The independent student newspaper at Goucher College

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Reese Finnigan

Reese Finnigan has 9 articles published.

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Reese (she/her) is the Sports Section Editor at the Quindecim and a sophomore History major. She is from Dallas, Texas and a graduate of Grapevine High School. Reese is a distance runner on the varsity track and cross country team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running and rock & roll.

Winter Sports Start Up

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The Goucher Athletics department has officially wrapped up all fall sports, and has started the winter season. Winter sports include mens and womens basketball, swim, and indoor track. 

Indoor track practice started a little over a month ago, and the team’s first meet is scheduled for December 03, at the Armory in New York. The team has several high-level returners, including nationally-ranked Carter Hinton-Ayodele ‘25. 

There are also several new members, as well as an entirely revamped coaching staff. Head coach Erick Camodeca is viewing the upcoming season as a “continuation” of what the track team was able to accomplish last spring.

“We are seeing that process play out early this season in our practice sessions,” he said, “The team’s growth, development, and understanding of the sport and skills has significantly improved.” 

When asked about his goals for the team this year, he said “Our goal is simple: be better than we were last year.”

The Goucher men’s basketball team started the winter season with the MMI Tip-off against Hood on November 11. The team faced early losses, but both the coaching staff and players have confidence in the team to come back as the season proceeds. 

Senior Josh Lichti said, “Obviously our first 2 games didn’t go as we had hoped, but I thought we bounced back well in our third game. The energy within the team is great to start this year. We are all excited about our potential this season and working towards achieving that potential.” 

Head coach Tom Rose agrees that the team atmosphere and energy is strong, and echoes the goals other sport’s coaching staffs have about improvement. 

“I think the energy is good with this team,” he said, “The players and I understand that we are a work in progress, so we can achieve our goal to be the best version of ourselves and become a team that will compete for a conference championship… I’m excited how this team grows after every practice and game right now.”

The women’s basketball team played their first game a few days prior to the men, opening on November 08 against Shanandoah. The women’s basketball team is idle until November 30, and will be hosting Gallaudet. 

Members of the women’s basketball team did not respond to requests for comments.

Above photo of Kyani Quarles, courtesy of Goucher Athletics; feature photo of Octavious Johnson Courtesy of Goucher Athletics.

The Goucher men’s and women’s swim teams started their season in early October, with their first competition taking place at Hood College against Hood and Stevenson on October 15. They had four meets, and closed out the fall portion of their season on November 19, hosting Marymount at home. 

Goucher swim team cheers at a home meet, image courtesy of @goucherswimming on Instagram

Head coach Thomas Till said the swim coaching staff is “looking for our teams this year to work together to help each other achieve their goals and that collectively is our team goal.  Push each other, be a positive influence on each other and hold accountable those standards.” 

The Goucher swim team will next compete again on January 14 in a tri-meet hosted by Moravian.

Members of the women’s basketball team did not respond to requests for comments. 

For more information regarding winter sports and schedules, visit athletics.goucher.edu.

Athlete to Watch: Josh Lichti

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As autumn ends, Josh Lichti finds himself starting something: his final season as a member of the Goucher Men’s Basketball team. Lichti is a linchpin for the team– he’s started every game of every season during his career here at Goucher. This is not without reason.  

Last season, he averaged 9.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, establishing himself as a player with regularly solid stats. Lichti is currently shooting 35.7% in field goals, and is 100% from the free throw line. Last season, his three-point percentage was 39.7%, which is roughly equal to that of NBA star Steph Curry.

However, according to head coach Tom Rose, the main reason Lichti is always on the court isn’t due to his rebounding abilities, or even his high shooting averages. 

“The most important thing is that his teammates and coaches know they can count on him,” said Rose. 

With such an impressive record, it would be easy to imagine Lichti getting an inflated ego. But Lichti remains humble. 

“I’m just trying to use my experience to help lead some of the younger players,” he said, “As a senior, I have been through a lot, so I try to use that experience to help the team. But obviously there are a lot of other people that help to lead the team as well.” 

