Getting a jump on Tribe’s 2018 fall sports

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The Tribe's fall sports teams prepare for their upcoming seasons. COURTESY PHOTO / TRIBE ATHLETICS.

As temperatures drop and students return to campus, classes aren’t the only thing to be reading up on: there’s a full slate of fall sports about to begin, a new class of freshman eager to get their starts, and a corps of returning veterans ready to fight for the title. Game on.

Football

Head coach Jimmye Laycock has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2018 season, his 39th at the helm of the Tribe. Last season, William and Mary finished 2-1 in non-conference play, losing only to Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Virginia. However, the Tribe struggled on offense throughout the season and failed to pick up a conference victory, finishing 2-9 overall and 0-8 in the Colonial Athletic Association, just two years removed from a trip to the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The Tribe struggled to settle on a starting quarterback, rotating through three different passers throughout the season. It has not named a starting 2018 quarterback, though sophomores Shon Mitchell and Ted Hefter are the likely frontrunners. Mitchell started three games last year but did not establish a permanent first-string spot.

Tribe defense, led by junior linebacker and team captain Nate Adkins, the young unit will attempt to build upon its experience from last season.

The return of senior wideout DeVonte Dedmon, who missed last season due to an injury in the season opener, should provide a good target for whoever gets the start under center. A trio of running backs, sophomores Noah Giles and Nate Evans and junior Albert Funderburke, have proved they can provide a promising ground game for the Tribe; however, an inexperienced offensive line will need to overcome the loss of all-CAA stalwarts Chris Durant ’18 and Connor Hilland ’18.

The Tribe will open its season on Sept. 1 against Bucknell on the road. The CAA schedule begins for the College on Sept. 15 when it hosts Elon. —Kevin Richeson

Women’s Soccer

Julie Shackford ’88 takes the reins in the fall as the third coach in school history, succeeding the long-standing John Daly. She brings with her a wave of change: Marsha Lycan ’87, formerly a volunteer assistant coach, and Alexa Gaul have both been hired as assistant coaches. Senior midfielder Arundel Miguelez, senior goalkeeper Sara Vigen and redshirt junior forward Sarah Segan were named team captains.

Returning players include Segan, who led the team with eight goals and 20 points last season, as well as junior defender Hannah Keith and redshirt sophomore defender Lauren Kelly, two regular starters from the 2017 run. Junior goalkeeper Katelyn Briguglio will return in net after seeing five starts and posting a .704 save percentage last season.

This year, the Tribe will be spending more time on home turf with 10 matches at Martin Family Stadium, a key advantage in a schedule that includes four matchups against National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament teams. With fresh leadership, a new set of veterans stepping up and seven freshmen joining the program, the team will look to build on what it achieved last season, when it put up a winning record at home (4-3-1) and went  through to the CAA semifinals for a sixth straight season.  Its home opener is set for Aug. 23 against Virginia. —Julia Stumbaugh

Men’s Soccer

Last season, William and Mary won its eighth CAA tournament title, earning a NCAA tournament bid in the process but losing in the first round of the College Cup against Columbia.

This year, the Tribe’s experienced corps of players returning to the pitch will try to advance past the first round for the first time since 2010.

An All-American player last season after a 15-goal campaign, senior midfielder Antonio Bustamante was voted preseason player of the year in the CAA, was named to the watch list for the Hermann Trophy, presented each year to the top collegiate soccer player in the country.

Senior forward Ryder Bell and senior defender Marcel Berry joined Bustamante on the preseason all-CAA squad from the College. Bell scored seven goals last season, second in the conference behind his teammate Bustamante. Berry played nearly the entirety of the Tribe’s 2017 season, appearing in all 21 games and playing the full contest in 18 of the matches.

Five more starters return for the Tribe, but the team will have to find a replacement in goal for Phil Breno ’18. In his senior year, Breno played every minute in goal. This year, it’s likely that some combination of redshirt senior Sam Onyeador and  freshmen Miro Everaert and Connor Andrews will get the job done in net.

The College will start its regular season Aug. 24 at home against St. Joseph’s, while its CAA schedule starts Sept. 14 versus Charleston.  —Brendan Doyle

Volleyball

At the beginning of 2018, Tim Doyle was named the ninth head volleyball coach in school history. For the past four years, Doyle coached the Virginia Commonwealth team, where he led Rams to a 30-win season in 2017 with a 27-game win streak.

