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Swarthmore men’s basketball advances to the Sweet 16

in Sports by

The Swarthmore men’s basketball team has been on the rise for years now. In fact, in the 2015-2016 season, the team had its first winning season since the 1996-1997 season. Much of the recent success enjoyed by Swarthmore men’s team has been due to its coach, Landry Kosmalski. In only five years at Swarthmore, Kosmalski has turned around a program that was consistently winning fewer than 10 games for years. Kosmalski brings vital basketball experience from his playing days as a star at Davidson College from 1996 to 2000. Kosmalski returned to Davidson after graduating as an assistant coach for the basketball team and briefly overlapped in his time there with current NBA star Stephen Curry. Kosmalski has brought a winning culture to Swarthmore and is a major reason why the team has advanced this far in the NCAA tournament.

The 2017-2018 squad has been the third team to win at least 20 games in the last three years, something Swarthmore’s team was not able to do for decades prior. Last year the team won the Centennial Conference Championship for the first time in its history, beating Dickinson at Tarble Pavilion. However, no Swarthmore team prior to the 2017-2018 team had ever made it the Round of 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament. Swarthmore’s team travelled up to Wesleyan University’s campus in Middletown, Conn., this past weekend, defeating New England College and the regional hosts Wesleyan to move onto the Sweet 16 of the tournament. The NCAA tournament rewards the best teams from different athletic conferences across the country with the luxury of “hosting” the first two rounds of the tournament. Wesleyan was one of these teams. The early rounds of the bracket are separated by region; this is why Swarthmore travelled to Connecticut as opposed to California or any other campus requiring a flight from Philadelphia. The Final Four semifinals and finals of the tournament are not hosted by a team, but rather a neutral site. This year, that site is Salem, Va.

Last Friday evening, the team suited up against New England College, showcasing its mental strength after sustaining a loss to Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference Championship just a week prior. Behind a massive first half, which included a 31-3 run in favor of Swarthmore, the Garnet defeated the 21-7 Pilgrims, 90-63. The team was led in scoring by standout guard Cam Wiley, who scored 23 points in 27 minutes of action. Wiley was efficient from the field, shooting 9-16. Zack Yonda ‘18 rose to the occasion, and shot 70 percent from the field to put up another 20 points for the team. Guard Conor Harkins ‘21 also came to play with 6 three-pointers on 12 attempts, which totaled for all of his 18 points. Harkins has consistently displayed his dangerous ability from three-point range this season, boasting the second highest three-point percentage in the Centennial Conference at 45.3 percent.

The team had little time to celebrate their victory, with the next matchup occurring the following Saturday evening against Wesleyan, playing in Wesleyan’s gym in front of a rowdy home crowd. The quality of the opponent themselves did not make the task any easier:Wesleyan was ranked 15th in the country prior to the NCAA tournament, and finished runner-ups in the competitive NESCAC league, one that includes top Division III programs like Middlebury and Tufts. Wiley once again came to play, and he put up his best statistical game of the year with 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Zac O’Dell ‘20 added 18 points, and Yonda added 13 of his own. Nate Schafer ‘20 had a great defensive game with five blocked shots and eight rebounds, and went six-for-six at the free throw line. Swarthmore’s team as a whole was fantastic on the boards, out-rebounding Wesleyan 44-29. Perhaps more impressive was the Garnet’s free-throw accuracy, which was an impressive 95.5 percent. This was a vast improvement from the Conference Championship game against Hopkins, where the team shot 53.8 percent, and arguably lost the game at the free throw line. The team hopes to continue its good run of form from the free-throw line on Friday during Round of 16.

Swarthmore got a pleasant surprise on Sunday when they learned that they would be hosting the Round of 16 and quarter-finals at Tarble Pavilion. This is the first time Swarthmore has ever made this round of the tournament, let alone hosted it. Many Swarthmore fans believed the team had played their final game at Tarble this year after the demoralizing loss against Hopkins, but the team surprisingly earned itself a hosting position for the next two rounds of the tournament. Swarthmore’s opponent for the Round of 16 is No. 16 Plattsburgh State, who hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament on their campus in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The other game played at Tarble Pavilion will be No. 14 Hamilton College taking on Springfield College, both from New York. If Swarthmore defeats Plattsburgh on Friday, they will play the winner of Hamilton and Springfield the following night. Only two rounds stand in between Swarthmore and the Final 4 in Salem, Va. Notable teams remaining in the tournament include Centennial Conference rival Franklin and Marshall, No. 1 Whitman, No. 6 Emory, and No. 9 Augustana, among several other top 25 teams.