People involved in the team back up Lichti’s statement, describing his leadership style as “quiet, determined, and steady.” 

Rose said that Lichti “has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches through his competitive effort in practice and games over his career.”

Off the court, Lichti has a high GPA and is majoring in psychology. Covid cost him his sophomore season, meaning that despite being a senior academically, he holds junior NCAA eligibility. With such a gold plated career at Goucher, one might expect that Lichti would use that extra year of eligibility status to continue to play here. But he quickly put those rumors to bed. 

“I don’t have plans finalized for next year, but I will be graduating in the spring and have been treating this season like my last,” he said. 

For more information on Lichti, the men’s basketball team, and the game schedule, visit athletics.goucher.edu.

Soccer’s ECAC Runs Leave Hope for Future

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On November 7, it was announced that both Goucher’s women’s and men’s soccer teams scored a bid to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament. A week later, they continued into the postseason and played ECAC games for the first time in school history.  

The women’s team was ranked at the number four seed, and set to play in Madison, New Jersey against top-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson University Florham on November 12. They ended up blanking, and ended their season with a 3-0 loss. 

“Everyone on our team worked extremely hard to get to the point that we did,” said Belle St. Jean ‘24 after the game, “While losing in the semifinals of ECACs was unfortunate, I am still very proud of the effort and determination that we showed.” 

The women’s team recorded its highest win total since 2015, posting eight wins this season, and finished with a 1.00 team goals-against average– its lowest since 2012. 

“We had a really great run with getting a winning record and getting to play in ECACs which was an amazing experience,” said St. Jean, “I’m already looking forward to next season!”

The men’s team was ranked second seed, and hosted third seed Neumann at Beldon Field on November 12. 

Going into the game, Ali Kazim Nakhid ‘23 said that he “felt like we all still had something to prove.” 

“We were at the point where, for me, every game was bigger than us,” said Nakhid, “Winning meant one more reason that we are in fact the best team in this program’s history.” 

The Goucher men had already bested Neumann once early in the regular season, but Nakhid warned his teammates that this game would be more difficult. Following a slow start to the game, during halftime he gave his teammates an impassioned speech, reminding them that the game was more than just a scrimmage. 

His words worked as motivation, and the team won 1-0 thanks to last-minute heroics by Xavier Dever ‘23, who scored with 14 seconds remaining in the game. 

Dever said this win was “one of the most memorable games of [his] life,” in a string of many incredible games the team had this season. 

Above: Xavier Dever on the field for Goucher, Feature image: the women’s team lines up at Beldon Field (images courtesy of the Goucher Athletics Website

Following the win, the men moved into the quarterfinals on November 13, facing off against number one seed Alvernia. Despite the cold, crowds turned out to support the Gophers at home. 

Nakhid said he “never really notices the crowd when playing, but on Sunday [he] felt them.” 

“I had never seen the atmosphere at Goucher like that,” he said, “It was freezing outside, I didn’t think that many people would show up. But they did. And they stayed… We really weren’t out there on our own.” 

After being down 2-0 for much of the game, the Gophers rallied, scoring twice in the last five minutes of regulation to take the game into overtime. Nakhid recalled the last two minutes of the game in detail, every second, every movement, every snap-decision, in precise detail. 

“We clawed back. Yaya [Diabagate] scored the first with four minutes left, and I said to myself ‘okay, now’s the time,’” said Nakhid. 

With the help of teammates Adrian Mubiru and Andres Aristimuno, Nakhid was able to score, sending the game into extra minutes. After two scoreless overtimes, the game went into a shootout, which Goucher lost 4-5. 

For the players, that loss was painful. 

“It was heartbreaking,” Nakhid said, “more-so than after the Etown game in Landmark, because it felt like it was really over.” 

Despite that, he has no regrets in his choices, or in how his team played. 

“They put it all out there, what more can you ask?” he said. 

