This is the first in a two-part series recounting the glories and disappointments of USF athletics this year.
As the school year comes to an end so does the sports year. During the 2008-2009 season the Dons had some highpoints and some low points. There were league championships won but there were also last place finishes. Overall, the Dons had a pretty good year, especially when you compare it to last year. So in honor of the 2008-2009 sports season we will be highlighting every sport’s team’s season. This week we will look at men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and cross-country.
Men’s soccer had a successful year, they won the WCC, Connor Chin was named WCC player of the year and coach Erik Visser was named WCC coach of the year. Although they won a lot of awards the Dons record was not very good, they were 9-9-2 overall and 6-4-1 in the WCC. The Dons winning record in the WCC allowed them to capture the title in a down year for the league. But championships are all that matter and the Dons were able to deliver one. By winning the WCC title, the Dons were selected to compete in NCAA tournament, marking their 31st appearance in the tournament. They eventually lost to 9th ranked Cal in the first round. Overall the 2008-2009 season was a successful one for the men’s soccer team.
The women’s soccer was nowhere near as successful as the men’s team. They finished with an overall record of 5-13-2 and a WCC record of 0-7-0. This is probably a season that the team will want to forget. Not getting a win in the WCC is awful and so is a losing record, especially when you only win five games. One positive note to the season was that junior forward Kristina Hall was named to the WCC all second team. Another positive note is that five players earned WCC Fall all-academic team honors. At least the team is committed to having good students on the team. Hopefully the Dons will be able to improve significantly next year because this year they did not do well.
The women’s volleyball team had an amazing season, being ranked in the top 25, making the NCAA tournament and having five players earn WCC honors. For the year the team had an overall record of 22-7 including a program-best home record of 15-1 and a WCC record of 11-3, as they finished second in the WCC behind San Diego. Not only did the Dons have a successful season, a few players had outstanding individual seasons. Four players, Carly Babin, Haley Carroll, Anna Berger and Sarah Mandala were asked to try-out for the USA national team. Carroll was able to make the USA volleyball women’s national A2 team as the only representative of the WCC. The women’s volleyball season was very successful and they should be happy for their accomplishments. Hopefully next year they will be able to win the WCC as well.
The men’s and women’s cross-country team had a decent season, finishing in the top five in six races. Cross-country is hard to analyze when it comes to how well the team did because it is more of an individual sport. With that said there were two individuals that shined this season. For the men’s team freshman Ganbileg Bor was named freshman of the year as well as being named to the first-team all WCC. For the women’s team senior Michelle Born was named to first-team all WCC and Laurel Kleiber was an honorable mention. Having two student-athletes named to the all conference teams is a big accomplishment because they are representing our school as some of the best cross-country runners.
So in the first part of the school year we had some success by winning a WCC championship, being ranked in the top 25 and with players having individual success. USF had a solid first half of sports. The school was represented well on the sports field and almost every team succeeded. Next week we will be looking at how the other sports teams fared during their season.