Archive for category: Writing samples

Sydney Rossman watches the puck in her zone vs Dartmouth 12/4/15

Sydney Rossman watches the puck in her zone vs Dartmouth 12/4/15

By Jordan Novack, Associate Sports Editor         Link to Original

Few positions are more important to a hockey team than the goaltender. The goalie is captain of the defense and the player that has the most direct outcome on the final score. Having a good goalie is essential for any team that wishes to be successful. And in order to be a good goalie, you need to possess a high I.Q.

For Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey goalie Sydney Rossman, her intelligence has helped her find success both between the posts and in the classroom.

Rossman, a junior marketing major from Minnesota, graduated high school as part of the national honor society and has been named to the All-ECAC Academic Team in both her freshman and sophomore seasons at the collegiate level.

Rossman says while hockey is her passion, it is her academics that drive her, and that a desire for a good education is what would eventually bring her to Quinnipiac.

“Academics is huge. We are all students before we are athletes,” Rossman said. “I originally heard about Quinnipiac because of hockey, but it was the academic reputation that won me over.

Despite the chances of playing professionally now being an option following the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League, Rossman wants to pursue a job based on her degree following graduation.

“After college, there is the opportunity to play in the [National Women’s Hockey League] now for women and the chance to go overseas, but ultimately my goal is to graduate with a good degree and have a good job.”

Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner feels that Rossman’s intelligence has been a key for the goaltender’s transition to the college game.

“She, in the classroom, has high personal expectations for herself, and I strongly believe when you carry those high expectations in the classroom, they will carry over onto the ice,” Turner said. “I think her ability to think and learn in the classroom is a consistent skill she has on the ice as well. She knows how to help herself get better, which is tremendous.”

While Rossman has always been an impressive student, her impressive goaltending skills are what drew the attention of the Bobcats’ recruiting staff. Over her four seasons playing for Minnetonka High School, Rossman allowed an average of 1.13 goals per game, and went 55-10-2 on the way to winning three AA state championships for the Skippers. Additionally, Rossman was named the top goalie in the state of Minnesota during her senior year.

Despite not starting immediately, Rossman was able to demonstrate her on-ice IQ and her desire to improve during her first two seasons on campus as she sat behind former goaltender Chelsea Laden, who has graduated and now plays for the Connecticut Whale of the NWHL.

Due to Laden’s presence, Rossman was limited to 12 appearances in two seasons, with only six of those coming as starts. In those games, Rossman was still impressive, as she went 4-0-1 with a 93.3 percent save percentage and allowed an average of 1.21 goals per game.

While the number of appearances was a small sample size, they were all games of large importance. Rossman shut out then No. 8 ranked Clarkson on Valentine’s Day, and started the program’s first national tournament game against Harvard on March 14th. While the team would go on to lose to Harvard, Rossman describes the game as a chance to grow as a team.

“I wish we got the result that we wanted to, but it was a learning experience,” Rossman said. “It helped me and my teammates learn what it takes to not only compete, but win at that level, so hopefully we will get there again this year and know what we will need to do.”

Rossman credits her time playing behind Laden during her first two seasons as preparing her for taking over as the Bobcats’ starter.

“Playing behind Chelsea I really learned a lot because we really pushed each other, so even though I wasn’t starting in games, I was getting that much better every day in practice,” Rossman said. “We both knew that whoever was playing, the main thing we wanted was for our team to be successful, so I would always cheer her on during her starts, and she would do the same during mine.”

Despite playing well in her limited game time the last two seasons, many wondered how Rossman would handle the transition to top choice goalie. Thus far, as the season has progressed Rossman has begun to make a name for herself around the country.

In her 17 starts this season, Rossman has gone 13-1-3, allowing 1.10 goals per game, the third fewest in the nation, as well as stopping .939 percent of shots she faces. Additionally, Rossman has five shutouts this season, including a program-record streak of 296:42 minutes without allowing a goal.

Sydney Rossman prepares for a face off vs Dartmouth 12/4/15

Rossman’s stellar play has earned her national praise. She was named the ECAC goalie of the month as well as the Quinnipiac woman’s athlete of the month for the month of November. Rossman has also been named the ECAC goalie of the week three times this season. This smooth transition of Rossman’s has been a major key to the Bobcats being ranked 4th nationally.