Dever agreed and said, “the team has nothing to be ashamed of, we battled the entire season and unfortunately came up short right at the end.” 

Both men shared strong emotional ties towards the others on their team, and expressed incredible gratitude when looking back on the season. 

“This season not only left me with great memories and experiences, but also friendships and bonds that will last much longer than my years here at Goucher,” said Dever, “There’s nothing better than playing the best sport on Earth with your brothers.” 

So yes, the loss hurt. These teams trained for months, and accomplished incredible things, but there were still a few dreams left unfulfilled. 

Nakhid is graduating– he’ll never put on the blue and gold uniform again. However, he isn’t worried about the fate of his team. 

“Soccer is a cruel lover. Surely after joy there is pain, and surely after pain there is joy,” he said, “The program goes on. It doesn’t end at us, despite it feeling like it does. It goes on.”

Goalkeeper Alessandro Sternini ’26 Recounts Men’s Soccer’s Return to Landmark Playoffs

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It was dark out when first-year Alessandro Sternini walked into the dining hall lobby, freshly showered after an evening soccer practice ran late. He hadn’t even had time to grab dinner yet when he met to talk with me about the men’s soccer season.

After looking around the empty lobby he spotted me in a corner booth and smiled as he sat down. We skipped the introductions, having corresponded via email for several days. Wearing a disarming smile and a wholesome, kind, open attitude, Sternini quickly won me over, despite having never met him in person before. 

It was in a similar fashion that he won over his coaches earlier this season. Hailing from Rome, Italy, Sternini grew up on soccer.

“I played goalie on a youth professional team – Lazio,” he said, then quickly began to spell the team name for me, pronouncing “Z” as “zed,” in European fashion.

COVID hit Italy hard, and once the pandemic had died down, Sternini found himself looking for a change.

“Post COVID, I moved to the U.S for my senior year of high school, in Massachusetts, near Springfield,” he said, “I played my senior season there.”

He was connected with Goucher coach Bryan Laut through a friend and now, one year later, he’s enjoying the experience. 

The men’s soccer team has posted a successful season; the Gophers claimed nine wins, the most in a season since 2006.

“The strength of the team is not in the individual, it’s in the group,” Sternini said.

He realized this during the first chunk of the season, during which he did not get playing time.

“In the beginning, I didn’t start, but I was putting 100% effort in practice,” Sternini said.

The coaching staff noticed his hard work, and when the Gophers played at Neumann on September 05, Sternini was put in the game. Goucher ended up winning 5-3, and Sternini became the main goalkeeper for the Gophers. 

From the beginning, the coaches told this team they were a special group.

“They kept saying we could end up doing something good,” said Sternini of the coach’s expectations, “but words aren’t something where then you can just go on the field and play; you need something behind it, and with every win, we got more confidence and the chemistry was…” Here Sternini paused, searching for the right word, before apologizing, as he laughed and shook his head in mild frustration. He continued, “The team was bonding, building confidence that it was an important group and could do something good.”

Something good indeed. The Goucher men’s soccer team finished out October with a return to the playoffs for only the second time in program history, and the first time since 2014. The team came from behind to win 2-1 against Moravian on Saturday, October 29, and successfully clinched its spot to advance to the playoffs.

When I asked him about the energy the team had following that come-from-behind victory at home, Sternini ducked his head, chuckling. He then told me that, with less than ten minutes left in the game, he was subbed out. He had received a hit to the head, and required staples to close the wound.

“Neither me or Coach wanted it, but apparently it was a bad injury, and the trainer said I needed to get staples immediately. So I missed the celebration,” he paused for comedic emphasis, before chuckling as he finished his thought, “But I know the team was celebrating while I was in the hospital.” 

Sternini in action, image courtesy of @gouchermenssoccer on Instagram. Feature image at top courtesy of the Goucher Athletics website.

Energy was high the days before the first playoff game Wednesday, November 02. The school hosted a bus to bring rowdy students out to support their team as they aimed to create history in the postseason. However, for Sternini, Wednesday’s game wasn’t a guarantee.

