A Year in Boston College Athletics

Boston College Athletics

Well, we’ve finally made it. After a mere 428 games across the 14 varsity sports that play individual contests, not to mention the other nine that compete in meets against multiple schools at once, we have survived Boston College Athletics in 2015-16. When the Eagles were high, they soared as high as one could. Those moments were fleeting and rare, but they were as sweet as they possibly could be. When there were lows—and, trust me, there were a lot of lows—they dug deep and remained painful for days.

But hey, that’s sports. It will kick your ass every single day. It just happens to do so a little more in Chestnut Hill. The thing is, we’ll all be back in the fall anyway. So reminisce with our staff on The Heights, the ones who were first in line in the trenches, as we reflect on every memory—good and bad—and the players and teams who made 2015-16 special.

-Michael Sullivan, Sports Editor

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Table of Contents

↓ Top 5 Heroes ↓ Top 5 Villains ↓ Top 10 Games
↓ Records ↓ Top 5 Moments ↓ Where We’ve Been Map
↓ Top 5 Upsets ↓ Best Photos ↓ Alex Carpenter
↓ Players Drafted ↓ Alumni Who Succeeded ↓ Editors’ Takes


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[slab]Top 5 Heroes.[/slab]


5. Carly Pariseau, BC Athletics — BC’s associate athletic director of compliance was a beacon of hope for women’s hockey this season. As she fights breast cancer, Pariseau brought her upbeat personality and never-quit attitude into the clubhouse at Kelley Rink every game.

4. The Boston College Defense — Let’s face it, without Don Brown’s defense, this team would’ve been absolutely unwatchable. Thanks to the nation’s top unit in yards per game allowed, the Eagles were at least still in most of the games they played on the gridiron in 2015.

3. Justin Dunn, Baseball — Every team needs a star, and Justin Dunn was that star for Birdball in 2016. After his move from the bullpen to the rotation, the right-hander had an ERA of just 2.06 with a 4-2 record, helping him get selected by the New York Mets in the first round of the MLB Draft.  

2. Haley Skarupa, Women’s Hockey — With all due respect to Alex Carpenter (who, don’t worry, we’ll get to later), the Eagles wouldn’t have gotten to the national championship without Haley Skarupa. Literally. The senior led the team in game-winning goals with nine and had 79 points overall. 

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Thatcher Demko

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1. Thatcher Demko

As the preseason national No. 1, the Eagles were expected to dominate the field by boasting an offense that featured several NHL draftees. But it was the goaltender who stood taller than the rest. With Thatcher Demko between the pipes, there was always a sense that the Eagles could win on any given day. The Richter Award winner and current Vancouver Canucks prospect finished his junior season with 1.88 goals against average and a nation’s best 10 shutouts.



[slab]Top 5 Villains.[/slab]

5. Eli Carter, Men’s Basketball — Carter leading the Eagles in scoring is the most deceptive stat you’ll find. His shooting percentage was terrible at only 37.1, and his ball-hogging tendencies and lack of leadership in the clubhouse were a huge negative on a trying season.  

4. Jeremy Bracco, Men’s Hockey — The speedy freshman abandoned the Eagles for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers after only five games, causing the most negatively emotional press conference by Jerry York and Co. that you’ll ever see. His departure left a lot of bad blood at BC.

3. Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State, Football  — It’s hard to fault a guy for doing his job. But the 302-pound defensive tackle’s fall onto Darius Wade’s ankle was the first domino in an absolute disaster of a season for Steve Addazio’s club.

2. Amanda Leveille, Minnesota, Women’s HockeyThe Eagles were perfectly equipped and ready to handle Minnesota’s high-flying offense with Amanda Kessel, Hannah Brandt, and Sarah Potomak. But it was the Golden Gophers’ goaltender that was the key to the national championship as she shut down BC in a 3-1 win.  

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1. Edgar Michelangeli, Miami, Baseball

We’ve got nothing against bat flips or Bryce Harper’s ‘make baseball fun again’ campaign, but Michelangeli took things too far in the Super Regionals. After hitting a bases-loaded bomb that all but ended Birdball’s Cinderella run, the no. 9 hitter proceeded to taunt BC catcher Nick Sciortino into starting what became a benches-clearing scuffle between the two teams. With cheers of joy, we watched UC Santa Barbara send Michelangeli and the Hurricanes back to Miami after just two games in Omaha.

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[slab]Top 10 Games.[/slab]

10. Jessica Dreswick Tosses No-Hitter vs. North Carolina State — No Eagle had ever tossed a no-hitter in ACC play until Dreswick took the mound in Raleigh. She tossed the full seven innings, allowing five walks but striking out six and, more importantly, keeping the Wolfpack hitless.

9. Football Falls 3-0 to Wake Forest — Okay, so this might be the game you remember most—ESPN sure does. But that doesn’t make it a good game. The two hilariously inept offenses managed a mere 472 yards combined with six total turnovers, and lest we forget, there was that embarrassing final snap.

