Category Archives: Sports

Challenging Spring Break for the Blue Jays

Men’s lacrosse locker room.

The Elizabethtown College men’s lacrosse team competed in a trio of games, going 1-2, against Shenandoah University, Christopher Newport University (CNU) and Lynchburg College over spring break. I, Alex Klipple, play midfield from Elizabethtown and reported the story.

Against the Shenandoah Hornets (3-4), the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (3-2) defense were ready to fight and held the Hornets scoreless for two quarters of play. With their strong defensive play, the Blue Jays left Wolf Field with a 9-5 win to move to 3-0 on the season. The game marked a significant milestone. The Blue Jays moved to 3-0 for just the second time in program history and freshman attack Cody Richter scored his first two career goals.

“It felt amazing seeing the ball hit the back of the net for the first time,” Richter said. “I have to give credit to the man-up unit. We were able to quickly move the ball around the perimeter to give me a wide open step-down.”

For their next game, the Blue Jays jumped on a charter bus and traveled to Newport News to face the 20th-ranked CNU Captains (6-0). The Blue Jays came out firing and shot to a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the Captains were able to score crucial man-up goals in the fourth and barely escape with an 8-7 win. Junior goalie Jack Myers had exceptional saves throughout the game, ending with a total of 14 (five of which came in the fourth quarter).

“It hurts,” Myers said. “We were up the whole game, but just weren’t able to hold on for the W. But, this shows that we’re able to compete with these nationally ranked teams. We just have to execute the little things.”

The final game was against another tough opponent; the Lynchburg Hornets (2-4). The Hornets are a well-established program who were the National Runner-ups in 2015. All four of the Hornets losses this year have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top 15 of the USILA National Poll. Their experience showed and the Hornets jumped to a 11-2 lead at the end of the first half. The Blue Jays were unable to overcome such a large deficit with a final score of 21-7 in favor of the Hornets. One of the few highlights of the day was sophomore midfield Alex Filbert scoring his first career goal. This was the first meeting between the Blue Jays and the Hornets. Etown’s head coach Chris Perzinski is a 2008 Lynchburg alum.

“We aren’t supposed to be playing our best lacrosse in March, but this is definitely a step back,” Perzinski said. “This team needed some scars. But one thing is certain. We will learn and get better from this experience. There is no other option.”

The Blue Jays tough non-conference schedule continues this Saturday at 1 p.m. when they play at 13th ranked Franklin and Marshall University. The F&M Diplomats (4-1) are coming off an overtime victory over 6th ranked Cortland University.

Etown Lacrosse: 100th goal for Carly Thompson

Senior Carly Thompson celebrated after scoring her 100th goal of her career following Marymount’s defeat February 28. Thompson was not aware that she achieved this accomplishment, “I honestly had no idea,” Thompson said, “It was pretty cool.”

It was a beautiful evening for a game. The crowd was cheering for each respectable team.

Thomson brought the game to a tie at 1:46 during the first half with each team having one goal. At 22:03 the Saints had the lead with the score being 4-1.

Thompson’s 100th goal brought the teams back to a tie at 4-4.

Madelyn Baker scored shortly after that, giving Elizabethtown the lead for the first time since the game started. Baker scored again three and a half minutes later bringing their score up to 6-4.

The crowd showed their support, hoping the team could keep the lead.

Liah Agouras of the Saint’s scored her first goal of the season bring their score back up to 6-5. With Backer’s help, Etown tied the game again with the score being 6-6.

Kirstin Quilty, a senior lacrosse player, admits that it’s been sad playing knowing that it is her last season.  “Playing lacrosse has had a huge impact on my experience here. It has helped me to be more cognizant of my time management. I also think that it has helped me to be a hard worker as well as take criticism well. I also think that playing lacrosse has helped me live a healthier lifestyle,” Quilty said, “To incoming players, I would like them to know that there will be ups and downs always but in the end, it is completely worth it. Make a goal every day to make a memory.”

