Fall Sports Seasons in Review
The fall sports teams here at Mary Washington have all about wrapped up their seasons, so let us take a look back at what were all successful 2009 campaigns.
The volleyball team had an outstanding year, with an overall record of 18-11. The Lady Eagles were 7-1 in conference play and finished second in the CAC in the regular season. They did get upset in the CAC Tournament by Gallaudet University, but that doesn’t take away from their great season. The volleyball team swept away the individual awards in the conference, with freshman Laura Gomez winning CAC Freshman of the Year, Coach Dee Conway capturing CAC Coach of the Year, and senior Anne Lutkenhaus taking the honor of CAC Athlete of the Year. Lutkenhaus was also named to the All-CAC First Team and Gomez was placed on the All-CAC Second Team. With that trio returning next year, UMW should be one of the top teams in the conference again and contend for a CAC title.
The UMW swim teams have both done excellent this year. Both the men’s and women’s swim teams won their opener, but they followed that with a defeat at the hands of Division I William & Mary. However, besides that lone slip up against a top-level opponent, both teams’ records remained flawless. They both went on to dominate Gallaudet University and Salisbury University on November 1st and they followed that performance by toppling Hood College and York College in their Nov. 6 meet. The men’s and women’s swim teams’ seasons continue through at least mid-February and possibly into March. But while their seasons are yet to be completed, they are certainly off to a very strong start.
The Eagles field hockey team had a solid season in their own right. The team finished 12-8 overall and 4-2 in CAC play, which was good for third place in the conference. UMW advanced to the championship game of the CAC Tournament, but fell to a Salisbury team that had only one loss all year and was undefeated in conference play on the season. The field hockey team had five players named to All-CAC teams, with junior Emma Jones, junior Heidi Sheehan, senior Jaci Marshall garnered First Team All-CAC honors while freshman Florence George and junior Nicole Conti were named to the All-CAC Second Team. With all of those ladies returning next year sans Marshall, the field hockey team should be a force once again.
The rowing team at Mary Washington were impressive in their fall races. In the opening event at the Potomac Regatta, UMW sent two entries for both the men and women open fours and the men finished ninth and 10th while the women took fourth and sixth place finishes. Both squads continued their strong season at the Occoquan Challenge, with the men’s club eight taking a third place finish and the women’s club eight capturing fourth place in their race. The teams didn’t slow up, with impressive showings at the Navy Day Regatta, Occoquan Chase Regatta, and at the Head of the Occoquan Regatta. Both the men’s and women’s teams will begin racing again in April, but the fall season was certainly a respectable one.
The cross country teams had excellent seasons, with the men’s team winning the CAC title and the women’s team finishing second in the conference. The teams combined for eight top three finishes in just six races and the two also totaled four first place finishes between them. The Eagles were garnished with several conference awards, with senior Frank DeVar winning the Men’s Runner of the Year, junior Sarah Dawes earning the Women’s Runner of the Year, and cross country coach Stan Soper honored as the CAC Coach of the Year. Along with those awards, seven Eagles were named to an All-CAC team, as DeVar, senior Brian Fulton, and freshman Scott Plunkett were honored with first team selections and seniors Matt Cash and Jake Pattyson were named to the second team along with a pair of sophomores, Kyle Anderson and David Gayek.
The teams wrapped up their seasons with the men’s placing fourth at the NCAA Regionals and the women’s finishing 11th. While neither the men’s nor women’s team qualified as a whole to advance to the NCAA Championships on Saturday, two of the men’s runners, Fulton and DeVar, qualified for the NCAA Championships individually following their top-10 finishes in the NCAA Regionals. Regardless of the outcome for those two in their race Saturday, they along with the rest of the UMW cross country team had a fantastic season.
The Eagles women’s soccer team continued the trend of great seasons for fall athletics at UMW. After a great start to the season, the Eagles had a mid-season lull as the ladies went through a six game stretch playing just .500 (2-2-2). But the women’s soccer team finished strong and peaked at the right time. After finishing fourth in the conference in the regular season with a 12-5-5 record overall and a 4-2-2 record in CAC play, UMW went on a run in the CAC Tournament and upset both Salisbury University and Stevenson University to capture the tournament championship.
The team was honored with several All-CAC selections. First team honorees include sophomore Amy Olson, junior Sarah Tryon, sophomore Karen Strat, freshman Emmalee Denkler, and sophomore Tina Brehm, while freshman Sunny Herald was the team’s lone representative on the second team. With all of those players returning in Fall 2010, Mary Washington should continue their strong run in women’s soccer.
And, of course, who could forget the men’s soccer team. The Eagles men’s soccer squad played with heavy hearts all season following the tragic death of junior Preston Hirten back in August. The team had a good year despite having to deal with the after effects of losing a teammate, as UMW went 12-7-1 overall and 6-1-1 in conference play to finish third in the CAC. The men’s team really put it together following a 0-2 start, as they went 11-2-1 in their next 14 games. Unfortunately, the Eagles fell to York College of Pennsylvania in the second round of the CAC Tournament to close the year.
However, it was still a good season both as a team and individually, as five players were named to All-CAC teams. Freshman Duke Mensah-Abrampah along with seniors Peter Toohey and Emmett Rutkowski were named to the first team and sophomore Will Gallop and junior T.L. Tutor were placed on the second team. Head Coach Roy Gordon was also named as CAC Co-Coach of the Year. With anther solid season under their belts, the men’s team continued the strong soccer tradition here at Mary Washington and the prospects for next season look bright once again.