For Laden, there never a doubt that Rossman would be a successful starter for the Bobcats.

“[Rossman] was ready to play hockey from early in her hockey career, and she is still one of the best goaltenders I have ever seen or played with,” Laden said. “One of the most important traits she has is her work ethic. She works her butt off every day at the rink, and it pushed me to become a better goalie.”

Similar to Laden, Turner knew that with Rossman’s attitude and work ethic it was a matter of time until Rossman was one of the top starters in the ECAC. For this season, Turner and Rossman have worked on molding the junior into what the team defines as a “championship goaltender.”

“We talk about making key saves, like right after we score, or right after we get scored on. On the penalty kill, they are your best penalty killer,” Turner said. “A championship goalie is someone who can change the momentum, or save the team when they are needed and she has done that this year. I think about many big games and moments this year, and she has been there for us.”

One area in which Rossman has consistently showed up for the Bobcats this season is in overtime. In their 17 games, the Bobcats have had five games reach overtime. After tying in their first four overtime games, Rossman stopped 21 of 22 total shots and help the Bobcats win their first OT game 2-1 over rival Harvard on Dec. 5th. Rossman described what she does to prepare herself when she knows overtime is looming.

“Overtime is interesting because anything can happen in those five minutes, so I go into overtime like we have nothing to lose,” Rossman explained. “By doing that, it helps me stay focused on making every key save, and on at least helping my team get a tie. If they can score that is great, but as long as I don’t let one in I can help my team leave with one point in the standings.”

While Rossman is taking strides in the right direction, both she and Turner feel the junior has room to improve before reaching championship goaltender status.

“We need her save percentage to continue to improve, and our team defense to improve, but she is hungry to accomplish it,” Turner said. “Her hunger and desire to get better is contagious, and can prove to be something that pushes our entire team to get better.”

Another area of difficulty for Rossman is maintaining full concentration during a game, despite not always facing many shots. With the Bobcats currently allowing 18.5 shots per game, Rossman will sometimes go long stretches of the game without being called into action.

To help become accustomed to this, Rossman reached out to men’s ice hockey goalie Michael Garteig for advice.

“I talked to [Garteig] about how to stay focused in games when there aren’t as many shots, because he knows how hard it can be,” Rossman said. “I got a system of breaking the game down into five minute increments from him, as well as counting every shot that goes in on me, including the ones during practice.”

Should Rossman hope to make that last step to the championship goaltender status, she would be wise to heed the advice Garteig, Laden, and Turner have passed down to her.

Yet, with the desire to improve and win that Rossman has showed in the past, as well as the flashes of greatness she has displayed this season, Quinnipiac is optimistic that its junior goaltender can help the program achieve its ultimate goal of winning a National Championship.

Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle Melissa Samoskevich forechecks the Harvard defense 12/5/15

Melissa Samoskevich forechecks the Harvard defense 12/5/15

By Jordan Novack, Associate Sports Editor              Link to Original

Few games carry more weight for the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team coming into this season than contests against the Harvard Crimson. While the teams had matched up four separate times last year, including in both the ECAC and National tournaments, the Bobcats came up empty handed every time. In fact, the last time Quinnipiac had defeated Harvard was all the way back on November 12th, 2010.

This time out, Quinnipiac would finally flip the script.

In a tightly contested game that needed overtime to determine a winner, Quinnipiac downed Harvard 2-1 at High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday afternoon.

“There is no question that from the beginning of the season, Harvard was a game we circled on the calendar, especially given that they were the team that ended our season last year,” Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner said. “It was really neat to see how genuinely excited our seniors were following that win. Kristen Tamberg was in tears following that win, she was so happy, as it was their first victory over Harvard.”

Coming into the game, the Bobcats were dealing with fatigue from the night before – when they defeated Dartmouth 7-1.

On the way to the victory, Quinnipiac accumulated many injuries to its defensive core, forcing the coaching staff to play standout freshman Melissa Samoskevich as the team’s 7th defender. While Samoskevich played the first two periods of the game as a defender, she would revert to forward for the third period and overtime on Saturday.

Eventually, she netted the game-winning goal.

“I haven’t played as a defender in three years, so it took me a little while to get used to it,” Samoskevich said. “I’ve done it before though, and it actually gives me a bit of an adrenaline rush.”