8. Birdball Sweeps Wake Forest on ALS Awareness Day — Needing two wins to keep their ACC Tournament hopes alive, the Eagles put on a show for Pete Frates on the day his No. 3 was retired. Birdball walked off in the rain in the opener, while Mike King topped it with a 7 2/3 inning gutsy effort in the evening.

7. Men’s Basketball Nearly Upsets North Carolina — Few games, if any, matched the on-campus buzz of BC’s near-upset of then-No. 9 UNC. As students flooded in on a thrilling Tuesday night, the Eagles fell just short of storming the court in a 68-65 loss.

6. BC Holds Notre Dame Close at Fenway Park — Playing with a chip on their shoulder for the embarrassment of a Notre Dame home game in their city, Justin Simmons and the Eagles’ defense put up its best performance of the year. The unit forced five turnovers and the offense had some late fire, but it wasn’t enough in a 19-16 defeat.

5. Birdball Walks Off Against Virginia in the 13th — If you want to pinpoint the day BC baseball became legitimate, go back to a cold and windy Sunday in April. After beating the defending national champions on Saturday, BC stormed back from down 4-1 in the 10th on a Michael Strem three-run double before winning it with a Scott Braren single in the 13th.

4. Kelcie Hromisin vs. Wake in Double Overtime of the ACC Field Hockey Tournament — After battling through a tough schedule, the Eagles limped into the postseason eyeing for their first ACC Tournament win since joining the conference. BC and Wake battled back and forth for 90 minutes before Hromisin nailed the game-winner on a second-chance shot.

3. MSOC vs. Georgetown in Sweet 16 — Men’s soccer was another team quietly making a run while football scuffled. Freshman Trevor Davock gave BC a 1-0 lead, but the Hoyas netted a goal in the second to tie the game. Both teams held firm through 20 minutes of overtime before BC came up big in penalty kicks, making all five to reach the Elite Eight.

2. Haley Skarupa Sends BC to National Championship — With 39 wins in the books against no losses, women’s hockey was on the ropes halfway through against Clarkson. Skarupa halved the Golden Knights’ lead in the second, followed by Kaliya Johnson’s equalizer with four minutes to go. Under a minute into overtime, Skarupa notched her second of the game to send BC on a date with Minnesota.

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Alex Tuch

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1. Alex Tuch wins BC’s 20th Beanpot with an OT goal

Two hated rivals, one bowl-shaped trophy. In perhaps the greatest Beanpot final of all-time, Thatcher Demko and Sean Maguire put up straight zeroes between the pipes in 60 minutes of regulation time, plus the 29-minute delay caused by a power outage at TD Garden. All the while, both sides had every chance to score with plenty of brawls brought on by Jordan Greenway’s careless hits on Demko. It wasn’t until the dynamic duo of Zach Sanford and Alex Tuch connected on the perfect feed and goal two minutes into the frame to give BC its first trophy of the season.



[slab]How BC Teams Fared.[/slab]

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Click the “Calculate” button below to see the W/L totals.



Field Hockey
Men’s Basketball
Women’s Basketball
Men’s Hockey
Women’s Hockey
Men’s Soccer
Women’s Soccer
Men’s Tennis
Women’s Tennis


Click the “Calculate” button to see the W/L totals.


[slab]Top 5 Moments.[/slab]

5. Women’s Hockey Blows Out BU to Win Hockey EastIt had been a long time coming for a team that has performed so well under Katie Crowley, yet always appeared to fall short to their bitter rivals on Babcock St. Yet to avenge last year’s blowout, the Eagles crushed BU to win their second-ever Hockey East championship.

4. SportsCenter Visits BC on Welles Crowther Day — Okay, so Stephen A. and Skip probably would’ve been a little more exciting. Nevertheless, having a cast of characters from Bristol, Conn. with the backdrop of “Free Brady!” signs behind it outside of Shea Field was pretty exciting, especially with the promise of a Friday night game against Florida State.

3. Bobby Swigert Scores in His Return from InjuryAfter being ravaged with leg injuries throughout his Boston College career, the wide receiver finally got back on the field for the Maine game. And, wouldn’t you know it, in his return, he caught a touchdown.

2. Pete Frates’ No. 3 Gets Retired by Birdball — Move over, Eddie Pellagrini, there’s a new man on the wall. The emotional leader of the Eagles both on and off the field, Pete Frates looked on with his family as a tarp revealed his No. 3 emblazoned on the right-field wall.

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1. Jerry York Wins His 1,000th Game

In typical Jerry York fashion, the Eagles won him the huge milestone far away from the confines of Kelley Rink in an 8-0 rout of Massachusetts at the Mullins Center. Long since named the wins king of college hockey, York joined Scotty Bowman as the only hockey coaches at any level to reach that huge milestone. And, as usual, York was much happier that the win put BC back in first place rather than allowing the attention to remain squarely on his achievements.
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Jerry York





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[slab]Top 5 Upsets.[/slab]

5. Asiya Dair vs. No. 8 Julie Elbaba of North Carolina The Almaty, Kazakhstan native proved she is one of the nation’s forces to be reckoned with on the court with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Julie Elbaba of North Carolina.