“I went to Coach three hours before the bus left to try [playing] with a helmet and see how it would feel.” he said.

The trial ended up going well, and together he, the trainers, and the coaching staff decided Sternini would play goalkeeper in Goucher’s first postseason game for nearly a decade, with a helmet on to protect his recent wound.

The Gophers, sitting as the third-seed team, went on to suffer a heartbreaking loss to number-two-seed Elizabethtown that night, in a penalty kick shootout after a 0-0 double-overtime tie.

“Their third place finish is the best all-time and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to compete in the Landmark Conference Tournament,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Andrea Ricketts-Preston, “While the result in the semi-finals at Elizabethtown wasn’t what we had hoped for, seeing our students, staff and faculty come out to support the team was impressive.”

Another silver lining is that, despite the loss, the team played well both offensively and defensively. Goucher got a number of solid shots off during the game, but all were blocked by the Blue Jay’s goalkeeper. Likewise, Sternini made six saves, leading to what was his fifth shutout of the season.

“It was an important game,” Sternini said, his face getting serious for the first time in the entire discussion. “It ended up with penalty kicks. I saved the first one, but unfortunately penalty kicks are a coin flip, and we ended up losing it.”

He hesitated, before adding softly “the atmosphere was pretty bad after that.”

Now, less than a week later, hope is renewed for the men’s soccer team. The coaches’ predictions of this group being special have indeed rung true; It was announced on Monday, November 07, just hours before my meeting with Sternini, that Goucher had secured a spot for the ECAC tournament, for the first time in program history.

The school will host games Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13, with Goucher playing in Game One on Saturday afternoon. Their opponent? Neumann, the team Sternini started his collegiate career defending against two months ago. Speaking for the team, Sternini said “We’re excited about being… here at home Saturday, to play Neumann, who we already faced during the season. We hope to feel strong, as we did in every game we faced, and just play.”

For more information regarding the tournament schedule and results, please visit athletics.goucher.edu.

Katie Russo Hired as Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach

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On October 25, 2022, the Goucher Athletics department announced that Katie Russo will be taking over as head women’s lacrosse coach. Russo previously served as a graduate assistant coach for Frostburg University and as head coach at Eastern Mennonite University. 

“I’m excited to have Katie join our team to lead the women’s lacrosse program. Her energy and passion for developing student-athletes in and out of competition really came through during the interview process,” said Andrea Ricketts-Preston, Senior Associate Athletic Director, “She’s the right person at the right time to lead our young women, she’ll be completely invested in creating an outstanding student-athlete experience, helping them to achieve their potential and recruiting future Gophers to elevate our competitive level on the field.”

Her duties at Goucher College officially began November 7.  

Russo did not respond to requests for comment. For more information, please visit the Goucher athletics website (athletics.goucher.edu).

Feature image at top courtesy of the Goucher Athletics website.

Athlete to Watch: Darcy McFarland, Womens Swim

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The Goucher Swim season opened on October 22, 2022, with a tri-meet against Elizabethtown and Immaculata. Darcy McFarland ‘24 picked up Goucher’s only individual gold of the day, placing first in the 50 yard butterfly with a time of 29.64 seconds. 

McFarland is no stranger to success. Last season, she posted numerous top-three finishes and was named a member of the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll, an honor reserved for upperclass student-athletes with cumulative GPAs of over 3.2. 

In addition to McFarland being an outstanding athlete and student, the swim community spoke highly of her character as well. Out of the pool and the classroom, McFarland is described by teammates as an “angel.” 

“She’s very nice and funny,” teammate Avery McEachern said, before adding that McFarland is an “amazing swimmer.” 

Swim coach Thomas Till emphasized these traits verbatim and said, “it’s great to see when a student-athlete on your team, who works hard, is a great example in the classroom, and is all around a great person- and you see them perform well and hit their strides.” 

He said that McFarland and a close teammate spent the first half of 2022 studying for their EMT certificates, on top of keeping top-level grades and competing on the swim team. 

