A semester to remember


General 12/29/2022 1:24:00 PM

NORTHFIELD, Vt – The first semester of the 2022-23 school year has come to a close and now we get to relax through the holidays, recover from the long seasons, and enjoy time with our families.  It can be easy to overlook the extensive success the entire athletic department experienced during the first semester.

So far this season, we have seen a long list of awards won by various Cadets.  Student-athletes from 13 programs claimed weekly awards an astonishing 54 times, with women’s hockey leading the way with nine already. The honors were not limited to solely athletic achievements, either.  The Volleyball program had four players named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team, with Laura Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) Sarah Farnum (North Andover, Mass.), Ana Lopez (Laredo, Texas), and Maggie McNeil (gilford, N.H.) all under consideration for Academic All-American accolades.

The Men’s Soccer program has been no stranger to success, and this past season was no different. Joey Thongsythayong, (Salem, Mass.) continued to add to his numerous awards.  He became the first Cadet to be named First Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches, voted on and bestowed by coaching staffs around the country.  Several other members of the soccer team earned awards as well, as four members of the team were named United Soccer Coaches All-Region selections.  Thongsythavong and Mamadi Jiana (Chicopee, Mass.) were named to the First Team, Kam Jorgenson (Titusville, Fla.) was Second Team, and Amerle Nemeve (Burlington, Vt.) was honored for the third-straight year by being named to the Third Team.

Coed Rifle and Men’s Golf both saw triumphant returns as the programs were reinstated this semester.  The Rifle team won their opening competition of the year in their return after a 17-year hiatus.  Men’s Golf concluded their first season in 23 years, taking first in a pair of Invitationals, including the inaugural Tony Mariano Vermont Invitational over Homecoming Weekend.

This semester also saw several Cadets honored as the best in their sport. Joey Thongsythavong and Kam Jorgenson each received GNAC Men’s Soccer Players of the Year nods.  After leading Division III in points, Thongsythavong was named GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, whereas Jorgenson was tabbed as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.  In football, wide receiver Trevor Chase (Eliot, Maine) was named the NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Year.  Chase ranked second in Division III for receptions, set several schools records this season, and was also named Second-Team All-Region. Judson Nash (Hampden, Maine) was the GNAC Rookie of the Year for Men’s Cross Country while Matt Printup won the GNAC Rookie of the Year for Golf.  Meanwhile, student-athletes were not the only ones getting recognition.  Men’s Cross Country Head Coach Michael McGrane was named the GNAC Coach of the Year after the men’s program won their first GNAC title since 2017.

The fall held several great moments.  The Men’s Basketball program swept the Barre Granite Association College Classic.  Football held on to the Mug and the Maple Sap Bucket trophies by defeating the United States Coast Guard Academy and Castleton University, respectively.  This season represented the third-straight victory over Coast Guard and the fourth-straight over Castleton.  The Maroon & Gold Challenge was the most successful fundraising effort in the challenge’s history, raising $140,167 courtesy of 1,364 total donors.  For the sixth-straight year, the Men’s Rugby Club advanced to the National Collegiate Rugby Tournament (Division II), but unfortunately fell to NC State.

The campus hosted multiple annual classics.  The 25th annual Ed Hockenbury Classic for men’s and women’s basketball was especially poignant.  The Classic is named after legendary former men’s basketball coach Ed Hockenbury who was also the father of Ed Hockenbury, who began his first full semester as the Director of Athletics at Norwich University this past fall.  Potentially the most talented hockey classic in America was the 12th annual East-West Classic, which showcased some of the top women’s hockey teams in the country.  In fact, the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth-ranked teams were all gathered in Northfield recently.  On the men’s hockey side, the FirstLight Great Northern Shootout returned to campus.  The rotating shootout again brought nationally ranked teams to campus.

Three members of the hockey programs will be representing their native countries at the upcoming World University Games. Lucy Beal (Reading, Berkshire, U.K.) is playing for Team Great Britain, Philip Elgstam (Stockholm, Sweden) will represent Team Sweden, and Clark Kerner (Kansas City, Kan.) is a member of Team USA.

It was a successful semester indeed, and it will be exciting to see what accomplishments are added during this coming semester as well.