Fall Sports Come to a Close
November 29, 2016
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Fall sports came to and end when the women’s soccer team lost in the NCAA Tournament, but season was still a success for university athletes.
The soccer team, which made the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season, lost in the first round of the tournament to Swarthmore College. The team was able to clinch their NCAA Tournament birth after dominating the conference all season long. They went perfect against conference opponents winning all nine games while allowing only one goal. The team finished off the year as the MAC Freedom Champions with a 17-4 record.
The football team finished the season at the same time. The Cougars played Fairleigh Dickinson University for their last regular season game of the year. The home game was the last time the senior class would play at home, and in a football game. The Cougars, who entered the game with a winless record, were able to send off the senior class with a 40-36 victory. The Cougars were able to set a couple program records in the process. Senior quarterback Jeff Krisiak set the single game passing record with 284 yards exceeding the record set by Jeff Puckett last season also against FDU. Sophomore Sam Gillison and Senior Colton Pyne both had 12 receptions, which set a new single game reception record. Pyne will finish his career with 99 catches, the most in school history. The Cougars finished the season with a 1-9 record and finished last in the conference for the second consecutive season.
The men’s soccer team’s season ended a week prior when they were defeated by Eastern University in the MAC Freedom championship game played at Mangelsdorf Field. The men’s club looked to avenge their only conference loss of the season, but they were unable to do so. They had taken an early lead when Senior Trey Ziegler score in the eleventh minute. Unfortunately, the Cougars were unable to add to their lead, and in the eighty-ninth minute, Eastern was able to tie the game and force overtime. After a scoreless overtime, the teams were forced into a penalty shootout. Eastern was able to win it in penalty kicks 5-3.
This marks back-to-back years that the Cougars have lost a MAC tournament game in penalty kicks. The women’s team lost the season to Wilkes University in the semi-final round of the playoffs. The men’s team finished as the regular season conference champions.
The field hockey team finished the season with a 5-13 overall record, going 3-4 in conference play. The loss of last year’s senior class was a lot for this team to overcome. Last year’s team was able to become the first ever to be crowned MAC Champions in school history. They were able to do it after a thrilling double overtime win at FDU. This season’s team just missed making the playoffs this year by one conference game. Junior Colby Eldridge was named to the first team All-MAC Freedom and Junior Megan Meckling was named to the second team.
The men’s cross country team was able to finish in fourth place in the MAC Conference Championships for the third consecutive season. The team’s top finisher, junior Sean Luzzi, finished fourth in the race and earned first-team All-MAC honors along with teammate Alex Fitch who finished tenth. The women’s team did not have anyone earn first-team All-MAC, but with all seven of their runners finishing within the top 30, they were able to finish third in the Conference Championship meet. However, both of their seasons continued as they competed in the NCAA Regional Meet. The women’s team finished in eleventh place and the men’s team finished in sixteenth. It’ll be a quick turn around for the runners as their indoor season is set to begin just before semester’s end.
The women’s volleyball team, under first year head coach Jackie Nat, finished the season 9-22, with a 2-5 conference record to finish seventh within the MAC Freedom Conference. The Lady Cougars will look to use the experience they gained this year to get back into the playoff caliber team they were a season ago. The team is only graduating two seniors, so many of the key players should be back next season. However, they will be losing All-MAC Freedom Conference honorable mention Nicole Tagerty. She will leave as the all-time leader in games played and assists.
Without including any possible football players earning ALL-MAC honors, the university currently has 27 athletes across six sports earn All-MAC honors this fall. Ten athletes earned first-team honors, 14 earned second-team, and three received honorable mention.
With the books officially closed on the fall sports for the 2016 season, winter sports are up next. Both of the basketball teams’ seasons are underway, but conference play will not start until after Christmas. The teams will open up conference play against Manhattanville on January 4.
The women’s basketball team, under new head coach Jason Rhine, would love nothing more than to prove the conference wrong. In a preseason poll, the team is predicted to finish seventh in the conference, the same spot it finished last season.
The men’s team, on the other hand, was voted to finish second in the conference only behind DeSales University. The team, which finished second in the conference but lost in the semi-finals last season, is returning four starters. Sophomore Jason Kenny has already earned honorable mention for this year’s Division III preseason All-American team.