4. Lacrosse Downs No. 3 Syracuse  Struggling without last year’s top scorers, Mikaela Rix and Covie Stanwick, Acacia Walker’s crew wasn’t quite the same formidable force in the ACC. Yet four goals by Sarah Mannelly and three by Sam Apuzzo lifted the Eagles over the No. 3 Orange.

3. Ian Milosz vs. No. 3 Providence  Goaltender Thatcher Demko went down at the worst of times with a crucial home-and-home against defending national champion Providence. Ian Milosz, a first-semester freshman 6-foot-7 behemoth, stepped in admirably, earning a win at Kelley Rink and a tie on the road at the Schneider Arena.

2. Men’s Soccer Over Georgetown in the Sweet 16 — Men’s soccer had two great upsets during the regular season, knocking off No. 10 Virginia and No. 12 Syracuse just before postseason play. But then Ed Kelly’s squad pulled off an even bigger feat, beating the Hoyas, the 3-seed in the tournament, to reach the program’s second-ever Elite Eight.

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Jacob Stevens

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1. Jacob Stevens vs. No. 4 Louisville

Mike Gambino took a huge gamble by switching his Friday starter, Mike King, to Sunday, making freshman Jacob Stevens the team’s de facto ace. The man they call “Bear” certainly didn’t disappoint—not even against a Louisville lineup that hit .322 as a team. Stevens threw seven innings on 104 pitches, allowing only one unearned run and mixing up three pitches as well as a savvy pickoff move to help propel BC to a series victory.



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[slab]Photos of the Year.[/slab]

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[slab]Greatest of All-Time.[/slab]

Many players at Boston College shattered records in 2015-16. Joe Cronin became Birdball’s all-time walks leader, and earned his place on many Top 10 lists. Thatcher Demko broke men’s hockey’s single-season record for shutouts with 10, including six in seven games. Field hockey’s Leah Settipane became the program’s all-time wins leader among goaltenders. And men’s basketball and football … well, you probably already know. Yet no single person stood taller at BC than women’s hockey superstar Alex Carpenter. Below is a sample of the many records she destroyed during her amazing tenure for Katie Crowley’s crew.

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alex carpenter


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[slab]Players Drafted.[/slab]

At the end of the day, it’s all about getting to the pros. Boston College sent plenty of players to the next level in 2016, and many others had success on the game’s biggest stages.

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Football: Justin Simmons (3rd round, 98th overall, Denver Broncos) | Steven Daniels (7th round, 232nd overall, Washington Redskins) | Connor Wujciak (UDFA, Philadelphia Eagles) | Mehdi Abdesmad (UDFA, Tennessee Titans)

Men’s Hockey: Thatcher Demko signs with Vancouver Canucks, Steve Santini and Miles Wood sign with New Jersey Devils, Alex Tuch and Adam Gilmour sign with Minnesota Wild, Teddy Doherty signs with Missouri Mavericks, Ian McCoshen signs with Florida Panthers

Women’s Hockey: Alex Carpenter (1st round, 1st overall, New York Riveters, traded to Boston Pride) | Haley Skarupa (2nd round, 5th overall, New York Riveters, traded to Connecticut Whale) | Lexi Bender (3rd round, 11th overall, Boston Pride) | Dana Trivigno (4th round, 13th overall, New York Riveters, traded to Connecticut Whale)

Baseball: Justin Dunn (1st round, 19th overall, New York Mets) | Mike King (12th round, 353rd overall, Miami Marlins) | Jesse Adams (14th round, 408th overall, Cincinnati Reds) | Nick Sciortino (17th round, 508th overall, Boston Red Sox) | Joe Cronin (34th round, 1,023rd overall, Minnesota Twins) | Dante Baldelli (39th round, 1,158th overall, Philadelphia Phillies)

[slab]Alumni Who Succeeded.[/slab]

Football: Luke Kuechly earns big extension, has two pick-sixes in playoffs, leads Panthers to second Super Bowl appearance

Baseball: Eric Campbell (Mets) and Pat Dean (Twins) make MLB debuts, Chris Shaw tears it up with Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, San Jose Giants

Men’s Hockey: Brian Dumoulin (Penguins) becomes 19th BC player to raise the Stanley Cup, BC has most players in NHL now

Women’s Hockey: Blake Bolden and Emily Field (Pride) become first-ever Isobel Cup Champs

Men’s Basketball: Reggie Jackson averages 18.8 points per game for Detroit Pistons,

Women’s Basketball: Carolyn Swords returns to WNBA, becomes starter with New York Liberty



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[slab]Editors’ Takes.[/slab]

And now, it’s each of our turns. The nine of us have followed along with these teams all year. We (silently) cheered when they won, since writing a winning game story is far more entertaining. We (openly) groaned when they lost, because writing a losing game story sucks. Hear from us about the moments and players we found to be most special in 2015-16.