Quinnipiac outshot Harvard 10-2 in the first period.

Emma Woods scored first, dangling the puck past two Crimson defenders giving the Bobcats the 1-0 lead.

Both teams threatened in period No. 2, but the Bobcats 1-0 lead remained intact heading into the final frame.

Harvard almost tied the game 7:30 into the third period, but a spectacular stretching save from Rossman kept the game scoreless.

Harvard’s offense continued to press though, and it paid off as Karly Heffernan put a rebound shot past Rossman to even the game at 1-1.

In overtime, both teams would came out firing and looked to seal a victory.

After T.T Cianfarano had a shot on net blocked by the Harvard goaltender, Samoskevich corralled the rebound and placed it in the back of the net for the victory.

With today’s victory, the Bobcats have gone undefeated over their last 10 games. Quinnipiac improved its record to 13-1-3 on the season and 7-1-2 in conference play. Quinnipiac will now turn its attention to the University of New Hampshire, as the Bobcats are set to host the Wildcats at High Point Solutions Arena on Dec. 11th.


By Jordan Novack

Currently in London, an army is under fire.

The Yid Army, the proud fan base of one of England’s top-tier soccer teams, Tottenham Hotspurs, has come under scrutiny from not only the English Football Association and opposing fans over its nickname and cheers, but also from local police.

Three fans were charged earlier this year with using the word “Yid,” a term often considered offensive, at the team’s matches. Although the charges later were dropped, magistrates said that the ruling would not impact future cases in other circumstances, according to The Guardian

This problem is not just affecting the United Kingdom. The legendary Dutch team, Ajax, has encountered similar issues with its fan group, The Super Jews.

Fans of both clubs historically incorporate Stars of David into their banners and posters, and many supporters adorn them selves in Israeli flags with their club’s logo on it. Others have something written in Hebrew on their shirts and jerseys. During matches fans from both clubs also infamously use songs in Hebrew, such as “Hava Nagila,” as fight songs.

“Many times in the stands of White Hart Lane, you see people with Israeli flags and Stars of David. It is fantastic,” said Rolfe Jones, president and co-founder of the L.A. Spurs, the local branch of the Tottenham fan club.

From the beginning, both Tottenham and Ajax gained reputations as “Jewish clubs” due to their locations in predominantly Jewish regions. Amsterdam was referred to as “Jerusalem West” during World War II, and De Meer stadium, Ajax’s original home arena, was located in eastern Amsterdam, where most of the city’s Jews lived. In the case of Tottenham, many Jewish immigrants to London in the 19th and early 20th centuries settled in the East End of London, where Tottenham played their early home games. Today, many Jews still prominently support both teams.

“The terminology was used almost as a banner of pride, and as a way to differ from the other North London clubs,” explained Grant Simmons, an Encino resident and avid Tottenham supporter. “Yiddo Army had nothing to do with religion, but was purely location-based.”

Over the last two years, officers have begun arresting fans at Tottenham games for “Yid” chants or for signs, as well as opposing fans with hatful chants and hissing noises — a reference to the sound of gas at death camps — and were charged with knowingly committing a hate crime.

“English soccer for a long time would feel anything said in a stadium was fair game, and unlike how they would act in real life, while in the last few years people have become held to a higher standard,” Yahoo! Sports soccer writer Martin Rogers told the Journal.

“You have thousands of fans singing in unison, and when it is to support their team it can be a beautiful thing, and not on many occasions, but sometimes the songs and chants can turn vicious and hurtful.”

The Community Service Trust (CST) in the United Kingdom, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the British Jewish community, released a statement on its website condemning the behavior.

“Clearly, any effort to rid the game of anti-Semitism has to start by focusing on the anti-Semites,” it said. “People chanting about Hitler or making hissing noises should be arrested, charged and banned for life. There are some good examples of clubs taking this sort of action, and others where the punishment has been far too weak.”

However, the statement also said: “If Spurs fans did not sing about being ‘Yids’ then it is likely that there would be much less anti-Semitism in football grounds than there is. It is part of the dynamic of football crowds that if one set of fans sing about a particular part of their identity, opposing fans will twist it back against them,” he said. “When Spurs fans sing about being ‘Yids’ it encourages opposing fans to think that ‘Yids’, and therefore Jews, are a subject that it is OK for them to sing about too, but in an abusive way.”

