The Rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Written By: Maggie Bennett

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Defensive end Isaiah Buggs #96 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens on fourth down late in the fourth quarterat M&T Bank Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers has gone on for years now. On Nov. 1, the Ravens lost to the Steelers 28-24 in a close game. The game was very competitive as the score continued to go back and forth. It was a race against time and the last couple of seconds of the game the Ravens could have gotten a touchdown, but alas, they did not. 

  This was a heated game as one of the Ravens’ linebackers hit a referee. However, it was a misunderstanding as Matthew Judon was trying to be set free from the Steelers holding him back. According to the Baltimore Sun, “Referee Brad Allen announced that Judon “intentionally” made contact with field judge Rick Patterson, though it appeared to be incidental as Judon was trying to break free from the grasp of a Ravens assistant.” The National Football League (NFL) has fined the Baltimore Ravens team with $35,000 for hitting this referee. 

  It appears a lot went wrong on the sidelines during this game because the Steelers Coach, as the team was fined 250,000 dollars for not wearing masks, while Tomlin received a 100,000 dollar fine for not wearing his face covering. This is a beneficial action taken by the NFL that shows that the NFL is taking the pandemic seriously because they do not want their players, coaches and fans (if they are in the stadium) to contract COVID-19.

  This past Sunday though, the Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts. They did not play well in the first half of the game, but by the end of half time they were able to make adjustments. The Ravens won against the Colts 24-10. The Pittsburgh Steelers were also in a bit of a nail biter game this past weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. The Steelers were trailing for most of this game, but again they won 24-19. “Head Coach Tomlin was happy about the win, but realistic about the performance”. He claims, “Obviously, we can’t keep having these conversations every week, because one of these weeks, we’re going to be doing it with an L if we’re not careful”. 

 Now for this weekend, the Ravens play against another one of their rivals, the New England Patriots. On the official Baltimore Ravens website, Belichick, the New England Patriots coach, still respects Jackson, the quarterback for the Ravens. Even though it seems like Jackson has lost his edge of being a running quarterback. This upcoming weekend, the Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won two games, lost five games, and then one game was a tie.  

Overall, football this year has been exhilarating because of the COVID-19 cases; many teammates have gotten COVID, and yet the NFL continues on with their season. It is a risk the NFL is willing to take, though who knows if it is for the better. 

SMCM Welcomes Reava Potter as New Cross Country and Track and Field Coach

Written By: Devin Garner

On Monday, Nov. 2, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) athletics announced that Reava Potter had been hired as the head coach of the cross country and track and field teams. In the spring of 2020, it was announced that SMCM would be adding track and field to the list of varsity sports on campus, and Potter will build the new program as well as take the reins of the already established cross country team. 

Potter graduated from Temple University where she competed on the NCAA Division I track and field team for all four years. She served as a captain during her senior year, and qualified for the Atlantic-10 Championship in multiple events, including the heptathlon, triple jump, pentathlon and relays for all four of her seasons. Potter also received the Spirit and Sportsmanship Awards and served as a member of the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2007-2009. 

After graduating from Temple, Potter served as a graduate assistant coach to the track team and led her alma-mater to an Atlantic-10 Championship during the 2009-2010 season. After three years of working as a graduate assistant at Temple University, Potter became an assistant coach at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The following year, Potter took an assistant coaching position at Bethune-Cookman University for one year where she coached seventeen All-Conference athletes and led the men’s team to its first ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. Under Potter’s guidance, three student-athletes at Bethune-Cookman University were named United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Americans. 

After her successful season at Bethune-Cookman University, Potter served as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for four years, where she worked specifically with the multi-event, jumping and throwing athletes. During her time in Alabama, Potter coached three athletes to All-Conference titles in the NCAA Division I Conference USA. After coaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Potter arrived at Emmanuel College where she has spent the last two years as the head coach for both the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. While at Emmanuel College, Potter coached the women’s cross country team to the 2018 GNAC Championship as well as the women’s indoor track and field team to the GNAC Championship in 2020. Potter earned the accolades for 2020 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Women’s Coach of the Year. 

In the announcement released by SMCM Athletics, first-year athletic director Crystal Gibson noted that “Coach Potter from the beginning of the process, emerged as a top candidate through her ability to not only coach and recruit young men and women student-athletes, but also develop them into leaders in the sport and community.” Gibson continued to add that Potter “has proved her ability to recruit top-level student-athletes, athletically and academically – developing them into highly competitive athletes and leaders. Reava is an outstanding fit for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland community and I am confident she will bring a high level of success in building these programs for top level competition.” 