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Michael Sullivan

Sports Editor (2015-16)

Favorite Moment — Soon after she got the position of photo editor, I began hyping Julia up to all o the places we could get to go. She had never been on an airplane, but now, we’d get to travel all across the Southeast in the ACC for football games, perhaps a bowl game. But if we’re lucky, BC will make the Frozen Four. In most years, that leads to a trip to an NHL arena in a cold place, like Boston itself, or Chicago or Minneapolis. But this year was the new crown jewel of the college hockey world: the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The first stop, however, was the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. After rolling through Harvard, 4-1, in the opening game, the Eagles were set to take on Minnesota-Duluth after the Bulldogs had beaten top-seeded Providence. Behind three goals—two by captain Teddy Doherty—BC held a commanding 3-0 lead midway through the third period. Minnesota-Duluth barrelled back for two goals. With time expiring, the puck trickled toward Thatcher Demko and the BC net for the equalizer. Austin Cangelosi lunged out to knock it away, and after a lengthy replay, the Eagles began celebrating their 25th Frozen Four in program history. Immediately, I ran down the steps of the DCU Center to find Julia. Once we saw each other in the press work room, we high-fived, hugged, and shouted into each other’s faces: “TAMPA!!!”

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Worst Moment — I’ve been through a lot of losses in 2015-16. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that. So let me take you through a story you might not know. As we do every year, The Heights has the privilege of handing out an award at BC Athletics’ year-end ceremony for the student-athletes. We generally give it to a player who has stood out in a unique way, yet might not otherwise be recognized for his or her accomplishments. This year, we chose men’s soccer’s Simon Enstrom and women’s hockey’s Katie Burt. Now, last year, the award ceremony was in the style of a banquet. This year, the powers that be changed it to the Golden Eagle Awards, in the style of the ESPYs. Like every other award, we—The Heights contingent being myself, Tom, and Shannon—thought we had to meet backstage and come forward when master of ceremonies Joe Tessitore told us to. I learned from the director of the event, Alison Quandt, that instead of going forward, Burt and Enstrom would meet us in the back by the Eagle statue near the trophies, and we would present them with the awards there with the camera on them. Well, someone forgot to tell that to Joe Tessitore. He calls Burt and Enstrom to come onto the stage, which they do, while we stand like idiots by the Eagle, holding these crappy certificates with the cameras on us. All five of us immediately turn red. The athletes are laughing—I even got texts from a couple of friends I know on teams asking what had happened. As soon as we got backstage, Burt, who I have interviewed a couple of times before, says “Sully, what the f—k was that?” I don’t know, Katie. But away from the field, that was by far my worst moment working with BC Athletics.

Favorite Player — I watched a lot of hockey this season, both men’s and women’s. Many skaters were electric with the stick on their pick, and made plenty of exciting plays—Alex Tuch, Austin Cangelosi, Makenna Newkirk, and Megan Keller all come to mind. But none emanated quite the same confidence as Alex Carpenter. And when I say that, I don’t just mean on the ice. Every time Carpenter had the puck, I knew she was going to score or assist on a goal. She glides across the ice with such sheer determination. She’s a natural-born winner, too—just look at her overtime goal in the IIHF World Championships for the United States, or the assist on Haley Skarupa’s game-winning goal against clarkson. Not everyone gets to watch the all-time greats that BC has to offer in his four-year tenure in Chestnut Hill—Lord knows I’d love to have seen players like Doug Flutie, Johnny Gaudreau, or Jared Dudley. But in Carpenter, we not only get the best women’s hockey player to ever take the ice at Kelley Rink, but perhaps the best to ever play collegiate women’s hockey.

Biggest Surprise — For me, I have to tip my cap to the fantastic work that Ed Kelly and John Murphy did with men’s soccer in 2015. The Eagles had a mere 5-8-3 record in 2014 and were forced to turn over a lot of their roster with freshmen that would have to contribute significant minutes. Yet Kelly and Murphy expertly got the most out of their two young studs—Simon Enstrom and Trevor Davock—while helping a deep and talented roster mesh to the tune of an 11-8-2 record and Elite Eight run. With only two significant contributors graduating next season and more talent coming in, BC men’s soccer is set to contend in a big way for the long term.


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Riley Overend

Associate Sports Editor (2016)

Favorite Moment — For 60 minutes of regulation, Boston College’s defense bent, but it did not break. It was only my second time covering a hockey game, yet the stage couldn’t have been bigger: a Beanpot matchup with rival Boston University on the ice at TD Garden. The game seemed almost more like ping pong with a puck than hockey, with nonstop, board-slamming action on both ends of the rink. Jordan Greenway, the 230-pound Terrier forward that was at the center of a number of skirmishes, collided with Thatcher Demko twice on fastbreak opportunities as the fan sections got increasingly rowdier. But for every gut-wrenching save by Demko, BU netminder Sean Maguire equaled his effort, totaling 41 saves and keeping the championship scoreless headed to overtime for the first time in tournament history.

