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Monday, Jun 24, 2024

Home Recap: How did the Panthers do this weekend?

J-Term may be winding down, but the winter sports season is picking up steam. With the NESCAC playoffs in sight, every team is pushing in the hopes of maximizing their fortunes in February. Given that the majority of teams boast a winning record, the remainder of the season promises to be an exciting spectacle for fans. If you were unable to watch the Panthers in action at home, here is a brief recap of their matches:

Women’s Track and Field (1–0):

Women’s track and field continued the staggering individual performances throughout the Middlebury Classic. The Panthers swept the top four spots in the 400m with Eva Kaiden ’23 claiming first place, Mary Elliot ’26 claiming second, Annabel Cloney ’26 coming in third and Cate Kreutzen ’26 finishing in fourth place. Cady Barnes ’23 made history and delivered a dominant performance in the triple jump by placing first and setting a school record at 11.55m. Freshman Emily Rubio ’26 began her career as a Panther with a bang by breaking the school record for the pentathlon with 3440 points and placing first in the five events. The Panthers finished strong by rounding out the meet with a crown in the 4x400m thanks to Lily Bulczynski ’26, Elliot, Ciara Dale ’24 and Michelle Louie ’24. The Panthers look to continue their successes on Sunday as they head to Boston for the New England Small College Invite.

Men’s Track and Field (1–0):

Men’s track and field continued to build on their dominant performance from last week as they hosted the Middlebury Classic this weekend. Continuing his march through the history books, Marco Motroni ’25 broke the school record in the 60m dash at 6.95 seconds. This marks the second time this season that Motroni has made this accomplishment, having previously broken the record during last week’s Snowflake Special with 7.00 seconds. Other impressive standout performances included Quinn Kennedy ’26 claiming first place in the heptathlon with victories in the 60m dash, 60m hurdles, 1000m and shot put. Peter Hansen ’23 came first in the 500m while Zander Kessler ’23 came first in the 800m. The Panthers look to continue their successes on Sunday as they travel to Boston for the New England Small College Invitational.

Women’s Swimming and Diving (4–4):

Saturday saw dominant performances as well as shortcomings for women’s swimming and diving as they hosted Hamilton and Williams. Despite its official status as Senior Week, a corps of underclassmen buoyed the Panthers in races. Leading the charge was Maddy Reid ’25 who won the 50m and 100m back events, the Panthers’ only first place finishes. Other events saw the Panthers falling just short of the top, such as in the 500m free with Avery Maxwell ’25 snaring a second place finish and Chloe Katz ’25 grabbing third. Despite this, the potential of the team’s new recruits shone through as Hannah Baumgartner ’26 placed second in the 200m freestyle, Elsie Scott ’26 came in second in the 100m butterfly and Emma Hall ’26 also finished second in the 100m breaststroke. The Panthers will look to make a strong statement as they host the Middlebury Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Men’s Swimming and Diving (4–4):

This past Saturday saw a well fought match for men’s swimming and diving who hosted Hamilton and Williams. Despite finishing in second place, the team’s future looked bright as the underclassmen captured the spotlight. Samuel Hughes ’25 finished first in the 100m backstroke, being only one of two Panthers to win a race. Tightly contested matches were the namesake of the rest of the meet: Matthew Hensel ’25 came in second place in the 100m breaststroke by less than three-tenths of a second, and Hughes barely missed the 50m freestyle crown by a tenth of a second. First year Luke McNamara ’26 and Andrew Dou ’26 made waves in their budding careers as Panthers by finishing third in the 1000m freestyle and 100m butterfly respectively. The Panthers hope to make a strong statement as they host the Middlebury Invitational this upcoming Friday and Saturday.

Women’s Basketball (11–7):

Coming off of an impressive series of wins to start the year, women’s basketball suffered a 56–50 loss to Williams on Saturday. The game was a grind for the home team from the start as the Ephs shot out to an early lead and held the Panthers to a six point deficit heading into the half. The Panthers rebounded somewhat with efforts from Alexa Mustafaj ’25 who capped off a 5–0 run with a three pointer to bring the Panthers within a score. Augusta Dixon ’25 and Gabby Stuart ’26 capitalized on these efforts as they led a scoring run that put the Panthers up 48–45 towards the end of the game. However, with the Ephs sinking a three pointer, the game went into overtime, and the Ephs regained control of the game to silence the Panthers. Still boasting a winning record of 11–7, women’s basketball will be looking to assert themselves as top dogs of the NESCAC conference as they travel to Lewiston on Friday to play Bates.

Women’s Ice Hockey (10–4–1):

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Women’s ice hockey continues to show why they are the NESCAC elite following a 3–1 win over Bowdoin on Saturday. In addition to a 4–2 win on Friday, Saturday’s victory secured another notch on the Panthers’ now four-year winning streak over Bowdoin. The match conveyed the tenacity and hard work of the team even as they faced an improved and hungry Polar Bears squad. The Panthers came out swinging with Caroline Cutter ’23 firing a shot that the opposing goalie saved by a lucky swipe in the first period. Cutter’s aggressiveness later paid off as she capitalized on a rebound to put the Panthers up 1–0 towards the end of the second period. Though Bowdoin would soon tie the game, the Panthers would eventually take the lead for good. The crucial moment came towards the end of the period when Jordan Hower ’25 intercepted a failed clearance from the visiting team and found Ashley McDonald ’23 behind the net. From there, a quick pass to Britt Nawrocki ’26 exposed the Polar Bear’s defense as she shot the puck in the net. Cutter put the nail in the coffin towards the end of the third quarter with another goal, sending the Polar Bears packing. The Panthers will look to continue their dominance over the NESCAC conference as they travel to New London for two games against Connecticut College on Friday and Saturday.

Women’s Squash (10–3):

Women’s squash saw marginally better fortunes on Saturday as they hosted Tufts to lose 1–8. The lone bright spot on the team that day came from Maya Bardorf ’24 who won the Panthers’ sole match that day. Bardorf remains perfect on the season with a nine-game winning streak across all matches. With a decisive winning record at 10–3 and a 6–2 record to start the year, the Panthers remain a threat as they prepare for the NESCAC Championships with a home match against Amherst on Tuesday.

Men’s Squash (8–5):

Saturday was not ideal for men’s squash as they hosted Tufts and lost 0–9. Despite boasting a winning record, this match only serves to put a question mark next to the Panthers’ season heading into the NESCAC Championships. This match marks the Panthers’ fifth loss out of eight games since the start of the year with one game left to correct the course of their season. The Panthers will look to rebound to form as they host Amherst on Tuesday.