Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MATT DIFILIPPO
By finishing ninth at the New England Small College Athletic Conference championships Saturday, the Colby men's cross country earned its best finish at the meet since 2003.
"We're running our best times ever since I've been coaching," said Colby coach Jared Beers, in his seventh season as Mules coach.
The Mules were banged up heading into the meet. One runner twisted his ankle the day before and two others were under the weather. Beers felt freshman Chase Brown, in particular, could have finished in the top 50 at full strength. Brown placed 73rd at the meet.
Waterville graduate Jeff Hale, a sophomore, was first among Colby runners Saturday, with a time of 25 minutes, 41.09 seconds for 40th place. Sophomore Charlie Coffman ran a 25:48.71, and Beers believes they were the first Colby runners to go under 26 minutes since 2006.
"(Jeff) was a varsity guy for us last year," Beers said. "He was our seventh man at regionals. He's running about a minute faster than he did last year. Charlie Coffman, he's doing similar stuff."
Senior Brian Desmond was third among Colby runners at the conference championship meet, but the 4-5 runners were sophomores Ben Lester and Will McCarthy. Beers wants to finish in the top 10 in New England at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference meet Saturday, but he realizes the future beyond that looks good, especially with another strong recruiting class next year.
"We're not done this year by any stretch," he said, "but we definitely enjoy the fact that most of our scorers are in the freshman and sophomore class."
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Two Waterville graduates got important points in recent games. Abbie Webster, a freshman on the women's soccer team at Hamilton, recently scored her first collegiate point. Webster assisted on a goal by teammate Rachel Hirsch in a 5-0 win against Utica on Oct. 23. The goal was scored with one second left in the game. Hamilton ended the season with a 9-5-1 record after a 3-2 loss to Bowdoin in the NESCAC quarterfinals.
Ian Rowe, a senior on the St. Michael's men's soccer team, scored on senior day in a 1-1 tie with Assumption. Rowe headed in a goal less than 10 minutes into the contest to put the Purple Knights ahead.
Rowe, a midfielder, finishes his career with five goals and six assists in 61 games. St. Michael's went 6-6-5 this fall.
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Thomas College will host Maine Maritime Academy in a North Atlantic Conference men's soccer semifinal at 7 tonight. The Terriers earned the No. 1 seed by going 8-0-1 in the conference during the regular season and are now 13-2-2 overall.
Thomas has won seven straight, including a 1-0 victory over Maine Maritime Academy on Oct. 17. It was the only time in the streak that Thomas has been held to one goal, and the Terriers had a shot advantage of only 13-11 in that game. The Mariners defeated Thomas in double overtime in last year's NAC playoffs.
Maranacook graduate Dakota Duplissie leads the Terriers with 22 points on eight goals and six assists, but the top gun for Thomas is junior forward Michael Hand, who has 10 goals and one assist in 10 games. Hand has not played since Oct. 17 due to a groin injury and is questionable for tonight's game. Lawrence graduate Kyle Rabe has started every game at midfield for the Terriers.
Nicholas George leads MMA with 10 goals, five assists and 25 points. Other local players on the Mariners include Maranacook graduates David Clough and Gabe Giguere and Mt. Blue graduate Ben Russell.
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