Stevenson University athletics saw much success both on and off the field this fall. All of the competing teams had athletes recognized by MAC Commonwealth all-conference teams. From the individual triumphs of the men’s cross-country team to the cohesive team efforts of women’s volleyball, the Mustangs came to win. The Stevenson Villager roundup of standout fall athletes only captures a few of those who make attending Mustang athletics events so exciting.
Sophomore Patrick Watson was one of two athletes who qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship for the first time in school history. Watson finished with a personal-best 8k time of 25:18.73. He finished 70th place overall out of the 279 competitors. Watson was a part of the team having the best finish in both the MAC championship and NCAA Mideast Regionals. The All-MAC first team selection also placed second individually in the MAC championship.
The women’s cross-country team was led by junior Kelly Winklbauer this season. Winklebauer’s fifth place overall at the MAC cross country championship led to her First Team All-MAC honors. Her finish was the highest of any runner in a conference championship in program history. Winklbauer’s season-best 6k time of 23:12.5 at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regionals gave her a 32nd overall finish. The finish was the best by any runner in Mustang history at the NCAA Mideast Regional meet.
Junior Marissa Hoffman was a defensive force to be reckoned with for the Mustangs. Hoffman started in all 16 games during the season, totaling eight points on two goals and a team-high four assists. Hoffman was named to the MAC Commonwealth second team after being named honorable mention as a sophomore. Her versatility on defense led the team with seven defensive saves and the game-winning goal in overtime off of a penalty corner against Alvernia.
Senior captain Nick Jachera was an unsung hero for the Mustangs in his four-year career. Jachera appeared in all 11 games in both his freshman and sophomore year, starting all 11 games in his junior and senior year. The offensive lineman was named MAC Commonwealth second team in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. His presence, primarily at left tackle, played a huge role in the success of junior quarterback Dan Williams.
Sophomore Andrew Wally finished the fall season with the lowest score for Stevenson’s men’s golf team. Wally led the team with an average of 77.75 shots for the fall half of the team’s split season. He has been a major component of the men’s team’s success since his arrival at Stevenson, with 15 top-10 finishes in one and a half seasons with the Mustangs. The team hopes to continue to build as they enter the more formal spring season.
Senior Morgan Wirtz lead the Mustangs with a team low, shooting an 83.15 on average. Wirtz carried the team with two individual first-place finishes in the first half of the split season. Wirtz has been a consistent contributor for the Mustangs during her career with Stevenson, leading the team with the lowest average each of her four years on the team. After four team first-place finishes in the first half of the season, the team will work to improve for the spring.
Freshman Tariq Lee was a tremendous leader on the field for the Mustangs this fall. Starting in 15 of the team’s 16 matches, Lee recorded a team-high in points, goals and shots. Lee brought home Rookie of the Year title for the MAC Commonwealth conference, the first of that honor since 2011 for the Mustangs. The forward’s six points, three goals and 29 shots were the impressive resume earning Lee a MAC Commonwealth second-team selection.
Women’s soccer midfielder Sam Hooker earned her second consecutive all-conference honor being named to the MAC Commonwealth first team, as voted by league coaches. Hooker started in all 18 games this season, adding up to all 57 games of her career thus far. The junior captain’s five points on two goals and one assist were instrumental to the success the program saw this season under new head coach Tati Korba. Her defensive efforts helped to secure seven shutouts.
Senior Worndon Ly continued to build on a successful career with the men’s tennis team. His ability to win both in individual matches as well as with a doubles partner helped the Mustangs in the first half of their split season. Ly was able to secure MAC Commonwealth Player of the Week honors after singles wins versus Catholic University and both singles and doubles wins against Frostburg State University. Ly and partner Ray McDermott were an exciting tandem and will continue that chemistry into the spring season.
Doubles partners Kelsi Mentzer and Jenna Skove top off the women’s tennis team as the duo regularly found success. In the first half of the split season, the two sophomores built on their MAC Commonwealth second-team selections from their rookie campaigns. The partners competed in the No. 1 doubles at the Middle Atlantic Conference individual championships, eventually falling to Wilkes College. Skove and Mentzer’s doubles record stands at 4-6 as they move into the spring season.
Senior Annika Schwartz was a key component to another successful year for Stevenson’s women’s volleyball team. The outside hitter was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III First Team All-American after a 33-2 season by the Mustangs. As one of the 14 NCAA Division III student-athletes earning that honor, Schwartz picks up her fourth honor from the AVCA. As a MAC Commonwealth first-team selection, Schwartz set school records for all-time leader in kills (1571) service aces (235).
Each of the teams participating in either a traditional fall season, or the beginning of a split season, brought their programs a little closer to the goal of winning a MAC Commonwealth Championship on the road to the NCAA tournament. More information and updates on teams and individual athletes can be found on gomustangsports.com.