The Eagles’ 42nd shot of the night is the only one I’ll remember, though.

Alex Tuch slotted a top-shelf gem from deep, sending Maguire to the ground and the Beanpot trophy back to the Heights. Until that victory, my experiences in BC press boxes were generally characterized by some light chatter, occasional analysis, and maybe a cheer or two after an impressive play. Never before had I been engulfed in a media atmosphere that proved to be just as lit as the student section. Tuch’s wristshot put nearly the entire press box on its feet—not because the reporters were all fans of BC, but because they knew they were witnessing something special.

Worst Moment — I was working on the early stages of a 10th anniversary feature on the 2005-06 BC men’s basketball team when I started reaching out to former players for interviews. One of the key members of that squad was current Wizards forward Jared Dudley, whom I reached out to and—surprisingly—received a response from. I was psyched not only to interview a NBA swingman but also to prove Sully wrong about our abilities to talk to high-profile alumni. So, in preparation for my big date, I cleared my schedule and waited for the phone call. Four hours and three skipped classes later, I had been stood up. After hyping up the potential conversation with a BC legend to my friends, I came away with empty hands and a broken heart. Meanwhile, he responded to this guy on Twitter.

Favorite Player to Watch — After turning in a bumpy sophomore campaign for Birdball in 2015, Justin Dunn quickly emerged this season as the most exciting player on one of the most exciting teams on campus. Dunn brought some New York swag to the rubber, where he owned the closing role for the first half of the year before transitioning to a starting role. He couldn’t have been asked to do more for Mike Gambino’s crew, and he really couldn’t have performed much better, either. The 19th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft finished the season with a 2.06 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 65 ⅔ innings pitched. The best part? He seemed like the type of guy who genuinely had his teammates’ backs no matter what—through thick and thin, bat flips and antics, Dunn was going to be right there with his gold chain, a mouth full of smack talk, and a 97-mph cannon to back up all those words with.

Biggest Surprise — For me, BC men’s soccer barely edges out the baseball team for this honor, solely because so many of their key offensive contributors were freshmen. Trevor Davock and Simon Enstrom played seamlessly together in the attacking third, scoring against ACC competition that was among the best in the country. After an overtime win over No. 14 University of South Florida that advanced the Eagles into the Sweet Sixteen, BC went toe-to-toe with No. 2 Georgetown in the biggest game of the season. With a chance to advance to its second-ever Elite Eight on the line, Len Zeuger buried a bar-down penalty kick to snap the Hoyas’ 17-game unbeaten streak. It was the unlikeliest of wins for a team that embraced its underdog status and was largely overlooked in ACC play. Plus, no one gives a better postgame interview than head coach Ed Kelly (who also picked up his 300th career victory this past season), and I look forward to another year of overtime thrillers on Newton Campus Field in the fall with a squad that will only continue to improve.


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Annabel Steele

Assistant Sports Editor (2016)

Favorite Moment — My favorite moment was the red bandanna football game. Even though BC lost, it was a fun game. The atmosphere was crazy and it was the only football game that was really fun the whole way through. The red bandanna game also marked the first time I felt really excited about BC football or athletics overall.

Worst Moment — The end of the ACC basketball tournament was a pretty sad moment. Obviously the team struggled throughout the season, but seeing it all end like that was not easy. It was upsetting to know that BC didn’t win a single ACC game this season. Of course, the Dennis Clifford moment going viral didn’t help either. That whole day was a bummer and definitely qualifies as my least favorite moment.

Favorite Player to Watch  I really liked following Mariella Fasoula throughout the women’s basketball season. She had a great freshman campaign and was genuinely really fun to root for. She has a bright future ahead of her at BC and it will be great to see her develop as a player.

Biggest Surprise — The biggest surprise for me this year was baseball doing so well in the postseason. I expected Birdball to do well, but they exceeded expectations. It was so fun to keep up (even in my limited camp-way) with their postseason games. Their success bodes well for the future of the program.

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stedman headshot roundJack Stedman

Associate Sports Editor, 2015

Favorite Moment — Men’s soccer head coach Ed Kelly won his 300th career game this season, becoming the 19th active head coach and third ACC coach to reach this milestone. Everything came together perfectly for this special moment, as the win came at home, on senior night, and against a ranked rival in No. 12 Syracuse. I had the privilege of covering the game and talking to Ed after the game. I asked him how he felt, he replied exhausted. The wily general, armed with a thick accent, reiterated how special it was to have this moment at home.

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Worst Moment — Covering the football game versus Wake Forest was tough to sit through, although I guess it was better to be in the press box than the stands. It was a laughable game, and that was the mood from the box. But what was really terrible this year was sitting through two and a half periods of scoreless overtime hockey between Providence and UMass Lowell in the Hockey East playoffs, and then having to wait another hour at TD Garden before the BC game started. The Eagles then played miserably and lost to eventual champs Northeastern. That’s a Friday I’d like to have back.