Tyler Wilson (‘22), a member of the SMCM men’s cross country team, explained that the cross country team found out about the hiring of Coach Potter in mid-October, and that the cross country team had the opportunity to meet with her over Zoom before she was officially hired. Wilson stated that the team was told that Potter would start as the head coach on Nov. 16, which potentially means that she could be responsible for assigning workout schedules over winter break. Workout schedules right now, Wilson explained, are being assigned by an assistant coach. 

Wilson mentioned that he is excited for Potter to take over the program and that he believes her prior experience as an athlete and as a collegiate coach will benefit the SMCM cross country and track and field programs. He stated, “I think Coach Potter’s experiences have prepared her for this moment, her experiences as a runner allow her to put herself in our shoes, and her experiences as a coach allow her to know their intricacies of form and other training techniques to help us all improve.”

It will be exciting to see the impact that Potter will have on the well-established cross country program, as well as the incoming track and field program. In the SMCM Athletics announcement, Potter stated: “I am very excited about the opportunity to take over the cross country teams and start a new track and field program. I would also like to thank Athletic Director Brendan McWilliams and Andy Yosinoff for giving me an opportunity to become a head coach at Emmanuel College. I am excited to see what I can accomplish at St. Mary’s College of Maryland!”

Winter Spotlight on The SMCM Swimming Team

Written By: Maggie Bennett

Photo courtesy of smcmathletics.com

As the winter season quickly approaches, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) swim team is ready to get back in action . Their first practice was Sept. 21, where they were able to swim in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics Center (MPOARC) at SMCM. However, due to the pandemic, the team is not scheduled for any swim meets. According to the SMCM Athletics Site of the St. Mary’s College Seahawks, they are “Following extensive discussions and planning; the Atlantic East Conference Presidents’ Council supported a recommendation from the NCAA Division III Administrative Council to postpone competition for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester.”

Head coach of the SMCM swimming team, Casey Brandt says that, “It’s an interesting year for everyone, but I think comparatively the swim team is in a fairly good position.” They ended the 2019 season off with a bang. Their final win against Frostburg State University occurred on Jan. 18, and before then the team was on a hot-streak, dating back to  Jan. 4. 

As of Aug. 19, the team is a member of the Atlantic East Conference. In fact, the  “Commissioner Jessica Huntley and the Atlantic East Conference is proud to announce another affiliate addition to the league, welcoming St. Mary’s College of Maryland as an associate member in men’s and women’s swimming, effective Fall 2020.”

However, things are definitely different this year. According to Brandt, “with the pool space we have and our ability to distance in training, we have relatively few restrictions in our actual workouts.”  While the team is able to practice, they cannot all practice together. Coach Brandt says, “We are on a modified schedule so the training is not as intensive as in past seasons but we have been able to establish a consistent routine and get some much-needed interaction as a team.” Although they are not all together, they are still able to practice in the pool in the MPOARC. They team has also gotten together over zoom to discuss their hopes and goals for seasons to come.

Even though they are not scheduled to compete as they normally would, Brandt claims that “the lack of a competitive season has also given us the time to break down strokes and work on efficiency, which I believe will have long term benefit for our athletes.” Unfortunately, the seniors will not get to experience their senior season as other student athletes in the past have due to COVID-19.

Since the season is starting up Coach Brandt wants the team as a whole, “Overall, the ability to come together as a team consistently, focus on staying healthy both physically and mentally, and reconnect with technique fundamentals in our sport without the pressure of competition has been a positive experience and will give us a good foundation moving forward”. With the team focusing on staying mentally and physically healthy, this time could provide the team an opportunity to grow. It will also allow for more time to practice and  prepare for seasons to come.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Men’s Soccer Continues to Work Despite Postponed Season

Written By: Devin Garner

Senior captain Juwan Kearson.

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Men’s Soccer team has been a force to be reckoned with under the leadership of head coach Alun Oliver (‘04). Despite not having a season, they have continued to maintain their vision as a well-run program. The team has been holding practices throughout the fall semester that abide by COVID-19 regulations put in place with the hope of possibly having a season in the spring.

