Colonels’ High-Powered Offense Contained by Framingham State, 48-14, in DIII New England Bowl Series

BY STEVEN SOUSA // Nov. 19, 2017 //

Curry football’s offense entered the DIII New England Bowl on fire, averaging 30.7 points per game. However, Framingham State extinguished that flame with 48-14 final score.

The Colonels entered the postseason riding high after a 37-20 victory over Salve Regina locked in a second place finish in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. That game also cemented a conference-best 417.3 yards per game average.

Similarly, the Rams were fresh off a 48-20 win over Worcester State that earned them the title of Co-Champion of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) with a 9-1 record. Framingham’s defense had allowed 293.6 yards per game all season while giving up 15.9 points per contest.

With two top-ranked units going at it, something had to give.

On the very first drive, the Rams’ defense flexed their muscles by intercepting Curry quarterback, Alex Corvese.  Framingham quickly converted the turnover into points when sophomore quarterback Adam Wojenski found receiver Shaq Joseph for a 24-yard hookup.

Turnovers continued to plague the Colonels all afternoon as Corvese finished with four interceptions including three in or near the end zone while also losing a fumble.  The Rams cashed in on three of those turnovers for a combined 20 points.

The Curry offense just could not get their footing.  Sacks and batted balls killed several drives for the Colonels as they allowed five sacks on the day, not including one that was negated to a taunting penalty on Framingham State.

“We had a hard time picking up their four defensive linemen and then later in the game they were sending edge pressures,” said Curry head coach Skip Bandini.  “They were a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, and a little bit faster; they have a lot of talent.”

The Colonels couldn’t even get their highly-touted ground game going that averaged 189.9 yards per game earlier in the season.  On Saturday, they could only muster 21 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

One of the bright spots on offense was the connection between Corvese and receiver Spencer Tyler.  The two hooked up for 75 yards on nine receptions and a touchdown in the first quarter.  Sophomore Nick Villanueva contributed 92 yards on just four catches.

The loss certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort on Curry’s part, however.  Bandini felt his team did a good job defending Framingham until the playmakers took over.

“They did a good job, I’m proud as hell of them, there’s really no quit in them,” reiterated Bandini.

Despite the bowl-game loss, the Colonels enjoyed an 8-3 record which marks the most successful season the program has had since the 2009 campaign. That year, Curry also finished at 8-3 and fell to Maine Maritime in the New England Football Conference Championship, 48-42.

Bandini doesn’t believe this season was a fluke and that there will be plenty more to come from the program.

“We just go back, get a little smarter, a little faster, recruit a couple more kids and we’ll knock their ass off next year,” said Bandini emphatically.

With a departing senior class of key contributors on both sides of the ball, the Colonels will certainly have their work cut out for them.

Corvese, Tyler, and lineman Ryan Boucher leave holes on the offense while defensive linemen Joseph Grogan and Joe Surace, linebacker Steven Grogan, and defensive back Jack O’Rourke all vacate the defensive side of the ball for the Purple and White.

Colonels Drop Opener With First-Place Endicott, 4-2

BY STEVEN SOUSA // Nov. 18, 2017 //

The Colonels dropped the first game of their home-and-home series with first-place Endicott College, 4-2.

The Gulls entered Max Ulin Memorial Rink on Friday at 4-1 on the season, and ranked 11th nationally in the Division III hockey poll, proving to be a real test for the young Curry squad.

Two goals in the first period gave Endicott an early lead but the Colonels didn’t quit.  Thirty-three seconds into the second period, Curry answered with one of their own when defenseman Mack Heisinger found the back of the net off a slap shot.

Despite the score, head coach TJ Manastersky felt that it was a “fairly even” contest and part of that was the Colonels’ ability to bounce back.

“Our resiliency was good,” Manastersky explained. “There were times in the game when it could’ve gotten out of hand and we kept sticking with it and we were always within striking distance.”

