Pucks and balls and cleats, oh my god! Winter sports are back

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When the temperatures drop and the last leaves fall, it can only mean one thing: winter sports are the order of the day! In the longest of the three sports seasons, winter sports enthusiasts compete against each other from November to sometimes even March. Many sacrifice part of their winter break to train and play games in hopes of fighting for a championship. This year, Conn has multiple teams hoping to match, surpass, or retaliate from their previous season, and we can’t wait to see them compete!

Women’s Basketball

After a tough, injury-plagued season last year, the women’s basketball team is looking to make a splash. Senior Molly Cronin says her expectation for the season is to be “the underdog team that’s going to surprise a lot of people.” Senior Jaycie Rojik echoed this, saying: “There’s been a noticeable shift in energy and culture where I’m expecting really great things this season. (…) With the roster we have, I expect to go far and graduate because I know this team is on the up.” Both seniors expressed the expectation of the team, a contender for NESCAC -to be championship. The team looks forward to facing rivals Trinity twice this season. They meet Trinity in the first home game of the season on November 18 and Trinity again on January 13.

Men’s Basketball

After a historic season in which the Camels hosted a NESCAC playoff game for the first time in a decade, the men’s basketball team has renewed its fight for the title. Junior Billy Whelan says the game against Bowdoin, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year, will be one to watch: “This game is definitely on everyone’s returnee calendar.” The team is hoping his To match and exceed last year’s performance and not only achieve a NESCAC Championship, but also an NCAA Tournament spot. They completed two key seniors this year, but Whelan said the team added two freshmen who have the chance to make a big impact on the pitch. Men’s basketball hosts its home game against SUNY Purchase on November 15 and meets the elusive Bowdoin Bears on January 27.

Women’s Ice Hockey

In just over a week, the women’s ice hockey team will find out if their off-season dedication to creating a culture of participation and connection has made them the team they want to be for the upcoming season. Last season ended in a heartbreaking game that knocked the Camels out of the second round of the NESCACs. This season, senior co-captain Caroline O’Keefe says, “Our goal for the year is to host a playoff game.” Senior co-captain Melanie Conka agreed, adding, “We definitely started early on making our Setting expectations for the year and everyone’s on board.” The team is looking forward to opening weekend, their 25+1 celebration, which also sees a number of alumni returning, on November 18th and 19th against Wesleyan. O’Keefe and Conka agree that the game at the Trinity on January 20th and 21st will be another one to catch as the intrastate rivalry is always fun.

Men’s Ice Hockey

After losing last year’s NESCAC quarterfinals to state rival Trinity, the men’s hockey team returned to the drawing board to figure out how to make its 2022-23 season more successful. “We’ve raised expectations from last year,” said senior Rob Radochia. “I’m confident that our modified strength and conditioning program and high-intensity exercise will translate well to competing in the season.” Radochia added, “Although we trained several influential players, the first-year class was able to perform those roles effectively The men’s ice hockey team will begin their season on November 18th at the Wesleyan and will host their first home game of the season on November 26th against Manhattanville College.

Squash for women

With the recent hiring of Coach Scott Brown, a graduate of the Conn squash program, the women’s squash team is ready to take off. Although three key players have graduated, the team believes they have the talent to achieve their goal of finishing in the top 25 teams in the College Squash Association (CSA). The biggest games to look forward to this year are an away game against Haverford College on January 15th and a game at Colby College on December 3rd. Colby and Haverford are both responsible for ending last year’s season in the CSA Championship early, so revenge for those games is on the menu.

Men’s squash

With a new coach at the helm, the men’s squash team is looking to break the top 30 in the CSA rankings. Although the graduation of 5 seniors in the last year left big footprints, a strong recruiting class brought in a large group of new players who now make up more than half of the team. “They are all very motivated players who want to push themselves and the team,” said those returning to the team. The men look forward to games against Denison University on January 14 and two shots at a replay of last year’s game against Haverford College on November 19 and January 15.

Swimming & Diving for women

Bringing a larger team to the pool this season, the women’s swim and dive team is aiming for a top performance at February’s NESCAC tournament. After finishing in the top 20 teams in the country for the 5th straight season, the team is looking to a large rookie class to see what they have to offer. So far, senior Abby Martin says the newcomers “everyone shows promise”. The women’s swim and dive team will host their first home game of the season on December 10 against Roger Williams.

Men’s Swimming & Diving

With nearly half the team graduating last year, the men’s swim and dive team is hoping to race for the title with 3 freshmen and 2 returning NCAA championship participants. The team could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. The men begin their season at Middlebury on November 19.

Indoor track and field for women

Although primarily an individual sport, the women’s track and field team is working together to make this season a success for everyone. Her goal is to “send as many athletes as possible to the national teams throughout the program,” according to senior Julia Curran. It’s never easy following in the footsteps of talented seniors, but it’s always fun to see how new freshmen can make an impact on a team. Junior Emma Wheeler added, “You always bring great new energy to the team.” This year, track and field teams have the opportunity to compete at the NESCAC Invitation on January 29 on a steep course that allows runners to go faster to run. They will also compete at the Division III New England Championships at the end of February.

Athletics indoor men

The men’s track and field team is confident this will be a season to remember. With the return of Senior All-American Jeffery Love, as well as several athletes having had extremely successful cross-country seasons, the team hopes to be in contention for a top spot in NESCAC. Sophomore Jayson Firmin says that while many of the seniors were key members of the team last year, the freshmen are really exciting this year. In terms of meets to look forward to, the indoor track and field team doesn’t have home meetings since Conn doesn’t have an indoor track. However, the indoor athletics season often merges with the outdoor season in spring. So while the team is really looking forward to encounters like the one at the New Balance Track in the winter, it’s the outdoor NESCAC Championship in the spring that’s the big ticket because Connecticut College is hosting the NESCAC Championship this year.

We wish all our winter sports teams good luck at the start of the season! Go camels!

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