Favorite Player to Watch  Gotta give a shoutout here to men’s soccer, far and away my favorite team on campus. And the best of the bunch is Zeiko Lewis. As teammate Simon Enstrom once said, “He does magic.” At 5-foot-6, this man can dance with the ball at his feet and pull off some unbelievable moves. A perfectly weighted chip through traffic and over a few defenders to assist Enstrom comes immediately to mind. Pulling the strings from midfield, the Bermudan is a huge reason why the Eagles made it all the way to the Elite Eight, and he is also the reason why they call this the beautiful game.

Biggest Surprise — From the inside, we could see something coming together with Mike Gambino’s team, but what came from Shea Field this season was astounding by any measure. Fueled by the fight of the Frate Train, and with a pitching staff led by first-rounder Justin Dunn, a bunch of Birdballers took huge series win from top ACC competition and clawed their way to a super regional in Miami. It was the success story of the season and a very welcome surprise to close out the 2015-16 year for BC Athletics.

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Tom DeVoto

A1 Editor (2016), Assistant Sports Editor (2015)

Favorite Moment — Steve Perpiglia was usually the 12th or 13th guy off the bench for BC basketball. Listed at 5’10” (yeah, OK, sure), he was more of a coach than a player on the team this season. But following a game against Fordham University at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Perpiglia was as much a player as anyone else on the team. Jim Christian awarded the senior with a scholarship for his last term at BC, and the video of the announcement went viral. Not bad for the Barstool Sports intern and everybody’s favorite bench mob captain.

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Worst Moment — The Wake Forest football game, which I didn’t even attend. I went down to tailgate at Shea before the game started but, sensing the impending doom that was to occur a few hundred feet away, decided to bag the game and head back home. When I got there all of my roommates were gone and it was a picture-perfect day, so I decided to kick back on our deck for a little while. When I tried to go back inside, though, the door was locked and I was stuck with no one else in the house. For the next two hours, I was alone with my thoughts and Sully’s depressing updates from that putrid game, which made me sadder than I’d ever been before. In the end it turned out that I didn’t even close the deck door all the way, so I spent two hours stuck on my deck religiously following a Boston College-Wake Forest football game for no reason. That day sucked.

Favorite Player — For me, it’s Steven Daniels. The man was a goddamn freight train. Collegiate offensive linemen are massive, massive human beings, and he would toss them aside like they were featherweights. I imagine there are few things more frightening in this world than lining up opposite Steven Daniels in the Oklahoma drill. Maybe living in a haunted house or something. I saw The Conjuring 2 the other day, and that was really scary. That was, like, six days ago, and I still get uncomfortable when I’m alone in a room with the lights out. But yeah, Steven Daniels.

Biggest Surprise — I don’t think this can be anything other than Birdball. In just about every respect, 2014-15 was atrocious for BC sports. The teams that were supposed to be great were just really good, the teams that were supposed to be good were pretty bad, and the teams that were supposed to be bad were mind-numbingly, painstakingly awful. But then there was Birdball. Picked last in the ACC preseason poll, the Eagles got off to a hot start and kept their foot on the gas, even as they trudged through the gauntlet of hell that is their conference schedule. Birdball was a refreshing palate cleanser at the end of the year that washed away the bitter taste of the fall and spring semesters, and it’s the team I’m most looking forward to watching again next year.  

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Alec Greaney

Online Manager (2016), Associate Copy Editor (2015)

Favorite Moment — BC students are taught from day 1 to root against Boston University in almost every facet, and especially in hockey. If you forget at any point, taking the Green Line to TD Garden with drunk BC students while drunk BU students gradually pile in should help you remember. It also builds just the right amount of tension for a Beanpot game. Besides a terribly long delay, this year’s Beanpot final didn’t fail to disappoint, going into overtime before the puck flew into the net. Both goalies were fantastic in the 1-0 contest, and Alex Tuch’s goal was even better. And then there was the celebration, where we got one of our best photos of the year. After suffering through historically bad football and basketball seasons, this was a beautiful and deeply-needed highlight of the 2015-16 year.

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Worst Moment — My mind first flashed back to Oct. 10, when BC football lost to Wake Forest 3-0 in a game that included a great display defense and an even worse display of offense, including two missed field goals. At first it looked like a fumble at Wake’s 6-yard-line would end it with a minute left in the game, so my friends and I all started to leave. Then, just as we were about to walk out by the Doug Flutie Statue, Matt Milano and Justin Simmons, two top members of BC’s fantastic defense, forced a fumble and gave the BC offense yet another chance to at least force overtime. Instead of managing just the 11 yards needed in 56 seconds, QB Jeff Smith failed to get a snap off as time expired. But then it was another game against Wake Forest—this time around for BC basketball—that was even worse. The team was undergoing an even worse season, going 0-13 in its first 13 ACC games. Just when it seemed like rock bottom, BC came out with a truly embarrassing start, falling to a 37-4 deficit at one point in the first half of a game broadcast on ESPNU. BC got national attention for the awful performance against a team that entered 1-13 in the ACC, just a couple weeks before both football and basketball ended winless in the conference. Even the announcement of a new athletic facility a couple days after the blowout couldn’t overshadow the ineptitude and hopelessness of two sad seasons.

