Feature: Sports Desk recaps fall season

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December 3, 2013

12:45 AM

 

From upsets of No. 1 teams to course records to shutouts, William and Mary delivered an exciting fall season. The Flat Hat Sports Desk takes stock of each program’s respective season.

Football: Improvement, but no post-season play

Head coach Jimmye Laycock engineered a five-game improvement from 2012, but fell short of post-season play after suffering a 31-20 loss in the season finale against in-state conference foe Richmond.

“It is what it is, you are who you are,” Laycock said after the Richmond loss. “Got our seven wins, now it’s time to go home.”

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Men’s Soccer: Upset wins fuel NCAA run

While the College’s season came to an end Nov. 21, it’s not hard to argue the campaign peaked in early September. The Tribe topped No. 1 Creighton, No. 24 Elon and No. 1 North Carolina in a span of 10 days, effectively putting the program in line for a run at post-season play.

Wins over ranked opponents, especially those ranked No. 1, come as nothing new for head coach Chris Norris. After arriving at the College in 2004, Norris has a 3-0-1 record against the nation’s top programs.

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Women’s Soccer: Strong season precedes early exit

Despite a stellar regular season record, William and Mary failed to escape the Colonial Athletic Association Championship semi-final round for the second consecutive year. After a 2-2 match and two overtimes, Northeastern ended the College’s season by advancing to the CAA final 3-1 on penalty kicks.

“It’s painful, ask anyone who’s played the game; the one way you don’t want to lose is on penalty kicks,” head coach John Daly said after the season-ending loss.”

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Field Hockey: Newly minted Ellis leads College

When longtime head coach Peel Hawthorne stepped down, new head coach Tess Ellis had a little less than a week to prepare for her coaching debut. After a season highlighted with upset wins and a trip to the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals, Ellis has proven her value as a head coach.

Despite falling to No. 17 Delaware in the CAA semifinals, Ellis’ squad recorded upset victories over then-No. 5 Virginia and then-No. 18 American University.

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Men’s Cross Country: Young squad wraps up conference, again

William and Mary’s Colonial Athletic Association championship Nov. 2 wasn’t just an automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Southeast Regional Championship. It was the program’s 14th consecutive CAA Championship, a run that dates to 2000.

The Tribe’s 14-year streak ranks among the best nationally; it is the second-longest active streak behind Iona University’s 23-year run in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and is tied with Wisconsin’s run in the Big Ten. Overall, the program’s total of 21 titles ranks second among all conference programs, trailing the College’s women’s tennis program’s 22 titles.

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Women’s Cross Country: Stites, Balouris pace NCAA-bound Tribe 

After cruising through the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, Stites won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships to help the College earn its 2nd place finish.

After the gun started the NCAA Championships, it was Balouris who took the lead. Balouris finished the 6,000 meter course in 20:22, the 11th- fastest time in the country. As a team, the Tribe finished 12th, beating six higher-ranked programs.

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Men’s Swimming: Quick start makes history

A historic start cooled as William and Mary closed out its fall slate. The men’s program defeated North-Carolina Wilmington for the first time since 1998 and enjoyed its best start since the 1970s before placing third at the Hokie Fall Invitational.

After topping Mary Washington 205-56 at home, the College took to the road to down Towson 162-122 and Georgetown 198-64. With the win over Towson, the Tribe entered the Colonial Athletic Association Pod Meet with one conference win.

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Women’s Swimming: Even performance propels College 

Despite early momentum, the Tribe turned in an up-and-down performance for the fall semester. After following up the Mary Washington win with a 207-87 win over Georgetown, the College dropped its Oct. 19 meet against conference-foe Towson, 221-73.

In the Colonial Athletic Association Pod Meet, the College fared well against Delaware and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, winning 198.5-148.5 and 195-146, respectively. James Madison, however, topped the Tribe by a large margin, 223-124.

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Volleyball: Season ends in conference tournament 

The final eight games were a microcosm of the season. Four consecutive wins, which threw William and Mary into contention for the conference tournament, preceded four consecutive losses.

 The University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s 3-1 win in the Colonial Athletic Association’s quarterfinal match ended the College’s campaign Nov. 22.

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Golf: Hole-in-one highlights fall season

With the Colonial Athletic Association Championships not until April, the men’s and women’s golf programs filled the fall season with invitationals and intercollegiate tournaments.

The men’s program placed third at the Joe Agee Invitational Oct. 1, the best finish of the fall season. The College began with a 6th place end to the Marshall Invitational and followed the Joe Agee Invitational with an 8th place finish at the Georgetown Invitational.

The women’s program recorded the best finish in the second and third round of the Bucknell Invitational Sept. 7 and 8. Sophomore Tina Chang and junior Kellie Edelblut led the way for William and Mary, each tied for 5th overall at the finish.

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Tennis: Belaya and Loomans fall short in title defense. 

Seniors Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans highlighted a fall campaign that saw William and Mary compete in seven invitationals.

Belaya and Loomans, the No. 7 doubles team, entered the Riviera / Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships with a perfect 6-0 record. After reaching the quarterfinals, the No. 15 duo, Whitney Kay and Caroline Price from North Carolina, topped the College, 8-4.

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Chris Weber

Senior staff writer Chris Weber '15 is an English major from Spotsylvania, Va. He was previously Sports Editor.

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