Swarthmore is focused on defeating Plattsburgh State this upcoming week, but they will also have their eyes on the other games taking place. The only team that both Swarthmore and Plattsburgh have played this year is Middlebury College, a NESCAC powerhouse school. Swarthmore defeated Middlebury in January 91-75 when Middlebury was ranked no. 2 in the country. Plattsburgh lost to Middlebury about a month prior, 92-68. This is hardly a credible metric given that both games occurred months ago, but it raises a compelling point. The NCAA tournament gives teams the opportunity to play out-of-conference games that would never occur otherwise. Swarthmore aims to fill their non-conference schedule with challenging opponents like Middlebury. Plattsburgh and Swarthmore would likely never play one another under normal circumstances. It will be interesting to see how these teams handle the game, given that they have no prior experience with each other.

That being said, glancing at the statistics some Plattsburgh players boast, it is clear who Swarthmore’s defense should try to neutralize. Jonathan Patron is a 6 foot-2-inch, 245-pound power forward who averages 24.3 points per game, which is more than any player on Swarthmore’s roster. Robbie Walsh ‘18 and Schafer will have their hands full in the paint with Patron, but both players have performed very well in the NCAA and Centennial Tournaments, so this challenge won’t be anything new. Eli Bryant ‘18 also appears to be lethal from three-point range, averaging 16 points a game. Overall, Plattsburgh averages 88.2 points per game and 74.3 points against per game. For comparison, Swarthmore averages 78.8 points per game and 67.3 points against per game. It’s going to be a great game, and one that Swarthmore will need support from all of its faithful fans to win.

With the team in unfamiliar territory this deep in the tournament, every friendly face in the stands will count. The student-athletes on the basketball team have been working since November toward this game, balancing their challenging classes and grueling practices all year. The team even sacrificed two weeks of their winter break to practice and play games in January. The tournament has provided a wonderful opportunity for the men’s team to show what Swarthmore basketball is all about. While spring break starts this Friday, any students sticking around should make their way to Tarble Pavilion to support the Garnet. I encourage all who can to come support the team at 7:30 pm this Friday, and help the team out in any way possible.

Athlete of the week: Jeffrey Tse ʼ19

in Athlete of the Week/Sports/Uncategorized by

This past weekend, the Swarthmore Garnet men’s and women’s swim teams both placed second at the Centennial Conference Championship meet. Among the top Garnet swimmers over the weekend was Jeffrey Tse ʼ19 from Ellicott City, Md. Tse won both the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, and he placed second in the 200 breaststroke. Tse also achieved a NCAA B cut in the 100 backstroke.

Jack Corkery: What is your major, and what made you decide to pursue it?

Jeffrey Tse: I am an honors economics major with an honors minor in statistics. I am also a course major in mathematics.

JC: What made you decide to attend Swat?

JT: I came for Ride the Tide and hung out with Liam Fitzstevens and Andrew Steele, two swim team members who have since graduated. They showed me how Swat Swim is one big family, and I loved how welcoming and friendly everyone was. In addition, I was really interested in the honors program and the small seminar-style classes.

JC: What is your favorite event(s), and why?

JT: My favorite event is the mile, because I get to watch Michael Lutzker destroy everyone else in the conference. I also like swimming the 100 back.

JC: What were some of the highlights of the conference meet for you and the team?

JT: Our senior class all had best times and went out with a bang: Alejandro Hernandez and Henry Wilson dropped bombs in the 100 breast, Carlo Silovetti and Ben Hsiung had some monster freestyle times, Arka Rao finaled in the 200 back, and Phillip Decker whipped his suit off in style. We also have a lot of young depth with Alec Menzer who won Rookie of the Year in addition to Riley McLaughlin, Secret Weapon Gabe Caldwell, Jeff Mun, and hopefully some awesome freshmen.

JC: Do you expect your B times will qualify you or any teammates for D3 nationals? If not, what are your goals for next season?

JT: Unfortunately, my time will not qualify for D3 nationals. We’re hoping to get Michael Lutzker, who is currently 16th in the mile, there. Regardless, our team will be extra motivated to win conferences next year. We would really like to get a relay to nationals for the first time in Swat history.