Favorite Player — Many college athletes, especially at schools that compete at the highest levels, aspire to one day make it to a professional league. Some of the best athletes at BC this year—Justin Simmons, Thatcher Demko, Justin Dunn—are already getting paid to play. Then there are the players who, despite knowing they probably won’t get that chance, still go out and bust their ass for their team. This year, Logan Hoggarth was the only graduating player on BC baseball to start a majority of the games, yet didn’t hear his name called on draft day. That wasn’t a surprise for Hoggarth—he knew this might be his last year playing ball, which led him to take on an internship last fall. He wasn’t the best hitter, fielder, or runner on the team, but his continued consistency made him a key asset for Birdball during its magical tournament run. He also got a hit in every game I went to this season, so that was awesome.

Biggest Surprise — Speaking of that magical run, I can say for sure no one besides the guys in the Birdball dugout expected that from them this season. Continued improvement? Yes. Maybe its first playoff run since 2010? Sure. But a trip to the Super Regional? No way. Even more than that, though, was Justin Dunn’s breakout season. Trying to compare the pitcher who was taken 19th by the Mets this season to the pitcher who was teed off of in 2015 is impossible. He not only added velocity to his already-blistering fastball, but his newfound ability to control all four of his pitches with pinpoint precision and dominate ACC hitters still blows me away. The overall sample size is still pretty small, but if JD can keep up this progression, the Mets have found something pretty special.

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Keaton McAuliffe

Layout Editor (2016), Assistant Layout Editor (2015)

Favorite Moment — The one time I decided to frequent O’Neill was also the one time that BC was super close to upsetting UNC. I had stopped by Conte on my way to the lib just to get the Gold Pass points, stayed to watch a little bit just to make the trip worth it, and then went on my merry way. Just for the fun of it, I turned on the livestream, only to see that the game was actually getting incredibly close. With 4 minutes left and BC up by 4 points (fact check this maybe idk) I quite literally ran back to Conte to see if dreams do come true. Turns out, they don’t, but that little bit of exhilaration was something I’d been missing from BC sports all fall and winter, so I was glad to get a taste of it, even if it didn’t end up being anything except another L.

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Worst Moment — After the BC/ND game this season, Sully made me put a picture of Thadd Smith dropping a game-changing catch on the front page of the paper. I hated it. Not just because Thadd’s my boy (#NOWORRIES) but because that was my least favorite moment of this year. It was disheartening to watch a monumental moment in BC history slip so easily through someone’s fingers. My one hope during my time at BC, or at any point in the rest of my life for that matter, is to see a Notre Dame upset, and, tragically, I think that catch would have been it.

Favorite Player — Sue me for being pretty unoriginal here, but it’s gotta go to Thatcher Demko. Only because he probably saved BC’s life, and also mine, a good hundred times over the course of the hockey season. I never took much notice of hockey goalies until I saw Demko make some saves that literally left me speechless. And then I started to take more notice, which led me to realize that Demko is way better than I ever knew. I never got the Demko hype before, but after this year, I’ve definitely got it now.

Biggest Surprise — Birdball. I’ve never been a baseball person and I’ve never tried to be a baseball person, but I was not only genuinely surprised that BC baseball was playing in a Super Regional, but I was genuinely wanting them to do well. Regardless of the outcome, it was nice to be able to witness an underrated BC sport gain some recognition and finish the sports year on a high note.

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Shannon Kelly

Associate Copy Editor (2016)

Favorite Moment — The Clarkson goal. I had been following the team all season—I had covered 25 or so games of the 40. I was hoping for them to go all the way. For a large part of the night, BC was getting shut out of chances. Clarkson’s defense was impenetrable. The clock was winding down and I was starting to feel anxious, and on top of that I’m trying to keep it together in front of the reporter from the Globe sitting next to me.  I was starting to think, “am I only going to come away with the four free bottles of water from the media suite that I stuffed in my purse?” And then, with about five minutes left, BC wore Clarkson down and scored two within a minute and a half. By that point I was just praying that Clarkson wouldn’t score again and that at least BC would have a chance to fight tooth and nail for it in overtime. The intermission between the third period and the final 20 minutes was excruciatingly long. I spent the whole time texting Julia, our photographer, and after rooting for BC this whole season, we were nervous about overtime.

