No Longer
the Dark Horse

by Lynn Sullivan '89

Just four seconds and three points kept Colby's football team from a perfect season. The team finished 7-1, the program's best record since 1972 and perhaps the White Mules' best showing since 1940. The only loss came in the season opener when Trinity won, 17-15, on a 26-yard field goal with four seconds remaining.

The White Mules won an unprecedented seventh straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin championship (in 1993 Colby shared the honor with Bowdoin), posting the second best record in NESCAC. The Boston Globe ranked the White Mules third among New England small college teams.

"We had a group of kids who wanted to win and they knew how to win," said Colby head coach Tom Austin. "I just have a lot of admiration for the kids on the team. They were a great group.

"We were disappointed, not discouraged, after our opening loss. Six of our seven victories were in games where we had to come from behind to win," said Austin, who in nine years on Mayflower Hill has a record of 34-37-1 but is 22-9-1 in the past four seasons.

"We took our hits in the past," he said. "Over the past three years, though, we've been the third winningest team in NESCAC, and since 1988 we have had only one losing record, which was in 1990."

Team honors came as quickly as the wins. Senior quarterback Matt Mannering, from Walpole, Mass., broke his own record for most passing yards in a season, throwing for 1,846 yards and 12 touchdowns. Other members of the squad picked up NESCAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors, two Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Honor Roll selections, two NESCAC defensive player of the week distinctions and a NESCAC Freshman of the Week award.

Junior linebacker Jason Jabar, from Waterville, Maine, senior co-captain Jim Zadrozny, a defensive end from Norfolk, Mass., sophomore Tom Beedy, a free safety from Livermore Falls, Maine, and junior tight end Brett Nardini of Scituate, Mass., were all named to the ECAC Division III All-New England team.

The White Mules outscored their opponents 243-128 and came within four points of the 1941 season record. The 115-point margin produced this season was the widest since the '41 squad outscored their competition by 176 points.

The '94 team matched the school's all-time record of four straight seasons above .500, set from 1911 to 1914 and again from 1938 to 1941. The football program has never had five winning seasons in a row. The accomplishments of the 1994 season are comparable to the 6-0-1 season of 1940. That team's tie came against rival Bowdoin, 13-13.

"Our goals for next season are undefined," said Austin, "but we hope to continue the same level of competitiveness during the next year. Right now we're just enjoying 1994."

The women's cross country team competed for the second year in a row at the Division III NCAA championships, placing 10th. Last season the women's team made history by becoming Colby's first representative at a national contest since NESCAC schools lifted a ban on post-season NCAA tournament play. Colby finished 12th at the national meet last year.

This year's 10th-place national finish capped a season that included team wins at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Invitational, the Colby Invitational and the NESCAC championships.

Sophomore Kara Patterson was the lone Colby runner to earn All-American honors, racing to 10th place at the national meet. The Falmouth, Maine, native lost only two Division III races during the regular season, posting victories at the Maine Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Women state meet, the NESCAC championships, the Colby Invitational and placing second at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth meet. Patterson placed second at the New England Division III race to qualify for the nationals with a personal best time of 17:47. Patterson and the winner broke the course record of 17:56 set nearly 10 years ago.

The week prior to the national meet Colby was ranked ninth in Division III and had been ranked as high as fifth during the regular season.

In 1988 the Melissa Brown Award was established to honor field hockey players who demonstrate the most dedication, inspiration and desire. Brown '88, who captained the field hockey team for two seasons, was Most Valuable Player of the squad three years in a row and was named to the Maine Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Women All-State teams in 1985 and 1986. Today she is chair of the modern language department at the St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Del., where she also serves as the head varsity coach of girls lacrosse-another sport in which she starred at Colby-and of field hockey.

The women's tennis team placed third (out of 22 teams) in the New England Women's Intercollegiate Division III tennis championships. It was the team's best finish ever at the New England tournament. First-year student Jessie Anderson, from Norwell, Mass., was selected as the team's MVP after finishing the season with a 30-4 record. Anderson won the Maine State singles championship and, along with partner Kate LaVigne, a senior co-captain from Paxton, Mass., earned the doubles title as well. Anderson and La Vigne placed eighth in the nation in Division III doubles.The squad finished with a 6-4 record, including wins over Middlebury and Brandeis, two teams that received national rankings this season.

The men's soccer team finished its season with an 11-3-2 overall record and a sixth place ranking in the Intercollegiate Soccer Athletic Association's New England coaches' poll. Colby's sixth straight winning season earned the team a second seed in the ECAC championship tournament. The 1993 ECAC defending champs lost in the semifinals to Brandeis University, 2-0. It was Colby's third post-season ECAC appearance in three years.

The volleyball squad ended its fourth varsity season with a 20-13 record after posting wins at the Bowdoin Polar Bear Invitational and the Maine Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Women tournaments. Four team members earned spots on all-tournament teams, two received all-state honors and one player was named to the All-NESCAC first team.

Abe Rogers was the lone harrier from the '94 team to qualify for the NCAA championships. A four-time all-state and two-time All-New England Division III runner, Rogers finished 78 out of a field of 184 runners. The team placed fifth at the NESCAC championships. At the New England Division III championships all team members ran personal season-best times helping propel the team to a fourth-place finish overall, second amongst other NESCAC schools. In 11 of the past 15 years, Colby has ranked in the top five of the regional NCAA poll.

The field hockey team produced a 6-7-1 record and a second-team regional All-American. First-year student Katie Taylor, the starting center back from Wilmington, Del., earned Second Team Regional All-American honors and also was named Rookie of the Year by her teammates. Sophomore Elizabeth Dodds, from Wellesley, Mass., and junior Joanna Slisz, from Cheshire, Conn., earned Academic All-American honors. The team defeated nationally ranked University of Southern Maine, 2-0, and rival Bates, 1-0.

In other sports action the women's soccer team posted a 7-5-2 record. Outscoring their opponents by almost 20 goals, the White Mules have nine current players on the team's all-time scoring list. . . In crew the women's novice eight won the Textile Regatta, the men's novice eight won the Bill Braxton Regatta in Philadelphia and the women's varsity eight finished 23rd out of 52 boats at the Head of the Charles in Boston. . . The Colby golf team won the CBB championships this year. The team placed fourth at the Bowdoin Invitational, third at the State of Maine Invitational, seventh at the NESCAC tournament, and fifth at the Colby Invitational.

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