The team welcomes six freshmen to the roster this season: outside hitters Macy Cummings and Anne Louise Seekford, middle blocker Madeline Bertz, opposite hitter Lauren Merrill, opposite hitter Claire Farrell and setter Zeyanna Dhalla.

Three players are entering their final season for the Tribe: senior middle blocker Katie Primatic, senior outside hitter Heather Pippus and senior setter Katie Kemp. Pippus was a part of the starting lineup 14 times last season and ranked third on the team with a career high of 221 digs. Kemp had 14 season starts of the 29 matches she appeared in; she finished second on the team with a career-best 472 assists and tied for first in services aces on the season at 18.

Last season, the College finished its season 5-15 with only two CAA victories. The Tribe did not secure a win on the road and ended its season on a five-game losing streak.

The College will kick off its season with the Wildcat Classic. Its first conference matchup will be against North Carolina-Wilmington September 21. —Alyssa Grzesiak

Field Hockey

William and Mary is projected by the CAA preseason poll to finish third in the conference, despite entering the 2018 season with two holes in its offense left behind by Emma MacLeod ‘17 and Cammie Lloyd ’17. The offensive duo accounted for 21 of the Tribe’s 52 goals in the 2017 season.

The Tribe had a record-setting five spots in a preseason All-Conference team. Redshirt senior Estelle Hughes and juniors Morgan Connor and Christie van de Kamp were named; juniors Cassidy Goodwin and Woodard Hooper received honorable mentions.

Last season, Hooper trailed MacLeod and Lloyd with nine goals. Van de Kamp, a select of the Team USA U21 Junior National Team the past two years, will remain as an anchor at midfield.

Hughes and Goodwin, as well as sophomore Ella Donahue, junior Annie Snead and senior Jenny McCann will be key parts of the attack. Meanwhile, a well-seasoned defense consisting of seniors Ashleigh Nottingham, Jenna Cutilli and Caroline Arrowood will attempt to shut down opponents as they front veteran goalkeeper Connor.

Connor will return to goal for the Tribe. She has appeared in every game the past two seasons after replacing Meredith Savage ‘16, playing 16 of 20 games last season. She adds even more experience to a veteran team looking to take another step towards a conference title. The Tribe opens its season on the road at Duke Aug. 24. —Catherine Schefer

Cross Country

Last season, William and Mary women’s cross country team finished second in the CAA and 17th out of 37 teams at the Southeast Regional. Despite losing top-performer Molly Applegate, the College maintains a strong roster. Sophomore Lauren Finikiotis, who ran the 6 kilometer course at the Southeast Regional in 22:11.7, returns for her second season. Junior Charlotte Kowalk will also be back for the Tribe.

On the men’s side, senior Ryan McGorty returns for his final season at the College. He was the top finisher for the Tribe last season at the Southeast Regional, finishing with a time of 30:37.6 in the 10 kilometer race. Other top returners include CAA athlete of the year, junior JP Trojan and senior Dawson Connell. Last season, the Tribe finished 12th out of 32 teams at the Southeast regional.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will open their seasons at the Richmond Spider Alumni Open Sept. 1 in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Both teams will host a meet Sept. 14-15 in Williamsburg. At the end of the season, teams and individuals have the chance to earn a spot in the Southeast Region Cross Country Championships and NCAA Championships Nov. 9 and Nov. 17 respectively. —Kevin Richeson

Golf

The men’s and women’s golf programs are each adding a pair of freshman this season, with Matthew Feinstein and Jack Grier joining the men’s team and Sarah Houle and Phoebe Yuan joining the women’s.

The women will play four tournaments this fall, beginning with the William & Mary Invitational at Kingsmill Resort. It then travels to visit East Carolina, North Carolina-Greensboro and the College of Charleston.

Men’s golf travels to five away tournaments in the fall. The team will start out the season at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational before heading to Davidson. It will finish the season with the Firestone Intercollegiate, a visit to Georgetown and a trip down to South Carolina for the Kiawah Classic.

The programs look this fall to build on the success they found in the spring of 2018, when the women placed sixth and the men placed seventh in CAA tournaments. Action has already started as the men head to Ireland for some preseason practice. —Julia Stumbaugh