Winter Formal Done Right

in Campus Journal by

The start of spring semester means many things – friend reunions, classes, stress, and of course, Winter Formal. Although perhaps one of the lesser known traditions of which Swarthmore prides itself, Winter Formal is just one of those ‘Yes, we’re still a college in America and we do kind of normal stuff sometimes’ things. If you don’t know what I mean by that, just reference our now disintegrated traditions of the Dash for Cash or perhaps the more well known Crunkfest.

Anyways, I digress. This year, Winter Formal managed to be somewhat of a rager, much to the surprise of Emma De Luca-Ricci ’21.

“Formal definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of the setup downstairs,” De Luca-Ricci said. “The arcade games were super fun, even though they had nothing to do with the theme.”

Our beloved Essie’s, where most students have many fond memories of warm food and good gossip, was shut down for the night and done up for the event. Once students actually entered Essie’s, they found arcade games aplenty, such as skeeball and basketball, brewing friendly competition among friends. It felt as though, for what seemed like the first time in a long time, planning committees had actually pulled out all the stops to guarantee a good time. Swat provided soft pretzels, a formal tradition of sorts, and as a pleasant surprise to many, fondue aplenty.

“I really loved the fanciful array of options they offered for us to enjoy with the chocolate fondue dip,” says Sophie Moody ’19. “Compared to other large school parties (such as Halloween), the food at Formal was by far the best.”

But besides great food and fun arcade games, Formal managed to deliver even on the dance floor, playing beats to which all types of students were able to let loose. Although Ricci was disappointed
by Upper Tarble, as it did not appear to be very decorated, she says this was countered by the fact that everyone was in a great mood, which helped her meet a lot of great new people.

The theme, announced sometime before the big event, was supposed to be “masquerade ball”. Guests were asked to wear masks, and a mask making workshop was even hosted by OSE Interns to try and make this theme a reality. However, it seemed as though students disregarded these outlines. Many students showed up maskless, and those who did have masks rarely donned them. However, OSE made sure everyone had a chance to
participate in the masquerade, providing pre-decorated masks for the students in the lobby area.

One thing that students seemed to be able to agree on was the quality of the music. Even though music is often the center of such big events, it is often thought to be lacking or subpar by the general student population. Although this may be attributed to the very diverse music taste of the general student body, it often also comes down to the quality itself. The music simply does not deliver. However, this year’s formal seems to have turned the tide.

Frank Kenny, ’20, admits that Formal was different than he had imagined it would be, and that he and his friends “had a grand time.”

“I particularly liked the mix of Latin pop/reggaeton that was offered, which is unequivocally better than the hideous auditory garbage played at the conventional party institutions such as Triangle Y [Delta Upsilon],” says Kenny, a habitual partygoer whose music taste is arguably hard to please. Yet, Formal managed to meet his expectations and even, “convince me to stay up past my bedtime.”

Although school-hosted parties tend to get a bad rep for their music selection and lack of fun and excitement, this year’s Winter Formal seems to have delivered more than the rest. From getting self-proclaimed hermits like Kenny to joining in the celebrations with old friends to making memories with new friends as in the case of Ricci, Swat Winter Formal 2018 seems to have knocked it out of the park. Perhaps Formal will be an indication for the future of Swarthmore hosted parties, but only time will tell.


Auditions Behind the Tempest

in Arts by

Last week, Yellow Stockings held auditions for their upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest”. Individual auditions were held for both actors and dancers in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg and the Troy Dance Lab. There was a great turnout of 31 people for 15 available roles, which consisted of 11 actors and 4 dancers. Director Wesley Han `18 noticed there was a lot of talent in the people who auditioned this year for the small cast. “Saying no to some of those performers was incredibly challenging for me; there were tremendously gifted people that I was forced to turn away. … I can think of a good few auditions off the top of my head where the auditionee had boatloads of talent but just wasn’t a good fit for [the role].  That’s something I always had a difficult time believing when auditions didn’t go my way as an actor, but now that I’ve directed a show or two, I’ve come to understand how often that really does happen.”

Han proposed “The Tempest” to the Drama Board at the end of the last semester. The work is filled with magic, wizards, and spirits, making it a favorite amongst Shakespeare lovers. Despite its popularity, Han saw an opportunity to interpret the work differently. “The spirits are what initially drew me in — too often, they’re portrayed by ordinary actors who move in ordinary ways. Audiences are forced to believe they’re magical beings solely by virtue of the text.  I think we can do better.”