Though I had just complained about having too little time, now there was too much. But of course, Haley Skarupa barreled down the ice and scored less than a minute into overtime. It was wild. She and Alex Carpenter jumped into each other’s arms. The entire bench skated onto the ice and formed a dog pile. I was tweeting a mile a minute and taking photos. I spent the bus ride back to BC smiling and drinking my free water, not a care in the world.

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Worst Moment — One of the best things about The Heights is that it tries to rise to the same level as the pillars of modern journalism—the Times, the Globe, the Washington Post—so obviously The Heights sends writers to attend the Student-Athlete Awards Banquet and presents an award to two of its favorite athletes of the year. I attended with my fellow associates, Tom DeVoto and Michael Sullivan, dressed to the nines and thrilled to take the stage for 45 seconds as we handed Katie Burt and Simon Enstrom their pieces of paper. Unfortunately, miscommunication got the best of us and one of the organizers told us that we would now be presenting the award in the back of Conte in the dark, and it would be shown on a video screen. This was a minute before we were slated to present, so it was completely unexpected. No one had told Katie and what’s his name, however, and they meandered onto the stage, looking confused as all hell. Our faces were plastered on the screen for an uncomfortably long time. I just tried to own it and wave like Miss America (you know the wave), but everyone was laughing. I think a part of my soul is still dead from that.

Favorite Player — Makenna Newkirk stands out for me. I was initially very shy about interviewing players after the game, but she gave great answers and had a clear passion for the sport. On the ice, she’s a playmaker—she is wherever anyone needs her to be for a goal to be scored. Since this was my first year at BC as a transfer, I missed out on having another year of Alex Carpenter and Haley Skarupa and witnessing the debuts of Katie Burt, Kenzie Kent, and Megan Keller. I appreciated getting to see Makenna’s career start this year, and I’ll definitely be sad that I won’t be around for her last year in 2018-19.

Biggest Surprise — The first game I covered for The Heights this year was for field hockey. I had no idea what it was. I knew it was mostly played in Europe, and I knew that you had to crouch down like a hunchback to play it (thank you, high school PE). During the game I had two tabs open: the BC Field Hockey Twitter feed and the Wikipedia page for field hockey. Somehow I learned enough over the course of the game that I signed up to cover the next one, and the next one, and even the one after that. Field hockey became an area on The Heights that I dominated. If you had told me that I would be spending a good chunk of my time in the fall reporting on field hockey, I probably would’ve asked you why and what led me to this fate. I did, however, end up enjoying it, and come fall you’ll find me on Newton again, covering field hockey.

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julia headshot roundJulia Hopkins

Photo Editor (2016)

Favorite Moment — The best moment of the year was the Frozen Four for a few reasons. First off, to get to Tampa, I got to go on my very first plane ride which was a huge thing for me. But mostly, it was the best moment because it was the first game at which I felt like a real photographer. It was such a wonderful experience to work beside so many people that do this for a living, and to hear their experiences from covering hockey. I had the cliche feeling of being part of something larger even though I was a mere novice compared to the rest of them. Also, I got to stand next to ESPN. That was dope.

Worst Moment — My least favorite moment was definitely being on the ice right after the women’s hockey national championship. Prior to this, whenever I had gotten to walk on after a game with the other photographers, it had been after a great victory for BC and it was always exhilarating. But when the women lost during the final, all of the adrenaline fueled joy of sliding around the ice with a really expensive piece of technology was lost as I found myself photographing the reactions of the Minnesota team in celebration, and the Eagles looking heartbroken across the ice. The photos I took as the awards were passed out are my least favorite ones from the entire year.

Favorite Player — Alex Carpenter is definitely my favorite player. I know that’s a predictable choice, because she’s an insanely talented athlete and by far one of the most revered athletes of the season, but I’m sorry, she rocks. I admire her talent and I adore how composed and strong she is. I haven’t had the opportunity to actually talk to her (I am just the photographer, after all), but from following the team the whole season I was able to see how well respected she is and how she earns that respect. The admiration of Carpenter was strong in the Zamboni pit where my cutout was. We were basically the Alex Carpenter Fan Club down there. The most striking thing is that no matter how amazing her plays were, there would always be another one a few minutes later that would incite another round of remarks to her credit from the Conte ice crew. We loved her. And the best thing is, she deserves our love on and off the ice. In the words of Sully, she is the GOAT of all GOATS.

Biggest Surprise — The biggest surprise for me was certainly how much I came to love sports photography. I distinctly remember texting the former photo editor about how much I was dreading having to cover all of the sports games, and how terrified I was of the intimidating sports editor. I’ve never been interested in sports in general, and i didn’t know ANYTHING about the rules, so the whole thing seemed stressful and scary. But after a few weeks of frantically running around underneath Conte and trying really hard not to completely fall short of the standards, I suddenly found myself becoming really invested in the games, especially for hockey. I knew the shortcuts to get from the media suite to the cutout, I could talk with the other photographers a little about how the game was going, and I knew what a power play was! It was a whole new world. Looking back, I really miss hockey, and being able to honestly say that is the biggest surprise of all.