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Fall Sports Underway at ESF
The ESF Mighty Oaks fall sports season got underway Aug. 22 as student-athletes arrived on campus and began practice.
ESF begins its first season as a member of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC). This fall sports season promises to be competitive and exciting as many Mighty Oaks teams are coming off successful 2014 campaigns.
Men's and Women's Cross Country
The men's squad will defend its four-time USCAA National Championship title. The men will need to fill the void created by the graduation of two-time USCAA All-American Timmy Callahan and All-American Tom Arcuri. Senior Stephen Slonosky will lead the men with a solid contingent of returning runners. A host of promising new first-year runners, led by James Rooney (Scotia, New York), Sean Satchwell (Cazenovia, New York), Ethan Appelgren (Maplewood, New Jersey) and twins Bryce and Logan Zayachek (Holland Patent, New York) will contribute to the depth of the team.
The women's team looks to capture its first title after finishing third at the USCAA Cross Country National Championships in 2014. The women will need to replace senior Cambria Ziemer. Returning seniors Cara Keogh and Andrea Szewczyk and sophomore Cami Ferguson will lead the women. First-year runners Haley Smalley (New Braunsfels, Texas), Erin Cuddihy (Buffalo, New York) and Marissa Lathrop (Baldwinsville, New York) will provide a life to the team.
The cross-country teams start their season Saturday, Sept. 5, at LeMoyne College in Syracuse. Other key meets during the season are the SUNY Geneseo Classic Oct. 3 and the USCAA Cross Country National Championships in Lakeland, Florida, Nov. 6.
Men's and Women's Soccer
The women's team is coming off its most successful season in program history, having finished last year with a 13-2 overall record and a #2 seed at the 2014 USCAA Soccer National Championship tournament. This year's team features three returning All-Americans, including junior goalkeeper Kiki Hilmer who led the USCAA in save percentage in 2014.
"Everyone is working hard and our team is coming together nicely. I am looking forward to our season and making it back to nationals." commented junior Captain Heather Carl.
The women's team starts competition Saturday, Sept. 5, vs Kings College in New York City; that game will be followed by a Sunday match vs Central Penn. The team also looks forward to its match against new HVIAC conference rival Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Sept. 27. The Mighty Oaks beat Albany Pharmacy at the 2014 USCAA Soccer National Championship tournament in an exciting overtime match.
The men's team finished the 2014 campaign with a 9-7 record. The men had some quality wins last season, including winning the Barkeaters Cup in an emotional game against Paul Smith's College. This year's team has to make up for the loss of several talented seniors from last year's squad but also returns a talented core of players, including USCAA 1st Team All-American senior midfielder Dan McGraw and senior forward Robert Hamm. The men have a tough schedule with matches against nationally ranked Bryant & Stratton in Syracuse Oct. 4 as well as University of Maine - Fort Kent Oct. 17.
"We have had a great preseason and the team is fired up to compete and win," said Coach Dan Ramin.
The team hopes that by winning the HVIAC conference tournament, they can earn an automatic berth to the 2015 USCAA Soccer National Championship which will be held in Asheville, North Carolina on November 5-8.
This year's ESF golf team features the returning nucleus of Co-captains Brian Walsh and Alex Brown, along with several new players.
The team will begin it season at home Sept. 12, hosting the 6th Annual ESF Fall Invitational at the Links at Erie Village. The team will then travel to the Kangaroo Invitational in Canton New York. Sept. 19 and two days later will compete at the Oswego Invitational at the private Oswego Country Club. During the weekend of Sept. 26 and 27, the team will patriciate in a two-day event hosted by the NCCGA at Old Hickory Golf Club in Livonia, New York.
On Oct. 3, the team will play in a new event at Inlet Country Club with Paul Smith's College. The Mighty Oaks will be in action again Oct. 4, against Syracuse University at Drumlins.
The season will conclude with a trip to the USCAA National Championships, held at the Penn State Blue Course.