Late in the second period, the Gulls tacked on another goal when an interception at mid-ice created a 2-on-1 breakaway that forward Daniel Kucerovy was able to capitalize on, making it a 3-1 game.  Manastersky said that heading into the contest, one of the things they wanted to limit was Endicott’s odd-man rushes, but ultimately, the Gulls scored on two of them.

“They are a very good team that has a high depth of skill,” said Manastersky.  “Even guys on their fourth line can score given the opportunity, and that was kind of the difference tonight.”

Both special team units played well for the Colonels over the three periods.  They successfully killed off eight minutes of penalties while also scoring on one of their four power-play opportunities.

That goal came with nearly two minutes remaining in the game when Curry’s goaltender Frank Cundiff was pulled giving the Colonels an extra man on the ice. Defenseman Jaret Kup was able to take advantage of that opportunity and score his second goal this year.

However, there was not quite enough time for a full comeback and Curry dropped to 3-3-1 on the season after the final horn. But the Colonels will head to Endicott this afternoon for the second game of the series after a good learning experience for a young team.

“Sometimes when you have a young team facing a really good team, you have to get in the battle,” Manastersky noted. “You gotta throw some punches, take some punches and realize they are normal and just like you.”

The puck is set to drop between Curry and Endicott at 4 p.m. at the Raymond J. Bourque Arena in Beverly, Mass.

Men’s Hoops Gearing Up For New Season

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Nov. 16, 2017 //

Curry College men’s basketball is back and looking to build some continuity along with a culture for the 2017-2018 season.

Coming off of a 1-24 campaign in the previous season, the Colonels averaged just under 64 points a game. Which is fine as long as you hold down the fort on the other end of the court.

That wasn’t the case as they allowed 90+ points six times last season, averaging 84.8 points allowed on the season.

Head coach Matt LeVangie took over the team in 2015 and they have been 1-49 since, losing by an average of 41.5 points a game.

The Colonels have also struggled to keep a team in tact.  They have only had a combined six seniors in the past two years and only have two for the 2017-2018 campaign.   In addition, only seven players from last year’s squad will return this season.

But the team hopes that this year they will be able to find some continuity.

Barak Swarttz is a senior from Newton, MA who transferred last season from Elmira College in New York but he was injured and couldn’t play the entire last season.

“I think being in the leadership position as a captain, my leadership has been able to set the tone for the team academically and on the court, which has been lacking in the past in this program.” Swarttz said.

The Colonels are led by Swarttz, co-captain Louis Stein and center John Coleman as their three upperclassmen.

Another year, another young team.

Curry will again try to attack teams with an inexperienced bunch for the second year in a row as five freshman and six sophomores made the roster. All are going to be tasked with playing very important minutes down the stretch.

That sophomore class was dwindled down to six from 10 last season when they were freshman.

“With such a big sophomore class, those guys need to understand the impact they are going to have.” Swarttz mentioned when asked about how important the youth will play if they want to string some wins together this season.

The lack of on-court experience makes it an uphill battle for the Colonels in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

But on top of that, they get some added salt poured on the wound with a lack of size.

The Colonels will roll out a fourteen-man roster with only four players 6’4” or above.

Conference rival and perineal powerhouse Nichols will come prepared with eight guys above 6’3”.

Without enough size, Curry will be forced to shoot more from three point range, something sophomore Jared Thorpe-Johnson excelled at last season by shooting 98 times from behind the arc and burying 42% of those shots.

Curry has some good pieces to hopefully improve upon the past two abysmal seasons.

The starting five is looking like it’s going to be Stein at the point, Swarttz at the shooting guard position, Johnson at small forward, Kieran Carroll at power forward and Coleman rounding it out at the center position.

Their first game comes this Saturday Nov. 17, at the UMass Dartmouth Tournament.

Their first opponent will be Castleton University who beat the Colonels by 14 points last season, but will be without their three top contributors from a season ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hockey Skates to 2-2 Tie with Western New England in CCC Action

BY STEVEN SOUSA // Nov. 11, 2017 //

Despite dominating the time of possession in the game, Curry hockey finished in a 2-2 tie with the University of Western New England, Friday night.