You may ask how one can interpret the works of Shakespeare differently after hundreds of performances. Han’s answer is simple: through the incorporation of dance. Han saw an opportunity to bring the characters to life in a whole different way. “Because of their greater physical ability, dancers can better capture all that is unearthly and supernatural about demons through movement, and so I now have a dancer portraying the role of the head spirit and an ensemble of dancers to portray the lesser spirits that serve under him.”

The auditions gave Han a lot to look forward to this semester. “I’m looking forward to working with such a talented cast of actors and dancers. Every single one of them blew me away during auditions.  I’m also looking forward to taking Yellow Stockings to another level.”

Another perk of performing “The Tempest” is that Yellow Stockings gets to work on a larger, more intensive piece. This is slightly different from the group’s past work where their productions have been more relaxed, which has been an important element of getting people involved in theater. Han acknowledges the rigor that rehearsing for this performance will require but is hopeful in spite of the difficulty. “There are some high expectations in place, but I have a lot of faith in my actors.  I know if we establish a trusting and compassionate rehearsal environment where we feel safe to explore and push our boundaries, we’ll go far.”

You can see “The Tempest” this spring in the Frear Ensemble Theatre from March 30 to April 1.


Athlete of the week: Conor Harkins ’21

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

The Men’s Basketball team started off this season hot, with a high-scoring 111-89 win over Hood College. Freshman Guard Conor Harkins from Greenwich, Conn. made a big arrival on to the collegiate basketball scene in his first career game, sinking nine three-point shots and scoring 27 points to lead the Garnet in scoring. The Garnet are now 4-0 and ranked 12th nationally, and will play their conference home opener tonight against Muhlenberg College in Tarble Pavilion.

Jack Corkery: What is your intended major, and what made you choose it?

Conor Harkins: I’m not entirely sure yet, but I am leaning towards majoring in economics. I have always been interested in the areas of business and finance and feel that an economics major would best capture that together.

JC: How did you decide to attend Swarthmore College?

CH: There were a lot of factors that went into making me choose Swarthmore. The biggest thing that I saw in Swarthmore were the endless opportunities. Between the top-notch academics and a talented basketball team, Swarthmore seemed like the perfect fit for me. Additionally, on my visits here all of the players and coaches and even other students I met were all nice and fun to hang out with. It was also a great location, being just over two hours away from where I live so not too far but far enough that I didn’t feel like I was still at home.

JC: How has the adjustment to college life been athletically and academically?

CH: At first it was a big adjustment trying to find the right balance and way to manage my time. I think what helped me and I’m sure the rest of the freshmen a lot was the fact that our first semester here is pass/fail. This made the workload seem a little less stressful, and allowed for me to figure out how to schedule my time between sports, academics, and sleep. As for basketball, it is similar to how I thought it was going to be work-wise. It is obviously more serious and takes up more time than high school sports, but it is something I love and am passionate about so it doesn’t seem like a hassle to me. By this point I would say I am pretty settled in and have gotten used to college life, but the biggest difference was just trying to figure out how to effectively use my time.

JC: What was it like sinking 9 threes and scoring 27 points in your first collegiate game?

CH: Going into the game I was definitely a little nervous, but I was also really excited. Scoring 27 points in that first game still feels surreal to me, but it felt great just to simply help the team get a win in the first game of the year. To hit nine threes in my first collegiate game is definitely something I’ll remember for a very long time, and it was a pretty special moment to have both of my parents there for it as well.

JC: Do you have any personal or team goals for the remainder of the season?

CH: Our team goal is to simply be the best we can be everyday. We talked about at the beginning of the year being a top team in the Centennial Conference and even the nation, but Coach Landry does a great job of keeping all of us focused on the next practice or next game, rather than a season-long goal.


Swarthmore Women’s Volleyball makes history

in Sports/Uncategorized/Women by

After an outstanding performance against the 12th-ranked Johns Hopkins, the Swarthmore Volleyball team has clinched a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals; the team ventures to Grand Rapids, Mi. today to play its quarterfinal match against Wittenberg University, the tournament’s current number one seed.

Swarthmore Volleyball had already set a school record by gaining its first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament. Three rounds later, the team’s unprecedented success resulted in Swarthmore’s being the first team from the Centennial Conference to reach the Round of Eight.

