BOSTON – Bigger than it has ever been, with nearly 250 athletes and 18 varsity sports in action, Suffolk Athletics' achievements in competition, the classroom and the community did not disappoint in 2017-18 and now is Ram Nation's chance to relive the highlights from the year in the official Suffolk Athletics Year in Review. To read the entire year in review, click here.
All but one of Suffolk's post-season eligible squads gained access to play for a crown in their respective leagues with championship contention coming each season.
Women's golf got the crown collecting going in the fall as they surprised its conference and regional counterparts. The young program finished as the runner ups at the Empire 8 Championships before capturing the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association's (NEIGA) title. The Championship was a historical feat for the program, which was in its second season, and along the way Nicole Antonucci, Brooke Chapman and McKenzie McGrath became the first-ever Suffolk golfers – either male or female – to capture All-NEIGA First-Team status.
Winter saw men's hockey reach the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) playoffs for the first time, while the men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. The women's basketball team, meanwhile, punched its ticket to the championship contest after downing Emmanuel, 73-68, in the semis, marking the Rams' second-ever win over the Saints in the all-time series and first in the postseason. Ed Leyden's Rams fell short, but the milestones it reached along the way, including its third-ever 20-win season, were nothing short of noteworthy.
The highest athletic achievement was hit in the spring as Anthony Del Prete's Mutts dog piled once again with their fourth consecutive GNAC Championship and fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. On the other diamond, Jaclyn Davis guided the softball squad to its third regular season title in the last four years and a runner-up finish in the league tournament for the second straight season.
In a year of firsts, Will Feldman led Suffolk's track & field programs, both indoors and outdoors, for the first time in department history. The Rams' running seasons were scattered with standout individually performances.
The individual accolades piled up for the Rams over the year and once again baseball's senior centerfielder Brady Chant was at the center of the spotlight as he became the first-ever Suffolk student-athlete to garner ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove honors. Similar to Chant, who concluded a record-setting career in blue-and-gold, softball's Delaney Sylvester concluded her time in a Suffolk jersey with her fourth NFCA All-Northeast honor, the first Suffolk softball player to do so.
Overall, across its 18 active sports, Suffolk had 47 student-athletes garner all-conference recognition for 68 honors divided into multiple categories: 12 first-team, seven second-team, 13 third-team, 11 all-tournament team and 14 all-sportsmanship team selections. The accolades including GNAC Baseball Player of the Year (Chant), GNAC Softball Player of the Year (D. Sylvester), GNAC Softball Rookie of the Year (Payton Sylvester), GNAC Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year (Brendan Mulson), GNAC Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year (Jenni-Rose DiCecco) and GNAC Men's Tennis Rookie of the Year (Ariel Ilarslan Russo).
The athletic success transferred into the classroom as the department combined for a grade point average of 3.36 with 93 Rams earning all-conference academic recognition including a record 76 by the GNAC, 13 from the CCC (men's hockey) and four by the Empire 8 (women's golf). Three Rams – baseball's Chant, softball's Taylor Holmes and women's soccer's Alexandra Nagri – each garnered CoSIDA Academic All-District honors with Holmes going on to be tabbed Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American, just the second-ever Ram to do so. She was one of two Rams to achieve perfection in the classroom in each semester along with men's hockey's Shayne Bailey.
In the community, Suffolk joined together to answer Houston's call to donate gear to Hurricane Harvey relief effort, while teams continued to become involved in the community.