The game between the two conference rivals got a little extra physical, resulting in a crossing of a line of sorts from the Golden Bears. Junior forward Zachary White had to be helped off the ice after receiving a blow to the head from freshman defenseman Adamo Giacomin, who garnered a five-minute major and an ejection.

White didn’t return for the rest of the game, putting the already short-handed Colonels down to 10 active forwards for the game.  Head coach TJ Manastersky felt his team did a good job of grinding through the injuries, however.

Later on in that middle period, Curry capitalized on the 5-on-4 power play when defenseman Brandon Zajicek scored off of a rebound to give the Colonels a 1-0 lead.

A mere five minutes later, forward and co-captain Shane Tracy intercepted a puck at mid-ice and deked out a defender before dropping the puck off in front of the net to forward Lionel Mauron, who buried the chance to extend the lead to two.

However, WNE responded with a pair of goals of their own in the same period, both of which came off slap shots from the left circle.

The two teams remained deadlocked throughout the third and overtime periods.  Curry outshot the Golden Bears 41-25 but couldn’t finish around the net.

“We could have attacked the net a little better tonight,” Manastersky noted. “We had the puck an awful lot…There’s times where you have to find ways to spin off a guy and get to the net, be willing to shoot and be willing to get in front of the net without the puck.”

In addition to being down to only 10 forwards, the Colonels were also missing co-captain and defenseman, Phil Kiss, who is out with a concussion.

“It affects our lines because he is a top-end defenseman, plays a lot of penalty kill and some power play, so it’s a trickle-down effect,” Manastersky explained.  “You start relying on freshmen defensemen to do a lot of things which is baptism by fire but it’s good for them.”

The tie puts Curry at 2-2-1 overall on the season, but they have a chance to break through the .500 ceiling when the second half of the home-and-home series sends the Colonels to Springfield to faceoff with WNE yet again tomorrow evening.

Instead of spreading out games between two conference opponents throughout the season, the new format has CCC teams play both of their games back-to-back.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Manastersky.  “It’s like a mini-series and sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.”

Curry has no time to waste and gears up for a road trip to western mass with the puck drop set for 6 p.m. at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass.

Curry Shut Out by CCC Foe on Senior Night

BY KELLY LEWICKI // Oct. 22, 2017 //

A physical second half had the Curry men’s soccer team seeing yellow in their 1-0 loss to Western New England University on Saturday evening.

As the clock ran down in the first half, it was looking like the first 45 minutes of play weren’t going to produce any action. Both teams had even possession of the ball, but neither could capitalize on their scoring opportunities.

But with less than a minute left, sophomore midfielder Ty Champagne booted one in to put the Golden Bears up 1-0 going into the half.

“Goal at the end, unlucky obviously,” said Curry’s senior goaltender Adam Dibrina. “But it was a good strike. Not much I could really do about it.”

A fire was lit inside Dibrina, who produced four saves in the second half. No matter how close WNE got, they could not penetrate the goal line, even sending two open net shots just wide of the posts.

Despite their goalie’s efforts defending the backfield, the Colonels could not create scoring opportunities, and their frustration started to show. The physicality of the half escalated, so much so that four yellow cards were issued.

Three of those went to Dave Stapleton, Ari Mench, and Mitchell Forbes of Curry.

When asked to comment on the calls, Forbes responded with, “It was a physical game. The [referee] called what he wanted to call. Can’t really go back on it now.”

As time expired, the Colonels remained scoreless, dropping the game to the #1 seed Golden Bears, now 11-5-1 overall and 6-1-1 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play.

“I already said to the guys, all we gotta do is put this one behind us. Honestly, I think it might have been our best game in conference of the entire year,” said Dibrina on the team’s mindset to finish out their season strong.

The Colonels dropped to 8-10-1 (2-6 in conference) and will be traveling to Wentworth on Tuesday for their final game of the season, hoping to snap their now four game skid.

  • Dibrina registered six saves on the night
  • Curry has been shut out in their last four games
  • 8th in the CCC, the Colonels must win on Tuesday to make playoffs