Advancing to the round of eight required an unprecedented team effort from Swarthmore Volleyball. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Swarthmore dominated with a 3-0 win against Randolph-Macon, a liberal arts college of 1,400 students in Ashland, Virginia. Sarah Girard ’19 led the team with 19 digs, and Malia Scott ’18 helped the offense to a .223 hitting percentage with her 33 assists.

The next day, in the second round, the Garnet defeated the 10th ranked Carnegie Mellon with another 3-0 sweep. Swarthmore’s defense was outstanding, limiting the CMU Tartans to .130 hitting percentage. Additionally, as if the score itself was not dramatic enough, the game ended with two consecutive aces from Scott.

Following the win against CMU, on Nov. 12, Swarthmore faced Centennial Conference Champions Johns Hopkins. This year alone, Swarthmore had previously lost two matches to Hopkins. While the first was a regular season game that the Garnet lost 2-3, the second was the Centennial Conference finals, in which Hopkins defeated Swarthmore 3-1. The loss eerily echoed last year’s loss to Hopkins in the same conference final.

Across the entire season, the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays had only been defeated by three teams, all of which were nationally-ranked. Even so, Swarthmore played a fantastic game, and despite the earlier losses against the Blue Jays, the team rallied to defeat Johns Hopkins 3-2 in an intense nail-biter. Fan support definitely played a role in the win; Swarthmore sent out a packed fan bus on the day of the game to support the team.

In a post-game press conference, head coach Harleigh Chwastyk commented on the dynamic between the volleyball teams of Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore.

“They came ready to play, and we did too. It’s been a battle between our programs over the last two years…It’s just, wow. It hasn’t sunk in…We’ve gone five sets with this team on multiple occasions. So, I felt like we had a lot of things in our favor. We weren’t getting the unexpected thrown at us, and I think our composure was fantastic too.”

Scott also spoke on this topic. When asked what it was like to play Johns Hopkins for the third time this season, she said the following.

“A lot of us, having played them twice, felt like we weren’t able to give it our all in previous two matches. I think we wanted to come out and be able to show in this vital match what we can do and to play to our full potential. So, I know I was excited to play them again.”  

Mehra Den Braven ’20, who was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Regional, shared her teammate’s attitude.

“I agree with Malia. It was exciting to get to play them again and have the outcome be so different from the last two times, but again, it was also a challenge, mentally especially, just because we do know what they are about, and we know that they are a good team.”

The Garnet will have to stay on top of their game and continue to play very well to win today’s quarterfinal match against Wittenberg. Wittenberg is seeded number one in the NCAA Elite 8 bracket, after winning five straight games, in four of which the score was 3-0.

Currently ranked third in all of Division 3 Volleyball, Wittenberg has had a consistently strong volleyball team in the past as well. The match against Swarthmore today will mark the eighth time that Wittenberg Volleyball has reached the Elite 8, the most recent having been in 2015. Needless to say, the Garnet will have to play hard today. Still, given how well the postseason has been going, there’s no doubt that the team has a good chance of winning and making it to the semifinals. For those who would like to follow the team’s progress, the game against Wittenberg will be available on live stream through the Swarthmore Athletics website.


Volleyball and Women’s soccer takes on the postseason

in Sports by

With fall break having come and gone and going and the second rounds of midterms fast approaching, fall sports have begun winding down. As teams begin to hang up their jerseys and look to improve in the offseason, Volleyball and Women’s Soccer have a chance to compete for a Centennial Conference Championship.

Both of these teams have previous experience in playoffs. Women’s Soccer made it to the semifinal round, and Volleyball was the runner up in the Championship last year. Both teams have been working hard and putting everything they have into the final weeks of their season.

Volleyball is hoping to claim their first-ever Centennial Conference Championship this year. Seeded second in conference, the team hopes to make a strong run in the postseason. Last season, they came within a match of winning the Championship but were ultimately beaten out by Johns Hopkins. This year, Volleyball is working hard for a different outcome. The team has been doing everything in their power to prepare themselves for their upcoming game this Saturday against Muhlenberg. Emily Kibby ’19 elaborated on her team’s preparation.

All the training that we’ve been doing all season and the competition that we’ve faced has been leading up to now. This week is about focusing on what we can do well and making sure that we take care of ourselves so that we can play our best on Saturday,” said Kibby.

