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SM   Alumni Excelled in College Athletics This Past Fall
SM Alumni Excelled in College Athletics This Past Fall

More than two-dozen St. Mark's graduates participated in college and university level athletics this past autumn. Their experiences covered a range of sports opportunities, including field hockey, football, soccer, cross country, women's rugby, and fall crew.

In field hockey, Alexa Mackintire '14 (pictured at right) wrapped up her college career as a four-year starter for the Division I Duke Blue Devils. During that time, Mackintire played in 81 games and was part of a nationally-ranked defense, appearing in four straight NCAA championship quarterfinals. Mackintire had 11 goals and 8 assists and was an integral part of a Blue Devil program that went 60-22 over her four years at Duke. While studying Sociology, Education, Marketing and Management, Alexa was a four –time Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll selection and was named to three consecutive National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Academic squads.

Kara Finnerty '16 (pictured at left) was outstanding for the 10-7 Bowdoin Bears. She led the team in scoring with 29 points, and was a first team All-NESCAC and All-New England Regional selection. She was also named a 3rd team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Finnerty was elected to be Bowdoin's co-captain next fall, as a junior.

Finnerty's SM classmate, Marcia LaPlante '16, (pictured at right) had another outstanding season in goal for the Div. I Holy Cross varsity field hockey team. She played in all 18 games for the Crusaders, with 163 saves, a .744 save percentage, and four shutouts. She allowed just 3.12 goals per game for Holy Cross (7-11 overall, 3-3 in Patriot League play). Her 9 saves per game was 4th best in the nation. LaPlante was named Patriot League Goalie of the Week in late September, after notching a pair of shutouts against Vermont and Colgate. That same performance saw Marcia honored as the top Holy Cross athlete in all sports for that week.

In the same line of work, field hockey goaltender Ilianna Santangelo '15 had another excellent season in net for Division III Franklin & Marshall. The talented junior's 0.87 goals-against-average was among the best in the nation, her .816 save percentage was also nationally ranked, and she helped lead the Diplomats to the championship of the Central Conference. For the second year in a row, Ilianna earned All CC honors. On her career (with one year still to go) she has appeared in 61 games, posting a goals-against-average of 0.83 (best-ever at F&M) going 47-12 overall with 21 shutouts.

Ally Skelly '14, played in her 65th and final game for Hamilton this autumn. She had a goal and four assists for the 9-6 Continentals in 2017. The talented defender was selected for the NFHCA Division III Senior Game.

In other field hockey action, Marissa Feller '16 played for 12-5 Williams. Her team advanced to the NESCAC semi-finals before falling to Trinity. On that Trinity squad was fellow St. Marker Morgan Smith '17. The 14-7 Bantams ultimately lost to Middlebury in the NESCAC finals, and made it to the quarter-finals of the Division III national tournament. Another freshman, Tatum Schultz '17, played at Dartmouth. She tallied goals versus Harvard and Holy Cross (against Marcia LaPlante!) and had the fifth best point total for the 7-10 Big Green.

In football, Daryl Scales '14 closed out his career in the defensive backfield for Hobart-William Smith. Hobart was 7-3 in 2017. Over four seasons, Scales appeared in 35 games, had 64 primary tackles and 14 assists (for 78 total tackles) and had a dozen pass disruptions during that time.

Logan Lee '15 (left) had a record-setting year as starting quarterback for Allegheny College this past autumn. The talented junior's 3002 yards and 33 touchdowns passing (with only 8 interceptions) eclipsed Allegheny's single-season marks. He completed 62% of his passes and averaged 300 yards per game for the 3-7 Gators. Lee twice threw for five TD in a game and his 400 yards versus Oberlin tied the Allegheny record. He won the starting QB job just one game into his sophomore season, and so far he has passed for 5406 yards and 51 touchdowns, with one year remaining in his college career—less than 2500 yards and just 4 TD shy of Gator career records. Logan also saw action as a punter. He was called into service this fall versus Wabash, punting four times for an average of 45 and a long of 52. Overall, in 2017 he was ranked 7th in the nation (NCAA Division III) in TD passes, and in the top 20 (out of some 250 DIII starters nationally) in passing yards, passing efficiency, and overall points responsible for—passing and rushing).