“They both were able to earn the great accomplishment [of the certification],” Till said, “[I’m] so proud to think about this!”

Feature image at top: McFarland in action, courtesy of the Goucher Athletics website.

New Old Faces in the Athletic Department

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This fall sees the return of two legendary coaches from Goucher history with Kyle Hannan coming back as head men’s lacrosse coach, and John Caslin returning as the senior distance running and cross country coach. 

Hannan was at Goucher for twelve seasons from 2001-2012. The lacrosse team had an incredible run under his authority, capturing two Landmark Conference championship wins and two NCAA playoff appearances. He was part of the Landmark Conference coaching staff of the year in 2010, and is widely regarded as the most successful men’s lacrosse coach at Goucher. 

After leaving Goucher 2012, Hannan landed at Mercer College in 2013 where he coached their Division I lacrosse program. After eight seasons there, he resigned, stating in a press release “I have been coaching collegiate athletics for the past 34 years… The time has come for me to begin an exciting new chapter of my life in the business sector of lacrosse. This is an amazing opportunity for my wife and two children.” 

After nearly a decade away, his return was announced this past summer. 

John Caslin also returned to Goucher this season in a senior position as he guides Goucher newcomer JT Klopcic. Caslin was the head cross country coach here at Goucher for 26 years, and had created and run the track program for 19 years when he left Goucher in December of 2019. 

Caslin felt “it was time for someone younger and with more energy to run the program,” and was confident in his successor, Erick Camodeca, to fill his shoes. Caslin actually recommended Camodeca for the position, and said “he had run for me in the early days of the track program and had been our track & field GA. He is really one of the best Division III coaches in the country. It was easy for me to leave it to him.” 

After two seasons, Camodeca reached out to Caslin about coming back to help with the team. 

“Coach Cam and I chat quite frequently and in our conversations we would talk about our programs,” Caslin said, “I was excited when he asked if I would be interested in returning to work with the distance runners. It was a pretty easy decision in a lot of ways because Goucher is home to me.”

Now that both men have made their return to Goucher, the work at home begins. Hannan is looking forward to the spring for lacrosse season, but isn’t waiting until then to start making positive changes to the team. “He’s been super busy with recruiting,” sources inside the athletic department reported. 

Caslin has also hit the ground running. “The goal is to move the student athletes and the team forward to make the step that will lead Goucher to being competitive in the Landmark Conference within the very near future,” he said, “The Landmark Conference has developed into a premier cross country conference, so we have some work to do, [but] I have been impressed with the work ethic and willingness that this women’s team has made to improve. It is great to be back!” 

Athlete to Watch: Tanise Thornton-Fillyaw

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During Family and Friends Weekend, the Goucher Cross Country team hosted the second annual Coach Caslin Classic. The race was dominated by Moravian University, who placed eleven runners in the top fifteen spots. However, one Goucher runner stepped up to ensure they didn’t sweep the podium– Tanise Thornton-Fillyaw ‘26. 

Thornton-Fillyaw is a new addition to the team, coming in as a freshman from Bethesda, Maryland. Despite being a first-year student and collegiate athlete, she’s wasted no time in making an impact on the team. 

“Tanise has been a great addition to the cross-country team this year,” said Coach JT Klopcic, “Her commitment to her training on and off the course, as well as to her teammates and success has put her in the position to be one of the top first year runners in school history, the [Landmark] Conference and the Mid-Atlantic region.” 

The results speak for themselves; Thornton-Fillyaw currently holds the twenty-sixth fastest time for a 6K (the standard women’s collegiate cross country racing distance), at the school, and is ranked as the ninth overall runner in Goucher athletics history. An impressive feat, especially considering this is Thornton-Fillyaw’s rookie season. 

When you take her rookie status into consideration, the statistics only get more impressive. She is among the top five first-year runners in the Landmark Conference this season. 

“If there is one thing you can be sure about Tanise, it’s that she always brings the heat,” said teammate Skye Washington. 

