The Flat Hat sports desk takes stock of news and events from the tail-end of the spring season and summer. Follow @FlatHatSports for around-the-clock coverage and analysis.
BASEBALL: As the second oldest college in the nation, the phrase “the first time in school history” is seldom used regarding William and Mary. But with its May 17 6-0 shutout victory over the College of Charleston, the Tribe captured its first ever regular-season Colonial Athletic Association title, earning the top seed in the CAA Conference Tournament. Unfortunately, the College slipped against Charleston in the tournament with a 6-4 loss, ending the season second in the conference.
LACROSSE: William and Mary’s season finale against Old Dominion University April 26 occurred after last spring’s final Flat Hat issue by a few days, which unfortunately pushed coverage of the game back nearly three months. In that final game, the Tribe (4-12) dominated the Monarchs (3-13) by a score of 16-11 at Martin Family Stadium.
WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD: William and Mary graduating senior Elaina Balouris and junior Emily Stites ran the 10,000 meter final at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon June 12. The Tribe runners placed in the top ten of 24 racers, both making the All-American team. Balouris finished her collegiate running career as a first-team All-American, while Stites earned recognition as a second-team All-American.
BASEBALL SENDS THREE TO MLB:
June saw three William and Mary baseball players become professionals: senior Ryan Lindemuth, junior outfielder Michael Katz and junior utility player Nick Thompson were selected in the 2014 MLB draft.
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Thompson — the first player from the Colonial Athletic Association drafted — in the eighth round. New York teams seemed to favor Katz and Lindemuth, who were picked up by the New York Mets in the ninth round and the New York Yankees in the 37th round, respectively.
SWIMMING: Though the celebrations for now-graduated Andrew Strait have concluded, William and Mary will long remember the swimmer’s achievements. Strait was recognized as the Colonial Athletic Association’s Top Male-Scholar Athlete of the Year July 2, a distinction Strait has earned three times. No swimmer in either the men’s or women’s programs has ever won the award three times – only five athletes across all the conference’s sports have accomplished the feat.
FOOTBALL: Slowly but surely, William and Mary is gaining respect as a possible contender for this year’s Colonial Athletic Association title, earning a preseason rank of No. 22 among NCAA Division I-AA programs. Last year, the College began the year unranked, just prior to its near-upset against West Virginia.
FIELD HOCKEY: The 2014 field hockey season is set in stone, as the official dates for William and Mary’s games have been released. In the series of 18 games stretching from late August to mid-November, the College will face some familiar Colonial Athletic Association foes, three National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament teams, and opponents from major conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten.
COUPLIN SIGNS NFL CONTRACT:
William and Mary graduate and former safety Jerome Couplin agreed to a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League May 10.
Couplin was a team captain and averaged 5.8 solo tackles per game in the 2013 season. On a national scale, the Tribe defensive back garnered attention from outlets such as the Associated Press, the Sports Network and Forbes. Couplin earned first-team All-American honors and was a finalist for the Buchanan Award, an accolade honoring the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s best defensive players each year.
With a 2-0 victory in an Aug. 12 scrimmage against the University of Pittsburgh, William and Mary’s women’s soccer team commenced its 2014 campaign.
Both freshman midfielder Adrienne Maday and senior forward Emory Camper scored for the Tribe. The game, though, was not nearly as close as the score might suggest, as Pitt took only one shot on goal compared to the Tribe’s eight.