Logan Lee's favorite SM target when they were setting both passing and catching records for the Lions was classmate Aaron McLean '15. Aaron (pictured at right) was on the gridiron for the 3-9 UConn Huskies this fall. The 6' 5" receiver caught 31 passes for 472 yards and two touchdowns. On his college football career with one year to go, McLean is averaging better than 15 yards per reception.

Elsewhere in New England, Bolaji Ekhator '14 closed out his career as a defensive lineman for Amherst. Over 19 games, Ekhator recorded 15 tackles, caused four fumbles, had two sacks, recovered a fumble, and broke up a pass. Amherst was 7-2 in 2017.

Finally, Ethan Grenier '16 experienced his freshman season as a linebacker and defensive back for the 8-3 Ithaca College Bombers, while Brody Fuller '17 was on the football roster for Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. The Scots were 5-5 this fall.

In soccer, Riley Lochhead '17 played in every game for the 10-9-1 Boston College Eagles women's varsity, while Royce Light '15 played for the 10-8-3 Boston University Terriers.

Sam Ward '14 (left) wrapped up his men's soccer career at Bowdoin. The Polar Bears were 10-4-4 overall in 2017, going 6-2-2 in NESCAC competition. Ward was a four-year starter for Bowdoin at center back and defensive midfielder for Bowdoin. On his career, Sam scored two goals and tallied seven assists.

Neeraj Mahey '15 was a backup goalkeeper for 12-11-1 Colgate during his junior fall. Logan Harper '15 had one goal and one assist for 12-6-2 Macalester. Christian Baltier '16 recorded five assists for the University of Rochester men's soccer team, which went 14-4-3 overall and advanced to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Div. III championship tournament. Cole Schmitz '17, a freshman at Washington University (St. Louis), had two goals and one assist for the 7-7-2 Div. III Bears.

In men's cross country, Liam Monheim '16 (right) finished in the top 25 in the North West Conference (NWC) championship race, running for Lewis & Clark College (Portland. OR). This year, the Pioneers came in 3rd at the NWC championships, their best showing since 2012. In addition, Henry Hirschfeld '17 ran for Kenyon College.

Payton Nugent '16 (left) helped lead the University of Rochester's Women's Rugby team to the Upstate New York Conference championship this fall, with playoff victories over Clarkson and St. Bonaventure. A veteran back in her second year with the Sledgehammers, Nugent had a key score in the semi-final win against Clarkson. The championship final was a back-and-forth thriller, with Nugent making some crucial plays as the Rochester women got their revenge on the only team to beat them during the regular season. Since falling to St. Bonaventure in their opening contest, the Sledgehammers went on an unbeaten tear, winning seven games in a row. Nugent was named Player-of-the-Game in their victory over Alfred: their final contest of the regular season. With a 7-1 record and the conference title, Nugent and her teammates qualified for the Women's Rugby National Championship tournament. In the first round, the Sledgehammers defeated Grove City 44-7, before falling to Gustavus Adolphus College in round two.

For the most part at St. Mark's, rowing is a spring sport. At the college and university level, however, it can be a year-round commitment, and some St. Mark's alums saw crew action in the fall of 2017. Rowing for Harvard-Radcliffe at the Head of the Charles this fall, Desmond Goodwin '16 (right) and the Harvard Club 8+ beat Yale by 13 seconds to take Radcliffe's second championship at that event in four years. Maddy Falzon '16 rowed for Syracuse in their annual fall dual with Ohio State. Among several SM coxswains is Jasmine Williams '16 at Dartmouth. This fall she coxed the Dartmouth Women's Club 8+ that finished 11th out of 40 in the Head of the Charles Regatta and 18th out of 50 at the Princeton Chase. This coming summer, the SM website will provide full coverage of all alumni/ae rowing at the colleges and universities, as Desmond, Maddy, and Jasmine, as well as fellow SM teammates Claire Benning '15 (Brown), Samantha Sarafin '17 (Harvard), Keely Dion '17 (George Washington) and Abigail McNulty '16 (Trinity) will be back for the main rowing season this spring.

St. Mark's can be very proud of its graduates competing at the next level.

Our records are extensive but not perfect. If you know of any other St. Mark's alumni/ae who participated in college athletics in the fall of 2017, please let us know. In April we will highlight those SM grads in winter collegiate action, and over the summer we will feature those on spring collegiate teams.