With mid-season approaching, WU fall sports hit their stride
As September winds to a close, Washington University’s fall sports teams are heading into the core parts of their seasons in good form. No team is below .500 and each has garnered some impressive feats. With the season heating up, here is what you need to know about Wash. U. sports so far.
The Washington University football team aims to end coach Larry Kindbom’s illustrious 31-year career here on the highest note possible. Despite last weekend’s painful loss to No. 5 North Central College, 46-13, the blowout the Bears handed to Chicago on opening day, 43-7, still demonstrates to teams inside and outside the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin that this Wash. U. football team is one to be reckoned with.
The team is filled to the brim with talent, ranging from one of the best quarterbacks the school has ever seen in senior Johnny Davidson to dangerous options on both the receiving end and running end with the likes of seniors Mitchel Groen, Tim Matthiessen, and John Fisher.
On the defensive end, they have the electrifying presence of players of the likes of seniors Matt Bernstein, Jarrod Huther and Jeff Marek and junior Andrew Whitaker. The Bears are away at Carthage College on Saturday before two home games, against North Park University and Elmhurst College, over the next two weekends respectively.
The golf team has gotten off to a hot start. They have won three of their first four competitions, including this year’s NCAA Preview. Two-time Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American senior Samantha Haubenstock has been sharp, finishing at the top or near the top of each competition she has taken part in thus far. Haubenstock, fellow senior Emily Carnes and sophomore Rachel Rhee are the only returning members of a team being fueled by a youthful infusion. Freshmen Emma Lee, Alena Lindh, Annie Mascot, Emmy Sammons and Helen Ye comprise the rest of the team. Mascot has had a stellar start to her career, finishing in the top two of all four competitions she has been in so far and earning two UAA Athlete of the Week honors for her efforts.
An early three-game winning streak has kept men’s soccer above .500 this fall, 3-2-1, with sophomore goalkeeper Matt Martin allowing just four goals over the team’s first six games. The team has been successful in part because it has spread the scoring around: Eight players have already scored goals and four have surpassed eight goals. Younger players like freshmen Julian Gancman and Shiv Lamba and sophomores Nolan Wolf and Alex Smith have played a crucial role on the team. Gancman, along with junior Will Sproule, leads the team with 11 shots, and has been instrumental in creating scoring chances for the Bears. On the defensive side, senior Isaac Plutzer has been a stalwart back, while six-foot-three sophomore Alistair Shaw has also been an important part of the Red and Green wall, which has allowed just over ten shots per game, six fewer than the Wash. U. offense has generated. (These stats do not include the Bears’ game against Webster University from Wednesday, Sept. 25.)
Ranked opponent after ranked opponent: That’s what the Wash. U. volleyball schedule looks like. From No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to No. 6 University of Chicago, head coach Vanessa Walby and her Bears have had their hands full with talented teams. Despite playing five top-25 ranked opponents, Wash. U. has escaped their brutal first half schedule with a 3-2 record against ranked teams and an 11-5 overall record.
Leading the way for the Bears has been their offensive production: With 804 kills, 146 better than the next best team, Carnegie Mellon University, the Bears are the most productive offensive in the UAA. Junior Tricia Brown has led the UAA with 166 kills, with senior Leila King and sophomore Michaela Bach not far behind in the top five. Senior Zoe Baxter, who opened the season third in the Wash. U. record books for career digs, has led the Bears’ back line with 247 digs, third in the UAA.
Walby has also found some help from freshman Alaina Bohrer. The six-foot-tall outside hitter was a big part of the team’s recent four-game win streak, during which she averaged 10.25 kills per game and put together a hitting percentage of .467 against California Lutheran University. The Bears will continue to look for Bohrer as an X-factor and spark off the bench as the season progresses.
This upcoming weekend will be the Bears’ first weekend off since the beginning of the season. They’ll return from the break for a St. Louis showdown against Webster University before taking on Emory University, the top team in the country.
The women’s soccer team has been as solid as ever. After starting the season 2-1-1, they strung together six straight wins, including a double overtime victory over then-No. 5 Wheaton College. They now sit at 8-1-1. The statistics show that the Bears have been a dominant force in the early leg of the season. In all but two games, they have scored at least two goals. Junior Ellie DeConinck and sophomore Ariana Miles lead the team with four goals. Juniors Kristen Reikersdorfer and Marissa Kalkar are tied for third on the team with three goals. Of the 26 goals that the team has scored this season, 19 have been assisted. The team has shut out six opponents, with junior keeper Emma Greenfield recording 18 saves. The team is taking an average of 23.4 shots per game and allowing only 5.1. They have earned 70 corner kicks while only allowing 13.