Preview: Springing forward to fall sports

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JAMIE HOLT // THE FLAT HAT

With the school year coming to an end, here’s what to look forward to from Tribe Athletics in the Fall.

Football

A fresh start will be the theme for Tribe football this coming fall, with a new coaching staff under offseason hire Mike London and an incoming graduate transfer quarterback to be paired with returning skill position players.

Quarterback had been a competitive position in practice throughout the month of April, with five players fighting for the starting job at the conclusion of spring practices. Graduate transfer Kilton Anderson, formerly of Coastal Carolina, announced his decision to transfer to the College April 16 after throwing for over 1,000 yards for the Chanticleers last year.

A key factor in the addition of Anderson was his impression of the new Tribe leadership.

“I was most impressed with the caliber of the coaching staff,” he said in an article for the Daily Press. “They were passionate, dynamic, organized and I thought it was a place that I belonged and would thrive.”

In addition to the new pieces, the Tribe looks to further develop its in-house talent, which was evident during its annual Green and Gold spring game, in which several returning players posted strong stat lines. Sophomore running back Owen Wright scored two touchdowns and totaled 129 yards on 14 carries, and senior running back Albert Funderburke gained 109 yards of his own.

The defense also showed signs of promise in the spring game, picking off two passes, forcing a fumble, and totaling 11 tackles for loss.

The Tribe will begin the 2019-2020 campaign at home August 31 versus Lafayette.

Nathan Seidel, Flat Hat Sports Assoc. Editor

Men’s Soccer

COURTESY IMAGE / TRIBE ATHLETICS

Ending the season 6-10-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play, the Tribe has much to improve on in the upcoming season. The College bids farewell to many seniors, most notably Antonio Bustamante who will play for the Major League Soccer team D.C. United’s reserve team Loudon United. Other than Bustamante, Will Rosenbaum, Marcel Berry, Ryder Bell, John Fuquene, Remi Frost, Graham Guidry and Sam Onyeador will likewise be graduating.

Head coach Chris Norris has worked hard to fill in the talent on the team with the mass departure of graduating seniors. Joining the Tribe in the fall are Alexander Levengood, Nathan Messer, Will Stack, Marcos Villeda and Kieran Baskett — with Baskett set to join the goalkeepers as Onyeador departs.

Despite a disappointing loss against current CAA champion James Madison in the semifinal of the 2018 tournament, the Tribe has the potential to return to its prestige as a CAA powerhouse, having defeated North Carolina-Wilmington in 2017 to win the title and having taken the championship six times before that. Retaining the talent of several players next season, the Tribe will have to make use of players such as junior Reeves Trott and freshman Zachary Hosseinian if it hopes to achieve this.

Gavin Aquin, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Women’s Soccer

Courtesy image / TRIBE ATHLETICS

The Tribe held its own this season, going 6-10-1 on the year and 3-5-1 in CAA play. Despite that, the College fell to Northeastern in the final game of the season, in a game with only one Huskies goal. The Tribe said goodbye to four seniors, midfielders Mackenzie Kober, Arundel Miguelez and Claire Robbins, as well as goalkeeper Sara Vigen. These holes in the midfield and defense will make the upcoming 2019 season one of transition for the Tribe. However, a robust recruitment class of nine will certainly fill the empty ranks. Emily Crocco, Zoe Doughty, Shelby Hatchel, Laurel Hagen, Madeleine Hayes, Jillian O’Toole, Kayleigh Shackford and late addition Sophie Geslao will join the Tribe as freshman, while sophomore transfer Hannah Potter comes to the College from Kentucky. Combined with the 21 returning team members, this solid recruiting effort from head coach Julie Shackford puts the Tribe in good standing for the upcoming season, despite having to face a tough conference, with defending champions Hofstra as well as other rivals like Northeastern and Drexel.

Avery Lackner, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Field Hockey

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In 2018, William and Mary captured its first CAA championship in program history. The Tribe maneuvered through a difficult non-conference schedule before posting a 5-1 record in CAA play. The College’s lone loss in conference action came against five-time defending CAA champion Delaware. For the second-straight year, the Tribe and the Blue Hens met in the CAA championship. However, the College was able to knock off the Blue Hens and win a National Collegiate Athletic Association play-in game before falling to eventual national champion and top-ranked North Carolina.

In 2019, the College will have to replace seven seniors, including midfielder Estelle Hughes ’19 and defender Caroline Arrowood ’19. Nevertheless, the Tribe will return several impact players, including junior midfielders Cassidy Goodwin, Annie Snead and Christie van de Kamp, as well as junior forward Woodard Hooper. Van de Kamp was the 2018 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and Goodwin, Snead and Hooper each received postseason honors in the CAA. Snead also set the program records for assists in a single season in 2018 with 12 helpers. Sophomore goalkeeper Kimi Jones was Co-Rookie of the Year in the CAA last season.

The Tribe will have another challenging non-conference slate in 2019, and the CAA is always a competitive conference. However, the College is equipped to defend its conference championship and potentially advance even deeper into the NCAA tournament. Head coach Tess Ellis — the reigning CAA Coach of the Year — and the Tribe will open the season in late August and look to follow up a historic 2018 season with an even more impressive 2019 campaign. Home games will be played at Busch Field and admission is free for students.