As for Thornton-Fillyaw, she remains unruffled, despite the hype. 

“Wow, I wasn’t even aware of those rankings,” she laughed, “That’s crazy. I would say I’m very excited about that, and with some continued hard work, I hope to become rookie of the year.” 

Thornton-Fillyaw said that while she’s “happy with the start to [her] collegiate cross country season, [she’s] hoping to continue to drop time in the last few races of the season.” 

Thornton-Fillyaw and the Goucher cross country team have two races left in the season; Landmark Conference championships will be held here at Goucher on Saturday, October 29, with the race starting at 11AM. Thornton-Fillyaw is projected to also race in the Regional Championships on November 12.

Images of Thornton-Fillyaw courtesy of Summer James

World Series Precap: Written October 24

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This weekend wrapped up the National and American League Pennant series, with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros earning the chance to play in the World Series. Games start Friday, October 28. The two teams have had vastly different runs through the regular and postseasons, but are incredibly evenly matched in nearly every stat.

Philadelphia is a perennial underdog; they were in Rocky, the Eagles were in 2017, and that extends to the Phillies this year. Their season was doubted by experts and fans alike from start to postseason, and the team has, indeed, faced numerous bumps on the way through the season. 

However, that clearly didn’t stop them and the Phils managed to snag the final Wild Card spot in the National League postseason. Now, the postseason is heating up, and there’s no doubt that the Phillies are on a roll. Their bullpen is deep, and they have a strong batting lineup all the way through. Every player in the starting rotation has contributed to the team in a significant way during the postseason, and it’s safe to say the Phillies are at their peak performance of this season, if not of several seasons, right now. 

In a particularly Philadelphia style, the team (and fans) are using all the outside doubt to fuel their performance, and are playing with a chip on their shoulder and a “fuck you” attitude. Sunday night, the Phillies beat the San Diego Padres to clinch their spot in the World Series after a 4-1 run through the pennant. After a season that started with him unable to throw, and saw him out for XX weeks with a broken hand, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer Sunday night to win the game and the series, and was voted National League MVP, fueling their comeback feeling. In this way, it seems only fitting that the last team to get a spot for the postseason was the first team to clinch its spot for the World Series.

Meanwhile, the Astros are going into the series with a confidence similar to that of the New England Patriots during recent years: they’re the established elite, having been top dog for six years now, after their (since redacted) World Series win in 2017. 

Cheating scandal aside, the Astros are a legitimately good team. In the past six years, they’ve been to the World Series four times, and are a perfect 7-0 through the postseason. They have an extraordinary bullpen; the relief pitchers have an averaged .83ERA in the postseason, stacked behind pitchers like Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez. 

However, superstar Jose Altuve has been in a postseason funk, starting the playoffs going 0-for-25. Others on his team have stepped up, but the Astros will need Altuve to be at his best for this series. Make no mistake – the Astros batting averages this postseason are high, with Pena, Gurriel, and Bregman all hitting above .333, and their lineup has brought them into the World Series yet again, so Astros hitting is nothing to underestimate.

Going into the series, it’s anyone’s game. Momentum is on both team’s sides, following two dramatically different, but incredibly impressive postseason runs. The Phillies haven’t been to a World Series since 2009, during which they lost to the Yankees in six games, but several players on the team have significant postseason experience, including Kyle Schwarber, who was on the Chicago Cubs when they won the Series in 2016. The Astros are no newcomers to the World Series, and boast an 11-1 record in the month of October. The only loss they’ve had in that span? The Philadelphia Phillies, who beat them at Houston 3-0 on October 03.

Games one and two will be hosted in Minute Maid Park in Houston on Friday, October 28, and Saturday October 29, both starting at 8:03PM ET. Games three, four and five (if necessary,) will be in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, on Monday, October 31, Tuesday, November 01, and Wednesday November 02, all starting at 8:03PM ET. All games will be streamed on FOX.

By Reese Finnigan ’25

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