Field hockey beats Montclair State, men’s crew races at Head of the Snake

Next week, men’s crew will race at the Head of the Charles regatta. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Field hockey:

Pilar Torres ’26 and Emily Batchelor ’23 shone during the Ephs’ (9–3, 4–3 NESCAC) match on Sunday, extending their winning streak to four games by beating the Montclair State Red Hawks (8–6) 4-0 on Williamson Field.

With eight shots in the first quarter, the Ephs were unable to score, and the game was leveled at 0-0 heading into the second quarter.

However, the Ephs got on the board off of a penalty corner at the 26:37 mark. Pilar Torres found her sister, Catherine Torres ’23, who launched a rocket into the top left corner and gave the Ephs a 1-0 lead heading into the second half.

In the third quarter, Meaghan Boehm ’25 got past a few defenders and put a cross in the shooting area, where Batchelor was able to pick it up and give the Ephs a two-goal lead. At the 40-minute mark, Pilar Torres put the ball in the back of the net. Batchelor found Pilar Torres wide open on the left-hand side of the goal, and Torres was able to finish the job.

The final goal of the day came six minutes into the fourth quarter. Natalia Nolan ’26 found Batchelor, who got the ball past the goalkeeper and recorded her 17th goal of the season.

“Great game all around,” Head Coach Alix Barrale said. “Everyone on the team contributed to this big win. We controlled play with strong passing and stellar defense. [Montclair State] had great defense, and their goalkeeper had some spectacular saves. It took us a while to score, but we earned every goal!”

The Ephs outshot the Red Hawks 27-2, with eight shots on goal for Williams and one on target for Montclair State.

The Ephs will take on Hamilton College (8–4, 4–4 NESCAC) on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. on Williamson Field.

Men’s crew:

On Saturday, men’s crew made the journey to Lake Quinsigamond for the Head of the Snake regatta, the first of three fall races in the ’22-’23 season. In stark contrast to last year’s biting headwinds, the Ephs arrived in Worcester to excellent racing weather: warming sunshine, calm water, and only slight wind on the course. Perhaps the most unique feature of this year’s Snake was the Ephs’ depth, as the team fielded five boats in the Men’s Collegiate Eight-plus event.

For any crew, the fall season will consist of head races stretching anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 meters. Usually held on rivers, head races emphasize the importance of the coxswain and their steering ability, as winding turns and staggered starts make for a more challenging racing environment. The same is true at the Snake, a somewhat straight 2.5-mile shot down Lake Quinsigamond, notable for its narrows and many islands.

For many of the 45 athletes racing Saturday, it was their first race wearing Williams’ purple W, or even — for the new walk-on rowers and coxswains — their first race ever. This was the case for seven of the nine athletes racing in the fifth varsity eight, which notched a time of 16:20.1. While this was the slowest time in the open Collegiate Eight-plus event, their performance would’ve netted them a silver medal in the separate Collegiate Novice Eight-plus event, second only to WPI’s novice crew.

Novice coxswain Fiona Seibert ’24 steered the fourth varsity eight to a second-place finish among fourth boats. The race featured an exciting battle with Holy Cross all the way through the finish line, with the Ephs ultimately posting a time of 14:40.4. “Getting to cox a race for the first time ever this weekend was a really amazing experience!” Seibert said. “Holy Cross’ [fourth varsity] walked through our boat early on in the race, but we were able to make the push to keep them from gaining any open water on us and eventually were able to make a move through them in the last 1500 meters and really put up a fight. Though they finished with a better time than us, we crossed the finish line with our bowball ahead, and it made for a really fun and exhilarating racing experience.”

Pushed on during practice by the team’s newfound depth, the Ephs’ top three boats were able to post strong showings in their races as well, coming in as the top Div. III team in the first, second, and third eights. The Ephs’ third varsity eight came in 12th overall, significantly out-performing their bow number to come in second among all third boats. Trent Boone ’25 offered his insight from seat seven of the third eight: “We had a pretty solid race overall,” he said. “In the first 3k we were doing a pretty good job connecting together and moving the boat, executing well on what we’d worked on in practice. It started to fall apart a little bit in the last 1k, but all in all it was a pretty good race.”

Williams’ second eight took seventh overall with a time of 13:40.14, coming in only 1.39 seconds behind Holy Cross’ second eight. Max Mallett ’23.5 shared his reflections on the race. 

“The Head of the Snake was a great start to the season,” Mallett said. “The weather was incredible, and the racing conditions were good — a somewhat rare occurrence on the Quinsigamond. It felt amazing to get after it and race for the first time this year. Everyone in the boat was happy with our performance, and we are excited for what’s to come, both for the rest of this fall and the spring.”

Williams’ first varsity boat finished in third with a time of 13:19.8, just six seconds off Holy Cross’ winning time and three seconds behind MIT. For Head Coach Marc Mandel, the most important piece of such an early fall race was putting training into real-time practice.

“The Quinsigamond Snake regatta is always a fun early-in-the-year opportunity to shake off the racing cobwebs against quality competition,” Mandel said. “I felt all of our crews exemplified what we’ve been focusing on in practice, and I’m excited to take advantage of our last two weeks on the water to keep building speed leading into winter training.”

The Ephs will race in Boston at the Head of the Charles regatta next weekend and in Saratoga, N.Y., at the Head of the Fish, their final fall race before winter training.