When asking Josh Luongo (‘22) of the impact that head coach Alun Oliver has had on the team throughout the global pandemic, he stated: “he has been really helpful and supportive during these hard times… He is always telling us to stay positive and be flexible during these hard times. Coach [Oliver] is a very positive person and it wears off on the team.” While the postponement of the season has been difficult for many members of the team, Oliver has nevertheless been a stabilizing force to lead his team. 

As a result of the season being postponed, the team has also had to find creative ways to meet as a team. Aidan Kelley (‘22) remarked that the team has found ways to continue to connect as he states, “As a team, we try to meet on Zoom at least once a week in order to include those who are off campus this semester.” Jacob Breslauer (‘22) states that the team has also found a way to connect for those who are on campus for the semester as he remarks, “Everyone on the team gets along, so everyone on campus will go to the docks or somewhere else where we can be together safely but still enjoy being around as a family.” 

In addition to connecting with the team as a whole, the upperclassmen have had to find a way to mentor their first-year teammates. While this has not been an easy task with the current regulations in place, the upperclassmen have continued to find a way. Luongo responded by saying that the upperclassmen have been mentoring the younger players by “Giving them tips on how stuff around campus works and making sure they are following COVID-19 regulations. We have also been helping them with their classes. The upperclassmen have set a high standard both on and off the field.” Kelley went on by stating that “We have just tried to be as positive and as helpful as possible. All of us understand that this year has been very different from past years, so we all have been reaching out more than usual to make sure we are still making them feel welcome to the team.” 

While a potential season is still up in the air, the future of the SMCM men’s soccer team is very bright. As Luongo argues, “The future of this team is exciting. We have a winning culture and a coach who is always going to do what is best for the team. [Oliver] is always going to make SMCM men’s soccer a good program.” Under the leadership of Oliver and the talented upperclassmen, SMCM men’s soccer is in good hands for years to come.

NFL Reaches Midpoint in Groundbreaking Season Amid Pandemic

Written By: Maggie Warnick

This fall, the professional football season has looked a lot different than previous years due to the coronavirus. However, difficulties for the National Football League (NFL) continue, especially as the case count rises across the U.S. Protocols to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the league have been put in place and altered as players on several teams have tested positive throughout the season. Various outbreaks and positive tests have led to games being delayed, postponed and rescheduled as  the league coordinates this unique season. After a period of much disruption, the schedule has been able to remain as planned over the recent weeks.

In spite of this stability, the NFL continues to have to crack down on teams who do not adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, issuing fines and disciplinary actions for violations. According to The Hill, the Seattle Seahawk, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans have been fined upwards of $250,000 for transgressions of the regulations. The head coaches have also been fined, with many pointing to them as culpable for not enforcing the guidelines with their respective teams. Some of the broken guidelines in question include not wearing masks, illicit player gatherings and using team facilities after hours. The NFL stated that they believe breaking these protocols contributed to the first major outbreak of COVID-19 among the Titans. 

According to the NFL Network, the Pittsburgh Steelers have also been fined recently for failing to properly wear masks at all times during their Nov. 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens. This included the head coach, Mike Tomlin, who was fined $100,000. The need to adhere to the regulations became even more clear when after the game the Ravens’ cornerback Marlon Humphrey tested positive for the virus. 

Later in the week, the Steelers announced that a staff member had tested positive, and announced in a team statement: “The Steelers are working with the NFL and medical advisors to complete the necessary contact tracing. We will continue to evaluate the situation and make the appropriate adjustments as necessary, that best protect our players, coaches, and staff members.” 

Notably, the Las Vegas Raiders have been fined several times, amassing over $1.2 million for coronavirus related infractions, according to the NFL Network. As the team was a repeat offender, they have been stripped of a sixth-round draft pick by the NFL, the first team to be disciplined in this manner. According to Reuters, the team owner has plans to appeal these fines. 

As the season goes on, the NFL continues to adjust protocols and set new procedures for the professional football teams as the first professional sports league to have a full and uninterrupted season during the pandemic.

After a Shortened 2020 Season, Major League Baseball Free Agency is Underway

Written By: Devin Garner

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 17: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Manager Dave Roberts #30 after the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the NLCS at Globe Life Field on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

On Nov. 1, 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) free agency began. After a shortened season filled with disappointment for many major league teams, each team has hope to acquire players during this period that will improve their roster. Headlining the list of free agents this season include pitcher Trevor Bauer, catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder George Springer, outfielder Marcell Ozuna and infielder DJ LeMahieu. 