When contacted for comment, the local branch of the Anti-Defamation League said its views mirror those of the CST.

In September, the English Football Association also made a statement, decreeing, “In light of the historic and contemporary use of the term, The FA considers that the use of the term ‘Yid’ is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer… use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offense, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy Football Banning Order.”

Despite then-manager Andre Villas Boas claiming that the club would cooperate with the league, the term remains very much in use to this day.

Meanwhile in Amsterdam, Ajax and its fan base, the Super Jews have been targeted for its “Jewish” identity, as opposing fans have started using harsh anti-Semitic chants at matches, such as “Ajax, all aboard. Next train to Auschwitz.”

Los Angeles resident and Ajax fan Peter Erickson spoke about how he felt the issue with anti-Semitism isn’t the Super Jews, but the opposing fans — who also have been gaining the attention of authorities.

“The Ajax fans act out of a respect for the culture and a love for the club,” he said.

By Jordan Novack and Brett Warner, Contributing Writers                Link to Original

Recent comments attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers who was banned for life from the team by the league’s commissioner on April 29, have been denounced as racist by numerous area Jewish organizations, some of which have received tens of thousands of dollars from the embattled owner.

A search of public records, made available through the website, indicates that from 2010-2012, the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation gave at least $10,000 to groups like The Jewish Federation, Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles (JVS) and the Museum of Tolerance.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance, supported NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s actions.

“There’s no place in America for this kind of racism,” he told the Journal. “We believe the action to ban him for life is correct, and we will not accept any donations from Donald Sterling in the future.”

The museum received three donations of $10,000 between 2010-2012, according to

The NBA commissioner’s action “is what should happen whenever someone makes anti-Semitic or racist remarks, as millions of people are touched by this view,” Hier said.AP_donald_sterling_2_jt_140510_16x9_992

Federation CEO and President Jay Sanderson made it clear in an April 29 phone interview with the Journal that his organization would not consider future donations either. It received $10,000 in 2012.

“Donald Sterling is clearly not a member of the Jewish community,” he said. “He has chosen to make small gifts to a large number of organizations. … We are appalled and abhor the comments Sterling made. We condemn Sterling for his comments, and we plan on not accepting his gifts in the future.”

On April 27, a recording was released in which the billionaire Sterling — who grew up in Boyle Heights and is a member of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills — allegedly is having a conversation with his girlfriend and he asks her not to bring black people to basketball games. In the recordings, the man tries to justify his controversial comments by saying that in Israel, blacks are “treated like dogs.”

The NBA’s commissioner placed a lifetime ban upon Sterling, as well a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. Silver said at the time that he would do everything in his power to rally the NBA governing body into forcing a sale. Since this story broke, several of the Clippers’ major sponsors, including longtime partners CarMax and State Farm, have either suspended or terminated their deals with the team.

An April 28 statement from JVS Board President Jim Hausberg and CEO Vivian Seigel described the reported comments from Sterling as “deplorable” and “indefensible.”

“We are shocked and stunned by the blatant racism of these alleged remarks, particularly from Mr Sterling, who has been a supporter of many non-profit organizations and understands the tragic consequences of discrimination and anti-Semitism,” it said.

The organization received a total of $30,000 from the Sterling Foundation between 2010 and 2012, and used the funds to support work with at-risk, foster and probation youth, according to the statement, which did not comment on the possibility of future donations.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust received identical gifts that were spent to provide free Holocaust education, according to a statement from its board. Looking ahead to the potential of future donations, the statement asked the question: “If funds that have already been committed to charity cannot be distributed to organizations that are committed to fighting bigotry, how else should they be used?

“Perhaps Mr. Sterling and his family will choose to make amends … by redoubling his donations to organizations that combat the very corrosive disease from which he obviously suffers. That would seem to be the appropriate way forward from this debacle.”

In all, the Donald T. Sterling Foundation has made donations to at least 10 Los Angeles Jewish organizations over the last three years, according to

  • Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles: $50,000 (2010).
  • Beit T’Shuvah: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Los Angeles Jewish Home: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Museum of Tolerance: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Creative Arts Temple: $10,000 (2012).
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles: $10,000 (2012).
  • Temple of the Arts: $10,000 (2012).

image credit abcnews