Mighty Oaks Fall Sports Season Kicks Off
Soccer, cross country and golf set to begin
The Mighty Oaks fall sports season gets underway Thursday, Sept. 1, when the women's soccer team travels to SUNY Morrisville. The ESF soccer, cross-country and golf teams are returning several talented student-athletes. Coaches expect a competitive and exciting fall sports season for the Mighty Oaks.
Men's Cross Country
Expectations always run high for the Mighty Oaks men's cross-country team, the four-time national champion that finished second at the 2015 USCAA national championship. This season is no different as the team hopes to try and bring home a fifth national championship. The team will miss three talented All-Americans - Steve Slonosky, Peter LeDuc and Reed Scott - who graduated this past spring. That means the team will rely on senior Michael Persson, and juniors Dana Carris and Ryan Shaw. Other returning runners include juniors Nick Giordano, Richie Monaco, James Longo and Isaac Pruch, and sophomores Sean Satchwell and Peter Rawinski.
Women's Cross Country
The women's cross-country team finished third at last year's national championship. It was their fifth top-five finish in the last five years in the USCAA championship. The team will be led by sophomore All-American Marissa Lathrop, who finished eighth overall in the USCAA championship. She finished in the top 10 in three other races last season. Also returning for the Mighty Oaks are sophomores Hailey Smalley and Erin Cuddihy, and junior Emily Verbeck. Seniors Allison Cronk and Samantha Hollister will be a part of a strong squad.
Both the men's and women's teams will start their season Sept. 3 at the SUNY Poly short course race. Other meets during the season include Oswego, Geneseo, Hamilton and the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) championships. The season culminates at the USCAA cross-country national championships Nov. 9 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The women's soccer team finished last season with an impressive 11-2-2 overall record despite an injury-riddled roster. The team fell in the semifinals to HVIAC conference rival Albany College of Pharmacy in the USCAA national tournament. This season, the team will be back at full strength and hopes to make a deep run in the USCAA tournament. Returning for the Mighty Oaks are two All-Americans, forward Heather Carl and goal keeper Kiki Hilmer. The team will rely on Carl for her goal-scoring prowess, especially with the long ball. The team also welcomes back a talented core of support players including second-team All-American junior Anna Bishop and juniors Megan Herbst, Lauren Archer and Natalee Wrege. New to the team this year and hoping to make immediate contributions are junior college transfers Martha Caster (Cayuga) and Maeleen Hollenbeck (Mohawk Valley) and freshmen Maureen McCarthy and Alyssa Hughes.
The team's season kicks off Sept. 1 on the road at SUNY Morrisville. The following weekend the team will travel to Paul Smith's College for the much-anticipated Barkeaters Cup. Other key games include a rematch against conference rival Albany College of Pharmacy Sept. 17 and University of Maine - Fort Kent, the 2015 USCAA national champions, Oct. 9. The USCAA women's soccer national championship tournament will be Nov. 10-14 in Virginia Beach.
The men's soccer team finished the 2015 season with a 6-7-1 overall record, 5-2 in HVIAC conference play. The goal this year is to win the HVIAC conference and qualify for the USCAA national championship tournament. A key player on this year's squad is senior All-American forward Jorge Guarin, who lead the team with seven goals last season. Guarin will receive offensive support from junior Geoff Golick and senior Joe Marino. Sophomore Nicholas Van Bennekum and senior Eitan Kiin will anchor the Mighty Oaks defense. Some new faces to keep an eye on this season include SUNY Cobbleskill transfer J.C. Barrientos and talented freshman Joe Kulikowski from Grand Island, New York.
The team season begins Sept. 4 at Paul Smith's College with the annual Barkeater Cup. Season highights include a game against a new HVIAC member, the College of New Rochelle, Sept. 30; the always-competitive King of the Hill Cup vs. Onondaga Community College Oct. 6; and the alumni weekend battle vs. HVIAC conference champs Berkeley College Oct. 8. The USCAA men's soccer national championship tournament will be held Nov. 10-14 in Virginia Beach.
"It's been a great preseason. Both teams have worked very hard and are hungry to scores some goals and win games! Both teams want to make it to the beach in November," said men's and women's Head Coach Dan Ramin.
This year's ESF golf team consists of returning Captain Brian Walsh and a crew of veterans. Joining them will be the largest class of recruits in team history. A collection of new first-year as well as transfer students will fill out this year's squad as they set their sights on October and a USCAA National Championship.
Tryouts are the first week of classes at The Links at Erie Village and the road to the National Championships begins Sept. 11 at Drumlins with a match against the neighbors from Syracuse University. The team will travel to Lakeside Country Club for the Keuka Invitational Sept. 14, host the seventh Annual ESF Fall Invitational at the Links at Erie Village Sept. 18, and travel to the Oswego Invitational at Oswego Country Club Sept. 19.
The following two weekends, Sept. 24 - 25 and Oct. 1 - 2, the team will participate in two-day tournaments hosted by the NCCGA. The first will be on the Robert Trent Jones Course at Cornell University and the second will be at Shadow Lake Golf Club in the Rochester area.
The season will conclude, again this year, with a trip to the USCAA National Championships at the Penn State Blue Course.
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