorland.
Volleyball will take part in the second tri-match in as many weeks when they face off against Southern Vermont and Newbury College on Saturday. The Cougars are being led by freshman Shannon Glass-Smythe (Albuquerque, N.M.), who ranks third in the league in kills (3.55) and sophomore Mel Conde (Union City, Calif.) who is seventh (2.88). Meanwhile, junior Rachel Spera (North Hollywood, Calif.) went over 1,800 assists in Tuesday’s loss at WPI.
Fans can follow all Clark Athletics action by following the department’s Twitter account at @ClarkAthletics and online at clarkathletics.com.