As each team has their own needs heading into the offseason, many seek after the big names that headline the market. With the big spending that took place last season during free agency with the acquisitions of players such as Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole, many free agents this year are likely to be highly paid for their services. 

The 2020 MLB Cy Young Award Winner is the most highly sought after pitcher in this year’s free agency. In 2020, Bauer posted a 1.73 earned run average (ERA) across 73 innings pitched. According to ESPN: “He went 5-4 with an NL-best 1.73 ERA in 11 starts, helping the Reds to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Animated on the field and outspoken off of it, the 29-year-old right hander struck out 100 in 73 innings and led the majors with two shutouts…” Potential suitors for the pitcher include the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves.

Another impact player who many teams have their eye on is former Philadelphia Phillies catcher, J.T. Realmuto. Not only is Realmuto a well-renowned catcher, but he is also a force to be reckoned with in the batter’s box. Realmuto has a career batting average of .278. Potential suitors for the well-renowned catcher are the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

2017 World Series Champion outfielder George Springer is another player that MLB executives hope to build their outfield around. According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com: “Springer, 31, will be one of the biggest names on the free-agent market this offseason and will be looking to cash in following a regular season in which he posted an .899 OPS with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 51 games. He hit four postseason homers, giving him a franchise-record 19 in the playoffs.” Teams that have expressed interest in the stud outfielder include the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Washington Nationals.

Infield phenom DJ LeMahieu is another player who has hit the open market with aspirations of making big money. LeMahieu has been a significant force in the New York Yankees lineup since 2019 after arriving from the Colorado Rockies. He holds a career .305 batting average and numerous accolades since his MLB debut in 2011. Possible destinations for LeMahieu include the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Regardless of where the big-named players land in free agency, they are sure to leave an impact. As teams continue to pursue these highly sought-after players, fans can sit back and root for their favorite team to sign one of these players.

Washington Football Team Head Coach Finishes Final Round of Chemotherapy Treatment

Written By: Devin Garner

LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 11: Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera shakes hands with Washington Football Team starting quarterback Kyle Allen (8) before the game between the Washington Football Team and the Los Angeles Rams at FedEx Field on Sunday, October 11, 2020. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On Aug. 20, The Washington Football Team announced that head coach, Ron Rivera had been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer. While this was sure not to be an easy fight for coach Rivera, he and other members of the front office reassured fans that he would still be the coach of the team throughout his chemotherapy treatments. After seven weeks of treatment, on Monday Oct. 26, the team announced that Rivera had finished his last cancer treatment.

When originally diagnosed in August, Rivera said in an interview with CNN, “I was stunned… But I was angry because I feel like I am in the best health that I have been in.” While the news was shocking to many, the team remained calm and rallied behind their well-renowned head coach. In the case that Rivera could no longer assume the role of head coach throughout his treatment, the team came up with a plan B that would give defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio the title of interim head coach while Rivera recovered. 

However, throughout his treatment process, he only missed a few practices and never missed a game. While he did receive treatments during halftime of some games, it never affected his ability to coach the team. Many of the players and coaches even used Rivera’s courage to inspire their play and coaching. In an interview with Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post, offensive coordinator Scott Turner says, “I think if Coach can come to work and push through what he’s dealing with, none of us have any excuses.”

Now that Rivera’s treatment is completed, there will still be struggles that he faces along the way. According to John Keim of ESPN, Rivera will have several follow-up appointments and scans. However, now his cancer treatment is finished and he is on the road to recovery. As guard Brandon Scherff said in an interview with Keim in regards to what Rivera has overcome, “It’s amazing… Talking to him on the field, you would never know what he is going through.”

As Rivera’s team heads into the bye week of the NFL season after knocking off the division rival Dallas Cowboys, they find themselves in the midst of the NFC east playoff race with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Whether or not they rally behind the feat of their head coach in the final weeks of the season to clinch a berth in the playoffs is yet to be determined. 

Whether or not the team is able to clinch a berth in the playoffs or not, it should not overshadow what their coach overcame to allow his team to even be in the position in which they are in. Several weeks of fighting through what many would consider impossible just to ensure that he was still able to lead his team on and off the field. As stated by team president Jason Wright on Twitter in regards to the accomplishments of Rivera, “The complexities of culture change on a young team, a (weird) NFC East race, a pandemic, while fighting with [his] family, emotionally and physically, on a journey to health… We bear witness to something special.”

