By CHRIS MARKHAM
Sporting events are a cornerstone for any homecoming weekend, especially at the University of Mary Washington. Homecoming Weekend at UMW attracts both current and former students to its wide variety of athletic games, creating an electric and exciting atmosphere.
That atmosphere will be back this Saturday, Oct. 25, as UMW hosts a slew of athletic games and other festivities. To get ready for the chaos, here are the top five things to look forward to on Saturday:
5) Women’s soccer looks to right the ship against Pennsylvania-State Harrisburg:
The UMW women’s soccer team hosts a pivotal game at the Battlegrounds at 1 p.m. against Capital Athletic Conference rival Penn-State Harrisburg. Their 2-3-1 in-conference record has the Eagles ranked seventh in the Capital Athletic Conference, with the Lions right behind them in eighth place.
After their hottest start to a season in recent memory, the women’s soccer team has had tough sledding in conference play. The Eagles were 6-1-1 after their first eight games of the season and cracked the top 25 in the nation for a week, but were brought back down to Earth after a 6-0 loss to Catholic University. The Eagles now have an overall record of 8-5-2, looking to improve their conference position as the CAC tournament rapidly approaches.
4) Tailgating returns for a second straight year:
Last fall marked the first time in 15 years that tailgating was an approved activity for the UMW Homecoming Weekend. Back by popular demand, tailgating will once again take place in the parking lot of the Battlegrounds, starting at 10 a.m.
Alumni, students and fans alike will be lining the parking lot prior to the soccer games partaking in typical tailgating activities ranging from corn hole to beer pong, for the 21 year olds of course.
3) Volleyball hosts a double-header:
Normally left out of the homecoming hype, the UMW volleyball team will be hosting their share of homecoming games in the Anderson Center. The Eagles will host a pair of games on Saturday, the first of which will be against CAC rival Penn-State Harrisburg starting at 1 p.m. The team is looking to gain ground on Marymount and Christopher Newport in the conference standings.
The Eagles’ second game of the day will be a 5 p.m. match against Virginia Wesleyan (20-7). The Marlins will provide the Eagles with a quality test against a strong opponent in preparation for a date against No. 13 CNU right around the corner.
2) Field Hockey duels with Salisbury for CAC supremacy:
Although the UMW field hockey team is not competing at the Battlegrounds on Saturday, they will arguably be competing in the most important game of the day. The Eagles will be playing the best team in the country when they face off against CAC rival Salisbury on Saturday afternoon. Both teams are undefeated in conference play this year, but that is guaranteed to change after Saturday. This will prove to be the Eagles’ most important contest of the year, as it will provide them with an opportunity to see how they stack up against the nation’s best with just two games remaining before the CAC Tournament.
1) Men’s Soccer looks to extend a win-streak:
Every year, the men’s soccer game is the centerpiece of every UMW Homecoming Day. All of the hype building up throughout the week culminates when the UMW men’s soccer team takes the field.
In the midst of their longest win-streak of the year, the Eagles head into Saturday’s action looking to continue their climb up the CAC ladder. The Eagles are currently on a four-game win-streak and are one game behind Salisbury University for the best in-conference record. After dethroning No. 11 CNU on Sunday, the Eagles are riding a huge wave of momentum into a critical matchup against Wesley College. With the CAC Tournament around the corner, every game carries more weight than the preceding one, making Saturday’s game the Eagles’ biggest of the year so far.