Kevin Richeson, Flat Hat Operations Coordinator

Swimming

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Highly underrated in regards to the College’s other sports, the men’s and women’s swim teams finished the spring 2018 season with accolades. In the Colonial Athletic Association Championships the men emerged victorious, having taken first place while the women took second place in their respective championship.

The men will be losing several key names on their roster, with seniors Eric Grimes, Ramzy Ali, Carter Kale, Brooks Peterson, Joey Rento and Evan Baker graduating. The women will likewise bid farewell to its seniors including Abby Jones, Nina Lesser, Annie Miller, Maria Oceguera, Emily Schroeder, Katie Sell, Morgan Smith and Claire Williams — who was chosen as the 2018-19 CAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Though head coach Matt Crispino has not yet disclosed anything about the incoming freshman class, new members of the Tribe will have big shoes to fill if they wish to replicate this year’s massive successes.

Gavin Aquin, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Cross Country

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Cross Country is a woefully undervalued part of Tribe Athletics, especially considering how both the men’s and women’s squads have excelled in the past decade. The women’s team won its sixth Colonial Athletic Association championship in the past seven seasons in 2018 when it edged past Elon by 2 points in a thrilling victory. For their part, the men’s squad cruised to its nineteenth consecutive CAA Championship this past season. This puts the team in possession of the fourth-longest men’s track winning streak in National Collegiate Athletic Association history, as well as the second-longest active streak in the country.

The all-conference team consisted of five Tribe athletes from the men’s team and three from the women’s squad. For the men, distance runners senior Ryan McGorty, redshirt freshman Micah Pratt, sophomore Spencer Tsai, redshirt freshman Patrick Lynch and freshman Zachary Levet, represented the College on the CAA all-conference team. The women sent distance runners sophomore Lauren Finikiotis, sophomore Lauren Kroepfl and junior Charlotte Kowalk to the all-conference group. The Tribe looks to continue its CAA dominance in 2019, and with strong performances from underclassmen as well as veterans, the odds of bringing home another championship are certainly in the College’s favor.

Avery Lackner, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Volleyball

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The College had a tough season and a taxing schedule in 2018, going 5-20 overall and 1-15 in the Colonial Athletic Association. However, standout individual performances are a beacon of hope for next season. Freshman outside hitter Claire Farrell was named a Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year. Additionally, the Tribe welcomes five new recruits for the 2019 season, all freshman, including middle blockers Kaitlyn Ferguson and Shiyanna McLeod, laberos Gabi Ganley and Anna Porter and setter Kate Van Houten. As the current roster is sorely lacking defensive strength and a presence in the middle of the net, these recruits are much needed additions to the College. Ten of the Tribe’s fourteen players will be either sophomores or freshman next year, leaving plenty of room for growth and leadership development in underclassman and setting the College up for a prosperous future.

Avery Lackner, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Women’s Golf

COURTESY IMAGE / TRIBE ATHLETICS

Despite a year of both spectacular victory and devastating losses, the Tribe seeks to improve and overcome its difficulties from this year.

With Elizabeth Choi ’18 having graduated early and the imminent departure of senior Riley Corona, the College will have to depend more and more on the talent of junior Allison Olberding along with current freshmen such as Phoebe Yuan and Sarah Houle.

Rising to the challenge will be Olberding, who carries the Tribe’s lowest scoring average of the remaining players — an impressive 77.00. Her sweep of the Hound Ears Intercollegiate and her fifth-place finish in the Colonial Athletic Championship are paramount signals that she is ready to lead the College to further successes.  Not far behind her, Houle retains an impressive scoring average of 77.70 and will further bolster the Tribe.

Though the Director of Golf Jay Albaugh and assistant coach Ed Teer have yet to announce about the incoming class, the program is already seeing the effects of missing Choi, who had been an instrumental part of its successes in the past. Incoming freshmen certainly have big shoes to fill.

Gavin Aquin, Flat Hat Sports Editor

Men’s Golf

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The Tribe men’s golf team will look to forge new foundations in the fall, with younger players set to move into gaps created by three graduating seniors.

One of those seniors is David Hicks, who recently finished second overall individually in the Rutherford Intercollegiate with a -4 total score over the three rounds. Hicks also earned the best scoring average in Tribe history over his four years with a 73.19.

Seniors Will Stewart and Gavin deFisser will also leave substantial golf shoes to fill, Stewart having earned a .702 winning percentage this past season and deFisser improving substantially throughout his time in Williamsburg to record his lowest scoring average (74.20) of his career as a senior.

While those graduating will be missed, a bright spot for the team is freshman Matthew Feinstein, who showed promise in 2018-19 with multiple rounds at or below 70. Feinstein finished the regular season strong, breaking par (70, -1) on the final day of the Rutherford Intercollegiate, as well as converting 39 pars on the weekend.

The Tribe will also return junior Walker Campbell and sophomore Trevor Hecht, each of whom consistently produced solid rounds this season. Campbell showed marked improvement this season, posting a 73.90 scoring average and a .579 winning percentage.

Nathan Seidel, Flat Hat Sports Assoc. Editor