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Rewarding season for Swarthmore athletes

By Mark Anskis


Jacob Phillips ’13 helped the Garnet cross country to a third place at the CC championship meet.

Men’s Cross-Country (3rd CC)
Jacob Phillips ’13 became the first Swarthmore men’s cross-country runner since Marc Jeuland ’01 to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship Meet, highlighting an outstanding season for the men’s team.

Thanks to Phillips and a deep squad of talented runners, the team finished third at the Centennial Conference (CC) Championship Meet and seventh at the NCAA Mideast Regional Meet. Phillips led the way for the Garnet in both races, earning 10th overall with a time of 27:34.90 at the snowy CC meet—Swarthmore’s best individual finish since 2003—and seventh at the NCAA Regional meet with a time of 25:43 to earn automatic qualification to the national championship meet. At nationals in Wisconsin, Phillips finished 114th out of 279 runners with a time of 25:23.68.

Several other runners had outstanding seasons. Aidan DuMont-McCaffrey ’13 finished 20th at the CC meet (28:13.3) and 38th at the Mideast Regional (26:45), just missing All-Region status. Robert Fain ’14 was the Garnet’s third-place finisher in both the CC and Mideast Regional, and Jonas Oppenheimer ’15 earned a spot on the Mideast Region All-Freshman team (68th/27:24).

Womens’ Cross-Country (6th CC)
The women’s cross-country team finished sixth at the CC championship and 13th at the NCAA Mideast Regional, with Melissa Frick ’12 pacing the team in each event.

At the CC meet, Frick finished 22nd in 25:38.90. Stephanie Beebe ’12 was the Garnet’s next finisher, crossing the line in 26:07.10, good for 35th. Rounding out the scoring runners for the team were Katie Gonzalez ’12 (40th/26:28.1), Margret Lenfest ’12 (51st/26:47.6), and Emma Saarel ’14 (52nd/26:49.7).

At the Mideast Regional Meet, Frick put up her best performance of the year, finishing 17th in 23:39, earning her All-Region honors and missing qualification for the NCAA Championship Meet by just two seconds.

At the Seven Sisters Meet in October, Swarthmore finished third, with Jen Johnson ’12 placing seventh in the 5K with a fast 19:45.21.


Field hockey player Nia Jones ’14 co-led the team in points, with 21. With a nine-goal tally, she ranked 10th in the CC in total goals and goals per game.

Field Hockey (8-10, 6th CC)
The field hockey team took a turn for the better during the 2011 season, barely missing the CC playoffs in the final game of the year. The steadily improving squad notched as many CC wins in 2011 as it had in 2008, 2009, and 2010 combined.

Highlights from the regular season included wins over NCAA-participant Eastern College, ECAC-participant McDaniel, and Johns Hopkins. A 3-1 loss to Haverford on the season’s final day ended the Garnet’s playoff hopes, but the team, which graduates no seniors, has much to look forward to next year.

Nia Jones ’14 and Beth Johnson ’15 tied for the team lead in points, with 21. Jones led the team with nine goals, ranking 10th in the CC in both goals and goals per game. Johnson and Anne Rosenblatt ’14 tied for the second-highest assist total in the CC, with seven. Goalie Gabriella Capone ’14 turned in a breakout season as well, notching 119 saves (6th in CC) and a 2.49 GAA (7th in CC) in her first season as a starter. Jones and captain midfielder Sophia Agathis ’13 also earned spots on the All-CC Second Team.

Women’s Soccer (12-7, 3rd CC )
A perfect mix of young stars and experienced older players made for a breakout season, with the Garnet women returning to the CC playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons and reaching the semifinals.

Road wins over Scranton and Cabrini highlighted the early part of the season, which included a five-match winning streak through September. That streak ended at the hands of CC champion Johns Hopkins, but not before the Garnet gave the unbeaten Blue Jays its best test of the regular season, falling 3-2 in the final two minutes of play.


Women’s soccer player Emma Sindelar ’15 recorded one of the best offensive seasons in the history of Swarthmore women’s soccer, securing 11 goals and three assists for a total 25 points.