Right before half time, the Saint’s scored two more goals making the half time score 8-7.

The second half of the game started, and Marymount scored three goals before Katie Thompson, Ziegler and Thomason added three more goals for Etown bring the game to yet another tie.

With yet another tie, the crowd cheered endlessly giving the players words of encouragement.

Jess Pron, an Etown student attending the game, commented on how intense the game was.

“They’re doing pretty good, the season just started, and I think they have a lot in them,” Pron said.

The Saint’s called a timeout and after which they scored six consecutive goals making the score 17-11. Thompson scored again with only 6:35 left to go. Bridgette Stacom from Marymount followed with her own score, continuing the Saint’s six-point lead.

Thomson ended up with a team high of scoring six points during the game. Backer had a hat trick.

This is Thompson’s last season as she is a senior for Etown. When asked what advice she would give to rising freshman, Thompson said, “Play like it’s your last season every season.”

“I think we did play well together and were taking strides forward,” Thompson said, “Everything is a lesson.”

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High winds and teamwork factor into girls’ tennis match

Juniors Grace Tang and Chani Kotscher from South Forsyth High School’s tennis team lost 6-4, 6-1 to juniors Alyssa Jane and Natalie Greeson from West Forsyth High School on Thursday, March 9 in the doubles varsity girls’ tennis match.

The match was held outdoors on a hard court at Fowler Park in Cumming, Georgia. While the skies were clear, the wind was strong, frequently changing directions and blowing the ball off the court.

“[Kotscher and Tang have] been working on coming into the net,” South Forsyth’s coach, Shari Frankel, said. “They were doing a good job of it, but today, with the wind, they were up at the net but mis-hit it, which is fine by me as long as they keep trying to come into the net, as that’s important in doubles.”

During the first set, the West Forsyth team had been leading by three games with a score of 5-2, when Tang and Kotscher scored several points in a row. It seemed as though the tide was turning, and the girls’ teammates, bundled in blankets and sleeping bags against the cold, cheered them on as South won two consecutive games, bringing the score to 5-4.

From then on the court was owned by Jane and Greeson, who took home the first set before winning five consecutive games in the second set. During Kotscher’s serve, she was able to win another game for South, but West won the last game needed to win the match.

Despite the loss, the players maintained a good attitude, and recognized Jane and Greeson’s skills. In particular, West’s teamwork stood out.

“[Jane and Greeson are] good at working as a team, they balance each other out,” Kotscher said. “When they got ahead they didn’t get overconfident or let their guard down.”

“They discussed their plan together and talked things out,” Tang said. “I tend to overthink things, and if something is going wrong I feel like the world is crashing, but most of the time I can get back into the game.”

While the high winds were a major influence in the game, West’s unity compared to South’s may have been the deciding factor in the direction the game took.

“[Tang and Kotscher’s] biggest weakness is their movement on the court with each other,” Frankel said. “Grace and Chani hadn’t played together this season at all, and the dancing on the court is pretty important when it comes to doubles.”

South Forsyth won the rest of the matches at the event. In the other doubles match, Libbey Laprise (12th-grade) and Alexis Vallianatos (12th-grade) won against Nadia Duckett (11th-grade) and Fiona Finn (10th-grade) 6-2, 6-3. In the singles matches, Ashton Morrison (10th-grade) won against Shea Connelly (10th-grade) 6-2,6-0, Brooke Yarbrough (9th-grade) won against Aspyn Butler (10th-grade) 6-0, 6-1, and Bailey McDaniel (9th-grade) won against Sandy Terry (10th-grade) 6-3, 6-2.

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That’s All Thanks to Connolly

I’ve noticed through most of my academic career, regardless of now or back in high school, it all seemed kind of easy. I didn’t really think that I was putting that much effort into most of my work. I’d fluff papers up in order to meet the page requirements. I’d ask people last minute for interviews and slop stuff together. All of this combined, and I somehow currently have over a 3.8 GPA. This semester, however, I think I finally found a class that had a professor that didn’t buy my old techniques. Dan Connolly, professor of COM370, Digital Sports Writing.

