The Dons kicked off their opening week with stellar performances in soccer, cross country, and volleyball.
The Dons returned to the Hilltop to host the Columbia Lions and the University of California, Riverside Highlanders in a home game doubleheader.
The women’s soccer team kicked things off against the Lions. The Dons struck early offensively with junior Allison Kamansky taking a shot on goal in the fourth minute. Later on, junior midfielder Marissa Vasquez got an opportunity with an off-target shot in the 26th minute. Vasquez recorded a game high in shots and tied her season high of total shots, with four shots overall. After the halftime break, Vasquez ran with a fast start in the second half with shots on target in the 49th and 55th minute. Although the Dons and Lions continued to fire against each other, neither of them were able to score. The game ended in a scoreless 0-0 tie, which gives the women’s soccer team their first tie for this season.
The men’s soccer team followed, looking to take on the defending Big West champions, the Riverside Highlanders. The Dons made their first attempts of the game as graduate student Ramon Munoz Jr. and junior Gabriel Bracken Serra booted up the ball with their opening shots. Around the 29th minute, the ref called a foul on Highlander goalkeeper Carlos Gonzalez, which allowed a free kick opportunity for the Dons. Serra stepped up and scored, tying things up at 1-1. After the half was over, the Dons started off strong with Knight attacking the Highlanders to open play, which resulted in the Dons being awarded a corner kick. Sophomore Reid Roberts scored his first goal of the season in the 46th minute to put the Dons in front with a 2-1 lead. The Dons almost lost the lead with the Highlanders, but were able to pull through in the end, and remain undefeated.
The Dons cross country team kicked off the 2023 season at home, with their first meet at Hellman Hollow in Golden Gate Park. Both men and women’s cross country programs earned top five team finishes, with the men at third place and women at fifth. Graduate student Ed Buck led the men’s team in the 8,000 meters, crossing the finish line in second place out of 169 competitors with a time of 24:13.7. For the women’s program, sophomore Grace Copeland shined for the Dons in her first USF Invitational. She gained ground in the final 2,000 meters, and finished in sixth place with a time of 20:53.8.
The women’s volleyball team in the Borderland Invitational Tournament. They had a three game series facing the University of Texas El Paso Miners, New Mexico State Aggies, and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
In the Miners game, the Dons fell behind early in the first set, and the Miners gained an early 11- 4 advantage, giving them a 25-13 first set victory. The Dons recovered and evened the score, with graduate student Karolina Nova and freshman Astrid Puig combining for six kills. Nova, Goodman, and junior Maria Petkova scored five straight points to cut the lead to 22-13, before the Miners won 3 of the following 4 points to secure its set. The game lasted 4 sets, which gave the Dons a 1-3 loss.
In the Aggies game, the Dons gained an early advantage to begin, San Francisco scored 6 straight points with Puig recording back-to-back kills to start, and then ended with junior Hayden Goodman’s service ace to make an 8-2 lead. Graduate student Kennedy Muckelroy’s kill began a 4-0 run, augmenting the first-set lead to 17-8. The Aggies were victorious in the second set and leading the third set, which caused the Dons to rally. The Dons came back and took a 20-18 lead, which led to Puig and sophomore Abby Wadas securing the third set. After a back and forth battle, the Dons lost 2-3.
In the Sun Devils game, graduate student Kennedy Muckelroy had a team high two kills, but the Sun Devils finished the set with a 16-11 run, to secure the 25-15 in the first set. The Dons had the upper hand in the second set, but the Sun Devils recovered quickly and evened the score at 21. However, once facing match point at 24-22, a defensive effort from the Dons forced the Sun Devils into two attack errors to give the Dons the lead at 25-24. Sophomores Crystal Galaviz and Lindsay Oldendorf gave two straight kills to give the Dons a 28-26 win. However, the Dons lost the next two sets, which resulted in a 1-3 loss.
For future home games, all students can attend for free with the use of their One Card.