The team also stresses the importance of a healthy team environment off the court. For example, this Halloween the whole team dressed up as broccoli, decking themselves out in green morph suits and broccoli earrings. Creating a fun team culture has been an integral part of Volleyball’s current success. Their ability to be united off the court has played a big role in their positive team chemistry that has helped them win on the court. This amazing team atmosphere can be attributed to their five seniors who have dedicated the past four years to their team. Elise Cummings ’19 shares the impact the seniors have had.

“Our seniors have each played a huge role in taking Swarthmore Volleyball to the next level these past four years. I know I speak for everyone who has had the opportunity to play with these five when I say that I consider it a privilege to have shared the court with them. There is no one I would rather have to lead us to a championship this weekend.”

Led by these five instrumental seniors, the Garnet face Muhlenberg this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Although the game will be at Johns Hopkins, it can be viewed through the athletic website on the live feed. If they win that game, they play the winner of John Hopkins and either Franklin and Marshall or McDaniel Sunday at 1 p.m for the Centennial Conference Championship.

Women’s Soccer looks to claim its second-ever Centennial Conference Championship this weekend. Seeded second, the team hopes to make a strong run in conferences. Last season Johns Hopkins halted their conference run in the semifinals, but Swat Soccer is looking to come back strong this year. Instead of focusing on the championship, women’s soccer is playing in the moment and trying their hardest to win each game. Yasmeen Namazie ’19 expanded on this win-every-game mentality and how it is a different mindset from last year.

I think that this year we have been more fixated on the present than looking at games in the future. We have really emphasized a one game at a time mentality. Every game matters at this point; it’s win or go home.”

Garnet Soccer has been working hard every day in order to prepare for their conference championship tournament. When asked about their upcoming semifinals matchup against Haverford, Claire O’Brien ’18 gave some insight on how the team has been preparing.

“We have been preparing by staying focused and continuing to build on what we’ve done all season. We are continuing to work hard to stay sharp on our game skills and get our school work done since we’ll likely be away traveling most of the weekend.”

Swat Soccer takes on Haverford this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Like Volleyball, their game is away at Johns Hopkins but can be viewed on the athletic website’s live stream. If they win Saturday, they will play for the championship at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Swarthmore sports seem poised for a strong playoff run this fall. These two teams have worked extremely hard in the regular season in order to ensure a bid into conferences, and they are now continuing this hard work into playoffs. Volleyball looks to capitalize on their stellar senior class and their inspirational leadership in their pursuit of their first Centennial Conference Championship. Women’s soccer plans to use their win-each-game mentality to advance past semifinals and win the championship. Hopefully, both teams will come back to Swat with a Championship trophy and a bid into NCAA Playoffs.

Athlete of the week: Sophia Stills ’21

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

Last week, the Swarthmore Women’s Soccer team continued to build on a successful 2017 season, with two big conference wins against Bryn Mawr and Gettysburg. Crucial in the two wins was forward Sophia Stills 21 of Los Angeles, California, who scored in both games coming off the bench.  The Garnet have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in second place in the Centennial Conference standings. They will play one more game at Haverford this Saturday before the playoffs begin.

Jack Corkery: What is your intended major, and what made you choose to study it?

Sophia Stills: I am interested in history and peace and conflict studies. Ever since high school, I have been very interested in history, and I had decided then that I was going to probably major in it once I got to college. Peace and conflict studies is something that I really didn’t know much about before coming to Swarthmore. But on the first day of classes, I was introduced to the subject and I gained a keen interest in the topic.

JC: What made you decide to attend Swarthmore?

SS: A variety of reasons. I think I am very lucky because Swarthmore is a place I can thrive academically, socially, and also it was a good fit with soccer. When I came here for a visit and took my tour, the classic “Swarthmore Student” sounded like a person very similar to myself, which made me realize I wanted to come here.

JC: How difficult has the adjustment to college academics and athletics been for you?

SS: The transition was made a lot easier by the fact I had the soccer team behind me. It was great to have a group of people to go to when you needed help with all the new stuff going on, like new professors, new environment, and new side of the country. Also, the social aspect of making friends was made much easier by having the soccer team.

JC: How does the team feel about moving into the NCAA regional rankings?

SS: I actually am not really sure where we are ranked. As a team, we try not to check the rankings and get caught up in where we are, so we can stay focused on the next team we play.

JC: Do you have any goals for the remainder of the season?

SS: Personally, my biggest goal is to fill whatever role the team needs me in, whether it is on the field or being a supportive teammate. I think if we continue to focus on being our personal best, our team will continue to have success.

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