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St. Mark's Grads See Action in College Sports this Past Fall
St. Mark's Grads See Action in College Sports this Past Fall

The Independent School League (ISL) features hundreds of talented scholar-athletes, and many of them go on to compete in college sports. An exemplar of this success is St. Mark's School. More than 30 of its graduates participated in college and university level athletics this past autumn. Their experiences covered a range of sports opportunities, including field hockey, soccer, football, women's rugby, fall tennis, and fall crew.

Seven St. Markers played college field hockey in the fall of 2018.

Illiana Santangelo '15 closed out her four-year career at Franklin & Marshall as the program record-holder in three different categories. The goalkeeper ranks first in goals against average in her career at 0.96.5. She also set two program records in her senior campaign. First, with a 7-0 victory by the Diplomats over Eastern on Sept 12, Santangelo set the program record for career wins with 51, eventually ending her career with 64 victories. On Nov. 4, Santangelo notched her 31st career shutout against Johns Hopkins, breaking a 37-year program record, and tallied one more to end at 32 total shutouts. She was named to the All-Centennial Conference First Team, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Regional First Team, the Synapse All-America First Team, and Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-America First Team,

Kara Finnerty '16 completed her junior season at Bowdoin, serving as co-captain of the Polar Bears. In 16 games, Finnerty scored nine goals and led the team with 10 assists for 28 points, the second highest total on the 11-5 Bowdoin squad. For her outstanding season, Finnerty was named First Team All-NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference), First Team All-Region, and Third Team All-American for the second consecutive year. A double major in government and legal studies and Francophone studies, she was also recognized as a NESCAC All-Academic scholar-athlete.

One of Bowdoin's five losses this fall was to Williams College, featuring Finnerty's SM classmate Marissa Feller '16 on defense. Feller started all 17 games for 12-5 Williams, helping to anchor a defense that allowed just 1.65 goals per game. Feller earned All-NESCAC honors this year, and she was also named to the Longstreth/NFHCA New England West All-Region team by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

Another member of the St. Mark's Class of 2016 has continued her outstanding field hockey play at the Division I collegiate level. In her third season as starting goaltender for the Holy Cross Crusaders, Marcia LaPlante '16 led the entire nation with 10.2 saves per game. Despite her team struggling through a tough building year (3-14 overall), the veteran goalie had a career high 184 saves, including a spectacular 29-save performance against Harvard and a 22-save game versus Dartmouth. Her .755 save percentage was among the top 15 in the nation. LaPlante, a French major who also played varsity ice hockey during her first two years at Holy Cross, has decided to forego the rink and to fully commit to Holy Cross field hockey as she heads into her senior season. Marcia, who hails from New Brunswick Canada, was recently named to the Canadian Indoor National Field Hockey Team.

Tatum Schultz '17 was on the field for Dartmouth field hockey when LaPlante made those 22 saves. Schultz scored the first goal against her former St. Mark's teammate that day, but had another stopped by her fellow Lion. Schultz started all 17 games for 6-11 Dartmouth, with three goals and two assists for eight points. All of her points came in Dartmouth victories. Schultz's SM classmate Morgan Smith '17 played defense for 12-5 Trinity College. Smith's Bantam teammate this fall was fellow St. Marker Lizzie Provost '18. The Trinity freshman appeared in 16 games (starting 14) as a midfielder. Provost's St. Mark's classmate, Grace Sambrook '18, played field hockey at Wake Forest. The 13-10 Demon Deacons advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Division I tournament after beating Duke 1-0 in double overtime. Sambrook had a strong postseason, scoring goals in the ACC quarterfinal, ACC semifinal, and the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Nine St. Markers—five men and four women—played varsity soccer in college this fall. Logan Harper '15 wrapped up his four-year career as a defender with Macalester College's men's soccer team in St, Paul, Minnesota. He started in 19 of the Scots' 20 games in 2018. Macalester posted a winning record at 11-6-3, and Harper's defensive efforts played a significant role in his team's allowing just 0.80 goals per game. For his outstanding performance, Harper was named to the All-MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) All-Star team for the first time. In four seasons at Macalester, Harper appeared in 69 games (starting 62), scoring eight goals and collecting five assists.

Harper's SM classmate, Neeraj Mahey '15, also concluded his collegiate soccer career at Colgate. A backup goalie for the 13-5-5 Raiders this fall, Mahey started the regular season finale against BU, won by Colgate 1-0. A true scholar-athlete, Mahey is a double-major in Economics and Spanish and has been named to the Raiders' Academic Honor Roll multiple times.

Cristian Baltier '16 played defense and midfield for the University of Rochester's 16-3-2 men's varsity soccer team, which advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Division III playoffs before falling to Tufts. Baltier, who started all 21 of his team's games this fall, had his best game earlier in the season against Brandeis, when he pounced on a turnover in the defensive end and scored the game-winning goal for the Yellowjackets 51 seconds into the first overtime. He has been among the University Athletic Association's assist leaders in each of the last two years.

