Tourney championships, big goals, and first-place finishes. This past weekend, Vassar athletics opened their fall sports season on a high note.
The field hockey team clinched the Betty Richey tournament title for the fourth straight season this past weekend. The Brewers secured first place with a 1-0 win over Marywood University on Friday and a 3-1 win over SUNY Geneso on Saturday. Guided by their strong junior class, Coach Michael Warari’s field hockey squad is returning an incredible amount of talent for the upcoming season. Meagan Caveny, who led the team in points last year, returns as a junior captain, along with fellow junior captains Monica Feeley and Alyssa More. As a first-time captain, More is excited for the season.
“The team is looking strong this year,” More said. “We have an energy and fire that is extremely exciting to be a part of.”
The men’s soccer team returns to the pitch following an incredible 2016 season. Last year, the Brewers knocked Skidmore in the Liberty League championship with a picture-perfect penalty kick from junior Alex Gonzales as time expired. The first-place finish in the Liberty League propelled the Brewers to the NCAA tournament, where their season ended in a close game against Elizabethtown College. With a unit of seven experienced seniors, as well as a competitive group of juniors and underclassmen, the Brewers have a strong foundation in place for another successful season. On the offensive end, sophomore Mattie Mrlik is slotted to be the team’s main option at forward. Last year, Mrlik led the team with 29 points as only a first-year. On the other side of the ball, juniors Tyler Gilmore and Tim Collins, along with senior Tanner Sands, are the backbone of a defense that posted eight shutouts last season. Although they are the reigning Liberty League champions, Senior Captain Hayden Van Brewer does not want to write it off as an easy season.
“We know that we’re going to have to work very hard to have a successful season and we are looking forward to the challenge,” Van Brewer noted. “We need players who want to step up and take responsibility”. The Brewers have already started their season out on the right foot, posting two dominating wins this past weekend against Western Connecticut State and Mount Saint Mary College.
The women’s soccer squad kicked off their 2017 campaign this past weekend with a 2-2 tie against Montclair State and a 0-2 loss against New York University. The Brewers are coming off of an incredibly successful 2016 season, in which they set a new program best with six wins in conference play, good for a second-place finish. Eight starters from the last season are back in play, including three of the top five point producers.
The women’s golf team returns to the course for what is shaping up to be another strong season. Returning for her senior year is Annie Hsu, along with sophomores Qiwen Tan and Andrea Han, who all found success on the course last year. The women finished fourth in the 2016 Liberty League championships, with Han posting the lowest score of 156 through two matches. This past Saturday, in their first match of the new season, the Brewers topped Union 3-2. Hsu, Tan and Han all defeated their respective opponents. The women’s golf team will travel to Canton, NY, for the St. Lawrence invitational next weekend.
After an appearance in the Liberty League championship last year, the women’s volleyball team is setting up for another successful season. Coach Jonathan Penn’s team is welcoming back three players who played on the Liberty League first team:juniors Devan Gallagher and Annie MacMillan, as well as sophomore Jane McLeod. In their opening weekend, the volleyball Brewers went 2-2. In their first match of the weekend, the team pulled through with a 3-2 win against Lebanon Valley College. The team then fell 0-3 to nationally ranked Juniata College but secured a 3-0 win the next day against the Coast Guard Academy. In their final match of the weekend the Brewers were defeated University of Rochester.
The men’s cross country team is shaping up to have another ground-breaking season. The team is returning five incredibly fast and dedicated seniors, who will be complimented by an incoming group of eight first-years. Senior Michael Scarlett has been the leading runner for the Brewers the past two seasons and is expected to continue to push the team to new heights. Seniors Phillip Brown, Jared Freedman, Jessie Schatz and Anthony Manokin are also expected to be influenital this fall. In their first race of the 2017 season, the Brewers placed second out of four teams. Scarlett finished first for the third year in a row, shaving 10 seconds off his time from last year. Several Brewer runners beat their times from last season.
The women’s cross country team started off the 2017 season in impeccable fashion. The Brewers placed first in their season opener meet in a narrow victory over New York University. After having graduated several seniors who consistently led the pack, this year’s cross country team is lacking a regular first place finisher. However, this is expected to help the team push one another in practices and in races in a style that is different than in years past. Returning to the team for her senior season is Savannah Wiman, who is expected to fill a leadership role this year. Wiman finished fifth overall this past weekend and first for Vassar. Junior Christiana Prater-Lee, sophomore Erin Clark and senior Kate Voegtlin all contributed to Vassar’s first place finish in their season opener this past weekend against NYU.