“Too wordy.”

When I read that in the comments for some of my first few assignments, I was pretty surprised. I can’t think of a professor, besides maybe one, who left that comment on a paper of mine my entire time at college. I thought I had cracked the code, that I knew exactly what I needed to do to please every professor at Elizabethtown College. But Connolly, he wasn’t having it.

I was actually pretty excited. I finally had something that felt like a real challenge.  I love that. When it comes to video games, difficulty is fun for me. That rang true in sports writing, not only because I knew I had the power in me to write a good piece, but Connolly knew it too.

So overall, yes I still make a few mistakes here and there, but I think that after COM370, I’ve been able to find a better angle, a better story, a better question. That’s all thanks to Connolly.

I was able to talk to some people I could only dream of getting to talk to. Gerry, that’s Gerry with a ‘G’, Sandusky from WBAL. Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Ravens beat writer for the Baltimore Sun. I’ve looked up to these guys for so long. Ever since I enrolled at Elizabethtown I had hoped to learn the tricks to replicate them. Find a way to be able to become a voice in the NFL world. To actually be able to talk to them? That’s something I didn’t think would happen while at ETown. That’s all thanks to Connolly.

Do I want to be a print journalist? Probably not. I came in to the class wanting to be on television or radio, and coming out of this class I feel pretty much the same. This class did show me techniques that I need though; skills that help be a better story teller. Something that plenty of people, guys like Zrebiec, Sandusky, and Connolly are great at doing.  That’s all thanks to Connolly.

So yes, plenty of people complained about how hard the class was. Plenty of people thought that turning in a blog every week was a pain in the butt. However, that challenge made me show up to class every single day. I think that I have become a better writer, a better story teller, and now think that I might have a chance to get where I want to be. That’s all thanks to Connolly.

Com 370

The reason why I took this class was to better understand the field I wanted to go into my whole life. The Sports Journalism class kind of served as a wakeup call for me. I always wanted to be a sports broadcaster and I was adamant that nothing was going to stop me in my journey to becoming that. Until I took this class, I was able to speak to professionals who told me that it is a tough business to get into. When I thought about it more, I figured out that where I am in my life, I don’t need competition. What I do need is a job to help paying off student debts. Since talking to some people, I have figured I will reconstruct my future to go into Athletic Communications instead of broadcasting because the jobs seem to be there more than broadcasting. It’s a bitter pill to swallow because I have been working to become a broadcaster for eight years and I would do almost anything to become a broadcaster after this winter is over. That is just one of the many things this class has taught me throughout the semester.

I came into the semester knowing it would be a class that I needed to work hard in because of how it was structured. I am someone who never did well in school and I really wanted to leave a lasting impression this semester. But, as the semester went on and I just couldn’t get my act together to fix silly little mistakes, my work ethic dropped significantly. I only have, myself to blame and it sucks that my best work to show for this semester was about an eight or nine. That was just one struggle I had through the class. The second struggle comes with keeping up with work. I feel like the pace of the class was fast and I sometimes am okay with that. But, as the semester went on I started getting worked up with how much work I had in this class on top of my three other courses. It turned into prioritizing which class meant the most to me and since I wasn’t taking this class for a grade my work fell down the ladder and didn’t get as much attention as it really deserved.

There is a lot of things I liked about the class though. For starters, I really enjoyed talking to some of the big names in the sports industry today. Especially Gerry Sandusky. I thought he was the best guest because he had such an interesting story. Not only his story, but his job is what enticed me the most about him. I also enjoyed the blogs when I had the time to think and write what I wanted. I would’ve really enjoyed taking this class when I was a younger student and when I had more time to dedicate to each class. Unfortunately, I was not able to show the best me and I really wish I could have.