Other SM grads in collegiate men's soccer action this autumn include Cole Schmitz '17, a forward for the 7-7-2 Washington University in St. Louis varsity, and Matt Leigh '18, a freshman on the University of Pennsylvania varsity. Schmitz appeared in four games in 2018. Leigh came off the bench in 15 games for the 5-5-6 UPenn varsity, scoring a single goal: the game winner versus Delaware.

In women's collegiate soccer, Royce Light '15 played in all 22 games for Boston University's 11-7-4 varsity. Her defensive prowess contributed significantly to BU's 0.86 goals allowed average with 11 shutouts. She also scored goals against Hofstra and Bucknell. Riley Lochhead '17 appeared in 19 games for Boston College this fall, recording three assists for the 14-5-1 Eagles. Hailey DuBose '18 played in 19 games (starting in 12 of them) for UMass Lowell. DuBose had one assist and the River Hawks had their most successful year in program history, going 7-9-5 overall and 4-3-1 in America East competition. UMass Lowell received its first-ever bid to the America East tournament and trip to the conference championship game. DuBose's SM classmate Keelie Verbeek '18 also saw women's soccer action, playing in 13 games for 11-7-1 Emerson College.

Five St. Mark's alumni were part of college football programs in 2018. In his final college season, Aaron McLean '15 caught 32 passes for 396 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end for the University of Connecticut. The Huskies had a challenging year, going just 1-11 on the 2018 campaign, but their 56-49 win over Rhode Island featured an Aaron McLean touchdown catch. McLean began as a wide receiver at UConn, and over his four years as a Huskie he caught 69 catches for 964 yards and four touchdowns. This year, as a senior, McLean was presented with the Brian Kozlowski Award, which is earned by the player who is the most courageous, hardworking and productive on the team. "Aaron gave his all and epitomized the character of the Brian Kozlowski," said UConn tight ends coach Corey Edsall. "Aaron grew into his role with the program from switching positions and having an impact on the offense this season. I am proud of Aaron's growth and impact in our program with his examples of hard work."

While at St. Mark's, McLean was a frequent target of classmate and quarterback Logan Lee. This fall, Logan Lee '15 ended his four-year collegiate career as one of the finest quarterbacks in Allegheny College history. In this his senior season he passed for 1785 yards and 12 touchdowns. He holds the Allegheny records for most passing yards in a game (400 vs. Oberlin), most passing yards and touchdown passes in a season (3002/33 in 2017), and most career touchdown passes (62), while ranking second all-time in career passing yards (6741) and touchdown passes in a game (five, three times).

Brody Fuller '17 appeared in five games off the bench as a wide receiver for the 5-5 Macalester College varsity. Fuller's fellow Brantwood counselor Tyreese James '18 was also a member of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) football program this fall. James' former SM teammate and classmate, Laquan McKever '18, was both defensive back and kick returner for the University of Pennsylvania's Sprint football team. McKever had 11 tackles and broke up four passes for the 3-3 Quakers. He also averaged 16.3 yards per return.

Payton Nugent '16
once again played a significant role in the success of the University of Rochester's women's rugby team this fall. As a flank rusher for the Sledgehammers, Nugent helped lead the team to another winning campaign. Nugent was selected as an NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization) All-Star, and she was instrumental in the Upstate New York All-Stars (the Snow Leopards) taking home the third place trophy at the NSCRO Women's All Star 7's championship tournament—in a field of 12 all star teams from across the country.

Tennis has become something of a year-round sport on some college campuses, with competition scheduled in the fall, winter, and spring. This autumn, Grace Conrad '16 came in fourth place in singles competition at the annual Bucknell Fall Invite, going 3-1 for the Lafayette College Leopards, She also went 1-1 in doubles at the Invite. Against Rider University on September 19, playing #2 doubles, St. Marker Grace Conrad won 7-5. She lost the #3 singles, but Lafayette triumphed 6-1 on the day. In October, Conrad won at both singles and doubles against Monmouth (Lafayette winning 7-0), and her singles play accounted for the Leopards' only victory in a 1-6 loss to UC-Irvine. Lafayette is currently 2-1, and their schedule will start up again in February and continue through the spring.

Kahler Mabbs '17 plays women's varsity tennis at Colby. The Mules participated in a series of fall tournaments. Mabbs, who played some fourth singles last year, will see action come spring. Nick Halal '18 is on the men's tennis roster at Franklin & Marshall. He did not play in the Diplomats' fall tournament schedule, but he practiced with the team in preparation for the upcoming February and springtime contests.

Like tennis, 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 2018. Regatta events like the Head of the Housatonic, the Head of the Charles, the Foot of the Charles, the Princeton Chase, the Cornell Classic, the Head of the Oklahoma, the Tulsa Invitational and more all saw St. Markers participate. In women's crew, Claire Benning '15 is at Brown and Madison Falzon '16 is at Syracuse. Desmond Goodwin '16 rows for Harvard-Radcliffe, and her teammates include Samantha Sarafin '17 and Sophie Haugen '18. Keely Dion '17 is at George Washington University and Claire O'Brien '18 is at Southern Methodist University. In men's crew, Ben Hunnewell '18 rows for Boston University. All will be back for the main rowing season this spring.

St. Mark's can be very proud of its graduates performing athletically at the next level during the past fall.

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 2018, 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.