By: Holly Haber, Leslie McAlister, Brian Ventura, & Dominick Celano
In the blink of an eye, the 2021 fall athletic season is closer to being over than the beginning. As coaches and players focus on their end goals for the season, they reflect on their victories and defeats so far.
Women’s Volleyball is currently 7-1 in the conference this season. Coach Trumbo believes the team’s overall success has been due to three main factors, including nourishing and encouraging environment, practicing competitively, and having the will to win. With the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament on the horizon, the team needs to win their remaining conference games.
“Our goal is to go to the NCAA Tournament and advance as far as we can,” said Trumbo. Out of 435 Division III schools, 64 schools get a bid to attend, and Stevenson has attended the tournament 9 years in a row.
Women’s Volleyball senior, Mackenzie Blevin, shared some of her thoughts on how the Mustangs are feeling going forward with conference games. Blevin said, “The team is extremely excited going into playoffs. We are all determined to push through tough games and have a big legacy to continue and we’re working hard to make sure we do.”
Blevin also added her personal perspective on why Stevenson is the favorite
d to win the MAC conference this season. For her, it all begins with how well the athletes are blending together. “The team chemistry is fantastic,” she said. “Not only off the court are we all really good friends but, on the court, we communicate a lot, and everyone is connecting with each other. We trust each other to make the plays and have each other’s back,” she said.
Update: SU Women’s Volleyball won all three sets against McDaniel (3-0).
Football kicker Kevin Sheehan has recently set two school records. In one he booted the longest punt in school history, 69 yards, eclipsing the previous record by 3 yards. This kick took place away at Lycoming College on September 25.
During the recent home game against Misericordia Sheehan clutched yet another record, the highest punting average in a game. The previous highest average was 44 yards. Sheehan shattered that mark by almost eight yards coming in at 51.7!
As of right now, the team has a 3-5 record, but the record-breaking kicker says they are still motivated and hope to finish the season strong. “Our goal is to focus more on ourselves and not the opponent and play the best football we can and see what happens at the end of the game,” said Sheehan.
Cross Country Coach David Berdan believes his women’s team could perform well at the MAC Championships in November. “The women’s team has definitely surprised us and even surprised themselves a little bit with just how well they have done at these early season meets,” said Berdan. “They got second at a couple of different meets”.
Berdan pointed out that the women’s team has had three different Mustangs clock in as the team’s top runner for three different meets. “We have a really strong top three runners,” said Berdan. “It’s Mikhayla Sabo, Peyton Arbour, and Mary Gorman.”
Men’s Cross Country, so far, hasn’t been quite as successful as their women counterparts. Berdan said, “It’s definitely been a rebuild year for the men’s team, and we have hopes of getting a bigger recruiting class for next year.”
Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country in 2020, the men’s team has lost some of its athletes. “There are a lot of people who used to (run) but ended up quitting. And it’s not just here, I am hearing that from other (coaches at other schools) as well,” said Berdan.
However, there have been a few runners who have performed well individually this season. “Jake Barrett is our top runner and I think he is going to do really well these next few weeks and really surprise some people at the MAC Championships,” Berdan said.
Golf Coach Chris Ramer prepares the women’s and men’s teams during the fall season for Nationals by having them attend competitive two-day tournaments. “The women went to Ohio, Massachusetts, and Virginia for two-day tournaments where they compete against the best and they’re very good,” said Ramer. “The men went to New York, Virginia, and McDaniel College and did a great job”.
The fall golf season is almost over with only one conference left for both the men’s and women’s teams. They will then begin preparing for the spring season which ends with Nationals. “My expectations are very simple,” said Ramer. “I want to win Nationals; I want each of my players to learn how to play golf by themselves, which will make them a better player”.
Field Hockey Coach Laurel Martin believes the women’s team has a fair chance to make it post-season, but that they must be in the top five in the conference to do so. “Our conference is very strong, so our goal is going to be to make post-season and it’s going to be tight,” Martin said. “Every goal is going to count whether for us or against us”.
Two players have stood out in their performance this season. “Megan Huey is a sophomore midfielder and her tenacity, speed, and gut determination stand out on the field,” said Martin. “Macy Kosanovich, who is also a sophomore, is right up there in the top standings of our conference in terms of goals and assists”.
Martin said the team has strong special units in both their defense penalty corners and attack penalty corners but has struggled with their mid-field game. “We are just shy of .500,” said Martin. “We have had some good wins and close losses”.
Men’s Soccer is currently 9-9-2. They have faced some tough competition this year with multiple overtimes. Recently, the team came out on top vs. Widener after a second overtime frame. Senior Dylan Holy finished the game, making the score 3-2. Then away at Albright posting a 1-0 game score, taking the win home.
Junior Thomas Markey explained how very enthusiastic he is about the season. “Our goal is to win the conference and go to the NCAA Tournament,” said Markey. Coming up, the team will face Messiah on October 19. This is one of their hardest competitors. Messiah has yet to face a loss yet this season, their record being 11-0-2. The team looks forward to this good competition.
Update: SU’s Men’s Soccer Team lost to Messiah 7-0.