Dons Weekly Roundup

Eric Waltz surveys the field as he protects the goal. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

The Dons kicked off last week with successful performances from the volleyball and soccer teams. 

Women’s soccer walked away with a 1-1 draw in Malibu against Pepperdine University. The action came early in the game, with third-year Jameson Ward scoring in the seventh minute off of an assist from third-year Kaylin Lunsford. Ward’s one-timer goal from well beyond the 18-yard box caught Pepperdine’s defense by surprise and was excellently placed in top right of the net, leaving the goalkeeper a slim chance to make the save. 

Unfortunately for the Dons, the Pepperdine Waves quickly bounced back, scoring 12 minutes later. Pepperdine’s first-year midfielder Tatum Wynalda was able to blast a shot past the Don’s defense off of a centering pass by third-year Tori Waldeck. Second-year defender Samantha Reyes, was in great position to block the shot at the goal line for the Dons but did not react in time to clear the ball. 

Despite the Waves constantly pressuring the Dons’ defense, the score was 1-1 for the remainder of the game. Second-year goalkeeper Kira Ybarra played a pivotal role in keeping the game at a draw, recording nine total saves with three of them coming in the last five minutes of the game. 

While the women fought hard in Malibu, the men’s soccer team was across the Bay in Berkeley facing the California Golden Bears. The Dons dominated in the non-conference meeting, winning 5-1, in large part thanks to third-year midfielder Max Hamelink. Hamelink recorded a hat trick with his three goals and recorded an assist on top of that.  

The first half was close, ending in a 1-1 tie. Hamelink scored first for the Dons in the 14th minute off an assist by third-year Max Chretien, but the Golden Bears responded late in the half with a goal of their own. The second half was where things took a drastic change as USF proceeded to score four unanswered goals. Two of those coming from Hamelink in the final 12 minutes. He was able to accomplish the hat trick with less than three minutes remaining, off of a penalty kick goal.  

In the same evening that the two soccer teams battled on the pitch, the Don’s volleyball team won an electrifying game against the Portland Pilots on the Hilltop. The teams went back and forth through the first four sets. USF won the first set 25-21 thanks to a 11-3 rally by the Dons late in the set. Portland responded in the second set, closing out strong with a 6-2 push that gave the Pilots a 25-20 set win. The third set was a back and forth battle, with the Dons winning 27-25. Yet again, the Pilots battled back, winning the fourth set 25-18. The Pilots kept their foot on the gas in the fifth set, leading the Dons 10-3. With the fifth set being only to 15 points, the Dons needed a spark to stay in the game.

With the game 10-4 in Portland’s favor, the team appeared to have gone up 11-4. But USF head coach Diogo Silva challenged the play, saying a Portland player had deflected the ball before it had gone out of bounds. Silva, who was out of timeouts at the time, revealed in the post-game interview with Pat Olson that he did not think there was a deflection at all; the reason for his challenge was to give his team more time to discuss a game plan. 

Despite this, there was a deflection by a Portland player on the play, and the call was reversed in USF’s favor, making the game 10-5. In the same interview Silva said, “From that moment, [the team] really started to follow the plan.” The Dons proceeded to go on a 10-1 run to complete the comeback and win the game. 

The team win also included significant individual performances. Graduate student Claire Crijns led the team in kills with 17 and also recorded three aces. Second-year Maria Petkova had the second highest kills with 13, two of which came in the fifth set during the team’s comeback rally.

The volleyball team is currently on a four game winning streak and hopes to make it five in a row against Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Oct. 27, the release day of this week’s issue. The women’s soccer team will also be on the road, as they face University of San Diego on Oct. 29. Also on Oct. 29, the men’s soccer team will be home on the Hilltop facing off against University of the Pacific at 7 p.m.  

Students can attend all campus games for free with the use of their One Card.


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