Dodgers Win World Series Title for the First Time in 32 Years

Written By: Olivia Sothoron

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 17: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Manager Dave Roberts #30 after the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the NLCS at Globe Life Field on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up their 60-game season by claiming the World Series title after beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in the sixth game of the best-of-seven series. Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Los Angeles’ catcher, Austin Barnes, scored on a wild pitch followed shortly by right fielder Mookie Betts, scoring on a fielder’s choice by shortstop Corey Seager, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead over the Rays. The Dodgers franchise now boasts seven World Series titles, with their previous title coming from their win in 1988 against the New York Mets.

2020 has presented challenges for all aspects of life, including in the realm of professional sports. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) season was pushed back from a March start date to July, which meant that the 60-game season would turn out to be a sprint, rather than a marathon. The Dodgers picked up numerous additions before the 2020 season, including pitchers Blake Treinen, Alex Wood, and Jake McGee–who was picked up after being released by the Colorado Rockies in July. In addition to these new bullpen contenders, the Dodgers picked up Mookie Betts, a stud outfielder and productive hitter from the Boston Red Sox. Betts scored both the go-ahead run in the Dodgers’ championship game and added on an insurance run with a solo homerun shot in the bottom of the eighth. 

The Dodgers took advantage of a pitching change in the bottom of the sixth inning when Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell, the Rays’ ace who boasts a 3.24 career earned run average after giving up a single to Austin Barnes. Barnes’ hit was followed by a double by Betts, putting two runners in scoring position. Nick Anderson, who replaced Snell on the mound, gave up both the tying run and the go-ahead run, costing the Rays the lead for the rest of the game. 

Although this is their first title in 32 years, the Dodgers have made three World Series appearances in the past four years. Los Angeles Manager Dave Roberts said in an interview with CNN: “I had a crazy feeling that came to fruition. It’s just a special group of players, organization, just all that we’ve kind of overcome, I just knew that we weren’t going to be denied this year.” Roberts has managed the Dodgers since 2016, and accompanied his team on World Series appearances in 2017, 2018 and 2020, where they emerged victorious. 

COVID-19 tainted the 2020 MLB season and these fears remained inescapable even during the final game of the World Series. Heading into the top of the eighth, the Dodgers defense indicated that something was wrong by the shifts in the players’ positions. Edwin Rios entered into the game playing third base and batting eighth in the lineup, replacing Joc Pederson; Chris Taylor shifted from second base to left field; Enrique Hernandez entered the game batting third in the lineup, replacing Justin Turner at third base. Turner disappeared from the dugout and rumors started to emerge about an injury. After the Dodgers’ victory, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that Turner had received a positive COVID-19 test, which is why he had been pulled from the game. 

Turner had been asked to self-isolate after receiving his positive results, however, nobody prevented him from rejoining his team to celebrate the victory. World Series MVP Corey Seager told ESPN that Turner’s positive result is “gut-wrenching… It hurts me. I can’t imagine how he feels. If I could switch places with him right now, I would, because that man more than anybody deserves to take a picture with that trophy, celebrate with us, have his family around and enjoy this moment, and that got taken away from him, and that’s not right. That doesn’t sit well with me.”

However, Turner’s COVID-19 test results were not the only positive part of the night, as the Dodgers players and families celebrated their hard-fought victories throughout an unprecedented 2020 season.

Winter Spotlight on The SMCM Swimming Team

Written By: Maggie Bennett

As the winter season quickly approaches, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) swim team is ready to get back in action. Their first practice was Sept. 21, where they were able to swim in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics Center (MPOARC) at SMCM. However, due to the pandemic, the team is not scheduled for any swim meets. According to the SMCM Athletics Site of the St. Mary’s College Seahawks, they are “Following extensive discussions and planning; the Atlantic East Conference Presidents’ Council supported a recommendation from the NCAA Division III Administrative Council to postpone competition for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester.”

Head coach of the SMCM swimming team, Casey Brandt says that, “It’s an interesting year for everyone, but I think comparatively the swim team is in a fairly good position.” They ended the 2019 season off with a bang. Their final win against Frostburg State University occurred on Jan. 18, and before then the team was on a hot-streak, dating back to  Jan. 4. 

