Friday Sports Roundup: Basketball Preview, Reiser Ivy League Player of the Year
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog’s Friday Sports Roundup is now in winter mode.
Men’s Basketball: The men’s basketball team starts its season tonight at 8 p.m. against Fordham (a fan bus leaves campus at 6:45), and then plays at Seton Hall in Newark tomorrow afternoon. Both games will be broadcast on WKCR.
The toughest challenge for the team will be replacing the departure of a talented senior class, including four starters. Replacing the experience of players like John Baumann and Ben Nwachuku will be crucial to a successful season. Seniors Joe Bova and Jason Miller will look to step up under the basket to provide the size the Lions need, although this is the first season either will be a starter. Transfer
Ben Brian Grimes was supposed to play a big role as well, but he is now out for the season with a torn ACL. In the backcourt, the story is much the same, with junior Pat Foley takes over at point guard after a season where he only played 9 games due to injury. Juniors Kevin Bulger, Niko Scott, and senior K.J. Matsui look to join him there, as they look to up their minutes from last year.
In the conference itself, the Lions will look to improve upon a 7-7 finish last year, where a 3 game slide at the end prevented them from finishing a respectable third place.Columbia was picked 6th this year in the coaches poll, ahead of Dartmouth and Princeton, but, with Yale, Harvard, and Brown all looking to rebuild as well, Columbia definitely has room to continue rising. As for the title, most people’s heavy favorites for the title are Cornell, last year’s champions who return most of the same team, including last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, junior Louis Dale. Their most likely challengers are Penn, who have last year’s Rookie of the Year, Tyler Bernadini.
Women’s Basketball: The women play tonight at Oakland College in Rochester, Michigan, and then play on Sunday at Delaware in Newark, Delaware. Their home opener is this Tuesday against St. Francis, at 7 p.m.
While the men’s year will likely be one of ups and downs, the women’s team hopes to make it all ups. Optimism rules the roost for a team that finished mcuh better than expected last year, and has made some key additions for a strong all-around team. Underneath the basket, sophomore center Lauren Dwyer (all-Ivy Rookie Team last year) and junior forward Chelsea Frazier will provide the low-post presences, while guards Sara Yee and Danielle Browne will hope to kick-start coach Paul Nixon’s aggressive offense. The big story, though, will be sophomore forward Judie Lomax, who transferred from Oregon State after putting up 11 points and almost 8 rebounds a game as a freshaman (and being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team).
As for conference play, while Columbia was picked in the preseason poll to finish 5th, this year’s Ivy League looks to be much closer on the women’s side than the men’s side. Last year saw a three-way tie for the title between Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell (who won the NCAA bid), and it looks to be just as competitive this year.
Women’s Soccer: Although they suffered a terrible loss to Harvard, 2-1, to lose out on a conference title, the Lions have some reason to celebrate as junior star Sophie Reiser was named Ivy League Player of the Year.
Football: There was bound to be one game that the Lions’ defense couldn’t keep them in, and it turned out to be last weekend’s against Harvard, which the Lions lost 42-28. Although Columbia had an early lead, the defense had no answer in the first half for Harvard’s passing game, as quarterback Chris Pizotti threw four touchdowns on his way to a 376 yard-performance. Key turnovers also cost the Lions again, as quarterbacks Millicent Olawale and Shane Kelly were intercepted three times, and Harvard returned a fumble for a touchdown. This Saturday, the Lions play Cornell at 12:30 at Wien Stadium.
Cross-Country: The men’s and women’s teams are participating today in the NCAA Northeast Regionals, held in Van Cortlandt Park.
Wrestling: The wrestling team opens its season tomorrow at the Brute/Binghamton Open in Binghamton, New York.
Swimming & Diving: The men’s team opens its season tonight against Penn, at 7 in the Uris Pool, before traveling to New Haven tomorrow to face Yale. The women face Yale tonight, and travel to Penn on Sunday.
Field Hockey: Happily, the field hockey team closed out the season on a winning note, 3-1 over Harvard, to finish the season at 11-6. Maggie O’Connor, Christine Buszczak, and Jane Gartland all scored. Senior co-captain Megan Davidson also earned first-team all-Ivy honors, while sophomore Julia Garrison and Buszczak earned second-team honors and honorable mention respectively.
Men’s Soccer: The men’s soccer team were blown out by Harvard last Saturday, 6-1. They finish their season at home against Cornell tomorrow at 7 p.m.
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