Article by Dominic Minicozzi <email@example.com>
Cross Country: Despite finishing fifth in the Centennial Conference at the end of the 2023 season, there was an impressive number of smaller victories for the Bears this year. First and foremost, the program matched their best-ever finish at the NCAA Metro Regional Championships with two runners (Sophomore Liam Johnston, and Senior Tucker McGrath), earning all-region honors by placing in the top 35 of the race. Another impressive accolade the Bears took home this season was second place at the Dutchmen Invitational thanks to two more great performances from Johnston (5th place) and Mcgrath (7th place). Some other notable performances in 2023 include: Junior Christian Rosado who had quite an impressive season finishing 39th at Regionals and 13th at the Dutchmen Invitational; Sophomore Ryan Martin who made his presence felt at the Centennial Conference Championships Placing 41st overall; and Junior Paul Faggioli who regularly kept the Bears on pace in important meets like the Dickinson Long-Short Invite and the Paul Short Run. Additionally, Ean Chasinoff was named to the Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team, adding another accolade for the Bears to cap off 2023. Needless to say, there were a lot of positives for the Ursinus Men’s Cross Country Team in 2023 that should be acknowledged in spite of their fifth place finish. Football: The Ursinus College
Football: Bears saw a lot of NEW in their 2023 campaign. Following a very successful 2022 season in which the team finished 9-2 and graduated a large majority of its starters, there were many question marks surrounding how this team would perform in 2023. Additionally, the Centennial Conference made a significant change with the departure of Susquehanna, Moravian, and Juniata, which returned to the Landmark Conference. Meaning that the Bears would have to play three more out-of-conference games in their schedule in order to fulfill a ten game season. To say that they handled the change well might be an understatement. Despite replacing six starters on offense, five starters on defense, and their starting kicker, this team handled adversity in incredible fashion. Finishing with an overall record of 8-3 and a perfect record out of conference at 5-0, these Bears were prepared to fill the roles of the seniors who graduated the year prior and it showed when the All-Centennial awards were presented. Ursinus Football had 14 All-Centennial selections at the end of this season featuring: Ryan Bodolus (First Team Defense and Defensive Player of the Year), Brett Gross (First Team Defense), Ryan Divergilis (First Team Defense), Anthony Esposito (First Team Defense), Tony Holden (First Team Offense), Trey Williams (First Team Offense), Billy Cook (First Team Offense), Justin Collier (Second Team Offense), Devin Cope (Second Team Offense), Dawson Fresses (Second Team Offense), Jordan Carr (Second Team Specialist), Deane Leader (Honorable Mention Offense), Connor Carter (Honorable Mention Defense), Cody House (Honorable Mention Specialist), Dom Tomaselli (Sportsmanship Team). Although the Bears’ success this season was a surprise to many considering the circumstances, their resilience in the face of new competition and ability to replace established starters under short notice should be celebrated.
Soccer: Last but not least, Ursinus Men’s Soccer started off the 2023 season with a dominating 5-0 record against their out-of-conference opponents. The offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders with Tommy Mollis and Julian Faust running the show, and their tenacious defense was pitching shutouts left and right. Furthermore, in their second Centennial Conference matchup of the year, they upset Johns Hopkins in a 1-0 victory. Because of their success early, the team had high hopes and a lot of confidence heading into the second half of their season. Unfortunately, one of the best conferences in all of Division III soccer would present problems for the Bears. They finished the 2023 season with an in-conference record of 1-7-1, which was a stark contrast from their out of conference record of 7-0- 1. Wins and losses aside, there were a multitude of players who made their mark on the field week in and week out, and received recognition for their efforts. Senior Midfielder Tommy Mollis and Sophomore Midfielder Julian Faust, who I previously mentioned for their performances on the offensive side of the ball, received All-Centennial Honors for their respective performances, with Mollis on the second team and Julian Faust as an honorable mention. Junior defensemen Joshua Coster received an Academic All-District Selection by the College Sports Communicators, who reward collegiate athletes for excellence on the field and in the classroom. Finally, first year defensemen Omar Dzombalic was named to the Centennial Conference All Sportsmanship Team. Overall, the 2023 Season for Ursinus Men’s soccer was a roller coaster from beginning to end, but their highest moments have demonstrated a lot of hope for the future of the program.