A senior class to be remembered at Quinnipiac

Photo+Courtesy%3A+Quinnipiac+Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Jon Surratt

For the winter season of Quinnipiac athletics, three of the final four teams were not given a chance to continue their season into their conference tournament, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team lost in the first round of the ECAC Hockey tournament, but the men’s ice hockey was not granted the same opportunity, as their battle with rival Yale in the second round did not happen. For Quinnipiac men’s and women’s basketball, the MAAC tournament was one of the last conferences continuing play college basketball, but right before the Bobcats’ women’s team was supposed to tip-off against Manhattan, the MAAC did cancel the season, and the men’s basketball team would have played later that night against Monmouth.

For the seniors on the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams, they were not given the chance to play their last game in their Quinnipiac jersey like they would have wanted.

It’s time to highlight the seniors on those three teams, what they were able to accomplish and what they wanted once last chance at. Also, I wanted to highlight the women’s ice hockey team, as they did have an end to their season, but the seniors still deserve recognition for what they were able to accomplish through their four years.

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Men’s Ice Hockey

Seniors: Karlis Cukste, Nick Jermain, Alex Whelan

All three seniors for the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team made an impact that the Bobcats will never forget. Even though they may not have lived up to the expectation of Quinnipiac teams they watched in the past, Whelan, Cuskste and Jermain all made an strong impact to help the Bobcats throughout their four years. Going into the ECAC Hockey tournament this season, the group was looking to win its first ever title as a group. Going into the tournament, the seniors had already played in two NCAA games, and had made the ECAC Hockey tournament semifinals and quarterfinals, but in their junior year they had a sour taste with a loss to Brown in the first round after being the best team in ECAC Hockey during the season. They wanted to show out this year in the tournament especially against bitter rivals Yale in the first round, but were not able to. However, on the individual side, Whelan and Jermain both stepped up on the ice in terms of both scoring and playmaking, with Jermain being captain and Whelan being assistant. On the back end, Cukste also being an assistant captain, helped Quinnipiac’s defense be one of the best in their league. However, all three became better players and helped show leadership and experience for a young team going into next year. Also, only having one loss against Yale over four seasons is nothing to forget about either.

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Women’s Basketball

Seniors: Jaden Ward, Taylor Herd, Paige Warfel

The three seniors on the Bobcats’ women’s basketball team in Herd, Warfel, and Ward had never lost in the MAAC tournament. Even though going into the tournament this year they were the fifth seed, the group went into this season with only three losses in MAAC play in their first three seasons. However, with the departures of Jen Fay, Aryn McClure, Brittany Martin, Paula Stratmane and Edel Thorton, the group of seniors this year had to step up in their roles. Taylor Herd went from being named sixth player of the year, to starting and Warfel and Ward had a major boost in minutes for the team. This year, Herd had to become better on the ball, as well as still be a good three-point shooter. Warfel became one of the top rebounders in the MAAC and Ward stepped up with an increase in scoring. Even though the team did not go undefeated like in years prior, the seniors still showed off the experience and leadership it takes to win close games in the MAAC, and help out first-years like Cur’tiera Haywood, Sajada Bonner and Mikala Morris become better and grow as players.

Photo Courtesy: Aaron Falzon

Men’s Basketball

Senior: Aaron Falzon (Graduate Transfer)

Even though it took him some time to get integrated into the system, Falzon found success throughout his first and only season with Quinnipiac. After playing four years in the Big Ten at Northwestern, moving over to the MAAC was a shift from the national spotlight, but Falzon was able to bring over experience, and three-point shooting, to a young men’s basketball team. After Falzon started the first 10 games for the Bobcats to start their season, he went to the bench once MAAC play began. The Bobcats found some success with him off the bench, starting 4-0 in the MAAC. However, the Bobcats went into a tough stretch after the undefeated start, and Falzon did as well. After a big game against Manhattan, where he scored 14 points and hit a clutch three pointer from way beyond the arc, he got some confidence back, and ultimately a starting spot back, ending the season starting the last six games and helping the Bobcats win three in a row to end the season, finishing fifth in the standings. Before he could ever play in his first MAAC tournament and possibly help the Bobcats win their first ever title, the tournament was canceled. He ended his career on a sour note, but the journey he took throughout his only year as a Bobcat was something positive to look back on.

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Women’s Ice Hockey

Seniors: Kati Tabin, Allison Roethke, Kenzie Prater, Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout, Abbie Ives

Even though this group of seniors were able to play their last game together, in an overtime loss to Princeton in the quarterfinals of the ECAC Hockey tournament, the class still had an impressive run through their four years at Quinnipiac. All four years for the seniors they reached the ECAC Hockey tournament, never passing the quarterfinals, but still always competing with some of the best in ECAC Hockey and on the national stage. Three of the five seniors were either an assistant captain or captain, as Ives wore an A and Tabin and Prater both wore a C. All five of the seniors helped shape a team that had a lot of success this year, being named a top 10 team in the country many times throughout the season and helped a lot of the young players in Kate Reilly and Alexa Hoskin step up as leaders on the ice.