Rams Winter Sports Recap
Suffolk’s winter sports season came to abrupt end last week in conference tournament play. All teams suffered losses in the first round, ending their respective seasons. Still, multiple athletes garnered conference recognition for their performance this season. Congratulations to our Suffolk winter athletes.
The fourth-seed Johnson & Wales Wildcats ended Suffolk’s playoff run with a commanding 7-0 victory over the fifth-seed Rams on Saturday evening. Sophomore goalie Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, MI) made 15 stops for Suffolk in the setback. With the loss, Suffolk wrapped up their 2013-14 season with a 9-15-1 record.
The Rams received five postseason awards from the ECAC Northeast Hockey conference for their 2013-14 season. Freshman Simon Leahy (Milwaukee, WI) was named Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the All-Rookie team. Leahy finished the season tied for a team-high 19 points, as he scored 9 goals and registered 10 assists on the year. He was second among freshman scorers in the ECAC Northeast Hockey conference, while leading the league with 13 points in conference action.
Senior Charlie McGinnis (Hanover, MA) was named a second team All-Conference selection. McGinnis finished his senior season with 19 points, as he led the Rams with 10 goals on the year and also added 9 assists. The senior forward and captain was just one of 11 players in the league to register a double digit total in goals scored on the season. McGinnis wraps up a four-year career with 37 goals and 37 assists, the most of any Rams’ forward in the past six seasons.
Senior Jon Stauffer (Landsdale, PA) also received a second team All-Conference selection. Stauffer was one of two Suffolk players to record 10 assists on the season, as he finished second in the ECAC Northeast among defensemen in helpers. One of two Suffolk captains on the season, Stauffer appeared in all 25 games for the Rams. Stauffer logged 98 career games on the Suffolk blueline as he registered 50 points (13 goals, 37 assists).
Sophomore goalie Smolarek was named to the league’s honorable mention team at goaltender. He registered a 3.37 goals against average in 18 games played during the 2013-14 season. Smolarek is 11-14-1 in goal for the Rams through his first two seasons, with a 3.40 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
Suffolk suffered a 72-80 defeat in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals on Tuesday evening to St. Joseph’s College of Maine, ending their 2013-14 season.
The Rams, who entered the game as the number seven seed, hung tight with the Monks through most of the contest but couldn’t overcome the conference’s second ranked team. After a tight first half of action the Monks were able to push themselves to a 10-point lead 3 minutes before the break to make it a 30-20 contest. The Rams would answer, however, closing out the half with a 9-2 run capped off by a three-pointer from sophomore Caleb Unni (Winchester, MA) to end the first period of action at 32-29.
St. Joe’s would manage to keep their distance from Suffolk through the opening half of the second period until consecutive three-pointers from freshman Chris Williams (Bridgeport, CT) and sophomore Curtis Casella (Saugus, MA) put the Rams out in front, 53-52, with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Junior Sam Nwadike (Houston, TX), a third team all-conference selection, would add on to the lead with a layup forty seconds later, as the Rams’ three point lead would be their largest margin of difference in the contest. From there, the Monks would go on a 14-1 scoring run over the next six minutes, sealing the fate of the Rams.
Nwadike led the Rams with a game-high 25 points, including Suffolk’s final 12 points of the contest and a 4-for-6 performance from beyond the arc. Both Williams and Casella added offense for Suffolk off the bench, as the duo combined to knock down six three-pointers, finishing with 15 points and 10 points respectively.
With the loss, the Rams end their 2013-14 season with a 9-17 record.
Franz Pinard was awarded GNAC Rookie of the Year honors averaging 10.4 points per game in 25 games for Suffolk.
The 2013-14 women’s basketball season came to an end on Tuesday night, as the Johnson & Wales University Wildcats defeated the Rams, 59-45, in the quarterfinal round of the GNAC Tournament.
It was a slow paced first half as the Wildcats took an 18-17 lead into the break. Neither team could find much rhythm as each scored only six field goals in the first half. Both teams traded baskets throughout the opening minutes of the second frame until Johnson & Wales broke things open with a 12-2 run midway through the period to take a 41-31 lead. The Wildcats would go 8-for-9 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes of the contest to seal the victory and end the Rams’ playoff run.
First team all-conference selection Jennifer Ruys (Wallingford, CT) led the Rams with a team-high 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Junior Iliana Quadri (Sudbury, MA), a third team all-conference selection, scored 11 points for Suffolk, while freshman Georgia Bourikas (Hull, MA) chipped in with nine points. Junior Tori Brillaud (North Andover, MA) finished with a team-high eight rebounds. The Rams’ ultimate demise was turnovers, as the Wildcats’ defense forced 21 Suffolk turnovers to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
With the loss Suffolk finishes their season with a 16-10 record. Suffolk will now await Monday’s ECAC Division-III selection call. The Rams have appeared in the past seven ECAC New England Championship Tournaments.