It’s playoff time, which just happens to be my favorite time of the year. All of the Spartan teams look to fair well in conference play, but which teams are going to come through in the clutch this fall?I had question marks about the field hockey team as the season began, but the offensive attack has left me thinking the Spartans are a possible sleeper in the North Atlantic Conference this postseason. The scoring ability of Sarah Flore, Courtney Nolan, Kealy Chipman, and Rachel Preusser leaves me thinking the Spartans could find revenge on those NAC teams that bested them in the regular season. But with three conference losses to Husson, St. Joseph’s, and Maine-Farmington the Spartans are going to need to play picture-perfect field hockey to make it to the championship. I don’t see a NAC title in the cards for the Spartans.
After witnessing Brandon Bergeron dive out of nowhere and bat the football away from a Mount Ida receiver I’ve been thinking this team could shake up the conference. Now a month later, the Spartans are no longer playing the role of little brother to conference opponents and have instead fought back and won close games. Castleton finishes the season with Becker at home, then at Norwich. The Spartans are neck and neck with the Cadets for second place in the conference as both teams are 4-1 in conference-play, but with Castleton’s 3-0 road record this season I think the Spartans can finish the season strong beating Becker and sneaking a last minute win against Norwich.
The women’s soccer team was supposed to be good this year, but there was no way for me to anticipate this type of dominance. Of course Courtney Chadburn was going to score at least 20 goals, that was a no brainer to me, but Hilary Cooke and Megan Blongy have been just as deadly to opponents. The Spartans are 11-0-1 in their last 12 games and have a bye into the NAC semifinal round. With the bitter taste of defeat still in their mouths I would look for the Spartans to claim the NAC title. I don’t see how this team can be stopped at this point.
The men’s soccer team has been equally impressive this season as it enters the NAC tournament with a 7-0 record and a bye to the semifinal round. Everything points to a NAC title when it comes to this team. The Spartans are on a four game winning streak, Josh Costa and Trevor Kotrady have been unstoppable, and the defense looks zoned in. I would feel like a fool not picking the Spartans to win the NAC.
Bold Predictions: Chadburn scores two goals to win the NAC title, the men’s soccer team doesn’t get scored on in the NAC tournament, field hockey makes an appearance in the NAC title game but loses a close one, and the football team upsets Norwich to end an impressive season