As of Aug. 19, the team is a member of the Atlantic East Conference. In fact, the  “Commissioner Jessica Huntley and the Atlantic East Conference is proud to announce another affiliate addition to the league, welcoming St. Mary’s College of Maryland as an associate member in men’s and women’s swimming, effective Fall 2020.”

However, things are definitely different this year. According to Brandt, “with the pool space we have and our ability to distance in training, we have relatively few restrictions in our actual workouts.”  While the team is able to practice, they cannot all practice together. Coach Brandt says, “We are on a modified schedule so the training is not as intensive as in past seasons but we have been able to establish a consistent routine and get some much-needed interaction as a team.” Although they are not all together, they are still able to practice in the pool in the MPOARC. They team has also gotten together over zoom to discuss their hopes and goals for seasons to come.

Even though they are not scheduled to compete as they normally would, Brandt claims that “the lack of a competitive season has also given us the time to break down strokes and work on efficiency, which I believe will have long term benefit for our athletes.” Unfortunately, the seniors will not get to experience their senior season as other student athletes in the past have due to COVID-19.

Since the season is starting up Coach Brandt wants the team as a whole, “Overall, the ability to come together as a team consistently, focus on staying healthy both physically and mentally, and reconnect with technique fundamentals in our sport without the pressure of competition has been a positive experience and will give us a good foundation moving forward”. With the team focusing on staying mentally and physically healthy, this time could provide the team an opportunity to grow. It will also allow for more time to practice and prepare for seasons to come.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Women’s Soccer Continues to Stay Focused

Written By: Devin Garner

As the fall season was postponed due to COVID-19, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) women’s soccer team has had to find a way to continue to work for seasons to come. Led by head coach Peter Krech (‘09) the team has continued to stay connected as a team and have kept their eye on a potential season. 

Two players who have been key leaders for the team both on and off the field are Madison Webb (‘21) and Lauren Baker (‘22). Both Webb and Baker have continued to push their team to the next level. When asking Baker how she has served as a mentor to her younger teammates, she said, “I have been trying to mentor younger players by building good relationships with them so they have someone to look up to. I have been working my hardest on and off the field so that [the younger players] have an example to look up to. I am also always available for questions.” Baker has truly been a stabilizing influence for the team throughout these treacherous times and has helped to keep the team together through virtual team meetings, workouts, movie nights and trivia. 

Madison Webb has also been an important player for the program in her time at SMCM. As a senior at the college, she has placed her focus on mentoring beyond athletics. She states, “my main focus for my younger teammates is to make sure that they are enjoying their experiences at St. Mary’s.” She continues by saying, “Yes, winning games is important, but you are more likely to remember the good times that were had and how you felt playing with teammates, rather than the final score of every game played.” When asking head coach Krech on the impact of Webb in her time at SMCM, he had glowing remarks as she started off as a walk-on to the team and not an official recruit. He states, “She has had to deal with a lot of adversity over the years and is currently dealing with a bit of an injury, but she has persevered and been a great captain over the last two years.” In continuing to remark on the impact of Webb he remarks: “She is someone that will check on and drop what she is doing to help someone else if needed. I am very proud of her development as a leader and that is probably the biggest area we will lose from her when she graduates.”

Though the players are not playing in real games, they have still found ways to get better. The team began training together on Sept. 24 and are practicing three to four days together for the remainder of the fall semester. While they are practicing as a team, Krech acknowledged that many of the athletes are also working on their own to stay prepared. When asking Webb on how her team is making up for not playing this fall, she argues: “While we are not allowed to play any form of contact soccer yet, it is great to be out on the field with all of the girls. Since I will not be getting a ‘true’ senior season, it is nice to still have practice with everyone.”

As the team continues to work throughout the fall semester, they acknowledge that the future of the team is promising. Baker remarks: “We have a really good outlook for our team in the upcoming years. We have a lot of younger players that will be able to continue to build our program.” Krech adds his remarks by saying, “While it is too early to judge exactly where we are at from a soccer specific level, the outlook is positive for sure… The hope is that we can set the necessary foundation related to our team culture, core values, expectations to hit the ground running in the North Eastern Athletic Conference next Fall.”

The team has put in the work to be successful for seasons to come. Be sure to go out and support the SMCM women’s soccer team when they play again as they will be a force to be reckoned with.