The team rebounded from the loss to Hopkins with another long winning streak, taking five of its last six games to close out the regular season. The playoff clincher came on the final day of the regular season against rival Haverford, as Emma Sindelar ’15 headed home the game-winner in the 86th minute of play to give the women a 2-1 win. The victory propelled the team to the CC semifinals, where it fell to Gettysburg 1-0. The Garnet’s 12-win season earned it the No. 3 seed in the ECAC South Region Tournament, but it succumbed in the opening round to Albright, 1-0.

Much of the credit for the Garnet’s turnaround season goes to Sindelar. The first-year forward from Salt Lake City recorded one of the best offensive seasons in program history, scoring 11 goals, dishing three assists, and tallying 25 points. For her play, Sindelar was named to the All-CC First Team, becoming just the 22nd freshman to earn first-team honors. She was joined on the first team by midfielder Alexa Ross ’13, who was named All-Centennial for the third time in her career. Rounding out the team’s All-Centennial selections with an honorable mention was defender Ari Spiegel ’13.

Men’s Soccer (13-6-1, 6th CC)
The team began the season poised to repeat as CC champions and reach its fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament, but an unexpected late-season slide caused the squad to miss the CC playoffs. Despite this disappointment, the team rallied during the ECAC Tournament, defeating Frostburg State, Alvernia, and Medaille to win first place.

By capturing the ECAC South Region championship with a 1-0 (2OT) victory over Medaille College, the men’s soccer seniors wrapped up one of the most successful four-year runs in program history. Fittingly, senior captain Micah Rose scored the game-winning goal, as his curving ball off a free kick in the104th minute hit the far post and went into the back of the net. With the win, the nine seniors finished their Garnet career with two CC championships (2008, 2010), three NCAA playoff appearances (2008, 2009, 2010), an ECAC South Region Championship (2011), and 62 victories.


Senior Genny Pezzola—record holder in career kills and career digs—completed the greatest four-year career in Swarthmore women’s volleyball history.

Two seniors in particular—Rose and goalkeeper David D’Annunzio ’12—left their mark with spectacular final seasons. Rose became the first player in program history to make the All-CC First Team three times in a career. D’Annunzio, an All-CC Second Team selection, finished his career with a program-record 29 shutouts, surpassing the previous record of 25 clean sheets—set by Andrew Cavenagh ’92—with a shutout of Manhattanville. Rose and D’Annunzio were also honored for their performance off the field as each was named to the Capital One/CoSida Academic All-District IV First Team. Rounding out All-CC selections for the team were David Sterngold ’12 (second team), Noah Sterngold ’14 (second team), Fabian Castro ’12 (second team) and Kieran Reichert ’13 (honorable mention).

Volleyball (24-8, 4th CC)
It was a season of milestones for the volleyball team, which reached the CC and ECAC playoffs for a third-consecutive season and tied the program record for wins in a season.

The season began with the Garnet dominating the field at the annual Garnet Classic, dropping just a single set in four matches to three-peat as champions. Following strong showings at non-CC tournaments at York College and Moravian, the team opened CC play with heartbreaking five-set losses to playoff-bound teams Johns Hopkins, Franklin & Marshall, and Gettysburg but bounced back to win its final nine matches to close out the regular season. The nine-match winning streak earned the team its first NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional ranking in program history. Unfortunately, the winning streak ended in the first round of the CC playoffs, when rival Haverford upset the team 3-1. Still, the team’s fantastic regular season earned them a spot in the ECAC South Region playoffs, where they reached the semifinals for the second-consecutive season.

Just as the volleyball team saw success in 2011, individuals on the squad broke records and finished illustrious careers. Genny Pezzola ’12 completed the greatest four-year career in Swarthmore volleyball history. She finished as the program’s all-time leader in career kills (1,372) and second all-time in career digs (1,542), breaking the kills mark previously set by Jennifer Wang ’08 (1,171) in a win over Centenary on Sept. 23. The outside hitter also became the first Swarthmore volleyball player named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-Region Team (honorable mention) and first Swarthmore player named to the All-Centennial Conference First Team three times (2009, 2010, 2011).  The team’s other two seniors—Hillary Santana and Lisa Shang—also reached milestones during the season, both joining the exclusive 1,000 dig club in the same match against Ursinus. Pezzola and junior Allie Coleman were also honored for their performance in the classroom, as each was named to the Capital One/CoSida Academic All-District IV First Team.

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